City installs pedestrian safety features at accident intersection

June 26, 2012

By Warren Kagarise

The city installed additional pedestrian safety features at a Newport Way Northwest intersection May 31, 80 days after a hit-and-run motorist killed a pair of dogs in a crosswalk.

Police said a hit-and-run motorist struck and killed Troy Scholzen’s dogs, Jake and Yogi, during a morning walk March 12. The motorist struck the dogs in the crosswalk at Newport Way Northwest and Northwest Oakcrest Drive as a nearby pedestrian signal blinked.

The neighborhood is along Newport Way Northwest, about halfway between state Route 900 and Lakemont Boulevard Southeast.

A city Public Works Operations worker added another blinking sign to alert motorists, so drivers using Newport Way Northwest in both directions see the signs. The upgrade also included the installation of reflective markers adjacent to the crosswalk to alert motorists.

The motorist struck Scholzen’s dogs from the westbound lane.

In the days after the accident in the intersection, a memorial sprouted as neighbors dropped off flowers and created signs to urge motorists to slow down.

Hart Sugarman, a resident along Northwest Oakcrest Drive, called on the city to lower the posted speed limit from 40 mph to 30 mph along Newport Way Northwest near the neighborhood.

Though city officials decided against a change in the speed limit, leaders recognized the need for more pedestrian safety features at the intersection.

Traffic engineers conducted a speed study along Newport Way Northwest in the process to set a speed limit for the area. The study determined 85 percent of motorists using the road drove at no more than 43 to 44 mph in the posted 40 mph zone.

Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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