• Neighbors sick of speeders push to create Home Zone

    By: David Ham


    SEATTLE - Homeowners in Seattle's Wedgwood neighborhood say commuters have been using their neighborhood roads as a shortcut for years.

    "For people who live in the area, they definitely know this route is a way to a 95th street and to avoid lake city way to get to 35th," said Brianna McDonald, president of the Wedgwood Community Council.

    When drivers cut through, McDonald says they speed and traffic calming devices like a traffic circle or speed bumps are not much help.

    There are also no sidewalks in the neighborhood.

    "I've just worked on teaching my children you have to hold on to mommy's hand or else you're going to get hit by a car," said McDonald

    McDonald consulted the Seattle Greenways organization, and came up with a plan to propose what's called a Home Zone.

    It would lower the speed limits from 25 miles an hour to 10 or 15 miles an hour in the neighborhood.

    "For a neighborhood like this even a school zone's only 20 miles an hour so it'd be almost impossible to have 10 miles an hour," said Randy Kaasa, who lives nearby.

    Signs would also go up designating the area as a Home Zone.

    And pedestrian walkways would be created by painting lines in the road.

    "People are very observant when you're out and about in neighborhoods you can't put sidewalks everywhere," added Kaasa.

    "Our neighborhood is just one of many and there are many problem areas throughout the city that need to be dealt with to improve pedestrian safety," said McDonald.

    McDonald applied for a $50,000 Seattle Neighborhood Park and Street Fund grant to study the idea of creating the Home Zone in Wedgwood.

    Seattle DOT wouldn't comment on the concept because the application is still under review.

    The Neighborhood District Council will forward the top three projects to SDOT and Seattle Parks in April for feasibility and cost estimates.

    Approved projects will be implemented next year.

     "I think this is a viable reasonable solution that our city could use to improve safe streets," said McDonald.

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