Bicycle safety from/to West Seattle: SDOT expects East Marginal improvements to be done by November

(May 2 photo by West Seattle bicyclist Eric Shalit: Rutted road near East Marginal crash scene)
With another bicycle collision on East Marginal way drawing attention last week – this time, a bicycle-vs.-bicycle crash, three months after the bike/truck collision that took a life – we checked with SDOT on the status of city-promised safety improvements, some of which were discussed hours after the May crash that killed Lance David. SDOT spokesperson Marybeth Turner says this is the list of what they expect will be done by November:

This fall SDOT plans the following improvements:

· A rapid flashing beacon at South Horton Street with a marked crosswalk to create a preferred crossing location.
· Asphalt spot repair along the travel lanes and bike lanes.
· Relocation of the trees from the tree pits, which will then be filled with asphalt to widen out the sidewalk area for bikes and pedestrians.
· Roadway restriping and some additional spot delineators for separation.
· Signal timing adjustments at East Marginal Way South and South Hanford Street.
· Some shim repair work on the sidewalk.

Then next year, according to Turner, “SDOT will study the possibility of installing a two-way cycle track or multi-use trail along East Marginal Way South from Spokane to Atlantic streets.”

P.S. In that same area, the big Bike/Truck Safety Fair with co-sponsors including the Port of Seattle and West Seattle Bike Connections is coming up the morning of September 6th – in case you missed the earlier announcement, here it is again.

18 Replies to "Bicycle safety from/to West Seattle: SDOT expects East Marginal improvements to be done by November"

  • datamuse August 13, 2013 (2:11 pm)

    This is good news. I ride that stretch a lot and those ruts and potholes can be a scary (and teeth-rattling) experience. Getting a tire caught in a groove is a great way to fall, as I know all too well from getting one of my wheels stuck in a trolley rail last weekend.
    Fixing the asphalt will benefit drivers, too!

  • CW August 13, 2013 (2:56 pm)

    I look forward to the improvements. Riding through there I find I am looking down at the road to avoid huge cracks rather than looking forward!

  • sophista-tiki August 13, 2013 (3:03 pm)

    what are ‘tree pits’ and where exactly are the trees being moved to?

  • tks98126 August 13, 2013 (3:36 pm)

    I am a daily bicycle commuter from West Seattle to South Lake Union. While the problems of Spokane St / East Marginal Way are drawing attention, I would encourage the SDOT to address these unsafe locations as well:

    – The intersection at Delridge Way SW and 23rd Ave SW. This intersection is crossed by bicycles and pedestrians traveling north and south, and automobiles turning right from 23rd onto Delridge are it can be difficult to be seen on a bicycles or as a pedestrian at this intersection. A marked crossing at that intersection (white cross walk painted on the pavement and better signage) would improve safety for both bicycles and pedestrians crossing the intersection.

    – The sidewalk on the east side of Delridge Way SW between 23rd Ave SW and SW Andover St. This stretch of sidewalk is the only connection for bicyclists from the Spokane St. Bridge to Delridge Way. It is very narrow and is used by pedestrians, parked cars, and is occasionally blocked by temporary SDOT signage for southbound traffic. I have had close calls upon several occasions on this stretch of sidewalk on my northbound commute. Better enforcement of (no) parking on the sidewalk and/or widening of the sidewalk would improve safety for both bicycles and pedestrians using the sidewalk.

    – The intersection at 28th Ave SW and SW Yancy St. There is a stop sign at this intersection for the automobiles coming down the hill on Yancy. There is no stop for the traffic on 28th, and cars and bikes often roll through this stop sign, slowing, but not stopping, creating a dangerous situation for cars and bikes on 28th. Better signage like painting STOP on the pavement, would help alert drivers that they should stop.

    Ride safe, everyone!

  • Cowpie August 13, 2013 (3:38 pm)

    “Relocation of the trees from the tree pits, which will then be filled with asphalt to widen out the sidewalk area for bikes and pedestrians”????

    I see above that Sophista-tili beat me to this question. Where are these tree pits?

    How about removing the three fire hydrants from the middle of the sidewalk on the west side of Marginal?

  • wetone August 13, 2013 (4:15 pm)

    Glad to see SDOT fixing roads for bicycles. Sense they do little for motorcycles and cars. Next time I have an issue with the roads I will say it is bicycle related and I can rest knowing SDOT will be right out to fix :)

  • rob August 13, 2013 (4:24 pm)

    They’re the holes in the sidewalk the trees are planted in. Imagine you cut a square hole in the sidewalk in front of your house and planted a tree in it. If you look at the east marginal/Horton intersection on Google maps (use satellite view) you can see them in the sidewalk on the west side of east marginal just south of the intersection. They basically make the sidewalk half as wide.

  • rob August 13, 2013 (4:25 pm)

    Oh, also…

    The fire hydrants would be a lot harder to move

  • BLB August 13, 2013 (4:43 pm)

    Ruts wrong here?

  • BWD August 13, 2013 (4:48 pm)

    As a pedestrian, I would like some walkable sidewalks (or some actual sidewalks in some areas) and clear pedestrian crossings.

    I hope they make things safer for pedestrians too.

  • detslim August 13, 2013 (5:17 pm)

    I know this has nothing to do with this topic (in sorts) but the other day I saw a man with one of those child towing things on the back of his bike going north on 26th SW and Roxbury and yes he had a small child in it! No flag or anything on it, I thought how dangerous that was. :(

    Thought those were only for bike path/trails not city streets aren’t they???

  • Ted Nakahara August 13, 2013 (6:12 pm)

    Is it again time to revisit the issue of licensing and insuring cyclists? SDOT is stretched thin as it is. It is time for the cyclists to pitch in and pay their fair share.
    It seems that as ridership increases, as will accidents – the ONLY responsible thing is to insure, register and license, as the other street users are required.

  • timh2o August 13, 2013 (6:27 pm)

    The planters on Harbor Island that you have to zig and zag thru need to be removed also. it’s hard to see the traffic coming at the crossings. I sent in a complaint regarding this and they cut them back some but not enough. I think the planters should be removed completely.

  • Jeff August 13, 2013 (8:12 pm)

    Statistically, I bet those kids were safer in the trailer than riding in a less than modern economy car. Awful lot of 1988 Civics still on the road, do you worry about people who transport their kids in those?

  • Rick August 14, 2013 (7:12 am)

    So…Jeff, what do you call shock absorbers in a Yugo? People. 88 Civics weren’t so bad.

  • AE August 14, 2013 (9:37 am)

    Sounds like a great start, very happy to hear it. Glad they included the tree-pit removal! I second the concerns about Delridge @ 23rd. That is a real disaster area.
    Today I thought I’d try the crossing at Spokane, since a lot of people really like it. I didn’t like it – there’s the free right turn from SB East Marginal to watch out for, then I had to wait for the light (and I don’t think the pedestrian button worked), and then I was confronted with an unsafe bike lane (cars pulling onto E Marginal from the east often do not look at the bike lane for oncoming traffic), and then I was stuck at Hanford (at least it sounds like they’re changing that).

  • Russ August 15, 2013 (8:33 am)

    Disappointed that the road surface fixes — filling the potholes — will take the city months longer. This issue was raised very loudly after the fatal bike vs. truck accident at Hanford and E. Marginal. The city promised fast action. The fixes seemed — to this untrained eye — trivial, i.e. pour some asphalt to smooth the very rough and pothole-filled areas on E. Marginal. This daily bike commuter is very disappointed.

  • Don Brubeck August 15, 2013 (9:53 pm)

    The fixes listed all should help, but not quite enough. Photos of the hydrants, “tree pits” and visual obstructions at driveways here:

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