We recently spoke with a number of neighbors and businesses near N 130th and 3rd NE, asking for their opinions about blocking off for motorists 3rd Ave NE from 130th Ave.
We asked Tim Kushan about his ideas for making his neighborhood safer for bikes, pedestrians, and motorists. He said that he has lived in the neighborhood for less than one year, and in that span of time he has known of three serious automobile collisions at the intersection. In each case, the motorist was attempting to turn left onto 130th from 3rd NE when the vehicle was struck by a car moving westbound on N 130th St.
Tim was very enthusiastic about this idea.
We spoke to Gabriel Grosselin, seeking his reaction to this same recommendation under consideration. He was also enthusiastic about it. He noted that motorists frequently speed by his house and that he fears for the safely of his young daughter. He and his wife like to go for walks with their daughter but they always put her in a stroller instead of letting their two-year-old walk on 3rd NE. He complained about motorists who use their street as a short cut at rush hour.
Michael J. VanderWerff is an employee at Collins Books, located at 13005 3rd Ave. NE 98125. He works at this location five days a week. He stated that he has known of 15 automobile collisions since 2018 occurring at the intersection. In each case, the motorist was attempting to turn left onto N 130th St. He also mentioned a mud puddle at the NE corner of the intersection. “It may seem off topic to mention it, but it is actually a driving hazard, because drivers try to avoid driving through it, making a really wide turn that puts them on the wrong side of 3rd Ave once they complete the turn.” Mr. VanderWerff is concerned about the potential for head-on traffic crashes, as a result of the wide turn.
We spoke to Ixchel Wolfe who owns a bilingual daycare center at 13005 3rd Ave NE. She told us that she would be glad to see 3rd Ave. blocked off from motorists, even though her daycare client families would then be forced to make a more circuitous route when driving to the daycare. While we were speaking together, a car sped by on 3rd Ave at high speed. “That’s nothing. They often drive twice that speed.” While waiting to speak to Ixchel, we spoke with one of her employees who is bothered by the mud puddle mentioned above. She described it as a traffic hazard.
Finally, we spoke with Vonnie Benoffsky who has lived in her home for 40 years. She was very enthusiastic about the NW Greenways' idea of blocking off motorists from traveling onto 3rd NE from 130th St. She reports that collisions at that intersection occur about once a month. She also complained about the mud puddle and told me that she once looked into the prospect of buying the property on the north side of 130th St. between 3rd NE at the I-5 overpass. “I found out that I couldn’t buy it because it belongs to the State of Washington and that it was being saved for a potential bus stop.” Vonnie pointed out that the hazardous mud puddle is relatively new. Before the City created a berm at the corner, drainage was much better.