In May 2016, our client was attempting to cross the street in the crosswalk located at 6th Avenue South and South Royal Brougham Way. About half-way through the intersection she was hit by a motor vehicle. The City of Seattle Department of Transportation knew the crosswalk was dangerous and failed to make it safer and/or warn pedestrians.
The crosswalk spanning 6th Avenue South had previously been identified, as far back as Augusts 2013, by the city/county as a safety hazard. The crosswalk signage was only on the right side of the street in the direction of travel. The signage could be blocked by vehicles that are yielding to pedestrians in the crosswalk. Many of the vehicles yielding there are buses and other vehicles were prone to believe buses are stopped to serve a stop rather than yielding to pedestrians—thus creating a serious danger to pedestrians.
During a 2015 study of the intersection the cited noted as many as 116 pedestrians per hour using the crosswalk. And over two dozen cars were observed illegally passing while another other vehicle was yielding to pedestrians. Average vehicle speeds in the area ranged from 29.1 to 39 mph.
Prior to this May 2016 accident it was recommended that signage be upgraded to enhance pedestrian markings an visibility of the crosswalk. It was also recommended that Rectangular Rapid-Flashing Beacons be added to the intersection. It was also suggested that a crosswalk signal would provide the highest level of driver compliance to crossing pedestrians. However, the city thought that the traffic and pedestrian traffic was too low to warrant a signal. Officials recommended the installation of a ‘half of a refuge island’ as it would discourage passing in both directions and provide partial refuge for pedestrians.
None of these safety measures had been added prior to the May 2016 accident.
The victim suffered a traumatic brain injury, broken hip and other injuries.
Settlements: $350,000 in settlements thus far. Several claims have yet to be resolved thus additional settlement agreements may happen in the future.
DLG Case Number: 201339