Fauntleroy Way Association launches for ‘collective voice’ on ‘boulevard’ project

crosssection
(Cross-section from city project page)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Some Triangle-area businesses are worried that the Fauntleroy Boulevard project has too much in common with the 23rd Avenue project on the other side of Elliott Bay.

That was one of the concerns voiced during the launch meeting for the new Fauntleroy Way Neighborhood and Business Association.

Not only did last Wednesday’s meeting draw about two dozen business reps and residents, it also drew the former City Councilmember who long advocated for the project – Tom Rasmussen – and the current City Councilmember who is somewhat shepherding it now – Lisa Herbold. (Both are West Seattleites.)

First, a bit of backstory in case you aren’t caught up on the recent “re-activation” of the project:

It involves the almost-half-mile stretch of Fauntleroy Way SW through the West Seattle Triangle, between 35th SW (the southwest end of the West Seattle Bridge) and SW Alaska.

The concept of turning it into a “boulevard” – with a green median – has been discussed for years (including during the Triangle Plan meetings in 2011). But the money for the transformation wasn’t budgeted until after Mayor Murray announced in 2015 that he was adding it to the second draft of the Move Seattle levy, which voters approved that fall. Late last year, SDOT declared the project officially “re-activated.”

Various existing groups had been talking about it. But none were based in the affected area – until this new group announced itself last month, issuing an open invitation to a launch meeting inside a commercial building that is in the heart of the project zone, 4480 Fauntleroy Way SW.

The building itself has gone through changes – a change of ownership less than three years ago, followed by a change in the businesses that are tenants there, with Rudy’s Barbershop and Realfine Coffee moving in, Diva Espresso, Maestro Motors, and A-1 Computers (the latter two moved to another building on Fauntleroy Way in The Triangle, about a block south) moving out.

But, its current tenants say, the changes they’re facing are far more dramatic. The current two-thirds-of-the-way-there plan shows 4480 Fauntleroy Way SW losing its off- and on-street parking spaces, since the city plans to build the project entirely in right of way, some of which has been long used by the businesses. And it changes many of the ways used to get to businesses along the stretch, including turning opportunities.

2016_nov_fauntleroy60_planview

So the new association was born. “We felt a lot of businesses and neighbors were affected by this project, and we wanted to have a collective voice,” said Katie Trent from Rudy’s (which opened exactly two years ago today) as the meeting opened. She was joined at the front of the room by Julie Mierzwiak, a longtime West Seattle barista who opened Realfine as a longtime dream come true, and by two other Rudy’s reps, West Seattle manager Isabel Tirado and company executive Jeff Calkins.

Tirado picked up the backstory, with the city getting to “60 percent design” in 2014. Under that design, she said, “they are adding a lot of things, which means they are taking away a lot of things – street parking, businesses’ use of the city right-of-way … left turns … right-turn pockets.” She acknowledged that the city has said it’s doing new traffic studies: “We feel like SDOT is addressing a lot of the issues around traffic flow, but not addressing a lot of the issues around businesses, and that’s why we are here today.”

Calkins then brought in the example of 23rd Avenue in the Central District and Capitol Hill (here’s a CapitolHillSeattle.com story with a lot of background), work that lasted for more than a year and half, and has led to much angst among businesses in the area. Some businesses, Calkins said, reported losing half their revenue during construction and are “still recovering.” A barbershop there, he said, lost its five fulltime employees and is still trying to rebuild. As he noted, the city eventually offered some financial assistance to businesses – $25,000 each on average – while contending they would “be rewarded with more foot traffic.”

Logistics during the Fauntleroy work are a big concern, said Mierzwiak. “We’re not certain if the sidewalks will be accessible during the project to get to the businesses,” and the possibility that eastbound traffic will be rerouted to SW Alaska for at least a year – one of two options SDOT is considering, the WS Transportation Coalition was told last week – is worrisome too. “Heavy congestion wll cause residents to avoid the area … after construction, loss of egress and ingress opportunities … here we will lose our parking lot and street parking … leaving a small strip that comes up to our (front door)”

Mierzwiak grew emotional as she continued, saying she had searched for an ideal place, “on the right side of the road … on the way to WS Bridge … to capture commuter traffic,” and that she is still “ramping up” her business. “My focus with Realfine was to bring the community together and in 15 months I feel like I’ve done that …” She quoted a customer who said he’s been all over the world but had never been to a coffee shop where he heard someone telling the staff/proprietor someone “I love you” as they leave. “So this is really scary for me.”

Trent focused on whether the project plan had the right priorities. “We feel the project places too much on beautification, pedestrian, bike (facilities) … they’re calling it Fauntleroy Boulevard but it’s not Fauntleroy Boulevard, it’s Fauntleroy Way … it’ll be a nicer entrance to WS, we can all agree on that, but for businesses, it’s probably not in our best interests.

She read an e-mail from a businessperson who couldn’t be there, representing Elliott Tire on the north (westbound) side. The e-mail voiced skepticism that the city would maintain the “20 feet of trees (planned) to beautify the corridor,” and suggested a left-turn lane would be of more value.

Bob from Seattle Integrated Martial Arts, also on the north/westbound side of Fauntleroy, said that while his business is one that people could walk up to, there are other businesses in the area that are not walkable in nature. Dry-cleaning dropoff and tire-changing, for example.

Trent said, “What we believe as a group … is that the city should instead use the money to repave” the road. Crosswalks and signage, she suggested, could improve safety. A speed-limit change, too,, “if necessary … We’ve taken a lot of heat for not being concerned with pedestrian safety, that’s not where we’re coming from.”

The floor was opened for discussion/concerns, which included support as well as opposition.

One attendee who said he owns a business outside The Triangle said he foresees a “Montlake-like backup … all the way down the West Seattle Bridge.” He declared himself “an avid bicyclist, I plant trees for a living, but this is a place for cars.”

Nearby resident and community volunteer Nancy Driver, addressing Councilmember Herbold, declared the project “premature because do we know where Sound Transit is going to go? (Is the city) going to spend the money on this, and it gets torn up 10 years later?” when light-rail routing and station locations are settled.

Another attendee, saying she has lived in the area for 30 years but never heard about any public process on the proposal until now, agreed it’s “premature.” She thought the city should spend more time talking with the public.

Michael Taylor-Judd, who chairs the West Seattle Transportation Coalition – which spent much of its meeting the previous week on Fauntleroy Boulevard (WSB coverage here) – took issue with the term “premature,” noting “this was conceived 18 years ago (and) at one point was going to be built around 2010 … this is a long-gestating project.” And, he added, “not something conceived by SDOT at all – it was conceived by the neighborhood here … part of a neighborhood planning project .. that involved a whole lot of outreach.”

Another attendee said that may be so, but in 1999, when the idea first emerged, The Triangle was anchored by the Huling Brothers automotive businesses, where “now there are apartment buildings … and a whole lot more traffic.”

Another attendee suggested incremental implementation, maybe starting with 10 or 20 percent of the plan.

An area business operator suggested SDOT was citing inflated figures of bicycle traffic in the area, such as “500 bicycles coming by (while) one landlord counted 3 in two days.” He said the landlord in question tried to discuss concerns with someone from SDOT who, he said, just kept stressing “the traffic-calming effect” of the planned treed medians. He said city reps didn’t seem to care.

At that point, former councilmember Rasmussen stood up and said that current CM Harbold’s presence was proof “that people from the city care about what (you) have to say.” He said he’s a customer of some of the Triangle businesses, including Wardrobe Cleaners, and feels he knows the area fairly well, and that the project was planned to “fulfill the neighborhood’s vision (and) to make it a safer neighborhood. It’s a changing neighborhood,” with new residential units continuing to be added,” and evolving into a “more walkable neighborhood.” Fauntleroy Way is getting in the way of that as a “barrier and … dangerous street,” Rasmussen said, with SDOT needing to “hear how they can make it (safer) for everyone.” It shouldn’t be thought of “only as a commuter route,” he insisted. “A safer neighborhood is a better place … we want to support businesses but (also) want to recognize evolving residential neighborhoods.”

An angry attendee rose at that point to challenge Rasmussen: “Tell me what’s unsafe now. This is BS. I’m tired of politicians. There are crosswalks.”

Trent stepped in to reiterate that the “20 feet of trees” doesn’t seem necessary, and that being unable to pull up to businesses will put them at risk. “The businesses are new and we’re super-fragile. Most businesses fail within five years,” even without a challenge to their accessibility.

A longtime nearby resident and community advocate, Sharonn Meeks, picked up the theme of change. “Huling used to test drive its cars up our street. We lived through that. We made it through that. That biz scenario dissolved. That property was sold. We’re evolving into a residential neighborhood again. We need your businesses. We want you here. What I’m hearing is. You’re not losing your ingress and egres. What we have here is a bridge that takes you to highways. You’re passing, when you go over this bridge, neighborhoods on this side, that have been here since ’20s. You’re not losing anyting with this arrangement. What you’re gaining here is an opportunity that your businesses can grow on these ground floors. This building won’t be here forever. This corridor – 20 percent of the population of the city starts right here. … I think what we’re gaining here is the old sense of WS that we had when I got here. This is a great community. I appreciate all your opinions and I’m glad you came. I’ve worked on this since 1999. What we have here is not do it or not do it, (but) how do we mitigate the situation that makes you feel you’re still a part of the community, gets people to come to your business, whether you’re in this building or ground floor of an 8-floor building.”

Kandie Jennings, proprietor of Tom’s Automotive Service in The Triangle, rose to speak, saying “we’re going to have to embrace change.” But she also warned that she had something of a preview when a street near her business was closed for a while last summer and that left customers thinking her business was closed. She said it would be important to get the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce involved and the West Seattle Junction Association too, so that the area is speaking “with a unified voice.”

Then Councilmember Herbold spoke, saying not only do the business and residential “stakeholders” need to meet again, but that SDOT and the Office of Economic Development need to be working with them to help, to facilitate the conversation. She said she’s asked them to work together, as they (eventually) did with the 23rd Avenue project, which she called a “great example” of what collaboration could do.

She said she had only recently heard that some of the 60-percent-level design might be “revamped” since conditions had changed in the neighborhood since it was worked on three years ago. And she advised the organizers not to “consider that the (SDOT-stated) options are completed decisions … the department may have a preference, but you can influence that.”

Shortly thereafter, organizers wrapped up the meeting, promising to contact attendees by e-mail, and to work on a letter voicing key concerns: “We plan to stay active on this issue so our voices are heard.”

We checked in with the group’s leadership a few days later, and spokesperson Trent said they were still working on next steps, including “outreach to various City officials and departments with ties to the project. We also spoke with Lisa Herbold and anticipate setting up a meeting between our Association, SDOT, and her office in the near future, perhaps following one of the Walk and Talks scheduled for March 16th and 18th. We enjoyed the conversation between the diverse mix of project supporters and detractors and are energized to keep our efforts moving toward reaching a compromise among the various interests.” You can contact the group at FauntleroyWayAssoc@gmail.com.

Meantime, the city-organized Walk and Talks are open to all – we published the announcement last month; they’re each planned to last about an hour and a half, meeting at noon March 16th and 10:30 am March 18th, both starting from outside LA Fitness at 39th SW/SW Alaska. You can RSVP (optional) via links on the project webpage, where you also will find contact info for comments and questions.

75 Replies to "Fauntleroy Way Association launches for 'collective voice' on 'boulevard' project"

  • Robert March 7, 2017 (5:51 am)

    I strongly support this project. Thanks to those who made the effort to attend and show support. 

  • K8 March 7, 2017 (6:54 am)

    I”m glad those businesses are standing up for themselves. I find that area already daunting to visit and it’ll be even more so after removing parking.  BTW I don’t know why they’re building up the bike lanes here when most people use Avalon for their bike commute.

    • +! March 7, 2017 (7:51 am)

      Hi businesses, I walk to you and would appreciate a safer and saner walking environment. How much has the “there are crosswalks” guy used those crosswalks? I’ve used them plenty, and have almost been clipped multiple times by texting drivers taking turns at 30 mph. This project will make the street safer and more attractive to walk on, ultimately drawing more foot traffic from the growing number of nearby apartments, so it seems short sighted to oppose it (also offensive to your current pedestrian customers.)

      • Jort Sandwich March 7, 2017 (3:44 pm)

        Hello from me, also, Fauntleroy businesses!

        Did you know that you are smack-dab directly in the middle of a large “Urban Village” in Seattle, which means that (as if you hadn’t noticed) thousands and thousands of new apartment units are being built multi-story buildings — all within 6 blocks of your businesses?! Holy crap! They are literally building customers in your backyard!


        So — why do you think those folks are moving into those buildings? Is it because they’re super, super pumped to get in their cars and drive two blocks over to Rudy’s to get their haircuts?! Do you think they just love the ambiance of a five to six lane road with vehicles rushing by at speeds that would instantly kill a pedestrian, mere inches from the sidewalk?! Do you think all these folks are moving in because they just hate the drive from High Point and they’d rather start their drives from Trader Joe’s? No. They’re moving there because it’s possible to live in this area without owning or relying on a car. Maybe you should consider a business model that doesn’t rely entirely on people’s cars, either!

        There are going to be more people living in this Urban Village than there are cars on the entire West Seattle peninsula. Maybe you should start looking at ways to make your businesses — and your streets — more attractive to the people who will actually live within 5 blocks of you — rather than the person on Vashon Island who is speeding through to get to their job in Bellevue.

        I used to live in the Junction. I tried to ride my bike to Rudy’s. It was a terrifying hellscape of dangerous drivers and broken pavement. I had to (clumsily) try to lock my bike to a picnic table. I nearly got hit by a person backing out of a parking space. Outside the windows at Rudy’s was the lovely view of cars whizzing by at high speed, trying to get to where they’re going as fast as possible and without interruption. 

        Meanwhile, Bishop’s on 42nd added a bike rack in front of their new location up in the Junction. I can look out the window at Bishop’s and see people walking by, enjoying their day. I can walk by and look in the windows and see if my favorite stylist is working. After I’m done, I can walk to any number of other nearby destinations, without fear of getting pulverized by a car that’s amped up about getting onto a freeway.

        Guess which one is easier (and nicer) to get to? 

        Stop thinking in a car=customer mindset. This neighborhood is changing. Don’t be “that guy” that we all avoid because you’re becoming notorious about fighting safety and community improvements that all of us in the neighborhood want to see.

        • WS Guy March 7, 2017 (6:59 pm)

          Eh, it’s not so simple.  The Junction has drawn customers from the greater peninsula.  If it gains a reputation as congested and lacking parking, it won’t.  It’ll only draw from a 4-to-6 block area. That would likely be a net loss of diversity and business for the area, and would be a true shame. 

        • Canton March 7, 2017 (7:15 pm)

          See a lot of “my’s” and “I’s ” in your opinion piece.

  • PSPS March 7, 2017 (7:01 am)

    More “alternative facts” from SDOT with its claims of “500 bicycles daily” when, in the reality-based world, there are actually 3 observed over a two-day period.

    Seattle needs a serious leader at SDOT with actual professional credentials demanded by the position instead of the ethically-challenged bicycle-obsessed Kubly.

    • Chris Stripinis March 7, 2017 (11:00 am)

      By what method did you get a count of 3 bicycles over 2 days?  Remote bicycle-operated cameras baited with bicycle attractant?

      • WSB March 7, 2017 (11:19 am)

        PSPS took that from a quote in the story, a secondhand anecdote relayed at the meeting. I have not had the opportunity to ask SDOT about their numbers and methodology; currently I’m following up on another aspect of interest, the city reclaiming right-of-way. – TR

    • Matt S. March 7, 2017 (11:47 am)

      Smells like alternative fact stew. 500 has to be overly optimistic, while 1.5 per day sounds like somebody counted on cigarette breaks or during the Great Snowstorm. Blowhard estimates vary between 1.5 and 500 cyclists per day, so at least we’ve got a range to work with.

    • Dave March 7, 2017 (6:11 pm)

      Well said.

  • WS Taxpayer March 7, 2017 (7:29 am)

    Repave and Re-Paint – this is a waste of money.  

  • Tracy March 7, 2017 (7:33 am)

    The reason people don’t bike on this stretch of Fauntleroy is because it is unsafe for cyclists. The free right turn lane at Oregon forces bikes right into the middle of traffic on Fauntleroy and is unnerving for pedestrians trying to cross Oregon. You have to trust that very fast moving cars see you crossing. This project is much-needed. The area is transitioning to a residential area that should be walkable and safe. 

    • WS Guy March 7, 2017 (9:36 am)

      I used to bike on this exact stretch, in and among traffic.  Alaska-Fauntleroy-to-Avalon.  Then down and over the lower bridge to downtown.

      I support the project. 

      To be fair the downhill leg was not a problem since I could get up to speed and use the parking lane usually.  The uphill route was tough.  More weaving with cars than was safe, but I was young.

      Its no wonder you don’t see bikes if it’s not safe. 

      I would think that an attractive boulevard would be more helpful to the businesses than the loss of some turning lanes.  I do worry about an extended street closure though.

      • Ric March 7, 2017 (1:44 pm)

        Just have the city pay for your electric bike. Problem solved.

        • WS Guy March 7, 2017 (7:00 pm)

          Can we get a new property tax for that?

    • Neighbor March 7, 2017 (4:57 pm)

      Thank you, Tracy, for stating the obvious. With the influx of people, we cannot possibly accommodate everyone driving single-occupant cars. Times have changed and the city is having to change to make things safer.  That is unless you feel that only you have the right to the right of way. Street use priority can change and in many places car drivers have to get out of the mentality that “cars rule”. Believe it or not, but the war is on the vulnerable street user not the car driver. Many people realize that we can’t accommodate everyone having a car but don’t realize what has to happen to change our infrastructure.  I ride a bicycle up and down Admiral Way and almost every time I’m in the street, someone driving a car acts out very agressive to me. I wish that all of you who make unreasonable comments about cyclists first try to ride (ride in the subject area) and see what it is like.  

      • Dave March 7, 2017 (6:14 pm)

        Since more people are biking and walking, I find it much more difficult to navigate during daylight hours. If the city keeps it up, cars won’t be able to turn into a driveway due to the constant stream of others walking or biking. The city can say it’s not a war on cars but it is, at least attrition wise. I wish we all could just get along and have all modes of transportation on the table.

        • Jort Sandwich March 7, 2017 (7:53 pm)

          The secret is that it actually is a war on cars, at least in the sense that the city is not going to prioritize the speedy movement of personal automobiles as the primary method of transportaing people through the city.

          Why are they not going to prioritize that? Because there are physical, geometric and geographic limitations to the amount of space that cars take up. They are one of the least efficient (space-wise) methods of moving people, and we are officially out of extra space for roads.

          It’s time for an alternative. Part of that alternative means that a bus carrying 200 people is going to get to its destination faster than you are. That sucks for you. Maybe get on the bus instead?

        • West Seattle since 1979 March 16, 2017 (3:35 pm)

          It’s hard for people biking and walking too, because people in cars are constantly turning in and out of driveways, sometimes without looking.  People have a right to walk too.  They may be walking around their neighborhood or even to their parked car.  I can’t believe you consider people walking or even biking as a “war on cars”.  Part of the problem is we just have more people.  Yes, it would be nice if we could all just get along!

  • TheKing March 7, 2017 (7:43 am)

    This looks like another Sim City project with OPM (other people’s money). I agree with Trent, use the money to repave roads. Taxpayers deserve better throughout this city by having function a priority over fluff. 

    • Matt S. March 7, 2017 (11:18 am)

      I agree that taxpayers deserve better, and incoming throngs of taxpayers will benefit from safer and more pleasant streets in areas zoned for greater density. The more people we have, the more unrealistic it is catering strictly to cars.

      I am a genuine taxpayer and other-person, fully in support of the project. You can address concerns about runaway priorities to me if you’d like, your majesty.

  • Jeff March 7, 2017 (8:04 am)

    I’m in favor, but I do agree that we should probably know more about the rail alignment before tearing everything up.

  • West Seattle since 1979 March 7, 2017 (8:32 am)

    I hope this will stop motorists from blocking the crosswalk on Fauntleroy at Avalon in the morning, so that pedestrians crossing at the light either have to walk out into traffic onto Avalon, or wait another cycle, sometimes two cycles.  I keep hearing about “war on cars” — seems to me there’s a war on pedestrians.

    • Matt S. March 7, 2017 (10:55 am)

      There’s a war on everything, all the time. I blame the “war on terror” combined with internet humanity.

      • Chris Stripinis March 7, 2017 (11:02 am)

        Maybe we need a War on Wars on Things?  :)

        • Matt S. March 7, 2017 (11:23 am)

          I could go to war against that!

  • Elevated Concerns March 7, 2017 (8:56 am)

    Standing at the bus stop at Wardrobe Cleaners to catch the 116 or 118 is a daily risk of getting run over.  It never fails that some entitled driver cuts through the parking lot of the cleaners to get to the YMCA or beyond.  Good to know that a portion of that lot is city property and I hope they claim it now.  I am tired of hiding behind a phone poll for safety only to have the bus pass me by for lack of visibility.   Get this hazard of an entry into West Seattle fixed!

  • WS Taxpayer March 7, 2017 (9:08 am)

    The reason bikes don’t use this stretch is because there are safer alternatives with designated bike lanes and less traffic.  I bike regularly and don’t have any problem avoiding this stretch of Fauntleroy which is vital for this community for easing traffic into and out of the rapidly growing “Center” of West Seattle.  I shudder to think what traffic will be in the mornings and evenings when we eliminate turn lanes (onto Oregon and Avalon).  

    As for the comments regarding Light-Rail…100% Agree – no sense doing this twice…we will likely put in a parkway that will get torn-up for a light rail lane in the near future….

    • Jort Sandwich March 7, 2017 (1:02 pm)

      This boulevard has been in the planning stages since 1999. 

      Sure, we can wait for the light rail, but once that’s done, there will be something else that’s worth waiting for, and then something else that’s worth waiting for, and then something else ….

      It’s long past time to do this. Let’s just get it done. SoundTransit will be able to deal with whatever we do to Fauntleroy either way.

  • Mr. B March 7, 2017 (9:33 am)

    I wish this plan extended all the way to the Ferry Dock. Fauntleroy road surface is in terrible condition, in part caused by a “patchwork” of poor repairs and outright neglect.  Our infrastructure should be the Mayor’s #1 priority.   

  • RP March 7, 2017 (9:47 am)

    Independent of the need to provide safe options for cyclists and pedestrians, this is the first exposure people have to West Seattle when they come off the bridge, and it is an EYE SORE!  This project would make such a tremendous difference by reinfusing some of the charm of the neighborhood that is being compromised through the construction of all of the high rises!  Local businesses, we want to support you…instead of coming together to fight this project, start a campaign to communicate to locals that we need to help you stay afloat through it!   

    • Matt S. March 7, 2017 (10:48 am)

      Well said, RP! I think Rudy’s and Realfine offer improvements to a fairly rough, passing-through-only corridor and I’m bummed that they’re fighting improvement rather than asking for help. My inclination is to fight back and defend a worthwhile project, while I’d much rather put that energy into supporting those businesses instead of avoiding them in solidarity with a greater cause.

      • WS Taxpayer March 7, 2017 (4:50 pm)

        I can handle an eyesore if its functional.  I would rather be underwhelmed by the beauty of a main arterial that speeds me to my destination…

        The really bad first impression is a 25 min trip from first avenue to the alaska junction between 3:30 and 7:00.  

        • Matt S. March 7, 2017 (5:59 pm)

          While a speedy arterial may be great for you, the ratio of people that aren’t you is increasing along with the number of people walking and riding bikes. Your implied road rage at slower speeds and sharing the road is precisely the reason we need to support the safety of people who choose healthier, more sustainable methods of transportation as the neighborhood grows.

          You could always move closer to work if you want to reduce your commute time, and you might even be able to walk/bike there if car commuters don’t shut down pedestrian improvements in that neighborhood. If you can work wherever you want and love speeding through town, you’ll be enamored with rural America!

          • Brian March 7, 2017 (7:29 pm)

            “why don’t you just pick up and move closer to work? It’s not like it’s hard or anything. Just uproot everything in the name of your commute!”

    • Dave March 7, 2017 (6:18 pm)

      Yes, people have been saying this for years.

  • Jort Sandwich March 7, 2017 (10:03 am)

    Perhaps the owners of Rudy’s and Realfine would see more business from cyclists if — they had an actual bike rack in front of their building somewhere. I asked employees at both businesses if they could ask their managers for one. I don’t know if one ever got installed, but after trying for a few months, I gave up.

    These businesses should be giddy and excited that their neighborhood is zoned to accept thousands more people in the coming years. But they should be nervous and wary if they think that all of the people who live within a 6 block radius of their businesses are all going want to drive to get their coffee and their haircuts. People will just go up to the Junction, instead, which actually promotes a walking environment by making sure California isn’t a mini-freeway that prioritizes the speed and frequency of private automobile travel.

    At the end of the day, do we view this street as part of its surrounding neighborhood? Do we view its current dangerous design as unsuitable for a thriving, walkable environment? Or do we double down on our unsustainable (and geographically impossible) 1960s-era vision of “get as many cars through as quickly as they can possibly go” — and keep this street as unwelcoming and ugly as it currently is? 

    Fauntleroy Way is dangerous for non-car users and it is long past time to make changes. Yes, some cars will face a delay. That’s a small price to pay for making demonstrated and proven safety improvements that will benefit all users of this stretch of public land. Not just the cars.

  • Rico March 7, 2017 (10:18 am)

     Most likely estbound traffic at 5:00 will be backed up to at least the steel mill, for a few weeks until alternate routes through your residential streets become the norm.  And unless it is your residential street I suppose one could say this is a safety improvement, but viewed as a whole that is a debatable conclusion.

  • Matt S. March 7, 2017 (10:40 am)

    I’ve been a fan of Rudy’s and Realfine (a regular at the former) since they opened their tastefully-remodeled doors, and I’m disappointed that they seem so shortsightedly opposed to an obvious improvement for the increasingly-dense neighborhood. I hope development is smoother than 23rd, and that Rudy’s and Realfine don’t need business from nearby pedestrians like me to weather the storm. I’ll vote with my feet and walk to C&P Coffee and wherever I need to get my hair cut now. I suspect your businesses will enjoy the eventual crush of foot traffic you fought to impede.

  • Katie Trent March 7, 2017 (11:11 am)

    Katie Trent from Rudy’s and the Association here.  I would like to reiterate that we are not, as a group or as individual companies, opposed to all improvements on Fauntleroy, particularly those that improve safety and visibility.  We are not in favor of adding 20′ of tree plantings across the street, which would reduce visibility of businesses and pedestrians, alike, at the expense of access.  

    At our meeting we presented our concerns and very much reiterated to the project supporters that we are in search of a compromise to design and implementation that will allow businesses in the corridor to stay afloat, while making improvements the community actually wants.   
    The SDOT plan, in its current state, is based on traffic studies from 3-5 years ago, and does not take into account the significant growth in our area.  While it does add a bike lane and potentially more clear sidewalks, it doesn’t necessarily add road crossing opportunities.  Crosswalks will still be widespread along this half mile stretch of road.
    SDOT also fails to present a realistic plan for rerouting traffic for the 12-15 month construction period.  Currently, they plan to either run westbound traffic in a single lane down Fauntleroy Way and eastbound traffic down Alaskan, to meet up with 35th Ave SW.  Alternatively, they could retain one lane in either direction on Fauntleroy Way, but we are told this will extend construction for a number of months. Neither of these are workable plans for commuters (bus and car commuters, alike), who need to get home and pick up children from daycare, etc.  One need only consider the nightmarish traffic that occurs from short viaduct closures in years past to understand what a nightmare this will be for individuals and families during the 12-15 month construction period.  As a West Seattleite who woks downtown, this is of great concern to me.

  • AmandaK(H) March 7, 2017 (11:40 am)

    ” Rasmussen said, with SDOT needing to “hear how they can make it (safer) for everyone.” It shouldn’t be thought of “only as a commuter route,” he insisted. “

    But here’s the thing, it IS a commuter route.  West Seattle has four ways to get in and out (egress/ingress).  Low bridge, high bridge, Highland Park Way and Olson/Myers.  Two serve the south end, two the north end.  With a huge amount of growth in the northern end, and ZERO infrastructure improvements to the egress/ingress – the City is putting a cart before the horse.  Take the Fauntleroy money and improve the connections from the West Seattle Bridge / Spokane Viaduct to SR 99 and I-5.  

    Good for you businesses standing up for yourselves!

    • Jort Sandwich March 7, 2017 (12:46 pm)

      There is no feasible way for this stretch of road to accommodate a growth in population that relies entirely on each new resident using a private automobile. 

      Commuting patterns in Seattle have been shifting toward multi-modal alternative transportation for the last decade. This is dramatically true downtown, where 95% of new commuters are using alternative transportation.

      It is time to stop thinking about Fauntleroy as a freeway, or as a gateway to a freeway. It’s time to look at it as a gateway to our community, and our community is increasingly and obviously becoming less car-centric.

    • Jort Sandwich March 7, 2017 (1:00 pm)

      And I strongly disagree with your assertion that the city has made “ZERO” infrastructure improvements for accessing the peninsula. 

      At great expense, the city has reallocated public land away from the use of private automobiles and transferred it, via bus lanes, to a more sustainable and efficient form of transportation. This major improvement has reduced bus travel times to downtown Seattle dramatically, with a correlating dramatic increase in bus ridership to downtown. 

      Just because you view Fauntleroy Way as a “commuter route” doesn’t mean that every commuter is a person who chooses to drive their personal automobile alone. “Commuter,” at least in terms of downtown Seattle, is 70 percent alternative transportation. Downtown added 45,000 jobs since 2010, but only 2,225 of the people who took those jobs are driving alone. 

      Yes, it will get harder and harder for somebody to drive alone in Seattle. Why? Because this city is growing, and unless you want to build a duplicate or triplicate street network above (or below) the current one, you’re going to reach a geographical limitation on the number of private automobiles who can use the available street space.

      Every growing city has had to deal with this. The ones who have dealt with it successfully have embraced alternative transportation. So will Seattle.

      • AmandaK(H) March 7, 2017 (1:41 pm)

        Jort – Like it or not, West Seattle is a peninsula.  While it has many many things that people need on it, it has no major employers.  Those being downtown (which is north of ws) and east.  So, the people who live there (and on Vashon Island), need to leave it to go to work.  Majority of those folks are commuters.  

        When I talk about moving people, I talk about the fact that the WSB and Spokane Viaduct funnel cars, trucks (from the Port), buses (!!), and motorcycles to ONE LANE going north to both SR 99 and I-5 (and has trucks, cars and buses come up from lower Spokane to merge onto North I-5).  The City, in all it’s wisdom, has done NOTHING to alleviate this bottle neck, and yet continues to encourage more development in West Seattle.  Adding bus lanes and bus jumps are great – as long as it actually saves time by being 100% separated – which it is not.

        I stand by my statement, take the money and improve the way people and goods leave the peninsula first.  Then make it pretty.  Because although it seems unsafe, it actually isn’t.  There are lights and crosswalks – how many fatal accidents have occurred on this stretch?  Is it ugly?  You bet, but when you poorly plan for 1/7th of the City’s population to be forced to use one major road to get anywhere – you get Fauntleroy. 

        • Matt S. March 7, 2017 (2:28 pm)

          I’ve always appreciated the tone and sensibility of your comments and finally take small exception to one. While it’s more fashionable to take a polarized position, I struggle between the current reality of yours (we’re a crowded, bottlenecked peninsula and this ignores or exacerbates it) and the eventual reality of Jort’s (we have to build for a less car-centric future, not our current situation). I trust, perhaps in a dazzling show of cynicism, that if influential businesses feel enough pressure from their commute-weary employees, they’ll threaten to move and the local government will bend over backward to alleviate the situation however it needs to happen. Just like zoning changes and building reviews, I assume that I’m a pawn and hope my interests happen to align with wherever money is coming from. I expect that commuters and those stuck between current reality and future accommodation will suffer until their jobs can keep them on the peninsula or more powerful employers convince politicians to make overdue infrastructure changes.

          I’m not arguing that it’s wise or good, but I can imagine decision-makers scrambling to make room for more taxpayers and dealing with their problems and demands after they have their (vastly larger flow of) money, passing on infrastructure improvements (which should be the starting point) in favor of more short-term revenue growth.

          I suppose I’ve accepted—with no other choice—this idea that property development is somehow coming before significant infrastructure improvement, and from that dreary place I lean toward the longer-term goals of this near-future improvement.

          • AmandaK(H) March 7, 2017 (3:03 pm)

            Thanks Matt S.   Utopia, I like to live there sometimes.  More often, my sensibilities are addled, but I do try to take a “big picture” approach.  This project small stretch of roadway has long been billed as a cosmetic make over to “welcome people to West Seattle “.  $11 million of beautification being sold as necessary to pedestrian safety and bike access.  Which I am all for when it is necessary – it is not necessary here.  And I know, it’s residential there – sort of – wait, not really.  

            This City has long been planned in the strangest way.  And instead of sitting down, thinking about the future and planning for that, we just react.  It has made everything a kinda messy and hodge podge on the function scale.

            Use the $11 million to fix the WSB/Spokane Viaduct egress/ingress problems First (to accommodate all the growth that has happened, is happening and will happen).   Demand ST3 build a tunnel to the Junction – maybe we  can even get them to pay to beautify Fauntleroy at the same time.  People think the traffic on that stretch is bad now, wait until the Boulevard it. 

          • AmandaK(H) March 7, 2017 (3:12 pm)

            And, I really miss the “edit” feature on the blog.

          • WSB March 7, 2017 (3:18 pm)

            Sorry, close to getting that back but the “plug-in” software feature we used before has long since been dropped by its developer so it was one of the few things we couldn’t carry over last year. Working on ensuring that a similar “plug-in” will work with our current undercarriage.

        • Jort Sandwich March 7, 2017 (3:15 pm)

          Hi Amanda, 

          I just want to be really clear that you’re being factually incorrect when you say that the city has done “NOTHING” to alleviate the bottleneck for 99-N. In fact, the West Seattle Bridge is carrying far more commuters than it ever has in its history. This was accomplished by taking a lane away from a space-intensive and space-inefficient mode of transportation (single-occupant vehicles) and reprioritized by creating a bus lane, which can carry 200 people in the same space as 4 private cars, and given it special priority ahead of those who choose to drive alone on to 99-N. This is a SERIOUS and MAJOR improvement for commuters to downtown Seattle, and has dramatically decreased commute times.

          But, of course, the trick is that you need to be on a bus in order to benefit from those commute times. And thankfully, a growing percentage of West Seattle residents agree! They’re taking the bus more frequently than driving! I’m glad that this city’s re-prioritization of public land in favor of public transit has netted such meaningful benefits. 

          The good news is that we can continue to develop West Seattle with more and more housing units, while at the same time absorbing their transportation needs by adding better, more efficient forms of transportation like buses and light rail vehicles. The reason that I know this can happen is because every major city in the world has handled significant increases in population density not by adding more lanes for cars, but instead by adding public transportation systems that move more people through the same geographic amount of space. No major city — ever — has solved its congestion problems by prioritizing automobile traffic and building more lanes. EVER.

          In summary, I think, if I were you, that you might want to get used to sitting in traffic, because that’s not going away — ever — and if it really frustrates you that much, you can come get on the bus with the rest of us and enjoy an easier, less-stressful commute. 

          • AmandaK(H) March 7, 2017 (3:35 pm)

            Hi Jort – Just to be clear.  I started the West Seattle Transportation Coalition because I was concerned that Metro was cutting bus service to the Peninsula.  So, I am all for buses.  

          • WS Guy March 7, 2017 (8:38 pm)

            That’s false.  The bridge used to be three lanes and a wide shoulder.  They added a bus lane and removed the shoulder.  Car traffic capacity was unaffected.  The City also addressed some car bottlenecks by modifying the merge area from Admiral that used to choke up the cars all the way back to 35th daily.  Instead of choking up at the entrance, the bottlenecks moved to the exits.

            So they widened and added the exit to 4th which was helpful to car capacity.  The onramp to 99N was not too congested pre-Bertha.  I used to get to Fremont in like 20 minutes in the AM.  Under the right city administration it was possible to improve car capacity, while also helping buses.

            But I have long admired your religious passion for urbanism in the face of conflicting facts so please don’t let this dissuade you from posting another sermon.

        • Kathy March 8, 2017 (11:44 am)

          Amanda, the more you do to improve mobility for private vehicles, the more people will use private vehicles to get around, completely negating your efforts to improve mobility for private vehicles. So basically, a waste of money.  So far we have made it very easy to get around by car. Just see how much money on car infrastructure has been wasted when driving around during non-peak travel times. The West Seattle Bridge is nearly empty. So please don’t begrudge a few blocks of safe pedestrian and bicycle facilities along this stretch. I suggest you try walking or biking on the sidewalk here to get to Trader Joe’s on Fauntleroy. It is worth your life crossing Oregon the way cars speed around that corner like it is a freeway.

          • Jort Sandwich March 8, 2017 (1:09 pm)

            No city in recorded human history has ever “built” its way out of congestion. Seattle won’t be the first to do it, either.

  • Ryan March 7, 2017 (3:16 pm)

    A repave, coupled with painted/lighted and more visible crossing corridors for pedestrians along with better (larger, more visible) signage could address the pedestrian safety issues.

    Does the road need the beautification portion? It falls low on the list compared to the obvious priority of moving citizens and goods in and out of WS in an efficient manner and the need to create a safer pedestrian environment. Traffic will increase over time. (More people means more traffic despite our hopes that all will embrace a transit/bike commute.) 

    Avalon bike safety should also be part of the discussion regarding the massive population growth that will hit WS in the next few years. That road is terrifying to go up and down on with two wheels. 

    • Jort Sandwich March 7, 2017 (3:30 pm)

      Hi Ryan,

      When you say, “More people means more traffic despite our hopes that all will embrace a transit/bike commute” there is a kernel of truth to it. Yes, traffic is going to be bad. Some will argue it already is bad!

      But, since 2010, downtown Seattle added 45,000 new jobs, yet only 2,225 of those people chose to drive their cars alone to work. That’s only 5 percent! And I assure you that 95% of all new commuters choosing to use the bus didn’t happen because the city went out of its way to make driving in downtown Seattle a pleasant experience. It’s miserable! Nobody likes it! And apparently most people are avoiding it by taking a bus, walking, biking or carpooling instead!

      So, yes, traffic will increase over time. That’s a given. But that doesn’t mean our only option is to just sit in traffic and deal with it. We can instead choose to use our public land, streets and sidewalks, and instead use that land to serve a variety of road users.

      I fully, absolutely agree with you about the Avalon cycling situation. That road IS scary, and would benefit greatly from a protected bike lane, which would make the bike commute to Seattle demonstrably safer and more enticing. But, then we’d have to give up a parking lane, and hooooo boy are we in for a fight about that.

  • WS Taxpayer March 7, 2017 (5:00 pm)

    I’ve got an Idea – why don’t we have SDOT close down the turn lanes for 1 week and take Fauntleroy down to 2 lanes with some cones and signs…then do a study.  I’m sure that will tell us that for 11 MILLION dollars, we should probably think differently about our priorities.  

    We can improve safety and accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists – without making the travel onto and off of our beloved peninsula a road-rage inducing  daily exercise.  

    • Dave March 7, 2017 (6:31 pm)

      I see a lot more road rage too and it’s just getting worse despite my reports and pleas to SPD and SDOT. We are on our own. Gone are the days when police looked for violations and pulled people over. Now it’s the rare cop on Admiral Hill looking for speeders. How about a motorcycle cop park on a corner and write tickets all day for cars running red lights, turning right on red where prohibited, turning left where prohibited, etc etc. There are a dozen things cops could be writing tickets on daily and I’ve let them know about it for years. Never seen any enforcement in the 20+ years I’ve lived in WS. I think this is partially why we are at where we are at. People do what they can get away with.

    • Jort Sandwich March 7, 2017 (7:47 pm)

      If having to slow down in order to make the road safer for other people makes you get road rage, you might want to consider hanging up the keys and taking the bus. That’s a pretty hair-trigger reaction.

      Just because you’er stuck in traffic doesn’t give anybody the right to get road rage

  • TreeHouse March 7, 2017 (8:51 pm)

    Crossing that street to get to and from the bus stop is always so scary. I would love a safer, slower, more beautiful entry to West Seattle. It’s time for American cities to stop designing their cities to accommodate single occupancy vehicles. 

    Seattle also needs to just push ahead with the plan – I can’t believe the city has been working on this since 1999.

  • Junction Lady March 7, 2017 (9:38 pm)

    I lived in the triangle area in the late 80’s and my few walks along Fauntleroy were quite unpleasant and felt very unsafe.  Venturing into a crosswalk was threatening to ones self.  Speeding cars throwing up small pebbles and other road debris was scary-had to brush teeth after those life threatening walks due to “film” on teeth.  Let’s keep the bike lanes on Avalon where the bikes actually travel-no need to accommodate on this stretch of Fauntleroy.  In the past ten years I have been embarassed when out of town guests visit because our city has gotten to be such a dump.  I think this Boulevard improvement would be  an aesthetically pleasing entrance to our West Seattle neighborhood.  We need to get out of our own way and make progress with “good changes” that take our city out of “dump mode” and into “wow mode”!

  • wsn00b March 7, 2017 (10:09 pm)

    LOL. This comment thread and article is funny. 5 feet away from this stretch is a giant garbage dump that is the West Seattle Bridge approach to Fauntleroy. The city can’t do basic maintenance and clean up weeds and garbage and y’all are talking about a $11M beautification BS project making West Seattle’s entrance look good. Given with the dystopian RV homeless park under the ramshackle surface of the Spokane St viaduct/Bridge and the entire sketchy stretch of garbage, weeds and pothole-ridden bridge approach to Fauntleroy, what difference is this going to make?

    It is all just lipstick on a pig that cannot be sustainably maintained by the city.

    Welcome to West/Sketch Seattle: We can’t clean up weeds, garbage and fix potholes but we want some trees in a median that will just be a pile of weeds and garbage 2 months after installation. Classy.

  • Bryan F March 7, 2017 (11:19 pm)

    Thanks for the excellent coverage of the meeting, and good
    to hear some civil discussion. Here are my thoughts as a supporter of the
    project:

    The impact to businesses during construction is an
    understandable concern, and hope that can be adequately mitigated. But also, to
    be frank, even though I bike past that corridor twice a day (during the week) and
    drive past it several times a week, I rarely frequent those businesses, largely
    in part to the fact that they aren’t very inviting due to the current nature of
    Fauntleroy. I drive down the new 23rd Avenue stretch mentioned every week, and
    it is such an improvement over the previous conditions, but yes, it was a pain
    during the construction process.

    Incorporating trees along heavily traveled roadway
    corridors, if done properly, is much more than an “aesthetic” improvement –
    they provide natural ecosystem benefits, which is important in areas that are
    mostly paved over and built up impervious surfaces.  Providing clean air, preventing urban heat
    island effect, helping with polluted rainwater runoff and flood prevention are
    some of the key benefits, as well as the psychological benefits people garner
    from viewing nature (yes, even a small stand of trees).

    I don’t understand the comments – the bikes should stay on
    Avalon. Ok, sure, I do bike along Avalon, but for anyone living west of 36th,
    where Avalon ends at Fauntleroy, we’d like to continue riding home. Currently,
    you can try to ride on Fauntleroy, which I do occasionally, usually in the
    morning when going northeast (toward downtown), but only if car traffic doesn’t
    look too backed up. Otherwise, most cyclists jog down Alaska to 36th
    or 37th and then connect to Fauntleroy/Avalon. There are a lot of
    challenges along that route too – in the morning, it doesn’t feel very safe
    riding down 36th past Alki Lumber due to all of the trucks and
    activity there. In the afternoon, trying to turn left from Avalon onto 36th
    is always fun too, since most cars don’t seem to observe the marked crosswalk
    there.

    Lastly, I get tired hearing the phrase “war on cars.” It’s
    really reverse – the past 75+ years we’ve primarily planned our cities around a
    car-centric model, and developing around convenience for single occupancy
    vehicle auto trips. It’s sort of ironic – I love cars – I have since I was
    little, when I “drove” my Matchbox cars all over my neighborhood, and I’ve been
    to all sorts of car shows and museums. I think many cars are forms of
    functional art and amazed by so much of the design and engineering. Yet, I find
    it crazy that we seem to cater our development more to cars than people. That’s
    evident by the fact in most U.S. cities (including Seattle) that car
    infrastructure (roads and parking) are the single largest land use. Therefore, pedestrian
    master plans, bike master plans, and mass transit plans are trying to restore a
    more balanced (and sustainable) approach to our infrastructure and development
    design. If there was no growth, then maybe we could continue along the path of
    just expecting to conveniently drive everywhere (despite all of the negative
    public health and environmental impacts of that). But every one of the big
    cranes you see downtown, building a new office building or major corporate center
    means one thing – more jobs! People are going to move here for work and since
    this is a beautiful desirable place. Look at photos of West Seattle from the
    1920s or 1940s, it’s changed a ton – nothing is static! I personally wish the
    new development was at a slower more moderate rate to allow the supporting
    infrastructure to keep pace, and also to better incorporate community character,  but that seems to be a tough battle currently. We have to embrace the
    change in a healthy way (literally) and part of that is alternate modes of
    transportation. 

    • Jort Sandwich March 8, 2017 (11:09 am)

      Bryan,

      Thank you for such a thoughtful comment. I can tell you’ve put a lot of consideration into the transportation issues we currently face, as well as those we’ll face in the future.

      Seattle, like most American cities, went “all in” on believing that the personal, private automobile was the way to answer all of our transportation needs. And that largely worked for a long time, since we invested untold billions of dollars into maximizing our public land for the purpose of moving those private automobiles.

      But, unfortunately, there are limitations to the space we can dedicate to cars, and when there are more cars than there is space to hold them, we run into problems. So, we can either increase the space for the space for cars (which is incredibly, painfully difficult to do and isn’t sustainable) or we can start using our existing space to move people more efficiently. Buses, trains, carpooling, biking and walking will always be more efficient than a person in their own car. 

  • Monica March 8, 2017 (10:00 am)

    Wonderful!!  West Seattle will now have it’s very own MERCER MESS!!  Think People!! 

    • Rick March 8, 2017 (11:44 am)

       That, Monica,  is to my mind the biggest uncertainty.  Given that it would be well over a year, it just seems such a bad idea given how Seattle Department of Transportation has managed other projects.  During that 12-15 (or more) months,  Emergency vehicle (Ambulances), grocery store deliveries, deliveries to Vashon Island, and construction vehicles will be impacted in a way that will increase business costs and jeopardize lives (Ambulances/Medic One).   I’m thinking that this will be a mess whenever it is done, but given how well the first hill street car project and Mercer Street project went,  I’m not confident SDOT can pull this off without messing it up horribly.   

  • Kathy March 8, 2017 (11:30 am)

    Real Fine Coffee – I never heard of or noticed your business before I attended the recent meeting on this project and saw your protest letter on the Blog. That is because, while I sometimes bike (carefully on the sidewalk) on the westbound, uphill side of Fauntleroy to patronize Trader Joe’s, and other businesses in the Alaska Junction, I never bike on the eastbound, downhill side of this stretch because it is a death trap. When biking up, the sea of cars whizzing by and speeding around the corner onto Oregon means I am too preoccupied trying to save my life to notice your business on the other side. I would not dream of using my car for a trip to businesses in this area because I only live 3 miles away and I don’t want to be part of West Seattle’s car congestion problem, or contribute any more than I must to air and water pollution. I believe in the long run, this project as designed will make your business thrive where it is. As to impacts during construction, this project has been planned for a long time before you arrived. It was your choice to locate your business in that area, so I am not sure that the taxpayers owe you any monetary relief for construction impacts. Certainly construction will be painful for many people, whether commuting by bike, on foot, in a bus or in a car or when trying to run a business. But that is the price we must pay to bring our city up to current standards and provide safe facilities for people who are trying to be part of the solution.

  • Joel March 8, 2017 (11:41 am)

    There are thousands of businesses in West Seattle, including dozens and dozens of coffee shops and hair salons. Why would we hold up a much needed transportation improvement because of one of each of those businesses? it just doesn’t make sense to put emotion over logic here.

  • 4thGenWestSide March 8, 2017 (12:14 pm)

    I would be really concerned about this project and the impact to small local businesses and those of us who have to drive for work purposes and simply can’t ride our bikes around .  Luckily, the City of Seattle, and specifically our Mayor Murray has a great track record for pulling off transportation related projects from conception to implementation.

    My only wish is that it was an election year, so that the aforementioned Mayor would start filling all of the potholes he promised during the last go-around.  But I’m sure this project will be fine. 

  • A Beautiful Day in WS March 8, 2017 (4:33 pm)

    Using Google Maps Earth and Street View, I can see why the businesses on the South side of Fauntleroy Ave between Oregon and 36th are complaining the most.  They are the small businesses fronting Fauntleroy that currently benefit the most from the street parking.  Under the current plan, half of the available parking that is in front of their front doors would be taken away (7 spots).  The street parking in front of Trader Joe will lose the same number of spots but Trader Joe’s benefits from a larger number of available parking spots on Trader Joe’s property.

    Help the businesses that are losing half of their currently available spots and perhaps all will be beautiful for people of all transportation preferences.

    • TreeHouse March 8, 2017 (10:49 pm)

      The difference is that Trader Joe’s paid for their parking lot. If you’re interested, you should read about how Trader Joe’s purposefully small parking lots align with their business strategy. Parking is very expensive. There is a reason they generate twice as much revenue per square foot as Whole Foods!

      I also looked on google earth and noticed the thousands of apartment units opening up within close proximity. Looks like a lot of pedestrian business opportunity to me!

    • Matt S. March 9, 2017 (2:15 pm)

      I’ve more than once been walking down the sidewalk as vehicles are either parked on or ambling down the sidewalk from those spots, and I’ll need to stand aside and wait so the (always appreciative) driver can squeeze down the sidewalk and turn onto Fauntleroy. If the goal is to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists, this is an obvious situation to remedy.

      I also wonder how much of Rudy’s/Realfine’s current business comes from people parking in front of their shops, compared to walk-ins. With the abundance of dense residential development blocks away, I imagine walk-ups would eventually dominate that ratio and so I don’t understand the intense concern over failing to woo passing cars into a few tight spots. Wouldn’t you expect an inevitable, dramatic increase in walk-ups?

  • B March 9, 2017 (3:07 pm)

    The building Rudy’s and Realfine are in is ripe for redevelopment. What will become of them when the building is razed? Why should we delay or kill a project for the benefit of two businesses that are doomed anyway? I’m sorry to state this so bluntly but the area is changing. If the owners did not factor change into their plans it is not the city’s fault.

Sorry, comment time is over.

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