I’m all about this:

Seattle stop signs tend to have the relatively unhelpful “No parking within 30 feet” signs below them, but in my experience those signs simply prove how bad people are at (a) gauging distances, or (b) following the law. Assuming they’re not intended simply to be another revenue-generator for law enforcement, I would think that the practice of daylighting intersections would be far more effective. And not only at stop signs, but at mid-block crosswalks as well.

Update: It occurs to me that the mid-block crosswalk on Queen Anne Ave N has exactly this setup:

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8 responses to “Daylighting”

  1. Matt the Engineer

    I like this:

    “Once daylighting is in effect, the space can support a number of public amenities such as bike parking, benches and green space.”

    Right now in theory our daylighting space is sitting empty at thousands of intersections throughout the city. In practice most of them are filled with people parking “just for a minute”, or people just plain not following the law. Wouldn’t it be nice to have bike racks at each of these places? Benches would be a bit odd (I don’t know about you, but I’m not a fan of relaxing in traffic), but green spaces might work as well. Or how about we move parking ticket vendors, newspaper machines, and garbage cans here instead of taking up room on the sidewalk?

  2. Frank

    Bike racks are an excellent suggestion. I like the way that a “bulbed” sidewalk like that brings pedestrians out into the street a bit more as well. Makes them even more visible, without them having to feel like they’re inching out into the street.

  3. serial catowner

    Ok, I give up- how do I add a photo to a blogpost?

  4. Frank

    Sorry, SC! That was one of the things that broke with the upgrade. I’m going to try to get it to work again this weekend.

  5. trafficmike

    I like the term “Daylighting” intersections.

    Typically, these types of improvements are called curb bulbs or curb extensions. In fact, the City of Seattle has installed a number of these in the past few years.

    Here are some of the ones that I am aware of (I designed a few of them too).

    1. Admiral Way & 47th Ave
    2. Admiral Way & 48th Ave
    3. Minor Ave & Harrison
    4. Minor Ave & Thomas
    5. Lynn & Franklin

    There are always issues with building these but some of the big ones are drainage and making the bulb meet the ADA guidelines. The City estimates the cost of one of these ranging from $15,000 to $25,000 a pop.

  6. Frank

    Thanks Mike! I always appreciate the first-hand knowledge. The crosswalk on Mercer Ave connecting the Seattle Rep and Met Market seems like a prime target for one of these. That’s a scary pedestrian intersection.

  7. serial catowner

    Glad it’s not just me. I’m using Firefox and since the upgrade I’m continually getting an error message “A Script On This Page Is Not Responding”. I almost never get this on other webpages, although my bank seems to be addicted to scripts that fail to work.

    I’ll await developments with interest. Really appreciate your willingness to make this thing work.

  8. serial catowner

    As a guy who frequently pushes a wheelchair, I gotta say the bulbout inherently helps the wheelchair user. Making the crossing shorter by narrowing the street and slowing the traffic with actual physical obstructions really helps.

    Street furniture, maybe not so much. Most of the people who place and maintain it don’t seem to think about the space needs of wheelchairs, and it can make it harder for a driver to understand what is happening on the sidewalk.