School deems intersection 'too dangerous', prompts city action

SEATTLE -- A dangerous intersection and quick-draw traffic light has some Seattle parents up in arms. Now the city is listening to those complaints and taking action.

The light at 24th Ave East and East McGraw Street in the Montlake neighborhood won't give some parents enough time to get their kids to elementary school safely. Worse still many neighbors say cars routinely speed up and down 24th Ave East which is four lanes as it bisects this otherwise quiet residential neighborhood.

In fact, Seattle Schools has deemed the intersection 'too dangerous' and officials say they cannot recommend 'in good conscience' that families or students cross there.

That's a problem since a large portion of the neighborhood lives on the east side of the busy street and the Montlake Elementary school is on the West side.

Adrianne Wesol walks her kids to school every morning and every afternoon.

"Usually we wait to make sure those cars stop before we cross the street, but it's a very short light so you've already lost a couple of the seconds," said Wesol.

Because the school district has agreed the spot is dangerous a school bus now swings by on its regular route to carry kids through the mess - but, some parents don't see it as permanent solution.

"To take a bus 2-blocks seems absurd," said one parent.

On the other hand drivers use 24th Ave East as a main route to SR 520 and the University of Washington. Thus the traffic lights have been timed to keep traffic moving.

After raising the neighborhood's concern with the Seattle Department of Transportation SDOT decided to add 5 extra seconds to the pedestrian lights at the intersection. The hope is the extra time will be just enough to get kids safely across without distrupting traffic flow.

"Appreciate @LukeDuecy calling it to our attention. SDOT altering 24th and McGraw signal today to help kids cross road," tweeted SDOT.