Seattle considers proposal for cameras to prevent street racing
Jul 19, 2023, 11:13 AM | Updated: 11:43 am
(Photo by Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
Seattle residents fed up with street racing could find some relief if a new proposal makes it through the city council.
The Transportation and Public Utilities Committee was briefed on a proposal designating a half-dozen streets as restricted racing zones.
Council members Lisa Herbold and Alex Pedersen have sponsored the proposal, which would impact parts of Sand Point Way near Magnuson Park, roadways inside the park, Harbor Avenue, West Marginal Way, and Alki Avenue Southwest. Each of these roadways has seen significant street racing activity, with nearby residents complaining about noise, danger to the community, and property damage.
The Council Transportation Committee looked at the idea of designating half a dozen streets as “Restricted Racing Zones,” where cameras would be used to catch people drag or street racing.
If the roadways receive the “Restricted Racing Zone” designation, they would be able to have speed limit cameras installed that could ticket violators.
“Police attempting to chase down drivers in fast cars sounds so much more dangerous than issuing speeding tickets from traffic cameras,” Herbold said.
While the council is considering “restricted racing zones” on several streets in West Seattle, Councilmember Dan Straus, who represents the Ballard area, added Seaview Avenue NW and 3rd Avenue between Leary Way and 145th Street to the list of areas that could get a traffic camera.
In 2022, the Washington Legislature voted to add “Restricted Racing Zones” to the list of areas that could get cameras to deal with speed limit violations, providing there is a local ordinance in place allowing them.
The other areas with automatic camera designations are hospital speed zones, public park speed zones, and designated walk areas.
The proposed ordinance was passed by the committee. It will now go to the full city council for a vote on July 25.