On the last day of September, Maria Banda and her husband Agustin were hit crossing the intersection of 28th Northeast and Northeast 125th Street in the Lake City neighborhood in the north end of Seattle.

There is no marked crosswalk or pedestrian signals to help people get to the Lake City branch of the Seattle City Library or the Lake City Community Center.

The couple was crossing the street to get to the community center when they were hit. The vehicle’s driver sped off, and has not been identified.

Seattle Map 28th Ave NE & NE 125th - Pedestrian death law and prevention

 

People in this community have long complained about the lack of and condition of the sidewalks, the dangerous crossings and fast traffic. This was at least the second traffic-related death in the area in the past six months.

A week after the recent hit-and-run pedestrian death, the Seattle Department of Transportation said that they plan on redesigning this intersection in 2020.

“We are saddened to learn of this tragic incident. Prioritizing safety for all of our residents is why we are fast-tracking a new pedestrian signal and crosswalk at the intersection of 28th Ave NE and NE 125th Street,”

– Ethan Bergerson, SDOT spokesman

 

When the law requires pedestrian safety enhancements

It is fair to say that the City cannot simultaneosly redesign and repair every intersection and crosswalk in Seattle. However, the pedestrian death on NE 125th Street reminded me of a similar incident involving my client Nick.

Several years ago, Nick was crossing a busy Seattle street that did not have a marked crosswalk or pedestrian signals – just like the street where the Bandas were hit.

Nick was hit by a car. He had very serious, life-altering injuries.

But unlike in the Banda’s situation, the driver who struck Nick remained at the scene. We wer