New look at Fauntleroy Way ‘Boulevard’ in-progress design

July 15, 2014 at 12:37 pm | In Transportation, Triangle, West Seattle news | 30 Comments

That’s a “typical cross-section” from a brand-new update on the long-in-the-works Fauntleroy Way SW “Boulevard” project, focusing on Fauntleroy Way through The Triangle, between 35th SW and SW Alaska. Right now, the plan is more than halfway still in the early stages of the design process, and SDOT is stepping up the public communication. Spokesperson Maribel Cruz tells WSB they’re meeting with property owners and community organizations in the area. Here’s the brand-new fact sheet from SDOT:

(Click here if you can’t see the embedded version above.) While $1.3 million for design was worked into the current city budget (as reported here last year), the construction funding isn’t yet nailed down, nor is a timeline. But the design is scheduled for completion early next year, and a community open house is planned (no date yet) for this fall. Watch the official project webpage for updates.

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  1. I trust that the same amount of money will be budgeted for landscape maintenance as is the amount budgeted for maintenance of the median landscape that exists on Harbor Ave? — That is NONE!
    Why do we continue to spend vast amounts of money for projects for which there is NO money for maintenance?

    Comment by flynlo — 1:43 pm July 15, 2014 #

  2. The question above about ongoing maintenance of the installed landscaping is a good one. It seems the landscaped traffic circles in West Seattle often have volunteers maintaining them (or no maintenance at all). The care of the area along the “entry” to West Seattle (home to “Walking on Logs”) has obviously been a tough area to keep from becoming quickly overgrown. Is the maintenance of these areas perhaps included in the upcoming parks funding vote, even though they are not parks?

    Sorry to ask so many questions, but it is sad to me that anything roadway-related in this city seems short-term and strangely ill planned. (Paving one block at a time, anyone?)

    Comment by AEP — 2:22 pm July 15, 2014 #

  3. Why do we continue to fund projects that make bike paths no one is using (Broadway) at the expense of vehicular traffic, spending the money that should be used to make the roads less Baja-like and/or go toward a true, functioning rapid transit system that would actually get people out of their cars because it would be faster than driving? And all the while never asking bicyclists to pony up the way drivers have to with typically regressive WA tax set ups: $1,000,000 Bugatti Royale: $60; $35 Puch Moped: $60. It’s because we is stoopid, methinks.

    Comment by Fiwa Jcbbb — 2:24 pm July 15, 2014 #

  4. I remember someone pointed this out before when this project was mentioned: where does Trader Joe’s loading area go ? do they have another loading area also? i just know that the street parking along Fauntleroy in that area is labeled for delivery loading and unloading or some such. the google street view shows TJ’s under construction/ vacant so i don’t know off the top of my head what the parking designation is.

    Comment by sam-c — 2:31 pm July 15, 2014 #

  5. http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/streetmaintenance.htm#grass
    *
    and, http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/forestry.htm
    *
    It takes a Village to make a Community.
    *
    It’s a nice thought that SDOT will be able to account for thousands of green areas along the streets, but it’s impossible to actually expect them to. This area that will be made into a Boulevard, is an “entrance” into West Seattle, and I for one am THRILLED that it will look nice, and be inviting. Less pavement = more warmth & invitation.

    Comment by AmandaKH — 2:36 pm July 15, 2014 #

  6. This will be a huge improvement to a complete eyesore, and provide much needed pedestrian friendliness. They cant get this project completed soon enough.

    Comment by quiz — 2:36 pm July 15, 2014 #

  7. $1.5 mil just for the design? Really? It doesn’t look like it would take much brains or money to come up with this design. Don’t get me wrong, I like the design but seems a little excessive cost wise, and it doesn’t include the construction costs.

    Comment by mikeK — 3:06 pm July 15, 2014 #

  8. “This area that will be made into a Boulevard, is an “entrance” into West Seattle, and I for one am THRILLED that it will look nice, and be inviting.”

    Transplant the Harbor Ave. median onto Fauntleroy -
    and that will be “nice, and inviting”? I believe that the same argument was made when the Harbor Ave. median was created, that is it would be an “inviting entrance” to Alki. A weed infested median that contains graffiti marked utility box does not represent a “nice & inviting” entrance!

    Comment by flynlo — 3:10 pm July 15, 2014 #

  9. MikeK – Not an endorsement or comment on the cost itself but one factual note, the project is at 60 percent design, SDOT says. I believe 100 percent design includes detailed documents as well as a simple cross-section like this, which in turn is not the full representation of the 60 percent design. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 3:18 pm July 15, 2014 #

  10. sam-c, Trader Joe’s deliveries occur at the front in a sidewalk cut where they have a delivery door next to the large windows. It’s mostly served by noon with up to two freight trucks parked there. I’ve never had an issue with driving past them in the Fauntleroy curb lane for the turn up Alaska St to the junction.

    Comment by RayK — 3:24 pm July 15, 2014 #

  11. RayK – yes, that is how it is now. The proposed design makes that impossible by filling that space with trees and a bike lane.
    .
    Does this mean that DOT spends lots of money and hours designing the bike lane and landscaping, and then decide that they can’t actually do it because of the business needs?
    .
    If they wont put the bike lane there because of TJ’s needs, is that something they already know, so this will be intentional bait-and-switch, or do they not realize the current street use?
    .
    Or maybe this is no big deal, because TJ’s will bring goods in a different way?

    Comment by Community Member — 4:43 pm July 15, 2014 #

  12. Just like everything else in Seattle, it’s ALL about looks and NOTHING about functionality. “Hey, look at us, don’t we look good!”. Meanwhile you won’t be able to see these landscaped islands because traffic, which continues to be ignored (other than try to force us onto buses) will be backed up from 35th to the ferry terminal!

    Comment by JS — 5:39 pm July 15, 2014 #

  13. @Fiwa Jcbbb: http://westseattlebikeconnections.org/about/myths-about-bicycling/

    Please educate yourself.

    Comment by JN — 5:41 pm July 15, 2014 #

  14. The separated bikeways are a step in the right direction. Having them just in this little strip isn’t enough to get me on my bike, yet; but it will help many, and eventually, when I can get safely from where I live to where I want to go, I’ll be biking, too! Note the most recent study (http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/1307250/#t1) that bike infrastructure actually saves money (not to mention lives). The argument that it benefits bike riders at the expense of automobile drivers is specious.

    Comment by Julie — 6:04 pm July 15, 2014 #

  15. How about all the people who feel the need to anonymously whine/complain/bicker on this blog which amounts in no productiveness, actually getting out there and being an active participant in you community to show your support or lack there of ideas/changes?

    Take that energy, get your butt off the computer and DO something.

    Comment by KM — 6:40 pm July 15, 2014 #

  16. Separated bike lanes slow traffic, increase pedestrian traffic, save lives, increase bike traffic, increase transit use, and grow the economy.

    These are what we call: facts.

    Comment by Chris — 7:52 pm July 15, 2014 #

  17. The biggest issue I see is that it leaves no room for future expansion… Like a light rail line… Unless we want to do a re-do in 25 years if we actually ever get one. All the bike lane stuff in seattle seems very short sighted to me. Both city and state should be heavily investing in mass transit infrastructure.

    Comment by Jw — 8:49 pm July 15, 2014 #

  18. Yes on mass transit infrastructure. Agree completely – too bad our friends and neighbors helped vote down the transit funding measure.

    Comment by Chris — 9:37 pm July 15, 2014 #

  19. I think if West Seattle gets light rail it will probably have its own bridge, and would probably go east through South Park or Boulevard Park.

    Comment by Community Member — 10:36 pm July 15, 2014 #

  20. Last time I checked bikes are single occupancy and putting up an infrastructure is not going to benefit the City of Seattle and the majority of its people. The City of Seattle should be putting money into a rapid/mass transit infrastructure. This would benefit the majority of the people. We want Major Nickels back no more bike pushing people that have no vision for a better Seattle.

    Comment by Scott — 8:41 am July 16, 2014 #

  21. I happened upon the Sound Transit 2014 Long Range Plan Update meeting last week. I wasn’t able to stay but had time to speak with a rep and take the Executive Summary. I expressed my disappointment that the long range plan for WS does not include light rail. Apparently, the only reason WS was included was due to survey feedback.

    We discussed alternatives such as a local “loop” route for WS (trolly?), privately funded options, etc. All planning for WS is focused on busses and only busses.

    Feel free to send your comments to:
    LongRangePlan@soundtransit.org and if you haven’t done so the survey:
    http://www.soundtransit.org/LongRangePlan

    Comment by heather — 9:06 am July 16, 2014 #

  22. I don’t get it did i miss somthig here. Don’t remember a major public out cry for this project. Did the city all of a suden say hay lets go and dump a bunch of money on this. Did they stop an think maybe we can put this money into maintaining our parks or put it towards helping metro. The CC are like little kids ” I want new stuff I don.t want to fix the stuff we have first”

    Comment by rob — 9:09 am July 16, 2014 #

  23. I would like to know how much the accident rates increase whether car,bike,pedestrian when you add a tree lined road such as this with increased visibility challenges ? Will there be added cross walks, bike crossings, stop lights, lighting for better visibility so drivers see pedestrians at night do to tree lined streets, decreased speed ? There is a lot going on in that area and many more buildings to be built soon. That roadway now is a challenge do to narrowness of lanes and makes future options for a transit system much more difficult in future. Looks pretty on paper but gets a big zero from me as far as helping any traffic issues we have in W/S and will only add to the ingress/egress problems we already have. Way to much money being spent on these types of projects right now. I want functionalbility especially when our city can’t maintain the infrastructure we have now do to it’s budget issues. I find it so interesting how our city has no problem spending so much money on design and builds of projects like this but can’t fund the basic things such as a good bus service and to maintain the parks and roads.

    Comment by wetone — 9:55 am July 16, 2014 #

  24. Community Member- thanks for clarifying the point that I tried and failed to make.

    The project proposed in this WSB post would take away TJ’s current loading area. I am curious to know what TJ plan to do for loading instead when this project moves forward.

    Comment by sam-c — 10:18 am July 16, 2014 #

  25. Scott – Regarding former Mayor Greg Nickels, he’s the one who created the Bicycle Master Plan, first introduced in 2007:
    .
    http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2003651406_webbikeplan04m.html
    .
    Regarding occupancy of vehicles – even if two people ride in a car, that still uses a lot less of its space than a one-person bicycle. And unlike cars and other four (or more)-wheeled vehicles – of which I wholeheartedly admit to being a fulltime user – a basic bicycle cannot go rolling down the road with an empty seat.
    .
    But *please*, everyone with an interest, participate in the process. Despite the occasional skeptic/naysayer/”it doesn’t matter, they’ll do what they want,” there are many examples of community input making a difference/change in plans from road configuration to developments. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 11:22 am July 16, 2014 #

  26. I would think they would park the big trucks on back side of TJ’s or midnight deliveries ? but that brings up a good point for all deliveries to businesses/apt in that area. What I also wonder is how about all the problems that will occur as vehicles try to get in/out of TJ’s parking lot area from Fauntleroy ? it’s a bad mess now in the afternoon/evening hours backing up traffic much of the time. Now add trees/shrubs, bike/walk path to cross, smaller traffic lanes. You have a few large properties in same area that recently sold and most likely to be built up soon and only have access from Fauntleroy adding to more traffic problems in this area. From what I’m seeing right now this is not a very well thought out project, but that’s from someone that needs to use that section of roadway a lot and doesn’t have all day to do so.

    Comment by wetone — 11:41 am July 16, 2014 #

  27. I’m not sure if that stretch of Fauntleroy will ever be really pedestrian-friendly. There are a lot of car-based businesses or businesses with parking lots directly in front of the buildings. I’ve noticed having to dodge cars coming in and out of the parking lots whenever I try to walk along there. Sometimes they even park on the sidewalk in front of one of the businesses. There’s really nothing that can be done about that–these are established businesses and we can’t ask them to move their parking lots!

    Chris–I doubt very much we’ll get light rail over here until we densify, something that so many people seem to be opposed to if I can go by the comments on here. West Seattle isn’t very dense compared to, say, Capitol Hill or even Ballard. (They’re at least considering Ballard for light rail.)

    Comment by West Seattle since 1979 — 12:24 pm July 16, 2014 #

  28. Also, cars are *not* being ignored. West Seattle has been car-centric since probably at least the 1950s. Just in the last 10 or so years have there been bike lanes, bus lanes or other things for means of transportation other than SOV’s, and then there’s a huge outcry about a war on cars, or about cars being ignored.

    This just is so frustrating. I have to walk past a drive-in Starbuck’s every morning–nearly every morning I have to wait for cars to drive in and out, or feel guilty if they stop for me because then I’m impeding traffic. Then I go past a fast food parking lot where I have to walk in the road because someone has parked their truck so that the back end hangs over the sidewalk, and there’s a tree in the median strip.

    Most of the businesses other than in the junction have the parking lot in front so that cars can get in and out easily, and anyone who arrives on foot or who took the bus there or even a bike has to cut through the parking lot and dodge cars arriving and leaving.

    I’m not saying this is wrong, as most people have cars. I just wish that people would stop saying there’s a war on cars or that cars are being ignored, because from what I can see almost everything is made for cars, and if you don’t have one or choose to use public transportation or walk, you have kind of a lousy pedestrian experience.

    Comment by West Seattle since 1979 — 12:32 pm July 16, 2014 #

  29. Re: WSS79′s first comment, something I’ve meant to say for a while … a note about what can be inferred/assumed/etc. from comments, and what can’t: Much as we appreciate them, even a very busy story comments-wise – say, 100 or more – is a third of one percent of the 30,000 people who will see the story over the course of several days. On national sites, the percentage is even tinier – millions reading, hundreds commenting. So please don’t ever, here on WSB or anywhere else, assume that comments are a precise reflection of sentiment for the wider population or even the entirety of the readership. Certainly they confer visibility for those who choose to have their voices heard, so if you don’t see your sentiment reflected, please consider taking a moment even to say something simple so that it is! And on the converse, if you feel strongly, please also use official comment channels to reach decisionmakers directly – and if there is a meeting or other event for which you can show up in person, that often speaks loudest of all – Tracy

    Comment by WSB — 12:37 pm July 16, 2014 #

  30. For the record, a correction – we originally had written that this is now “more than halfway” through the design process – SDOT says it’s still in the “early stage” and they don’t expect to hit 60 percent design (aka “more than halfway”) until fall.

    Comment by WSB — 4:28 pm July 16, 2014 #

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