Local activists from Issaquah City and surrounds, WA have called on the City of Issaquah to improve the safety of the Oak Crest Drive and Newport Way NW intersection. This follows the tragic death, on June 26, 2015, of a 4-year-old boy, Haochen Xu, struck and fatally injured by a vehicle while in the NW Oak Crest Drive / Newport Way NW crosswalk. This incident was due in no small part to the inadequate safety measures for that intersection.

Amy Miller, in the week following Xu’s death, set up a petition at GoPetition calling on the city of Issaquah to improve conditions at the intersection of Newport and Oakcrest. The proposals included lowered speed limits between Southeast 54th Street and State Route 900, speed bumps on both sides of the intersection and a traffic signal or stop sign at the intersection. Miller has stated that over 500 confirmed Issaquah citizens have signed the petition. The petition had over 1,000 total signatures as of today's date.

In the city of Issaquah’s Six-Year Transportation Improvement Program, most recently updated June 1, Northwest Newport Way west of State Route 900 is listed for a $13.6 million round of improvements to roadway capacity, transit support, sidewalks and other non-motorized vehicle paths. The project does not have a specified date.

Miller's petition states, "Newport Way NW has a 40 mph speed limit, which is very high for a road bordered by multiple residential sections. Residents of surrounding neighborhoods have noted that cars also tend to exceed this speed limit with some frequency, especially during peak driving times."

"Driving eastbound on Newport Way, the crosswalk for the NW Oak Crest Drive intersection is preceded by a blind curve less than 100 yards from the intersection, which makes it very difficult for pedestrians, bicyclists, and cars leaving NW Oak Crest Drive onto Newport Way or coming westbound on Newport Way NW and turning left into NW Oak Crest Drive, to see approaching eastbound vehicles. It also makes it difficult for drivers approaching the intersection on Newport Way NW to see those individuals and vehicles before it is too late to slow down."

"While the crosswalk does have a flashing pedestrian sign that can be activated by pedestrians and bicyclists, a. it is very hard to see that it is lit up in the daylight hours, b. it is very hard to see when coming around the blind curve, and c. it is far enough to the side of the road that many drivers unfamiliar with the road do not notice it."

"The sidewalk/ walking path in this area is used frequently by bicyclists, joggers, runners, and families. As the traffic flow has increased on Newport Way NW, the safety of those using this path has been compromised. In order to prevent any further injuries, accidents, or fatalities, the City of Issaquah needs to improve the safety of the NW Oak Crest Drive and Newport Way NW intersection", she wrote.

Hopefully, the petition will ultimately result in improved safety measures that will save lives.

Sources: This news release has been adapted from a story by Daniel Nash at the site www.issaquahreporter.com/news/312699811.html