Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Hey Maverick, lose the need for speed!

New SR 520 speed radar signs will help everyone – even a Top Gun pilot – remember to slow down for safety

By Steve Peer and Diana Dannoun

While Maverick clearly had not lost his need for speed in Top Gun: Maverick, you are not Maverick, and the need for speed is hazardous on our roadways, especially in work zones.  Speeding increases the risk of crashes that at best can delay everyone's travel, and more importantly, is a major safety hazard.

That's why drivers will now see new speed indication signs on State Route 520 in Seattle between Interstate 5 and the floating bridge on Lake Washington.

One of the new speed signs being installed near the SR 520 work zones

If you've traveled through the Montlake area, you've seen plenty of construction and narrowed lanes. To ensure the safety of workers and drivers traveling through these confined spaces, we've reduced the speed limit to 40 mph. This measure greatly minimizes major crashes.

A look at where the new speed signs will be installed on SR 520

The new speed signs are aimed at slowing traffic and are equipped with radar to monitor and display your speed as you pass by. They will flash if speeds exceed 40 mph to politely and firmly remind drivers to slow down.

We chose this particular area for these signs because they are bookended by two projects: The Montlake Project on the east side and the SR 520 / I-5 Express Lanes Connection Project on the west side. The signs will also be used during construction of the upcoming Portage Bay Bridge Project.

All about safety

Sometimes it's easy to forget amidst the heavy equipment, hard hats and vests, but we have real people working in our work zones who want to return home to their families every night. People like Safi and Kristina. Our crews work inches from active traffic to improve everyone's travel. While we do everything we can to protect them, most of them can recount multiple times they had to dodge drivers speeding into their work zones, or worse.

Our hope is that these new signs will be another tool to help keep everyone safe, but they won't work if drivers don't pay attention to them, so please do your part. The next time you're traveling along SR 520 – or any work zone – please remember that even Maverick needs to slow down in these areas.


Seadog48 said...

While I do drive the posted speed limit and drive courteously, unfortunately, most greater Puget Sound drivers have become horrible rude drivers. They drive recklessly - and no matter what the posted speed, they ignore them. The overhead speed limit signage on the 520 Bridge is a total waste of financial resources. You could have saved money by just posting a sign - with the same results. In other words, nobody pays attention to them. Since installing your new flashing 40 MPH signs, nobody slows down. They are nothing more than a distraction. Oh and the "car pool lane"... LOL. The car pool lane is nothing more than a speeding land for car pool lane abusers. Park a WSP car on the bridge and the State can make millions of dollar in speeding fines and car pool lane infractions.

I make no apology for the negative feedback. Remove your blinders and see the truth.

Lewasil said...

Every time I go over 520, I go the posted speed limit. Every time I feel like I am going to get shot by the aggressive tailgating drivers behind me. It scares the heck out of me. They come up behind me and even flash their lights at me. There is nowhere to pull over, and absolutely no enforcement. It's scary. I still maintain the speed limit though, which is 40. Seattle drivers are scary.

WSDOT said...

Thanks for sharing this comment. We're aware of the issue of drivers speeding on SR 520 and have been trying to address it for quite some time. This ultimately falls under the jurisdiction of the Washington State Patrol; we have alerted them about the recurring issue. We appreciate you raising the concern.

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