Laurelhurst Community Club                                                     

Serving 2800 Households in Seattle’s Laurelhurst Neighborhood


Support Your Community—Help Promote Pedestrian and Vehicle Safety at Sand Point Way NE and 50th Avenue NE



August 11, 2004



Suzanne Petersen

Sarah Rafton

Community, Government Affairs and Advocacy

Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center

4800 Sand Point Way NE

P.O. Box 5371/PL-1

Seattle, WA 98105-0371


RE:  Proposed Pedestrian/Vehicle Safety Improvements at Sand Point and 50th Avenue NE


Dear Suzanne and Sarah,


            The Laurelhurst Community Club has a wonderful opportunity to improve pedestrian and vehicle safety on Sand Point Way NE where 50th Avenue NE and Ivanhoe Place NE meet next to the Union 76 station.  Your daily shuttles drive past this hazardous location daily.  With your commitment to transportation planning and safety, we hope you will help us move forward with this project with a contribution.  


The plan is to work with the Seattle Department of Transportation on installation of a traffic signal at this location and to construct a curb bulb beside the gas station to shorten the pedestrian crossing distance to improve safety, slow traffic speeds and provide increased pedestrian visibility.  This project is a priority under the North Laurelhurst Transportation Master Plan adopted by the community in 2002.  We have applied for a neighborhood matching fund grant for the project and must raise $11,000 to comply with the City’s matching requirement.  If we are able to raise these funds, the Transportation Department will pay for a $70,000 traffic signal and $30,000 of the cost of the $45,000 curb bulb.  We would appreciate if you would contribute to this much needed project.


Currently, pedestrians must cross five lanes of traffic to reach the bus stop and the Burke-Gilman Trail.  Visibility is obscured due to a curve on Sand Point Way for drivers proceeding north.  The proposed new signal would have a main street phase giving the green light to the east-west traffic and would provide a walk signal for the pedestrians using the south crosswalk.  The second phase would be an activated phase.  When a northbound vehicle approaches the intersection, the signal would activate the detection loops in the pavement—sending a message to the signal controller that a vehicle is waiting and the controller would then bring up a green light.  When waiting vehicles have cleared the intersection, the signal would return to the main phase.  The new signal would be connected by wire to the signals to the east and the west.  The new signal would be timed to provide as smooth a flow as possible for inbound traffic in the mornings and outbound traffic in the evenings while still responding to pedestrian calls.


Construction of the curb bulb would require closure of one of the driveways to the Union 76 gas station and the new owner of the gas station is agreeable to the project.  The curb bulb would include sidewalks, curb ramps for access for wheelchairs, bicycles and strollers and other safety improvements.  The curb bulb would also include pedestrian pushbuttons to activate the traffic signal for people crossing Sand Point Way at this location.  The curb bulb will be beautifully landscaped and will be an asset to the neighborhood.


The project also addresses the problem of vehicles driving along 50th Avenue NE and Ivanhoe and the confusion at Sand Point Way where both streets angle down and meet several feet before the busy intersection.  The current road configuration is very dangerous and the project will make a major difference in promoting pedestrian and vehicle safety.


            Attached for your information are letters of support we have received for this project from the Northeast District Council, representing 20 community and business organizations in northeast Seattle, the Hawthorn Hills Community Council and the Windermere North Community Association.  We have also attached a schematic design of the project prepared by the Seattle Department of Transportation.


            We would welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss the possibility of contributing to this project.  Please contact us at the numbers or email addresses below.  We appreciate your support of our community.




Jeannie Hale, President                                                 Maggie Weissman, Project Coordinator

3425 West Laurelhurst Drive NE                                  5222 Ivanhoe Place NE

Seattle, Washington  98105                                          Seattle, Washington  98105

206-525-5135 / fax 206-525-9631                              206-524-4873 / 206-527-6646 (evening)