That’s where King County Executive Dow Constantine says Metro will make the cuts to close the funding gap that remains after Proposition 1′s defeat (here are today’s updated results) and the Legislature’s failure to pass a transportation-funding package. As far as we can tell, it’s the same revised draft that was on the county website by Election Night, and featured in our coverage that night. In West Seattle, four routes would be deleted – 21, 22, 37, 57.
The county’s news release says the cuts will revert service to 1997 levels. An excerpt:
Following the defeat of Proposition 1, King County Metro Transit must move forward with its proposal to cut about 16 percent of transit service, steps required to reduce spending and balance its budget in light of the expiration of the temporary Congestion Reduction Charge and the lack of replacement revenues.
“We’ve worked more than five years to create efficiencies and take other steps to avert service cuts and keep the buses rolling for our riders, so it’s deeply disappointing to see this measure defeated. As a result, we must now move forward to reduce the system to match our revenues, as any enterprise must do,” said Metro Transit General Manager Kevin Desmond. “We regret that many people who rely on Metro will lose service, be inconvenienced, or ride on more-crowded buses because of the service reductions.”
An online summary list shows the 72 Metro bus routes slated for deletion and the 84 routes that would be reduced or revised. Detailed route-by-route information will be updated online today as the service cuts ordinance is transmitted to the King County Council for action. The council is scheduled to consider the legislation in May and act by early June. If adopted, the service cuts would be scheduled to begin in September.
We’ll add links when the route-by-route information is available – we just checked a moment ago and it’s not on the county website yet.
5:24 PM: The route-by-route information is now available – here’s the starting page. Each “square” with a route number links to the information about that route. Note that the headings for each route’s info shows when the change/deletion is proposed. Routes 21, 22, 37, and 57 – the four to be eliminated in West Seattle – aren’t scheduled for deletion until September of 2015, according to this new information.
1:31 PM: Washington State Ferries‘ Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route is suddenly down to two boats TFN because the Sealth is out for repairs. See the two-boat schedule here. We’ll update when this changes.
6:32 PM UPDATE: As of early evening, the run is back to three boats.
Even before the second vote count comes out this afternoon for Metro/roads-money measure Proposition 1, a new ballot measure is in the works, says a group calling itself Friends of Transit, seeking a property-tax increase to be used only for bus service inside the Seattle city limits. The announcement received via e-mail:
Friends of Transit today announced it will file an initiative for the November 2014 ballot that would save bus service within Seattle city limits. The measure could raise up to $25 million a year for the next six years, enough to reverse most cuts to King County Metro routes that serve Seattle.
“Seattle will grind to a halt if we don’t act fast to save buses,” said Ben Schiendelman, founder of Friends of Transit and proponent of the ballot measure. “Seattle voters want better transit. We will not rest until we have reversed these cuts and begun making the investments we need to provide Seattle with the transit system it deserves.”
IF you haven’t yet marked and returned your ballot – just one issue, Proposition 1 for Metro and roads money – you have two more days; it’s due Tuesday night (April 22nd). Last-minute campaigning continues – dozens of “No on Prop 1″ signs turned up along West Seattle arterials overnight; Prop 1 supporters say King County Executive Dow Constantine plans to campaign for it tomorrow morning at the California/Alaska RapidRide stop in The Junction before catching the bus to downtown, where he and Mayor Ed Murray plan a 9:30 am rally in the Benaroya Hall lobby.
Whichever way you’re voting, you can either put a stamp on your ballot and drop it in the mail, or you can drop it off – no stamp required – at the West Seattle or White Center ballot vans 10 am-5 pm tomorrow, 10 am-8 pm Tuesday. (There are dropoff locations elsewhere – maybe one close to someplace else you’ll be – locations are listed here.)
“It’s absolutely crucial that Proposition 1 pass,” King County Executive Dow Constantine told a get-out-the-vote gathering at the Senior Center of West Seattle this afternoon. It’s been one year since Metro general manager Kevin Desmond issued a warning of cuts to come if the State Legislature didn’t come up with a funding solution; they never did, as Constantine noted again today. Added City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen at today’s event, “We’ve done everything we can in Olympia” to try to get help, and none was forthcoming. So now it’s in voters’ hands, he, Constantine, and County Councilmember Joe McDermott – all three West Seattleites – reiterated, and they urged supporters to talk to their friends and family to make sure they vote, since a one-issue springtime special election might be ignored otherwise, with ballots potentially languishing in stacks of junk mail.
Our video above includes the entirety of what they said today; April 22nd is the deadline for voting – by mail or by dropbox/van.
With ballots due one week from Tuesday, the campaigning will be intensifying this weekend, and we have word of two pro-Proposition 1 rallies in West Seattle in the next three days:
-Tomorrow (Saturday, April 12th), 1 pm, Senior Center of West Seattle: King County Executive Dow Constantine, County Councilmember Joe McDermott, City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen are expected at Move King County Now‘s rally. All welcome, from those with questions about the ballot measure to those already planning to doorbell for it and in need of campaign literature and a list.
-Monday (April 14th), noon, South Seattle College (WSB sponsor): Councilmember Rasmussen and State Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon are headlining what SSC says is a student-organized rally titled “Save Our Metro,” planned for the Clock Tower plaza (inside Brockey Center if the weather is bad).
We haven’t received word of any local anti-Prop 1 events so far; email@example.com is the address for any and all event announcements, on this subject or others. April 22nd is the deadline for ballots to be returned.
(Metro/King County contingent at Chamber lunch; WSB photo by Patrick Sand)
Still undecided about Proposition 1, the buses-and-roads measure on the April 22nd ballot? The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce invited Metro reps to its April lunch meeting on Thursday to recap what brought the system to this point and answer questions – not to campaign for Proposition 1, they made it clear, but for information about the state of the transit system. We recorded the almost-hour of speeches and Q/A on video:
One of the questions was one often asked in comment discussions: How much more would Metro have to be charging in order to cover its budget gap? Answer, from planner Marty Minkoff: About $2 more – virtually doubling fares – but that doesn’t take into account factors such as any dropoff in ridership that could result if some couldn’t afford such fares.
Another ramp? Light rail on the bridge? Road repairs? West Seattle Transportation Coalition’s Q&A with SDOTApril 10, 2014 at 11:13 am | In Transportation, West Seattle news | 15 Comments
(Some miss the 4th Avenue onramp that’s been gone 21 years. This sign was still up in 2008.)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Hours after announcing that it has a rep on the city’s advisory committee for choosing a new SDOT director, the West Seattle Transportation Coalition put two of the department’s managers in the hot seat for a special round of Q & A.
Bob Chandler, assistant SDOT director, came to the WSTC’s meeting Tuesday night to answer questions (while noting that he’s retiring in two months), and was joined midway through by a fellow SDOT staffer, Bill LaBorde.
The questions were asked by various WSTC interim-board members and other meeting participants.
Unless you see quotation marks, the Q/A are our summaries/paraphrases, not direct quotes.
Q: Is it possible to add a West Seattle-bound 4th Avenue onramp to the newly widened Spokane Street Viaduct, like the one that was closed more than 20 years ago?
We went over to check on the SW Charlestown (46th-47th SW) hill panel-replacement road work as its second day continued. The city has changed the detour plan:
Eastbound travelers on SW Charlestown will be detoured northbound on 49th Avenue SW to Admiral Way and then east to California Avenue SW. Westbound motorists will be detoured southbound on California Avenue SW to SW Oregon Street then west on Oregon to 55th Avenue SW and then north to SW Charlestown Street.
The concrete-panel replacement on the steep section of Charlestown is scheduled to continue through next Tuesday. Here’s a closer look:
If you missed it in the comment discussion following a previous story, we took a followup question to SDOT, which explained this is a precursor to future work:
There are several damaged concrete panels that we are repairing ahead of contracted concrete grinding work that will take place in May. The grinding will improve traction on the worn panels, which are largely on a steep slope and have areas of exposed aggregate that greatly reduce traction when wet or icy. The grinding is the driving factor here. From a cost and effectiveness standpoint it is best to repair the damaged panels ahead of that process. Here is a photo so readers can see the condition of the panels.
Right after the alley-vacation vote, the City Council Transportation Committee launched into what might have been the marquee item on any other day – the updated city Bicycle Master Plan. You can see what the West Seattle section of the plan calls for – what’s envisioned in the future, though timetables and funding are yet to be determined, by going here. (One notable feature: A western West Seattle neighborhood greenway, along 45th SW between Admiral and Alaska.) During discussion, Councilmember Sally Bagshaw said she wanted to include a reassurance that neighborhoods “would be listened to” when implementation time comes for its components. Councilmember Mike O’Brien called it “an amazing plan … ambitious, for sure.”
On the heels of this past week’s Westside Awards breakfast event (WSB coverage, with video, here), the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce has its monthly luncheon coming up next Thursday, and it’s a timelier-than-ever topic: King County Metro Transit. Ballots are arriving now (we received ours Saturday) for the April 22nd special election including Proposition 1, asking you to approve a vehicle-license fee and sales-tax increase to raise money for transit and road work. Still have questions? The Chamber invites advance suggestions for Q/A – send yours to firstname.lastname@example.org. As Chamber CEO Lynn Dennis notes, “This is our opportunity to speak with Metro face to face.” The lunch-and-Q/A event is Thursday (April 10th), 11:30 am at The Kenney (7125 Fauntleroy Way SW; WSB sponsor); you can register online here.
Just in from SDOT:
Starting Tuesday, SW Charlestown will be closed to traffic between 46th Avenue SW and 47th Avenue SW in both directions for one week. The Seattle Department of Transportation will close the street from 8 a.m. Tuesday, April 8 through 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 15. During the closure, department crews will replace the street’s concrete panels. Local access will be allowed via SW Spokane Street; all other traffic will follow a detour via SW Genesee Street between 55th Avenue SW and California Avenue SW. The work is weather-dependent.
Ballots arriving for April 22nd transportation-money vote; West Seattle, White Center will have ballot drop vans againApril 2, 2014 at 5:04 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 13 Comments
King County has mailed ballots for the April 22nd election, so yours might even have arrived already. Proposition 1 for Metro and road money is on the ballot countywide. Here’s the text you’ll see on your ballot:
The Board of the King County Transportation District passed Resolution No. TD2014-03 concerning funding for Metro transit, roads, and other transportation improvements. If approved, this proposition would fund, among other things, bus service, road safety and maintenance and other transportation improvements in King County cities and the unincorporated area. It would authorize the district to impose, for a period of ten years, a sales and use tax of 0.1% under RCW 82.14.0455 and an annual vehicle fee of sixty dollars ($60) per registered vehicle under RCW 82.80.140 with a twenty dollar ($20) rebate for low-income individuals.
Should this sales and use tax and vehicle fee be approved?
You can read the official pro/con/rebuttals here. As usual, it’s a mail-in election, but if you’d rather drop off your ballot in person – and without a stamp – here’s where to go, including ballot dropoff vans in West Seattle and White Center on April 19, 21, and 22. Same locations as last time – West Seattle Stadium (info/hours here) and Greenbridge (info/hours here).
Thursday night, bring your bike to the next DIY Bikes workshop -5-8 pm at the West Seattle Tool Library. From Stu Hennessey:
Memo from the hardest-working part on your bike. OVERHAUL ME! Bicycle-wheel hubs are the hardest working part of your bicycle. They support your loads, turn the fastest and are closer to the elements such as street grime, dirt and water. Leaving them unattended results in bearing-surface wear that can make your hubs unusable. Our hub-overhaul workshop will focus on front and rear standard ball bearing hubs. DIY Bikes will provide the tools, cleaning products, replacement bearings, grease, and procedure to get your hubs running smoothly again.
The West Seattle Tool Library is on the east side of Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 4408 Delridge Way SW.
Who’s leading the West Seattle Transportation Coalition? Meet the volunteers for its permanent boardMarch 27, 2014 at 6:45 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle news | 1 Comment
Since the West Seattle Transportation Coalition was formed six months ago, it’s been led by volunteers who were careful to reiterate their status as an interim board. Now, they have an official board – still volunteers; while technically there’s an election ahead in May, the deadline for applying has past, and 10 candidates emerged for 11 spots (the 11th will remain unfilled TFN), so the vote’s a formality. Meet the board here and see the issues the WSTC plans to tackle on the road ahead, starting with its next meeting – all welcome – 6:30 pm April 8th at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center.
You might have noticed preparation for this work – and now we have details: SDOT is putting in curb ramps at two spots on Harbor Avenue SW:
Starting the week of March 31, Seattle Department of Transportation crews will be installing curb ramps at two locations with marked crosswalks on the Alki Trail in West Seattle. The curb ramps will improve safety and accessibility for everyone using these crosswalks.
One of the crosswalks is located at Harbor Avenue Southwest and California Way Southwest. The other is a midblock crosswalk on Harbor Avenue Southwest near the Don Armeni Boat Ramp. The crews expect to complete the work by the middle of April.
The city’s announcement continues ahead: Click to read the rest of Walk, run, ride, roll along Harbor Avenue? Curb-ramp work soon…
“West Seattle has my attention.”
That’s what Mayor Ed Murray told us on Friday, when we had an opportunity to talk with him one-on-one for the first time since he took office two and a half months ago. In about 20 minutes, we touched on about half a dozen hot topics, and we’re breaking them up into separate stories, starting with this. First: His answer to our question about whether anything can be done to improve the traffic situation on the West Seattle Bridge.
In brief: The mayor says he recognizes that West Seattle, with the bridge as a chokepoint, does have a unique challenge, and, he says, “We can’t wait to find a West Seattle solution” long before any possible “mass-transit solution.”
What might that “West Seattle solution” be? Maybe reversible lanes? we suggested. Perhaps, the mayor said, or other “different ways we can control traffic.”
Next (later today, barring breaking news): Hear what the mayor has to say about the yet-to-be-activated – 14 months after our first report about them – Seattle Police surveillance cameras dotting West Seattle’s shoreline (and elsewhere in the city).
Lots of city surveys these days, and today there’s another one: This time, it’s focused on the search for a new Seattle Department of Transportation director. It’s a short survey and includes questions about how you think SDOT is doing – what’s going well, what could be better. Here’s the survey link; here’s the info page with more ways to get involved in the process.
If you’ve been eagerly awaiting the opening of the new South Park Bridge, looks like the wait is going to be a bit longer. The projected opening timeframe for the bridge has been “spring 2014″ for a while … but today, the county’s detailed invitation to next week’s South Park slideshow presentation on bridge construction says it won’t open until sometime this summer, after extensive wiring work. A cached copy of the project webpage shows it displaying “Anticipated Opening: Spring 2014″ as recently as last Sunday.
The bridge originally was projected to open in fall 2013; as first reported on WSB and partner site The South Park News in fall 2012, that changed because foundation work took longer than planned. We have a request out to the county for comment on what has caused the latest change. The old bridge was closed June 30, 2010, after being deemed unsafe; funding for a replacement wasn’t certain by that point, but was eventually secured, and the new bridge’s groundbreaking was in May 2011.
4:09 PM UPDATE: County Transportation Department spokesperson Rochelle Ogershok says this isn’t the result of a new problem, but rather the re-evaluation of the timeline. Her response, ahead:
Click to read the rest of County now says South Park Bridge won’t be open until summer…
Update on Highway 99 work: No closure tonight, per WSDOT‘s Kris Olsen, nor any night for the rest of this week. They’re now planning to do the striping work on the new Spokane Street Overcrossing south of the West Seattle Bridge on Saturday, while the rest of 99 (in this area) will be closed anyway for the Alaskan Way Viaduct followup inspection.
Two traffic updates, both about Highway 99 closures: First, WSDOT‘s Kris Olsen tells WSB there will be NO 99 closure tonight – the next one is tentatively scheduled for 9 pm Wednesday night-5 am Thursday, East Marginal to Atlantic for Spokane St. Overcrossing re-striping/realignment. Also, WSDOT’s Laura Newborn confirms that the time frame for Saturday’s Alaskan Way Viaduct inspection-followup closure is 4:30 am-7 pm.
11:56 AM: WSDOT assistant secretary David Moseley, who runs Washington State Ferries, has just announced he is leaving after six years. The announcement is in an early edition of his e-mail newsletter, which usually arrives on Fridays. No word yet on a successor.
12:32 PM: Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson promises a “national search” for the next WSF boss.
Washington State Department of Transportation bridge engineers have scheduled an additional in-depth inspection of the State Route 99 Alaskan Way Viaduct on Saturday, March 22.
During the viaduct’s most recent inspection on March 1, engineers observed new cracks, as well as movement and widening of existing cracks along girders and supports near Spring and Seneca streets. While the viaduct remains safe for travel, engineers need a second inspection to gather more information about the cracks before they can make repairs. The inspection requires a one-day closure that will take place Saturday, March 22. Details of the closure will be available soon.
During the March 22 inspection, engineers will conduct an in-depth evaluation of the area, perform tests to determine how the cracks respond to heavy loads on the viaduct, and look for other issues. They will also install monitoring devices on the columns to track the movement and growth of the cracks over time. They will use this data to help identify potential repairs. If additional work is needed, such as filling the cracks with epoxy, further closures will be required.
This section of the viaduct is more than a half-mile north of the current location of the SR 99 tunneling machine. While the cause of these cracks is still to be determined, it is not related to tunneling activity.
No other significant changes to the viaduct were observed during the March 1 inspection. …
If you didn’t make it to the second meeting tonight about the project to make SW Roxbury safer between 35th SW and its east end at 4th/Olson, you’re not out of chances yet, but time is finite.
As with the first meeting earlier this month in White Center, this meeting was led by SDOT’s Jim Curtin and Brian Dougherty, though it was an interactive discussion much more than a “sit down and listen” meeting. Curtin did have a new, brief slide deck – that’s him at left, below, on the Roxhill Elementary stage with Chris Stripinis from the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Neighborhood Council, who had explained backstory about WWRHAH and other groups asking the city to “do something about Roxbury Street.”
Thanks to Joe Szilagyi from WWRHAH, among tonight’s attendees, for that photo. Meantime, here’s the SDOT slide deck, shared by Curtin:
If you can’t see the Scribd document above, click here for the PDF version. After the presentation, with key points including the fact that Roxbury – classified as “a principal arterial” – has “a very high rate” of collisions, 223 in the last three years, including 11 pedestrians and two bicyclists being hit. Traffic volumes rise from 13,000 vehicles daily on the west end to 25,000 daily on the east end, “a pretty busy road.” The collision hot spots are all along the stretch.
The most collision-plagued intersection is at that busy east end, Olson/4th/Roxbury, and one suggestion was for a roundabout there – that would take money and time, Curtin said, not ruling it out, but for starters they’re considering reducing the spinout factor there by roughing up the pavement.
Other suggestions written on sticky notes and left along the multi-table rendering of Roxbury included working on the turn lanes at the intersection by Safeway, so people are clearer on which way vehicles are turning. All the suggestions are being collected, along with those to come at upcoming events such as these (from the slide deck):
WHAT’S NEXT: Early projects will include pavement repair near Roxbury Safeway – that will be fixed “very soon,” Curtin promised. Photo-enforcement cameras, as already announced, will be installed in Roxhill and Holy Family school zones. This entire project is being made possible by photo-enforcement revenue, he added. Longer-term – recommendations for the corridor are expected to be out in July.
This morning, an invitation-only design charrette downtown is devoted to taking a fresh look (as explained here) at one of West Seattle’s more-problematic intersections, and it was preceded by a walking tour on Tuesday afternoon. The intersection is the five-way meeting of Chelan, Spokane, Delridge, and West Marginal Way SW, just west of the “low bridge.” West Seattle-residing City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen was among those on hand for a firsthand look and discussion of its challenges and its potential.
Among the stops – a bus lane that wasn’t serving its originally intended purpose, because of route changes.
The bicycling/walking/running trail was scrutinized too; there’s already a project in the works just to the south at 23rd/Delridge to improve connectivity (as mentioned in our coverage of the most recent West Seattle Transportation Coalition meeting).
This morning’s design event was billed as for “stakeholders”; we’ll be checking back to find out what’s next.
(WSB photo from December 2013)
The 25th SW driveway dangers on the east side of Westwood Village were among the problems noted when the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Neighborhood Council led a December walking tour of challenges in the evolving transit-hub zones around the shopping center (WSB coverage here). Tonight, chair Amanda Kay Helmick shares this update from Metro:
“We’re planning to shift the Route 60 starting this coming Saturday, moving the terminal on 25th Ave SW at SW Henderson by the Bank, up to the north end of the block by Staples. SDOT is updating the curb striping along here this week, so there will be room for the extra bus. SDOT will also extend the layover zone south of Henderson, used by Route 560, so that there will be more clearance and better visibility at the Westwood Driveway when there are two buses parked here. SDOT is able to work around the Metro coaches so there shouldn’t be any need for detours and there also shouldn’t be much impact to riders with this change other than when the 60 arrives at Westwood they would get off at Staples instead of the Bank. We will continue to use the stop by the Bank as a boarding zone for riders but it will no longer have any buses parking there.”
Helmick had early word of some of this in an update at this month’s WWRHAH meeting (WSB coverage here). She adds one more update: “In regards to the 70′ no-parking area west of the crosswalk at the Rapid Ride, Metro was asking SDOT today about the time frame.” So, watch for more updates, and check out WWRHAH’s March meeting next week.
Acting as the board of the newly created Transportation District, King County Councilmembers have officially voted to call an April 22nd vote on Proposition 1 – a car-tab fee ($40 more than what is charged now, since $20 of it replaces an expiring $20 fee) and sales-tax increase (1/10th of a percent) to raise money to cover the rest of Metro‘s funding gap and the cost of road repair/projects. Read the full text of what they approved here; for all the numbers, go here. Here’s how a county news release sums up what the measure will do if approved by voters:
·Increase the King County sales tax by 0.1 of a percent for ten years;
·Establish a $60 vehicle fee;
·Distribute 60 percent of the net revenues of the ballot measure to provide funding to maintain Metro transit service hours at current levels. If any funds remain after maintaining transit service hours, evenly split the remaining funds 50/50 between transit and unincorporated road purposes;
·40 percent would go to cities for transportation improvements and the county for unincorporated area road purposes allocated based on population;
·Specify that the funds must be used for transportation improvement projects contained in the County’s, Cities’ or Puget Sound Regional Council’s approved transportation plans (as updated by the individual jurisdictions);
·Establish a low-income rebate program that rebates $20 of vehicle fee for vehicle owners whose household income is less than 45 percent of the county’s median household income.
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