NE 125th Street Rechannelization Results

There was a lot of discussion about the lane changed on NE 125th St before and after they happened. SDOT has been monitoring the situation before and after and just published results. It looks pretty positive across the board. And most people I’ve talked to have been pleasantly surprised. What have your experiences been? –Phillip[1]

In May 2011 the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) reconfigured the lanes on NE 125th Street between Roosevelt Way NE and 30th Avenue NE to make the street safer for everyone, better support transit and keep vehicles moving. Prior to the rechannelization there were two travel lanes in each direction. SDOT altered the road’s striping to provide one lane in each direction, a new two-way left turn lane and bicycle lanes.

SDOT agreed to monitor the project’s impact on safety and traffic after the rechannelization was completed to make sure the street functioned well. Data shows it is and we want to share the key results.

to the project, the 85th percentile speed (the speed most drivers are comfortable driving) was 41 m.p.h. eastbound and 39 m.p.h. westbound. Eighty-seven percent of drivers were traveling over the speed limit and 16 percent of drivers were speeding at 40 m.p.h. or more – more than 10 m.p.h. over the speed limit! Since the project was completed, the 85th percentile is now 38 m.p.h. eastbound and 36 m.p.h. westbound with an 11 percent decrease in the percentage of people exceeding the speed limit.

And there has been an even more dramatic decrease in drivers speeding more than 10 miles over the speed limit!

You can see the rest of the write-up here.

9 comments to NE 125th Street Rechannelization Results

  • Sue

    Thanks for that surprising report. I see no data on bike use, however?

  • Sue

    Back to answer my own question after reading a better report. The bike data I find crazy. They reach back to 2005 and say there were 7 bike riders then compared to 15 in 2012. So what does that tells us???? Seriously!

  • I honestly haven’t looked deep into the bike data though it would be interesting to see more. I don’t think it was a priority of the original study.

    The changes were made for safety and not bike lanes. I think the bike lanes were added because there was extra room and it adds a larger buffer between the sidewalk and cars. And they certainly don’t hurt anything. And I’m sure they’re appreciated by those who use them, especially on the uphill side.

    Honestly, it’s hard to measure because you can’t do it automatically. With cars they use those strips in the road to measure a lot of data over a long period of time. With bikes they would have to pay somebody to sit there all day, every day, for weeks on end.

  • Sue/Seattle

    Project Goals
     Improve traffic safety
     Increase compliance with the speed limit
     Improve pedestrian and bicycle access
    Project Outcomes
     Decline in the rate of total collisions and
    injury collisions
     Reduction in the number of people exceeding
    speed limit
     Reduction in pedestrian and bicycle collisions

    Since bikes and peds are listed as projects goals they could have done a much better job with the look back. Its no secret many folks were pretty upset about what was perceived to be a nod to bike lanes.

  • Fair enough. But that only works if you had the data. Though they could have collected the data before they started. Though again, I’m not sure it’s worth it to spend all the time having somebody watch/count when you can use more statistic measures of safety. Improving access doesn’t necessarily mean more use. All the safety statistics (speed and everything else) improve access for pedestrians and bicycles.

  • John Sweeney

    This is political BS using cooked data and false comparisons. The initial values were hyped by police and reporting “emphasis” campaigns so that the after-channelization results would look good no matter what. Seen any cops on 125th recently?

  • Garth Ferber

    I have lived and ridden a bicycle for commuting and recreation here in Pinehurst 20 years now and until the changes I never rode up/west on 125th because I felt it was way too dangerous. Now with a bicycle lane I can use that route and even make a left onto 20th with reasonable safety.

  • Neighbor Joe

    I am still purplexed as to why merging two lanes into one lane (Eastbound just East of Roosevelt & 10th intersection) ON A CURVE is a good and safer design. I have been in several near misses at that spot and would like the DOT to re-evaluate that specific merge point. Cut through traffic down 14th NE to avoid the 15th / 125th light has NOT decreased speeders or traffic. I would like to see that study comparison.

    There is bike traffic on 125th? Are they ghost riders? I have not seen any more, less, or any bike traffic or increased use of those lanes by any bikers.

  • Dee

    I have never seen a single bicycle use these new bike lanes (only the pavement where the pedestrians go). It’s only made the congestion on 125th St. twice as bad (from 2 lanes to one lane). How about they count the bicycles that use the road in a 4 hour period over a few weeks and see if they really need bike lanes on this street…I would like them to go back to 2 lanes in both directions. I have seen and been in several near misses (accidents) also.

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