• Residents along Rainier Avenue want changes on dangerous street

    By: Henry Rosoff

    Updated:

    SEATTLE - Activists rallied Wednesday night along what they call Seattle's most dangerous street.

    Rainier Avenue South averages one car crash a day, about 1,200 in the last three years.

    Last summer, a car slammed into a Columbia City salon, nearly killing several people. Two months later, a pickup truck smashed down Rainier Avenue, hitting 15 vehicles, including a Metro bus and a SPD car.

    At the time, the Seattle Department of Transportation said it would put solutions in place to eventually make the road safer. But community members said it needed to come as soon as possible.

    At the rally Wednesday night, drivers passing through the intersection of Rainier Avenue and Edmunds Street found themselves staring at a man in a chicken suit leading 50 concerned neighbors from crosswalk to crosswalk.  But there was no joke nor punch line, the costume was designed to get people to look and listen to chants of “slow down” and “safer streets now.”

    When Seattle city councilmember Bruce Harrell came by the rally, he saw the problem for himself when a car ran a red light right in front of him.  KIRO 7 asked Harrell why it is taking so long to make Rainier safer.

    “You don’t do it arbitrarily,” Harrell said. “You look at the traffic count, you look at the impacts on transit, you study other areas where it’s done, and so it’s time now.”

    Harrell assured the crowd the Seattle Department of Transportation will begin reworking Rainier’s lights and lowering speed limits by the end of this year.

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