‘Fauntleroy Way Green Boulevard’ planning $ gets City Council green light

November 10, 2011 at 11:05 am | In Triangle, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 45 Comments

(Fauntleroy “boulevard” rendering, from June 2011 West Seattle Triangle open house)
The City Council has just adjourned its second and last meeting for final votes on budget tweaks, prior to the big budget-approval vote scheduled for November 21st. Part of this morning’s action was unanimous approval of $250,000 in “initial planning” money (previously reported here and here) for the “Fauntleroy Way Green Boulevard” concept that’s part of the vision for The Triangle. This does not guarantee eventual funding for the project itself – but it puts the proposal on the city list of potential future projects. In public comment at the start of the meeting, three people spoke in support of the item: Josh Sutton from the West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor), Brandon Nicholson (local architect/developer representing the West Seattle Junction Association), and Denny Onslow from Harbor Properties, breaking ground soon on Nova in The Triangle, where it opened Link (WSB sponsor) earlier this year.

45 Comments

  1. This is great news. I cringe every time I drive into West Seattle. Hopefully they can create a plan to make our part of the city welcoming.

    Comment by Stu — 11:33 am November 10, 2011 #

  2. excellent news; wish it was done already; please don’t let this end up in ‘process’ for years; get it done

    Comment by Diane — 11:44 am November 10, 2011 #

  3. That would look so much more inviting. Driving into West Seattle from the bridge is an ugly wasteland.

    Comment by Kate K — 12:00 pm November 10, 2011 #

  4. What budget? Thought the city was cutting funds. ???? How about repaving the roads to begin with! If there is left over funds from that project then plant a tree. Good lord.

    Comment by michael — 12:16 pm November 10, 2011 #

  5. Please get this done.

    Comment by WSJEEP — 12:28 pm November 10, 2011 #

  6. Waste of money on every level. Fix potholes, improve curbside wheelchair access at crosswalks, etc. Anything but window dressing. Dumb.

    Comment by Chuck and Sally's Van Man — 12:29 pm November 10, 2011 #

  7. I am so disappointed. This is completely frivolous at every level. Really, West Seattle? Really?! In light of the economy and budget, you think making cosmetic changes that in all likelihood won’t be maintained well in the long term is a worthy way to waste our money? Great. I am SO glad we live in the city of entitlement so at least I know that the other Seattle neighborhoods won’t be mocking us for this inane action.

    Comment by 2 cents — 12:35 pm November 10, 2011 #

  8. Priorities are screwed up. Waste of funds.

    Comment by s — 12:39 pm November 10, 2011 #

  9. This is so great! This provides jobs, carbon sequestration, and will increase home values. Studies have proven street trees increase the surrounding retail sales.

    Stop hating improvements when you don’t understand how the results boost the community.

    Comment by neighbor — 12:39 pm November 10, 2011 #

  10. Terrible. This city is so *ssbackwards. Repave Beach Drive. Repave California Ave south of the Junction. Why do that when we will start frivolous work on a road that was actually repaved a few years ago and already in good standing. Remember how much fun it was when they worked on Fauntleroy last time? Congratulations to those that voted for the incumbents in this week’s election. Tools.

    Comment by Jack — 12:49 pm November 10, 2011 #

  11. This is definitely a step in the right direction. But the commercial buildings along this route, with their hodgepodge of signage and drab building exteriors, along with miscellaneous utility wires and poles, will continue to detract from this major entry point into West Seattle. By comparison, the Admiral Way entry also has some commercial chain businesses. But it somehow has a slightly more unified design language.

    Comment by cjboffoli — 1:17 pm November 10, 2011 #

  12. WASTE OF MONEY…………..

    Comment by WestSeattleDrew — 1:18 pm November 10, 2011 #

  13. Total waste of money. Adding to the list of roads that badly need to be repaved: Delridge.

    Comment by Andy — 1:27 pm November 10, 2011 #

  14. Finally! From grey to green; it’s going to be a vast improvement!

    Comment by two four six — 1:27 pm November 10, 2011 #

  15. Sounds like common sense to me. When its time to redo Fauntleroy lets make sure we do the job right and help to highlight West Seattle as the great community to live in that it currently is. This makes it safer for everyone and actually makes it inviting to come here. What a radical concept! Right now it looks no better in this area than Aurora.

    Comment by Harper — 1:29 pm November 10, 2011 #

  16. “We spent all our money making the front of the house real pretty so folks wouldn’t even guess what a wreck the interior was”. I’m actually talking our roads here,folks. Common sense? Naaahhh….., but I’m sure it’ll be real pretty. If ya can’t take care of what ya got ya sure as heck shouldn’t be gettin’ any more.

    Comment by Rick — 1:46 pm November 10, 2011 #

  17. If you’d rather live next to the freeway or if you prefer urban blight, there are always other places to move. Six lane high speed roadways everywhere aren’t the answer.

    Comment by Captain Obvious — 1:47 pm November 10, 2011 #

  18. 250 grand for PLANNING!!??? Wtf!

    Comment by WSTroll — 1:57 pm November 10, 2011 #

  19. Every dollar spent doing anything “provides jobs.” Could we retire that useless phrase once and for all?

    Comment by pjmanley — 2:09 pm November 10, 2011 #

  20. Agreed–this is just common sense.

    Comment by J — 2:12 pm November 10, 2011 #

  21. I’ll agree it’s not the most of attractive area, but in time of budget cutbacks to vital programs, a largely cosmetic improvement is a waste of funds. Want to make it safer? Fine. Fix the road, paint the lines, put in bumps on the center line, anything but this.

    Comment by OP — 2:12 pm November 10, 2011 #

  22. Pretty illustration. Where’s the bike lanes?

    Comment by Aman — 2:25 pm November 10, 2011 #

  23. I think it looks great, but I’m pretty sure there are at least 5 million potholes on California Ave alone that could use fixing…not to mention Avalon, Delridge, Admiral, 35th and of course Fauntleroy. Mend those roads and all of West Seattle wins. Justsayin’.

    Comment by allen — 2:52 pm November 10, 2011 #

  24. The problem with saying “we need to fix pot holes” is that we are always going to need to fix pot holes. Do we want to live in a city that never does anything to improve the quality of our neighborhoods because we have pot holes? A balanced approach is what we need. This will make such a big improvement for not a lot of money. Also, this will create jobs for planning, building and maintaining.

    Comment by Stu — 3:32 pm November 10, 2011 #

  25. love this.

    Comment by quiz — 3:50 pm November 10, 2011 #

  26. For the past three years the City Department of Planning and Development has been working with the community and with an advisory group comprised of residents and property and business owners to develop a long term land use and transportation plan for the West Seattle Triangle neighborhood. The Triangle neighborhood is bounded by 35th Ave SW, SW Alaska Street and Fauntleroy Way SW.

    The reason for developing a plan is that the area now has many vacant lots and buildings that will be redeveloped. As you may have seen, new multi-family housing has already been constructed with more on the way. New stores and commercial development is underway. For example Trader Joe’s is scheduled to open in a few months. And finally, the new Rapid Ride bus service will begin in this neighborhood in September.

    All of this development will transform this area. The goal of the planning process is to make the neighborhood a safer and more pleasant neighborhood for all who live or work there and to do so we need to improve the streets and rights of way infrastructure.

    One of the recommendations which received unanimous support from all West Seattle Triangle Advisory Group members is to improve Fauntleroy Way for the stretch beginning at 35th Ave SW and continuing southwest to SW Alaska Street (this is four blocks in length). Fauntleroy Way is extremely busy carrying over 40,000 vehicles per day. More pedestrians will be crossing it due to the new development. We want to make sure that it is as safe and as attractive as possible and that is the purpose of the Fauntleroy Way Boulevard project.

    The wide expanse of the large unattractive roadway could be made much safer, and more pleasant and yet still carry the commuter and freight traffic that depend upon it. The City Council has approved funding for the initial design and engineering studies that will enable construction of this project when full funding is identified as the economy improves. This is the beginning of a long term investment in an area of the city that we anticipate will grow significantly.

    Comment by Tom Rasmussen — 4:05 pm November 10, 2011 #

  27. Mr Rasmussen and myself were drafting comments about the same time. Mine is below his but not a reaction to his. I agree with his feeling that beautification is a good thing. California Ave needs to be cleaned up next or the owners of the parking strips need to be held accountable. Both sides of California Ave along the Admiral and Gennesse neighborhoods are disgusting! Broken glass, cracked sidewalks, dog waste, butts, beverages containers of all kinds, “family planning” items, all sorts of paper from receipts to fast food wrappers, CD’s, you name it. Dandelions as big as ferns! What the hell!!!?
    .
    I know some are going to say I should be the change I want to see in the world and while I agree, I also believe in accountability. Someone is not being held accountable. I spend a lot of time keeping my curbs and parking strips free of the above mentioned items.

    Comment by todd_ — 4:09 pm November 10, 2011 #

  28. I remember helping clean up the park across from my grandfathers house in the Rainier Valley. My grandfather didn’t wait for the city or a business to take responsibility for his neighborhood, he went out and picked up garbage himself, at least once a week. Maybe the West Seattle community, or @Todd, would like to volunteer for garbage duty around this neighborhood now, and after we have this lovely new entryway to wonderful West Seattle.

    Comment by Gina — 4:31 pm November 10, 2011 #

  29. Fixing roads is maintenance, and should be kept as such. If you have issues about how the city is or isn’t maintaining the roads (read: potholes), direct your aggression there.
    But don’t dump on design or improvement projects. These are necessary, and contrary to popular belief planners, engineers and architects actually need to get paid prior to asphalt hitting the ground. We can’t get out of this recession by only funding “shovel-ready” projects.

    Comment by Walnut — 4:33 pm November 10, 2011 #

  30. 250k in planning doesn’t mean they will build it. Remember our wonderful monorail. What a waste. Pave our roads and plant some
    Trees instead. Jobs… For those of you that have business sense the return on jobs for this little project is not long term if really any. the people working the project already have jobs.

    Comment by Steve — 5:31 pm November 10, 2011 #

  31. I second the question: where are the bike lanes (or at least just one going uphill?) I avoid this section of West Seattle specifically because people tend to treat it as a freeway off-ramp and regularly speed past me, often within a foot.

    And this is totally a necessary project. The road will get re-paved as well, and if you always put road maintenance ahead of everything else you will get NOTHING done, since due to all of the cars, buses and trucks constantly pounding the surface, you will always have work to do. Don’t use the damage you do to the roads when you drive to deprive projects of funding. And safety for vulnerable users should always be a priority. Soft before Hard: People first, multi-ton steel vehicles last.

    Comment by JN — 7:13 pm November 10, 2011 #

  32. to all of you “road pavers”:
    .
    you obviously don’t understand that street aren’t just conduits for car traffic. streets also house utilities, and they are conduits for other forms of traffic, as well – whether you think bicycles and buses are stupid or not
    .
    fauntleroy through the triangle is not just a cosmetic taxpayer-subsidized “gimme.” it’s also an infrastructure project, and one that is in bad need of improvement.
    .
    it’s like this: tenants punch holes in your sheet rock for 20 years, and they start damaging the framing. is painting over the damaged sheet rock and rotted framing the correct remedy, simply because you don’t want to pay for the damage done? uhh… because, well, the roof is on fire, and… well, we really can’t afford to keep the rats out…
    .
    get a grip.

    Comment by redblack — 8:08 pm November 10, 2011 #

  33. and to the cyclists: choose safer routes. avalon is a much better route into the junction. fauntleroy through the triangle is dangerous for people on two wheels. and it’s not much better for people on four wheels.
    .
    i respect your right to ride anywhere cars drive. and as a car driver, i respect your space and your right to be there. and i know that discrimination against cyclists is rampant and stupid.
    .
    but discretion is the better part of valor, and you should preserve your precious and vulnerable skins whenever you can. because ultimately, you only have one shot at this. so don’t let pride get the better of you.

    Comment by redblack — 8:16 pm November 10, 2011 #

  34. Or, you know, we could make Fauntleroy (and other roads other than highways/freeways) safer for cyclists by simply including safe infrastructure. Cyclists already use Avalon to get up from the path that leads to downtown, and Fauntleroy is simply the flattest and most direct way into the junction. The only other option is up 35th and then take Alaska, which is much steeper as well as just as dangerous.

    Comment by JN — 8:59 pm November 10, 2011 #

  35. Tom Rasmussen wrote:
    For the past three years the City Department of Planning and Development has been working with the community and with an advisory group comprised of residents and property and business owners…
    .
    I know you’ve all worked hard on this, but I see no representation from the other side, AAA types, trucking and delivery, transportation capacity and throughput engineers, and transportation infrastructure planners.

    Comment by dsa — 9:05 pm November 10, 2011 #

  36. Generally used Bicycle Route through this area is West on Avalon, south on 36th, West on SW Alaska. Reverse if headed to town That’s also in planning. Some will be sharrowed, other with climbing lanes or dedicated lane.

    Comment by Denny — 9:25 pm November 10, 2011 #

  37. Many bicyclist that ride up avalon have to “take the lane” to make a left turn just past KFC at alki lumber. It’s either that or staying with traffic on Fauntleroy. I’m disapointed not bike lanes (maybe even separated from traffic like on Dexter) are being planned here.

    Comment by raincity — 9:39 pm November 10, 2011 #

  38. There are no bike lanes since the city would rather have you use the marked bike routes. Plus Bikes can use any lane on any street, why must they have there own when there are laws out there.

    Comment by wsjeep — 10:51 pm November 10, 2011 #

  39. Laws that apparently many drivers do not obey? Driving aggressively and close to a cyclist to, and I quote from direct experience, “get you on the sidewalk where you belong” generally gives the impression that drivers do not respect cyclists at all. The only times I have been verbally harassed and physically assaulted (having trash thrown at me from a speeding vehicle) have been in West Seattle. I do not trust the people driving here to respect my proper and legal use of the full lane, so yes, I do believe that there is a dire need for separated and protected bicycle lanes on busy roads such as Fauntleroy, just as pedestrians need sidewalks.

    Comment by JN — 1:27 am November 11, 2011 #

  40. I should note lest too much be read into this, the rendering is from the “concepts” presentations that were made during the course of the West Seattle Triangle planning process earlier this year. I had been using a 2008 sketch and finally realized this was newer. But certainly it is not final, nor will it necessarily be the design should there eventually be funding for the full project – TR

    Comment by WSB — 1:50 am November 11, 2011 #

  41. I’m happy to see so many people oppose this. In light of the constant call for more tax/ fee revenue to pay for the very basics, no matter how much “long-term” value is mentioned, it’s still a poor prioritization of money. If you are going to spend money like this, don’t expect me to ever believe there is budget consciousness in this city.

    Comment by Tuesday — 8:46 am November 11, 2011 #

  42. I’ve lived in West Seattle for over 30 years and driven the Fauntleroy/West Seattle Bridge corridor at least twice a day. Over this period of time I have not seen the City maintain the planings from 35th Avenue down to the Walking On Logs installation. This planting has been left to fester away in trash, blackberry and other invasive plant materials. In the Triangle Proposal I see quite of bit of green plantings associated with the street corridor. Is the City going to maintain what they plant? Based on their past performance, it doesn’t look to be in the budget. Be cautious of visual swindle.

    Comment by Charles Warsinske, ASLA — 11:31 am November 11, 2011 #

  43. Stu has it correct, “The problem with saying “we need to fix pot holes” is that we are always going to need to fix pot holes. Do we want to live in a city that never does anything to improve the quality of our neighborhoods because we have pot holes? A balanced approach is what we need.”

    Focusing only on potholes is like the economically stupid Republicans focusing only on gutting spending. You can’t dig yourself out of a recession simply by slashing spending. Critical investments need to be made as well, so that when you come out of the recession you’re not left 10 years behind the rest of the world. Man, sometimes I’m amazed by the short term small-mindedness of people on this here peninsula.

    Comment by villagegreen — 11:37 am November 11, 2011 #

  44. And just how does this improve traffic in that stretch of the road? How many of you sit a couple times through each light in the morning around 7:00 because of the traffic? Sometimes over 5 minutes just to go from Alaska to 35th on Fauntleroy! Oh these trees and grass sure will help that! Just another waste of Seattle money, just so something “looks good” but remains dysfunctional.

    Comment by joe — 1:28 pm November 11, 2011 #

  45. The rendering shown does not include is only four lanes. In a sense it takes a lane for other purposes. The existing roadway has five lanes or four plus a two way left turn lane everywhere except 400 feet south of Oregon Street.
    .
    The result of taking a lane will cause congestion and a resultant degradation of air quality, plus diversion of traffic to avoid this arterial.

    Comment by dsa — 8:58 pm November 14, 2011 #

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