The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has changed its mind about upgrading the traffic signal at Greenwood Avenue North and NW 73rd St. after being contacted by concerned neighbors.
Last week, we told you that SDOT was upgrading traffic signals at three neighborhood intersections. The intersection of Greenwood and 73rd has long had a traffic light on Greenwood Avenue North, and a stop sign on North 73rd St.
Looking east from North 73rd Street across Greenwood Avenue North. The new Fire Station 21, under construction, is on the left.
While motorists heading east or west on North 73rd St. can get frustrated at having to wait for a pedestrian to hit the walk light to be able to cross or turn onto Greenwood Avenue, many homeowners along North 73rd Street didn’t want a full signal because they feared it would turn North 73rd Street into a busy arterial street.
After neighbors contacted SDOT with their concerns, SDOT staffers tried to come up with a solution that balanced the needs of the fire department with the community.
Thank you for your interest in the proposed signal change at fire station 21 at the intersection of Greenwood Avenue North and North 73rd Street.
The new fire station 21 is under construction, and the new building will be closer to the sidewalk of Greenwood Ave N. The fire trucks will have to use part of the street to back into the station when they return from call-out duties.
In order to keep the fire trucks and general traffic operation safety, SDOT considered several options for a fire signal to stop traffic while fire trucks maneuver into the station. One of the options was to upgrade the existing pedestrian signal at Greenwood Ave N and N 73rd St to a full traffic signal. Considering N 73rd St is a narrow residential street, and a full traffic signal may potentially attract more traffic to N 73rd, we decided this option will not suit the community needs and have dropped it from the plans.
The option that we are implementing is to install a fire signal at Greenwood Ave N, just north of the fire station. This fire signal will be only respond when a fire truck is detected. The existing pedestrian signal at N Greenwood and N 73rd St will be the same, not rebuild as a full traffic signal. This option will not affect traffic on N 73rd St.
Thanks again for your time to contact SDOT, and please let us know if you have any further concerns.
SDOT tells me that the fire signal will be installed right where the alley is between the fire station and Carmelita restaurant. It will be operational about the same time the fire station is completed, which is currently scheduled for about mid-August.