LFP Mayor: Please take the time to slow down on our local roads

Sunday, April 28, 2024

Lake Forest Park Mayor Tom French
From Lake Forest Park Mayor Tom French

Kindly do your part and set the tone on our streets for everyone, including those who visit our community. We all lead busy lives and sometimes we find ourselves running behind—this is not the time to speed on our roads.

The City Council just accepted a Safe Speed Study which will inform changes on our neighborhood streets, arterials, and connectors. This is part of a larger pedestrian and multi-modal safety program that we have been working on for more than two years.

In the coming months, watch for changes in speed limits on our roads. Smaller neighborhood streets will be reduced from 25 mph to 20 mph and to a uniform 25 mph on arterials and collectors. 

The City has also made an application to the Washington State Department of Transportation for reductions in the speed limits on our two State Routes.

Tragically, each of the past several years, the number of fatalities on Washington’s roads has increased at an alarming rate. Last year was no exception with more than 800 fatalities setting a new record for the past 30 years. For context, the State of Washington has more than 100 cities and towns that have less than 800 residents. This alarming fatality number is equivalent to the loss of an entire small community.

Speed infractions and traffic volume in our two school zones continue to climb. Near Brookside Elementary in 2022 over 1.3 million vehicles trips were logged. In 2023, traffic volume was over 1.6 million vehicles logged or a 23 percent increase.

The two school traffic safety cameras on 178th reported a 14 percent and a 12 percent increase in violations over the previous year. The increases in the number of citations near LFP elementary were smaller, but still significant.

More alarming are the recorded speeds near schools: 137 of the citations in 2023 were for speeds more than 40 mph, with the top speed being 56 mph. 

Also concerning are the 980 more citations that were issued for speeds between 35 and 39 mph. 

These citations were issued when the warning lights on the sign were flashing and when children were present on the sidewalks and in the school area.

These trends are deeply concerning.

Please do your part and slow down -- our children and loved ones depend on all of us to keep them safe.

With respect,
Mayor Tom French


Anonymous,  April 28, 2024 at 8:45 AM  

My advice is to avoid LFP.

Anonymous,  April 28, 2024 at 2:05 PM  

What does this mean for school zones? If the side streets are 20 are the school zones to be 5?

Anonymous,  April 28, 2024 at 4:37 PM  

I applaud our Mayor's letter regarding speed limits in LFP. I had a car pass me on the shoulder, tail-gate, or honk because I was "going too slow." Another concern is the intersection at Brookside Blvd and N.E. 178th. Cars are often parked along Animal Acres Park on 178th, just down from Brookside Elementary. f I am stopped wanting to make a left llturn onto 178th, it is very difficult to see what i coming down 178th. Has there been any thought to a round about at that iintersection?

Thank you for you concern regarding speed limits and heavy traffic.

A long-time LFP resident and last 8th grade class from LFP Elementary.

Dorothy Burns

Anonymous,  April 29, 2024 at 5:26 AM  

Respect is a two way street. If you want LFP's speed limits to be respected, then quit trying to make your entire city into a speed trap, including Ballinger and Bothell Way over which you lack statutory authority.

A speed limit of 20 is below most vehicles' ability to set cruise control, so people who are wary of being ticketed by cameras have their eyes glued to the speedometer instead of on the road in front of them. This is counterproductive. 20 is by no means plenty.

It's telling that the Mayor cites fatalities statewide while failing to cite speed-caused fatalities or injury accidents within his city. Could it be that people are managing to exceed the already low speed limits without posing an unreasonable safety risk? Quelle horreur!

Anonymous,  April 29, 2024 at 3:48 PM  

Thank you Mayor French for taking these commonsense steps to make our streets safer and our community more enjoyable to walk in.

Anonymous,  April 30, 2024 at 6:19 AM  

I appreciate this change. On local streets that have people walking with kids and pets, people biking, and people driving all sharing the same space, 20 mph is a reasonable speed limit. Larger roads with a dedicated space for people driving have their place and can safely support higher speeds, but only a handful of roads in LFP are built like that.

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