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Letter to the Editor: School Crossing on 208th Avenue Needs More Visibility

A Redmond mother shares her concern about a crosswalk near Dickinson/Explorer Elementary and Evergreen Middle School.

I drive my daughter to school each day and traffic is always bad. However, today I watched as one of the middle school girls I've known since 2nd grade almost get mown down in the crosswalk by a speeding and distracted driver. Fortunately, the driver swerved right instead of left and the girl is safe. 

The crosswalk on 208th AVE NE in front of the Dickinson/Explorer Elementary and Evergreen Middle School has been a point of contention for years with the families who live too close to be bussed to school. Children (and adults) have been walking a thin line between safety and danger on this road for a long time. The sidewalk is not marked with more than a sign off to the side and those in a hurry (ie, everyone) use this road as a would be shortcut to get to the main arterials.

The sheriff has been notified previously and when advised, comes to watch the traffic ebb and flow. Naturally, with that kind of presence, everyone slows down. It's when there is an absence of ticket fear that the danger becomes clear and present.  What can be done? Will it take a child's death to make the crosswalk more visible?

—A. Huss, Redmond

dorimonsonfan October 17, 2012 at 11:26 PM
Well stated A. With two schools that close to a dangerous intersection and speeding cars often doing 50 in a 35 you'd think our children would be a higher priority than deer, racoons, and coyotes. But no, instead we're spending $6,000,000.00 a few blocks away at 234th pl ne to build a freekin wildlife crossing over novelty hill road. Remember the racoon crossing next time they come to us for tax increases for schools. King county obviously has lots of excess $$$
Catherine Wittel October 18, 2012 at 04:01 PM
My grandson attended Explorer in the past, and I completely agree with you. Why is there not a crossing guard? It is a very dangerous intersection.
D. Moore October 18, 2012 at 04:58 PM
I live right by the school and agree the traffic can be pretty bad. However, with so many cars trying to turn into the school it's difficult to speed even if someone wanted to. Also, there is a crossing guard there. At least there has been one every time I drive by. Not to say, we couldn't use more reminders for drivers to slow down, just adding some more information to the picture.
AHuss October 18, 2012 at 09:51 PM
You are correct, D. Moore, there is a crossing guard there by 9am. However, students who go to the middle school and those who attend the Explorer school need to arrive well prior to that time. There are no guards on post before 8:45. Additionally, with traffic backed up going South, yes, it is difficult to speed. Again, prior to the 9am school start, there is a lot less traffic. The car I mentioned was heading North and the traffic was extremely light, this driver was going over 35mph. Additionally, when traffic is backed up headed South bound, drivers pull out onto the shoulder to get around those heading to the schools. Not only an illegal move, but potentially hazardous to a would be walker. Thank you for adding the information regarding crossing guards at 9am.
D. Moore October 19, 2012 at 07:53 PM
Yeah, I guess I never noticed what time they are there. I presume someone has contacted the school regarding the concern? Have they responded?
Huss October 21, 2012 at 04:03 PM
I know the school has been contacted and the response is to contact the local sherriff. That has been done and when there is a law presence, things slow down a lot. The more the sherriff is called, the more we protect those who are walking. At some point, there should be something done to highlight the area more. I have sent an email to Cathy Lambert with no response. I'll keep trying and I encourage others to do so as well.

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