Clearer view of ‘rechannelization’ proposed for Delridge Way

April 29, 2012 at 9:49 pm | In Delridge, Transportation, West Seattle news | 31 Comments


At the end of our last update on the “rechannelization” proposed for a stretch of Delridge Way SW, in connection with changes along Metro Route 120, we mentioned having asked SDOT for clearer graphics, since the ones linked from Metro’s website weren’t optimal. Jeff Bender, who had represented the city at last Tuesday’s open house at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (WSB coverage here), has provided a few that do seem much clearer, which might be helpful if you haven’t commented on the proposal yet. Above, the cross-section; he also provided PDFs that show the entire stretch of the proposed rechannelization from Delridge/Andover to Delridge/Oregon – here they are in simple black/white, or here, as an aerial-photo overlay. Though the reconfiguration discussion has been bundled into the bus-route discussion so far, Bender told us there is a separate SDOT review process under way right now – here’s how to get your comments to them. He did not indicate a deadline, but we’d say “ASAP,” since Metro had set this past Friday for its deadline to receive overall comments on the proposed Route 120 changes, including removal of some stops.

31 Comments

  1. Well sure, let’s get rid of all the parking. Our civic leaders “war on cars” continues. Yet last time I saw Mayor McSchwinn he was piling out of a chaeuffer-driven city SUV. Poor people in Delridge? Let them eat bus.

    Comment by Fiwa Jcbbb — 12:15 am April 30, 2012 #

  2. Great…another bus lane that will get rarely used just like the one on the bridge

    Comment by JD — 6:24 am April 30, 2012 #

  3. Just a clarification: as far as I’ve heard, the bus lane is peak-only, and parking will be allowed on the east side of the street during the rest of the day.

    Also, currently, parking on the west side is prohibited during afternoon peak.

    This plan will still be a net loss of parking, but I think the neighborhood can handle it. Most residences along the stretch seem to have plenty of off-street parking (unlike the behemoth townhome developments a few blocks south), and anecdotally, I’ve observed that a lot of the parking slated for removal is used primarily by 120 park-and-riders.

    To me, the biggest potential issue is the loss of parking in front of the community center. That will probably lead to more cars on adjacent neighborhood streets. But I still think that overall, the plan is a win for the neighborhood.

    Comment by jake — 6:34 am April 30, 2012 #

  4. Thanks. This is a quick followup for those following the issue and all the fine print has been in previous stories – if someone is just hearing about this now, it is really important that they read the earlier coverage, our version of which is linked in this one, especially the one right after last week’s open house:
    .
    http://westseattleblog.com/2012/04/comment-deadline-friday-for-metro-route-120-changes-including-delridge-rechannelization
    .
    which also links to the NDNC site’s take on it. Plus of course following the link to the Metro rundown of everything (also repeated in this story) is important. Since the city hasn’t had a standalone meeting about these changes nor do they have their own informational page that I know of, it just seemed to deserve a little standalone attention – which was also the case with the SW Alaska rechannelization, which mostly got bundled into RapidRide discussion, and if only covered as a side note to a bus route, those who don’t use buses might have missed the comment window, if interested.
    .
    TR

    Comment by WSB — 7:10 am April 30, 2012 #

  5. @JD – we can quantify this: the bus lane will be used every 8-10 minutes throughout the AM peak (routes 120 + 125 combined), usually with standing-room only buses. By my estimate, that’s several hundred commuters per hour using the bus lane during the time it’s limited to other traffic. With improved efficiency on the routes, I imagine the count may even increase. Now imagine traffic on the bridge if all those people drove their own cars instead…
    .
    The “War on cars” aside, investment in transit IS investment in driving.

    Comment by LWC — 8:00 am April 30, 2012 #

  6. Not just a “war on cars” but taking parking away from any businesses on Delridge too. Seattle and WA in general are not very business friendly. A while ago there was talk about putting a tree line down the middle of Fauntleroy at the “gateway” to West Seattle (The Triangle Area). Make it look pretty. Well so much for those strugling businesses in that stretch. This city is all about “looks” and “buses and bikes” and doesn’t put any attention to businesses that hire people.

    Comment by JS — 8:53 am April 30, 2012 #

  7. To make this cut back in parking for the people on delridge fair they should go into all the neigborhoods of all the people who think this is a great idea and put up no parking signs in front of they’er houses. So now how would you like it when you invite friends or family over for a birthday or thanksgiving and there is no place to park. This would also cut the property value. You look to buy a house there and find out that you have keep moving your car because of time changes. And theres no parking for friends and family when they want to come over. This is a great idea as long as it is not in front of my house and ruin my parking.

    Comment by boy — 8:54 am April 30, 2012 #

  8. sent comments to SDOT…I don’t understand why the plan doesn’t include provisions to turn right (eastbound) onto Andover from Delridge (northbound). see lots of pathfinder buses and parents heading up the hill from that direction. plus everyone that lives on pigeon point.

    Comment by sam-c — 9:19 am April 30, 2012 #

  9. This is going to make that stretch of road and neighborhood so much better. I wish they would get rid of parking along Fauntleroy as well.

    Comment by quiz — 9:41 am April 30, 2012 #

  10. JD, why do you say the bus lane on the bridge doesn’t get used? All the buses that travel downtown use it.

    Comment by West Seattle since 1979 — 10:10 am April 30, 2012 #

  11. That’s funny, boy, because parking has been at a premium on Capitol Hill for years and it’s STILL one of the most expensive areas of the city.
    .
    Personally I’d really like it if people making these kinds of assertions about property values and the like would, you know, back up their claims with some evidence.
    .
    As for Fauntleroy, I don’t think the problem is a proposed tree island down the middle of the street. I think the problem is the large number of vacant properties (many of which, by the way, have their own parking lots), not to mention the GIANT FREAKING HOLE IN THE GROUND.

    Comment by datamuse — 10:30 am April 30, 2012 #

  12. The “war on cars” is as much Colbertian truthiness as “80 congressional Democrats are card carrying communists”is; feels good to say it, but it just has no relationship with reality.

    Cars aren’t residents or workers or customers, people are. Road rechannelization and dedicated transit lanes move people better and more safely. We live in an increasingly crowded region and for the most part we’re relying on a transportation network laid out and finalized by 1960; only innovative thinking, and that includes ending the monolithic reliance on single occupancy automobiles, is going to get us all to work on time.

    Comment by JAT — 1:04 pm April 30, 2012 #

  13. @JAT – your comment makes me wish there was a “like” button! Well said.

    Comment by jake — 1:44 pm April 30, 2012 #

  14. Thirded. C’mon, people, I’m sick of spending two hours of my day in my car. Aren’t you?

    Comment by datamuse — 2:04 pm April 30, 2012 #

  15. sam-c, excellent observation! I’m going to repeat it again because it is a glaring mistake in their plans.
    .
    Where is the RIGHT TURN FROM DELRIDGE TO ANDOVER?
    .
    The Pigeon Point neighborhood has limited entry points to begin with (3 by my reckoning). Is the plan to take away one?
    .
    WSB, can you ask them to clarify whether they actually intend to not allow R turns onto Andover? Thanks!

    Comment by StringCheese — 2:15 pm April 30, 2012 #

  16. DataMuse >> I have a friend who lives in capital hill. We have driven to his house and been unable to find parking and driven home, we have not gone to his house because finding parking is a waste of time. We have never used the bus because it requires even more time than the ordeal of finding parking. So I think “boy” has a reasonable point about visiting friends.

    Comment by Mike — 2:57 pm April 30, 2012 #

  17. Bikes and buses sharing the same lane? What could possibly go wrong?

    Comment by Teacher Greg — 3:08 pm April 30, 2012 #

  18. I think instead of restriping the road and calling it good why not spend the money on replacing the roadway. A comedian once said instead of paying $600 for sign that reads bump and $600 for the crew to install it, why not fix the bump?

    Comment by Dale Swanson — 3:34 pm April 30, 2012 #

  19. True enough, Mike. I quibble with the property values argument, though, which is the point I specifically addressed.
    .
    Personally I have always been able to find parking on Capitol Hill, though it can sometimes take awhile especially in the commercial areas. Never had to walk more than a couple of blocks, though.

    Comment by datamuse — 3:57 pm April 30, 2012 #

  20. The discussion of parking in capitol hill makes me think of an old Yogi Berra quote: “Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.”

    Comment by jake — 5:19 pm April 30, 2012 #

  21. Any road work on Delridge should include repaving, their are potholes the size of bomb craters. I have driven better roads in so-called 3rd world countries.

    And, why in the world did SDOT just restripe the lanes on Delridge if they are rechanneling them?

    Comment by Harry Reems — 5:49 pm April 30, 2012 #

  22. I think you are expected to turn right from the through-lane, yielding to buses and bicycles.

    Comment by Lura Ercolano — 7:32 pm April 30, 2012 #

  23. I think people need to realize this was going to happen sooner or later. The amount of cars filling up our limited land space is just excessive and with these huge multi-family structures we keep bringing in its only going to increase. In some spots street parking is creating a hazard as it cuts off visibility to those trying to pull into a main street. We cant insist on open car freedom and then fill up a small peninsula with them at the same time. I don’t see a lot of people complaining about the new big apartment buildings, so here we are with the city bracing West Seattle for more people. You cant have it both ways.

    Comment by cj — 9:16 pm April 30, 2012 #

  24. This plan is hostile to families with children, the elderly, and the disabled.
    .
    Not everyone in this community is a selfish, self-absorbed sanctimonious 20-something who can ride a bike or take a bus without any great difficulty.

    Comment by JoAnne — 9:21 pm April 30, 2012 #

  25. We have ‘monolithic’ reliance on these huge buses that go 10 mph and clog and slow the roads. The buses we have today belong in 1960s. If we want to bring transportation into the current era we need rapid transit – period.

    Comment by mr — 9:48 pm April 30, 2012 #

  26. It’s interesting you mention that, JoAnne, because in most cities I’ve visited with robust, healthy transit and bicycling infrastructures, you see people of ALL ages getting around in this way.
    .
    I wonder how that came to be.

    Comment by datamuse — 11:46 pm April 30, 2012 #

  27. Hmmmmm, really JoAnne? Maybe instead of relying solely on cars, the city is finally trying to give “families with children, the elderly, and the disabled” CHOICES as to how they get around so they don’t have to spend thousands of dollars a year on a car. The streets are not meant for cars, they are meant for people, and since cars are so incredibly dangerous there has to be separation. And selfish? How is demanding free parking on the public roadway for your personal property NOT selfish? Please, oh please enlighten me. After all, I am one of those 20-somethings who you despise so much. Stop being such a hypocrite.

    Comment by JN — 12:34 am May 1, 2012 #

  28. Also, any plan that reduces road lanes is a boon for “families with children, the elderly, and the disabled”: less lanes for these groups to cross simply means less deaths due to motorist negligence, speeding, and jay-driving.

    Comment by JN — 12:35 am May 1, 2012 #

  29. My $0.02 come from living on or just off of Delridge Way for nearly 30 years, from being a former King Count Metro bus driver, from being a cyclist who has commuted countless times on Delridge, from catching the 120 and (for those of you who remember way back) the 20, and from driving on Delridge.

    I recall when Delridge Way was a 4 lane road; and watched as cars sped by doing 50 mph. When SDOT took it down to one lane each way with a center turn lane, people complained; but the number of accidents dropped. Now SDOT is making this new change, and as expected, people complain about that too. But here are some undeniable facts about commuting/driving/walking/bicycling on Delridge:
    1. JoAnne’s comment about it being hostile is off base. 100% of all King Count METRO busses either kneel and/or deploy wheelchair lifts/ramps making it easy for families with kids and the elderly to get on and off the busses. It’s also a far more affordable alternative for low income families than a car.
    2. As for parking; I do admit that it will be a sticky situation. But let’s remember that the “No Parking” times are only during peak commute hours of the day; making it easier for cars, busses, and bicycles, to get up and down Delridge when volumes are highest.
    3. Those of you who have never commuted by bicycle on Delridge may not be aware of the amount of glass that litters the road from the never ending cases of car prowls. Parking on Delridge is not a glamorous affair. I’ve had my car broken into and there wasn’t even anything in it to steal.
    4. Each Rapid Ride coach holds 60 passengers (sitting) and will run every 8-10 minutes. That is at least 600 passengers in just one hour. The current 45’ coaches seat 40 passengers; and the “old” 60’ (accordion) coaches seat 65. How many cars off the road does that add up too?
    5. As for sharing the bus lane with bicycles; King County bus drivers are extremely well trained to deal with bicyclist on the road. If you don’t believe that, stand on any corner on 2nd or 3rd Ave in downtown and watch the true cyclist, not the messengers, interact with the busses. Even before working for METRO, I’ve always felt safer riding my bike near busses than with cars.
    Is this change going to be easy? No. Is it perfect? No; even I see that. But does it better accommodate one of the busiest car/bicycle/bus corridors within the Seattle city limits? Absolutely!

    Comment by Gregg S — 12:01 pm May 1, 2012 #

  30. I continually wonder why regular visitors insist on posting uninformed comments. If you don’t have the time to read an article or look at a graphic, how do you have time to type your comment?
    .
    This proposal has NO EFFECT ON CARS. There is currently one lane northbound and one lane southbound with a center two-way turn lane, and there would continue to be so afterwards.
    .
    It doesn’t affect any businesses, because there aren’t any that rely on customer street parking in this section during the morning peak.
    .
    The major impacts seem to be to Youngstown and the Community Center, which will lose parking on the west side of the street, and the couple dozen folks who currently Park & Ride along here.

    Comment by Mickymse — 2:09 pm May 1, 2012 #

  31. @ Mickymse – Speaking of uninformed, along with no vision….the parcels on both sides of Delridge Way from just south of Dakota, north to Andover is all zoned for commercial use with some hefty height limits to boot. Andover north to the WS Bridge is also zoned for commercial use yet not affected by the proposed re-channelization. Point being, just because there are few, if any businesses currently in the Dakota to Andover section that require street based parking does not mean that their won’t, or more importantly could be in the future. One way to lock out economic development and JOBS for Delridge locals is to eliminate the parking along both sides Delridge Way as proposed. It doesn’t matter if the No Parking is limited to just am peak commute hour, it is a business and economic development killer for a neighborhood that has little, if any side-street parking available.
    -
    I suggest being rid of the center turn lane as it winds up being used as a passing lane by the idiots in the area and by ditching it would allow the retention of at least one side of Delridge Way being available for parking 24/7.
    -
    Don’t forget there are actual people who live in those apartments and small houses along that stretch of Delridge Way, and more than a few don’t have curb cuts, driveways, garages or even a front yard to park a car. Locking these folks out of being able to park anywhere near their homes is lame and will only increase tension along 25th and 26th as people vie for parking. Think about it. And then add in the Youngstown Flat building and its couple hundred tenants and think about it some more.

    Comment by Lost In Space — 10:15 pm May 1, 2012 #

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