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BTS: West Seattle road getting safety improvements ahead of school start

35th Avenue about to get some school safety improvements. (KOMO Photo)

SEATTLE -- Pretty soon, droves of students will begin walking to school. Before they return to class in West Seattle, a street is getting new sidewalks and wider curbs to ensure the safety of students trekking to class.

"By providing the sidewalk space out of the roadway, kids are given a buffer from the busy moving traffic," says Brian Dougherty, Seattle Department of Transportation Strategic Advisor.

SDOT crews are making the safety improvements on six blocks of 35th Ave. SW between 100th and 106th Streets. Those we spoke with in the neighborhood welcome the enhancements.

"I'm a nanny in the neighborhood and I walk along and see cars flying," says Zena Daole. "I think the sidewalk improvements are going to be really great to have in the neighborhood, especially since it's a walkable neighborhood."

It's a stress-reliever for parents whose children either walk or bike to nearby Arbor Heights and westside schools. Dougherty says a sidewalk network will make a difference.

"The project is more about preventing collisions in the future," Dougherty said.

35th Avenue Southwest has had problems in the past.

"It did have a history of pedestrian collisions, not involving children," Dougherty said.

It's neighbors who nominated 35th Avenue as a top priority for safety improvements through a city program.

"Anything they can do to improve road conditions and conditions for kids going to school is great," said Carey Rayburn.

The new sidewalks and updated curbs will ready by the first day of school.

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