Parking changes, widened bike lane for part of Admiral Way hill

May 22, 2013 at 11:12 am | In Safety, Transportation, West Seattle news | 37 Comments

(Map provided by SDOT)
The Admiral Way hill north of the West Seattle Bridge is in for more changes, according to an announcement just in from SDOT. Spokesperson Peg Nielsen tells WSB the changes will “widen the bike lane and existing buffer (to) make it feel safer for people riding bikes and encourage cyclists who might otherwise use the sidewalk to use the bicycle lane. This change will make for an even more pleasant walking experience for pedestrians.” According to Nielsen, this will be facilitated by removing on-street parking on the east side of Admiral south of 3508 Admiral Way (map), and time restrictions are planned to the north:

SDOT has visited the location six times since August 2012. During each visit, no more than five vehicles have been parked south of 3508 Admiral and on average 50 percent of them were cars ‘for sale’. As a result, we do not anticipate the parking change will significantly impact local residents. We’ve also heard concerns about the potential for vehicles to park long-term in front of residents just north of this address (on the east side). As a result, we are planning to limit parking to four hours Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. up to SW Olga Street.

A letter was mailed to residents along this portion of Admiral Way notifying them of our plans. SDOT is interested in hearing their feedback and have invited them to e-mail walkandbike@seattle.gov or call 206-684-7583 by May 31.

The last major round of changes for this section of Admiral Way was back in 2010, when what started as a “rechannelization” proposal was eventually downshifted to “restriping,” including an uphill bike lane and parking removal down the hill, south of City View.

37 Comments

  1. This is great news! There are times of the year when the only vehicles there have for sale signs on them. Not the best use of the public right of way.

    Comment by BPP — 11:18 am May 22, 2013 #

  2. Well, there goes the infamous car sale hill. haha Still remember when that hill was full with cars on every weekend for sale but now it is just empty. Good to see that the city recognizes that it needs a better use.

    Comment by Ian — 11:37 am May 22, 2013 #

  3. Will there be any “car farms” left? The bus layover area on Barton alongside Roxhill Park took over what had been the south-end edition of Used Car Acres…

    Comment by WSB — 11:39 am May 22, 2013 #

  4. I ride up Admiral on the way home from work often. That’s a nice improvement, but the real problem is that when cyclists get to the top of the hill, past the viewpoint, the road narrows and the bike lane goes away.

    As a result, riders are slowly going uphill with traffic coming up fast behind them and little or no room to past while going around a corner. Also, it’s the evening commute so people are in a hurry. And the sun is in drivers eyes, too. I’m an experienced rider and I consider it too dangerous–I hop up on the sidewalk and ride from the viewpoint to CA/Admiral on it (slowly). I don’t see an easy fix, but that’s the real problem with riding up Admiral.

    Comment by J.J. — 11:43 am May 22, 2013 #

  5. How about me; live there and can’t park there anymore..? Unless I get my butt moving every 4 hours to find a spot . That’s stupid. I guess I have to move this is not going to work in the long run -;)!!!

    Comment by Karin — 11:55 am May 22, 2013 #

  6. I drive Admiral Way a lot, and I have to confess, although I see cyclists frequently, I very rarely see pedestrians walking the hill. So, the comment about a better experience for pedestrians is befuddling.

    And I agree with J.J. on the problem at the top of the hill. Cyclists have to merge into traffic making the curve past the totem pole.

    Comment by petert — 11:58 am May 22, 2013 #

  7. Jj,

    We should just close the road to cars and we can all walk or ride our bikes

    Comment by West seattleite — 11:59 am May 22, 2013 #

  8. J.J., agreed, this is another of those “bike lanes to nowhere” which evaporates at the top of the hill and can give a false sense of security especially to new riders on the route. Limited visibility of drivers (and frequent non-compliance with the speed limit) make road riding at this spot especially dangerous. Switching to the narrow sidewalk at the Viewpoint is not always a great option because in good weather there are a lot of pedestrians enjoying the view. This area, as well as the bottom of Admiral Hill access to the Alki Trail should be prime candidates for re-design in the next phase of the Bicycle Master Plan. A cycle track/sidewalk area would be ideal. Painted stripes were quickly wiped out by cars veering over into the bike lane area. Of course we must include safe crossings at the intersections for pedestrians in the process.

    Comment by Kathy — 12:12 pm May 22, 2013 #

  9. anyone know why Belvedere Park is spelled with an “e” and Belvidere Ave SW is spelled with an “i”?

    Comment by Diane — 12:13 pm May 22, 2013 #

  10. It’s a poor change for the residents of that block and really doesn’t to anything to address bike safety. (As J.J. pointed out, the real issue is the speed and volume of the vehicular traffic.) I’m going to be opposing the parking hour change and organizing the residents to make sure that our needs are addressed. If you live there and park regularly, please email me. (mobilejeffery at yahoo dot com).

    I’d much rather see the city spend money to fix and clear the sidewalk along the greenbelt and find some way to get drivers to observe the speed limit there.

    Comment by Jeff — 12:26 pm May 22, 2013 #

  11. WSB see the google maps content use requirements.
    http://www.google.com/permissions/geoguidelines.html

    Comment by Mike — 12:31 pm May 22, 2013 #

  12. Good idea. When are we gonna get a turning lane along the stretch from SW Hanford to 34th SW? Residents of these streets have risky turns when turning southbound into their streets, and when trying to turn southbound out of these streets. There’s plenty of room for a lane.

    Comment by Mike — 12:33 pm May 22, 2013 #

  13. Really? I mean I guess it’s a “feel good” thing. But I’ve driven up and down Admiral for a decade. I could the number of cyclists I see on that road on ONE hand in a given week. WHY are we spending SO much time on bicycles? Fun hobby, great toy, but it’s NOT a statistically significant transit option. Esp this corridor, which is used by less than .1% of the people going up and down that hill each day (I’ve gone a week without seing a SINGLE person biking UP that hill). Why aren’t we spending as much time legislating for jet packs or hang gliding to work. (sigh)

    Comment by Is It Me — 12:37 pm May 22, 2013 #

  14. What J.J. said plus compounded by bus stops with cars whipping in and out to get around them. Unfortunately, there is only so much room on Admiral from the viewpoint to California.

    Comment by markinthedark — 12:42 pm May 22, 2013 #

  15. I agree with J.J.
    While I applaud widening the bike lane up Admiral, I would like there to be a improvement in the north section, at the viewpoint/Belvedere Park, and around that corner. In addition to the points made by JJ, the road slopes downhill there, which makes cars swing wide as they are coming up the hill fast. Maybe taking out the center turn lane there, to allow an actual bike lane?

    Comment by Glenn — 12:44 pm May 22, 2013 #

  16. You have to put the source of your maps on the image. Simply “Source: Google Maps (2013)” works…

    Comment by Mike — 12:46 pm May 22, 2013 #

  17. Mike – If you’re trying to say something seems awry, please be more specific. I’ve linked to a Google Map (to show where 3508 Admiral Way is) and like anything public on the Internet, there is no rule prohibiting me or anyone else from linking. If you mean the map atop the story, that was created and provided by SDOT (I will add a credit line). – TR

    Comment by WSB — 12:46 pm May 22, 2013 #

  18. Tracy,
    Gotcha. SDOT should have their source on their too…

    And as a scientist, I should say that all maps should have a north arrow and scale for reference. Its a rule of thumb.

    Comment by Mike — 12:50 pm May 22, 2013 #

  19. That’s my way home, and I do prefer to use the sidewalk unless I see someone else on it. I don’t think they need to get rid of street parking there. Two simple adjustments would get me riding the designated lane:

    - Move the bike lane to curbside with the parking lane to the left of it, kind of like on Alki. A little parked car buffer there might actually be kind of nice. As it is now you really feel like you’re hanging yourself out there.

    - Actually painting the bike lane. Seriously, I know it was there at one time, but if I can’t see it then cars can’t either. They resurfaced a part of that street what must be a year ago and never bothered repainting that part of the street. The rest of it is barely visible from so much traffic going over it. Hardly an encouraging sight.

    Comment by Jeffro — 1:07 pm May 22, 2013 #

  20. Agree with JJ completely that the top is the tricky part. And the bottom is a problem as well. Transitioning from the shared path along Spokane, across Harbor, and up those stairs (really?) is a big barrier, and then when you get to the top of the stairs – not ideal.

    Comment by Mark — 2:09 pm May 22, 2013 #

  21. This is odd. I bike that hill quite regularly and choose Admiral because it feels a lot safer than other routes. It’s fine. The top of the hill is scary though and I switch to the sidewalk there.

    Avalon on the other hand is terrifying!

    I’ve also sold four cars really quickly by parking them there! This really is perplexing. It’s fine as it is.

    Comment by Biker — 2:26 pm May 22, 2013 #

  22. im confused, so why is their a need for bike lane going up Admiral Way? Is Greg Lemond running over pedestrians on sidewalk. There is a lot more danger having bikes on the road than going uphill on sidewalk.

    Comment by JJ — 2:46 pm May 22, 2013 #

  23. I agree this is just another “feel good” attempt. As a long time resident of North Admiral and experienced cyclist, I think it is ill-advised to encourage Admiral as a bike commute corridor – primarily because of the very dangerous weave commuting cyclists make at the bottom of the hill in the morning. That is weaving from the right sight of the road to the left side to get to the low level bridge. I see California and Fairmont as better cycling routes to encourage.

    Comment by William — 3:02 pm May 22, 2013 #

  24. Fellow residents of that area should email walkandbike@seattle.gov and call 206-684-7583 to express their displeasure for the plan. We’ll also knock on doors tonight to help coordinate our response to this.

    Comment by Jeff — 3:06 pm May 22, 2013 #

  25. As a cyclist who commutes almost every day from West Seattle to Bellevue ( that one commenter can call me statistically insignificant but otherwise I would be driving my full size extra cab pickup truck on the west seattle bridge in front of you slowing you down if I didnt ride, duh), I see no reason for these changes. If I chose to ride on the sidewalk there are rarely any pedestrians anyway. And limiting the parking for residents just helps put us regular bicyclists in the radar for more unnecessary negative comments against which really we don’t need. Plus that hill is great to sell cars which Ive done to improve the neighborhood as I’ve upgraded. This whole change is a huge duh.

    Comment by themightyrabbit — 4:31 pm May 22, 2013 #

  26. I’m confused, Jeff… Are you suggesting that SDOT’s parking numbers are wrong? Or do you, and roughly four other vehicle owners, just feel entitled to the road?

    Comment by Mickymse — 4:55 pm May 22, 2013 #

  27. Again SDOT completely misses the actual issues. JJ has it right, it’s the top just past the viewpoint. There is no reason the sidewalk cannot be shared between cyclist and pedestrians. Better to stop and dismount than be plowed over by a metro bus.

    Comment by Mike — 5:23 pm May 22, 2013 #

  28. WHY are we spending SO much time on bicycles? Fun hobby, great toy, but it’s NOT a statistically significant transit option….

    .

    Is It Me, you forgot to include the link to the source that supports those statistics…

    .

    Mike

    Comment by miws — 6:18 pm May 22, 2013 #

  29. Which reminds me of something I meant to say earlier. Last Friday during a rainy Bike to Work Day, 600 bicycles were counted in a three-hour period passing the bike-to-work station under the bridge.

    Comment by WSB — 6:19 pm May 22, 2013 #

  30. A bicycle overpass of the mess at the bottom of the Admiral hill would be nice.

    Comment by Free and Easy — 6:24 pm May 22, 2013 #

  31. I agree with J.J. The hill is not the problem–I feel pretty safe on it. It’s once you get to the top that’s the problem, particularly with the sun in drivers’ eyes and the disappearance of the bike lane.

    Also, getting to the hill without dismounting requires going through steep streets in the east neighborhood, which also has bad visibility.

    Comment by junctioneer — 6:47 pm May 22, 2013 #

  32. I do not commute on my bike due to the downtown bike danger, but if I did crawl up Admiral, I would not continue past Olga. Remember the nice planters on the north side of the curve? Gone!!! Why? Because the street has a negative camber–if you don’t pay attention a car will wander to the right. Imagine being a cyclist there. The ridiculous “Sharrows” that make the City, but not the injured/killed cyclist, feel better are plastered all over WB Admiral with two lanes and buses. This is stupid idea for the limited amount of good gained.

    Comment by JayDee — 6:51 pm May 22, 2013 #

  33. I agree with many of the comments here. I ride up the hill occasionally. Going uphill I’m slow enough that I can easily and safely share the sidewalk with the one or two pedestrians (if any) that I encounter. Eliminating parking along that stretch creates problems for the residents and doesn’t solve a problem for cyclists. The problem spots are the transitions at the top and bottom of the hill. Figure out a solution for those issues and city planners have accomplished something.

    Comment by onion — 7:16 pm May 22, 2013 #

  34. Yes, Mickymse – considering many of the properties on the east side of Admiral have new owners / tenants in the last few months, SDOT observations are most likely inaccurate. I’m not arguing against the existence of the bike lanes, or from any sense of entitlement. I would like to see the right problem solved. (Which I see as the speed of the automobiles on Admiral and lack of bike lane north of the viewpoint.)

    Comment by Jeff — 7:21 pm May 22, 2013 #

  35. I bike (and drive) this route frequently, and I don’t see the advantage to this change. The residents in the area deserve street parking, and this is actually one of the safer parts of my bike commute, until it gets to the crosswalk on top of the hill and that doesn’t seem like it’s affected anyway.

    I’d leave this area as it is, and put the resources into the E Marginal Way which has had the recent biker fatality.

    Comment by Greg — 10:49 pm May 22, 2013 #

  36. I hate cycling on the sidewalk; i think it’s unsafe and sends the wrong message to other road users, but the Belvedere Park curve (NW-bound) is one place where I’ll do it – I’m so tired of the city’s poor implementation of bicycle facilities – the bike lane on Admiral is fine as it is, but it creates a patently dangerous situation because the City couldn’t be bothered to find a way to continue it through the curve. I recognize the road is narrow there, but the city created the most negligible improvement for 3/4 of a mile on the hill then throws cyclists into the fray at the look-out while doing little (lately anyway) about the rampant motorist speeding into and through that curve.

    thanks for nothin’!

    As for the bottom of the Admiral Hill I just move to the left lane and follow the main flow of traffic – I’ve never had the slightest problem other than the abysmal drainage on Admiral and off of the viaduct – splash!

    Comment by JAT — 12:34 pm May 23, 2013 #

  37. Restriping, how preposterous, how about striping and adding raised reflective lane markers? The uphill northbound lines are so worn that they’re hard to see in clear conditions, and damn near impossible to see after dark if the roadway is wet due to the glare from the overhead lights. Add in the lane shift halfway up and it makes inattentive drivers wandering out of their lane a constant problem.

    I sometimes take harbor instead to avoid the idiots, and I’m in a car. It must be scary as hell to have a wandering car around you when on a bike.

    Yeah, some drivers might not like losing some of the extra lane room in the huge right lane, but if they could clearly mark the lands and get rid of the mid-hill shift, or at least just mark the damn thing, it’s an improvement in my book.

    Comment by Tony — 9:36 am May 24, 2013 #

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