There is one intersection in particular that I approach cautiously, either by car or by foot. This intersection happens to be located outside of my front door in the Greenwood neighborhood at NW 76th and 6th Avenue NW. I felt that the best way to alleviate this safety concern is with another traffic circle. But, after reading Alyse Nelson’s article on intersection repair, I believe that some paint can go a long way to make this intersection a safer environment for drivers and pedestrians and create a sense of community.
This Greenwood intersection is ideal to create an intersection repair because of its unique characteristics. First, it makes more economic sense because an intersection repair is presumably less costly than erecting a traffic circle. Second, it is one of the few four way intersections in the neighborhood without a traffic circle on a non-major road. Third, 6th Avenue NW is a wide street creating a larger intersection which creates more risk to drivers and pedestrians alike. A wider intersection can better accommodate a larger, painted image such as the lady bug in the Wallingford Neighborhood. Fourth, there is an existing community space at the intersection in the form of the 6th Avenue NW Pocket Park. This park was developed with a large amount of community involvement and is the focal point of community activities such as: child activities, theatrical productions, and live music. An intersection repair would be the next logical extension of the park and in the process create a sense of safety. Finally, it could bring the neighborhood together to create such a painted image and increase a sense of community. The intersection repair could be organized by local artist Ryan Henry Ward who has created murals around Seattle, including Greenwood.
I believe that an intersection repair at the NW 76th Street and 6th Avenue NW intersection is the best answer. This solution will increase safety for drivers and pedestrians alike. The features unique to this intersection would lend themselves extremely well to an intersection repair in terms of cost, being an open, wide street, and with adjacent pocket park acting as community space. Additionally, this intersection repair can help create a sense of community.