View Ridge

Busy Seattle street gets safety makeover in wake of deadly crash

Busy Seattle street gets safety makeover in wake of deadly crash »Play Video

SEATTLE -- A busy Seattle street is starting to get a safety makeover in the wake of a deadly crash.

In March, a car plowed into the Schulte family as they crossed NE 75th Street, severely injuring Karina and her newborn son, and killing her husband's parents. Police blame a repeat drunk driver.

Neighbors demanded action after the crash to make the safer, but now that the city is rushing to finish the project, not everyone agrees how to prevent more tragedies.

"I think having a turn lane through the length of 75th and putting into one lane may slow down traffic -- I think it's going to be safer for all," said neighbor Daniel Brown.

But some neighbors question whether this option does make it safer.

Jo Braun agreed the street was dangerous and that something needed to be done, but she is making it clear by the sign in her yard that she thinks the city is doing it wrong.

"I feel like my home was being threatened after having tried to stop it," said Jo Braun.

Braun says the city chose an option that makes pulling out of her driveway more dangerous. And transforming the street from two lanes in each direction to just one with a center turn lane and bike lanes on each side, eliminates all precious on street parking.

She accuses the city of going forward before all of the public meetings were finished.

"It was clear to me and other residents of NE 75th Street that SDOT had already made up their mind," Braun said.

The leader of the Wedgwood Community Council, one of two groups that represent the area, says they held three community meetings in April well before the SDOT held its meetings during the summer.  They say it was clear the majority of residents favored the option that included the turn lanes and the bike lanes -- the option the city had made clear it preferred.