This is the fifth year of our annual tradition of selecting the worst intersection in Seattle and the selection process starts with you.

What do you think is the worst intersection in Seattle?

Last year's worst intersection; looking south on Green Lake Way N. (Google Maps)
Last year’s worst intersection; looking south on Green Lake Way N. (Google Maps)

We’re looking for those intersections that are worst for walkers, maybe because of noisy traffic, missing sidewalks, poor signal timing or possibly all of the above, like last year’s worst intersection: Green Lake / 50th / Stone Way.

Previous worst intersections in Seattle:

Nominations are due by May 19th.

This article is a cross-post from Walking In Seattle. Nominate your intersections in the comments there.

2016 Worst Intersection In Seattle: Green Lake / 50th / Stone

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Troy is a pedestrian advocate who serves on the board of Seattle Neighborhood Greenways. He loves cities and walking, hiking, and biking. He wrote a book to help others looking to find the right place for them, called Move to the Place of Your Dreams: A Relocation Handbook. By day, he is a professional consultant for a technology firm.

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7th/Virginia/Westlake, outside the new Amazon campus. Lights are poorly timed, so turning left on 7th from Westlake is nearly impossible due a poorly timed pedestrian/traffic signal. Tons of people because of Amazon (all looking at their phone). Buses speeding across and making turns from Virginia. And for kicks they keep closing the tiny section of 7th sandwiched between Westlake and Virginia to dig giant holes for months on end. I think they’ve dug 3 different holes there in the last 2 years?


45th and 7th Ave NE in the U-District. High vehicle volumes, high speeds, long crossing distances and weird crosswalk configurations.

Hannah Elizabeth Mary Smith

I’d like to nominate 65th and 25th, and 75th and 25th in Ravenna. No turn arrows off the major arterial means as a pedestrian you have to carefully time your crossing to make sure the yellow/red light runners (who to be fair have no other way to turn) don’t hit you. I see an accident a week at both.

Adam Witzel

I bike through NE 40th St and 7th Ave NE everyday and I despise it. It gets atrociously congested every rush hour because of the 6 lanes of car traffic and a bike lane playing chicken with each other.
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Anything on Mercer – 9th, Westlake, Fairview, pick your poison
Nothing crazy in terms of too many streets intersecting or weird angles, it just takes minutes to get from one corner to the opposite on foot or bike – plus there’s usually cars stuck in the middle that you have to weave around


Sure we can’t just nominate the full length of Rainier? I see people have already nominated Rainier/Holly, Rainier/MLK, and Rainier/90. I dogpile on the Rainier bandwagon and nominate Rainier/23rd/Hill.

If you want to legally cross Rainier’s NW section it requires walking 530 feet across 19 lanes of traffic through five intersections. Furthermore, Rainier and 23rd are signalized while Hill St has a (right turn only) stop sign. I find it very odd to have a street with a stop sign running through the middle of a four-way signalized intersection.

To add insult to injury, this is the intersection that blind workers from Lighthouse for the Blind have to navigate to make their way to the bus. To add even more insult to injury, the ped beg buttons haven’t been upgraded to the newer models that give auditory feedback.,-122.3029948,141m/data=!3m1!1e3

Mason Lynass

I’d like to nominate this terrible 4 (5? 6?) way stop in Queen Anne. Most of the time, drivers are coming from 6th Ave N, Raye St off Aurora SB, and Queen Anne Drive, and it mostly functions as a weird 4 way stop. But during rush hour, too many cars try to get on Aurora NB from 6th Ave N, so many that the line backs up into this intersection. So cars from Queen Anne Drive and 4th Ave N are stuck waiting for the line to clear, OR they decide that it’s THEIR TURN NOW and just park in the middle of the intersection, blocking people from Raye St. from going anywhere, and generally confusing and annoying people who aren’t trying to use 6th Ave N. Raye St. gets so backed up that it spills onto Aurora SB. Poor cars going up the hill on 4th Ave N have to pray that everyone else in the intersection notices them so that when they try to get up the steep incline, they don’t get hit by some idiot waiting to get in line at 6th Ave N. I hate this intersection.
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5-way intersection on 7th Avenue NE and NE 40th Street.

Dean J

I nominate Mercer and I-5.
I walk across this thing daily, and it’s a boulevard of fumes and seething hatred.
Bad planning. Bad traffic. Bad for pedestrians. And getting worse.

Al Dimond

I’ll nominate the same one I did last year: Rainier and I-90 ramps. The one that I particularly despise is the southeast “corner”, where NB traffic from Rainier exits to EB I-90. Pedestrians cross two lanes with just a painted crosswalk, which isn’t uniquely bad. But one of those lanes is an HOV lane, so it can be moving while the other is stopped; and traffic in this lane can also continue north on Rainier, so it’s hard to tell whether a car in that lane is actually going to cross your path or not.

This intersection deserves special shame because Sound Transit will soon begin building a light-rail station at this location and somehow the project does not include pedestrian improvements for I-90 ramp crossings. As many planned ST stations are near terrible freeway interchanges (405/NE 8th in Bellevue, I-5/164th near Ash Way), it’s important for ST and the state and city DOTs to do better!


I nominated MLK Way S and Rainier Ave S. School kids, a bus transit hub, a light rail station, heavy volumes, pointless pedestrian bridges, people trying to walk, accidents – this one literally has it all. It’s a complete !@$#show. See how that lovely Blvd just goes nowhere? It doesn’t show here, but picture hoards of high schoolers running for their lives across Rainier just S of the intersection. Crowds piled onto too-small sidewalks near the light rail stations. Buses stopped in the middle of traffic going both ways OR stranded in the right lane. People blocking the intersection partially… it’s just a complete mess from Sound Transit to SDOT to Metro to Seattle Public Schools.,+Seattle,+WA+98144/@47.5763177,-122.2968744,140m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x54906a638f0cc69d:0x52a3e7a45801f000!8m2!3d47.5763174!4d-122.2965593

Matt the Engineer

I haven’t been a pedestrian here since the streetcar went in, but 14th S and S Jackson still looks terrible. Back when I frequently walked here we’d all just walk 1/3 block up Boren and jaywalk twice to get from 14th to Jackson – it was either that or wait multiple minutes for a pedestrian signal.

Chris Mobley

Montlake Blvd NE & NE 45th St. This where the 45th St. viaduct intersects Montlake boulevard near U-Village. The lack of quality crossings of either road and the highway nature of the two roads makes this very unpleasant place to be on foot. Trying to cross Montlake at the crosswalk can be a long process. There is a walkway underneath the viaduct that connects U-Village, but it’s dark, through what looks like a bog and takes you really out of your way. This is the only safe way to cross either 45th or Montlake. Map:


Heading West on NE 98th St @ Ravenna Ave NE. Horrendous blind spots and pot hole jungle.

Shirley @NoSpandexRequired

I nominate Rainier Ave/ South Holly. We have had so many collisions on every corner. I hope we can get something done soon but when will we have some blessed driver collide with the Senior Center and take down all the power lines again? #VisionCaca


5 corners near U Village (Sand Point Way (though it’s technically 45th St NE), Union Bay Pl, NE 45th Pl, and Mary Gates Memorial Dr)?


I know I nominate it every year, but this intersection at Leary Ave NW / NW Vernon Pl / 20th Ave NW gives me frequent close calls with drivers and terrifies me on a daily basis.comment image

Charles B

Northgate Way and 103rd in NE Seattle?