Question: At what speed are you dead if hit by a car?
Answer: “A pedestrian has an 85 percent chance of death when involved in a motor/vehicle collision at 40 mph, a 45 percent chance of death at 30 mph, and a 5 percent chance of death at 20 mph.”
Question: What are your chances in Tillicum?
Answer: Not good.
Thanks to a complaint by a Tillicum resident, yet another traffic study has just been completed for Portland Ave. – the main drag, literally, into the Washington Military Department’s facility at Camp Murray.
Back in March the Transpo Group submitted the results of the traffic analysis following the opening of the controversial new gate that provided a straight shot – no stops signs along the one mile stretch – for employees to traverse the town of Tillicum.
The report was required per the right-of-way permit associated with the gate relocation as stipulated in the City of Lakewood Hearing Examiner’s settlement of Tillicum’s lawsuit against the City and Camp Murray.
Tillicum residents’ fears – expressed in part about safety in their opposition to the gate- relocate – were not, as it turns out, unfounded.
Transpo’s March report indicated that 500 cars daily (250 each way), along Portland Ave. between Maple St. and I-5, were traveling at “greater than 5 mph” over the speed limit which is posted 25 mph.
“Undesirable,” is how Transpo described it.
Understatement is more accurate.
As it turns out in fact, the new numbers this past month of June show that in just one week, 937 drivers are “ticket-able speeders,” the threshold for which is 10 mph over the speed limit.
Of those 937, the vast majority were clocked between 35-39 mph: 770. Another 114 hit the traffic tubes between 40-44 mph. Twenty-six registered from 45-49 mph and 8 vehicles were doing over twice the speed limit from 50-54 mph.
And a whopping 22 were found to be traveling freeway speed, 55-plus, on the one-half-mile residential race track, aka Portland Ave, going either way between Maple St. and Interstate 5.
One out of every 13 cars – of the 12, 441 that cut through Tillicum every week – are “ticket-able speeders,” 134 going 10-plus mph over the speed limit, some way over the speed limit, every single day.
With your chances of survival at best fifty-fifty if hit by a car going 30 mph and 937 cars exceeding that, some doubling that, week after week, it’s a matter of time.
And it’s also – and about – time blue lights flash and tickets get written.
In defending the issuance of traffic tickets to cars caught on camera in school zones even when kids weren’t there (summer), Lakewood claimed “a free lunch program brings enough children into the area during the break.”
“With fines that started at $124, Lakewood earned a minimum of $1,131,500 in revenue from its school cameras,” in just six months.
To be fair to the drivers of the 2,800 cars that enter and exit the Portland Ave. gate at Camp Murray every day according to Transpo, which are among the 12,441 cars that travel Portland Ave. every week – four times the average for residential streets – “since speeds do not notably change between peak and off-peak periods, this suggests the undesirable speeds are not directly attributable to only Camp Murray generated traffic.”
O.K. but it doesn’t matter who ran over whom in the sad event ‘whom’ couldn’t escape the undesirably speeding ‘who,’ the result is the same and it’s still undesirable.
Given statistically “the majority of pedestrian accidents occur at locations other than intersections due to higher vehicle speeds and the fact that drivers are not expecting any stops” – and Portland Ave. doesn’t have any stops – then it’s time to put a stop to this.
And to further pretend we don’t have a problem here that the $100,000 earmarked money for traffic-calming couldn’t address instead of pouring it into pouring sidewalks and curbs on Union Ave. as the city says it wants to do instead of curbing speeders on Portland Ave. – is also undesirable.