Transportation 2371 results

WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE TRAFFIC: Newest recommendations for better ‘management’

It started in 2014 with the West Seattle Transportation Coalition‘s list of priorities. In January 2015, when then-City Councilmember (and West Seattle resident) Tom Rasmussen chaired the council’s Transportation Committee, he announced a West Seattle Bridge Corridor Management Task Force; in September 2015, he presented a “whitepaper” with recommendations.

Some have been put into place.

Last year, the council got a progress report, and asked SDOT to study four possibilities for addressing congestion factors, as noted in the last paragraph of District 1 City Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s update here.

Now, the results of that request are out, in the form of SDOT’s “West Seattle Bridge Corridor Congestion Management Study,” made public by Councilmember Herbold. (If you can’t read it in the embedded version above, here it is in PDF.)

It addresses goals for the upper bridge and lower roadway – not just the low bridge, but the entirety of lower Spokane Street all the way east to Airport Way.

For the upper bridge, the goal is to reduce crashes, improve responding times when they do occur, and “improve operations capability on alternate routes.” The report says 50 crashes happen each year, on average, on the upper bridge.

For the lower corridor, the goal is to “manage a roadway that experiences frequent and unpredictable disruptions as the ‘normal’ operating condition,” and managing truck queues on Spokane St. The report notes averages of five 12-minute low-bridge openings each day. The report notes the “federal mandate” for maritime traffic to maintain priority and does not recommend “restricted opening hours” for the bridge. (However, the recommended Duwamish Waterway User Group might discuss voluntary limits, the report says.)

Also noted: A daily average of 67 train crossings between 1st and 4th on Spokane. And it acknowledges the low bridge/roadway as “the only pedestrian and bicycle train connection” between West Seattle and SODO, with connections to downtown.

The recommendations, in descending order of their estimated costs:

*Enhance alternative routes (to change traffic flow during incidents) via ITS – $6.6 million
*Smart traffic signals and ITS for Spokane St. – $6 million
*Active Traffic Management System on the high bridge – $5.4 million
*Construct Refuge Pullouts – $2.5 million for one, $5 million for two
*Swing Bridge Delay Information System – $950,000
*24/7 traffic-operations center for SDOT to get information out – $875,000
*Rail Crossing Delay Information System – $600,000
*Raised pavement/striping – $250,000
*Establish Duwamish Waterway User Group ($0)
*Terminal 5 Queue Management System and Port/City agreement to ban truck backups on Spokane St. ($0)

The Active Traffic Management System would include “overhead signs capable of posting advisory speeds, variable speed limits, and warning messages approaching backups or queues at targeted locations. … This would be similar to the system installed on I-5.”

Refuge Pullouts would be spots where responders could “push disabled vehicles or vehicles involved in collisions … to restore traffic in the corridor.”

The Swing Bridge Delay Information System and Rail Crossing Delay Information System would involve adding cameras and messaging signs that would include countdowns for how much longer conditions might last.

Not recommended: “Median gates” that could be used to facilitate U-turns on the high bridge if a serious incident led to a blockage. They wouldn’t improve response times or safety. Also not recommended, striping a “fire lane” on the high bridge; this is a longrunning practice in New York City but those researching for the West Seattle Bridge Corridor Report were told they weren’t a good idea for various reasons.

The study includes an extensive discussion of what might happen when “modernized” Terminal 5 reopens, regarding truck backups. We’ll take a look at that in a separate report. Meantime, Councilmember Herbold says that regarding the suggested actions, “I’ll be looking for ways to work with SDOT to implement these recommendations.”

VIDEO: Sound Transit gets going on West Seattle light rail, and the rest of its expansion plan

Five months after voters passed Sound Transit 3 – a $54 billion package including a promise of light rail to West Seattle by 2030 – agency leaders declared today that they are “pushing the ‘go’ button” on that and other parts of the system expansion. We went downtown this afternoon for a media briefing preceding the Sound Transit board‘s afternoon meeting at which the draft System Expansion Implementation Plan was officially unveiled.

The speakers in our video of the 21-minute briefing were, in order, ST board chair Dave Somers (Snohomish County Executive), CEO Peter Rogoff, and board vice chairs Marilyn Strickland (Tacoma Mayor) and John Marchione (Redmond Mayor).

Though much of what they said involved generalities about the overall plan, we did get some specifics, particularly as they discussed the importance of “collaboration” with the jurisdictions in which they’ll be building. So, we asked, what kind of collaboration is required with/in the city of Seattle? Rogoff offered one example: A single environmental review for West Seattle to Ballard – even though the two segments will not be completed together; Ballard has a five-years-longer timetable (and will require a new tunnel through downtown). Toward that end, ST has already issued a Request For Qualifications for a key role in the West Seattle to Ballard planning – described in the news release accompanying the briefing as “a consultant (who) later this year will support kicking off planning for light rail between West Seattle, Downtown Seattle, and Ballard.” That solicitation is summarized here; bids are due May 17th.

Overall, ST3 will quintuple the size of the transit network, and Rogoff said they are figuring out everything they can do to facilitate and accelerate it – such as co-locating project teams who might otherwise have been spread out between multiple buildings.

FOLLOWUP: SDOT answers questions about Roxbury and Avalon paving plans


Back on Monday night, we reported that SDOT had suddenly announced it was starting outreach for paving projects on SW Roxbury and SW Avalon that could start “as early as 2019.” We promised a followup, after sending some questions back to the SDOT spokesperson Dan Anderson, who sent the announcement, and here’s what we’ve found out: First, we asked why Roxbury and Avalon (with a few blocks of 35th SW immediately south) were next up, as opposed to, say, 35th and/or Delridge.

The factors SDOT considers when prioritizing paving are:

*street condition

*cost and cost effectiveness of treatment (weighing preservation opportunities against street reconstruction)

*traffic volume (including transit, freight, pedestrian and bicycle)

*grants and other leveraged funding opportunities

*utility coordination and grouping locations for efficiency

*citizen complaints and claims

*equity and geographic balance across the city

A focus of the Move Seattle Levy paving plan is transit. SW Avalon Way is a critical link for high-capacity transit to SW Spokane St and the West Seattle Bridge ramps. On SW Avalon Way, we’re considering reconstructing the portion of the street where the buses operate and resurfacing the remainder, which sees mainly light vehicle traffic. That makes the project attractive from a cost effectiveness standpoint. SW Roxbury St is a busy east-west link for residents in the south part of West Seattle. It is also a critical part of the Westwood Village transit hub routing.

We also asked specifically about the condition of the road in the two areas now planned for repaving “as early as 2019”:

SW Roxbury St is in very poor condition and it ranks at the bottom of major arterials in West Seattle along with 35th Ave SW and Delridge Way SW. SW Avalon Way’s condition is poor, but the rehabilitation is very attractive from a benefit/cost standpoint. With the projects we’re launching now, we’re working to improve SW Roxbury St, SW Avalon Way, and the highest-traffic segment of 35th Ave SW.

A key principal of pavement management is applying the right treatment at the right time, and taking advantage of opportunities to preserve existing pavements, which costs far less (4-7x), rather than allowing streets to deteriorate to a condition level where they need to be reconstructed.

Our Move Seattle Levy paving plan is a balance of preservation, where we extend the life of existing streets with overlays, seals, or panel replacements, and reconstruction of critical corridors. A good example can be seen in SDOT’s 2017 paving plan. We’ll be reconstructing the north end of 3rd Ave downtown in concrete to support the heavy bus traffic there. Meanwhile, on 4th Ave S between S Spokane St and Royal Brougham Way S, we’ll extend the life of the existing pavement structure by removing the old layers of asphalt and resurfacing with new asphalt.

With a long backlog of needs and limited funds, we have to make difficult choices about which streets get paved. We understand that some might feel that 35th Ave SW, Delridge Way SW, or another street should be paved before SW Avalon Way or SW Roxbury St. Those of us who work daily on paving wish there was more funding for paving and wish we could start work tomorrow on every street with a paving need. A large city like Seattle has a lot of competing priorities for limited funding.

Roxbury was originally projected for 2021. So it might be moved up two years. We asked what factors/conditions will determine if it does get moved up.

We have a 9-year paving budget and project list that corresponds to the Levy to Move Seattle funding period. Individual project costs are estimated up-front based on planning-level details and won’t be truly known until contracts are bid and the projects are closed after construction ends. Major projects are bid on and built by private contractors under City oversight. A significant variable in how many projects we can build and when is what contractors will bid. If bids are favorable, we may be able to do more. If not, less. Being a 9-year timeframe, there’s more uncertainty in out years than this year about how much construction costs will fluctuate. There are also unknowns in any major construction project that add to budget after groundbreaking.

Depending on these factors, we may have the right amount of budget for 2019 to pave SW Roxbury St. If not, it would be paved later than 2019.

This project, being a full reconstruction of the street in concrete, will be more expensive and complex than a partial asphalt grind and overlay project like SW Avalon Way. That’s why we’re saying SW Roxbury St is pending funding availability and we’re not for SW Avalon Way.

While we’re talking money – we asked about the cost of these projects. Anderson said Roxbury is estimated at $13.1 million, Avalon at $7.1 million, and the three blocks of 35th south of it at $4.8 million.

So, we asked, what about Delridge? Is any repaving scheduled for the north section (the south half was repaved back in 2013), especially relating to the Route 120 conversion to RapidRide in 2020?

We recognize there are paving needs on Delridge Way SW and are conducting a pavement assessment this summer. We’ll use the report and preferred RapidRide concept to identity paving priorities along the street that are also financially feasible.

That was it for our Q/A, for now. As mentioned in our first report, SDOT says it’ll have community meetings about both the Roxbury and Avalon projects in the next month or so. In the meantime, there’s an online survey about Avalon, here, and one promised soon for Roxbury.

WEST SEATTLE REPAVING: City says it might move Roxbury up to 2019, as it kicks off outreach for 2 projects including Avalon

In our recent reports on West Seattle roads in need of repaving, and the ensuing comments, 35th SW and Delridge Way SW dominated the discussion. Tonight, we received SDOT e-mail announcing the start of “outreach” for two other repaving projects, including “fact sheets” with maps for each.

One is SW Roxbury between 15th SW and 35th SW – originally in the city plans for 2021, but now described as “as soon as 2019”:

The other is SW Avalon Way and three blocks of 35th, still on the list for 2019:

We’ve already mentioned Avalon, when the repaving plan was noted on a map related to the upcoming Harbor/Spokane/Avalon/Manning Improvements project. But news of a potentially earlier timetable for Roxbury repaving is somewhat out of the blue. Tonight’s e-mail from SDOT communicator Dan Anderson says a postcard about Avalon has been sent, and one for Roxbury “is coming soon.” Avalon also has an online survey, and each project, says Anderson, will have “a public event” in the next month or so.

We have a lot of followup questions and couldn’t ask them tonight since all this arrived fairly late. But we wanted to get this info out for starters, and we’ll be following up tomorrow. In the meantime, Anderson also mentioned e-mail addresses you can use for questions or comments:

avalonpaving@seattle.gov
roxburypaving@seattle.gov

FERRY FIXES: Getting ready for future ‘quick wins,’ during a backed-up Friday in Fauntleroy

Another Friday afternoon/evening backup for drivers headed to the Fauntleroy ferry terminal. (One texter told us the line was past the Lincoln Park gas station by quarter past 3.) This time, though, it had official observers:

Washington State Ferries sent this explanatory announcement earlier in the afternoon:

Beginning at 3:00 pm (today), a team of WSF staff members will be at Fauntleroy terminal to observe traffic conditions and collect baseline data. Today’s traffic and data observation is the beginning of WSF’s internal process to help implement a series of “quick win” recommendations created by the Triangle Improvement Task Force citizen advisory group. The task force’s recommendations aim to speed up vehicle processing through the tollbooth. WSF and the task force aim to launch a pilot program this spring and roll out final changes in time for start of the summer schedule (June 25, 2017).

We’ve been reporting on that process, most recently last month, when the advisory group wrapped up the first phase of its meetings (background from WSF is here).

Since the meeting we covered, WSF has published the official report on how it plans to make the “quick wins” happen – see it here (PDF) and embedded below:

None of those changes have been made yet – today’s “observation” was a preparatory step, so the hours-long backup this afternoon/evening was the result of current procedures that have yet to be changed. We’ll continue to cover this, including updates when WSF decides how and when to start the “pilot” program.

Metro bus stop in West Seattle to be shared by Microsoft shuttle starting Monday


(Click to see full-size PDF map)

Just found out about this via a Metro transit alert today: A citywide “pilot project” to have private shuttle buses share some Metro stops will include one stop in West Seattle, at California/Spokane (see the map above), starting next Monday. Here’s what the city says about it on the webpage linked in the text alert:

The City of Seattle and King County Metro are collaborating with Seattle Children’s Hospital and Microsoft to conduct a six-month pilot that will allow these participating organizations’ employer-provided shuttles to temporarily share a select set of public transit stops with King County Metro buses.

This pilot was carefully developed over the last two years. The pilot project will test the feasibility of allowing employer-provided shuttles to use public transit stops while minimizing impacts to public transit operations.

This pilot will be evaluated by Seattle Department of Transportation and King County Metro representatives using a set of agreed-upon performance metrics and evaluation criteria. Should the pilot be deemed successful, it may be expanded to include additional local employers with workforce shuttle systems as well as more public transit stops.

The pilot will launch April 24. The map on this page shows the 11 public transit stops designated by King County Metro and approved by SDOT where employer-provided shuttles will be allowed to stop. Participating employers will pay a permit fee to use the stops. Special signage will designate each stop as a shuttle location. We will monitor and assess operational issues, which will help determine the potential long-term viability of a permanent program.

Please feel free to contact us to share your thoughts: 206-256-5100 or sharedstoppilot@seattle.gov

Microsoft’s Connector bus service already has at least three stops in West Seattle, according to online schedules and maps, but apparently none are also Metro stops. We noted the service’s West Seattle debut way back in 2008.

VIDEO: More SW Admiral Way changes in the works, SDOT tells Alki Community Council

Six months after SDOT rechannelized most of SW Admiral Way west of California SW, more changes are on the way. A briefing from SDOT transportation planner David Burgesser was part of last night’s Alki Community Council meeting – we recorded it on video, as you can see and hear above. There’s actually not much to see — no slide deck, because SDOT says it’s all being designed right now, but they’re planning “crossing improvements” at six intersections along Admiral:

-49th SW
-SW Lander (at 53rd SW)
-SW Stevens
-59th SW
-61st SW
-63rd SW

Some of the improvements will be “painted curb bulbs” to narrow the crossing distance for pedestrians, possibly decorative with a “beach theme,” said SDOT’s Burgesser. But one intersection might be in line for a major change – he said that the five-way intersection at 59th SW/Admiral is being studied for conversion to an all-way stop. Right now, it has a pedestrian-activated signal; that would be converted to flashing red during a study period, Burgesser said.

One thing they’re not going to do: Make changes at 57th SW. That was explained in an e-mail from SDOT’s Dawn Schellenberg:

We also heard support and concern for adding a crosswalk at 57th Ave SW. One suggestion was to shift the bus stops east closer to Schmitz Park. Generally, folks agreed sight distances for crossing Admiral were better at this location; and it would have less impact to on-street parking. We met with King County Metro staff onsite to discuss the change. Because the bridge was not built to withstand the weight of buses stopping there, we looked at shifting the stop west away from the bridge. Unfortunately, the sight distances are not good for their drivers. Therefore, at this time we’re holding on any changes at 57th Ave SW.

Her e-mail added, “We also committed to evaluating speeds and crashes about one year after the street was restriped. Evaluation will happen over the summer/fall timeframe. We look forward to reviewing and sharing the data; and learning how the street is functioning and if any additional tweaks are needed.”

As noted on the project page, and reiterated by Burgesser at last night’s meeting, the next round of changes will be made before year’s end, and will be brought to the community once the designing’s done.

METRO BUS FARES: New survey, asking you about 2 options for ‘simpler’ fares

Last month, we reported on Metro‘s first survey seeking opinions on how to – whether to – simplify fares. Now, Metro has come up with two options – and a new survey asking what you think about them – for adult fares (no changes are being considered for youth, senior, disabled, ORCA LIFT, or Access):

Our current adult fare structure includes extra charges for travel during weekday peak commute hours (6-9 a.m. and 3-6 p.m.) and for trips that cross a zone boundary during those peak hours. Riders can pay $2.50, $2.75 or $3.25, depending on when and how far they travel.

We’re considering two options for making adult fares simpler:

Option 1: A single $2.75 fare for travel any time, any distance

Option 2: A $3 peak-period fare and a $2.50 off-peak fare, with no extra charge for two-zone travel

And you have two ways to tell Metro which you would prefer – answering an online survey by May 5th, or participating in a downtown meeting on April 25th or an online meeting on April 27th. Go here (scroll to the bottom) to see how to do any or all of the above.

FIXING THE LIGHTS: West Seattle Bridge closures ahead

Next step in fixing the malfunctioning streetlights on the west end of the West Seattle Bridge, aka the Fauntleroy Expressway: Overnight closures, starting May 1st. Here’s the announcement just in from SDOT:

The Seattle Department of Transportation is advising travelers that there will be overnight closures of the Fauntleroy Expressway beginning on May 1 for up to three weeks for streetlight maintenance.

From 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. nightly, beginning on Monday, May 1 through May 4, travelers can expect the following:

·The Expressway will be closed to westbound traffic, west of Delridge Way.

·The Expressway will close at 9 p.m. and reopen at 5 a.m. the next morning. If any Mariners baseball home games reach an expected attendance of 20,000 or more during this time, the Expressway closure will be delayed until 11 p.m.

·Westbound traffic will exit the Expressway at the Delridge Way off-ramp and will follow the marked detour.

·On some evenings, a single traffic lane may close at 8 p.m. for preliminary work in advance of streetlight maintenance.

·This work may be extended into the week of May 7 – 14, if necessary, until the work is completed.

When work in the westbound lanes is completed, maintenance for eastbound lanes will begin at the Expressway entrance at Fauntleroy Way SW and continue to the Delridge Way on-ramp. These closures will begin at 9 p.m. and will reopen to traffic by 5 a.m. the next morning.

For as long as the work continues, we’ll include reminders in our morning traffic coverage.

GETTING AROUND: Take a few minutes to answer the ‘Sidewalk Survey’

Some parts of the city have great sidewalks … some have not-so-great sidewalks … some have no sidewalks. An online survey that’s open until Monday has questions about sidewalk conditions, prioritizing repairs, and about “what kind of online, interactive maps would help aging and disabled users get around the city.” If you can spare a few minutes to answer – go here.

EAST MARGINAL WAY: ‘Online open house’ seeking your comments on upcoming project

It’s just east of West Seattle, but it’s an important route for many here, so we wanted to mention the “online open house” that SDOT has announced for the East Marginal Way Corridor Improvement Project. Until April 26th, it’s open for comments at eastmarginal.infocommunity.org, where you will see the options under consideration for the sections north and south of the West Seattle Bridge. Overall, SDOT says the project is intended to:

*Improve safety and reliability in the movement of people and goods

*Support freight loads by rebuilding the roadway

*Promote efficiency through signal modifications and intelligent transportation systems (ITS)

Improve safety by better separating non-motorized modes from freight traffic

The project page (which is separate from the “online open house”) shows that this is in the early planning stages, with construction not expected to start until 2020. If you scroll down that same page, you can also see the slide decks from recent presentations to various city-convened boards, if you’re looking for even more information.

P.S. Even if you don’t use East Marginal much, if at all, right now, that could change once Highway 99 construction is over and it reconnects to the downtown waterfront.

‘POTHOLE PALOOZA’: SDOT promises to ‘aggressively repair potholes across the city’

Back when we were talking about crumbling 35th SW, Sarah sent that photo from similarly pockmarked Delridge, saying, “This is the southbound 120 bus stop at Delridge and Juneau. It has actually gotten worse since i first reported it a month ago. The road is literally washing away under the concrete.” We had been saving it for a Delridge-specific story – and then on Tuesday, noticed this crew fixing it:

Now, SDOT has just announced a road-repair campaign it’s calling “Pothole Palooza“:

Seattle is kicking off Pothole Palooza on Monday, April 17, a campaign to aggressively repair potholes across the city. Beginning today, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is asking community members to report neighborhood potholes so we can map them out as our Pothole Rangers move throughout the city.

There are three ways to report potholes:

*Calling our Pothole and Street Repair hotline, 206-386-1218
*Using the Find It Fix It App
*Filling out our online Pothole Report form

During the campaign, SDOT crews will be assigned to specific districts around the city. SDOT Crews will be joined by crews from Seattle Parks and Recreation, who will assist with these efforts.

“We recognize that residents have been patient through a tough winter that’s resulted in an increased number of potholes and we want them to know that we’re listening when they report them,” said SDOT Director Scott Kubly. “You’ve told us where they are, and we are marshaling our resources to fill them.”

Potholes occur when street pavement cracks and breaks because of water and vehicle traffic. During winter months, water can cause the material under the pavement to erode, freeze and expand, and then thaw and contract causing the pavement to sink down and break. Many streets, particularly in the outer areas of the city, have a very poor underlying structure, or sub base, which reacts poorly to these conditions. This freeze/thaw cycle can cause the pavement to crack so that it deteriorates quickly under the weight of traffic, and then streets can seem to break out in potholes overnight.

Guess that’s a new way to describe us, an “outer area of the city.” Anyway, the map of potholes the city shows as filled, and waiting, can be seen here.

YOUR VOICE, YOUR CHOICE: List of 211 West Seattle/South Park ideas trimmed to 10

The first-ever Your Voice, Your Choice: Parks and Streets process for what used to be the Neighborhood Park and Street Fund is now on to the next phase. We first told you in January about the chance to suggest ideas for these grants of up to $90,000, with $2 million to be spent citywide; then the city invited community members to review the suggestions – in City Council District 1, West Seattle/South Park, 211 came in – and now the Department of Neighborhoods has announced which 10 are moving on to the next phase of review. You’ll find them on the map above (which also includes the 60 from the six other council districts around the city – grab the map with your cursor and pull it up to see the rest of D-1, and click on any marker to bring up more information about that specific proposal); here’s the list:

Project #17-006: Trail improvements at Roxhill Park
Neighborhood: South Delridge

Project #17-014: Improve 5-way intersection at Dallas Ave S, 12th Ave S, and Thistle St
Neighborhood: South Park

Project #17-019: Bus stop improvements on Barton St
Neighborhood: South Delridge

Project #17-031: Crossing Improvement along SW Henderson St
Neighborhood: Highland Park

Project #17-044: Improved crossings on S. Cloverdale
Neighborhood: South Park

Project #17-068: Crossing improvements at 35th Ave & SW Dawson St
Neighborhood: West Seattle

Project #17-085: Add sidewalks to S. Sylvan Way
Neighborhood: High Point

Project #17-145: Install marked crosswalk along SW Alaska St.
Neighborhood: Junction

Project #17-153: Install crosswalk near Youngstown
Neighborhood: Delridge

Project #17-163: Traffic-calming on Avalon Way
Neighborhood: Fairmount

The proposals that make the final cut after SDOT and Parks reviews will go for district-by-district community votes in June; the city promises more information on that when it gets closer.

@ Southwest District Council: Project previews, plus crime trends

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

One final community meeting to recap from this past week – here’s what happened as the Southwest District Council discussed three transportation-related projects – including issues such as Fauntleroy Boulevard construction vs. Sound Transit 3 planning – and received a crime-trends update.

NEIGHBORHOOD STREET FUND PROJECTS: SDOT outreach lead Natalie Graves said she was there to “take feedback” as the project leads weren’t available. West Seattle’s projects were two of 12 chosen for funding in this round of the every-three-years Neighborhood Street Fund proposal/selection/construction process.

Read More

FOLLOWUP: No 35th SW repaving until 2023? Herbold asks Kubly to reconsider


(WSB photo, March 29th)

Remember our report last week about the rutted state of much of 35th SW, touched off by a reader tip about that particular hole on the northbound side, north of SW Webster? At the time, SDOT reiterated that 35th SW is not scheduled for major repaving work until 2023. City Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s staff, meantime, told us that she was asking SDOT to move that up, and working on a letter to SDOT director Scott Kubly to formalize the request. That letter has now been sent – read it here, or below:

The letter is featured in her weekly e-mail/online update, in which Herbold elaborates:

I’ve received numerous complaints about the condition of the pavement since taking office at the start of 2016, and experienced the poor condition of the road in my travels. Complaints have increased recently.

The letter … details some of what I’ve heard from West Seattle residents, and requests, “please consider this letter a request to examine and repair potholes on 35th Avenue SW from Roxbury to Alaska. I’d appreciate an answer to this request as soon as possible.” In the longer term, the letter requests SDOT:

To reconsider their 2016-2024 paving plan, which lists 35th from Roxbury to Morgan as a planned paving project for 2023;

To provide the current pavement condition rating of 35th, according to the standards of SDOT’s Pavement Management webpage;

Provide the estimated cost for the paving work on 35th, and

Whether they have an update to the 2013 Arterial Pavement Condition map included in the 2015 SDOT Asset Management Status and Condition Report (see Figure VII, page 68 of the report, page 74 of the pdf), which shows a significant portion of 35th as dark red, the worst rating.

I appreciated SDOT’s quick response saying that “…later this month our crews will be doing a concerted effort to address potholes caused by the wet and cold winter. 35th Ave SW is on their plan as a route to be targeted.”

SDOT also indicated they would be in touch later on my larger request re: modifying the pavement plan, and acknowledged that they have begun looking at the implications, as well as my request to re-evaluate the corridor.

We had asked SDOT last week if at least some short stretches were scheduled for spot paving this year, but they had no specifics of what areas might get that attention – for example, it was repaved between Cambridge and Barton just before the rechannelization in fall 2015.

FAUNTLEROY BOULEVARD PROJECT: Community group’s 2nd meeting planned

2016_nov_fauntleroy60_planview

One month ago today, we published our report on the launch meeting of the Fauntleroy Way Neighborhood and Business Association, formed out of concerns related to the years-in-the-works, in-final-design-phase Fauntleroy Boulevard project. The group has just announced its second meeting, 7:30 pm Wednesday, April 19th, with a list of current/continuing questions and concerns:

The Fauntleroy Way Neighborhood and Business Association will host this meeting to discuss the current status of the Fauntleroy Way Boulevard project. Our aim is to leave this meeting with a clearer understanding of the project with respect to the following Association interests:

PROJECT DESIGN

Traffic studies. Per SDOT, a new traffic study was ordered. Our requests for an update have gone unanswered, to date.

Current design completion. We were informed the design is now at 90%, but have not received updates from the SDOT mailing list, from SDOT directly, or how any traffic study may have impacted design updates.

Treed medians vs. left turn lanes. SDOT indicated that they were re-examining additional access along Fauntleroy Way in place of planned treed medians, but we have received no update, to date.

Addition of crosswalks. Much of the justification for this project relates to pedestrian safety, but no additional crosswalks are planned. At our last meeting with SDOT, we were told this was being examined, but we have received no update, to date.

Loading zones and temporary parking. Will there be any spaces along the street that allow for short-term parking, e.g. 3-minute loading and unloading.

DURING CONSTRUCTION

Construction worker parking. Given the squeeze on existing parking in the area, will workers be made to park outside the area of affected business to allow greater access by our patrons?

Communication of the project to the neighborhood. What is SDOT’s plan for communicating traffic plans to the West Seattle community? Businesses would like some say in the way this is communicated to help keep our doors open.

Signage for businesses during construction. We’ve been advised by OED that this is normally not planned for. Given the extended duration of this project, we would like to reach a compromise.

Pedestrian access. Will pedestrians have access to the length of Fauntleroy Way throughout construction?

Mitigation. We have been advised by OED that the only mitigating assistance the City will provide to impacted businesses will be in the form of access to construction updates and influence on project phasing and planning. We seek more clarity around this so that we can plan ahead to work together.

Traffic re-routing plan. We would like any update available on the planned traffic re-routing during construction. Per the note on mitigation, our strong preference would be to keep traffic moving in both directions along Fauntleroy Way for the length of the project.

23rd Project. What has SDOT/the City learned from the 23rd Ave project that will positively impact the Fauntleroy Way project?

Please contact us with any questions or concerns:
Fauntleroy Way Neighborhood and Business Association fauntleroywayassoc@gmail.com

The April 19th meeting will be in the Rotary Room at the West Seattle YMCA (36th/Snoqualmie; WSB sponsor).

TONIGHT: 3 transportation projects @ Southwest District Council

April 5, 2017 1:20 am
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 |   Southwest District Council | Transportation | West Seattle news

Three city-funded transportation projects are on the agenda for the Southwest District Council tonight (6:30 pm, Senior Center/Sisson Building, 4217 SW Oregon). Natalie Graves from SDOT will update SWDC on the two Neighborhood Street Fund projects that have been in circulation for community feedback, the Harbor/Spokane/Avalon/Manning Intersection Improvements and Chief Sealth IHS Walkway Improvements. Former SWDC co-chair Sharonn Meeks is also scheduled to talk with the council about the Fauntleroy Way SW Boulevard project; she has been involved with advocating for it for many years and spoke at both of the recent walking tours. SWDC is co-chaired by David Whiting from the Admiral Neighborhood Association and Eric Iwamoto from the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council and its meetings are open to all.

DELRIDGE RAPIDRIDE H LINE: Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council discussion Tuesday

While the transformation of Metro Route 120 into the RapidRide H Line is three years away, major decisions are being made now, and this is the time to bring up concerns to SDOT and Metro, both leading the project because city dollars are helping pay for it. Since the new planning phase revved up last month, the West Seattle Transportation Coalition (WSB coverage here) and Delridge Neighborhoods District Council (WSB coverage here) have hosted discussions/briefings. And this week, it’s the centerpiece of the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council agenda (6:15 pm Tuesday, Southwest Library). The WWRHAH agenda says the discussion with SDOT/Metro reps will include “mobility issues surrounding the Westwood Village ‘transit hub’ and the Westwood/Highland Park Urban Village.” All are welcome; the library’s on the southeast corner of 35th SW and SW Henderson.

More water-transportation news: Washington State Ferries’ spring schedule starts Sunday

April 1, 2017 9:33 pm
|    Comments Off on More water-transportation news: Washington State Ferries’ spring schedule starts Sunday
 |   Transportation | West Seattle news

One more water-transportation note tonight: Washington State Ferries just sent a reminder that its spring schedule starts Sunday. You can preview it by going here.

P.S. In case you missed it – here’s our report on the last meeting in the first phase of work by the Triangle Improvement Task Force, with a two-point plan aimed at reducing delays and traffic jams on the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route this summer.

LAST CALL! Have you told SDOT what you think about Delridge RapidRide, Fauntleroy Boulevard, Harbor/Avalon/Spokane, Chief Sealth Walkway projects?

Earlier this month, SDOT opened the floodgates and poured out updates and feedback-requests for 4 West Seattle projects. Tomorrow is the deadline for most of the associated surveys, so we’re providing the links one more time:

DELRIDGE RAPIDRIDE H LINE: The main question for you in an “online open house” (which we explored in this story) is, Option 1 or Option 2, when Metro Route 120 changes into the H Line in 2020? The survey is open through tomorrow – find it here.

FAUNTLEROY BOULEVARD: After briefings and walking tours, your last chance for feedback on the design, landscaping, and construction detours/duration for this project is at the bottom of the SDOT project page, and tomorrow is the deadline for this too.

2016_nov_fauntleroy60_planview

Here’s our most-recent report, after going along on both walking tours; here’s our report on last month’s briefing at the West Seattle Transportation Coalition.

Two more projects, both the result of community proposals, don’t have input deadlines, but sooner is better than later:

HARBOR/SPOKANE/AVALON IMPROVEMENTS: This one has changed the official map since we first reported on the feedback phase – look at that link for the old one, which singled out possible parking removal and protected bike lane on the west side of the project, and now mentions (new map below, found on project page tonight) that Avalon is set for paving in two years and that community input might change the design:

The questions SDOT has for you, and the address to use to answer them, are on the project page.

CHIEF SEALTH WALKWAY IMPROVEMENTS: The questions about this project are also on its SDOT page. In this case, the map is the same one made public two weeks ago:

Here’s what we wrote about it then.

You can browse WSB archives of transportation-related stories, including the projects mentioned above, by going here.

ALSO TONIGHT: Your last chance to help decide which proposed park/street projects advance to ‘Your Voice, Your Choice’ vote

West Seattle/South Park residents proposed more than 200 ways to spend almost $300,000 in city grant money for park/street projects … and tonight is your last chance to help decide which ones will move on to a vote. From Jenny Frankl at the Department of Neighborhoods:

This will be the final meeting to decide what projects will move forward. Meeting kicks off @ 5:30 p.m. @ the Southwest Branch of the Seattle Public Library (9010 35th Ave SW).

*If you are just now plugging into this process, first and foremost, welcome! Secondly, just wanted to quickly catch you up – In the previous three meetings for District 1, each D1 project that has been submitted has been reviewed and scored twice (with the exception of those listed below). This meeting tomorrow will be to select from the projects that received the highest scores from those two reviews.

*For those of you who have attended one of these prior meetings, this meeting will be slightly different than the others so far, so I also wanted to give you a better idea of what to expect.

We will be reviewing three sets of projects, that you can find on the updated District 1 Project Map:

*The projects that were scored the highest in the previous District 1 project development meetings and indicated by green pinpoints

*The projects that were scored twice, but the two scores varied greatly are indicated by yellow pinpoints

*The projects that still need to receive their second review are indicated by red pinpoints

In tonight’s meeting, you all will review the orange & red projects first. Once we receive their additional scores, we will tally up their collective scores, and add the highest scored projects to the other list of projects that have scored highly in this process. You will all then review and prioritize the overall list of highly-scored projects.

The goal for the meeting is to select 10 of these projects that will first advance to SDOT/Parks for a thorough feasibility and cost assessment, and then on to the ballot in June!

Anyone is welcome to participate tonight, whether you’ve been to one of the previous review meetings or not.

As first reported here back in January, this is the city’s new process replacing what had long been vetting of proposals and projects through neighborhood-district councils, until the mayor’s decision last year to cut the city’s ties with, and nominal funding for, those groups. (The two in West Seattle, Southwest and Delridge, are continuing on as independent organizations meeting monthly.)

UPDATE: Hole repair on 35th SW; repaving still not planned until 2023

12:27 PM: Thanks for the tips – first police were out, and now SDOT is at the scene of a worse-than-usual pothole, rut, whatever you want to call it, on 35th SW north of SW Webster [map].

We have been working on a deeper look at the state of 35th SW, not just from firsthand observation, as we travel along it multiple times daily, but because of many reader inquiries. So stand by for the newest information on that; in the meantime, when there is an emergency hazard like this, call 206-684-ROAD (or 911). Pothole reports otherwise can be made (if you don’t use the Find It, Fix It app) via this web form, and you can check here to see if the one you’re reporting is already on the map.

ADDED 2:23 PM: The SDOT map for major paving projects still has 35th SW listed as 2023, confirms City Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s office. (See it here.) But they have been hearing a lot about 35th SW too, says legislative assistant Newell Aldrich, and stressing that “it’s a dangerous situation, that we’ve had communications from constituents saying their cars were damaged by large potholes, and ask(ing) SDOT to re-consider the planned 2023 paving schedule and attend to this as soon as possible.” Councilmember Herbold is working on a formal request to SDOT direct Scott Kubly, Aldrich says. Meantime, we also asked SDOT directly if there are any spot paving projects – a block here, a block there, as has been done around West Seattle in recent years – scheduled for 35th this year.

ADDED 7:25 PM: SDOT spokesperson Sue Romero reiterated that 35th SW is not in the schedule until 2023 (same link as the one Councilmember Herbold’s staff pointed to, in the paragraph above):

The southern portion of 35th Ave SW, from SW Roxbury St to SW Morgan St, is included in SDOT’s nine-year AAC paving plan. SDOT continues pothole repairs and spot paving work to keep 35th serviceable until funds allow the reconstruction work to move forward scheduled for 2023.

Here’s an overview of how much paved road the city has, and how it evaluates pavement condition. Followups to come!

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