FAUNTLEROY BOULEVARD PROJECT: Final design to include 37th SW left-turn break

SDOT has just announced the final design for the Fauntleroy Boulevard project will include a left-turn break at 37th SW:

See the full final design on SDOT’s website, and in a smaller version below:

From the SDOT announcement:

Throughout the design process, we’ve been committed to improving mobility on Fauntleroy Way SW for all users – people who walk, bike, and drive. The final design includes two lanes of traffic in each direction on Fauntleroy Way, as we have today, with new sidewalks and crosswalks, a protected bike lane, traffic signal revisions to improve flow, landscaping improvements and more. Read more about the final design on our webpage.

Based on technical analysis and input from the community, we have incorporated into the final design a 2-way left-turn break in the median near 37th Ave SW, while maintaining the traffic calming effects of the landscaped center median. You can read the full summary of public feedback about this design change here.

Next steps

Construction of the Fauntleroy Boulevard Project is currently anticipated to begin as soon as early 2018. This fall, we’ll begin pre-construction outreach, including sharing more information about traffic routing during construction.

This announcement went out one day after we asked SDOT specific questions about where the project stood, including the “traffic routing during construction” question – so apparently they have yet to decide whether to go with the longer construction schedule, which would involve keeping one lane open each way on Fauntleroy during the project, or the shorter schedule, which would involve making that stretch of Fauntleroy temporarily one way. The answers to our questions, which came in concurrently a short time ago along with this general announcement, also included the note from SDOT spokesperson Norm Mah that “We’re continuing to coordinate with Sound Transit on our collective project timelines.” That was also mentioned by City Councilmember Lisa Herbold in her weekly update last Friday.

57 Replies to "FAUNTLEROY BOULEVARD PROJECT: Final design to include 37th SW left-turn break"

  • WS Taxpayer October 4, 2017 (5:09 pm)

    Taking out the right turn lanes at Oregon and Avalon will add 5-7 min to peak commute times AT LEAST.  I can’t wait for Fauntleroy to be backed up all the way UP the WS bridge (Past Delridge) during and after this “beautification project.”   

    • Morgan October 4, 2017 (7:08 pm)

      5-7 mins would impact me…Id like to see the supporting traffic analysis that says this

    • The King October 5, 2017 (8:13 pm)

      The ideas SDOT has were great for a small town like Port Townsend…in 1957. 

  • Jort October 4, 2017 (5:26 pm)

    VICTORY!!!! I could not be any more joyous and happy to see that the final design does not include the “pocket” turn lanes, which are a demonstrated safety risk to sidewalk and bike path users.

    Today is a day that all West Seattleites can be proud of: it is a day when we get a few steps closer to making our neighborhoods safer and more vibrant! This is so much more than just beautification — this is the people of West Seattle reclaiming their public land back from the exclusive use of transportation and storage of private vehicles. This is wonderful, positive, uplifting news!

    Finally we will be able to welcome people to our community with a fresh, vibrant, safe new gateway. This is a great day for West Seattle!!!!

    • WantToBeCarFree October 5, 2017 (12:37 am)

      I’ve noticed from a lot of posts that you are committed to car-free living and I am hoping you can help me out in my quest to become a car-free West Seattelite.  I have a severely disabled elderly parent.  We live between the Alaska and Admiral Junctions and I would like advice on how to transport my parent to frequent medical appointments at Swedish Cherry Hill.  Medicare doesn’t pay for wheelchairs, so we are limited to about a half block of actual walking to get to the bus stop, as well as upon exiting the bus to get to our destination.  We have the 128, 50 and 55 within reasonable walking distance from my home and would need to be dropped off within half a (flat) block of Swedish Cherry Hill.  Thanks so much for any help you can provide.

      • Mark October 5, 2017 (7:31 am)

        Please look into Metro’s accessible programs that would be a great help to you and your family.  I have been in your shoes many times and most of these frequent appointments will not fall on rush hour peak travel times, so you should see no noticeable change in your routine and this change will provide a safer environment for you and your family when you are on foot in the area. 

        Glad to help any time!

      • Nate October 5, 2017 (11:17 am)

        This won’t solve your transportation problem, but if you are in need of a wheelchair you should reach out to Bridge Disability Ministries in Bellevue. They provide manual and power wheelchairs to people who need them. Their services are free, but there are suggested donation amounts depending on the type of equipment you need.  

  • schwaggy October 4, 2017 (5:38 pm)

    I agree with ws taxpayer. Redonk! The flow, especially on to Avalon, is already completely clogged even with the right turn lanes! This is crazybananas.

  • West Seattle since 1979 October 4, 2017 (6:13 pm)

    I would be more angry about this if I didn’t have to wait through a couple light cycles while trying to cross Fauntleroy at Avalon on foot to get to the 35th and Avalon bus stop. Because invariably there are cars blocking the crosswalk.

    This doesn’t address that problem, but since it is something that drivers seem to think is ok, I’m sure the other changes were made to address similar problems, with drivers not realizing or caring that there might be pedestrians needing to cross to get to their bus in a hurry, or kids trying to get to school, or even people that work at some of the businesses near there who are lucky enough to be able to walk to work. 

    Also there are the drivers who turn left from 35th onto Avalon  and don’t notice that there are pedestrians trying to cross Avalon until we jump up and down. I’m almost afraid to cross that street most days, and I usually wait until there’s a wall of cars going south on 35th to protect me.

    i have to leave my house early because these things add several minutes to my walk, and I want to be sure I catch my bus. Probably at least 5-7 minutes all counted. So forgive me if I don’t complain with you about these new changes.

    • Wsrez October 4, 2017 (7:11 pm)

      Wouldn’t it be great if everyone followed the law? Or wouldn’t it be great if police actually enforced laws that every mode of transportation breaks often at intersections like 35th and Avalon? It’s like the Wild West around here sometimes. Downtown is worse.

    • Swede. October 4, 2017 (10:11 pm)

      My experience when crossing a street, on a crosswalk, is that if it’s blocked by a car it IS possible to walk around it instead of waiting for another light cycle. It does make the distance travled a but longer but the extra time is negligible if it’s not many times over a rather lengthy time frame. 

      • Also John October 5, 2017 (7:43 am)

        @Swede, I walk and bike everywhere. Your thought was the same as mine. If a car is in the crosswalk (which is extremely common) I walk in front of them and give them a ‘you’re an idiot’ look.

      • West Seattle since 1979 October 5, 2017 (12:26 pm)

        Most of the time they’re so far out that I’d have to walk into actual traffic to get around them. 

    • CAM October 5, 2017 (12:24 pm)

      I agree that those extra minutes can make a difference when trying to catch a bus. Particularly when those buses only come every 15 minutes. What I’d really like to see is more of the pedestrian signals on Fauntleroy, Alaska, California, and Avalon being automatic with every light change. As a pedestrian it’s quite frustrating to make it to the intersection just as the light changes that would have allowed you to cross but have to wait through another full light cycle before you can cross because the walk signal isn’t automatically activated. I wonder what determines which are automatic and which aren’t. With the increased density and transit use in West Seattle I’d think we’d meet those criteria at this point. 

  • Alex October 4, 2017 (6:18 pm)

    So Avalon will be entirely removed as an option from Fauntleroy? Where will all those cars go? Is the assumption that everyone will just stop driving, since traffic will become so much worse?

    As a person who accesses Avalon from 35th I guess this will help me, but it comes at the expense of way worse traffic for many others…

    • KM October 4, 2017 (9:56 pm)

      No, not at all. See the full boulevard design for details.

  • Alex October 4, 2017 (6:25 pm)

    Can someone explain what the cross hatched lines going down the center of Avalon from Fauntleroy are? Does that imply the new design includes a blocked off area, unusable to bikes, cars, and pedestrians? As in just bare cement for no purpose?

    • David October 6, 2017 (2:00 am)

      Correct.  It’s a “painted” median (as opposed to a raised landscaped median.  It’s intent is increase safety by separating opposing lanes by more than a painted stripe.   It’s use is great on higher speed roads, where there’s a history of head on accidents, but it does take up precious roadway space.  It’s use at this location appears to be for traffic calming (eg. Reducing speed and traffic volume) thereby improving pedestrian safety.   That’s the new trend in street design….Improve pedestrian safety by forcibly reducing traffic speeds.  Vehicles will still get where they need to, albeit a little slower, find alternative routing, or just give up and take public transportation.  It sucks, just like those stupid parklettes cropping up all the time to celebrate Earth-day, but it’s hard to argue against safety.  

  • WGA October 4, 2017 (6:47 pm)

    So happy to finally have the design finished. Traffic will be bad while this gets built, but it will be worth it to have a new portal worthy of West Seattle!

  • The King October 4, 2017 (7:01 pm)

    Landscaping the center turn lane? Last week northbound a SPD vehicle was trying to navigate his way northbound on 35th and had to zig zag his way onto the center turn lane since only a few of us pulled off to the right. Meanwhile a group of  kids were about to cross the street at Myrtle and the children did not see the police car in the center lane due to some vehicles not pulling off. The children almost got ran over. How is funneling traffic like this with obstacles in the center turn lane safer? Wait until it snows. Emergency vehicle operators have to be scratching their heads. 

    • Mark October 5, 2017 (7:33 am)

      This condition is present all around the city in hundreds of locations.  Breath easy, it will all be alright.

  • West Seattle since 1963 October 4, 2017 (7:08 pm)

    Looks nice, but who is going to maintain this?

    Harbor avenue is over grown and full of weeds…Just saying

  • Morgan October 4, 2017 (7:11 pm)

    Dow–can Morgan Junction get a real commuter shuttle to the water taxi to mitigate against this upcoming viaduct tear down? Thanks!

  • Rick October 4, 2017 (7:57 pm)

    All part of the plan,folks. Cripple traffic to the point of paralysis. Yay!

  • Qc October 4, 2017 (8:01 pm)

    Great news! This will make that area much more predictable and safe for everyone. It’ll also make for a much more aesthetically appealing entry to west Seattle, which is a bonus on top of the gains in safety. Thanks to sdot and all who advocated to make this happen!

  • Mr B October 4, 2017 (8:45 pm)

    I’m thrilled to finally have this happening.  The entrance to West Seattle has been unacceptably ugly for as long as I have lived here. It will also be nice to drive on smooth pavement instead of the choppy “off-road” experience we get now.   I only wish Fauntleroy would be re-paved all the way to the Ferry Dock.  It’s one of the worst maintained roads in the city.  

  • PMartin October 4, 2017 (9:28 pm)

    There needs to be more signalized crosswalks at Trader Joe’s and Avalon.  If you want people walk and bike, you need to make it safe.

  • Treehouse October 4, 2017 (9:44 pm)

    This is really exciting news for West Seattle. It sounds like they listened to all of us who took their survey! 

    It’s also refreshing to see that SDOT is working to make our city more liveable. If I wanted a car centric, traffic free, no buses and bikes city I would move to Eastern Washington. 

  • Shanail Snopov October 4, 2017 (11:03 pm)

    It looks nice, hope it will help ease the commute for people who “have” to drive. Also can we get more busses to downtown it’s over pacted as it is and unsafe at best. 

  • Kc October 5, 2017 (6:22 am)

    When we talk about beautification, does this project include cleaning up the bank from the curve coming west bound past the logs and up to 35th? Just maintaining this to a reasonable level would add beauty with out affecting traffic.

    The city is hell bent on ramming this down our throats and has even said as much by saying this project has to get done or that ear mark money will go somewhere else. Used it or loose it. For the sake of beauty. Lipstick on a pig. 

    • WS Taxpayer October 6, 2017 (7:29 am)

      send the money elsewhere is my vote!

  • Terri October 5, 2017 (8:03 am)

    WSB, the link to full design on SDOT website appears to be broken. It opens the small image instead.

    • Diane October 5, 2017 (4:09 pm)

      yes, I would also like to see the larger full design; not understanding what this really is via the posted tiny pic

  • Andros October 5, 2017 (9:09 am)

    Can we just not do this an leave well enough alone?  Many businesses are going to be poorly impacted by this construction along Fauntleroy including Realfine, Rudy’s, Shoe Repair, Trader Joe’s, etc.

    SDOT just needs to stop…just stop.

    • KM October 5, 2017 (11:07 am)

      If it was truly “well enough” then yes, we could leave it alone. However, Fauntleroy is currently quite a dump and unsafe for all forms of transit–even cars. Time to improve it.

  • Mark Schletty October 5, 2017 (10:09 am)

    This project is going to take the last year of reasonable access to downtown, before the viaduct comes down, and turn it into a traffic nightmare. It just proves how much disrespect SDOT has for west seattle. And how little Lisa Herbold cares about protecting her district.

    • Peter October 5, 2017 (11:25 am)

      I suppose you know how to do major roadwork without any traffic disruptions. Please, share it with us!

      And road improvements are “disrespecting” us? Seriously??

    • Treehouse October 5, 2017 (6:50 pm)

      Disrespectful? Seriously? Just because you don’t agree with an urban design plan doesn’t make them disrespectful. 

      This has been in the planning for TEN years. People like me voiced our support for the project. Let’s not be a cry baby about this. 

  • Villagegreen October 5, 2017 (1:38 pm)

    Yay! We live  on 37th. This will be a dramatic improvement for walkability and safety for all. 

  • Woot Woot October 5, 2017 (2:43 pm)

    This is going to be rad!  So pumped up!

  • sn October 5, 2017 (5:15 pm)

    Kudos to the City for taking this on. The design will create better flow, eliminating the jerky and unsafe stop  created by  current left hand turning. I lived in a another city where a similar project was built.  Most comments ahead of the project were negative and against the change. After completion, guess what? It was better. Naysayers went silent. 

  • Mark October 5, 2017 (5:24 pm)

    SDoT did not listen and ignored the data that clearly demonstrated the justification to keep the right turn pocket at Avalon. 

    For SDoT to claim to have listened is simply not true!  Many people requested that the right turn pocket be kept at Avalon, the traffic data warranted keeping it and yet SDoT is removing it.  

    • Jort October 5, 2017 (6:46 pm)

      Your allegation sounds sort of like how people who supported the right turn pockets ignored the data about how right turn pockets diminished pedestrian and cyclist safety.

      SDOT prioritized safety over private automobile driver convenience. I, for one, think that’s an appropriate prioritization.

      But, of course, if your view of “transportation” is moving as many private automobiles through a piece of public land as quickly as possible (like Aurora N), then yes, I can imagine this design would indeed make one quite sad.

  • Mark October 5, 2017 (9:21 pm)

    Jort

    You have questioned me numerous times claiming data and yet when I request your source you provide none.

    The fact is the right turn pocket is warranted and was requested to be kept by the community.  It was not a safety issue and SDoT ignored the community.

    As a bike rider I ride this corridor frequently and frankly works fine as is.  I also use transit and walk frequently.  Years ago I had a tumor in my back and fully understand what its like to be elderly crossing a street (the tumor affected my balance and gait significantly, making street crossing difficult).

    I fully understand transportation and find it appalling the failure to acknowledge all modes.  In this case the data identified that a right turn pocket as off the charts appropriate.  SDoT ignored the data, this was not a situation on border, it was blatantly warranted.  It is not a safety item but an item of basic transportation engineering.

    Jort its not about being pro car, its about doing technically correct improvements based on data.  SDoT continues to ignore data that in the long run will reduce safety for all transportation modes.  

    Mark

    • Jort October 5, 2017 (11:04 pm)

      Mark,

      You should be very careful about accusing SDOT of “ignoring” data, because it’s safe to say you’re ignoring some also.

      SDOT is fully aware of how much easier traffic will flow (your chief and primary objective, obviously) if the pocket lane is kept. SDOT is ALSO fully aware that they would have to reduce the dedicated pedestrian and cyclist facilities in order to accommodate that pocket turn lane, which I don’t think even you need to see a white paper to know that will cause reductions in safety for non-car drivers. You’re “ignoring” the fact that your pocket lane would reduce the safety features for other road users, not to mention would not adhere to the Bicycle Master Plan, which envisions riders of ALL ages (not just spandex road warriors) to feel safe and comfortable on the network.

      Mark, your vision of our streets as freeways meant to get cars through as fast as possible is outdated, and SDOT is joining in with most modern cities in rejecting that mentality. I could not applaud them more for rejecting this backwards, yesteryear car-first ideology. 

      I dont know why some in this community chose this pocket lane to be the battle of the century, but it’s time to give it up and move on. SDOT made the right call, and it is a win for the residents of West Seattle, and a loss for those who view our streets as freeways and speedways.

    • KM October 6, 2017 (8:29 am)

      How do you know it was requested by the community? Are these requests published somewhere or made public? I requested they remove that pocket turn due to the safety of cyclists and pedestrians, I’ve personally almost been hit there twice as a pedestrian. I’m sure there was both yay and nay out there in the feedback to SDOT, but I’ve never seen them publish these results.

  • TJ October 5, 2017 (9:33 pm)

    I’ts obvious you are using “safety” as a excuse to to push any project that will slow “private automobiles”, whether or not safety concerns really are warranted. I have driven this and walked it for 25 years and never have felt nervous driving nor crossing the street. But it will slow everybody down too, including buses, as we have run out of lanes to give them

    • Jort October 5, 2017 (11:41 pm)

      Not true, TJ! There are still PLENTY of lanes out there that could be converted to bus-only usage. We have an ENORMOUS amount of public land that (city streets) that could be re-designated to transit-only purposes. This would, of course, also eliminate private vehicles entirely from those streets, which I recognize may not happen this year or probably not next year either.

      But, give it some time! I imagine before too long you’ll be making space in that garage or even trading in those keys for a Orca monthly pass, as we continue to make headway in the literal War on Cars!

  • TJ October 6, 2017 (6:47 am)

    *Good luck with that dream. 2 lanes on Faultenroy, 2 lanes getting on the bridge. Dedicating 1 of those to buses won’t happen. I’m sure you have seen that bike commuting is DOWN. I don’t have anything against bikers, just that we are investing a lot into what is a tiny percentage of commuters. The city is socially engineering our streets rather than practically engineering them to accomodate the majority of users, cars. Hopefully you aren’t using European cities as models for us here? We decided a couple centuries ago to abandon them and do something new.

  • Mark October 6, 2017 (11:49 am)

    KM – The right turn pocket was requested to be kept by the West Seattle Transportation Coalition.

    Jort – Regarding your statement on my vision freeways you are out of line.  I know how to read traffic data, unlike SDoT I follow the technical guidelines.  I favor all modes of transportation

    • Jort October 6, 2017 (12:43 pm)

      It is critically important to note that the West Seattle Transportation Coalition commissioned a study for the purpose of making an argument to keep the turn lane.

      Mark is absolutely correct: the “data” on this WSTC “study” can absolutely be used to justify retaining the right turn lane.

      HOWEVER, there is ALSO data for what happens when you eliminate the turn lane, as proposed: it allows you to retain the full bicycle and pedestrian facilities, which also shows improved results for cyclist and pedestrian safety.

      Mark, please don’t assert as plain fact that there was irrefutable, without-a-doubt proof that a turn lane was required and non-optional because of your study. That is not telling the whole truth.

      Other data reveals that the tradeoffs for the turn lane (namely, the removal of pedestrian and cyclist facilities from the plan) would have adverse safety effects for those workgroups. Mark and the WSTC preferred to eliminate the cyclist infrastructure so that cars could turn faster and easier, just like on a freeway.

      SDOT chose to favor the cyclist and pedestrian safety over the turn lane throughput. That’s not “ignoring” data. It’s choosing one priority over another. I’m sorry that your priority was not chosen. I’m happy that the safer one, was. Cars will adapt.

      • Jon Wright October 7, 2017 (8:53 am)

        WSTC did not “commission a study.” WSTC asked for the raw data that SDOT collected so member engineers could evaluate it. While I agree with Jort’s transportation philosophy nearly 100% of the time, I think Jort could stand to learn more about WSTC and what it does.

    • KM October 6, 2017 (10:05 pm)

      WSTC is just one smalll group of people. There could have been others in the community who asked for it to be removed. We can’t assume either way.

  • Triangle Resident October 6, 2017 (12:03 pm)

    This is such an excellent conclusion to the community efforts!  Yes, it will be a pain point until completed but it has every aspect of being safer for all modes of transportation for the first time!  Crossing Fauntleroy has never been an option and even driving a car across Fauntleroy is a scary proposition.  Finally we will have a walkable and visually nice entrance to our larger community.  I predict pride to ensue…  

  • Artwit October 7, 2017 (4:14 am)

    I mostly see an animus against cars. Slow them down, add 10 minutes to hundreds of car commutes by getting rid of right turn lanes, but make it special for the two dozen daily bicyclists. and force the elderly and disabled to stay home. So much more important to have a big beautiful landscaped median than to have useful businesses (cleaners, cafes, etc.) along that route.

  • Mark October 7, 2017 (12:30 pm)

    Jort

    I provided a plan to SDoT that kept the bike/pedestrian lane and kept the right turn pocket at Avalon via narrowing the landscape median, reducing the lane width where the pocket was to be kept and modest refinement to the bike/ped facility, thus it was not one or the other.  This plan was supported by the West Seattle Transportation Coalition.

     It was feasible to keep the warranted right turn channelization and provide bike/ped facility!

    Mark

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