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Proposal to make Seattle streets less fast and furious advances

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The fictional movie character Dom Toretto, played by actor Vin Diesel in the "Fast & Furious" series, would not be pleased with the Seattle City Council’s actions on Tuesday.

The Council’s Transportation Committee passed a measure that would crack down on street racing.

The full council won’t vote on the proposal until later this month, but the move this week is a big step toward cracking down on illegal street racing in the city.

“As the District 1 council member, I've been hearing for years about dangerous car drag racing along Alki,” said co-sponsor Lisa Herbold.

But street racing is not just happening in West Seattle, part of Herbold’s district. The ordinance would create 10 "restricted car racing zones," where the city Department of Transportation would place automatic traffic cameras to enforce speed limits.

Proposed locations include stretches of Alki Avenue Southwest, Seaview Avenue Northwest, and Rainier Avenue South, where some residents have concerns about speeding.

Herbold said she often hears noise complaints about street racing, but the legislation is also about improving traffic safety.

She described a car crash that occurred on Alki Avenue over the weekend due to speeding. Bystanders estimated the car that allegedly caused the crash was driving over 75 mph when it slammed into another vehicle, throwing it off the road and into the water, where it submerged.

The proposed new speeding law comes after state lawmakers acted in 2022 to allow cities to enforce speed limits using automatic cameras in “restricted racing zones designated by local ordinance.”

A full city council vote is scheduled for Tuesday, July 25. If the measure passes, the council would also still need to fund the speeding enforcement program, likely as part of its fall budget-writing process.

The council’s current list of proposed "restricted car racing zones," is as follows:

  1. Alki Ave between 63rd Ave SW and Harbor Ave SW
  2. Harbor Ave SW between Alki Ave SW and SW Spokane St.
  3. West Marginal Way SW between SW Spokane St and 2nd Ave SW
  4. Sand Point Way NE between 38th Ave NE and NE 95th St.
  5. NE 65th St between Sand Point Way NE and Magnuson Park.
  6. Roadways inside Magnuson Park including, but not limited to, NE 65th St and Lake Shore Dr NE
  7. Seaview Ave NW between Golden Gardens Park and 34th Ave NW.
  8. 3rd Ave NW between Leary Way NW and N 145th St
  9. Martin Luther King Jr Way S between S Massachusetts St and S Henderson St.
  10. Rainier Ave S from S Jackson St south to the city limits.
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