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Mercer Islanders angry about another Island Crest Way accident

More than a dozen frustrated Islanders spoke during public comment at the Monday, July 12 City Council meeting to express opposition to the Council’s last-minute decision to scrap the ‘road diet.’

Dr. Marc LaCrampe brought his son, William, and warned the Council of the dangers of Island Crest Way.

“I’m saddened but not surprised,” LaCrampe said of another recent incident of a pedestrian versus car accident on Island Crest Way. “That’s what happens with poor design and poor choices.”

Two days prior to the meeting, yet another teen was struck while crossing the busy roadway that some have likened to a “north-south freeway.”

The July 10 incident came two weeks after the City Council voted to scrap the road diet in favor of two pedestrian-actuated crosswalk signals at the 42nd and 47th Street crosswalks.

A 17-year-old Mercer Island teen was hit as he walked his bike across a marked crosswalk in the 4600 block of Island Crest Way on Saturday at 11:20 a.m.

“It sounds very similar to the last one,” said Mercer Island Police Cmdr. Leslie Burns, referring to the early June incident when 15-year-old Alec Langston was hit while in a marked crosswalk in the 4200 block of Island Crest Way, located four blocks north of Saturday’s accident.

The driver of the vehicle that struck the teen, an 85-year-old Mercer Island resident, was traveling north in the inside lane. She reportedly saw the car next to her slow down but did not see the pedestrian in the crosswalk.

According to the officer’s report, “She should have seen the vehicle stop in the roadway, as well as the pedestrian.”

The teen, who remains unnamed, was transported to the hospital for abrasions.

The Council did not respond to the comments, which lasted for more than 45 minutes, with the exception of a query on the status of the 47th Street crosswalk design by Mike Cero at the end of the meeting.

City manager Rich Conrad reported that the design process is underway, but the process is not “on the fast track.”

“We’re just going to shoehorn it in with all the other work the engineers are doing,” he said. “We’re doing it as fast as we reasonably can.”

Conrad estimates that the 42nd and 47th Street crosswalks will be completed by the end of 2010, “which was our original goal,” he said, referring to the scrapped road diet project.

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