Steps at Stevens: Designing a safe path to the west side of ‘Westside’

February 27, 2014 at 3:56 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 11 Comments

West Seattle High School is also fondly known as “Westside,” but it’s not easy to get safely to the west side of Westside on foot. A new project called Steps at Stevens will fix that – thanks to a city matching-fund grant. Here’s the official overview:

The Steps at Stevens project proposes a safe non-vehicular route from 3000 California Avenue SW, at SW Stevens Street, to West Seattle High School. Stairs, an accessible pathway, and a walkway to the school building’s primary entrance will promote everyday safe transit. Landscape and wayfinding will further enhance West Seattle High School’s primary entrance and strengthen community connections.

The first major step toward Steps at Stevens is happening right now – the West Seattle High School PTSA, one of the project sponsors, has issued a Request for Qualifications, seeking those interested in design/consultant work for the project, made possible by the $20,000 matching-fund grant. The deadline to get in on this is March 24th,and you can read all about it here.

ADDED 9:51 PM: If you’re interested in even more information, project organizers forwarded text of a story that is in a recent edition of the WSHS student news publication but is not otherwise available online. It’s republished with its writer’s permission.

11 Comments

  1. So how many incidents have there been? I live a few blocks west of this intersection and have never heard of any incidents between the California/Stevens intersection and the high school.

    Comment by onion — 4:19 pm February 27, 2014 #

  2. This is wonderful news. However, I continue to be dismayed by the City’s lack of accountability when it comes to pedestrian safety around schools. How is it not required by law that the city put crosswalks and traffic calming measures around every school when it is opened? School attendance is mandatory by law. SPS keeps decreasing bus service to encourage more children to walk to school. However, whether the children can safely access a school is somehow at the whim of a grant committee? If a school is lucky enough to have a gifted grant writer to begin with.
    .
    SDOT should be ashamed of itself. Pedestrian safety around schools should not have to rely on multi-year grant cycles. Period.

    Comment by StringCheese — 4:26 pm February 27, 2014 #

  3. There was years back a pretty established dirt trail along that entire hillside parallel to the parking lot for pedestrians and BMX bikes. The other issue if you have ever noticed is after an event at the school traffic leaving ,the driveway in the left of the photograph is unable to exit with the heavy flow of traffic on say a Friday night or any night. The exiting driveway feed almost directly into a stoplight controlled intersection.

    Comment by NW — 6:00 pm February 27, 2014 #

  4. But there isn’t a safety issue with pedestrians here…. @stringcheese your comment would apply if there were incidents but there just aren’t at this intersection. This is a waste of time and money for WSHS

    Comment by Ian — 6:11 pm February 27, 2014 #

  5. This isn’t taking WSHS time/money – it’s volunteers, PTSA, Dept. of Neighborhoods Matching Fund. I’m sorry I only had time to put up something brief but there’s lots more information in the actual RFQ document linked in the story (and below) – please read. It’s beautification too. And the doc has lots of info about community discussion plans – opportunities to help shape it. Hopefully students past, present, and future will participate too.
    .
    http://westseattlehs.seattleschools.org/modules/groups/homepagefiles/cms/1708897/File/SchoolInvolvement/WSHSRFQStepsStevens02.19.14.pdf

    Comment by WSB — 6:32 pm February 27, 2014 #

  6. The rfq states it’s 20,000 dollars for design. That, as I read it does not include construction costs.

    Comment by dsa — 7:38 pm February 27, 2014 #

  7. I google”earthed” it. As I thought, if the above photo is correct, those steps go to the parking lot. So is the idea is to have students walk through the parking lot? That is not a safe management practice. There already is a sidewalk a few feet away.

    Comment by dsa — 8:36 pm February 27, 2014 #

  8. @Ian, I was speaking more broadly of the city’s lack of accountability when it comes to street issues around schools. Roxhill continues to have multiple issues concerning Roxbury and, most recently, there is the failure of the city to secure safety on Delridge prior to the opening of K-5 STEM.
    .
    The city has been aware of the fact that 85% of the cars traveling down Delridge are doing so at over the 35mph. Not to mention the 20mph school zone that is almost universally ignored. It has been known since February of 2012 that an elementary school was opening on this site. However, flashing beacons (though installed a month ago) are still not operational. Then there is the need for a mid-street crosswalk that was brought to the city’s attention in June of 2012 that was willfully ignored. So, families are put in a real-life game of frogger. 350 students travel to and from school on Delridge everyday. Next year, with the co-location of Arbor Heights, that number will double. How is it that the city doesn’t feel a responsibility to ensure 700 students can safely, walk, bus, bike, or ride to school everyday?
    .
    Again, how is there not a law demanding traffic safety measures be in place BEFORE a school (new or reopened) opens its doors?

    Comment by StringCheese — 8:45 pm February 27, 2014 #

  9. For those interested, the project organizers have forwarded a text doc with a story that is apparently in the latest edition of the WSHS news publication but is not online. I’m adding it, embedded via Scribd, above.

    Comment by WSB — 9:51 pm February 27, 2014 #

  10. Apparently my comment yesterday was too snarky? I still think that this is quite silly. The Picture at the top of this story shows a lighted and market crosswalk headed to a sidewalk. I just don’t get the need for a $20,000 anything here. Maybe buy some textbooks or reduce the price of the yearbooks?

    Comment by curtis — 9:28 am February 28, 2014 #

  11. Curtis, it is not snarky, it is logic. There are 2 lighted cross walks there that have very few, if any, issues as it is. They are safe already and this is not needed. I agree with you, if they feel they have a hole burning in their pocket they should do something with it that will serve a better purpose.

    Comment by Ian — 2:36 pm February 28, 2014 #

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