Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

While waiting for the 48 this morning, I witnessed a car-vs-pedestrian collision.  The pedestrian was hurriedly crossing MLK illegally to catch the bus and ended up shattering the windshield of the car.  I was first on the scene, and assisted the pedestrian, who was limping, but apparently not really seriously injured, fortunately.

The driver was appropriately mortified, but that may have been because of the police car 20 feet away, parked to observe traffic.

We really ought to elevate or bury the traffic on MLK, to avoid this kind of thing.  Anything less would be gross negligence.

That’s all just a long introduction to the P-I‘s nice piece on the state of pedestrian safety in Seattle.  Other news items:

60 Replies to “News Roundup: Pedestrian Safety Edition”

  1. I was intentionally struck with a vehicle a few weeks ago, after which the car drove off. We got his license and a police report was filed, but I cannot even get a detective to call me back.

    Sigh, we can’t let pedestrians deal with this stuff. We need real enforcement of these laws.

    1. So call yer lawyer. Go to the DMV and get the information on the car’s owner from the plate number (you have to pay a couple of bucks) and file a civil suit for damages.

      1. Oh, I will, but the criminal justice system should handle incidents like this undoubtedly.

      2. SPD won’t even bother educating the public about traffic laws, let alone enforce the ones protecting pedestrians. It doesn’t help to have a mayor who gives the police free reign to do whatever they feel like.

    2. Yup, SPD frankly doesn’t give a rat’s ass about pedestrians. They’re more interested in handing out jaywalking tickets so speeding SUVs can run red lights and not wait for pedestrians to cross before turning. They’re badly overpaid, arrogant, unaccountable, and mostly don’t live in the city whose laws they enforce. SPD needs a total overhaul.

      My heart aches to hear of incidents like this. As Rebecca Deehr said, 40 years ago we walked on the moon. Today we can’t walk on our own streets.

      1. Sorry, SPD, but I have to agree with the other people on here. I had my $2,000 road bike stolen out of my building. I had the serial number, which was never even entered into the database. Couldn’t even get the officer to call me back. Oh well, I guess I shouldn’t expect much.

    3. There needs to be a serious region-wide crackdown on violations of ALL traffic laws. Getting hefty tickets would help curb the constant blatant violations of even the most basic rules of the road. Heck if done properly it can be a real revenue enhancement tool for the jurisdictions involved.

  2. While it sounds like an awful encounter you were part of I don’t understand all of what you are saying.

    “We really ought to elevate or bury the traffic on MLK, to avoid this kind of thing. Anything less would be gross negligence.”

    I don’t get it. The person was hurrying for a bus and you are advocating burying or elevating the buses on MLK? I understand the argument as it pertains to LRT on MLK, but not buses. Buses travel in the general purpose lanes and truly the only way to avoid this with buses is to create pedestrian overpasses or underpasses, no?

    Please enlighten me.

    1. I’m (sarcastically) saying the car traffic has to be separated from everything else. It’s mocking the Niles anti-rail position.

      1. Because the people most forcefully criticizing the surface route were explicitly trying to kill it entirely, not make it better. It’s one thing to say grade separation is better than a surface alignment; it’s quite another to say a surface alignment is worse than the status quo.

      2. “[I]mproving” implies a baseline that wouldn’t otherwise exist if people acted on the exhortations that we not build the line, period. Don’t be mistaken, that’s their entire MO in dismissing the alignment through the RV, not an improved quality of service.

        If they really intended that we have an improved alignment, they’d be working on proposals and tech papers right now. Instead, it’s a discussion of the problems of putting LRT over I-90, the potential for all of Capitol Hill to sink like a souffle when the first TBM gets rolling and, of course, the MLK alignment killing hundreds of babies.

        Their were chances throughout the entire DEIS and EIS process to advocate for something better, even in the face of an entire neighborhood that didn’t want an elevated and who wouldn’t want the cost and disruption of a tunnel.

        Of course, the studies back up that the only factor requiring mitigation for the current desired scale of the system is human error.

  3. What is it about waiting for the 48? I was waiting for it yesterday afternoon and witnessed a pretty nasty collision between a bike and a car.

    I find Washington’s laws regarding pedestrians to be weird, because I originally got my driver’s license in Oregon where, by law, every intersection (unless otherwise specified) is a crosswalk and you are obligated to stop for pedestrians whether it was marked or not. Also, the cops in my hometown would hire highschool kids to do stings at marked crosswalks and would ticket dozens of people in a single day. Granted it’s a small town with not a whole lot of crime, but it still seemed that pedestrians have a lot more rights down south than they do up here.

    1. The law is the same here in Seattle. The problem is, cars don’t obey the law, and neither do a lot of pedestrians – then everyone blames everyone else and nothing gets solved.

      Education and enforcement are key. It’s scandalous in this state that you can go 20 years or more without ever taking a test to renew your license. So for decades, drivers are on the roads ignorant of the obligations of driving.

      We need a massive overhaul of driver, rider and pedestrian laws and a HUGE education campaign. How many tens of thousands of bikers, pedestrians, and motorists must die before we make a change!?

      1. Really. Now I’m trying to remember where I heard otherwise. See, I was under the impression that when I catch the bus each day, instead of crossing 85th at the closest intersection, I was legally obligated to walk up two blocks to the light, use the crosswalk, and then walk back down the other side of the street a short ways to the bus stop. Since this is inconvenient, I usually end up jaywalking. (The traffic patterns caused by the lights leave nice gaps to cross safely). But if you’re right, than the “jawalking” isn’t actually illegal. I guess you’re right about the license thing. If I had been required to take a test instead of just transferring my Oregon license, I would know for sure.

      2. With the caveat that crossing an intersection against a red light (without a walk signal) is jaywalking and is indeed illegal.

      3. Go grab a drivers’ guide. An intersection is a valid crosswalk, marked or not.

      4. What we need is not just driver or traffic safety education but mobility education.

        Mobility education is an efficient, holistic program that simultaneously addresses issues of safety, environment, health and economics by redefining our expectations about transportation and its consequences. To enable long-term learning, The Mobility Education Foundation’s teaching methods engage the senses, stimulate thought and provide a physical challenge.

    2. “I find Washington’s laws regarding pedestrians to be weird, because I originally got my driver’s license in Oregon where, by law, every intersection (unless otherwise specified) is a crosswalk and you are obligated to stop for pedestrians whether it was marked or not.”

      This is true in WA too. But most drivers seem not to know it. And the police won’t spread the word. Earlier this month the Ped Board got a preview at some survey results on knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors around walking in Seattle. I was surprised how many people claim to know this given what I see every day (I’m not sure if I can share the numbers yet). I suggested to our SDOT presenters at the meeting that with so many people moving here from other states, and DOL not generally requiring them to take WA tests to get a WA license, it might behoove us to make sure people know these laws when they move here.

      Just recently, with strong pushes from ped advocates around the city, SPD has started doing periodic stings of cars at marked crosswalks. They found that 33% of the cars failed to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. Just imagine the figure at unmarked crosswalks! Usually drivers honk at you for making them slow down, when the pedestrian has the right of way.

      HALF of Seattleites have either been hit or almost hit by a car while walking.

      1. Seattle *used* to be well-known for crosswalk stings — they would periodically set up both pedestrian enforcement, ticketing jaywalkers, and car enforcement, targeting failure to yield. They did it often enough that you’d see pedestrians standing in the rain at night on deserted street corners with no moving cars in sight, waiting patiently for the light to change.

    3. Someone once told me that in Seattle, It is legal to cross an arterial only at a marked crosswalk or at an intersection that is two or more blocks from the nearest marked crosswalk.

      1. Wrong. Every intersection is an “unmarked crosswalk.” As far as I know, this is true just about everywhere in the United States, plus Europe, Canada, and probably more.

      2. It’s no wonder there’s confusion on this. The Seattle Municipal Code‘s definition of a crosswalk is as follows:

        “Crosswalk” means the portion of the roadway between the intersection area and a prolongation or connection of the farthest sidewalk line or in the event there are no sidewalks then between the intersection area and a line ten feet therefrom, except as modified by a marked crosswalk.

        Did anybody understand that one? It confuses me for sure, but the inclusion of the last sentence “except as modified by a marked crosswalk.” indicates that the rest of it applies to unmarked crosswalks, and therefore all intersections are crosswalks.

      3. Oops, sorry, that was a link to the Revised Code of Washington (RCW), not the SMC. The SMC Section 11.14.135 uses the same language, and in fact references RCW 46.04.160

      4. I interpret the last sentence as meaning that marked crosswalks can increase the width and area of the crosswalk beyond the definition in the code e.g. many crosswalks downtown are very wide.

      5. Also that a marked crosswalk can be put in the middle of a block.

        Not sure about the Seattle Code but I believe the RCW will allow legal crossing between intersections if it is more than a certain distance (1/8 mile?) to the next intersection.

    4. The rule is the same here, every intersection has crosswalks, marked or unmarked, unless there are legally-posted signs prohibiting crossing there. Furthermore, the RCW makes it clear that the protections apply to both pedestrians and bicyclists in crosswalks.

      And yes, when a car does stop for you to cross at a crosswalk, marked or not, it is specifically illegal for the car behind them to zip around them rather than stopping.

      RCW 46.61.235

      (1) The operator of an approaching vehicle shall stop and remain stopped to allow a pedestrian or bicycle to cross the roadway within an unmarked or marked crosswalk when the pedestrian or bicycle is upon or within one lane of the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling or onto which it is turning. For purposes of this section “half of the roadway” means all traffic lanes carrying traffic in one direction of travel, and includes the entire width of a one-way roadway.

      (2) No pedestrian or bicycle shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk, run, or otherwise move into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to stop.

      (3) Subsection (1) of this section does not apply under the conditions stated in RCW 46.61.240(2).

      (4) Whenever any vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk or at any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection to permit a pedestrian or bicycle to cross the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass such stopped vehicle.

      RCW 46.61.261
      Sidewalks, crosswalks — Pedestrians, bicycles.

      The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian or bicycle on a sidewalk. The rider of a bicycle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian on a sidewalk or crosswalk.

    5. I recently moved to Seattle from Chicago and my experience here is that the vast majority of drivers treat any pedestrian near a street as a pedestrian trying to cross the street. This was kind of annoying at first, as the Chicagoan custom of waiting for traffic to pass before crossing does not work, when you stand at the corner people tend to stop whether you expect them to or not.
      HOWEVER, I have had a small — but still astonishing — number of people on small residential roads and large, busy roads alike totally disregard posted stop or yield signs while I was in the middle of crossing. They seem surprised when I yell at them. Of course, yelling at drivers may also be a Chicago custom.
      That said, I was hit by a reckless driver in Chicago while legally crossing the street back in March, and since nobody’s hit me here yet I figure that’s a big ol’ win for Seattle drivers.

      1. Heh, it’s funny, I’ve heard that same complaint a bunch of times from my fellow Chicago expatriates.

        Nothing wrong with yelling at drivers who ignore the law.

  4. I’ve been at Othello Station and I feel like the crosswalks are really confusing now. Do the crosswalk signs apply only for people crossing the whole street – or for people crossing to the station too? For example, to get from the west side of the street to the northbound Link platform, I was forced to wait for left turning traffic from Othello to MLK if I obeyed the signal. There were no trains coming and the cars were stopped between me and the station, but since the signals are just designed for people crossing the entire street they don’t make sense for people just getting to the platforms. Also, it’s really confusing whether or not you can just cross the tracks at any time, or if you are supposed to wait for the signal on the other side of the street to turn. Most people I have seen just look both ways and then cross regardless of the ped signals. Do you know how the signals are supposed to work there?

    1. Legally, you can only cross when the walk signal allows – whether you are going half way across or the whole way.

      Hopefully, as Sound Transit and SDOT get more experience with ped/train/car interactions, they will modify some of the signals to more effectively prioritize trains and peds.

      1. WA law is simple but kind of a sledgehammer: you can’t start crossing unless you have a walk light at the time. However, the national Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) was just updated in the past year, and it now recommends that peds be allowed to cross as long as there are no cars coming/they can get to the other side safely and without impeding traffic. Some places already had this as their law, and the MUTCD caught up to common sense. Now we need to use the updated MUTCD to lobby Olympia to fix our law. If what I hear as a SPAB member is any indication, the police are giving out a lot of gratuitous “jaywalking” tickets to peds who cross when it’s entirely reasonable. Rather than give SPD this discretion, I’d like to preclude this. It’s a problem if and only if you’re impeding traffic or jeopardizing someone’s safety. Short of that, people should be left alone.

      2. Jon,
        The MUTCD has, technically, not been updated yet. It had recommended changes released to the public for comment. While it is called the 2009 MUTCD, rumor has it that it will not be finalized until 2010.

        Also, the recommendation was that, with the countdown signal heads, that pedestrians who could make the crossing could begin their crossing during the flashing red hand. However, there were many comments against that since it conflicts with a number of state laws. Interestingly, SDOT had a few commentators who said that very thing.

      3. Washington law isn’t quite that clear anyway: looking at the laws on crossings, you’ll find that most of them refer to crossing a “roadway.” On ordinary streets, that’s clear enough.

        But what happens when you have a divided street, say one with a center median and railroad platform? Those are now two separate “roadways”:

        RCW 46.04.500 Definition of “Roadway.”
        “Roadway” means that portion of a highway improved, designed, or ordinarily used for vehicular travel, exclusive of the sidewalk or shoulder even though such sidewalk or shoulder is used by persons riding bicycles. In the event a highway includes two or more separated roadways, the term “roadway” shall refer to any such roadway separately but shall not refer to all such roadways collectively.

        If there aren’t separate signals for each “roadway” of the divided road, isn’t one side now an uncontrolled crosswalk for pedestrian purposes?

        It’s ambiguous enough that they should either revise the law or install separate signals for each roadway.

      4. Seems to me it would make sense to install two separate signals, like the ones to cross campus parkway in the U-district.

    2. The wait at these station crossings is long. It’s hard for someone to make a compelling argument that it’s dangerous for me to proceed against the signal and across Link tracks and traffic when my sight line is over 1/3 mile in each direction and there isn’t a vehicle – rail or car – in sight.

    3. Frankly, I habitually cross against lights or at mid-block—whenever an opportunity to avoid traffic presents itself simply to avoid any and all cars. I do so fully aware that per the letter of the law what I am doing is illegal. But the reason for this tactic has everything to do with the utter disregard exhibited by drivers at crosswalks—whether it is the car creeping up on me seemingly too impatient to wait for me to clear the intersection, the car that attempts to speedily make a turn before I am in the crosswalk, the car that doesn’t bother to slow and just swerves around me, or the car that nearly hits me as I cross with the light because the driver’s on their cell phone… And did I mention the folks who run red lights, so red that the pedestrian signals for cross traffic already change. Or in heavy traffic, when cars prematurely enter an intersection as the light changes only to get irate when I try to cross in front of them with the light mind you.

      The lack of any and all real enforcement of the law as it pertains to pedestrians is deplorable, and only heightens the sense of entitlement on the part of car drivers and exacerbates the disparity of other modes (bikes and peds). If it sounds a bit like I am pissed off, it’s because I really am pissed off. I’ve had two recent incidents where I have started to cross a clearly marked intersection only to have a car whiz past me. When I’ve raised my hands (as in a “What gives?” not a “F@#% YOU!”) I’ve been yelled at and even challenged?!?

      On a less emotional note, I do think that regulating pedestrian and car traffic with the same signaling mechanisms and at the same intersections, simply does not recognize the differences of the modes. Chiefly, that cars are much bigger and more dangerous to people than the reverse and the cars operate at a much larger scale than pedestrians.

      1. I’ve heard the same argument from many cyclists who don’t stop for stop signs — they assume drivers can’t see them and won’t yield to them if they do stop and wait their turn. You’ll even see this repeated as advice to cyclists, “ride as if you’re invisible.”

        But cyclists aren’t invisible, it’s just that some motorists have a whiny sense of entitlement to the road and won’t yield to cyclists they can see perfectly well.

        Unfortunately, other motorists only notice the cyclists running the stop signs, without noticing the scofflaw motorists who drive this behavior.

        I’m all for defensive cycling, but not for the arrogance that comes with invisibility. I’d say, “Ride as if you’re a bit harder to see and some drivers won’t be looking for you.”

      2. No worries, I make a point of making myself very visible (see my comment further down, regarding drawing the ire of some drivers). I do make a point to cross when I can avoid traffic simply because every single instance I have had where I was nearly hit occurred while I was in a crosswalk, often ones involving a signal. There are some intersections that I simply avoid now. The recurring issues I’ve encountered are people turning on red, “crossed” signals (probably a better term, but I am referring to situations where car traffic has a green arrow to turn while peds have a cross walk signal to walk across the same patch of earth), cell phones, cell phones, cell phones… So now, whenever there is a lull in traffic on a street I want to cross, I go–at an intersection or mid-block.

      3. You’re not kidding about a lack of enforcement. A couple weeks ago I crossed mid-block on 12th, in front of the police station, totally oblivious to the cop car sitting right there. The officer leaned out of his window and made a crack about trying not to break the law right in front of an officer. I apologized and we had a bit of a chuckle. Seriously, if there’s no traffic around the cops do not care.

  5. This is why the Alaskan Way viaduct is such a great highway. It is elevated, so pedestrians, bicyclists and other vehicles can cross below those 110,000 vehicles per day which use it.

    And some people want to put all, or most, of that elevated traffic down on street level. How many additional accidents per year would that cause?

    1. No, Taurus, those of us who support a Surface + Transit option do not want to put all 110,000 vehicles (or even most of them) down onto a new Alaskan Way Boulevard.

      We want to have perhaps 55,000 per day, and we’d like some pedestrian underpasses.

      And for those who think this is so impossible to have, I would direct your eyes southward to Pacific Coast Highway in Southern California which doesn’t manage to blockade thousands of people from getting to the beach every day.

    2. for alaskan way, you just need lots of crosswalks along the street and with frequently timed pedestrian and cross traffic crossings. the problem is when peds have to walk at least 1/4 mile to the closest crossing and/or have to wait several minutes to cross the street… thats when they are forced to put themselves in potential danger of getting hit by a car.

      plus have lots of street trees, traffic lights, street parking, and narrower lanes. this should be about moving lots of cars through the edge of downtown, just at a slow safe non-overwhelming speed. volume is not the problem, speed is. there is no reason all high volume streets have to have speeds in excess of 40 mph. and to those who must speed through downtown, I-5 is 6 or so blocks east.

  6. That’s why I always wait until they stop and I will cross the crosswalk or wait until theres no cars in a distance and be safe to cross.

  7. Pedestrians on the west coast are so pandered to, so coddled, that they’ve lost all semblance of an instinct for self-preservation.

    Give me a New York or Philadelphia or Boston pedestrian (and driver) any day.

    1. Seriously. Even at marked crosswalks I’ll walk up to find a group of three or four people staring at the cars going by and have to be the first one to step out and make the traffic stop, let alone unmarked ones. You just have to move confidently, keep your eyes on the traffic and be ready to jump back (and give the appropriate finger) if they don’t stop for you.

      1. Me to – and people look at me as though I’m nuts for stepping off the curb. Assert those rights and be ready to get a honk or worse – you gotta be agile! But motorists and irresponsible bicyclists MUST learn who has priority at intersections.

      2. Actually, guys, I’m on the other side of the argument. What I’m complaining about is the WA/OR/CA pedestrian’s sense of entitlement.

        It’s best illustrated by those who amble through the crosswalk when there’s a car waiting to make a turn. It often appears that they’re intentionally slowing down to a saunter, just because they can. Pisses me off royally.

        Drivers here often seem surprised when I, like any sensible person, actually pick up my walking pace so that they can complete their turns.

      3. are you kidding? new yorkers jaywalk like no other. in the northwest everyone stands on the corner waiting for the light to turn even when there are no cars around.

        many times i’ll give a thanking hand signal for a motorist letting me cross the street and will hurry across the street. on slow traffic intersections many times i’ll walk behind a car waiting at a stop sign to turn so they dont have to wait for me to cross. but i’d really like to see motorists return the favor but they very rarely do. rather, most times i try to cross the street no one stops when they clearly see me standing there or they’ll zoom by without stopping while i’m still crossing the street. occasionally a prius or suburu will stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk, forget it about large suvs, theyll happily speed up and try to run you over. so this is probably where the “pedestrian sense of entitlement” that you speak of comes from.

        and as a pedestrian, i always make eye contact with the driver at intersections that i’m crossing so that i know they see me and arent going to pull out right when i’m crossing in front and kill me. i’ve had way too many close calls in situations like this.

        check out the book “fighting traffic” about how our streets were taken over by the automobile in the 1920s. before then they were for pedestrians after then they were high speed thoroughfares.

      4. I second “Fighting Traffic”. An amazing book. The repurposing of street space from pedestrians to automobiles is even more significant than the GM/NCL streetcar conspiracy.

      5. I live at Bell & Western, and in order to get to Westlake to catch the 545 every morning I have to use a crosswalk that not only crosses Western Ave but also an offramp from the Alaskan Way viaduct. When a car stops as they are supposed to, I always give a friendly wave of thanks. But sometimes after 10 cars go by I have to defiantly step into the roadway and stare down the driver of the approaching vehicle.

        I know exactly what you mean by a “pedestrian sense of entitlement.” I do not own a vehicle, but I have gotten a ride from friends who do, and their attitude toward pedestrians is exactly that – “who do they think they are?” Personally, I side with the pedestrians. If you’re going to drive through downtown Seattle, the onus is on you to avoid colliding with bicycles and pedestrians. You’re the one operating a dangerous 2-ton piece of machinery. I heard that some towns in Germany, frustrated with cars ignoring the speed limit, removed curbs, sidewalks and lines from the road and repaved with brick in order to reinforce that the streets belong to everyone, and if you’re going to drive down them, you had better be careful.

      6. I have problems getting across Roosevelt at 82nd nearly every morning and evening. Even though this is a minor arterial in a residential neighborhood and across from a park with lots of kids, cars tend to speed up (even though they are often already speeding) when they see someone is trying to cross the road. Almost nobody will stop or slow down until I step into the road. For some reason motorists don’t seem to think they need to stop at an unmarked crosswalk. When I do step in the road often the motorists will honk or give me a dirty look like I’m doing something wrong (or costing them a couple of seconds on their VERY IMPORTANT trip). For some reason trying to get across 5th NE is much less of a problem even though it is much more of a major arterial in this area. Heck getting across Lake City Way at an unmarked crosswalk is often less of a problem.

        The city really needs to put a marked crosswalk in at 82nd or 83rd. I suppose I’m expected by the traffic engineer types to hike up or down the street to the nearest traffic light but I really don’t see why I should do that just to keep selfish drivers happy.

        At least it isn’t as bad as downtown where I’ve seen motorists attempt to plow through a crowded crosswalk at speed so they can make their turns. When I’ve got a walk light I really shouldn’t have to jump out of the way so some asshole can make a turn.

      7. Chris, please call 206-684-ROAD to report your concern to the city. They’ll take a look at that location to determine if any action can be done.

        In my personal opinion, just putting a marked crosswalk there doesn’t guarantee that drivers will stop for you. A study conducted by the FHWA found that there was no difference in crash rates between marked and unmarked crosswalks (both uncontrolled) on two-lane roads. There’s already a signal at 80th and a School crosswalk at 86th. It’s not illegal to cross there. If drivers honk at you, screw them, as long as they stop for you then you’re good.

    2. I lived in Boston for a time, and yes, pedestrians are a very different breed there. But, so are drivers. I attempted to employ some of my street-crossing tactics once I got out west and while I’ve had some success, I can’t say that I would recommend trying to do the same here. At least in Boston, cars were not surprised to be sharing the road with a pedestrian. Here, I get some people stopping and waving me on while the drivers behind them zip out an around the stopped car… Eventually I decided that it was best to go where driver’s might expect to see pedestrians… crosswalks, but as I’ve mentioned above, to only slightly better effect. I am all for expressing my rights as a pedestrians, but when I have individuals who were too busy to slow down until I yell at them and then they have time to stop and yell at me, I question my efforts and my wife wonders about my safety (and sanity).

  8. The key editorial in Portland’s Oregonian newspaper today was a glowing review on Link. Makes some good comparisons with MAX in Portland. Definitely worth a look. And certainly better than what comes out of the Seattle Times.

    Dont see it posted on their website yet but its called…
    After years of delay, Seattle makes the Link
    It’s long overdue, but the opening of the city’s 14-mile light-rail line is a milestone in the Northwest

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