Video: SDOT director in the hot seat @ Southwest District Council

March 10, 2013 at 5:20 pm | In Southwest District Council, West Seattle news | 7 Comments

As previewed here, you had a chance to ask questions directly of the man who runs the Seattle Department of Transportation if you had gone to the Southwest District Council meeting this past Wednesday night. A few people took advantage of the opportunity to bring up neighborhood problems as well as larger issues. We recorded the wide-ranging 47 minutes of Q/A on video. If you can’t spare 47 minutes to listen – here are direct links to some of the topics (note – if the links don’t go to the spots they should, drag the playback bar on the YouTube window of the full clip above to the minutes/seconds spot mentioned):

14:00 – The bus bulbs at California/Fauntleroy

16:00 – Bus lanes on SW Alaska

21:31 – With increased development in The Junction, how involved is SDOT? “There are days we can’t go to The Junction because there’s no place to park.” Density is based on the city’s Comprehensive Plan, Hahn noted. He cited South Lake Union rezoning. “With 1,000 more apartments going up in The Junction, does SDOT say, we need (something) to help with traffic … ?” Hahn observed that the same question came up at the Sustainable West Seattle Transportation Forum last year (here’s our coverage, with video), and mentioned the alley-vacation process (frequently covered here) requiring “public benefit” from the developer. He mentioned that one developer downtown wound up buying another streetcar for the city. So, he was asked, could developers buy another bus, or ?

27:30 – Who makes the decisions to add bus bulbs, reduce lanes, etc.? asked another attendee, and how can the “silent majority” have their feelings known? “It’s not like individuals are just making up stuff,” Hahn said, citing again the city’s Comprehensive Plan, ultimately saying it’s a reflection of the City Council. He also says they often hear from people with a specific interest, more bike facilities, for example, so whatever your opinion is, come to meetings and have it heard.

31:00: SW Alaska on the RapidRide route through The Triangle – including parking and traffic concerns as well as unfulfilled promises about making that stretch a “pedestrian corridor,” with street trees. Ongoing parking issues exist, with parking commitments made to businesses between 36th and 38th in jeopardy again. Hahn says he could come out to walk the area and see the issues.

39:00 – Density in The Junction is already 104 percent of what was projected, but the capacity of the street has been reduced.

At 41:50, Vlad Oustimovitch from the Fauntleroy Community Association summarized much of what had been said to Hahn in the preceding half-hour-plus: “It’s almost like somebody deliberately designed something to not work.”

SDOT will be back in West Seattle this week – at the North Delridge Neighborhood Council meeting tomorrow (Monday) night (6:30 pm at the Delridge Library), for example, a rep will discuss the new parking restrictions on SW Genesee to make more room for buses (here’s our February story on those changes).

7 Comments

  1. A hardy thank you to all who volunteered to keep the ravine from becoming a general dump. One observation. When the city steps in to clean up illegal encampment areas, the Department of Health goes in with their personnel in hazmat suits. All the more reason to thank these community volunteers.

    Comment by Anon — 5:40 pm March 10, 2013 #

  2. For what it is worth, I shop in the Junction many times a week, all different times of day, and have never had any trouble finding free parking within a couple blocks of my destination.

    Comment by Kgdlg — 6:32 pm March 10, 2013 #

  3. I think Anon’s comment was meant for the Fairmount story – sorry, I don’t have the ability to move comments between threads, or I would make the move.

    Comment by WSB — 6:34 pm March 10, 2013 #

  4. My Hummer gets bad mileage stuck in traffic in the Alaska Junction. I am the “silent majority” and I want relief. So do my seven kids.

    Comment by LuvHummers — 7:19 pm March 10, 2013 #

  5. Hahn sounds just like 99% of our politicians in this city with no real answers on the questions he was asked. Citing the city’s Comprehensive Plan or the city counsel often. Hahn says he COULD come out to walk the area and see the issues. Ding Ding Ding maybe he should do this type of thing before these meetings so he has a clue on what people are talking about ? Seems to be a common practice in this city these days.

    Comment by wetone — 9:37 am March 11, 2013 #

  6. I don’t think it’s nice to mock a citizen (overheard on the video) who is trying to get an answer on what PERSON specifically within city, whether it’s within SDOT or DPD or the council, is directly responsible for making the decisions for the city regarding these issues. I totally get what he was asking because I have often wondered the same thing. Peter Hahn’s non-answers are typical of the runaround that you get when you try and get information. Within each department there will always be someone who has to give the ok. We want to know who that person is. The mayor? Hahn himself as the director of SDOT? The city planning director? The council? Who? We are tired of vague answers.

    Comment by fauntleroy fairy — 1:56 pm March 11, 2013 #

  7. Thanks for the video WSB.
    See what our system of decisions disassociated with responsibility has produced.
    It may not be out of control, but it sure is based on self-perpetuation.

    Comment by old timer — 4:01 pm March 11, 2013 #

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