Photo by Michael Craft: This photo shows what a driver sees when approaching the intersection of West McGraw and Seventh Avenue West, heading west, in Queen Anne. Currently, there is a painted curb bulb with plastic delineators, but the crosswalk sign sits several feet back from the point where pedestrians actually have to stand to be seen by drivers. Concerned residents are trying to raise money to match a Department of Neighborhoods grant to make safety improvements to the crosswalk that would allow drivers to better see pedestrians, especially children crossing to get to and from Coe Elementary, which is further down Seventh.
Photo by Michael Craft: This photo shows what a driver sees when approaching the intersection of West McGraw and Seventh Avenue West, heading west, in Queen Anne. Currently, there is a painted curb bulb with plastic delineators, but the crosswalk sign sits several feet back from the point where pedestrians actually have to stand to be seen by drivers. Concerned residents are trying to raise money to match a Department of Neighborhoods grant to make safety improvements to the crosswalk that would allow drivers to better see pedestrians, especially children crossing to get to and from Coe Elementary, which is further down Seventh.
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Queen Anne resident and business owner Michael Craft, a member of the team spearheading the effort, has lost count of all the minor crashes and “close calls” between cars and pedestrians he has witnessed at the intersection of West McGraw and Seventh Avenue West from his nearby photography studio.

Now, Craft, who owns a nearby photography studio, and a small group of other concerned residents are trying to do something about it.

“It’s been such a glaring problem for a long time,” Craft said.

Calling themselves the Coe Kids Crossing Leadership Committee, project co-chairs Paula Mueller and Jennifer Crow, both QA Community Council members, Craft and others are raising awareness about and soliciting volunteer support and money to make safety improvements at the intersection.

Mueller said the concerns stem from visibility issues at the busy intersection, which is about a block up the street from Coe Elementary. While McGraw is an arterial street heavily used by drivers on a regular basis, the intersection of McGraw and Seventh is a popular crossing point for joggers, walkers and children getting to and from school.

Mueller said in an email, while intersection on the east side of Seventh currently has a painted curb bulb on the street and traffic delineators, they don’t provide much of a barrier for pedestrian safety.

Plus, she said, the crosswalk sign sits several feet back from the point where pedestrians actually have to stand to be seen by drivers. This can be especially dangerous for children crossing at the intersection. Currently, their options for crossing are to wait at the intersection until a driver sees and stops for them, which can take awhile, or they have to cross the street and risk a driver not seeing them.

“It’s not just a school-hour problem, though,” Craft said. “It’s a 24/7 problem.”

After conversations with the Seattle Department of Transportation, Mueller said the leadership team determined that the best solution is to install a concrete floating curb-bulb on the northeast corner of the intersection, replacing the painted one that exists there now.  This will allow pedestrians to stay safely on the curb until traffic stops and they can step into the crosswalk, Mueller said. Drivers will also have an easier time seeing them, as well. New signs that are more visible to drivers will also be installed.

SDOT estimated the project would cost about $50,000. To obtain the funds to pay for it, the leadership team intends to apply for a Department of Neighborhoods grant in the next round.

Mueller said the goal is to raise approximately $28,750, in the form of pledges and volunteer hours, to serve as a match needed to receive qualify for the $57,500 grant, which includes a 15 percent maintenance fee. The turnaround time is quick, however. Mueller said the goal is to have all the volunteer hours and pledges made by Aug. 1, but she is hopeful they can do it.

“We’re not going to give up,” she said.

People can help by donating time to inform people in the community of the project or by donating funds to the effort. The group will earn credit for every volunteer hour reported, so time spent helping the campaign will count toward the funds needed.

Go to https://www.coekidscrossing.org for more information, or email leadership committee members at coekidscrossing@gmail.com.