Seattle Pedestrian Waits 26 Minutes for Crosswalk Signal — How This Increases Accident Risk

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Posted on Oct 13, 2016

Seattle resident Adam Dodge was tired of waiting a ridiculous amount of time to merely cross the street outside his Seattle home. Although the crosswalk signal sometimes changed within a few seconds, allowing pedestrians to cross the street, other times, particularly during rush hour, the wait was beyond belief.

What did he do?

Sometimes he would be stuck on the opposite side of the street, right across from his house, waiting for the light to change so he could safely cross the busy street and get home. 

Knowing he would need proof when he asked officials to take action, Dodge set up a webcam to document how long it could take for the crosswalk signal to appear after being pressed during rush hour. He pressed the button for the pedestrian signal, and waited. And waited. And continued to wait for over 26 minutes, all while the video was recording, reports

Dodge, a software engineer, theorized that when the light rail train goes by, which it does every six minutes during rush hour, a software glitch would cause the electronic signal system to "forget" a pedestrian had pushed the crosswalk button.

Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) engineers inspected the hardware at the intersection, and found it to be in working order. They are now searching for the software glitch so they can correct the dangerous condition.

Dodge and his neighbors had tried multiple times to get the SDOT to correct the dangerous condition of the long wait time at the crosswalk. It was not until Dodge went forward with his video, documenting the problem, that SDOT took necessary action to protect residents. 

Why does this matter?

Imagine if you had to wait 30 minutes to cross the street. Would you? Or would you just run across the street and hope for the best? Unfortunately, people do this every day; you can see one person in Dodge's video running across the street against the signal, darting between vehicle traffic. Even though he crossed the street in the crosswalk, he crossed against the signal, which is dangerous and illegal.

This long wait time is so dangerous because it prompts pedestrians to commit many actions which lead to accidents, such as the following:

  • Improper crossing
  • Walking against traffic
  • Failure to yield right-of-way
  • Darting or running into the road
  • Failure to obey traffic signal


It is not reasonable to expect people to wait nearly half an hour to cross a street. Putting pedestrians in a situation where they have to cross a busy street without an adequately functioning crosswalk signal during rush hour places them in harm's way.

Correcting this situation is an important safety issue. There was a crash involving a pedestrian every eight minutes in America in 2013, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). When you cross against a walk signal, your odds for being involved in an accident skyrocket.

If you or a loved one suffered severe or fatal injuries while crossing the street, give Max Meyers Law a call. We will investigate your case, gather evidence, and fight to get you every cent you deserve for your injury.

Contact us today: 425-399-7000.

Max Meyers
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Max is a Kirkland personal injury attorney handling cases in Seattle, King County & surrounding in WA State.