West Seattle Chamber’s question for you: What’s our #1 transportation problem?

April 19, 2011 at 1:46 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle news | 71 Comments


(Photo by Long Bach Nguyen; click the image to see a larger version on his website)
From the distance at which that West Seattle overview was photographed, it’s easy to forget what it’s like down in the trenches, on the roads and the sidewalks, in the cars and the buses and the trucks and the ferries, on the bikes and the motorcycles. We talk about individual challenges and concerns here all the time. But take a moment if you will for the big picture. Right now, the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce is doing that – in hopes of angling for a share of another city pie related to transportation needs.

Chamber CEO Patti Mullen has convened a group to brainstorm a potential “wish list” for the Citizen Transportation Advisory Council, CTAC III for short, as it drafts recommendations on spending about $7 million around the city (partly related to the new $20 license tax, as explained here). No one on that council represents West Seattle, so the Chamber is trying to make sure our peninsula has a loud, unified voice, by presenting some strong requests/recommendations. We sat in on the Chamber-convened group’s first conversation last week and agreed to run a list of questions by you – for your seat at the table, so to speak, if you’d like to post a comment with your answers to these questions:

*Identify ONE transportation improvement or project you believe is essential? (for example improved bus service to Delridge, more bike lanes or paved streets)

*What ONE street needs the most improvement? What specific improvements (new sidewalks, paving, crosswalks, signals) need to be made?

*If you had $500,000 to improve some part of the transportation system in West Seattle what would you invest it in?

The Chamber needs to compile comments by April 28th; that’s the date CTAC will convene a meeting about “neighborhood interests” (see the link above), and the Chamber plans a followup shortly thereafter. P.S. In case you’re wondering who’s in the Chamber-convened group – facilitated by consultant Josh Stepherson – those on hand for the first of two conversations last Friday were: John Huey, Viking Bank; Patrick Jablonski, Nucor; Brandon Nicholson, Nicholson Kovalchick Architects and West Seattle Junction Association; Denny Onslow, Harbor Properties; Gary Oertli, South Seattle Community College; and Chas Redmond, Feet First (and Morgan Community Association, Sustainable West Seattle, Southwest District Council, among other groups).

71 Comments

  1. *Identify ONE transportation improvement or project you believe is essential?

    Getting people to Downtown Seattle quickly and efficiently when the viaduct comes down / tunnel built.

    *What ONE street needs the most improvement? What specific improvements (new sidewalks, paving, crosswalks, signals) need to be made?

    35th Ave SW needs to be safer. Eliminate parking and create a center turn-lane, or make it one lane in each direction. But a center turn lane is a must.

    *If you had $500,000 to improve some part of the transportation system in West Seattle what would you invest it in?

    Repaving damaged / heavily used streets. Bus only lanes and more bike lanes as well. If I had a few million? A light rail down 35th from Roxbury, across the West Seattle Bridge, down 4th ave S tied into the existing lightrail.

    Comment by Amanda — 2:00 pm April 19, 2011 #

  2. I can get anywhere I want in WS very easily by car. I can get many places I want in WS fairly reasonably, if rather slowly in many cases, by bus. I would like to be able to get anywhere in WS safely by bicycle. I am one of those chickens who does not feel safe sharing the road with vehicles, which are much bigger and faster than I on my bike, and too often under the control of inattentive human beings. I think our most glaring lack is of separated bicycle infrastructure. What about starting with a bike trail or physically separated bike lane somewhere along the spine?

    Comment by J — 2:07 pm April 19, 2011 #

  3. Amanda: HOME RUN.

    Comment by Jon in Gatewood — 2:18 pm April 19, 2011 #

  4. Repave California Ave SW from SW Edmonds to the bottom of Gatewood Hill. This street looks and feels like a Third World roadway. This is a no brainer!!!!!!

    Comment by Jack — 2:43 pm April 19, 2011 #

  5. Amanda nailed it; +1 to what she said. I’d throw in the wacky idea of an elevated tram line down to SODO which could bypass bridge traffic; I’m stealing that idea from a Seattle transit blog I ran across. Seemed like out-of-the-box thinking if nothing else!

    Comment by Cascadianeone — 2:54 pm April 19, 2011 #

  6. put in another park and ride. Gee this is a no brainer. We have all these empty lots right in the middle of town.If our city conciel were elected by distirct things might be defferent. We mite have someone fighting to solve our traffic problems. Oh and amanda how would you like it if the city took away parking in front of your house? Imagine no more parking for family and freinds during the holidays in front of your house. Oh amanda the city used the 500,ooo dollars for a scatboard park. And thats way more important then fixing a stupid traffic problem.

    Comment by foy boy — 2:55 pm April 19, 2011 #

  7. “If I had a few million? A light rail down 35th from Roxbury, across the West Seattle Bridge, down 4th ave S tied into the existing lightrail.” — YES, agreed 1,000%

    Comment by KF — 2:57 pm April 19, 2011 #

  8. We need to pave all the roads again that have major potholes from the rain before making more bike lanes. The potholes are dangerous for both cars and bicycles. Filling the holes with gravel or whatever they’ve been filling them with isn’t lasting long enough.

    Comment by Anon — 3:00 pm April 19, 2011 #

  9. I second Jack’s comment about California Ave SW. I drive that stretch of the road every day as do many, many residents of West Seattle. It is in truly deplorable condition! I feel like even the pothole repair crews have given up on trying to patch it.

    Comment by Dakota — 3:01 pm April 19, 2011 #

  10. repave the roads, make SDOT do their damn job and not fill with ‘temp’ pothole fixes that just reopen to even worse potholes than before.
    .
    Get more direct route buses to the north end of downtown rather than the middle or putting along SODO picking up drunks on the way.
    .
    Bike lanes… no, there’s not enough people that actively use bicycle lanes to make this cost effective at all. I’d start off with bicycle safety courses so people who want to ride can learn to ride in traffic, it can be done.
    .
    Move bus stops from directly after major intersections (see Admiral and California) to further down so it does not obstruct traffic flow.

    Comment by Mike — 3:06 pm April 19, 2011 #

  11. What Amanda said! With a couple additional comments:

    A light rail line should stop at the Junction for sure

    and

    Whatever bus service we might get (be it Rapid Ride or whatever) needs to get to the light rail line reliably ASAP on its route downtown. The bus absolutely must not end up stuck in traffic along the way.

    If the routing is done right, once the light rail extension to UW opens, it would actually be competitive, time-wise and reliability-wise, to take the bus/rail to UW rather than driving a car.

    Comment by JW — 3:17 pm April 19, 2011 #

  12. Repave roads! You need to have four wheel drive to get down Delridge these days. It is embarrassing.

    Comment by Amanda L. — 3:22 pm April 19, 2011 #

  13. Turn Fauntleroy back into a 4 lane road instead of the funeral procession it currently is. I’ve yet to see more than 1 bicycle using the bike lanes on that road at a time. If there is a lot of bike lane use during the commute, I’d rather see the bike lanes made directional like the I-5 express lane.

    Park and ride lots at the intersection of Alaska and Fauntleroy make great sense because it’d be a relatively inexpensive improvement and would also remove the abandoned look of the former Huling Brothers properties.

    Fix the dang pot holes. I’m amazed at the condition of these roads.

    Extending the Monorail to West Seattle would be awesome. The county could raise car tab prices to pay for it….what’s that? The city already did that but didn’t extend the Monorail. Never mind.

    Comment by Mike — 3:24 pm April 19, 2011 #

  14. I love West Seattle but when it comes to getting to the other part of the city by bus you have to go downtown first. To get to school I have to take 3 buses if I don’t use my car. If I use my car there is no safe place to park my car. Seems like when it comes to colleges and universities there should be shuttles going there. Park and Ride would be very cool. As a woman parking my car under the bridge does not feel safe. I want to use public transit it just seems impossible to do so.

    Comment by Linda the student — 3:30 pm April 19, 2011 #

  15. A BUS that is less then 8 blocks (uphill) from my house. A BUS that runs on Sunday to Alki/Beach Drive area. A BUS that runs Saturdays and Sundays (at least a few times a day) for the Senior’s (friends) at Shag Housing! Can’t get to church/shopping over the weekend! They keep advertising TAKE THE BUS … but how can you when there ain’t one!???

    Comment by NO Bus — 3:51 pm April 19, 2011 #

  16. @Foy Boy-that $500,000 for the skate park is part of the Parks & Green Spaces Levy. I suggested either 4 or 2 lanes to 35th. It’s just that center lane is needed very badly, no need to attack me.
    @JW – keeping it a straight shot keeps the cost down. Surely people could walk or bus it from the junction area.

    Comment by Amanda — 3:55 pm April 19, 2011 #

  17. @Mike: I have to take issue with your comment about Fauntleroy. I live on Fauntelroy, and I personally guarantee you traffic moves at or above the posted speed the vast majority of the time. What we really need to do is slow down traffic on Fauntleroy, it is unsafe as it is now because people ignore the speed limit.
    As to bike lanes: in the very short time I wait for my bus in the morning and walk home from the bus in the afternoon, I see dozens each way. Hundreds of cyclists use Fauntleroy every day. Remember, if these people weren’t on bikes, it would be that many more cars on the road, how would that improve traffic?
    Next, four lanes would require removing the turn lane; how does making all traffic stop for left turners at every intersection improve traffic?
    Finally, Fauntleroy is not a commercial street, it is a residential street. Expanding to four lanes would have a profoundly negative impact on all Fauntleroy residents.

    Comment by Peter on Fauntleroy — 4:40 pm April 19, 2011 #

  18. Amanda and I are thinking along the same lines. I also agree that you need more bike lanes, but first need to maintain the roads. People will bike everywhere if the safety is there.

    Comment by Jenny — 4:53 pm April 19, 2011 #

  19. A number of neighborhood shuttle buses, and buses that go to Georgetown and Columbia City.

    The East-bound Sunday morning 54-55 to be scheduled more than 5 minutes apart, or at least schedule the 55 first, so when the 54 is late, as it always is, they don’t leapfrog each other all the way into the city.
    And if you missed them? Well, there will be two more coming along in 30 minutes.
    Frankly, we need buses from the JCT to downtown more frequently than we do know.

    Comment by dawsonct — 4:56 pm April 19, 2011 #

  20. Repave 35th between Holden and Myrtle, their are jungles in South America that have smoother lanes of travel.

    Install a turn arrow at 35th and Avalon for cars turning from 35th left onto Avalon. The “no turns between 3pm and 6pm” is disregarded too often.

    We already have plenty of bike lanes on Alki, Fauntleroy, and Beach Drive so no changes needed there.

    Comment by Recall McGinn — 5:00 pm April 19, 2011 #

  21. 1) Repave, repave, repave… The state of the pavement on most of the heavily used roads in West Seattle is pathetic. As noted above on Calif Ave — just off the top of my head, add Beach Drive, 35th south of the water tower, etc. We keep trying to add new things when we can’t even maintain the existing infrastructure!

    2) Please keep 35th as a reasonable capacity and speed intracity arterial. It’s the last reasonably efficient way to get north/south in West Seattle. And contrary to all the “I-35″ voices, my experience in driving that route every day is that the VAST MAJORITY of drivers keep a reasonable speed and awareness on this street. Add emphasis patrols to deal with the small minority of drivers who don’t behave on it.

    Comment by Mongo — 5:02 pm April 19, 2011 #

  22. For those people who are too “chicken” to bike on the roads, or who are asking for the City to pay for bike safety, you may want to check out the “Spokespeople” group here in West Seattle:
    .
    http://sustainablewestseattle.org/spokespeople/
    .
    Great rides to help you gain confidence by riding with more experienced riders, as well as, learn new and better routes to get around.
    .
    Let’s take advantage of the great resources that already exist, and put those dollars toward more (some!) separated bike lanes or at least creating a “Bike Boulevard” here in West Seattle.. Getting more people out of cars helps those who still need to use them — and makes us all healthier.

    Comment by Gene — 5:10 pm April 19, 2011 #

  23. How about restricting the port traffic to non-commuting hours? How is it that not only are we the largest neighborhood in Seattle, but also the one with the most commercial traffic? Why not build a tunnel for all the trucks instead?

    Comment by Neighbor — 5:11 pm April 19, 2011 #

  24. beach drive is bad in spots, nice photo

    Comment by w.s. maverick — 5:17 pm April 19, 2011 #

  25. Our transportation solution starts with reducing the need for it.
    Use the $500,000 transportation investment to try to attract a Medium sized business so people don’t have to commute out of town.
    No matter how innovative they are, buses, lightrail, and traffic planning all fall a very distant second to that!
    Even if you just used the cash to help give West Seattle a good first run movie theater or to really spruce up the Admiral into an Indie-theater, you’d be doing a lot to help with transportation.
    And that improvement is probably something that $500,000 can actually buy!

    Comment by Yardvark — 5:24 pm April 19, 2011 #

  26. *Identify ONE transportation improvement or project you believe is essential?
    East/West bus service from Delridge Way to the Alaska and or Admiral Junction’s. (The #128 serves just one small section of Delridge Way)

    *What ONE street needs the most improvement? What specific improvements (new sidewalks, paving, crosswalks, signals) need to be made?
    The entire length of Delridge Way from Andover south to Roxbury is a mess. Damaged concrete panels, crumbling asphalt, etc. It is also a nightmare for pedestrians to try and cross so as to catch a bus, patronize a neighborhood business, access a public facility or just to cross to visit a neighbor. Biking it is a chronic Near Death Experience. Delridge Way needs a comprehensive rebuild in compliance with the City’s Complete Streets Law. http://clerk.ci.seattle.wa.us/~scripts/nph-brs.exe?d=CBOR&s1=115861.cbn.&Sect6=HITOFF&l=20&p=1&u=/~public/cbor2.htm&r=1&f=G

    *If you had $500,000 to improve some part of the transportation system in West Seattle what would you invest it in?
    $550k is not much to work with……but I would take it and spend it on a traffic light with pedestrian activated signal at SW Avalon Way and SW Genesee Street. Major cluster *^<# with a combination of passenger vehicles, Metro busses and School busses mixing it up with a lot of pedestrians trying to cross the street(s). All this on a very steep hill with very, very poor sight-lines.

    When do I get my crown so I can implement the above? -:)

    Comment by Been There — 5:28 pm April 19, 2011 #

  27. *Identify ONE transportation improvement or project you believe is essential?
    Adding a bus route that picks up on the north end of Delridge Way, goes up Genessee, and then on to Alaska Junction area

    *What ONE street needs the most improvement? What specific improvements need to be made?
    I’m not certain this needs the most improvement, but many sections of the south end of Delridge Way are very bad with many potholes, uneven patches, etc.

    *If you had $500,000 to improve some part of the transportation system in West Seattle what would you invest it in?
    Adding a bus route as described above, because people who live on the north end of Delridge Way have no public transportation to the Alaska Junction shopping area or to link to other West Seattle buses unless they take the #120 bus all the way to the south end of Delridge Way to transfer.

    Comment by jwhite — 6:40 pm April 19, 2011 #

  28. There are two places along Fauntleroy northbound, approaching Alaska and approaching Avalon, where there are “turn lanes” that aren’t wide enough to accommodate a typical compact car. I believe $500K would be more than ample to fix these lanes.

    Comment by Peter on Fauntleroy — 6:53 pm April 19, 2011 #

  29. Rather than re-type, I will likewise say that Amanda did indeed nail all of the priorities. Grade-separated rail connecting to the rest of light rail may be a dream, but is definitely the ideal and we should be working on it.

    My “out of the box” suggestion is this: expand the free water taxi shuttles, both in frequency and service routes. If I knew there was a free shuttle running the length of California every 10 minutes, I would never drive to (or park in) the Junction. And I’d be more likely to take a bus downtown from there. As I hardly leave West Seattle anyway, this would mean I’d almost never use my car.

    Comment by John — 7:18 pm April 19, 2011 #

  30. Last I heard, the Rapid Ride “C” line was being skimped on for lack of funding–cutting just the things that would make it a little more “rapid”, like off-board payment systems, signal control, and road improvements. Maybe the best way to spend $500,000 would be to chip in to bring back some of those?

    Comment by J — 7:38 pm April 19, 2011 #

  31. I would use the transportation dollars to bury utility lines and remove telephone poles along the best public vistas. And use some techniques (eminent domain, zoning) to acquire and protect more public view lanes.

    Then I would ride the bus.

    Comment by Herman — 7:43 pm April 19, 2011 #

  32. I agree with Peter on Fauntleroy. I also live on Fauntleroy and hardly anyone goes 35 mph unless ferry traffic gets backed up in the am due to the WS Bridge. A park and ride near Fauntleroy and Alaska would be nice. Tons of space, (Huling Brothers) and people are already parking on Fauntleroy (and Edmunds area) and taking the bus daily. Paving is also a huge city problem.

    Comment by RJB — 7:55 pm April 19, 2011 #

  33. Looks like I got moderated (along with some other folks)(in my case I suspect for retorting in kind with h-e-double toothpicks- sorry).
    So will reiterate more civilly: Road diet on 35th! Lots of other things are important but the safety issue trumps all.

    Comment by 35this35mph — 9:18 pm April 19, 2011 #

  34. I agree with others that want more “REAL” bike lanes. The “bike lanes” that are out in the middle of traffic lanes are, in my opinion, totally ridiculous, a waste of money, and one of the most dangerous places to ride. Who thought of that one? Some politician that wanted to pat themselves on the back for being “eco-minded?” As-if by applying some white bike stickers to the road, you can change the American habit of driving one car in one lane. Sharing a lane with a driver in a SUV, late for an appointment with the bridge backed up and the mascara not quite right, just doesn’t seem very safe to me, and thus is a discouragement to someone considering lowering his carbon footprint by biking to work. Do it right for goodness sake. If a bike lane has to run along a street like Admiral or California, get rid of the parking spaces and put a smooth path over by the curb and separate it with a heavy white or yellow line. I mean can you imagine sharing a lane with the drivers on 35th? Are you guy’s trying to kill me?

    Comment by as-if — 10:23 pm April 19, 2011 #

  35. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seattle_Monorail_Project

    Comment by quiz — 10:23 pm April 19, 2011 #

  36. LIGHT – YET FAST- RAIL
    Plan it and it will come- !

    Comment by jet city girl — 11:19 pm April 19, 2011 #

  37. Our transportation problems are so great they seem overwhelming to me. I feel that I don’t even know where to begin when describing what we would like to see.
    I don’t want to offend those who see major safety issues around our beloved neighborhood, but some funds should be devoted to Beach Drive. It is heavily used by bicyclists, walkers, runners, folks out for a pleasant drive, etc. But, the sad fact is that the street is in terrible repair and in places the hillside is tumbling down upon the street. In several places it is an accident waiting to happen. Please fix Beach Drive!
    And, while we are fixing the streets we should put the utility lines underground, both for safety and protection from the next great wind storms we will have.
    Thank you, West Seattle Blog, for letting us all contribute to this conversation.

    Comment by out for a walk — 12:28 am April 20, 2011 #

  38. I agree heartily with as-if and Amanda. Not only would REAL bike lanes make cycling safer (we cyclists aren’t surrounded with tons of steel and glass, after all, so we can’t act like pinballs, pinging off cars with nary a scratch!), but you get much more infrastructure for your money. $500,000 won’t get you very far at all if you spend it on cars. Cycling is also much more flexible then the buses anyway. Instead of waiting 10-15 minutes for your bus, you just hop on your bike and go!

    Comment by JN — 12:39 am April 20, 2011 #

  39. We still need the basics here in arbor heights. At some point the city needs to put some money towards our pedestrian needs. sidewalks are badly needed.
    also if ever built monorail should be based near westwood run down roxbury and over 1st ave then into downtown. This would meet the needs of people commuting to georgetown north (many many businesses) and create a “reverse commute” alleviating northbound traffic on 35th, fauntleroy, and the bridge.

    Comment by Joe — 6:40 am April 20, 2011 #

  40. Here is my “ONE” improvement, although I agree with many of the suggestions made above.

    http://tinyurl.com/49qa9s2

    The link above takes you to the 5-way intersection at Chelan, W Marginal, Lower Spokane, and Delridge which is immediately west of the lower swing bridge. This intersection needs improvements so that bicyclists and pedestrians can actually get through in a safe and predictable manner. This connection to the lower bridge is one of the only locations where almost all West Seattle bicyclists heading to downtown or elsewhere are required to go through. There are no alternatives which means we should pay a little attention to this intersection. As it is now, the signals don’t work for peds/bikes, and they are left to run or dash out dangerously into traffic, putting everyone in danger. How many of you walked back to West Seattle during the storm in November 2010? This location is more important for pedestrians and also bicyclists than many people realize.

    Fixing this dangerous, yet vital connection for West Seattle residents should be identified on the Chamber’s list of priorities.

    Thank you for considering this suggestion.

    Comment by sa — 6:58 am April 20, 2011 #

  41. please transportation gods…the lightest of rail !!!!!!!!!!!

    tho that tram idea could use some some thought too.

    Comment by jaems — 7:06 am April 20, 2011 #

  42. I agree with several people! We need better paving, real bike lanes, buses that go where people need to go! … it’s overwhelming! We need complete restructure in Seattle of ALL our streets! So, where do we start! Where do we get the $$?

    Comment by NO Bus — 7:31 am April 20, 2011 #

  43. Remove all parking on arterial streets. Use the extra room for center turn lanes, wider sidewalks, bicycle lanes and surface storm water features.

    Comment by Charlie — 8:50 am April 20, 2011 #

  44. California AVE from Edomds all the way south to Gatewood!!

    Comment by alywest — 8:56 am April 20, 2011 #

  45. @Been There – great points, and I agreee in large part.

    *Identify ONE transportation improvement or project you believe is essential?
    East/West bus service from Delridge Way to the Alaska and or Admiral Junction’s. 128 only serves a sliver of S. Delridge, and comes so infrequently that using it for a shopping jaunt is pretty laughable. @John has a great point – increased range and frequency for the water taxi shuttles would be really sensible. Currently those shuttle don’t even serve Delridge.

    *What ONE street needs the most improvement? What specific improvements (new sidewalks, paving, crosswalks, signals) need to be made?
    The entire length of Delridge Way from Andover south to Roxbury is a mess. Damaged concrete panels, crumbling asphalt, etc. It is also a nightmare for pedestrians to try and cross so as to catch a bus, patronize a neighborhood business, access a public facility or just to cross to visit a neighbor. Biking it is a chronic Near Death Experience. Delridge Way needs a comprehensive rebuild in compliance with the City’s Complete Streets Law. http://clerk.ci.seattle.wa.us/~scripts/nph-brs.exe?d=CBOR&s1=115861.cbn.&Sect6=HITOFF&l=20&p=1&u=/~public/cbor2.htm&r=1&f=G

    *If you had $500,000 to improve some part of the transportation system in West Seattle what would you invest it in?
    Here’s where I differ with @Been There. Sidewalks are rare throughout much of WS except the wealthier parts and arterial streets. Please install sidewalks for the people! And while we’re at it, let’s install rain gardens and other natural stormwater management along the way – it’s the cheapest way to deal with water quality and CSOs.

    Comment by Amber — 9:32 am April 20, 2011 #

  46. Make long term repairs to the entire C line route of Rapid Ride. Makes no sense to invest in new bus service and send them out on pot hole ridden streets to get beat up and damaged from the get go.

    Comment by elevated concern — 11:23 am April 20, 2011 #

  47. (Whoops, I didn’t get moderated. I posted in a different story/thread) duh!

    Comment by 35this35mph — 11:26 am April 20, 2011 #

  48. 35th should never be one lane in each way!!!!!
    It would be a parking lot for the workweek!!!
    Just cause one situation happens you cant ruin it all for everyone.
    Potholes and poor roads is priority one!

    Comment by Cbo — 11:36 am April 20, 2011 #

  49. Lordy…the city-streets-as-highways lobby is out.

    I do not understand how anyone in WS can have lived through the pre- and post-Fauntleroy re-striping commentary last year (beforehand: “OMG! It’ll be armageddon! A parking lot!”; afterwards: not a peep as traffic moved along just fine) and just go on repeating the whole cycle as if actual lived experience doesn’t trump fear of change.

    Comment by JW — 2:09 pm April 20, 2011 #

  50. *ONE project I believe is essential: Any alternative to driving my car over the bridge to get to work. RAIL, alternate roads, anything. That bridge is already gridlock during rush hour, and it’s destined to get 1000x worse once 99 is destroyed. This problem trumps all others! I need to have a job, and that means I need to commute(20 miles). That’s just reality.
    .
    *What ONE street needs the most improvement? There are several, but this can’t be our priority. Divert funding from here to further explore light rail options. Our property values will plummet once people realize how bad things really are without the viaduct, we need to try to head that off. I’d rather see California avenue in ruins, but have a nice train leaving from the junction.
    .
    *If I had $500,000… what would I invest it in? This amount of money is too small for any significant construction. Spend it on a media campaign to help convince the voters of Seattle to fully-fund new mass transit options. Yes, it will cost us real money in new taxes, but it’s better than the alternative: wasting an hour in traffice every morning, and going underwater on your mortgage in a local housing market crash following the mass-realization we are approaching that it will soon be impractical to commute from here anymore. Starting a new mass transit project would at least give us hope for the future!
    .
    I’m a renter now, and will be a home buyer very soon. How this issue pans out will be a primary factor in determining whether I buy in West Seattle or not, simple as that.

    Comment by Alex — 2:57 pm April 20, 2011 #

  51. Ditto Amanda’s answer. Adding: if you can extend light rail or streetcar service to West Seattle we’d also love to have service from the Admiral Junction to the Alaska Junction, Alki and Downtown Seattle.

    Comment by Kim Sharpe Jones — 3:01 pm April 20, 2011 #

  52. Delridge is a mess. Repave, repave, repave.

    Before adding buses or bike lanes, we have to be sure the roads are safe for vehicles and bikes. Delridge is disgraceful and dangerous for everyone.

    Comment by Jill — 3:05 pm April 20, 2011 #

  53. 1. lightrail. including the eastern portion of West Seattle: downtown to White Center. If it goes downn 35th to Roxbury as suggested (or delridge), it could turn and go down Roxbury too and then all the way back down to the airport… we are 23% of the city over here in West Seattle.
    2. Holden – there’s way too much traffic going much too fast on the 16th to 9th section. And there needs to be a Crosswalk on 11th and Holden.
    3. Rapid Ride for the #23 from the top of Highland Park Drive to downtown.

    Comment by CS — 3:10 pm April 20, 2011 #

  54. The following comment is spot on:

    “What Amanda said! With a couple additional comments:
    A light rail line should stop at the Junction for sure
    and
    Whatever bus service we might get (be it Rapid Ride or whatever) needs to get to the light rail line reliably ASAP on its route downtown. The bus absolutely must not end up stuck in traffic along the way.
    If the routing is done right, once the light rail extension to UW opens, it would actually be competitive, time-wise and reliability-wise, to take the bus/rail to UW rather than driving a car.”

    Comment by WorldCitizen — 3:23 pm April 20, 2011 #

  55. I agree with posters about need for bus line from north delridge to junction. could also expand route of current busses, eg 51. good idea also to expand water taxi route a bit into that area.

    Need more frequent bus service to alki from junctions, esp. for weekend fun in summer.

    yes hook us all up to light rail

    Comment by Cha — 4:36 pm April 20, 2011 #

  56. *Identify ONE transportation improvement or project you believe is essential?

    I agree with “Getting people to Downtown Seattle quickly and efficiently when the viaduct comes down / tunnel built.”
    One thing I would mention is that the WS Water Taxi already does a great job of this, and is under-utilized except during peak hours. I think a Water Taxi Shuttle route heading north on 35th Ave to Avalon to Harbor Ave. could greatly increase ridership. In order for me to ride it, I have to either get in my car and drive to the junction (or, much faster just drive to the departure spot) or walk 7 blocks up a steep hill from the Alaska Junction on the way back home, which I cannot do (health reasons).

    Comment by Juniebug — 4:49 pm April 20, 2011 #

  57. 1) Any way to get a third lane outgoing from West Seattle to I-5 North in that little stretch between 1st Ave S and the I-5 on-ramps? It is always tough driving in the morning. A lot of people take I-5 south but are stuck behind the many that go on 99-N or the 5 North. It has taken me up to 25 minutes to cross the BRIDGE, which is ridiculous, and why some people choose not to live in West Seattle.
    2) Yes, REPAVE THE ROADS. California Ave (north of Admiral) is really dangerous. I just got new tires – please, this summer fix this stretch!
    3) No more bike lanes. I see maybe 3 bikers per day.

    Comment by Sara — 8:39 pm April 20, 2011 #

  58. Lots of great contributions and comments so far!
    My suggestions:
    *Identify ONE transportation improvement or project you believe is essential?
    > I would vote for rapid connection to light rail downtown.

    *If you had $500,000 to improve some part of the transportation system in West Seattle what would you invest it in?
    > I’d like to make commuting easier for workers either by:
    1. a pilot project of scheduable vans to pickup workers from home and take them to the bus stop and at the end of the day take them home from the bus.
    2. a contest for eligible companies to have their employees work at least one day per week from home.
    Thanks!

    Comment by Bruce — 9:32 pm April 20, 2011 #

  59. Identify ONE transportation improvement or project you believe is essential?

    One of the biggest transportation issues in West Seattle is the absence of consistent and quick public transportation from one end of West Seattle to another.

    The person who lives in Admiral (or the person who lives in Gatewood) and wants to get to either junction will not have an easy time taking the bus. If you have a one or two hour task or engagement somewhere, and you have to spend an hour or more en route (or waiting for the bus), you are going to drive. (Using the metro’s ‘trip planer’ if you look for a ride from California and Thistle to Alaska and California and you have to arrive at 8:50 pm, you have to take two buses! You leave at 7:13 and you get there at 7:50. I didn’t even bother looking at the return trip. This is just one example, but I’ve tried taking the bus many times, and for a reasonably busy person, it’s pretty tough. It’s almost easier to walk.)

    The consequence of this is that West Seattle isn’t a great walking community. People walk around their neighborhoods, but if they have to go from one part of WS to another, they drive. (A small minority walk or bike or take the bus.) Think of how cool it would be if you were going to the Art Walk or out to dinner and you didn’t have to drive!

    A consistent and quick bus-line (or other means of public transport) within West Seattle would do wonders for us. Development is typically clustered around the junctions. This would probably change. Parking is a problem in the junctions. This would also change (or would be less of an issue).

    The public transportation within WS is so bad that I think there’s scope for a taxi or rickshaw service to serve West Seattle exclusively. If improved bus-lines (or an alternative like a tram) isn’t feasible, maybe the City should fund a pilot project for some eco-friendly rickshaws…

    Comment by Venkat — 10:20 am April 21, 2011 #

  60. Amanda nailed it.

    *Identify ONE transportation improvement or project you believe is essential?

    Getting people to Downtown Seattle quickly and efficiently when the viaduct comes down / tunnel built.

    *What ONE street needs the most improvement? What specific improvements (new sidewalks, paving, crosswalks, signals) need to be made?

    35th Ave SW needs to be safer. Eliminate parking and create a center turn-lane, or make it one lane in each direction. But a center turn lane is a must.

    *If you had $500,000 to improve some part of the transportation system in West Seattle what would you invest it in?

    Repaving damaged / heavily used streets. Bus only lanes and more bike lanes as well. If I had a few million? A light rail down 35th from Roxbury, across the West Seattle Bridge, down 4th ave S tied into the existing lightrail.

    Comment by Lisa — 10:48 am April 21, 2011 #

  61. 1. Identify ONE transportation improvement or project you believe is essential?
    —- Build the tunnel. Please. Now.

    2. What ONE street needs the most improvement? What specific improvements (new sidewalks, paving, crosswalks, signals) need to be made?
    —- Center turn lane on 35th Ave SW.

    3. If you had $500,000 to improve some part of the transportation system in West Seattle what would you invest it in?
    —- Light rail connection to downtown.

    Comment by LAintheJunction — 10:49 am April 21, 2011 #

  62. *Identify ONE transportation improvement or project you believe is essential? Making sure the new viaduct/tunnel plan will handle MORE traffic than it currently does and still has MULTIPLE exits to downtown.

    *What ONE street needs the most improvement? I agree with Amanda on this one. 35th gets the most traffic. It needs a center lane for turning or at least turn signals at each light (and a crosswalk at the new water tower park on Willow).

    *If you had $500,000 to improve some part of the transportation system in West Seattle what would you invest it in? Re-paving the main streets – the pot hole patches are NOT working: 35th, Delridge, and Roxbury.

    Comment by dameDonna — 11:16 am April 21, 2011 #

  63. Ditto Amanda.

    1. Getting people to Downtown Seattle quickly and efficiently when the viaduct comes down / tunnel built. (IMO: mass transit is a must.)

    2. 35th Ave SW needs to be safer while still maintaining the efficiency of this heavily used N-S corridor.

    3. Repaving damaged / heavily used streets. Bus only lanes and more bike lanes as well. If I had a few million? A light rail down 35th from Roxbury, across the West Seattle Bridge, (I’d add- looping through the triangle, provide ample park and ride space there)

    Comment by kirsty — 12:44 pm April 21, 2011 #

  64. It would be a major help to the employees, patients, and visitors who commute to the First Hill hospitals and medical clinics to have a bus route direct from West Seattle. A business hours schedule to that 4-5 block area would help alleviate congestion as well as serve the staff and students of Seattle U. The limited parking that is available on the Hill is very expensive. Waiting to transfer from a WS bus on 3rd Ave. to an up-hill shuttle can double the commute and is always unpredictable. If one is old or sick, the only reasonable option now is a car trip to appointments. I gave up trying to get to work by bus since absolute punctuality was required and reluctantly became a one-person vehicle driver.

    Comment by BJ — 2:35 pm April 21, 2011 #

  65. *Identify ONE transportation improvement or project you believe is essential? PAVED STREETS

    *What ONE street needs the most improvement? What specific improvements (new sidewalks, paving, crosswalks, signals) need to be made? CALIFORNIA (Morgan junction to Admiral Junction)

    *If you had $500,000 to improve some part of the transportation system in West Seattle what would you invest it in? PAVED STREETS

    Comment by Laura — 7:00 pm April 21, 2011 #

  66. Stop building condos and townhouses in place of single family homes. More people= more cars, more pot holes, more traffic, less parking, more PAY parking etc and no improvements to accomodate this increase.

    Comment by Michelle — 8:58 pm April 21, 2011 #

  67. I disagree Michelle. Seattle is a city and we need to have more options than relying on our uber inefficient cars to move from point A to point B. Density in urban centers is will benefit the city. It gives light rail a destination when it is finally built out to West Seattle. I argue for having new, multi-family developments to help pay for more transit out to West Seattle.

    Comment by Benjamin — 12:18 am April 22, 2011 #

  68. 1. Identify ONE transportation improvement or project you believe is essential?
    —- Light rail or other transit connection to downtown.

    2. What ONE street needs the most improvement? What specific improvements (new sidewalks, paving, crosswalks, signals) need to be made?
    —- Improve safety on 35th SW. Center turn lane and two lanes just like Fauntleroy.

    3. If you had $500,000 to improve some part of the transportation system in West Seattle what would you invest it in?
    —- Light rail connection to downtown.

    Comment by TFP — 10:20 am April 22, 2011 #

  69. I would like to request that they stop fixing all potholes. Potholes work better than speed bumps at slowing down traffic. May they never repave Beach Drive again.

    Comment by George — 10:45 am April 22, 2011 #

  70. I agree with Amber and the others about the lack of bus transportation between N. Delridge and the Junctions, and the sad state of Delridge’s surface. The potholes are out of control. Sidewalks are definitely needed as well.

    As for a light rail link, that would be great, too. I’m so sad the monorail project died.

    Comment by NGKL — 2:00 pm April 22, 2011 #

  71. Yes please make all of west seattle easier to get around on public transportation. Right now a lot of the bus system is geared to downtown routes–I’d like however, for instance, to get on the bus at Admiral and take my kid to Lincoln park without changing busses. Or go from north Delridge to the junctions. Maybe expand route 51?

    Comment by busrider — 10:43 pm April 22, 2011 #

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