AS-IT-HAPPENED COVERAGE: 35th SW walking tour in ‘Phase 2’ zone


6:01 PM: That’s the plan for the 35th Avenue SW Corridor Safety Project walking tour that SDOT is leading tonight, with the times and places where you can meet up with the tour if you just want to go along for part of it. We’ll be covering it for the duration; updates to come.

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6:08 PM: Above is the photo we took on arrival at 35th/Avalon; we now have four residents, two SDOT staffers. Not walking yet so this might run a bit behind the posted schedule.

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6:30 PM: Now at Dawson. 11 residents. (Added – video of part of the conversation:)

Someone parked along 35th just north of here displaying an anti-rechannelization sign.

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Dawson might get a signal to facilitate crossing – to and from popular city park Camp Long – and that could mean it would need to keep 4 vehicle lanes, SDOT says.

One man who joined here says there are far more families with kids in the area now and they need to be able to cross safely.

6:54 PM: At 35th/Juneau. The person with the protest sign walked over to join the group, expressing a concern about speed limits being too low. 5 mph won’t make a difference, she said. Actually, SDOT’s Jim Curtin said, it would. (Added: Video from this stop, including that exchange:)

7:10 PM: At Graham, where two people have been hit and killed in the past decade. This corner will get a big mixed-use development soon, so it will be much busier. Curtin says vehicles will enter and exit from Graham, not 35th. 8 people on the tour now, by the way. He also says this intersection will soon get temporary painted curb bulbs on the SW and SE corners.

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7:25 PM: Tour crossed Morgan and is wrapping up – this is where ‘Phase 1’ begins, with the road becoming one lane each way just south of here. What happens along the stretch we just traveled will be decided in the months ahead.

One woman who has been along for most of the way says she understands the safety rationake but she and her husband find the rechannelized stretch frustrating. Signal timing is a clear problem, and Curtin acknowledges that, reiterating what he told us after last Thursday’s meeting – that the timings will be fixed.

Another concern – getting stopped behind the Route 21 buses and their frequent stops. One person wonders if there can be fewer stops. Someone else points out that not everyone can walk further – elders, people with disabilities, people with small children, etc.

7:39 PM: Tour officially over. We will be adding video clips from a couple of the stops once we are back at HQ.

7:58 PM: Talked at the end with Curtin and the other SDOT staffer on the tour, James Le. Curtin stressed that whatever you think about the possible changes along the way – detailed in the boards prepared for last Thursday’s meeting – “it’s not a done deal” and they’re continuing to review the hundreds of comments they’re receiving and have received (at least 110 at last Thursday’s meeting alone). Another community meeting will be planned before year’s end, and they plan to incorporate both feedback and data as they work on design for Phase 2 (north of Holly, south of Alaska).

31 Replies to "AS-IT-HAPPENED COVERAGE: 35th SW walking tour in 'Phase 2' zone"

  • CMP August 9, 2016 (7:33 pm)

    Why would 35th & Dawson need to maintain four vehicle lanes to get a signal crosswalk?  Fauntleroy & Dawson is three lanes and has a signal, as do other intersections along Fauntleroy and Admiral west of California Ave.  Seems rather inconsistent across the city.  I drove over to Sandpoint a few weeks ago and the road over there is 40 mph in a residential area.  I couldn’t believe it!  Especially when 15th Ave going through Interbay was lowered to 30 mph.  I’ll never understand SDOT. 

  • Don't believe it is not already decided and done. August 9, 2016 (8:22 pm)

    Really? I find the southern rechannelizaton (road diet) a mess that backs up and blocks cross traffic creating dangerous near colisions as cars dart out to merge. SDOT does not seems to listen to nor admit this very real problem. It will only be worse on the northern portion given volumes. It seems to be a done deal with SDOT trying to sell their version. Well, why not remove parking, keep it two lanes, add turns lanes and signals if need be and make 35th a “more safe” arterial as we need it to be? Yes, cyclists and pedestrians would be safer as well. 

  • Joe Dirt August 9, 2016 (9:49 pm)

    Was there any mention of how well the no left turn signs are working? I think one or more were going to be installed near Haans VW because of accidents. If they were installed, I think it’s a lazy attempt by the city. No one reads or pays attention to signs. That is painfully obvious whenever I drive around Seattle.

  • Trickycoolj August 10, 2016 (7:20 am)

    There’s no left turn signs at Graham. People regularly turn left right next to them. Total joke. Needs to be a cement curb going down the middle of the road. 

    • Joe Dirt August 10, 2016 (1:50 pm)

      Thanks and I agree with the curb idea.

  • Joan August 10, 2016 (8:33 am)

    How silly to ask whether the 21 bus can make fewer stops! If you ride the bus, you’d never make that remark. Car drivers need to be more patient and more considerate. We’ll all get to where we’re going.

    • McBride August 10, 2016 (9:35 am)

      Hi Joan,

      .

      That was my suggestion,
      made as someone who lives on 35th and rides the 21. The super convenient stop
      right in front of my house is one that I would expect to lose. But the 21 stops
      Every Block along the corridor through this stretch. The suggestion of removing
      every other stop  means that, at most, a person would have to walk a(n
      additional) block to get to their stop.

      .

      As a rider of the 21, I
      Also have to cross 35th to get home at the end of the day. Given the statistics
      and personal experience which demonstrate that I have a higher than normal
      chance of dying while doing so, I’m a real big fan of a re-engineered roadway.
      Considering the fact that I would currently have to walk a quarter mile (each
      way) to reach a crosswalk, less stops with higher survivability seems like a
      pretty good deal.  

      .

      I’m also a big fan of
      compromise – if we do re-engineer the roadway then reasonable solutions to lessen
      the overall impact for every user of the roadway should be considered. I
      absolutely agree that drivers need to be more patient and considerate, and as a
      driver I do my best to promote and encourage civility. As a pedestrian I try to
      keep in mind that civility is a shared commodity.

      • West Seattle since 1979 August 10, 2016 (10:51 am)

        @McBride:

        I understand your point about the bus stops, but an extra block, especially if it’s uphill, might be a hardship for someone who has mobility problems.   (And before anyone mentions this, not everyone with mobility issues  qualifies for Access, they can’t all afford to take Uber or cabs all the time, and they may not have a car or may not be able to drive for health or other reasons.   Just covering all the bases here.)

        I know they removed some 21 stops at one time (there used to be three that were about a block apart, and they got rid of two of them.)  21 is a local bus and is meant to make a lot of stops, unlike something like the  Rapid Ride C.  

  • joesmart August 10, 2016 (9:38 am)

    DONT BLOCK OFF THE LANES ON 35th !!!  Make clearer crossing lights like in Burien!  They have 4 lanes and people arent dropping like flies.   I see more people doing dumb crossing in front of Uhaul because they are too lazy to go another 50 feet to the crosswalk.   Seriously not that many people cross  the street in those areas!   Thousands of cars need to go and not sit through 2 light cycles as they created to the south with one lane!   

    • JanS August 13, 2016 (2:12 pm)

      not that many cross there….the death of one of these “not that many” is one too much. I drive, but I go the speed limit, and I watch out for pedestrians. How effing hard is it to do that? All of these people clamoring about how long it takes their commute really get to me. Leave 5-10 minutes earlier! No one owes you  an empty lane all for yourself to get to where you’re going. I live in Admiral, and I work at home, so a commute is a moot point, although I have health issues that mean I have to go to Pill Hill on a regular basis.  Admiral Hill is bumper to bumper in the commute hours, as is the bridge. We all have issues with traffic. Just deal with it…or adjust your schedule. Saving lives, making the commute safe for EVERYONE is the issue.

  • Peter August 10, 2016 (11:09 am)

    This is a good idea, and I don’t understand why it’s controversial. I live a block of 35th where the recahnnelization has been completed, and it is much, much better than the four lane configuration farther north. I experience the same thing living on Fauntleroy post-rechannelization. Everyhwere rechannelizations have been completed in Seattle they’ve reduced collisions and injuries without any significant impact on traffic volumes. This just needs to be done.

    Regarding the 21: #1 – I have to question the unnamed person in the article who raised concerns about getting stuck behind the 21 at stops. The 21 does not stop in the traffic lane anywhere along its route. So, are they complaining about having to yield to buses pulling out of stops? That’s the law, rechanneling or not has no bearing on that. #2 – This is really a Metro issue, but the 21 stops every single block along 35th, which is half the stop spacing of all other Metro buses, which mostly stop evey two blocks, sometimes more. As a 21 rider, I think this needs to be fixed.

    • West Seattle since 1979 August 10, 2016 (11:56 am)

      @ Peter:  Wow, really?  Every single block?  That is a bit much!

    • MAH August 11, 2016 (2:59 am)

      Not true in the least. It is not “much better” unless you consider huge backups and delays and the fact that it takes 10 minutes or more to drive the same distance I used to be able to drive in 2 minutes. And buses block the road all the time and prevent other drivers from moving around them right there on 35th – because there is no place to go. 

      This is a waste of money in order to placate those who really want to prevent anyone from driving in Seattle at all. And for those who apparently have no need to get to anywhere other than West Seattle to go to work. 

      While SDOT spends God knows how much money, time and energy on further restricting the ability for people to leave their homes and get anywhere in the cars whose licensing pays for those roads, the roads have so many potholes that the city should be paying for us all to get new alignments every few weeks. 

      35th Avenue is NOT a residential street and no matter how much everyone who hates drivers wants it to be a residential street – that isn’t going to change. SDOT apparently won’t be happy until there are no cars on the road and their facilitators like you clearly want the same thing. Meanwhile, people with actual places to go and things to do are being forced out of this city more and more each day. 

      • JanS August 13, 2016 (2:16 pm)

        35th NOT a residential street? So, all those people in those houses all along 35th, or apartments , are not actual residents? Whatever do you call them then? A nuisance in your way so you can have your own private lane? Seriously? It was a residential area way before you came along, I believe…I’ve been here for 41 years now, and there have always been people living there. The businesses came later…get over yourself.

  • d August 10, 2016 (11:59 am)

    Why when every intersection is technically considered a crosswalk marked or not

  • Betty453 August 10, 2016 (12:13 pm)

    This is  all  for show  !    

      SDOT is not interested in any opposing viewpoint’s that can get in the way of there agenda and main focus which is to…  Get us out of our Cars !   ( Period ! )

     The Mayor , City Council and those that stand to profit for Decades to come NEED the Seattle voters to approve there  $50 BILLION   (  50 Thousand Million Dollar ) Train Experiment  aka.. ” Light rail ”    and they know that if Traffic is anywhere near tolerable that Voters will Never approve of this inefficient and Never ending 19th Century technological money pit.

     So,  That is why we have seen them systematically and not so discretely chip away at Seattle’s Roadway system by absolutely ignoring any of even the most basic of roadway maintenance and lately even resorting to Taking lanes away or ” Re-channelizing ” the few roads we still have.  All of this  in an effort to  increase commute times, costs and the overall hassle to perpetuate the myth that somehow a ( $50 Thousand Million ) train system that will Never be able to handle any more than 10% of daily commuters will somehow be the ONLY answer. !  

    Of course they will never admit to any of this because that would require honesty and ” Honesty ” cannot be allowed to creep into the discussion because that could start a chain reaction and lead to the emergence of there real arch enemy …. ” Common Sense ” and as we all know Common sense is and has always been the undoing of any Liberal policy.     

     ” Common Sense ” is like Kryptonite to a Liberal ..!   It can’t even be in the room !

    • JKC1362 August 10, 2016 (2:18 pm)

      Well said Betty!

    • AmandaKH August 10, 2016 (7:47 pm)

      I was just going to let this post lie, but it’s really bugging me.  In the same way that huge Trump display on Roxbury and Kelsey does.

      First point, SDOT IS interested in what you have to say.  Jim Curtin has stated, on multiple occasions, at multiple times, this is not a “done deal”.  

      Second, the Train Experiment is going really, really well.  Like Really Really well.  Lots of people are riding it, and in other Cities, it Helps move people around along with freeways (think Chicago).  More people means we need multiple modes to move folks.  

      Third, roads are for more than just cars.  

      Now, let’s talk Honesty.  Re-engineering the road to better serve the multi-modal city we have become makes sense.  No, really.  By moving buses, trucks, motorcycles, scooters and cars executing maneuvers (left and right turns) out of the flow of general traffic,  it actually Improves the overall flow.    

      $50 Thousand Million will serve three (3) counties and multiple cities.  This will Reduce congestion and emissions.   It will not magically clear up the road in Jetson’s style, or refreeze the Arctic sea ice, but it will help.  

      You can keep yelling at everyone about how these solutions are not perfect and therefore should not happen while you sit in your comfy air-conditioned car stuck behind the bus (carrying 60 cars worth of people) – again. The rest of us look forward to mobility solutions that not only help reduce our dependency on a non-sustainable natural resource, but will help move more people more efficiently.  

      Common sense is Kryptonite to people who can’t see the forest for the trees. 

      • MAH August 11, 2016 (3:20 am)

        Simply because someone at SDOT SAYS that they are listening does not, in fact, mean that SDOT or anyone there gives a damn what people have to say about it. Lots of people were opposed to the first installment of the 35th “re-channelization” project and look how that turned out. Why in the WORLD would anyone believe that the fix isn’t already in? The one person mentioned in the article who did speak up was shot down immediately by the person with the supposedly open mind from SDOT. But that’s the way it works in a city that is intent upon destroying the ability for people to drive. As for the assertions that travel times are not being effected by the “re-channelization” – that is an out and out lie by SDOT. Those who drive it and are paying attention know it is a lie. The “overall flow” has not improved and people are constantly speeding up to avoid being behind others in the one backed up lane and they cut each other off. That doesn’t improve anything. And add to that all of the construction taking place all of the time, further restricting lanes, and you have horrible conditions. 

        While I support greater and MUCH more efficient public transportation, we are not Chicago and we are not going to have a system like they have for many decades to come, if ever. Their public transportation has been in place for about a century and was built when there was the ability to do so without much pushback from people who owned the property. That isn’t the reality today in an already congested and highly populated area. So don’t make comparisons that are not, in fact, worthy of comparison. 

        Finally, there are always going to be people who need to drive because their schedules and lifestyles require it. They pay for those roads and access to them through the taxes they pay, including the car tabs that those who do not own and operate cars do NOT pay. While I am very happy that many people apparently don’t mind cramming into buses that are overcrowded at all hours of the day and taking multiple buses to get where they want to go every day, that doesn’t mean it works for me and everyone else. The notion that those of us who do need to drive should be punished because our city’s inefficient bus service doesn’t work for us is also wildly inappropriate. And there are all sorts of people for whom biking doesn’t work either. 

        I work from home as much as possible. I try to manage well the times that I drive to avoid problems as much as possible, but I also realize that to some extent, I have the luxury of making those choices. But there are all sorts of people who do not have that luxury and must drive for a multitude of reasons. And we are sick and tired of being the sacrificial lambs in SDOT’s never-ending crusade to make it so that we cannot drive at all. And SDOT is enabled by all of the well-meaning people who absolutely refuse to acknowledge that there are people living in this city who cannot ride the bus or ride their bike every day as you are apparently able to do. And there are those who do not have hours to waste every day sitting multiple claustrophobic buses trying to travel 8 or 9 miles in something less than an hour to an hour and a half. Not to mention the number of very scary people riding the buses later in the evening in every neighborhood and on every route. 

        So, if the day comes that Seattle has public transportation that mirrors that of Chicago, or DC or NYC – and you can get safely around Seattle and outlying areas in a timely and efficient manner, I will use that public transportation system – but that day is very very far away and I shouldn’t have to deal with manufactured travel problems actively created by SDOT when I pay for the roads in the first place. 

        • AmandaKH August 11, 2016 (9:42 am)

          @ MAH: Betty doesn’t want to pony up the money to create “a public transportation system that mirrors NYC or Chicago” – so I am not sure if you are agreeing with me, or defending Betty here?

          84% of 35th Ave is residential.  So while it may be an arterial, people live there. And those neighbors of ours are deserving of a Community that cares enough to slow down and respect them.  They’ve asked after that for years, and we all gave them the metaphorical middle finger while wizzing by at 45-50 mph.     Do you know what neighbors on side streets (non-arterials) do to slow down traffic?  Add speed bumps,marked crosswalks and traffic circles.  Should we add speed bumps all the way down 35th Ave SW? Traffic circles at every intersection? How about marked crosswalks? Not reasonable right?  SDOT decided to re-engineer the road with data proven – reasonable – methods that still create a good traffic flow.  Is it perfect, nope – is it saving lives?  Hell Yes.

          Your claim to 100% or 200% (or is that 800%) longer trips is not substantiated by actual data.  

          I am not saying we need to get rid of cars, I own two and drive.  But what I am saying is a bus holds 60 cars – meaning that buses (and this myth of buses blocking lanes on 35th is getting old) take a significant amount of cars off the street.  Making it less congested for the people who actually need to drive for the reasons you stated. Trains move even More people, usually grade separated (although in West Seattle ST is refusing to consider the logic of tunneling).  

          SDOT has a job to do.  Move people and goods safely and efficiently.  But Safety First – because traffic related deaths are 100% preventable.  Plus, accidents snarl traffic.  And although a forced slow down is an inconvenience to some of you, it’s not to everyone.  And guess what?  It’s not about you.  It’s about all of us.  You know, your Community.

      • S August 11, 2016 (8:38 am)

        Im sorry Im going to have to disagree with the following statement: “…By moving buses, trucks, motorcycles, scooters and cars executing maneuvers (left and right turns) out of the flow of general traffic,  it actually Improves the overall flow…”  

        The turning left off of 35th has become impossible. You have a single file line of cars none stop now. As before with two lanes you had more chances to turn.  And again turning onto 35th is impossible none stop cars.  Don’t believe the lies you are being told lets use common sense. 

    • JanS August 13, 2016 (2:18 pm)

      Betty…WTF does being liberal (or not) have to do with safety? Are you saying you don’t give a damn about the safety of others because you  are a right wing conservative? That’s what I’m hearing

  • LyndaB August 10, 2016 (7:36 pm)

    Darn, I missed out on this.  I was probably just winding down after work when the group got to 35th and Juneau.  Incidentally, there was an accident at the corner and probably cleared before the group got there.  

    I’m a conscientious driver, pedestrian, and bus rider.  I figure I want to get home safely and so does everyone else.  Mindful commuting.   Breathe in and breathe out.  :)

  • Steve August 11, 2016 (10:35 am)

    I rode the 21 local lastnight home. I didn’t notice the bus blocking any cars. Cars seemed to get by just fine.

  • chris August 11, 2016 (2:22 pm)

    As someone who has lived near 35th for 30 years, I am very thankful for the rechannelization.  If you are against it, you are essentially saying that a few minutes of your time is more important than my neighborhood, the safety of my kids and neighbors, and accident rates.  Plus, you are remembering the old 35th as free-flowing and it wasn’t true.  Cars turning left often backed up traffic.  I-35 was out of control and now it matches the residential neighborhood it goes through.

  • Mark August 11, 2016 (3:42 pm)

    SDoT has little credibility.  They claim to be data driven but when the data does not suit the agenda it is ignored.  For example Fauntleroy was rechanneled to 3 lanes keeping the 35 mph limit with excellent results.  They ignored this data and recently changed it to 30 based on what?  

    They spend $ on PC projects yet I see faded traffic signs, signals that do not work and poorly maintained streets throughout the City.  Yet when the City is contacted to fix a signal they claim no $.  

  • Joe August 11, 2016 (10:10 pm)

    Totally agree with Amandakh and Chris here.  Accommodating cars should be at the bottom of the priority list for transportation planning.  And yes, I have 2 cars and yes, I ride mass transit (including the 21, which doesn’t block lanes) back and forth to work downtown every day, to doc appts, sometimes even to nighttime events.  People want options, busses are stuffed full (try getting on a C at 8am), light rail is full,  more than half of downtown workers use a mass transit option.   Apparently these things are hard to see when ones head is in the sand?

  • SickofSDOTcorruption August 12, 2016 (9:33 am)

    I think retaining and maintaining infrastructure for the 95-98% of Seattle residents who use cars to commute to various places for work/shopping/entertainment/life in general to places other than ONLY downtown should remain a priority alongside safety, etc.  SDOT should be responsive to the fact that along the 35th Ave SW corridor we have NO high speed transit option until you get to Avalon and the C line (downtown only destination!) which is always overcrowded on commute mornings.  SDOT had a mandate to move Seattle.  Instead they are using “safety” statistics to con us on a road diet agenda which does not improve flow and are using statistical sleights of hand to show they are increasing usage of other modes of transportation (read the ST for examples).  Where are the promised traffic signals and updated timing technology to improve pedestrian safety?? 4 lanes vs 2 – if you don’t improve access across the same width of road you have not improved pedestrian safety.  If you make the speed limit 10 mph, you will likely have less vehicular collisions, but movement will be severely retarded.  It takes 10-15 minutes longer to travel the length of 35th Ave SW from 7AM to 9PM now.  I wonder if their 2 min statistic averages an entire 24 hr period? Again, there are lies, damned lies and then statistics. This shouldn’t surprise us coming from SDOT headed by a corrupt Kubly at the top (Pronto, Seawall and Klein ethics violations). PRO-FLOW on 35TH AVE SW!!!

  • Mark August 12, 2016 (3:47 pm)

    Another option 5 lane the street, keep the 35 mph limit.  During off peak curb lane could be for parking and raised median islands to facilitate pedestrian crossing.  This improves capacity, safety is enhanced with left turn channelization and peds can cross easier with raised medians.  35th is a Principal Arterial street the main North South arterial and with all the growth capacity is critical.



  • Caring and Sane Citizen August 12, 2016 (5:40 pm)

    Safety requires each us to be a responsible driver, pedestrian AND bus rider.  Of course we care about families and saving lives, but the 35h SW fixes are short-sighted.  They create gridlock and road rage and dangerous turns.  Pedestrians need to obey traffic laws and be seen: use crosswalks and avoid all black clothing at night — wish that was a no-brainer!  Improve visibility and install state of the art crosswalk lighting.  Remove the counter-productive road diet restrictions and abandon Phase 2.

  • KB August 22, 2016 (5:51 pm)

    Making a left (east) turn from southbound on 35th Ave SW in the completed Phase One areas during high volume traffic has slowed to a trickle.  The single file line of cars in the opposing direction with zero gaps between often results in only a single car making a left turn per light cycle. 

    This heavily commuted area was already so congested with two lanes each direction from Avalon to Roxbury.  We are really feeling it on the southend. The idea that this new one lane congestion will be augmented to Avalon is disappointing.  Safety needs to be at the forefront, I understand and agree with this.  A single car per light cycle = unacceptable.      What’s the middle ground? 

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