Photo courtesy of Reg Newbeck: New pedestrian crossing signs have already come up on East Madison Street.
Photo courtesy of Reg Newbeck: New pedestrian crossing signs have already come up on East Madison Street.
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Seattle’s chief traffic engineer Dongho Chang says pedestrian improvements are on the way for Madison Park after neighborhood advocates Ken Myrabo and Reg Newbeck gave him a walking tour of trouble spots back in July.

“It hopefully should be done in the next month or so,” Chang told MPT on Oct. 9.

Much of the spot improvements will be made around the East Madison Street and McGilvra Boulevard East intersection, which SDOT added curb bulbs to this summer.

Newbeck said SDOT should have placed a marked crosswalk on the north end of McGilvra Boulevard, west of Starbucks, which Chang said will now become a reality. A double-center line will also be added, he said, so people don’t attempt to drive around vehicles stopped for crossing pedestrians. Newbeck said he’d like to see a crosswalk on the south side, as well.

The floppy posts between the crosswalk on East Madison Street, between Wells Fargo and Starbucks, are often struck by turning vehicles — they notify drivers that it is a school crossing.

Chang said SDOT will put in “Tuff Curbs,” which are plastic curbs with reflective surfaces that provide a bump for drivers, “and then it’s easier for us to maintain that post when it does get damaged.”

This will also be provided at East Madison and East Garfield streets, and crews were getting that ready as of Oct. 11.

“It’s not too obtrusive, but it will be visible,” Chang said, “and it’s pretty low cost for us to make that improvement.”

SDOT crews have already replaced faded stop signs and pedestrian-crossing signs along East Madison Street in Madison Park, Chang said.

Newbeck reports there is a new sign on 43rd Avenue indicating where drivers can go.

The hanging crosswalk lights on East Madison are no longer sanctioned by the city, but will remain until their scheduled replacement, Chang said, at which point they will simply be removed.

A 20 mph speed limit sign for southbound traffic will be put in, and a 25 mph sign drivers see as they enter the business corridor will be changed to 20 mph, Chang said.

Newbeck and Myrabo showed Chang a blind curve as McGilvra Boulevard East hits East Blaine Street during their July walkabout. Chang said SDOT will make changes that clarify where parking ends on the east side of the street.

“I’m glad to hear he’s going to do something on Blaine, but I hope people follow the no parking,” Newbeck said, adding he believes there will need to be enforcement to ensure it.

All crosswalks will eventually be remarked under SDOT’s regular four-year cycle.

The work order for all of the customer-requested spot improvements is in, Chang said, and SDOT crews will make those changes when they’re in the neighborhood.

“It seems our time with him seems to be well spent,” Newbeck said. “We can get SDOT to do things.”