By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
At least once a week, somebody asks what’s up with 35th Avenue SW Phase 2 – or whether there will even be a 35th Avenue SW Phase 2, given that it’s been more than a year since SDOT provided the last major community update focused on the project.
We took the question to SDOT’s longtime point person on the project, Jim Curtin.
Yes, he says, Phase 2 is still being worked on. But first, SDOT is “preparing to come out with before-and-after data,” covering the two years since the Phase 1 rechannelization south of Morgan.
This year is almost over. Curtin explained that “Councilmember (Lisa) Herbold asked us to let the community help us with the design. We thought it would be a good idea to pause and make sure we were collecting sufficient amounts of data before making decisions.” Now, he says, they believe they have, and they’ll be releasing the “before-and-after study” which “will also have our plans for Phase 2 within it.”
No hint on how soon this will go public, but he promises it’s “going to be incredibly comprehensive and illustrative of how the corridor functions in the Phase 1 area and will also have information about what’s in the future for 35th north of Morgan.”
In connection with a connecting project – the West Seattle Greenway – crossing improvements already have been announced for 35th/Graham (that announcement in June suggested that the next 35th SW update would be in July).
Curtin says those are still planned, along with other “long-requested new crossings.” And while, again, other details – such as whether part of the stretch will be rechannelized as was a long stretch south of Morgan – aren’t available yet, Curtin told us, “There will also be attempts to reduce the speeds on the north end, where we still have some significant speeding issues.”
He acknowledged again that the next phase has “been a long time coming.” The design process is under way, and there’s no new funding request – Curtin says it’s coming “mainly through the Levy to Move Seattle.” As for how the next phase will be unveiled, if you haven’t already guessed this from other city events in the past year, they are not likely going to have a city-official-with-slide-deck-style presentation, he said. The city’s contention is that some community members “aren’t comfortable in those situations, so we miss potentially powerful input.” So look for potential “drop-in sessions,” probably another walking tour, and information online … sometime soon.