West Seattle, Washington
Just yesterday, we reported on the case of the “crumbling cul-de-sac,” with pavement problems at SW Portland Court including a hole that neighbors said they’d been trying to get filled for three years. They sent a note to a list including City Councilmember Lisa Herbold and WSB on Wednesday; Thursday morning, we stopped by to talk with them and get a look; later Thursday, the councilmember referred their case to SDOT director Scott Kubly. Then this morning, a crew showed up to fill the hole, neighbors Brian and Andy (who shared the top photo) report. (Don’t know if it was the same crew, but we also saw SDOT workers filling a hole on California SW in south Morgan Junction this morning.)
6:17 PM: If you haven’t headed out for the West Seattle Transportation Coalition‘s light-rail-routing workshop at The Hall at Fauntleroy (9140 California SW) – you’re not too late. While the official start time was 6 pm, people are still milling about at tables with maps, talking about possibilities. Very informal – just drop in; there’ll be a presentation at some point, but otherwise, it’s not a major “sit down and listen” type event, definitely meant to be interactive. The goal: Gather community thoughts about station siting, routing, etc., before Sound Transit officially launches its work on the West Seattle project this fall – 13 years before the service is scheduled to start. Sound Transit reps are here, by the way, if you have questions for them, but this is a community-led meeting, so they’re here to observe and support rather than to present. We’ll be updating as the night goes.
6:25 PM: WSTC chair Michael Taylor-Judd has given the workshop intro, reminding people that this is a community group, not the ultimate decisionmakers. He’s one of two speakers before everybody will head to breakout tables to talk about routing and stations – the Sound Transit 3 ballot measure proposed three West Seattle lines for the 2030 spur from SODO. Here’s a ST document that WSTC provided, from 2016, showing “representational alignment” – sort of a draft version of where the stations might be:
There’s one table per station, as well as one for “the kitchen sink,” any related issues you want to bring up. He says WSTC will “collect and collate” notes made on maps at the tables, as well as whatever people write on paper comment forms that are available here. It’ll be provided to Sound Transit and SDOT as well as used for guidance in what WSTC does in the months and years ahead.
Taylor-Judd says Metro is represented here too, as the Sound Transit West Seattle line will affect future bus routes/service, too. He wraps his introduction by noting that WSTC is a volunteer community group (launched almost four years ago, originally the WS Transit Coalition) that doesn’t collect dues, so he’s circulating a basket if anyone wants to contribute (totally voluntary) toward the costs of renting this room and related expenses.
6:33 PM: He’s followed by former Transportation Coalition board member Tom Linde, who’s giving a sort of Light Rail 101 presentation – not what it is so much as how it’s planned.
This early stage of the West Seattle planning is “generating options,” e.g. the “representational alignment” shown in the embedded document above (or see it here, PDF). “Somewhere along the line there’ll be a preferred alignment generated by Sound Transit,” Linde continues. Options include at grade (surface), elevated, subway (underground), and Linde is detailing the pros/cons of each. (Since light rail has to cross the Duwamish, a separate bridge is expected, so far.)
After an explanation of those three routing possibilities, Linde walked through “what we know now” – the “representational alignment” (very early-stage) – likely an elevated station at the north end of Delridge, with the train continuing down Delridge, turning toward Genesee, up and across Avalon, then bending toward Fauntleroy, with an elevated station somewhere around 35th/Avalon; the train would continue along Fauntleroy, turning westward onto Alaska, and ending with an elevated station in The Junction. And he’s advising people to head on over to the tables and think about the challenges and opportunities: “As you ponder what (it) would look like – it’s a substantial change to our environment, if it ends up as something elevated or at grade – it will affect the functionality of West Seattle for 100 years.” He exhorts everyone to “build your own argument for your idea” and then head over.
In Q/A, someone brings up the Fauntleroy Boulevard project – “doesn’t make sense … to spend $14, $15 million and then tear it up again.” (That’s been brought up multiple times at discussions of light rail and of the Fauntleroy project, like this one last month at the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce meeting.) At that point, City Councilmember Lisa Herbold says she has been trying for more than a month to get that question answered; she was told the mayor and ST had a meeting today and she is hoping for an answer soon.
6:58 PM: Q&A continues. Marci Carpenter, a West Seattleite who’s on the city’s Transit Advisory Board, has just come forward to say she’s here to listen and observe tonight. The board meets 6 pm 4th Wednesdays at City Hall. Linde fields one last question – what do stations look and sound like? announcements? noise? – he said he spent hours at the Angle Lake ST station in recent weeks and the trains are quiet, “surprisingly pleasant experience.” Just after 7 pm, everyone is off to breakout tables; we will circulate to listen in. (About 50 people are here.)
7:42 PM: Seen at the tables:
What’s immediately above is a representation of what elevated track heading through The Junction might be like. Meantime, here’s our short walkthrough of the table zone:
Soon, everyone will regroup to “report out” on highlights from the tables.
8:05 PM: Those reports begin. WSTC’s Deb Barker was at the Junction station table. “A lot of talk about undergrounding,” she said. “The other themes that were voiced were a proposal for the above-ground seems to be ruining/impacting different things that you might not have thought out before – shadows, driving under these structures in a very tight area …”
WSTC’s Larry Wymer spoke for the 35th/Avalon table. He said there were many concerns about the coordination of the Fauntleroy Boulevard project and the possibility that light rail will go down Fauntleroy, more Sound Transit/SDOT coordination, “maybe push off the Fauntleroy improvement project until we have a better handle on that.” An elevated station like Angle Lake could be 400 feet long, Sound Transit says, they noted. Also: Maybe look at using part of the golf course, or at least tunneling beneath that area. And: This is a major entrance/exit to/from West Seattle- what will the construction timing be like and how will access be handled? Someone also wondered if the Alki Lumber site might be appropriate for a station.
The Delridge table was represented by Josh, who said people are concerned about “crossing over neighborhoods and houses, and if we can minimize that at all, it’s great.” They also talked about going over the golf course, and they wondered why it diverges from the existing bridge and why an established path isn’t what would be followed. Also, if a new bridge is to be built over the Duwamish, what about building it sooner and opening it to bus rapid transit even before light rail is ready?
Speaking for the “bird’s-eye view” table, Peter said concerns included the siting of the Avalon station where homes are now, the possibility that the track would be 150 feet in the air, and what about consolidating three stations into two stations and dropping the Avalon plan? Maybe a future station could be by West Seattle Stadium. And people were asking what happens south of The Junction.
Finally, the “kitchen sink” table: WSTC vice chair Marty Westerman said “there’s a lot of concern about construction, where are commuters going to park … During construction, there’s concern about using Alaska for bike and vehicle traffic … Second concern, eminent domain or homeowners being priced out … Third, this is the wrong technology, it will be obsolete in relatively short order … and, a lot of concern about why don’t the agencies responsible for planning work together?”
NEXT STEPS: WSTC will aggregate the comments “into some kind of functional format,” said Linde. It’ll go to Sound Transit, to Metro, to City Councilmember Herbold. And at 8:17 pm, the event concluded.
Nine West Seattle/South Park projects to choose from, and eight days left to vote in Your Voice, Your Choice:
As shown in our June 3rd start-of-voting story, that’s the guide spotlighting the local projects. Three will be chosen in each district (ours is 1), so vote for your three favorites. As explained in this reminder on the city website, you can vote online (ages 13 and up) by going here, or on a paper ballot (ages 11 and up) available at city libraries and community centers. The voting deadline is June 30th; the projects were proposed by local residents – more than 200 suggestions in our district alone.
In case you wondered too – since we hadn’t heard anything about a “car-free day” on Alki this year, we checked with SDOT, and they tell us that there won’t be one. What began with a “Car-Free Day” in September 2008 moved to May the next year and was renamed Seattle Summer Streets. That continued annually through 2014. Nothing in 2015; Then last year SDOT brought it back to September and called it Seattle Summer Parkways. This year, in response to our inquiry about whether there would be a car-free day this year, SDOT’s Sue Romero replied:
Summer Parkways is taking a break this summer, and will resume in Summer 2018. As we consider the direction of the program, we are finalizing plans for 2018 and will share them with you when complete.
Instead, she says, SDOT’s “car-free” program is focusing this year on 10 Pike People Streets days in July and August and could spread here:
Resulting from the piloting done on the People Street concept in Capitol Hill, we’re starting to get inquiries from other neighborhoods, including West Seattle, that are interested in establishing their own regular People Street events. We see this as another promising development in our overall public space activation strategy.
Alki will of course be the scene of other events this summer, including the Seafair Pirates Landing on July 8th and the Alki Art Fair July 22-23, but the street stays open to all modes for those events, which are centered on the beach and/or boardwalk.
Andy Cote and his neighbors on SW Portland Court [map] call it “The Hole.”
It’s not anything close to the size of the West Seattle development excavation that held that title for years. But they’re having trouble understanding why it hasn’t been fixed. The city claims that it addresses road holes quickly. Andy says he’s been reporting this one for three years. But it’s not shown on the city’s pothole map – either as fixed or as pending.
We talked with him and his neighbors this morning, as the return of summer sunshine showed it in all its glory.
This one isn’t a deep hole. The problem is that it’s a spot in the road where the pavement has literally eroded away.
Among the handful of homes on their cul-de-sac, two residents require wheelchairs, and they have a problem too – no curb cuts.
What curbs they do have, are also crumbling. They wonder if development just to the east, with a retaining wall built five years ago, is to blame. Whatever it is, they say, it’s nothing they have any control over, and since the city owns the road and sidewalks, they’re looking for a little help.
And what burns a bit – neighbor Hillairee says SDOT will “show up for something we haven’t bugged them about.” Like, if “sidewalk closed” signs related to work nearby nearby are moved. (Portland Court is just off 26th SW, which leads directly to Denny International Middle School and adjacent Chief Sealth International High School down the block to the south.)
So this week, they put out a call for help – to City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, among others, and cc’d us. Andy explained in the note, “Our cul de sac is crumbling. I am assuming it was paved one time in the early 1950s. With the 8 houses on the cul de sac and the multiple deliveries coming and going every day with the changing retail environment, the pavement is gone in a spot. If that spot is not corrected soon, the entire bottom portion of the cul de sac will be gravel. Already there is a 6 foot square that can no longer be pavement.”
Not long after we stopped by this morning to talk with neighbors by The Hole, Andy e-mailed to say that they had received a reply from Herbold, who said she’s sorry he hasn’t heard from SDOT, and added:
By the way of this email, I am bringing this situation directly to the attention of Scott Kubly, Director of the Department of Transportation, as well as Elliot Helmbrecht, the Department of Transportation liaison to the Seattle City Council. Director Kubly and his staff are best equipped to address this problem.
Will they? We’ll be following up.
When last we heard from the King County Department of Transportation about the SW Roxbury sidewalk construction plan between 28th SW and 30th SW, they expected the work to start in “late May.” That time frame came and went with no sign of work, so we asked again. KCDOT spokesperson Brent Champaco says the start is now set for July 5th – two weeks from tomorrow. The original plan called for moving Roxhill Elementary bus-loading areas, and since this will now start after school’s out for summer, that won’t be needed. Other construction-logistics details are in our mid-May report.
New information about the 35th Avenue SW Safety Project today – including word of some repaving along part of the Phase 1 stretch, and a timeline update for Phase 2.
We asked SDOT about 35th SW in connection with the West Seattle Neighborhood Greenway project “outreach” that’s under way right now, since the greenway discussion has been linked to the 35th planning, including at the last major public meeting about 35th, last summer.
There was a small 35th update last month, as reported here, as part of a Vision Zero briefing for the City Council.
Now, more details – here’s what SDOT says will happen next:
*The before-and-after study of 35th SW’s Phase 1 is expected to be released in mid-July.
*SDOT tells us some repaving will follow: “After that, we will conduct pavement-restoration work in the Phase 1 project area where three segments of 35th Avenue SW, roughly between SW Trenton and SW Myrtle, will be repaved.”
*Design for 35th SW Phase 2 is under way, “and takes into account resident feedback collected in 2016.”
*More outreach for Phase 2 this fall.
*Then SDOT will “implement street-design changes north of SW Morgan” next year.
And as reported earlier this month, the “most promising route” for the separate but connecting West Seattle Neighborhood Greenway (to be built in 2019) proposes a crossing signal for 35th at Graham, where two people have been killed.
You can find out more about that and the rest of the greenway route at another drop-in event this Wednesday (June 21st), 5:30 pm-7 pm at Southwest Library, 9010 35th SW. We’re working on another greenway followup for tomorrow. No dates yet for 35th SW project-specific events, but you can watch that project’s page.
While Sound Transit 3-funded light rail to West Seattle isn’t scheduled to open until 2030, project development of the route will be “initiated” later this year, according to ST’s newest timeline. That’s why the West Seattle Transportation Coalition is having a community-led workshop on Thursday, and circulating this invitation/reminder tonight:
Life sure gets busy, but you won’t want to miss the West Seattle Transportation Coalition Light Rail Station Routing Workshop this Thursday, June 22, 2017 at the Hall At Fauntleroy, 9131 California Ave SW, from 6 pm to 9 pm.
Here’s the meeting agenda so you can be thinking about what you want to comment on:
6:00 – Welcome – Michael Taylor-Judd
6:30 – Introduction and Background – Thomas Linde
7:30 – Breakout Tables
1 – Delridge Station
2 – Avalon/35th Ave SW Station
3 – Junction Station
4 – Route Maps and Bird’s Eye Views
5 – “The Kitchen Sink”
8:30 – Report Out and Next Steps
9:00 – Conclusion
Our aims for this community-led workshop include sharing information about light rail costs, options and impacts as well as identifying where the community and neighborhoods want light rail to be routed to best serve West Seattle. There will be light refreshments, a Children’s Coloring Corner, and Sound Transit and King County Metro will have a table with local information.
We’ll have several different ways for you to give your comments. After the workshop, WSTC will assemble all the results into a formal document and present it to Sound Transit, the King County and Seattle City Councils, the Seattle Department of Transportation, and local stakeholders, and urge incorporation with ST3 plans.
P.S. While Sound Transit will not be presenting at this event – they’ll be there to observe – they did give a presentation at last month’s WSTC meeting. We weren’t able to cover it, but we did follow up with ST spokesperson Kimberly Reason, who described it as “a very high-level presentation to WSTC that focused on system expansion and the implementation plan. We were sure to be clear that we haven’t started project development yet; the focus was to educate them on our process for moving forward.” We asked for the slide deck with those points – you can see it here (PDF) or below:
We’re at Uptown Espresso (California/Edmunds/Erskine) in The Junction, where SDOT is set up through 11:30 am for questions and comments about the West Seattle Neighborhood Greenway project. As we reported last week, the city has identified a “most promising route” for it, from 42nd/Edmunds to 30th/Roxbury.
But it’s not a final route, so they’re wondering what you think. Just drop in.
We talked with SDOT’s Summer Jawson and here are a few key points:
*First – the survey promised on the city website is not linked there yet BUT it IS live, so you can go directly here to take it (it’s open through July 9th).
*Next – the design process has not started yet. The feedback they get on this “most promising route” will go into it, so they want to hear directly from you about observations you have as someone who uses the streets and sidewalks.
*Once they start design, the next milestones include achieving 10 percent design and estimating the project’s cost.
P.S. If you can’t get to today’s drop-in meeting, there’s another one Wednesday (June 21), 5:30-7 pm at Southwest Library (35th/Henderson).
You’ve probably heard about the big Colman Dock modernization project downtown. It involves the downtown dock for the West Seattle and Vashon Water Taxis as well as Washington State Ferries, and it’s about to get going in a big way. As a result, the King County Department of Transportation is out with a two-part alert this afternoon for Water Taxi users. The biggest part is that the downtown dock will move to a temporary location for about a year and a half, with a revised schedule. And while that move is made, there’ll be a service interruption of up to 10 days. Here’s the official announcement:
Both routes of the popular foot and bike ferry service will be suspended while construction crews move the Water Taxi’s float at Pier 50 on the south end of Colman dock to the north end (toward the fire station and Ivar’s restaurant).
The temporary move is part of a larger project by the state to renovate Colman Dock. The Water Taxi will move back to a new King County owned facility at the south end of the dock in about a year and a half.
The new Water Taxi terminal will have a weather-protected waiting area as well as elevators and a pedestrian bridge to the new Washington State Ferries terminal and its amenities.
While service is suspended in August, bus riders in both service areas can expect to see heavier-than-usual passenger loads on trips to and from downtown.
· Buses—Metro’s Rapid Ride C Line and routes 21, 37, 55, 56, 57, 120, and 125 connect West Seattle to downtown Seattle. Route 116 connects the Fauntleroy Ferry Terminal to downtown Seattle.
· Light rail—Metro Route 50 connects West Seattle to Link light rail at the Columbia City Station.
· Ride sharing—Learn about Carpool, VanPool, and other ride-sharing options at kingcounty.gov/metro/rideshare or contact your employer.
· Telecommuting and alternate work schedules—If your employer allows you to work from home or flex your schedule to avoid peak commute times, you can both bypass and help reduce crowding on buses while the Water Taxi is out of service.
New sailing schedule for West Seattle
When the Water Taxi resumes service after its move to the north side of Colman Dock, the West Seattle route will be on a new schedule. [PDF version here] This will account for the time it takes to board and de-board the route’s growing number of riders, and allow for Washington State Ferries to cross the Water Taxi’s route when arriving and departing from Colman Dock.
To learn more about the move, new facilities, or the new West Seattle schedule, come to an open house on June 21 at Pier 50 (801 Alaskan Way on the Seattle waterfront). Look for the King County Water Taxi tent and drop in any time between 3:30 and 6:30 p.m.
Via postal mail, SDOT has announced the next step in yet another project planned to start in 2019:
That’s what the city is calling “the most promising route” for the West Seattle Neighborhood Greenway, which has previously been discussed mostly as a side note at meetings about projects such as 35th SW (such as this one almost a year ago). The mailer arrived at WSB HQ (marked “resident” – we will be asking tomorrow about the distribution area among other things) with Saturday’s mail, and we found the map in a PDF version of the mailer on the project page. As is standard for projects these days, an online survey is coming up, but the SDOT website says that it won’t be available until next Saturday. Also that day, according to the mailer – the first of two “drop-in meetings” for comments about this, near the start and end of the “promising route”:
Saturday, June 17th
Uptown Espresso in The Junction
4301 SW Edmunds
10 am-11:30 am
Wednesday, June 21
9010 35th SW
We’ll be following up with SDOT tomorrow.
P.S. West Seattle has one greenway already in place, stretching from North Delridge to South Delridge.
(Draft version of the poster you’ll see promoting advance ticket purchases)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The pilot project might not have looked or felt different to individual ferry users. But in the big picture, a big difference was made, WSF said.
The task force, meeting Tuesday at Fauntleroy Church, also heard even bigger news: WSF expects to start selling tickets by phone before month’s end.
A guest as the meeting began was State Sen. Sharon Nelson, introduced by WSF’s government-affairs liaison John Vezina as representing “two-thirds of the Triangle route.” She gave the committee members a general message of support.
She began by saying that WSF’s work with legislators had become so much more collaborative in recent years, and that she thought putting together a task force about this route “made so much sense.” She talked about the diverse ridership and promised “I will support you every which way I can … I know there’ll be hiccups. … We’re in this together. … We’ll see how the implementation goes.”
She left “to catch the 5:10.”
If someone in your household is 18 or younger and rides transit – they’re eligible for a deal this summer – 50-cent Metro bus rides, $1 Sound Transit bus/train rides – by using ORCA Youth cards. The cards will be provided for free, too, instead of the usual $5 charge. The reduced fares will be available June 17th through Labor Day – here’s today’s announcement. Need a card? Order it online, go to Metro’s customer-service office downtown (address is here), or look for Orca To Go events (though we’re not seeing any West Seattle events listed right now).
If you didn’t go to the SDOT open house about the as-soon-as-2019 SW Roxbury repaving project, you might not know the city’s also proposing more channelization changes (as they’re also doing with the SW Avalon project). This Friday (June 9th) is the deadline to take the newest survey and tell them what you think of the proposed options.
Here’s the overview of how the roadway is configured now in the repaving zone, between 35th SW and 16th SW:
Here’s the overview of the Option 1 proposal:
Here’s the overview of the Option 2 proposal:
The “boards” from the open house also break down the two options, and current configuration, into five detailed cross-sections you can scroll through below (or see here as PDF):
The survey asking you whether you prefer existing configuration, Option 1, or Option 2, is here. You’ll have to click through several pages to get to that point – and also note the question about a “family-friendly bike route” that would NOT be on Roxbury. SDOT is looking for survey responses by this Friday.
Above (or in PDF here), you can see and learn about the nine West Seattle/South Park park/street projects that made the ballot for the first-ever Your Voice, Your Choice “participatory budgeting” vote. We first told you about the voting plan back in January, followed by the project-suggestion period in February, and then the final 10 for the West Seattle/South Park area in April (from 211 suggestions). Now the official ballots are out with nine projects in each city-council district; you can vote for three. $285,000 is allotted to each district (ours is #1), and that will cover three projects. Voting starts today and goes through the end of the month. You can start the online voting process by going here – or look for in-person voting at these upcoming West Seattle/South Park events and meetings listed here and below:
South Park Pride Picnic
Sunday, June 04, 2017
10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Duwamish River Park, 7900 10th Ave S
Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council
Tuesday, June 06, 2017
6:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Seattle Public Library – Southwest Branch, 9010 35th Ave SW
North Delridge Neighborhood Council
Wednesday, June 07, 2017
6:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 4408 Delridge Way SW
West Seattle Farmers Market
Sunday, June 11, 2017
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Farmers Market, 44th Ave SW & SW Alaska St or park at Alaska & 42nd Ave SW
Stewart Manor Resident Council Meeting
Monday, June 12, 2017
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Stewart Manor, 6339 34th Ave SW
Morgan Junction Festival
Saturday, June 17, 2017
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Morgan Junction Park, 6413 California Ave SW
Delridge Neighborhood District Council
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 4408 Delridge Way SW
The city says paper ballots also are available at all city-run community centers and libraries; the votes will be counted after June 30th, and winning projects announced by July 18th. Everyone 11 and up is eligible to vote.
In April, we published a warning from the Port of Seattle that truck traffic was expected to increase in May, especially at Terminal 18 on Harbor Island, as shipping alliances shifted. And indeed, we’ve been hearing concerns about backups, including onto the westbound bridge from the Harbor Island exit, early in the morning. Just before the holiday weekend, we asked SDOT what’s being done; just after it, spokesperson Sue Romero replied:
SDOT’s Transportation Operations Division is in regular contact with the Port of Seattle and Northwest Seaport Alliance about Terminal 18’s increased truck volume. The Port and Alliance send daily updates on changes made to help alleviate the truck volumes – especially in the early morning and after lunch time, when volumes can be high. Terminal 18 management now opens their gates earlier and are storing some 300-400 trucks on their property before they begin the day, to try and prevent early backups. They have also opened more entrances for truck intake on Harbor Island (Gates 2 and 4) instead of using only their main gate (Gate 1).
Portable signs, supplied by the Port of Seattle and the Alliance, have helped direct trucks to the additional gates, and SDOT is reviewing more permanent signage to help direct trucks to their destination and alleviate congestion. The Commercial Vehicle Enforcement team, as well as Port of Seattle Police and the Seattle Police Department, have worked to help clear choke points. We have also been in contact with the affected businesses on Harbor Island to help understand their own needs as truck traffic increases due to the altered patterns around Terminal 18.
Over the Memorial Day weekend, Terminal 18 management opened their facilities on Saturday and then took the unusual step of adding extra hours on Monday, Memorial Day, to help reduce the number of weekday deliveries.
We checked traffic cameras this morning for any signs of backups; none were in view. If you see recurrences, however early, please consider letting us know once you arrive wherever you’re going (unless you’re a passenger and can safely call or text) – 206-293-6302 – as we’d like to keep following up on this.
The photos are from Eric, who says this truck took a wrong turn down residential 41st SW south of The Junction around 11:15 am, “squashed” an SUV, and got stuck “near the Hudson stairs”:
Eric says he empathized: “Driver was really young. I used to drive big rigs, felt for him. He was planning on trying to reverse all the way to Edmunds. I tried to help for half an hour but had to leave.” We don’t know where the truck was trying to go, but the city does have a map of “major truck streets” – Fauntleroy, two blocks east, is the major one in that area.
2:02 PM: Two weeks ago, we reported that SDOT told a City Council committee the Harbor Avenue SW speed-limit drop from 35 mph to 30 mph would happen “soon.”
Now we have a date: Tomorrow. And a reader just called to say that signage is going up – we’re off to check.
SDOT originally planned to reduce speed limits on five West Seattle arterials, including Harbor, by the end of 2015, but the changes have been rolling out more slowly.
2:50 PM: Down here on Harbor, all the signage we’re seeing so far says 25 mph, not 30 as announced. We’re checking with SDOT.
4:08 PM: SDOT spokesperson Sue Romero just confirmed to WSB that those are the wrong signs: “We are redirecting a crew to install the proper signs, which will be 30 mph, before the end of the day today.”
P.S. This isn’t the first mistake involving speed-limit signs in our area – remember the “20 HPM” signs two years ago?
10:36 PM: We went back to Harbor Avenue to check:
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) May 26, 2017
If you use Highway 509 just south of West Seattle/White Center/South Park, you’ll want to know about a big project that’s about to get going – repaving northbound 509 between S. 112th and S. 168th, starting in about a week and a half. The project also will replace sections of guardrail with concrete barrier, and that work will require some lane closures on the southbound side too. The project page is here; today’s news release with project details is here.
Earlier this week, we mentioned that the West Seattle Transportation Coalition will sketch out hopes and dreams for Sound Transit 3 light rail in a community-led design workshop next month. First – WSTC is talking with an ST rep tomorrow (Thursday, May 25th) about how the agency is going to do outreach and planning for the West Seattle line – as we reported last month, some of it’s already under way. That’s part of the agenda for WSTC’s May meeting, 6:30 pm at Neighborhood House High Point (6900 Sylvan Way SW), all welcome.
5:52 PM: If you were planning on riding Washington State Ferries to or from Southworth – you can’t. The terminal is out of service TFN, says WSF, after “a car somehow smashed the control panel for the dock.” WSF says “maintenance crews have been dispatched”; in the meantime, service between Fauntleroy and Vashon continues.
8:56 PM: Just in from WSF – repairs are finished and the terminal “will be back in service with the 9:35 pm sailing from Southworth to Vashon.”
11:26 AM: When SDOT announced the start of “outreach” for two paving projects, including SW Avalon Way and a short stretch of 35th SW, the Avalon project wasn’t described as anything more than repaving.
But with SDOT‘s “open house” meeting about it coming up tonight, Luna Park entrepreneur John Bennett called our attention this morning to a new addition: Rechannelization is proposed, including removal of parking along a stretch of the east side of Avalon – parking that Bennett and other businesses had to fight to (partly) keep before the RapidRide C Line brought a part-time transit lane to the area.
Bennett says the new proposal was a surprise to Luna Park merchants; when SDOT asked for an advance discussion with them, he thought it might just tackle the topic of what would happen for construction. Since the addition of rechannelization hasn’t been widely announced, it might be a surprise to you too.
For the full details, see the PDF of “boards” for tonight’s meeting – added to the SDOT project page – and embedded at the top of this story; we’ve highlighted cross-sections below. Part of the stretch would lose the center turn lane as well as parking. The SDOT document shows the proposed changes in five sections. Below, the three sections through and by Luna Park, “current” followed by “proposed”:
CURRENT SECTIONS 1 & 2:
PROPOSED SECTIONS 1 & 2:
What you see above – with the view looking north – between Manning and Spokane (section 1), shows the addition of bicycle lanes, with the removal of a median and the narrowing of travel and turn lanes. Between Bradford and Manning (section 2), the center turn lane would be removed, and a bicycle lane added on the east side of the street. The west-side bicycle lane would be moved to between the sidewalk and the parking area.
CURRENT SECTION 3:
PROPOSED SECTION 3:
What you see above – again, with the view looking north – between Yancy and Bradford, would also move the west-side bicycle lane next to the sidewalk, and would add a protected bicycle lane to the east side, while removing the parking on the east side.
Bennett says SDOT first told merchants about this in a meeting last Friday and said that the east-side parking removal would stretch for 600 feet; estimating 20 feet per space, he says, means removal of 30 spaces. From his note to SDOT afterward:
I must say we were all shocked with the plans you presented us. I was thinking the main topic was going to be dealing with the inconvenience and mess of construction, not wholesale loss of customer parking. This is very scary for our small businesses. We are still reeling from the loss of parking due to the bus lane. This additional loss of parking will most likely put some of us out of business. I am not being dramatic. Our businesses depend on street parking. Permanently removing 30 street parking spaces is a devastating blow to us.
We have a call out to SDOT with several questions. The cross-sections also are shown in a revised version of the survey on the project page – which is a new survey, not the same survey that was linked from the page when the project was announced last month. If you haven’t already scrolled through that and/or all the “boards” at the top of this story, note that we have just highlighted three of the five cross-sections – there are two more, for the rest of Avalon to 35th, plus a few blocks of 35th south of Avalon.
Again, your comments are being sought at tonight’s “open house,” 5:30-7 pm at Delridge Community Center (4501 Delridge Way SW). You also can take the new survey here, and/or e-mail SDOT at email@example.com. The city says this project is currently targeted for construction in 2019, after the Fauntleroy Boulevard project is complete. (Speaking of Fauntleroy – you might recall that the 2009 repaving project between The Junction and Morgan Junction included rechannelization, too.)
5:02 PM: At day’s end, SDOT e-mailed us their responses to the questions we had left for project spokesperson Dan Anderson by voice mail. First, they say the parking removal would be along 465 feet of Avalon, which they calculate as 23 spaces. Second, regarding businesses’ concerns:
We previewed our proposal with business and commercial property owners in a face-to-face meeting in Luna Park last week. We wanted to make sure they were the first people to learn about our proposal and could weigh-in before the open house. We spoke for an hour and a half and discussed how paving will improve the street surface and be an investment in the neighborhood. We also talked about the long-term city goals of moving as many people in the corridor as efficiently and safely as possible, which is why we’re including protected bike lanes on both sides of the street in our proposal. We said on-street parking would be maintained along the corridor except for two blocks on the opposite side of the street as the businesses.
We’re committed to continuing the dialogue with the Luna Park merchants to explain our project, answer their questions and incorporate their feedback into final design as possible. We’ll have a follow-up meeting with them, including a representative from the city’s Office of Economic Development to learn more about their needs on the streets and how we can work together to address them.
Voter-approved Sound Transit 3 promises light rail to West Seattle by 2030, with three stations envisioned. Inside that framework, many details remain to be decided … including exactly how it will get here, and where the stations will be, among other things. ST has not yet started its official outreach process to ask what you think about that – but the West Seattle Transportation Coalition isn’t going to wait – WSTC is inviting you to a community-led design workshop one month from tonight. Here’s the official announcement:
Where do you want the light rail to go?
Where do you want the light rail to go in West Seattle?
The West Seattle Transportation Coalition (WSTC) invites you to a community-led design workshop on Thursday, June 22, 2017, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., at The Hall at Fauntleroy, 9131 California Ave SW. Sound Transit (ST) plans to build the West Seattle light rail line by 2030. You can help decide where to put light rail stations, where the route will go, and what you think is best for West Seattle neighborhoods and commuters.
In a facilitated setting, we’ll look over Sound Transit’s ST3 proposed routing option and options proposed by WSTC and others. Our aims for this workshop include:
*Explore the costs and impacts of each option – underground, surface and elevated – on our overall community
*Determine where the community and neighborhoods want light rail routed to best serve West Seattle and improve ingress-egress for the Peninsula
*Discuss ways to get light rail delivered sooner than 2030.
Afterward, the WSTC will assemble the results into a formal document and present it to Sound Transit, the King County and Seattle City Councils, the Seattle Department of Transportation, and local stakeholders. Since Sound Transit has already conducted seven design reviews with Ballard, and this is West Seattle’s first, the WSTC will urge ST to combine West Seattle’s preferred options with ST3 overall plans.