City Hall

Seattle Traffic, Transit Ridership Both Slightly Up in 2010; Road Diets Work

By Erica C. Barnett October 21, 2011

According to a new traffic report by the Seattle Department of Transportation, average annual daily traffic (based on annual counts at 19 Seattle bridges) was up 0.86 percent last year over 2009 levels, a modest uptick that very slightly reverses a steady downward trend since 2003. Given that population increased 1.1 percent over that same period, though, overall, people are still driving less. Traffic, in other words, continues to fall relative to population:

Also last year: The price of gas ticked up slightly (to an average of $3 a gallon), while employment trended very slightly down. Transit ridership, meanwhile, remained basically flat.

SDOT's one-day bike count, as I noted yesterday, showed 21 percent more cyclists downtown and 15 percent fewer outside downtown, for an average decrease (using 2010-over-2008 numbers outside downtown and 2010-over-2009 numbers inside downtown) of 1.5 percent. Pedestrian counts downtown, meanwhile, have declined even as population has steadily increased.

The city also looked at auto speeds on high-traffic roads, to determine where the most people are speeding (going more than 10 mph above the speed limit). The highest percentage of speed offenders could be found on Admiral Way SW, where 25.5 percent of drivers sped; Pinehurst Way NE, where 17.7 percent of drivers sped; Ellis Ave. S., where 17.5 percent of drivers sped; and Greenwood Ave. N., where 16.4 percent of drivers sped.

Overall, there were 11,913 collisions involving cars last year, of which 4 percent involved cars hitting pedestrians and 3 percent involved cars hitting cyclists---a reduction in the collision rate from 69.51 collisions per million vehicles in 2009 to 60.29 in 2010, reflecting a general downward trend in crashes over the last 10 years. However, the rate of collisions between cars and pedestrians per capita went up slightly last year, and the rate of collisions between cars and bikes remained essentially the same. Of 19 fatal collisions in 2010, 26 percent were pedestrian fatalities. There was only one fatal collision involving a bicyclist last year, compared to four in 2009.

Oh, and the horrible, awful impacts people predicted from the road diet on Fauntleroy Way in West Seattle? Nonexistent---as I'll show in a followup post.

Much, much more here.
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