Friday, March 20, 2009

Olive & Denny Crosswalk Update

A little background for the uninitiated:

There will be a lot of big trucks going to and fro on the Hill once construction begins on the Capitol Hill Light Rail Station. Their route to the site is very short and very direct - up Denny to Broadway and down Olive back to I5. However, that section of those two streets is an area of heavy pedestrian cross-traffic. That section of Denny and Olive are exciting for pedestrians as it is, with the lack of crosswalks, the slope and a curve that limits visibility (sidenote: the need for crosswalks on this part of Denny and Olive is mentioned in the 1998 Capitol Hill Neighborhood Plan).

Last fall some members of the Pine-Olive Way-Howell Area Triangle (POWHat) Neighborhood Association expressed that they'd like more crosswalks on Olive and Denny between Broadway and I5 in order to ameliorate the impact of the light rail construction on pedestrian traffic. I have been communicating with SDOT's Pedestrian and Bicycle Group ever since.

I am delighted to announce that there's been some progress on the matter. Virginia Coffman of the Pedestrian and Bicycle Group at SDOT says:
Based on the data that has been collected so far I can tell you that we are focusing on Boylston Ave E [as a possible crosswalk site] where there is a preferred pedestrian crossing. However before we can provide a good decision on what sort of crossing improvement can be made a more detailed look at the intersection and adjacent roadways is required.
This is a great leap forward from the "we have no idea if we're going to do anything for pedestrians in the face of giant trucks constantly driving up and down Olive and Denny for two years" position that they've held for last few months. To SDOT's credit, they held that position because they wanted to do their homework before they made any promises; it seems they hold the philsophy that it's a bad idea to screw around with traffic flow all willy-nilly.

1 comment:

  1. I do hope they do Olive AND Denny at Boylston.

    I also hope they put in an actual stoplight instead of a flashing pedestrian sign or even worse, a yellow ignore-me sign. Cars ignore *warning lights* and only stop for *red* lights... Although I suppose if that rule was hard and fast, there wouldn't be two red light cameras on Broadway.

    Maybe station a cop there. That might do it.