West Seattle Blog... » Safety http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Thu, 28 May 2015 08:07:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 AS-IT-HAPPENED COVERAGE: SDOT-led walking tour of 35th SW http://westseattleblog.com/2015/05/happening-now-sdot-led-walking-tour-of-35th-sw/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/05/happening-now-sdot-led-walking-tour-of-35th-sw/#comments Sat, 16 May 2015 16:36:12 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=310531

FIRST REPORT, 9:36 AM: As of just after 9 am, the SDOT-organized walking tour of the 35th SW Safety Project zone is under way. Above, project manager Jim Curtin, who started the tour with one assistant and three members of the public. At the outbound 35th/Avalon RapidRide, he explained that the section of 35th in that area is NOT proposed for rechannelization or other major changes. He was asked how the mixed-use development across the street will change conditions in that area:

Curtin mentioned, as has been reported here, that it includes a slopeside stairway to help connect the 35th/Avalon area (which is the gateway to West Seattle Stadium, WS Golf Course, and Camp Long) with the growing residential/business area to the west in The Triangle and The Junction. The transit stop, currently relocated to the south, will be “improved,” he said. Then after a few minutes, the group headed southbound, where we spotted them a few minutes later outside the stadium entrance:

You can catch up with the tour for a moment, an hour, whatever interests you. The stops and times are listed here, continuing until they reach 35th/Roxbury at noon. And if you don’t get to catch up with any of this – Curtin reiterated at the start that SDOT will come back to the community with the next version of the proposal, next month. You can send comments/observations/questions to him at jim.curtin@seattle.gov.

11:07 AM: We checked in on the walking tour again at 35th and Morgan, one spot where SDOT had said during the recent community meetings that they were still deciding what would be best to do to avoid significantly delaying traffic here:


Curtin said the plan for this intersection so far includes “tweaking the signal phasing.” Nearby residents who joined in at this stop mentioned parking near the intersection that could be reviewed for removal.

P.S. We’ve been experimenting with the new Twitter-linked “live” app Periscope lately and went live at this stop for a few minutes – if you use Twitter, check it out (or, if you don’t want to use Twitter but do decide to use the Periscope app, just follow us there!).

12:22 PM: The tour concluded right on time – we stopped by to check in as they arrived at 35th and Roxbury:


Curtin told the final few participants that “Option A” is looking the most promising, especially “south of Oregon,” and that the community meeting will likely be in mid-June.

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FOLLOWUP: 47th/Admiral signal, crosswalks project close to pause http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/followup-47thadmiral-signal-crosswalks-project-close-to-pause/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/followup-47thadmiral-signal-crosswalks-project-close-to-pause/#comments Thu, 30 Apr 2015 23:18:08 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=308729

(WSB photo: Working on concrete on east side of 47th/Admiral)
After less than two months of work, you’ll soon see a pause in the project that’s adding a traffic signal and crosswalks to the 47th/Admiral intersection, according to SDOT.

(WSB photo: North side of 47th/Admiral/Waite)
We went over for photos today after getting this update from project spokesperson Rachel McCaffrey:

This week crews are wrapping up work on the south side of 47th Avenue SW and SW Admiral Way, pouring new curb ramps and sidewalks and incorporating a leaf stamp into the concrete. Crews will also work to wrap up remaining work and cleanup on the north side of the intersection. Corners may be closed to pedestrians and bicyclists during work. People walking and biking will need to follow marked detours or find an alternate route. Access to Alki Mail & Dispatch will be maintained at all times.

As we’ve mentioned, there will be a pause in construction while we wait for the delivery of signal equipment. After crews complete the concrete pours at the corners, we will stop work in the area until this equipment is delivered. The existing overhead pedestrian signal will remain intact and the sidewalks will be open during this pause in construction. Construction cones will remain in place to cover the signal pole foundations on each corner. Once the materials arrive, work will resume and continue for approximately three more weeks while the signal is installed and configured. We will continue to keep you informed as more information is available related to delivery of the signal equipment.

The project webpage is here.

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TRAFFIC ALERT: Alki Trail safety-improvement realignment http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/traffic-alert-alki-trail-safety-improvement-realignment/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/traffic-alert-alki-trail-safety-improvement-realignment/#comments Mon, 27 Apr 2015 22:25:49 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=308434

3:25 PM: Announced by SDOT this afternoon:

The Seattle Department of Transportation will realign the Alki Trail at the driveway of 3400 Harbor Avenue Southwest (several hundred yards north of Spokane Street). Moving the trail away from the building at the driveway will improve visibility for drivers exiting the building parking lot and for bicyclists and pedestrians using the trail. Please see the [above] aerial visual with realignment super-imposed.

Construction is scheduled to begin tomorrow, April 28, and take up to three weeks to complete. Work will occur weekdays from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. with pedestrians and bicyclists detoured away from the building into an adjacent temporary pathway currently used to provide on-street parking. A single general traffic lane in each direction will be maintained, although they lanes will be narrowed to accommodate the work zone and temporary trail through the area. Access to building storefronts will also be maintained.

We had been asked recently about some parking changes in the area and are following up to ask if that was related to this.

ADDED 6:19 PM: SDOT’s Marybeth Turner responded to our question about the parking changes:

To make way for the trail’s new location, the truck load zone in front of 3400 Harbor Ave SW will be relocated approximately 23 feet to the south. Two on-street parking spots, one just north of the driveway and one just south of the driveway (for the relocated load zone) will be permanently removed.

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VIDEO: Youth leaders gather to organize for community safety http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/video-youth-leaders-gather-to-organize-for-community-safety/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/video-youth-leaders-gather-to-organize-for-community-safety/#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2015 21:04:06 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=308005

Community safety isn’t just about the police, or about Block Watches. It’s also about individual community members, of all ages. Youth leaders included. As part of the city’s Youth Violence Prevention Initiative, one of its partner agencies, West Seattle-based Southwest Youth and Family Services presented a gathering on Wednesday afternoon at High Point Community Center.

It involved ideas, and suggestions, and youth leaders – like 19-year-old Marquese Sykes, who told us in this short clip what the gathering was about:

What happened last night was just a start – committees were being set up, with participants invited to decide which ones they’d join, and what they wanted to do:

Before the night’s end, names were to be added to each of those committees – and then, the next round of work would begin.

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Call it ‘Guardian One 101′: West Seattle Block Watch Captains’ Network to feature law-enforcement helicopter’s pilot http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/call-it-guardian-one-101-west-seattle-block-watch-captains-network-to-feature-law-enforcement-helicopters-pilot/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/call-it-guardian-one-101-west-seattle-block-watch-captains-network-to-feature-law-enforcement-helicopters-pilot/#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2015 05:22:21 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=308009

(WSB photo from 2014)
You’ve probably seen – or at least heard – it in your neighborhood – our area’s only law-enforcement helicopter, Guardian One. You might have questions about how it works with local police departments, when it gets involved, how it gets involved, and why. Now you have the chance for answers! the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network has just announced its special guest for next Tuesday’s meeting (April 28th):

Our special guest will be Deputy Hersh T. Hoaglan, pilot of the Guardian One helicopter!

Guardian One is a familiar sight over West Seattle, helping Seattle Police from the air to apprehend suspects. Deputy Hoaglan, from the Air Support Unit of the King County Sheriff’s Office, will share with us in detail what he does, how the tools and technology work, and what he sees from the air. He’ll also talk about some of the searches that he works on with Seattle Police.

Bring your questions and take advantage of this opportunity to learn about Guardian One. Should be a very interesting evening!

Meeting schedule (Come early, stay late!)
Tuesday, April 28, 2013, 6:30-8 PM
At the SW Police Precinct, 2300 SW Webster Street (at Delridge Ave SW, next to Home Depot)

6:00-6:30 – Arrive early for light snacks, socializing and networking with each other while we set up the room!

6:30-7:00 – Introductions, announcements.
7:00-8:00 – Deputy Hersh T. Hoaglan | Air Support Unit | King County Sheriff’s Office
8:00-8:30 – Feel free to stay after the meeting to continue your discussions.

Hope to see you there! Everyone is welcome, even if you aren’t a Block Watch Captain!

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VIDEO: 1 person to hospital, 3 cars damaged in hit-run crash http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/video-1-person-to-hospital-3-cars-damaged-in-hit-run-crash/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/video-1-person-to-hospital-3-cars-damaged-in-hit-run-crash/#comments Wed, 22 Apr 2015 06:54:34 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=307899

Thanks to the tipster who let us know that a crash at 47th/Andover earlier tonight was more than it looked on the 911 log. When we got there, the car above was the most visible remaining sign of what had happened around 7:30 pm – it was one of three parked cars damaged when a black Jetta slammed into them. Our tipster says witnesses saw a man get out of the driver’s seat and run after the collision, leaving an injured woman inside; she was taken to the hospital. Our tipster sent this video clip, in which you’ll hear the en-route fire engine:

We weren’t able to reach police to ask if the driver was caught but will see if we can find anything out in the morning.

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Make your home more earthquake-resistant: register now for 2 free workshops coming up in West Seattle http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/make-your-home-more-earthquake-resistant-register-now-for-2-free-workshops-coming-up-in-west-seattle/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/make-your-home-more-earthquake-resistant-register-now-for-2-free-workshops-coming-up-in-west-seattle/#comments Thu, 16 Apr 2015 03:38:17 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=307220 Want to make your house more earthquake-resistant? Two chances to learn about retrofitting are coming up in West Seattle as part of the Seattle Neighborhoods Actively Prepare (SNAP) program. They’re free, but you do have to register. First one is next Sunday (April 19th), 2-4 pm, at the West Seattle (Admiral) Branch Library – full details here; e-mail snap@seattle.gov if you’re interested. After that, another one is set up for 2-4 pm May 2nd at the High Point Branch Library; same registration address.

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Admiral Way Safety Project: Preview what SDOT will present tonight @ Admiral Neighborhood Association http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/admiral-way-safety-project-preview-what-sdot-will-present-tonight-admiral-neighborhood-association/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/admiral-way-safety-project-preview-what-sdot-will-present-tonight-admiral-neighborhood-association/#comments Tue, 14 Apr 2015 20:34:40 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=307026

(Admiral Way Safety Project area map, from SDOT)
We’ve already mentioned that the Admiral Neighborhood Association will hear tonight from SDOT about bicycle lanes proposed along Admiral Way between the business district and Alki. Since then, SDOT has sent this preview – which reveals it’s not just a bicycle-lane project, but includes other planned safety improvements including narrower vehicle lanes (note that this area includes the already-underway 47th/Admiral signal-and-crosswalks project):

Project Need

Collisions from 2011 to 2014 along SW Admiral Way

· 1 pedestrian collision along project extent (2012)
· 2 bike collisions along project extent (both in 2011)
· 45 vehicle collisions along project extent

Project Description

· Reduce lane widths along SW Admiral Way and design the street to encourage slower speeds and reduce collisions

· Add new travel option by installing buffered bikes lanes from 63rd Ave SW to 44th Ave SW.

In order to add the bike lane, depending on the location, on-street parking will be consolidated to one-side of the street where parking utilization is low; or the two-way, left-turn lane (will be) removed to keep on-street parking on both sides of SW Admiral Way.

Parking Study Results

Along this 1.4 miles of SW Admiral Way, there are 441 parking spaces. We tracked the parking utilization on weekends and weekdays, morning, noon, evening and late night. At the maximum occupancy for each block, only 33% of existing spaces are being used. Of course, this isn’t uniformly distributed across the corridor. Between 45th Ave SW and California Ave SW and between 57th and 63rd avenues SW on-street parking occupancy is relatively high.

Existing Spaces: 441
Current Utilization: 33%
Percentage Preserved: 56%

Project Schedule

April – Community briefings
May 6 – SW District Council briefing
May – Open House
May – July – Final design
August – Implementation
2016 – Evaluation

(We are asking SDOT to confirm that “percentage preserved” in the “parking study” section means that 44 percent of the 441 parking spaces are to be removed, or whether it means something else. Update: Yes, SDOT’s Norm Mah confirms, that’s what it means – so, about 200 spaces will go.)

Now that you’ve seen the plan, if you have questions/comments, come to tonight’s Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting, 7 pm, The Sanctuary at Admiral (42nd/Lander). If you absolutely can’t – watch for one of the other briefings (such as the SWDC, 6:30 pm Wednesday, May 6th, at the Senior Center of West Seattle).

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OPEN LETTER: A grandmother says ‘thank you,’ and wonders about safety, after 4-year-old’s Alki seawall fall http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/open-letter-a-grandmother-says-thank-you-and-wonders-about-safety-after-4-year-olds-alki-seawall-fall/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/open-letter-a-grandmother-says-thank-you-and-wonders-about-safety-after-4-year-olds-alki-seawall-fall/#comments Sun, 12 Apr 2015 04:31:51 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=306870

That’s 4-year-old Aaron, photographed before a fall off the Alki seawall left him badly hurt. His grandmother Teri has written an open letter both to say thanks to the strangers who helped, and to voice concerns about safety:

On Tuesday, April 7th, at approximately 5:30 pm, my husband David, my 4-year old grandson Aaron and I were riding bikes along the 1300 block of Alki Avenue. We were in the bike lane, with Aaron following David, and I was bringing up the rear so I could keep a watchful eye on Aaron. Part way through the ride, Aaron apparently decided he wanted to ride along the path on the other side of the sidewalk and veered off in that direction. Despite my calls for him to stop, Aaron continued on toward the path and the unprotected bulkhead. He managed to stop his bike before it went over the edge, but he went flying over the handlebars and over the edge of the bulkhead, landing face first on the boulders 6-8 feet below street level.

As I scrambled off my bike and ran, horrified, toward where I had just seen Aaron flying over the wall, passersby had already leapt into action. By the time I got to the edge, there were people down on the rocks lifting the very terrified Aaron up to safety. Others standing around also clamored to help, and one woman was an absolute angel. She sat with Aaron and kept him talking, focusing on calming him down while we waited for the 911 response team that was summoned by still others. I was in a state of shock at the time and can’t tell you enough how grateful I am to all of these people who stepped up to help us.

Fortunately, Aaron was properly outfitted with a Bern bike helmet at the time of his accident. Without it, he would not be with us today. This helmet literally saved his life. It was cracked and dented as a result of the fall, clearly showing us where significant brain damage was avoided. I am now a staunch bike-helmet advocate! I see so many children out riding bikes with helmets that are ill-fitting and barely more than a styrofoam hat in the shape of a shark, unicorn, or kitty and wonder whether one of these helmets would have stopped the significant damage that was avoided by wearing the well-fitting, hard-shell Bern helmet. Our children and grandchildren are irreplaceable, so only the best in protection is good enough for them.

Aaron spent just under 4 days at Harborview, and was helped by many fine, caring doctors and nurses both in the Emergency Room and PICU. Our eternal gratitude goes out to them as well.

At Harborview, we learned that Aaron had fractured his skull. He also had several fractures around both eye orbitals, multiple deep nose fractures, and his upper right jaw was fractured as well. Right now he is back home, and back to playing with his trains and cars, colors and crafts as he continues to heal. The doctors are waiting for the significant eye swelling to subside before they can determine whether he is in need of surgery to repair some of the fractures as there is the possibility that they may be impinging facial nerves and eye muscles. Right now we call him our little puffer fish!

Since the accident, we have heard that there have been several other incidents along the unprotected stretch that runs around Alki Avenue and drops off to large boulders. I walk that path several afternoons a week, and with the warmer weather I am seeing more and more children along the way either walking, running, or riding scooters and bikes. Knowing how the younger ones can rapidly dart away and put themselves in danger, I have to wonder what the City of Seattle can do to make this a safer place for us all. We came so close to losing a precious 4 year old that day. God forbid another child, or even an adult, is lost forever due to a slip or fall and lack of fencing along this area.

We don’t know who any of the people are who helped us on the beach last Tuesday, but we really want to extend our heartfelt gratitude to them for them being there and stepping up to help. I don’t know what we would have done without their help! We are blessed to live in a community with so many caring people.

Teri says they *do* know some of Aaron’s rescuers – the Seattle Fire Department personnel – and that they plan to visit those fire stations soon (the log from Tuesday shows units from 3 stations) to say thanks in person.

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Online petition launched by opponents of 35th SW speed-limit cut, rechannelization http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/online-petition-launched-by-opponents-of-35th-sw-speed-limit-cut-rechannelization-launch-online-petition/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/online-petition-launched-by-opponents-of-35th-sw-speed-limit-cut-rechannelization-launch-online-petition/#comments Fri, 10 Apr 2015 21:41:44 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=306775 An online petition was part of the community campaign to get the city to make safety improvements on 35th SW.

More than a year later, another online petition is asking the city not to reduce the speed limit or rechannelize 35th – both of which are key parts of the “design alternatives” announced in two March meetings (which begin on page 22 below):

We covered both meetings – March 10th here, and March 12th here – as well as the March 26th West Seattle Transportation Coalition briefing. It all traces back to an announcement by Mayor Ed Murray and Councilmember Tom Rasmussen more than a year earlier.

Neel says it goes too far. In feedback to SDOT, he wrote:

35th has been the major West Seattle arterial since West Seattle was platted! Everyone else who depends on it to help them get outta town don’t want it choked with “safety” improvements that, plain and simple, aren’t needed. Your own data shows that there isn’t much of a problem here, except for some concerns for pedestrian crosswalks toward the north end. So go fix that — don’t mess up the whole transportation system to ‘fix’ a problem that doesn’t exist. …

We like 35th just the way it is, but are also open to changes that will improve our throughput while maintaining proper regard for safety. And by this I mean the efficiency of the driver, not the road. I really don’t care how many vehicles per unit time you can accommodate (the road’s efficiency). I only care about the transportation efficiency — covering the maximum distance in the least amount of time. That’s the true measure of productivity: maximizing desired outcome(s) with the fewest resources.

The specific objections – and potential counterproposals – are all in the text of the petition, which you can see here. The city says it will present the final plan in June; in the meantime, comments are being taken by project manager Jim Curtin at jim.curtin@seattle.gov.

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GOAT UPDATE: Holden stairway herd expected to leave Friday http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/goat-update-holden-stairway-herd-expected-to-leave-tomorrow/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/goat-update-holden-stairway-herd-expected-to-leave-tomorrow/#comments Thu, 09 Apr 2015 22:46:11 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=306647

We just went back over to the Delridge/20th/Holden stairway to see the progress the Rent-A-Ruminant goats have made – considerable, as our photos show.

They’ve been on the job for two days, munching away at stairway-side brush that was considered a safety threat, especially after a student was robbed in the area in late January, during a series of crimes against students around West Seattle.

But now their work is almost done, and SDOT’s David Allen – who shared first word of the goat plan last week – tells WSB this afternoon that R-a-R’s Tammy Dunakin expects to load up her goats and head out late Friday morning.

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GOAT UPDATE! Just because we know you’re wondering… http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/goat-update-just-because-we-know-youre-wondering/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/goat-update-just-because-we-know-youre-wondering/#comments Wed, 08 Apr 2015 19:13:46 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=306525

(WSB photo)
We promised updates on the Rent-A-Ruminant goats’ work for SDOT along the SW Holden stairway, following our first report after their arrival Tuesday afternoon and our original report last Friday on the plan. So we stopped by a little while ago. They still have much left to munch. Right now, they’re working further up the slope, closer to the 20th SW top of the stairway than to the Delridge Way end of the stairway, where they were in view yesterday, so no cute closeups (yet, but we’ll be checking back later). R-a-R proprietor Tammy estimated after arriving that they’d probably need about three days to get the job done.

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Ballots go out tomorrow for April 28 special election. Here’s what you’ll be voting on http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/ballots-go-out-tomorrow-for-april-28-special-election-heres-what-youll-be-voting-on/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/ballots-go-out-tomorrow-for-april-28-special-election-heres-what-youll-be-voting-on/#comments Wed, 08 Apr 2015 04:53:11 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=306476 King County is mailing ballots tomorrow for this month’s special election. In our area, you’ll just see one thing on the ballot – a levy to raise money to replace the area’s emergency-radio system. In the first of its nine years, the rate will be 7 cents for every thousand dollars of property valuation, so if you have a house valued at $400,000, this will cost you $28. Several areas outside Seattle have various other measures, and you’ll see them in the voters’ pamphlet, but the radio levy is the only thing that’ll be on your ballot, which will be due by 8 pm April 28th. If you mail it back, use a stamp; if you want to vote without paying postage, the West Seattle and White Center dropoff vans will be in place for the last few days of voting – see days, times, locations here. (And if you’re not registered to vote in this state, you have time – register in person by 4:30 pm April 20th.)

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AS-IT-HAPPENED COVERAGE: SDOT unveils SW Roxbury plan at Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council meeting http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/happening-now-sdot-unveils-sw-roxbury-plan-at-westwood-roxhill-arbor-heights-community-council-meeting/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/happening-now-sdot-unveils-sw-roxbury-plan-at-westwood-roxhill-arbor-heights-community-council-meeting/#comments Wed, 08 Apr 2015 01:19:10 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=306439

That’s the plan for SW Roxbury, which SDOT is about to unveil at the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council‘s April meeting, under way until about 7:30 pm at the Southwest Branch Library (35th/Henderson). An open house is also planned April 16th. First, WWRHAH is hearing briefly from City Council District 1 candidate Lisa Herbold (we’ll add details later on what she says, and other parts of the meeting that aren’t related to the Roxbury presentation).

6:27 PM: SDOT’s Jim Curtin begins his presentation, saying the details (which you can see in the slide deck above) aren’t much different from the previous discussion, and that implementation will start in mid-August. The package, he recaps, has short- and long-term “engineering solutions” for SW Roxbury from Olson on the east to 35th SW on the west. He also recaps the road’s conditions, which are at the start of the slide deck – 52 percent of what’s along Roxbury in that stretch is single-family residential housing. The traffic flow goes from an average of 13,000 vehicles a weekday at 35th to 25,000 vehicles each weekday at Olson. The roots of the project lie in the fact so many people speed – more than 5 mph over the speed limit, on much of the stretch – the average at 30th SW is 41 mph, “a big problem” in SDOT’s view. The stretch has seen 223 crashes with 112 injuries over just the past three years.

The changes are at 60 percent design, close to “ready to go,” Curtin said, and they are coordinating with partner agencies including Metro and King County Roads (though SDOT is accountable for the road from curb to curb). 100 percent design is expected in June, and that’s when they’ll mobilize their crews, in hopes of getting the work done by the first day of the 2015-2016 school year.

Just a few tweaks from the draft plan. From 17th to 35th SW, rechannelization is proposed, “which means we will eliminate a lane of traffic and bring Roxbury down to its surroundings, including parks and schools … while still maintaining travel times that are essentially unchanged for people who are driving. There will be short sections of bus lanes for the 120 and RapidRide; we are going to repave Roxbury from 17th to ’18th and a half’ … a really, really rough section of road.” The curb will be fixed and ADA-complaint curb ramps will be put in, 8 each at 17th and 18th SW.

300 new linear feet of sidewalk will go in, on the south (county) side of the street across from Roxhill Elementary (photo added above), past the auto-parts store and casino – “the last section of Roxbury without sidewalks,” Curtin said, adding that the city and county have secured a grant to pay for this.

No rechannelization is planned east of 17th. At the White Center intersection – 15th/16th “funky five-way split,” as he described it – curb painting and audio pedestrian signals are part of the plan. Then from Olson to 15th SW, the speed limit will be reduced to 30 mph; two new radar speed signs will go in to support that; and other “spot signage” improvements are planned. That will include changes targeting the “persistent collision patterns” at 4th SW and 8th SW. For the latter, Curtin said, the patterns are rear-end crashes. The county has put in a “warning” beacon that isn’t making a difference. Engineers concluded, Curtin said, “we need people to slow down” – as is the case with the “spinout” crashes at 4th SW – and they believe that will make a difference. (Later, he said, they hope to take that “all the way down the hill” toward 509.)

Back to the west – A “shared bus lane” will go in near Roxhill because of operational requirements for Metro and school buses; a potential bus-layover zone is being considered by Roxhill. The Metro transit stop that’s currently right in front of Roxhill Elementary will be moved to the west of 30th (where it had once been). WWRHAH’s transportation chair Chris Stripinis asked if that would create a situation like the notorious C-Line stop at Fauntleroy/California – Curtin cited reasons why it won’t, including a “partial lane” that vehicles will be able to use to get around.

No bicycle lanes right now; bicycle facilities will be considered “later” – likely 2016 – said Curtin; right now, the curb and pavement are not in good-enough shape, and so the area that later will become bicycle lanes will for now be “buffers” between vehicle and pedestrian traffic.

For rechannelization doubters, Curtin hauled out a slide he acknowledged has been shown at many meetings lately – other rechannelized streets including Fauntleroy and (outside West Seattle) NE 75th have seen decreases in crashes even as traffic volume edged up a bit.

Beyond all this, he said, in the long term: If the Transportation Levy to Move Seattle passes, SDOT hopes to “completely rebuild” SW Roxbury, with repaving and even in some places “taking it down to the dirt” and redoing it. Also, a pedestrian signal at or near 12th SW would be a long-term priority, according to Curtin (it came up often at previous meetings). Anything else missing? he asked. WWRHAH co-chair Amanda Kay Helmick suggested a crosswalk at 24th and Roxbury. Between 35th and 30th, Stripinis suggested, some visual cue for crossers would be helpful, since because streets don’t connect from both sides, and drivers don’t tend to stop even for the implied crosswalks at corners.

WWRHAH secretary Joe Szilagyi asked about the parking spots along Roxbury by Taqueria Guaymas at 17th. They’re staying, said Curtin, adding, “Despite what you read … we actually like parking at SDOT,” for reasons including, “it slows people down.” Speaking of slowing down, though they’re not proposing rechannelization of the entire length of Roxbury now – even though it was frequently suggested, Curtin said, during the comment period – it might be looked at again in the future. Also for the wish list, Helmick added, a roundabout for the Olson end, and more mowing and vegetation clearing so people who are walking and biking can get through.

Though it’s technically beyond Roxbury, several people brought up the walking/biking dangers of going down the hill from Olson toward SW Cloverdale and South Park, as something that should eventually be examined.

Curtin then put up the engineering plans for Roxbury, starting with the 35th/Roxbury intersection, which he said “works remarkably well.” (A side discussion erupted regarding sidewalks on 35th, and Curtin reiterated that the city has some in the works all the way to 106th. Not part of the project in the spotlight tonight, but still of interest.) One stretch is still undecided – the eastbound side near Roxbury Safeway, where they had been looking at a bus lane but decided they don’t need it. Maybe a right turn lane? Right now, by the way, Curtin said, the 28th/Roxbury intersection “functions really well,” too. At 26th, there’ll be a right-turn-only lane heading southbound, and then it’ll be a bus-only lane on the outside, east of 28th, with a bus-and-turn lane on the westbound side, turning onto 26th and heading toward Westwood Village. This intersection’s design isn’t completely finalized, though, acknowledged Curtin – “we’re still kind of wrestling with (it).”

7:20 PM: Overall, he summarized, “this project is universally loved by everyone at SDOT,” where he says some wondered how the road ever had “so many lanes.” If you have comments, go to the Open House, and/or e-mail Curtin – jim.curtin@seattle.gov – ASAP.

Rest of the meeting:

WALKABOUT RECAP: We covered the March 30th Westwood Village Transit Hub “walking tour encore” with WWRHAH and agencies including Metro, SDOT, SPD, Parks. Helmick recapped the results, including what they’d like to see to enhance pedestrian safety from here – crosswalks, visibility, and more. She says WWRHAH is expecting a response within a month. Stripinis recapped his report on the road/pavement condition around the transit-hub area. “The (condition) for the bus-travel lanes is significantly lower than the non-bus-travel lanes,” he said, adding the concerns about homes shaking when buses pass, largely because of the poor condition of the pavement. Either the road needs to be rebuilt or maybe Metro can use lighter buses, Stripinis suggested.

GRANT: Helmick said a Neighborhood Park and Street Fund grant will pay for another gravel path into the Roxhill Bog area, which will help get access for local students’ environmental education, among other things, and will also fund some “thinning out” of vegetation in the area. That will complement the previous grant won for interpretive signs in the area; an attendee expressed concern about graffiti vandalism of those signs, and Roxhill Bog steward Scott Blackstock said he’s found himself fighting that weekly these days. Might a “graffiti wall,” open to artists, be a solution, rebooting it every six months? Szilagyi wondered.

MICROSURFACING IN ARBOR HEIGHTS: WWRHAH’s Eric Iwamoto, who is the council’s representative to the Southwest District Council, recapped SDOT’s briefing at its meeting last week regarding upcoming microsurfacing work.


Read our coverage here. (As covered in our story, SWDC also heard about the transportation levy from SDOT director Scott Kubly; Helmick pointed out that he’s due at the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting next week, 7 pm December 8th at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center.)

WANT TO BE ON THE WWRHAH BOARD? No volunteers came forward at tonight’s meeting; secretary Szilagyi said he’s going to continue volunteer help but will not run for re-election to that office. Helmick pointed out that if she wins election to the City Council, she’ll have to step down from the co-chairship. If you’re interested, e-mail contact@wwrhah.org ASAP.

SPEAKING OF CITY COUNCIL: As mentioned earlier, District 1 candidate Lisa Herbold spoke briefly at the start of the meeting (like many community councils, this one is hearing from candidates as the election approaches). She mentioned issues of interest including equity in areas including income and policing.

She was available for Q/A; she had mentioned spending 17 years as a City Council staffer (working for outgoing Councilmember Nick Licata), and when someone remarked “That’s amazing,” she replied: “As somebody with a background in community organizing, you learn to appreciate the small victories, the small, incremental changes, if you don’t, you get burned out.” She elaborated, saying it’s been really fun because every few years, councilmembers change which committees they chair, so staffers get to work on different issues. She was also asked what she thinks about proposed campaign-finance-reform measures; she said in particular, she’d like to hear what people think about the “voucher” proposal.

P.S. There’s a candidate forum tomorrow (Wednesday), 7 pm, at the 34th District Democrats’ meeting at The Hall at Fauntleroy, 9131 California SW.

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HAPPENING NOW: Rent-A-Ruminant goats on duty alongside Delridge/Holden stairway http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/happening-now-rent-a-ruminant-goats-on-duty-alongside-delridgeholden-stairway/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/happening-now-rent-a-ruminant-goats-on-duty-alongside-delridgeholden-stairway/#comments Tue, 07 Apr 2015 20:56:07 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=306418

The first goats ever booked for West Seattle work by SDOT are now on the job – Rent-A-Ruminant‘s goats are at work along the Delridge/Holden stairway:

We first told you back on Friday about the plan for them to spend a few days tidying up the overgrowth that has created safety issues along this stairway, which was the site of one of the student-targeting robberies earlier this year.

We will of course be checking in to see how it’s going. Note that this is not a particularly spectator-friendly site – on either end – busy roads bookend the stairway (Delridge and 20th SW). Rent-A-Ruminant proprietor Tammy is on scene to keep watch over her herd. We’ll be adding more photos later.

ADDED 3:45 PM: Went back over to check in – here’s a bit of Instagram video, from through their protective fence:


Tammy tells us about 40 goats are on the job here – her first job of the season; she generally works with them April through October. In all, she has more than 100 goats; they’re based on Vashon Island.

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