Mother continues fight for light at dangerous crosswalk

by: Amy Clancy Updated:


Dominick May-Douglass suffered severe brain damage back in 2005. 

The then 12-year-old boy was walking home from Hamilton Middle School to his family’s nearby home when he was struck by a car while in the crosswalk at Stone Way North and North 41st Street.

His mother, Desiree Douglass, has been working since then to get a pedestrian-activated crossing light at the busy intersection. 

“I would do anything to spare anyone else,” she told KIRO 7 reporter Amy Clancy on Friday. “The cost of a light is $80,000 to $100,000. The cost of a head injury is incalculable.”

The Seattle Department of Transportation has made improvements at the crosswalk since Dominick Douglass' accident. 

In 2007, the then-four lane street became one lane in each direction – what’s commonly called a “road diet.” 

There are also new signs, stop bars, restricted parking to boost visibility to the crosswalk and soon there will be new, brighter LED lighting. But so far, no crossing light. Dong Ho Chang, Seattle Department of Transportation's traffic engineer, said the crosswalk “does not meet the need for the federal requirement for a traffic light.” 

He said the city is convinced the new signs, markings and lighting will improve safety at the site.

But it’s not enough for Desiree Douglass.

“The paint is not going to do it, the signs don’t do it because this is a confusing intersection and people are already moving fast. They’re coming off Aurora. They’re not ready to see a crosswalk,” she said on Friday. 

Since last October three more people have been severely injured while in the same crosswalk. Paul Cantu owns a business right next to the crosswalk and told Clancy he has been asking the city for a pedestrian stop light since three years before Dominick Douglass' injury. He said the city’s improvements haven't helped. 

“People haven’t slowed down.  People don’t stop for pedestrians and there’s still the same problems that have existed for the past 10 years,” Cantu said. “I don’t know how many more kids have to get hit, or people in general. How many more accidents need to occur, or if someone needs to die before they actually do something?”

The issue will again be addressed at Monday’s Fremont neighborhood council meeting, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at the Doric Temple at 619 N. 36th St. Desiree Douglass and Cantu will be there, as will a representative from SDOT to hear the concerns of those who live in the neighborhood. 

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