Most of Bellevue’s fatal and serious-injury collisions occur on a relatively small number of city streets, known as the high injury network (HIN). To address safety concerns on HIN streets, Bellevue conducts road safety assessments (RSAs) to identify safety issues, particularly for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and bicyclists.
RSAs incorporate technical analysis with community engagement to identify safety concerns and potential solutions. In this way, RSAs are a data-informed and community inspired approach to connect the HIN to implementation of traffic safety countermeasures.
The City of Bellevue conducted eight RSAs from 2021-2023.
The first two RSAs in 2021 were completed alongside the Washington State Department of Transportation, King County Metro and the Federal Highway Administration through the Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian (STEP) program. These assessments occurred at Northeast Eighth Street and Factoria Boulevard Southeast.
In 2022 and 2023, Bellevue conducted six road safety assessments near 12 schools. Funding for the road safety assessments came through a $150,000 grant from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission and a $42,758 match from the city. The assessments for all six RSAs are summarized in a report, School Zone Ped-Bike Road Safety Assessment. RSA locations and schools included:
- Sherwood Forest Elementary School and Interlake High School – January 2022
- Highland Middle School – April 2022
- Sammamish High School, Stevenson Elementary School and Odle Middle School – May 2022
- Lake Hills Elementary School, Big Picture School, Phantom Lake Elementary School and Tillicum Middle School – November 2022
- International School – February 2023
- Newport High School – March/April 2023
Outreach to Bellevue School District parents, students and staff, as well as neighborhood residents and other community stakeholders was an important part of the road safety assessment process.
Connecting assessments to implementation
The City Council has allocated $2.5 million in the city's budget for 2021-27 to implement rapid build road safety projects along High Injury Network (HIN) corridors. Safety issues identified through RSAs are prioritized -- based on crash history, equity indicators, and other metrics -- for quick-build countermeasure improvements funded by the city's Vision Zero Rapid Build Safety Program (CIP PW-R-205). These RSA-informed HIN corridor safety improvement priorities are also cross-referenced with upcoming/ongoing capital investment projects to identify implementation opportunities that pool city budget resources. Safety countermeasures can include a myriad of tools such as radar feedback signs, wayfinding signage, pedestrian crossings, medians and before/after assessments to help inform future investments.
Staff also pursue external funding sources -- through grants and partnerships -- to accelerate the realization of HIN corridor safety improvements. In 2021, the city secured $1.24 million in federal Highway Safety Improvement Program funding for the Coal Creek Parkway Corridor Safety Improvement Project to design and construct improvements for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles.
For more information on RSAs and related work, sign up for Vision Zero updates.
- News release (Jan. 5, 2022)