Community pushes to make West Seattle intersection safer
SEATTLE - A community action group in West Seattle is stepping up its push to make a busy intersection safer after another car accident.
Now the City is weighing in on the issue and trying to come up with a solution.
People who live and work near the intersection of Highland Park Way and Holden Avenue say it's dangerous and they'e been trying for years to make it safer.
There have been dozens of accidents here, including one on Sunday night.
“I worry about my safety and hitting someone and animals, people are always late. People are always in a hurry," said Jennifer Watkins, Owner, Dutchboy Coffee West Seattle. "I just saw three car accidents here in the last four months.”
Those are just a few of the problems the Highland Park Action Committee said are happening at the intersection.
“People are being T-Boned, people are speeding down when it gets wet and gets very slippery. So, they start sliding down the hill very quickly,” said Charlie Omana, chair of the Highland Park Action Committee.
Omana said the latest accident Sunday night is another reminder of why something has to change.
Seattle’s Department of Transportation said from 2012 to 2017, there have been 33 traffic accidents at the intersection.
Both the Action Committee and Seattle City Councilmember Lisa Herbold believe putting in a roundabout will make a big difference.
“They serve a function of not only directing a smooth flow of traffic but they also slow things down when there is no traffic problem,” said Herbold, Seattle Councilmember for District 1.
Last year Herbold allocated $200,000 for the roundabout’s early design and SDOT applied for a grant to cover the total cost of nearly $1.4 million.
In the meantime, people are trying to be cautious and are still concerned about the intersection’s negative impact on the area.
“There was a car that flipped over and took out a gas line and all of the neighbors in the perimeter had to be evacuated in the middle of the night from their homes,” Omana said.
The city’s safety team said they’re confident they’ll receive the grant they applied for and when that happens, the roundabout could be in place by the summer of 2021.