(ADDED 1:42 PM: Updated partial design for Fauntleroy ‘boulevard’ – click for full-size PDF)
The process of shaping next year’s city budget is into the final stretch now, and proposed changes are going before the City Council for discussion. This afternoon, potential transportation-budget changes will be considered, and two involve major roads in West Seattle:
First – City Councilmembers Tom Rasmussen, Sally Bagshaw, and Richard Conlin are proposing adding $1.8 million to the Fauntleroy Way Green Boulevard project, which, the budget document says, would complete its design next year.
It’s been two years since the first council discussion of design funding for the project; the detailed budget document goes into other background (including mentions of Fauntleroy’s “gateway” status that date back to the ’90s), and then:
Currently, Fauntleroy Way SW is a poorly defined street that has numerous curb cuts and paved planting strips. Pedestrian and bicycle safety are cited as major concerns by residents and business owners. It is perceived as a difficult street for pedestrians to safely cross.
The Fauntleroy project will improve the pedestrian environment and crossings, access, traffic safety, lighting, and drainage on Fauntleroy Way SW between 35th Ave. SW and SW Alaska St. as well as implementing the boulevard concept for this section of roadway, as originally discussed in the West Seattle Streetscape Concepts Plan.
The project was first funded in 2012. Additional funding was provided in 2013. The base budget includes sufficient funding for work through July 2014 when SDOT expects to complete 60% design. SDOT reports that it could complete final design by December 2014 if Council added $1.8M to the project’s budget. Construction costs are currently estimated at $11.4M and could begin in early 2015, sixteen years after the adoption of the Neighborhood Plan.
The aforementioned “additional funding” emerged last July, the council added $200,000 more to the design budget, as reported here.
Where would the $1.8 million come from, you ask? More than half is from sidewalk work that the budget document says SDOT can’t do until 2015 anyway); half a million would be moved from “planning work on pedestrian amenities in the vicinity of the Northgate Link Light Rail Station, scheduled to open in 2021 (or potentially sooner). This is work that will have to be done, but it need not be done in 2014.”
Second – This afternoon’s presentations/discussions will also include Councilmembers Jean Godden, Sally Clark, and Rasmussen’s proposal to add $100,000 to the SDOT budget for Delridge Way “multi-modal corridor development” planning. Here’s the detailed budget document, which explains in part:
The Delridge corridor has increasing importance as a priority transit corridor, and funding for the corridor study will support the community’s intense desire to address a number of pedestrian safety, bicycle access and transit priority upgrades. By initiating planning in this corridor in 2014, SDOT can begin the public engagement phase with the community, as well as data collection and an inventory of existing conditions and potential improvements recommended in the relevant modal plans.
The transportation-budget proposals are on the agenda for the council’s 2 pm budget-discussion session today; you can watch via the Seattle Channel, online or cable. If you have comments for the council – e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll update later with the outcome on these items.
1:44 PM UPDATE: We have just obtained the newest rendering for Fauntleroy, added atop the story, and explained by SDOT spokesperson Rick Sheridan: “This represents the current design, which has not yet reached 60 percent. To incorporate the recommendations of the draft Bicycle Master Plan, a cycle track is part of this latest design. SDOT will return to West Seattle in early 2014 to collect feedback from residents and businesses on the design.” Cycle tracks are bike lanes separated from motorized-vehicle traffic for safety. They’re the brown-shaded areas in the rendering.