Followup: Safety-curb work under way at California/Fauntleroy

February 28, 2013 at 11:22 am | In Safety, Transportation, West Seattle news | 58 Comments

With 100 comments on the original story, it’s the hottest WSB topic this week, so we just went down for a look at the safety-curb construction now under way on Fauntleroy Way west of California. As first reported Tuesday, this is being put in to prevent people from trying to pass buses while they’re stopped on the south side of Zeeks Pizza (WSB sponsor), since that passing puts westbound drivers in an east/northeastbound lane. While talking to an SDOT manager about a few topics late yesterday, we asked if this treatment was under consideration anywhere else; the reply was “no” – this is the only spot reported to have generated this type of concern, so far. Work is scheduled to continue through tomorrow.

ADDED 12:07 PM: Different angle, courtesy of Morgan Community Association president Deb Barker:

ADDED 12:49 PM: In case you miss it in comments – Chas Redmond, also from MoCA, reminds us that you have a unique opportunity to ask questions of/voice concerns to the head of SDOT, director Peter Hahn, here in West Seattle next week. He’s scheduled to be at the Southwest District Council meeting at 6:30 pm Wednesday, March 6, Southwest Teen Life Center (2801 SW Thistle, next to SW Pool).

58 Comments

  1. Metro and SDOT seem hell-bent on turning the California/Fauntleroy intersection into an area of gridlocked congestion you’d expect to find only at a mall parking lot during a Christmas sale. Or maybe any MillCreek intersection on a Saturday. Mind boggling incompetency locally expressed once again. What a joke.

    Comment by Chuck & Sally's Van Man — 11:31 am February 28, 2013 #

  2. still waiting for the city to announce that due to budget concerns they will have to toll this intersection to pay for this work. SDOT and Metro- shame on you for screwing up everything you do!

    Comment by a — 12:01 pm February 28, 2013 #

  3. I just saw the crap that Metro and the city of Seattle think is going to stop drivers from going into on coming traffic. I found it funny the shot curb is no longer than the bus so I truely don’t see it changing anything at the California/Fauntleroy intersection. People will still drive into the left turn lane risking a head on crash as the new addition is shorter than the bus is. I feel that Metro and the city still have no plan on how to fix the mess that they all have made of California/Fauntleroy intersection. It is just like all gov. things if it isn’t broken we must brake it so that we can make a bigger mess so that everyone is happy once they fix a small part of the crap that they made.

    Comment by michael ford — 12:05 pm February 28, 2013 #

  4. Wait for the unintended consequences.
    First would be the diversion of many vehicles to side streets.
    Got popcorn?

    Comment by old timer — 12:08 pm February 28, 2013 #

  5. Totally screwed up location of the 2 bus stops!!!! Why not put them where cars can go by !!!!
    Idiots.

    Comment by no — 12:09 pm February 28, 2013 #

  6. I hope they install the curb far enough west to allow the bus to make the right turn onto Fauntleroy without hitting the new curb.

    Comment by Marty — 12:15 pm February 28, 2013 #

  7. Please attend the Southwest District Council meeting Wednesday March 6, 6:30 pm at the Southwest Rec Center/Pool/Neighborhood Center on Thistle just west of Chief Sealth. Peter Hahn, Director of Seattle Department of Transportation, will be the featured guest and the reason for his appearance is the Council (all of West Seattle west of 35th Avenue SW) has serious issues with the work which has accompanied the rollout of RapidRide, including the Fauntleroy/Morgan/California intersection.
    -
    Again, Southwest District Council monthly meeting at Southwest Rec Center, Thistle & 28th, 6:30 pm, Wednesday, March 6.

    Comment by chas redmond — 12:17 pm February 28, 2013 #

  8. I still find this utterly ridiculous. When those bulbs first went I wondered what they were thinking putting them so close to the intersections. I do not think a transportation planner or engineer or some type were involved in this planning. Next I see petitions going around for signature to have these removed safety curbs removed.

    Comment by Stacy — 12:33 pm February 28, 2013 #

  9. Thanks for mentioning that, Chas! I got the agenda yesterday and never got around to adding it.

    Comment by WSB — 12:44 pm February 28, 2013 #

  10. I misunderstood where this curb was going when I read the original story. While I don’t agree with the whole installation of this and agree that the intersection/bus bulb is a mess, if they’re going to put one at this intersection, where it REALLY needs to be is on California, directly in front of Zeeks (on the northbound side), for that bus stop. That’s where I thought it was, and where I usually get my car passed while I’m waiting behind the bus and everybody just passes me to go into the oncoming southbound traffic.

    Comment by Sue — 12:47 pm February 28, 2013 #

  11. After all the hubbub on the first story, I have to throw in my two cents here. The law for a long time has been that dirvers must yield to busses pulling out of bus stops. I have observed in the past that the vast majority of drivers do not do this. The fact that drivers refuse to yield to busses as required by law is what necessitated the bus bulbs in the first place to keep the busses moving. So now the drivers who scofflaw actions have necessitated the bus bulbs are the ones complaining about them. So, if your a driver who is upset about the bus bulbs, and you want to know who to blame, go look in a mirror.

    Comment by Peter on Fauntleroy — 12:52 pm February 28, 2013 #

  12. Peter, I totally agree with you. I have always yielded to buses as they pull out, and seem to be in the minority around here. If people were doing it on their own – as required by law – there would be no need for these “fixes.” Kinda like when the people who go through red lights complain about the red light cameras. If you’re where you’re supposed to be, no problems.

    Comment by Sue — 1:15 pm February 28, 2013 #

  13. Good Times!

    Comment by DRW — 1:31 pm February 28, 2013 #

  14. Same thing with the BUS CURB going Northbound on California just past Fauntleroy. Put the curb into traffic so the bus doesn’t have to pull out of traffic to pick up passengers, and then get back into traffic… but only do it in two places along the entire bus route… and then expect people to not go around the bus to NOT block traffic…. who the hell designed this?… at an intersection?… no less..

    Comment by Jtk — 1:33 pm February 28, 2013 #

  15. This is so frustrating all the way around! This new transit system was supposed to improve congestion. Get people out of there cars. Be Green! Better for the environment. Total FAIL on all of the above. The whole system is screwed up and confusing. Not only have people said forget it and started driving but now we’re going to be sitting idling longer at intersections creating MORE pollution because the bus has it bogged up?! But I guess they’ll get money out of us in gas tax so they can fix this whole mess when they realize how badly they messed up. And it only gets better as more residential construction starts and completes bringing in in how ever many thousands of new people. Genius. Next, lets go ahead and add in the Green Bike lane/box at all major intersections. Because that would be AWESOME! Someone made mention about we could’ve had a monorail by now……..They screwed that up before it even broke ground!

    Comment by bsmomma — 1:36 pm February 28, 2013 #

  16. Peter: You are completely correct.

    Comment by brian — 1:45 pm February 28, 2013 #

  17. It seems we lose because of the acts of the few. This looks like it is going to be a mess & not looking forward to even more mad & upset drivers because of it.

    Sometimes the bus drivers have trouble turning the corner and traffic has to back up, so now what? With the curb, that means they have to back up & try again.

    I hope everyone shows up for the meeting above. Whether it will help or not???

    I just wish government would quit spinning their wheels on these types of projects when they are complaining about needing $. Use the $ where it is really needed & not waste it like this.

    Comment by Faith4 — 1:45 pm February 28, 2013 #

  18. Epic. Fail.

    Comment by 35this35mph — 1:48 pm February 28, 2013 #

  19. I think there is an unspoken feud between busses and cars. I personally have no problem waiting for a bus to pull out when they have had there hazards on and use there blinker. To many times has a bus just pulled over with no blinker, sat there with no hazards and pulled right back into traffic. Or punched it through that light on Alaska just to stop mid crosswalk and block traffic and pedestrians. It’s just plain rude and dangerous. Still that’s no excuse for either side, just my observation. And now this…….. because of that?

    Comment by bsmomma — 2:04 pm February 28, 2013 #

  20. We need a West Seattle Subway! Electric, grade-separated (underground or elevated off the dang road, whichever!) and fast. Just connect it up at SODO Station as a new branch of Link Light Rail and we can all breath a sigh of relief as our commutes improve.

    West Seattle is being left out of the Link planning- they are trying to put Light Rail all the way to freaking LYNNWOOD before we get it here! That’s unnacceptable, a West Seattle-Ballard Light Rail Line should be breaking ground FIRST.

    http://www.seattlesubway.org

    Comment by cascadianone — 2:18 pm February 28, 2013 #

  21. maybe peter hahn can spend an hour or two sitting at the intersection and witnessing the bad ideas in action prior to his meeting.

    Comment by dave — 2:22 pm February 28, 2013 #

  22. Go through the intersection and take a right on Holly. Then, we will have to pay for “traffic calming” solutions on Holly!

    Comment by Joey — 3:11 pm February 28, 2013 #

  23. I just watched the recorded Mayor’s call-in program on seattlechannel; he was asked about cars getting backed up behind the bus at these bulbs; Mayor claimed to have zero knowledge of this happening; is that just politico speak, or is he really so oblivious to this major problem?

    Comment by Diane — 3:17 pm February 28, 2013 #

  24. Epic fail indeed. And now, made even worse and more costly.

    Comment by alkiobserver — 3:17 pm February 28, 2013 #

  25. What’s next, buses only on California?

    All the bus-only lanes in Seattle are a joke. SDOT has effectively reduced the occupancy of the roads. Huge expense for a minimal return on the investment.

    How about repaving California Ave, between the junctions first, SDOT? It’s a crater-filled mess.

    Comment by Mark — 3:27 pm February 28, 2013 #

  26. This exact intersection along with the bus only lanes on Alaska heading West in to the Junction are the two biggest mistakes I’ve seen in this Great Plan to get people on the bus. I for one got back in my car. FAIL. Forget it.
    Entering the Junction is a mess.
    Right Turn Only. Bus Only. Left Turn Only. Signs signs, everywhere signs. People trying to get out of their current lane and in to the legal lane is amusing and dangerous.
    Blah Blah Blah
    When you’re sitting in traffic, missing 3 lights in a row, backed all the way up past the fire station to the East, how many buses do you see using the sacred lane? One? Maybe? Pffffft. Open it up and let traffic move. Ridiculous.

    Comment by schwaggy — 3:37 pm February 28, 2013 #

  27. SDOT has long had a policy against mid-block crosswalks because they encourage jaywalking and dangerous conditions for pedestrians. That is why the stops are where they are. Most stops are short at these two stops, but even with a wheelchair they are less than a minute.

    For a little perspective, I would bet that more people travel on California and Fauntleroy each day on a bus than in a car. Our roadways are not just for cars, but need to serve the needs of pedestrians, bicyclists, transit, and cars.

    Comment by Westside bus rider — 3:41 pm February 28, 2013 #

  28. And yes, I drive through this intersection all of the time. If I have to wait I simply take a breath and do so.

    Comment by Westside bus rider — 3:44 pm February 28, 2013 #

  29. Peter…completely correct. Folks should yield to buses, and their failure to do so has resulted in the most wrongheaded, poorly executed solution to this issue in the history of mass transportation. I agree with dave…head down to the intersection during busy traffic periods and check out the epic cluster that results from a bus bulb placed at an intersection. Compounding a problem with a greater problem through poor execution of the solution seems par for the city’s course. And yes, that rhymed. Kind of like fixing “port security” by training CCTV on residential areas, wouldn’t you agree?

    Comment by ShineheadBrian — 3:59 pm February 28, 2013 #

  30. Just came from the area & what a mess. Sure enough, a bus had to back up because they could not make the corner. Now it appears we have more of a mess than before. I agree with someone above – asking why the stops were not cut into the sidewalk so buses could pull in rather than the bulb being out in the street. The bulb idea in this area of West Seattle was not a good idea at all & now the curbs make it worse.

    We all need to continue sending messages to the Mayor about this + get to the meeting above. I am beginning to wonder if the Mayor is trying to force people into taking the buses & get out of cars….is he against cars & trying to make those of us that have to drive miserable?

    We need to all write/call our politicians and complain about these bulbs and the waste of our money.

    Comment by Faith4 — 4:00 pm February 28, 2013 #

  31. I wonder if any of the area businesses have noticed decreased business and, if so, are complaining to Metro. Ever since RR C began, I’ve been frequenting Morgan Junction less often due to the traffic issues, and I can’t be the only one.

    Comment by Amy — 4:02 pm February 28, 2013 #

  32. Another RapidRide Fail – The worst part of this whole RapidRide mess is how good the old (route 54 54X 55 22) system was of getting me back and forth from downtown and NOT clogging up the Morgan Junction.

    Comment by Mike B — 4:03 pm February 28, 2013 #

  33. To bad there can’t be class action lawsuits for stupidity against the city and metro. As this impacts everyone that drives. It is the money they get from our taxes and licensing fees that allow them to do these stupid things and slow all our travel times down. Not to green if you sit in traffic longer than your up to speed. It will only get worse here as they keep building, as they say you ain’t seen nothing yet.

    Comment by wetone — 4:36 pm February 28, 2013 #

  34. This is crazy!! I was with Sue on this one. I thought this thing in the street was going on CA across from Zeeks. I was shocked to see where they put it! I drive this route daily and I have never ever seen an issue where they put it. I do see major backups on CA across from Zeeks. These people are idiots!

    Comment by C — 5:30 pm February 28, 2013 #

  35. Give Pete some hell, esp since the city didnt listen to citizen input in the first place.

    Comment by Fed up — 6:04 pm February 28, 2013 #

  36. Sue and C – me too! Of course I am also proactively avoiding that intersection now…I use side streets to the nw – and I know that is creating a whole new set of problems because I can’t be the only one.

    Comment by westseattledood — 6:31 pm February 28, 2013 #

  37. The fact that the Rapid Ride is so close to a major intersection is at best extremely poor planning. The barrier strip, if you will, simply covers up such poor planning with more poor planning. So much money spent, for what? Such a mess!!

    Comment by Karen C — 6:41 pm February 28, 2013 #

  38. I guess the only rational thing to do with such irrationality is the AVOID that intersection altogether!

    Bozo planning soup to nuts!

    Comment by sara — 7:26 pm February 28, 2013 #

  39. Regarding allowing the buses to merge, I’d like to see the buses have a different signal in the rear from the standard “emergency” flashers while waiting, a clear “I’m loading/waiting” signal of some kind. Then the use their actual blinkers when ready to enter the roadway. It can be hard to tell a bus’s intentions if the right blinker is obscured.

    Comment by Bob H — 7:31 pm February 28, 2013 #

  40. When the city makes improvements for transit, those pathetic vehicles that often carry many people, that interfere with me driving my Acura Super-Glide SUV carrying me alone, though sometimes with my dear doggy, Pooh-Pooh, I get so angry that I start foaming at the mouth. How dare them……

    Oh, gotta go, my keyboard is shorting out from the foam dripping from my lovely face…

    Comment by Citizen Sane — 7:32 pm February 28, 2013 #

  41. Keep Voting The Liberals In, Like Wetone said, You aint seen nothin yet.

    Comment by Doug — 8:37 pm February 28, 2013 #

  42. Here we go…on through your quiet neighborhood, instead of through
    the arterials which are all clogged. So sorry, now its your turn to contact DOT.

    Comment by ARE YOU KIDDING? — 9:42 pm February 28, 2013 #

  43. Hey Doug! It ain’t got nutin’ to do with liberals! Hold yer horses…I wuz thinkin’ it wuz them durn bizness conservatives GOPers givng $ to their’s buildin’ material buddies.

    Comment by sara — 10:10 pm February 28, 2013 #

  44. Monorail
    makes this go away

    Shame on Us

    Comment by KC on hill — 10:42 pm February 28, 2013 #

  45. I found this to be a non issue. I use to turn left on California ave and headed north now me and my wallet turn right and head south just as many stores.

    Comment by they — 12:53 am March 1, 2013 #

  46. The entire RR system as installed in WS is a prime example of a solution in search of a problem. Even though this bus bulb location here is one of the most poorly thought out improvements I’ve seen, it pales in comparison with what they did to Alaska Street between 35th and California. Here drivers wanting to simply go to through the area are now forced to weave their way back and forth and back again to avoid the rarely occupied bus only lanes, left turn only and right turn only lanes. Coupled with all the new traffic related to the three shopping attractions this is a recipe for disaster.

    At the corner of 41st SW and Alaska, if you want to turn right onto Alaska, you cannot turn into the curb lane as its’ bus only…DUH.

    Comment by PMS — 11:06 am March 1, 2013 #

  47. yea, it’s not a great situation, but how angry you get seems to be in direct proportion to how big a hurry you’re in.
    However, the north California side is a bad deal, especially if you are turning left off of Fauntleroy behind the bus.

    Comment by Gary — 11:19 am March 1, 2013 #

  48. OMG people have to wait for mass transit for TWO MINUTES!

    We should start a protest, and a revolution to overthrow the government.

    Comment by waaaambulence — 2:28 pm March 1, 2013 #

  49. Good god. If you want a prime example of the “GIVE ME CONVENIENCE OR GIVE ME DEATH” mentality of entitled suburbanites, just read this comment page.

    Comment by SousaphoneColossus — 2:52 pm March 1, 2013 #

  50. So, the issue is that we in our single occupancy vehicles, spewing contamination into the air and further damaging our roads that we refuse to tax ourselves to upkeep, are mad that we have to wait an extra 20 seconds while our crammed Rapid Ride Line C Bus takes as many people out of cars as possible, doing us all a favor who choose to drive (I know I know, lots of people including me, HAVE to drive for a variety of reasons).

    Human beings make so much sense sometimes!

    Comment by kgdlg — 3:00 pm March 1, 2013 #

  51. God, you people are so whiny!

    WAAH, they don’t want us to cross a double-yellow line to illegally pass a bus that’s going to be stopped for an entire 30 seconds!

    Cry more, entitled scofflaws.

    Comment by Lack Thereof — 4:44 pm March 1, 2013 #

  52. Glad to see the most recent comments are from the minority ‘pro-transit’ side, because I agree generally, but I think the RapidRide system of curb-bulbs is a problem that was instituted to solve a lesser problem– The issue of buses being held up while waiting to reenter traffic. Unfortunately, the system didn’t help: The buses aren’t much faster at all, and now we’re punishing everyone else. What should have happened is a campaign to compel drivers to yield to buses. All in all, no big deal, but I think some complaints are warranted.

    Comment by transeet — 5:07 pm March 1, 2013 #

  53. I hear in Republic, Washington, that there are no transit bulbs.

    Double-wides are accepted if your third cousin Beavis knows someone who might own the land.

    Fire protection is hit and miss. If uncle Fester is sober, he might try to fire up the John Deere and spray yer burning home. If he has the manure spreader attached to the tractor…

    Otherwise, we all call Clint Didier, teabagger extraordinaire from Eltopia, WA. He usually is in the barn waiting for his government subsidy check, so hold your breath…

    Comment by Citizen Sane — 6:06 pm March 1, 2013 #

  54. Complain all you want, the problem is you.
    -
    None, nadda, zip, or zero of the safety-curbs, bus stop curb-bulbs, speed bumps and humps, traffic circles, red-light-camera’s, radar signs, etc., would be necessary if drivers in this city actually followed all the rules and laws spelled out in the Drivers Guide that people supposedly studied and learned from when they obtained their drivers license. Things like yielding to busses merging back into traffic; not running red lights; driving the speed limit, because it is a limit, not a suggested do-as-you-want-because-you-are-so-important; treating every unsigned intersection with care and yielding to the vehicle on your right; not running STOP signs; No Right Turn on Red means, NO RIGHT TURN ON RED; etc, etc, etc,……
    -
    Again, complain all you want, the problem is you.

    Comment by Been There — 10:55 pm March 1, 2013 #

  55. Bottom line is the roads in and out of west seattle were never ment to handle the volume of traffic they have now at rush hour times and that will never change. So as long as they keep building here it will only get worse no matter what the effects of any Mass transit systems are. RR, type systems will always serve a small percentage of people here as it is limited to areas it serves, unless you want to live on a bus. What SDOT and METRO have done here is a just bad. Maybe in time things will change as are government wants everyone to be a robot and believe everything they say and expect you to have the same routine every day. Not me I like my freedom and driving is one of them.

    Comment by wetone — 9:28 am March 2, 2013 #

  56. Thank you wetone, your comments are right on.

    The bottom line is that the city just doesn’t care and they will do anything they want if 1) it brings in more of a tax base and 2) they can get everyone to start behaving the way they tell us to.

    They want to FORCE us out of our cars…..”by any means necessary”!

    Comment by fauntleroy fairy — 1:50 pm March 2, 2013 #

  57. wetone: Which part of the constitution guarantees your right to zip around in a single-occupant car all day?

    Comment by Brian — 5:01 pm March 4, 2013 #

  58. Mine, no Robot here. Freedom is great enjoy it :)

    Comment by wetone — 10:38 am March 5, 2013 #

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