• Seattle considering four-way stops instead of traffic signals at some intersections

    By: Graham Johnson

    Updated:

    The Seattle Department of Transportation is considering a low-tech approach to managing traffic at some of the city's smaller intersections by switching from full traffic signals to flashing reds and four-way stop signs.

    Eleventh Avenue Northwest and Northwest 46th Street is on the list of intersections under consideration.

    Sid Olson works near that intersection for Scott's Trophy.

    "I can see pros and cons. Accident-wise, this intersection is notorious for many accidents," Olson said. "However, I can just see the backups clear to Leary Way this way and beyond the bridge that way."

    SDOT already made the change at Queen Anne Avenue North and West Boston Street at the request of neighbors because most of Queen Anne Avenue already had four-way stops.

    "Traffic patterns change, land uses change, and people realize, well this traffic light really isn't working for us, so we want to hear about those and evaluate whether we want to modify them," said Seattle traffic engineer Dongho Chang.

    Chang said four-way stops can be safer and more efficient for intersections where it's easy for drivers to see and there isn't much traffic.

    He wants to hear from people around Seattle who think low-tech traffic control might work for their neighborhood.

    By June, the city plans to select five intersections to study.

    Engineers hope to evaluate up to ten by the end of the year.

    They're asking people to email their ideas to traffic.signals@seattle.gov.

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