FOLLOWUP: Original 35th SW safety petition reopened, in response to opposition petition

In last Friday’s report on the online petition launched by opponents of two key components of the city’s under-development 35th SW safety plan, we mentioned the plan itself had started taking shape in the wake of a very different petition. That petition circulated early last year and was closed after more than 600 signatures and city leaders’ promise of safety improvements, in response to requests that traced back at least six years, to fall 2007.

Today, supporters of the changes SDOT is pursuing – a speed-limit reduction to 30 mph and some form of rechannelization – have reopened the petition from early 2014. Don Brubeck of West Seattle Bike Connections sent the announcement from Seattle Neighborhood Greenways:

If you are FOR safety on 35th Avenue SW, please sign this PRO-safety petition. You may have seen a petition circulating to STOP the safety improvements planned for “I-35″. There are several hundred signers who may be deceived by the petition claims that 35th is safe as is, and speed is needed, or actually saves time. It is hard to believe that they would be more willing to risk their neighbors’ lives rather than lose a few seconds of car travel time due to 5 mph lower speed limit; a signal at Graham; a greenway on 34th; pedestrian safety islands; a left-turn lane to avoid rear-ending and left-hook car crashes.

If you are FOR Safety, please sign this PRO-safety petition, signed by over 600 concerned neighbors in 2014, and re-opened now.

SDOT continues accepting comments about the proposed alternatives, which are outlined in the slide deck below:

The alternatives were presented in two meetings last month, both of which we covered – March 10th here, and March 12th here – as well as at the March 26th West Seattle Transportation Coalition meeting. SDOT said it would return to the community with final recommendations in June and is still accepting direct comments – e-mail jim.curtin@seattle.gov.

59 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Original 35th SW safety petition reopened, in response to opposition petition"

  • Kimmy April 13, 2015 (4:30 pm)

    I am FOR doing SOMETHING as I am PRO-improvement, but don’t WANT to pick a SIDE because the WHOLE narrative is SILLY.

  • ChefJoe April 13, 2015 (4:48 pm)

    To be fair, SDOT is not planning on doing the 34th greenway, safety islands, or pedestrian signal at graham at this time. They’re possible future options indicated as being studied/considered.

  • forgotmyname April 13, 2015 (4:52 pm)

    GOOD use of CAPS Kimmy ;)

  • Billy April 13, 2015 (5:17 pm)

    Change the speed to 55 MPH. The homes on 35th are valued at less because they bought on a through way to begin with and now want an island of tranquility like a home on 50th with no cars at thrice the asking value. Give me a break,this city’s gridlock increase per year is double that of Los Angeles and there’s no way out of it

  • JeffV April 13, 2015 (5:25 pm)

    Signed it.

  • Smitty April 13, 2015 (5:32 pm)

    If this includes adding a center turn lane AND maintaining 2 lanes in each direction then I will sign.

    If this means going down to one lane per direction in order to add the center turn lane – which means future “bus bulbs” are on the way, no way.

  • au April 13, 2015 (7:42 pm)

    I’m confused. All I see in the first petition is a call for action. Am I missing the design specifics?

  • (required) April 13, 2015 (9:45 pm)

    The city is finally trying to right two dangerous wrongs: 35th and Roxbury. Let the city finally do what is needed and what is right — placing both these streets on road diets to one lane each way with either a boulevard or a turn lane in the middle. No rational person can reasonably complain that doing this would add an unreasonable amount of time to their commute. Such irrational people should not stymie needed public safety road improvements. Obviously, people opposed to this idea are entitled to speak their mind, but rational minds should easily conclude that the road diets are needed and that fixing these roads will not cause anyone any more added commute time than it takes to order a cup of coffee in a Starbucks.

  • Rational Thought April 13, 2015 (9:59 pm)

    Billy and Smitty are spot on! 35th is a MAIN THOROUGHFARE! It is NOT a neighborhood residential street. The accidents that have happened on it are very unfortunate, but because there have been some accidents on a MAIN THOROUGHFARE does NOT equate to a need to change it into a street that is treated like a side residential street. I lived on 35th for years and you know what I did? I treated like a MAIN THOROUGHFARE! I didn’t try to cross it at a stroll even in a crosswalk. I ALWAYS paid attention to all of the places where cars could come from at a relatively high speed. Nor does changing it into a one lane road do anything other than make trying to get out of WS even more of a nightmare! If you want to live in a utopia that is without cars that can go over 25 mph, then find someplace else to live. The rest of us have places to go and things to do and we have to do them in cars since public transportation in Seattle is a horrific nightmare! And because you cannot get anywhere outside of Seattle efficiently using public transportation. Something has to be done to stop all of your delusional people who want to make it impossible to drive in Seattle!

  • stuckintraffic April 13, 2015 (10:34 pm)

    I agree that 35th is a thoroughfare. How many thousand trips a day? And yes, an additional 2-3 minutes per arterial adds up in terms of quality of life, especially if you have a working family with kids. Make all non-parents ride bikes. Make 35th two lane’s and raise the speed limit to 50mph. If people are going fast enough, we’ll all be scared safe. Those who aren’t scared safe can take home the Darwin Award.
    Yes, behind my cynicism is a vote (6th time perhaps) for effective grade separated mass/rapid transit Connecting WS to the rest of the city.

  • WS Res April 13, 2015 (11:04 pm)

    Well said Rational Thought!

  • Mel April 13, 2015 (11:18 pm)

    I knew this would all come down to neighbors vs. neighbors. The people driving on 35th aren’t visiting from LA. They’re people who live and work where that street takes them. They have every bit as much right to the street.
    .
    Personally, I think pedestrians should be kept to signaled intersections, maybe a ped bridge should be built, and more done to make the street safe at 35 mph.
    .
    At least perhaps consider the street a main arterial and everyone behave accordingly, rather than slowing everybody down to save a few people from themselves.

  • jwright April 13, 2015 (11:54 pm)

    Rational Thought, I have a car, I drive on 35TH AVE SW every day. I look forward to the proposed changes to 35TH AVE SW to make my driving experience safer. I do not believe safer roads “make it impossible to drive in Seattle.” The data and modeling from SDOT suggest that those of us who feel that way are NOT delusional.
    .
    As an aside, this discussion feels like it has taken on elements similar to the debate on gun control (greater overall public safety vs. greater freedom for individuals to drive unfettered) and has evoked equally passionate comments!

  • JanS April 14, 2015 (12:18 am)

    so there are actually people who live here and post on here that would approve of 55mph on 35th? How the hell is that (a)rational(thought)? It’s not a damned highway…there are houses, people, families, CHILDREN…but those are expendable as long as you get to where you want to go as quickly as possible? I live around fools…

  • Steve April 14, 2015 (2:07 am)

    I don’t know why people think reducing the speed limit would slow drivers down. If they are speeding with it at 35mph what makes you think changing to 30mph will cause them to slow down? They will ignore it just like they do now.
    We don’t have a street design issue, what we have is a people issue. People who drive recklessly. And changing the speed limit won’t change their behavior.
    I don’t have the magic pill to fix things, I doubt there is one. But I believe the solution is changing peoples attitudes, not changing street design. I live on a residential arterial(not 35th) and people speed up and down it like it’s a race track. Adding speed cushions here did nothing to slow them down. They’re gonna speed no matter what the speed limit is.
    It sucks, but I don’t see any of this actually accomplishing the stated goals.

  • S April 14, 2015 (2:08 am)

    It is sloppy and misleading to imply that support for this old petition shows support for the current plans. That old petition does not specify reducing traffic to two lanes or reducing the speed limit, which are the two major changes that are problematic here. All that old petition specifies is the center turn lane. I support the old petition AND the new one. Let’s remove parking along 35th and get a center turn lane plus two travel lanes in each direction. Maybe we should start a petition for that. Maybe WSB can set up a “survey monkey” page with these three options and we can see how West Seattle votes.

  • Greystreet April 14, 2015 (3:57 am)

    Amen, Rational Thought.

  • Smitty April 14, 2015 (6:48 am)

    I am with S.

    Would love to see a WSB survey monkey of options, just to get a feel for how the entire readership feels, not just those who comment.

    Personally, I am OK with 35 and a center turn lane as long as there are two lanes in each direction still.

    If it goes to one per direction they will soon add bus bulbs (because busses will NEVER be able to merge back into traffic) and then we are talking a difference of several minutes, not just 2-3. I would also assume that more people would opt to take side streets to jump ahead of traffic – resulting in additional traffic calming expenses.

  • enid April 14, 2015 (6:54 am)

    Rational thought – wow, talk about a misnomer. So, you think that someone who buys a house on 35th pays 2/3 less than a comparable house a few blocks away? That would be laughable, if it weren’t such a bad, sick – and inaccurate joke. It’s still shocking to me that the supporters of this anti-petition are so elitist and disdainful of their neighbors that they actually believe their right to speed trumps others right to live. Just when I thought my opinion of the human race could go no lower…

  • colleen April 14, 2015 (7:20 am)

    At least the old petition recognizes that there is a problem. Those arguing otherwise appear to be willing to accept pedestrian deaths as part of the cost of driving. Because they are more “rational”. That’s not rationality but it IS the crux of the disagreement. I strongly disagree. Learn to drive as if the lives of others matter to you.

  • Smitty April 14, 2015 (8:42 am)

    ” It’s still shocking to me that the supporters of this anti-petition are so elitist and disdainful of their neighbors that they actually believe their right to speed trumps others right to live.

    Who ever said that?

    I don’t think anyone is proposing speeding, just keeping it at the speed it has been for a very long time. Long enough that a majority of homeowners KNEW what they were getting into when they bought.

    It’s akin to buying a house near the airport and then petitioning to reduce the number of flights.

  • Lynne April 14, 2015 (8:56 am)

    Nice, Rational Thought: “I didn’t try to cross it at a stroll even in a crosswalk.” So, people using wheelchairs, children, disabled people, elderly people — what are they supposed to do? Get someone to drive them across the street? Go somewhere else?

  • AmandaKH April 14, 2015 (9:01 am)

    Wow, I am really appalled to hear some of the comments here on this Blog. I am SO Thankful to SDOT for being the experts who look at this situation from a rational and unemotional place. They think it needs adjusting, so let them do their job.

    As for the rest of you, 35th Ave SW is 80% residential parcels. That means it is a residential street.

    Let’s battle the real problem – ingress and egress for the Peninsula. The Mayor is asking us for $900m for transportation improvements. Let’s DEMAND, in the same passion you are showing here, Real Solutions for West Seattle.

    Join the West Seattle Transportation Coalition (Thursday April 23 6:30 at High Point Neighborhood House) and Please take the Move Seattle SDOT survey. http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/LevytoMoveSeattle.htm

    Let’s focus people!

  • steve April 14, 2015 (9:36 am)

    Yes, completely agree! Lets eliminate street parking from 35th so that everyone who doesn’t have a driveway or renters of one home can all park their cars up on 36th and all the residential roads up there! Wondrous plan!

  • miws April 14, 2015 (9:40 am)

    Regarding limiting pedestrians to signalized crosswalks/intersections; how far apart would these locations be?

    .

    I’m sure that most pedestrians, especially those with some level of disability, such as myself, would love to have every cross street on busy streets such as 35th signalized for safe and convenient crossing, but of course, that is highly impractical. Can imagine what that would do to traffic on 35th, even if SDOT actually got the light timing right?

    .

    I regularly cross Delridge, at SW Barton St, to catch the bus, or to walk down to Westwood Village. I honestly can’t remember if Delridge was four lanes in that area years ago, but if it was now, it would be a very dangerous and challenging crossing. It’s difficult as it is.

    .

    Some people don’t seem to think that walking an extra (most often the double long blocks typical to our area), is that big of a deal. It actually is. Even for a fully able bodied person, it is going to be an inconvenience to walk the extra distance, and then backtrack to their bus stop or other destination right across the street, or to continue their route across the street, to their destination. For a disabled person, not only greatly inconvenient, perhaps very significant time difference, but also the physical struggle of their disability especially, perhaps, if going up even slight hills is involved. I’m sure that most pedestrians, disabled or able-bodied, realize that providing crossings that would eliminate, or greatly reduce, pedestrian/motor vehicle conflict at every cross street would be highly impractical, and simply want to be able to cross the street safely; not having to worry about getting run over.

    .

    One suggestion that has been coming up a lot on this topic, is putting in pedestrian overpasses. From a safe pedestrian crossing standpoint, that appeals to me. But, can you imagine the outcry, on SO many levels? The cost? The complaints of “Ugly overpasses in MY neighborhood, blocking my view?!?” Also, those would involve a significant incline for access, and for folks that have trouble walking up hills, or self-powered wheelchair users (or their assistant pushing) An elevator? How much will that add to the cost? Plus overpasses would likely pretty much limit pedestrians to those far apart crossings, either by City signage prohibiting crossing at nearby cross streets, or by some drivers (even more so than usual), thinking they don’t have to stop for pedestrians, at the other cross streets.

    .

    Another argument that keeps coming up, is that drivers will use the center lane of the one lane each way 35th, as a passing lane. Yes, that will happen. We have all seen it happen before in such configurations. But, my guess is there is a much higher instance of aggressive drivers whipping into the other lane to get around other drivers preparing to turn, buses at a bus stop, etc, in the current configuration. To me, that scenario presents much greater dangers to pedestrians trying to cross, to other vehicle traffic trying to cross, and to oncoming vehicle and especially bicycle traffic, and to oncoming left turning vehicle traffic.

    .

    One thing that keeps coming up, and that both sides agree on is more enforcement. Yes, that is needed, and is supposed to be part of the Vision Zero package. But that aside, it is yet another thing for our short handed Police Department to struggle for the resources to provide. And then you always get the argument from someone that has been busted before, that the Police should be out “…arresting the thugs…” instead of having ticketed that driver for going 15 MPH over. The repeatedly mentioned here on WSB fact that Traffic is a separate division, is lost on them.

    .

    One person mentions upthread that when they have crossed 35th, or perhaps busy streets in general, as a pedestrian, they look at all possible places that a speeding car might come from, and then cross the street without dawdling; I do that too, and pretty much always have, as far as I can remember. Only thing is, unlike when I was fully able-bodied, I can’t run across the street anymore, whether having been lucky enough to get enough of a break in traffic to do so, or in an emergency, should a speeding driver suddenly “come out of nowhere”, despite my best abilities to check

    .

    Mike

  • ChefJoe April 14, 2015 (9:47 am)

    Amanda, I think what I’m left unhappy about is the speed reduction even as you get closer to the bridge. I can see the appeal of rechannelization in extremely residential areas S of morgan, but think the 4 lane configuration and faster pace to be well matched N of morgan. The way the slides (slide 14 and 15) cut off the data at that dividing street could well agree with that idea.

    Unfortunately, even the most generous reading of plan B suggests that rechannelization (middle turn lane, one travel lane each direction) would extend a few streets N of Morgan to Raymond and they’d be relying on parking restrictions to “open up” the 2nd travel lane in each direction N of Raymond/Juneau to Edmunds. Anyone with regular experience with peak hour parking restrictions will recognize the hiccups that frequently occur with that design so this is still pretty different from “no change” in the number of travel lanes.

  • ChefJoe April 14, 2015 (9:53 am)

    Although, you might be able to buy my vote if having a small army of tow trucks ready to swoop into that area during the morning commute would mean we have tow trucks available to quickly respond should there be a breakdown on the bridge.

  • maplesyrup April 14, 2015 (10:17 am)

    Steve. I think the answer to your question about preventing speeding is this: a road diet won’t stop speeding 100% of the time, but if you’ve ever driven on Fauntleroy or Delridge during most waking hours, you know that it’s rarely possible to speed because there are vehicles in front of you. Same thing will happen if a lane is eliminated on 35th. Someone at the front of the line will be going the speed limit and everyone else will be forced to go that speed or lower. And I’m ok with that.

    But I think a 35mph speed limit is fine for 35th. No need to take it down if a lane is eliminated and the remaining lanes are widened.

  • forgotmyname April 14, 2015 (10:35 am)

    I’ve driven commercially for almost 20 years now, and four years in the service. With the exception of South Korea, I have never seen driving as bad as it is here. It’s not the traffic, and (although Seattle is/has been allergic to city planning) not the infrastructure; it’s the drivers. No matter what changes you make, as long as Seattle drivers are more interested in their apps, or keep driving 15 mph over the speed limit, or believe tapping your breaks is a ‘stop’ and ‘yield’ means the other guys have to yield for them, or treat every intersection as two lanes at a light/stop sign, and think a*hole driving is a-ok as long as you give a hand wave…we will have a problem. I’ve driven for years across North America, including most major urban areas and the traffic here is appalling, just the worst (and I drove in Mexico for two years, people) – and almost all of it is due to the drivers with their dangerous mix of inattentiveness and selfishness. Doesn’t matter what we do about 35th…as long as the typical Seattle driver uses it, it’ll be an issue.

  • Steve April 14, 2015 (10:36 am)

    By colleen ~ “Learn to drive as if the lives of others matter to you.”

    That is the crux of the matter right there. The street would be fine just as it is if people would just drive with others in mind. Unfortunately a large percentage of drivers in Seattle drive as if they are the only person who matters. Speeding, rolling through stop signs, not using turn signals, talking on their cell phones, ect. I see it everyday in my travels. They think they are so much better drivers than everyone else so it’s no big deal. They are wrong.
    That is what needs to change. That is what gets people killed.
    I don’t know how to get through to them, I don’t have the answer. But until everyone starts respecting and caring about others the problems will never go away no matter what street changes are made. {sigh}

    @steve, there’s no need for that kind of sarcasm. This really is a serious issue and demands some serious thought.

  • David April 14, 2015 (10:44 am)

    The real problem is a lack of enforcement of the speed limit. Am I the only one who thinks automatic ticket cameras like the red light cameras and school zone speed limit one near Gatewood Elementary (i.e. existing technology) would be beneficial on 35th (and really anywhere else with this same problem too)? All I ever see are suggestions to lower speed limits or reduce lanes, followed by the usual cars vs bikes/buses bickering, but I never see any comments about enforcement of the existing laws. Reducing speed limits will not stop speeders from speeding. Criminals will be criminals despite whatever laws there are (this goes for everything, not just traffic). They think the rules don’t apply to them because they’re better than everyone else. But hit them in the pocketbook? Oh, then things change because the selfish nerve is struck – the harm all of a sudden is to themselves, so then they start to care. Or they don’t, and rack up enough tickets to lose their license and end up on the bus, further solving the problem by leaving the roadway for use by responsible drivers only.

  • waitasec April 14, 2015 (11:32 am)

    I fully expect somebody to say why cameras are a bad idea. But oh such a revenue cash cow! Think of the infrastructure or other basic repairs we could independently finance with such a stream of money pouring in. For awhile. Until drivers adjusted. Then when traffic has calmed and behaviors are modified and a sweet reserve of funds is collected, then diet the road.

    I should really be in charge of everything. :P

  • JTB April 14, 2015 (11:36 am)

    I agree with David about the need for enforcement of the existing speed limit. I have never seen an officer giving a ticket on 35th or even a patrol car parked to nail speeders. The infrequent monitoring and ticketing on SW Admiral Way hill (east) seems to do a fair job of keeping down speeding.

    • WSB April 14, 2015 (12:01 pm)

      JTB – SPD unfortunately does not publish roundups like the following any more. (I know they still do enforcement patrols; we live near a 4-way stop where we’ve seen a motorcycle officer show up a time or two recently to spend an hour or so catching people running it. Keep in mind, if they are doing it correctly, they are NOT visible when they are waiting to catch someone.) But for a while a few years ago, we got reports like this one – speeders ticketed in an enforcement patrol on 35th, from 45 mph to 54 mph:
      .
      http://westseattleblog.com/2011/12/54-mph-on-35th-sw-50-mph-on-highland-park-way-and
      .
      earlier in 2011, a similar roundup included an enforcement day that resulted in 14 cell phone violations on 35th.

  • ACG April 14, 2015 (12:13 pm)

    I drive 35th every day, multiple times. I am not sure where the reports of it being ALWAYS used as a speedway comes from. I go 35 mph and I can hardly think of a time when I have been passed by someone blatantly going 50 mph as others have claimed on other blog articles related to this issue. I am sure it happens, but in the multiple times per day I drive it, most people are going 35-40. (Not saying that 40 is acceptable, as it is speeding, and those folks should get a ticket- but I don’t see 35th as being driven by the majority of drivers like the Indy 500- just the occasional —hole ) I do agree that a center left turn lane would be nice, though.

    Why can’t we:
    -keep the speed limit (with more enforcement to ensure it is followed)
    -keep NB 35th two lane (to keep traffic moving to get off the peninsula) and
    -make SB one lane and use that other lane to become a center turn lane. Yes, traffic would be slowed heading SB, but perhaps that delay would be more preferable for folks coming home at the end of the day versus the morning commute.

    And, speeding a—holes will still be speeding a— holes, regardless of what speed limit you set. Enforcement is needed more than anything.

  • AmandaKH April 14, 2015 (12:14 pm)

    @ChefJoe – Tow truck(s) is of the things that WSTC has *Repeatedly* (I could link to all three letters, but I won’t) asked for from the City. In part with Incident Protocol, which after the June incident on Marginal Way they assured us they had put in place, but Fishgate showed us that they missed the mark. I have an email into Kubly for feedback on this issue – he assures me he will get back to me soon (after the D&P Show of Move Seattle). When I hear from him, I will let you all know!
    *
    I will agree with the speed reduction confusion – but it’s still about safety. The difference of 5 mph for you as a traveler is negligible, but the difference for you as a pedestrian is pretty huge in surviving an accident.

  • miws April 14, 2015 (12:34 pm)

    I personally have no problem with speed/red light cameras, for the most part, especially since we don’t have enough Police Officers.

    .

    The one issue I have with them, is that revenue (and from what I recall from past data posted here on WSB, a pretty good chunk of that revenue) goes to a private corporation. ALL revenue should go to the City. Yes, that would likely mean more “bureaucracy” and more internal staff to hire, but so be it.

    .

    One other minor concern, if true, is the claim that some make of shortened yellow lights at the red light cam intersections. IF those yellows have been shortened because of the cam installation, then they need to be restored to a reasonable time sequence, by whatever safety related data is used.

    .

    Mike

  • Mat April 14, 2015 (12:40 pm)

    Man, the folks that are so ardently arguing against this are bumming me out.

    I want to ask if you really care more about your commute than about making all of West Seattle as charming, safe and nice a place to be as possible, but I’m afraid you’ve already answered :(.

  • HPjanet April 14, 2015 (12:45 pm)

    Is there a link for the opposition petition? Where can I sign?
    .
    FWIW, I am fine with a reduction in speed but strongly oppose lane reductions.
    .
    I also like the idea of a survey monkey that lists ALL of the permutations that are possible.
    .
    Another idea: pedestrian-only activated signals every 100 yards (or so, keeping with street corners) where there is no traffic signal.
    .
    Also, as someone who went house shopping in the not too distant past, I looked at 3 houses along 35th. I thought about how my behavior would need to change in order to live on a busy thoroughfare. I never thought, “Wow, the city should really make the street different to accommodate my house.” In the end, it was the noise from the buses going by that ended any desire to live on 35th.

    • WSB April 14, 2015 (12:52 pm)

      The opposition-petition link is in the story above, first line.
      .
      Regarding a “poll”/survey, since several people have mentioned it now – we don’t do those (not to say we NEVER will, but we generally don’t). The discussion/reporting of the city’s proposals for 35th does not boil down to a contest or popularity poll, and it’s not about determining a numerical “winner”; the Web is sadly awash in surveys/polls, and none of them are even remotely scientific nor any more representative than petition drives or comment sections, among other forms of opining.
      .
      What’s most effective: While we have heard that city departments often monitor comment sections like ours as yet another way of seeing what people are saying (as opposed to non-open social-media discussions, for example), their records are only *required* to reflect what they receive directly or are told at meetings, so I trust that (a) the petition links will be sent eventually to SDOT by those responsible for them, and (b) that everyone with an opinion that wasn’t voiced at one of the three recent in-person briefings in WS is also sending it to SDOT – jim.curtin@seattle.gov
      .
      -Tracy

  • 33Pete April 14, 2015 (2:18 pm)

    enid – “Just when I thought my opinion of the human race could go no lower . . . ”

    The nerve of people to point out that those who bought a house on 35th knew they were buying a house on a major 4 lane thoroughfare.

    How can those brutes not agree with you and embrace the notion that we should all inconvenience ourselves and turn a major thoroughfare into a 2 lane residential street.

  • Chad April 14, 2015 (2:28 pm)

    The safety improvements SDOT is proposing have been implemented numerous times throughout the city. Based on the data I have seen, those change have been successful at bringing speeds in line with the posted speed limit. Similar changes have proven to greatly reduce collisions among cars and pedestrians. I think a redesign is a better long term solution than increased enforcement. If you consider over 400 people have been injured on this roadway over the past 10 years and 5 people killed I think it’s time to re-think the design. There is a lot of concern that this is going to cause huge delays for everyone, but looking at past projects I just don’t see the data to back that thinking up. I used to be against these projects, but after seeing their success and the data to back it up I am now all for these.

  • jwright April 14, 2015 (2:36 pm)

    Polls? Surveys? How about a non-binding referendum? The perfect “Seattle process” way of not getting anything done (a la monorail and Viaduct replacement).
    .
    At a minimum, SDOT deserves credit for taking leadership on this issue.

  • Matt S. April 14, 2015 (2:47 pm)

    I’m impressed by a lot of the thoughtful comments here from various angles. Count me in forgotmyname’s pessimistic camp: inattentive driving is *the* worsening problem that no plan will ultimately solve. Rosy side street or super-mega-highway, the problem has more to do with drivers than anything else.
    .

    Get off your phones, eat at a table somewhere, put your makeup on in a bathroom, brush up on traffic rules, and drive like you’re piloting a powerful machine that could kill people if you’re dumb about it. Pay attention and don’t be an asshole, and I don’t care how fast or slow you drive.

    .

    WSB: Threads like this are pretty awesome, even with a lot of the noise. Would it ever be possible to get Disqus comments so they’re threaded and take votes? Or maybe a WordPress comment upgrade that would accommodate these things?

    • WSB April 14, 2015 (2:57 pm)

      Hi, Matt. No, we’re not planning to use Disqus, Livefyre, FB, or any other third-party comment systems. We also have deliberately stayed away from comment/post voting, as we have chosen to keep this as a bit of a refuge from the massive popularity contest that so much of the Internet has sadly (in our personal view) become. We do hope to make commenting a little richer when our in-the-works-since-the-dawn-of-time overhaul goes live one of these days/weeks/months. As the more tech-savvy out there know, we have been limping along with the original tech setup I chose when we launched this as a personal project almost 10 years ago, having no idea what we would wind up turning into starting just 2 years later – this design accommodates precious few plug-ins so our added features have been simple (limited comment editing/previewing, for example). Thanks for everyone’s ongoing patience with our low-techiness … TR

  • ChefJoe April 14, 2015 (3:18 pm)

    Chad, can you point to where they’ve done this on a street with a daily volume of 22-24,000 ?

    http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/tfdmaps.htm

  • Matt S. April 14, 2015 (3:19 pm)

    @WSB: Thanks for responding and sharing! I like comment hierarchy (popularity contest) but I’m here because it’s where all the news comes from. Thank you for continuing to make it all happen, “low-tech” or not!

  • Chad April 14, 2015 (3:34 pm)

    ChefJoe, here is one that is close with over 18,000 vehicles per weekday.

    http://www.smartgrowthamerica.org/documents/cs/impl/wa-seattle-nickerson.pdf

    If you do some searches there are others in Seattle and other cities. I for one, better get back to work.

  • stuckintraffic April 14, 2015 (9:16 pm)

    Yes, my prior comment about two lanes, 50 mph, forcing non-parents to bike, and let the fit survive was fairly cynical or absurd, and intentionally so. I belive commute (mobility) is a quality of life iissue. With 30-35 minute commutes each way to capitol hill and nearly 65 minutes if I take the not so rapid and then transfer bus, it’s effect on the family is costly. It used to be 5-10 minutes less. Living closer in is not an option. Adding 3 minutes, twice a day would add 30 minutes a week, 2 plus hours per month and nearly 100 hours or 4+ days a year. Yes, I want safety, but road diets without viable rapid transit (grade separated?) is foolhardy given projected growth. Maybe the solution is mandatory 7 hour works days, but you get paid for an eigth or ninth hour to commute? At least then, quality of life (length of work and commute day) would improve.
    Not sure this solves the short-term and long-term issues with 35th and other aterials. will people still speed? Will they do dumb things behind the wheel? On their bikes or as pedestrians? Probably so. stuckintraffic.

  • Dave April 14, 2015 (11:07 pm)

    How can I sign the pro safety petition and get it out to neighborhood watch groups and solicit signatures from the neighborhood. This is more than an issue for traffic goers. As the SDOT report points out, there are 488 parcels with 73% single family homes, 4 churches, 3 schools, 2 libraries, 2 daycare centers, and retirement centers, and Camp Long.

  • Shanana April 15, 2015 (9:00 am)

    How come the only thing anyone is mentioning is pedestrians? I’ve lived on 35th for over 5 years now and have only seen one accident involving a pedestrian who was crossing at a crosswalk right in front of me with the walk signal and was still run into by someone turning left.

    The majority of accidents and deaths I’ve seen have been auto to auto or auto to motorcycle. All of them because of someone trying to turn. That tells me the lights are in the wrong place (Juneau vs Findlay) and that there needs to be a turn lane.

    Sure, speed is a problem, but it’s not causing all the accidents and deaths.

  • David April 15, 2015 (9:04 am)

    So glad this petition is returning! The community who lives along 35th deserve a say too, and lowering the speed limit a little bit won’t create “gridlock” as a few outraged comments claim.

    The people who advocate for increasing the speed limit are clearly unaware of the evidence showing speed is the number one factor deciding the whether somebody lives or dies in a crash. There are a variety of parks and public buildings along 35th, many of them child-oriented, and crossing the street as it currently is is unacceptably dangerous.

    To those who say “lowering the speed limit won’t slow drivers down”: have a look at the proposal. SDOT is very aware of that fact, which is why rechannelization is on the table (not just speed limit changes). Changing the road changes driver behavior, changing driver behavior improves public safety.

  • Dave April 15, 2015 (3:22 pm)

    Petition link to support 35th Ave SW Road Safety Corridor Project

    https://www.change.org/p/seattle-city-council-make-35th-ave-sw-safer-for-everyone-in-2014-by-investing-in-safety-improvements

  • Anon April 15, 2015 (5:54 pm)

    I drive and live in the area at the center of this debate. I take Delridge. 35th is a nightmare. I’ll even go around and take California over 35th. It’s a West Seattle NASCAR event every day and no one knows the first thing about defensive, safe driving. I’m sure that YOU drive fine, but the rest sure don’t. 35th is not a commute or local option for me as it is and good luck bringing businesses to the area. If you try to slow down to park, expect a barrage of fingers and horns, or worse.

  • Sunuva April 16, 2015 (8:10 am)

    I am very much opposed to the rechannelization of 35th. This does NOT mean I want to speed on 35th. This does NOT mean that I’m anti-safety. This does NOT mean that I want to put my need for speed above the safety of others! I support speed enforcement and many other ways of improving the safety on 35th, but I can not support the rechannelization plan. It is a terrible idea for this already busy road that will get even busier as the area grows and more people move here. I require a car for my commute and I want a safe and reasonable commute down 35th. Please stop the rechannelization and focus on all of the other safety improvements instead.

  • Jennifer April 16, 2015 (8:43 pm)

    @Sunuva: AMEN. This is not a configuration issue or a posted speed limit issue. This is a bad driver issue. Let’s solve the real issue here.

  • wb April 16, 2015 (9:14 pm)

    You have to calibrate roadways for the least common denominator. Rechannel away! Make the speed limit 20 mph.

  • Ken April 20, 2015 (11:42 am)

    I might go along with the rechannelization if I had some hope that SDOT would hire a few actual civil engineers and rebuild the drainage system or the road bed. I could take the map and circle three dozen water seeps that cause the same patches of pavement to fail within months of each repaving. There is a year round stream ruining Morgan/Orchard and the patches on 35th are in the same places year after year because the roadbed is compromised and patches are cheaper than any of the alternative. If you’re going to bugger traffic in the area at least throw the bone of a sturdy and long lasting pavement to those of us who drive on it. That is how a smooth running kleptocracy is supposed to work. Less stick, more carrot.

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