Crashes rise while trees come down as construction starts on 145th

Saturday, March 30, 2024

By Oliver Moffat

On Sunday, January 7, 2024 Shoreline resident and college student Khondakar Hossain was riding his scooter eastbound along 145th street when he was hit by a vehicle near the Sunnyside intersection.

The driver of the vehicle fled the scene and has not been caught by police. Hossain is recovering from his injuries.

Data from the WSDOT crash data portal shows annual fatal and serious injury crashes in Shoreline
So far in 2024, Shoreline Area News has reported on three crashes along 145th street: a collision involving a pedestrian, a multi-vehicle crash and the hit-and-run involving Hossain.

As reported on KUOW and The Seattle Times, 2023 was the deadliest year for traffic fatalities in Washington State since 1990.

A map from the WSDOT collision data portal shows the locations of ten years of crashes along 145th and nearby roads
The statistics are grim for crashes that kill or leave people with life altering injuries in Shoreline.

According to data collected from WSDOT, for the five years before 2019, the city had 54 fatal and serious injury crashes. But that rate jumped starting in 2019. For the five years before 2024, there were 96 serious injury and deadly crashes in Shoreline - a 78% increase.

Activists gather along 145th street on Sunday to protest the removal of trees to build a multi-use path for pedestrians accessing the nearby light rail station. Photo by Oliver Moffat
On Sunday, March 24, activists with Tree Action Seattle and Save Shoreline Trees gathered near the site of the hit-and-run that left Hossain injured in 145th street.

With construction equipment parked nearby, the activists gathered to call attention to the loss of 317 trees that will be removed to make way for improvements the city says will make 145th street safer.

Kathleen Russel from Save Shoreline Trees acknowledge the group may be too late to stop tree removals of the first phase of construction, but she said, the group will be seeking to “put a pause on the next segments” to try and save additional trees. She said the group does not oppose sidewalks but would like the city to build around the trees.

The city acknowledges that the project will have significant tree impacts. But says, “We are balancing these impacts with our need to address the biggest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in Shoreline – transportation. This project helps further our goal of creating dense, walkable communities around transit.”
The city plans to replace the removed trees with 864 new trees.

An overgrown laurel hedge and a utility pole blocks the sidewalk of 145th street. Photo by Oliver Moffat

With the light-rail station opening at 145th street this year, the city expects increased pedestrian and cyclist traffic. To make the roadway safer for all users, the 145th project will add a wider sidewalk and roundabouts.

According to multiple sources including the city, WSDOT, AARP, and the Federal Highway Administration, roundabouts reduce traffic jams, are better for the environment, cost less over the long run and are safer for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.

A map from the city’s website shows the roundabouts coming to I-5 and 145th

Construction of phase one between I-5 to Corliss begins on April 1; information on the road closure is available on the city’s website.

The city of Shoreline will be hosting a public presentation on the 145th Corridor Project on Wednesday April 3 from 7pm to 8:30pm

The 145th project team will discuss the construction schedule, roundabouts, and benefits of the project. Residents can attend in person at city hall or join online. The presentation is part of Shoreline’s monthly CityLearn program which gives residents an opportunity to learn about, ask questions and discuss important local topics with city staff and council members.

On Monday April 15, the city council will hold a public hearing and discuss Shoreline’s Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP). The city updates the TIP each year serves as a six-year roadmap for transportation projects in the city.


Anonymous,  March 30, 2024 at 10:11 AM  

1. Again- who is going to teach the drivers how to use the roundabouts? The little one at 10th NE and NE 185th causes much confusion.
2. It is past time to have "pay-at-the-pump" insurance for cars - "for profit" collision insurance would be available for those with shiny expensive cars. Pay at the pump would protect those of us victimized by hit and run drivers and the many driving without adequate (or any) insurance.
3. Good luck getting the city of Shoreline or Dept. of Transportation to modify a plan once it's been announced. Remember - they are in the business of "improvement" and clearly that means "pave".

Kathleen Russell,  March 30, 2024 at 1:31 PM  

Save Shoreline Trees supports safety and transportation projects. We support safety for pedestrians, strollers, wheelchairs, and all. However, we question the need for 8’ to 13’ wide sidewalks. These wide sidewalks create more impervious surfaces and result in the loss of our established trees. Per the City website, approximately 317 trees will be cut down for the N 145th Phase 1 and I-5 Intersection project from Corliss Ave N east to 5th Ave NE. The 864 replacement plantings include trees and shrubs, most are adjacent to the light rail station, and, again per City source, 350 of these are for prior Sound Transit mitigation. Cutting down 317 trees along N 145th is a true loss of health benefits for residents, loss of wildlife habitat, and a loss for our environment - think of stormwater, noise reduction, and the important fact that these trees clean our air. The good news is that Lakeside School was able to retain most of their tall conifer trees. The sidewalk on the Seattle side of N 145th will be 5’ wide.

The loss of trees for transportation projects in Shoreline continues with the removal of another 139 trees for Phases 2 and 3 along N 145th from Corliss west to Linden; 47 trees for the N 148th St non-motorized bridge; and, 274 trees for the N 175th corridor renovation. A total of 777 trees, including Phase 1 N 145th/I-5 project tree removal (317).

Anonymous,  March 31, 2024 at 9:19 PM  

Given the lack of alternative, or accessible, sidewalks for the growing population of Shoreline, I have a hard time understanding why the trees along this major thoroughfare outweigh the collective benefit a more equitable improvements that empower people to have a lesser dependence on expensive, noisy, and -as described in this article - dangerous cars. The city is clearly committed to preserving trees and allocating the necessary spaces in limited right of way that provide the much needed improvements to the general public to make Shoreline a safer, healthier community. I appreciate the goal and mission of saving as many trees as possible, but just as it is with any other form of development, the location of replacement trees will almost always have to be in areas that are larger developments where the city can guarantee their planting and care. While the loss of the trees along 145th is sad, I will not miss fighting up the road to walk to the many beautiful green spaces in the south end of Shoreline with cars less then 4 feet from me driving at highway speed.

Anonymous,  April 4, 2024 at 3:04 PM  

It's about time to address the ugly elephants in the Shoreline room. Seattle has lowered the speed limits to 25 in most areas. Shoreline should do the same. Speeds along Aurora, 175th, 155th and 145th are always closer to 50mph than the posted speeds. Drag racing continues to be a problem in almost every area of Shoreline. What does the City of Shoreline plan to do to address that? Density is not the solution to a more livable city. Cutting down trees will not prevent speeding. I've lived here since the early 90s. The city is getting worse not better. My tax dollars seem to be pissed away on projects that don't increase my standard of living. I've seen density increases, traffic increases, crime increases, pollution increases... These are the only increases my tax dollars seem to be funding.

Anonymous,  April 8, 2024 at 12:23 AM  

Seattle's lowered speed limits are roundly ignored, just as Shoreline's lowered speed limits are. There's a gap opening between average traveled speed and the laughably low speed limits that our elected officials seek to impose upon us.

These collisions aren't really about speed anyway. They're about distraction, disrespect, and disregard for the skill of driving as being necessary to one's functioning in society. People who have no place being let loose on our roads have licenses in spite of their poor skill.

I generally drive 40 down Meridian, 175th, and 155th. I pay close attention, use blinkers religiously, and observe traffic signals. I'm not your problem. Don't be MY problem by trying to impose a wacko vision of 25 everywhere and expecting the traveling public to respect it.

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