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Seattle woman says drivers mistaking her driveway for a road: ‘I am petrified … for my kids’

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SEATTLE -- A confusing part of Queen Anne has drivers going down a steep pedestrian walkway and getting stuck.

A woman says drivers constantly get confused and drive down her driveway thinking it’s a road. Her driveway ends and drops into the pedestrian walkway.

On Wednesday, a driver plunged down the walkway and crews had to tow her Tahoe out.

Shannan Frisbie said a big reason leading to the confusion is a street sign that reads W Dravus St. The sign has an arrow that appears to be pointing to Frisbie’s driveway so she says many drivers think it’s a street.

“I am petrified they are going to run over my kids in the driveway, it's really scary,” Frisbie said.

The city installed a 'Road End' sign at the back of her house but by the time drivers see it, Frisbie said, it’s too late.

“There is no signage at the street that tells people this is not a thru street -- this is not a road, really,” Frisbie said.

In Wednesday's incident, police say, the driver was arrested for DUI.

“She kept falling farther, she couldn’t get out of it,” Frisbie said.

Frisbie worries a pedestrian could be killed the next time an accident happens.

On Thursday,  you could still see skid marks, a busted tail light and a damaged fence at the pedestrian walkway.

“What happened last night, unfortunately, it’s the worst we’ve seen, but it’s not the first,” Frisbie said.

The first time she witnessed the problem was in 2007, Frisbe said a man hit the 'road end' sign, ripping off his bumper.

“Their solution was to put the sign up with a metal post instead of a wooden one because it had been knocked down so many times,” Frisbie said.

Frisbie showed us a letter she received from the Seattle Department of Transportation in 2007 after she complained about the problem. Since then, Frisbie said, she’s lost count of the number of times she has had to call 911.

“The city is telling me they can’t do anything because there isn’t enough reported accidents. I understand the reasoning but waiting for someone to get seriously injured isn’t the way to deal with a known problem,” Frisbie said.

We took Frisbie’s frustrations to SDOT on Thursday.

“We will be investigating the location and having our inspectors out there,” said Norm Mah, who is with SDOT.

SDOT says they are not familiar with Frisbie’s past complaints but since Wednesday’s accident it’s clear something needs to be done.

“We will be adding additional signage to indicate to drivers it’s not a thru street,” Mah said.

Frisbie told Q13 News she wants a bold sign near the front of her home.

“They can put 'road end - do not enter' something that stops people,” Frisbie said.

She also wants the Dravus St sign pointing to her driveway gone.

“It’s causing confusion,” Frisbie said.

SDOT says they will install a yellow traditional 'road end' sign near the front of Frisbie’s home by the end of next week.

But they say they cannot get rid of the arrow on the Dravus St sign because first-responders need it as geographical indicator.

Frisbie saof she is also hoping for a traffic circle in front of her home to slow drivers down. But SDOT said they do not automatically create a traffic circle unless an area has five or more accidents a year. But they encouraged Frisbie to apply for a grant that could help pay for the traffic circle.