Transportation – West Seattle Blog… http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Mon, 25 Jun 2018 01:33:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.6 CLOSURE UPDATES: Highway 99 fully open again; West Seattle ‘low bridge’ still undergoing repairs http://westseattleblog.com/2018/06/closure-updates-highway-99-fully-open-again-west-seattle-low-bridge-still-undergoing-repairs/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/06/closure-updates-highway-99-fully-open-again-west-seattle-low-bridge-still-undergoing-repairs/#comments Sun, 24 Jun 2018 17:25:48 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=920489

Just an update/reminder – Southbound Highway 99 between the West Seattle Bridge and Battery Street Tunnel reopened this morning as planned, after work related to the future viaduct-to-tunnel transition. As reported here Friday, WSDOT expects another closure sometime this summer, but the date’s not set yet. Meantime, it’s the fourth full day of the West Seattle “low bridge” repair closure:

No new estimate from SDOT on when it will reopen, beyond the initial estimate that “at least a week” of work would be needed.

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CLOSURE UPDATE: West Seattle ‘low bridge’ repair work continues http://westseattleblog.com/2018/06/closure-update-west-seattle-low-bridge-repair-work-continues/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/06/closure-update-west-seattle-low-bridge-repair-work-continues/#comments Fri, 22 Jun 2018 23:14:58 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=920387

4:14 PM: As you’re hopefully well aware by now, the West Seattle “low bridge” – officially, the Spokane Street Swing Bridge – is closed to non-maritime traffic so repairs can be made after a hydraulic-fluid leak. No new estimate for when it’ll reopen – it’s been closed since Wednesday night, with an estimate of “at least a week” – but SDOT has provided another update on the work, with photos, including:

Today, crews repairing the West Seattle Lower Bridge are pulling electrical conduit and casings from the western bridge support machine room.

They need to reach and replace damaged hydraulics that move the west side of the swing bridge – work that will take several days.

The city-provided van shuttles for bicycle riders continue until 7 pm tonight at both approaches to the low bridge, departing approximately every 20 minutes. Riders who would rather try the detour – across the 1st Avenue South Bridge – have two new ways to check it out, thanks to fellow riders:

1. Don Brubeck of West Seattle Bike Connections sent a RideWithGPS map that he and Bill Gobie created, complete with cue sheet – see it here.

2. Robert Sverci made this video with a first-person view of the ride:

The Water Taxi runs 7 days a week this time of year – you can see the West Seattle schedule here. And whatever mode you’re using, you can check area traffic cameras including the high-level bridge on the WSB West Seattle Traffic page.

P.S. Thanks for all the extra tips on traffic problems during the closure – the best way to get info to us instantly, 24/7, is 206-293-6302, text or voice.

ADDED 8:50 PM: The bicycle shuttle is NOT running on the weekend, SDOT clarifies, adding that usage has been fairly low so far. It will resume Monday morning. Meantime, here’s another repair update.

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LOW-BRIDGE CLOSURE NOTES: Warning signs fixed; West Seattle Water Taxi update; bicycle shuttle extended http://westseattleblog.com/2018/06/low-bridge-closure-notes-warning-signs-fixed-west-seattle-water-taxi-update/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/06/low-bridge-closure-notes-warning-signs-fixed-west-seattle-water-taxi-update/#comments Thu, 21 Jun 2018 19:01:11 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=920244

Two Three notes related to the West Seattle “low bridge” closure that’s expected to last at least a week:

WARNING SIGNS: As mentioned in our morning traffic coverage, the long-broken, reported-but-not-fixed “use high-level bridge” sign on Delridge suddenly became a crisis with the bridge closure. One reader escalated it to Councilmember Lisa Herbold, who in turn escalated it to SDOT, saying the sign needs to be fixed immediately. Herbold staffer Newell Aldrich just forwarded this update from SDOT:

Crews have fixed two flashers for the “When flashing use high level bridge” signs on Delridge Way SW. They are working to fix the others on Admiral Way SW and SW Spokane St.

BIKES ON THE WATER TAXI: Since the bridge closure has taken out the main route for bicycles, some are using the West Seattle Water Taxi. We asked spokesperson Brent Champaco if there was an uptick this morning. He replied, “Although we don’t officially count bikes boarding the West Seattle route, our crew reported a surge in bikes onboard this morning.” He added: “As a side note related to this, we actually had plans to pull the Doc Maynard out of service next Monday through Wednesday for some maintenance work, which would have placed the Spirit of Kingston in service. However, due to the emergency closure, we decided to postpone that maintenance until later in July to provide additional passenger and bike capacity (the Doc Maynard holds ten more bikes than the Spirit of Kingston).” The bike rack on Doc Maynard, which became the main WS vessel two years ago, has an official capacity of 26 bicycles. (3:34 PM UPDATE: Regarding ridership rise today, Champaco tells WSB, “Ridership for the morning commute was up 12.5 percent over yesterday’s ridership.:

ADDED 12:57 PM – BICYCLE SHUTTLE EXTENDED: Just in from SDOT:

Inspections are underway following last night’s emergency low-level West Seattle Bridge “closure” – essentially a forced extended opening to enable inspection and repairs. With bicyclists impacted significantly, to reach alternative routes over the Duwamish River, we will continue van service for bicycle commuters and evaluate use throughout the week.

·Shuttles for bicyclists operating during heavy commute hours: 6 to 10 AM and 3 to 7PM .

More details to come, on bridge damage associated with hydraulic fluid leakage. The leak is inside a machine room that holds the huge cylinders which turn the bridge sections in for roadway traffic and out for marine traffic.

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ROAD-WORK ALERT: Where SDOT will be sealing cracks in West Seattle http://westseattleblog.com/2018/06/road-work-alert-where-sdot-will-be-sealing-cracks-in-west-seattle/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/06/road-work-alert-where-sdot-will-be-sealing-cracks-in-west-seattle/#comments Tue, 19 Jun 2018 21:34:54 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=920044 SDOT says today marks the start of its annual Crack Seal Program, which “proactively extends the life of roadways” by filling “cracks in the pavement with a cost-effective low-tack sealant, to reduce the infiltration of surface water. delaying the formation of potholes and other distresses that deteriorate pavement. The annual work helps make for the smoother sailing of bikes, buses, and car wheels, holding pavement together an extra 3-5 years.” The list of scheduled locations citywide includes these five in West Seattle (no specified dates):

🦑 47th Ave SW – from #10203 to #10226

🦑 Halleck Ave SW – from SW College St to 53rd Ave SW

🦑 53rd Ave SW – from Halleck Ave SW to Alki Ave SW

🦑 Marine View Dr SW – from SW Roxbury St to 42nd Ave SW

🦑 2nd Av SW – from 1st Av SW to Highland Parkway SW

SDOT’s announcement adds, “Our crews will move the crack-sealing operation from block to block and reopen the lanes as they are completed. Lanes will close intermittently for 3-4 hours and parking will be restricted. Bus stops and sidewalks will remain open.”

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TIME TO VOTE: 11 Your Voice, Your Choice projects in District 1 http://westseattleblog.com/2018/06/time-to-vote-11-your-voice-your-choice-projects-in-district-1/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/06/time-to-vote-11-your-voice-your-choice-projects-in-district-1/#comments Mon, 18 Jun 2018 20:36:01 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=919963 Voting has begun for this year’s Your Voice, Your Choice park and street projects. Voting is broken up by City Council districts, so you’ll be choosing between 11 community-proposed projects in District 1 (West Seattle/South Park). Asterisks, as assigned by the city, denote “projects that are in Equity and Environment Initiative Focus Areas and eligible for an additional $1 million in citywide funding”:

1A. Project # 18-161: Pedestrian Lighting Improvements at SW Morgan St bus stop near South Seattle College

1B. Project # 17-014: Intersection Improvements at Dallas Ave S, 12th Ave S, and Thistle St*

1C. Project # 18-149: Walkway Improvements on S Cloverdale St under SR-99 overpass*

1D. Project # 17-187: Signage Improvements at S Henderson St & 12th Ave S*

1E. Project # 17-125: Improvements between 21st Ave SW and 23rd Ave SW at SW Brandon St

1F. Project # 17-174: Crossing Improvements on California Ave SW and SW College St

1G. Project # 18-167: Improvements on Fauntleroy Way SW & SW Findlay St/SW Brandon St

1H. Project # 17-177: Improvements to basketball courts at Delridge Community Center

1I. Project # 18-1045: Equipment Refurbishment at Puget Boulevard Commons

1J. Project # 18-1043: Benches in Lincoln Park

1K. Project # 17-006: Trail Improvements at Roxhill Park*

(Find the projects on a map here.) To vote online, go here. You’ll be asked for a cell-phone number for a verification code (there are alternate ways to vote if you don’t have one or don’t want to give yours – you can go to a Seattle Public Library branch, for example), and then your name and e-mail address. Voting is open through July 16th.

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West Seattle light rail: What Sound Transit said, and was asked, at Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council http://westseattleblog.com/2018/06/west-seattle-light-rail-what-sound-transit-said-and-was-asked-at-pigeon-point-neighborhood-council/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/06/west-seattle-light-rail-what-sound-transit-said-and-was-asked-at-pigeon-point-neighborhood-council/#comments Wed, 13 Jun 2018 04:27:03 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=919309

(Sound Transit slide deck from Pigeon Point meeting)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Sound Transit‘s West Seattle light-rail line is either going to skirt Pigeon Point or tunnel through it, so the PP Neighborhood Council invited ST in for a briefing.

The briefing and ensuing Q&A took up most of last night’s semimonthly PPNC meeting, with about 50 people in the Pathfinder K-8 cafeteria to get an abridged version of what’s been unfolding over the past 5+ months.

ST’s Andrea Burnett and Stephen Mak, both working on the West Seattle line plan, were invited. He presented the backstory first on the Sound Transit 3 vote setting up a draft plan for a 4.7-mile extension to West Seattle, to open in 2030, with a new rail-only bridge over the Duwamish River, and three stations in WS.

By early next year, the current planning process is expected to result in a proposed “preferred alternative” for environmental study. The process is going into the second of three “levels,” as we’ve been chronicling in our coverage of the three groups through which everything is being filtered – the Stakeholder Advisory Group, the Elected Leadership Group, and the Sound Transit Board.

Mak also recapped the feedback so far – 2,800 comments in “early scoping,” for starters. And he reviewed the five West Seattle alternatives that emerged in Level 1 review (they start at page 17 in the slide deck you can see atop this story or here, 9 MB PDF).

Mak also quickly recapped feedback from the May “neighborhood forum” in West Seattle; he didn’t mention that it was held after the Stakeholder Advisory Group had already made its recommendation on which options should move forward and which should not. The SAG recommended continuing to review the “Oregon Street” and “Pigeon Ridge” options; the Elected Leadership Group subsequently agreed with that and also added back the “Golf Course” version provided federal “Section 4(f) impacts” (using parkland) could be avoided.

Mak explained “there are still opportunities to mix and match” components of multiple alternatives and showed an example (page 37 in the slide deck).

Burnett said “staying engaged” is important and you can do that by calling or e-mailing (wsblink@soundtransit.org, 206-903-7229) as well as talking with ST at summer events such as the Morgan Junction Community Festival next Saturday and West Seattle Summer Fest July 13-15. Another round of neighborhood forums is planned later in the year, so watch for the announcement of a date/time/place for West Seattle.

In Q&A, Pete Spalding asked about costs, and Mak said estimates are being prepared in hopes of helping everyone “make an informed decision.”

Next question: If an option is chosen that involves tunneling under Pigeon Point, would that be like “earthquakes all the time?” Too soon to say, Mak replied.

Where would the tunnel go? It would come out onto Genesee, around the Youngstown area.

How wide of a swath would be affected, whether by tunnel or elevated? In a tunnel scenario, said Burnett, they would obtain certain rights from a homeowner over the route without the house being condemned. Above-ground, it’s hard to say. Potentially affected property owners would be notified twice in the Environmental Impact Statement process, Mak said. Then during design, ST would be notifying and talking with property owners.

So how do you weigh property impacts vs. other impacts? It won’t be a “pure financial decision,” explained Mak – they’ll gather comparative information and present it first to the Stakeholder Advisory Group, then the Elected Leadership Group.

The next question sought clarification on how the Pigeon Point neighborhood would be affected in all remaining options. ST engineers are looking at that, Mak said. “Someone just drew a line and didn’t know if it would be possible?” was the followup. Reply: Yes.

If light rail arrived on/over north Delridge Way SW, would it be high enough that the businesses would be able to stay there? ST doesn’t know yet, Mak replied. Depends on where the columns would be. “Most of the time there are no structures under our guideway.” How wide is the guideway? someone asked on followup. Go look at Northgate, Mak suggested.

What’s the hard date for a decision, and what if the elected officials in the Elected Leadership Group turn over – what if their replacements have different views? There wasn’t really an answer for that.

What about noise? They’ll be studying mitigation for that in the environmental review.

How many homes would be affected? asked a person who said she had heard specific numbers. ST’s not to that point yet.

Given the federal “4f” concerns (parkland could only be used if no other alternatives were workable), so it’s easier to “take a neighborhood than take a golf course”? was one question. Basically, yes.

How would construction affect neighborhood access, given that Pigeon Point only has two access points? Too soon to say, Mak said, but they would work with the neighborhood. Would Delridge be closed at some point? was one followup. Still too soon to say – but Burnett suggested “talking to another neighborhood” that’s gone through the ST light rail process.

How high would the columns be? Mak wouldn’t get into specific numbers but said the “purple alignment” would be lower. So would a golf course alignment. The “Oregon Street” alternative would be the highest. Another person followed up on that – particularly the possibility of 150′ height – and wondered if ST has anything near that height right now. (Not quite.)

Next question was about costs. Mak said he didn’t have any of that info handy but some is online.

What about mitigating congestion before this is built? The RapidRide H Line on Delridge is no longer a sure thing because of the Move Seattle levy reset, Spalding noted.

Park-and-hiding came up. Seattle code doesn’t allow a park-and-ride structure, said Mak, but for example, on his last project in Bellevue, they worked on neighborhood permit parking to try to alleviate the problem.

After about an hour, the ST session wrapped up, and everyone was again urged to stay involved.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR LIGHT-RAIL PLANNING: The Stakeholder Advisory Group meets 5-8 pm June 20th (ST board room downtown, 401 S. Jackson, open to the public but there’s no comment period).

Two other items from earlier in the meeting:

ACKNOWLEDGMENT: Southwest Precinct operations Lt. Ron Smith is retiring soon, as reported here last month, and was acknowledged with a hearty round of applause.

NEXT MEETING: In August, Pigeon Point gathers for Night Out, street party at 20th/Dakota on August 7th! The next more-standard-format will be in October.

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HARBOR/SPOKANE PROJECT: New info, with work starting as soon as tomorrow http://westseattleblog.com/2018/06/harbor-spokane-project-new-info-with-work-starting-as-soon-as-tomorrow/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/06/harbor-spokane-project-new-info-with-work-starting-as-soon-as-tomorrow/#comments Wed, 13 Jun 2018 03:13:25 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=919402 As soon as tomorrow, Wednesday, June 13, crews will begin construction of the Harbor Ave SW and SW Spokane St Intersection Improvements project. This Neighborhood Street Fund project will increase the visibility and safety for people walking and biking across Harbor Ave SW and SW […]]]>

New construction/detour info for the Harbor/Spokane safety project from SDOT:

>As soon as tomorrow, Wednesday, June 13, crews will begin construction of the Harbor Ave SW and SW Spokane St Intersection Improvements project. This Neighborhood Street Fund project will increase the visibility and safety for people walking and biking across Harbor Ave SW and SW Spokane St. We expect construction to last about 6 weeks.

Nighttime and weekend work

One of the first construction activities will be pavement breaking at the intersection of Harbor Ave SW and SW Spokane St in preparation for safety improvement work on the Alki Trail. This work will be done at night and over the weekend to reduce impacts to people driving. For details about what to expect, please see below.

Traffic impacts:

Westbound SW Spokane St will be reduced to one lane of traffic at Harbor Ave SW, except during peak hours (3 PM to 7 PM, Monday through Friday), when it will remain fully open
A uniformed police officer will direct right turns onto northbound Harbor Ave SW from SW Spokane St during work hours
Crews plan to work continuously from 7 PM on Friday, June 15, to 5 AM on Monday, June 18
Sidewalks will be maintained for people walking and biking

Construction impacts:

Noise, dust, and vibration from breakers and heavy equipment
Increased truck activity, back-up alarms, and workers communicating in the field
Additional nighttime and weekend work may be required at this intersection
Crews have a noise variance for this work

Looking ahead:

Starting as soon as Monday, June 18, crews will begin safety improvement work on the Alki Trail. Crews will begin by replacing segments of the jersey barrier along the trail. Please note: This work may require a partial closure of the Alki Trail at the intersection of Harbor Ave SW and SW Spokane St. We’ll share more information on detour routes for people walking and biking as the work approaches.

What you need to know during construction:

Typical construction hours are Monday – Friday, 7 AM – 5 PM
Occasional night and weekend work
Temporary lane, crosswalk, and sidewalk closures
Detours for people walking and biking
Possible parking and loading restrictions
Please expect typical construction impacts such as increased noise, dust, truck activity, and vibration
Impacts and schedule are subject to change

Here’s the official SDOT construction notice (PDF).

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MONDAY: Sound Transit talks light rail @ Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council http://westseattleblog.com/2018/06/monday-sound-transit-talks-light-rail-pigeon-point-neighborhood-council/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/06/monday-sound-transit-talks-light-rail-pigeon-point-neighborhood-council/#comments Sun, 10 Jun 2018 23:45:08 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=919178

One of the concepts still under consideration for Sound Transit light rail in West Seattle has the working title “Pigeon Ridge/West Seattle Tunnel.” The first part of that is actually a reference to the Pigeon Point neighborhood in northeastern West Seattle, and tomorrow night (Monday, June 11th), the Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council hosts ST reps during its meeting, for a briefing and Q&A. All are welcome; it’s at 7 pm at Pathfinder K-8 (1901 SW Genesee).

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Also about to start work: Walkway improvements in Westwood http://westseattleblog.com/2018/06/also-about-to-start-work-walkway-improvements-in-westwood/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/06/also-about-to-start-work-walkway-improvements-in-westwood/#comments Thu, 07 Jun 2018 20:12:23 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=918905

As promised, we have an update on the other Neighborhood Street Fund community-initiated project that’s about to start work in West Seattle, the Chief Sealth International High School Walkway Improvements. The pathways south of the school between SW Cloverdale and SW Trenton, north of Westwood Village, will be improved. From the new “construction notice,” which you can see in full here:

As soon as Monday, June 11, we’ll start construction on improvements for people walking along 26th Ave SW and 25th Ave SW between SW Cloverdale and SW Trenton streets. Work will last approximately 6 weeks. During this work, crews will:

■ Install two 10-foot-wide walkways on 26th Ave SW and 25th Ave SW that
■ will connect SW Trenton St and the cul-de-sacs to the north
■ Install lighting along the two paths
■ Replace vegetation along the two paths, where appropriate
■ Add a concrete curb bulb extension and ADA curb ramps at 26th Ave SW

The 26th Ave SW walkway will be constructed with asphalt. The 25th Ave SW walkway will be constructed with compacted gravel. SDOT crews will install asphalt on the 25th Ave SW walkway at a later date.

The 25th SW part of the project is also the one that SDOT was at one point last year going to drop entirely, relying on a potential future development to deal with it. To date, no development proposal has emerged. Meantime, as noted yesterday in our report on the other NSF project that’s about to get going, the contractor is C.A. Carey.

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What’s next for Avalon Way rechannelization/ repaving project after open house http://westseattleblog.com/2018/06/whats-next-for-avalon-way-rechannelization-repaving-project-after-open-house/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/06/whats-next-for-avalon-way-rechannelization-repaving-project-after-open-house/#comments Thu, 07 Jun 2018 05:20:21 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=918836

One more meeting from last night to tell you about – the open house for the SW Avalon Way rechannelization/repaving plan. No new information emerged – it was meant as a chance to comment on and ask questions about what SDOT recently revealed, the “30 percent design” version of the project.

Above center is Luna Park entrepreneur John Bennett, who is concerned about parking – while the proposal has changed from an early version that removed dozens of spaces uphill, where now a weekday 6-10 am transit lane is proposed, this one takes out a dozen spaces on the west side of Avalon, and Bennett fears The Shack coffee shop will be especially hard-hit. Councilmember Lisa Herbold has been working with SDOT to try to minimize the parking loss; above left is her legislative assistant Newell Aldrich (Herbold was at the HALA hearing a few miles away).

Also there, West Seattle Bike ConnectionsDon Brubeck (second from left above). The design incorporates protected bike lanes on what is a fairly busy route to and from the “low bridge” as well as Alki. Various concerns along the corridor included helping buses move more smoothly and dissuading drivers from using side streets. There were also requests for turn signals at the Avalon/Genesee light. Here’s an “aerial view” of what’s in the 30 percent plan, as previewed here last month:

WHAT’S NEXT: Project spokesperson Adonis Ducksworth says that after this open house for the 30 percent design, they hope to have the project up to 60 percent for another round of commenting in the fall. Construction is expected to happen next year, starting in the spring. Along with rechannelizing Avalon as shown here (PDF), the project will repave it all the way from the bridge to where it ends at Fauntleroy, along with 35th SW south of Avalon to Alaska – where reconstruction is needed due to water damage – and Alaska from 35th to 36th too. Beyond last night’s open house, here’s your chance to comment through June 24th – an online survey about the project.

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Starting soon: Harbor/Spokane intersection safety project http://westseattleblog.com/2018/06/starting-soon-harbor-spokane-intersection-safety-project/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/06/starting-soon-harbor-spokane-intersection-safety-project/#comments Wed, 06 Jun 2018 18:42:06 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=918776

A busy summer ahead for road/trail/sidewalk projects in West Seattle. SDOT has just sent a sheaf of notices about more work that’s about to start. We’ll spotlight each of them, starting with the Harbor/Spokane Intersection Improvements, a community-initiated project via the Neighborhood Street Fund. The official pre-construction notice (see it here) explains:

As soon as Monday, June 11, we’ll start construction of safety improvements for people walking, biking, and driving at the intersection of Harbor Ave SW and SW Spokane St. Work will last approximately 6 weeks. During this work, crews will:

■ Install a bike-only signal at the northeast corner of Harbor Ave SW and SW Spokane St and bike-only crossing across to the southwest corner of the intersection

■ Add a curb bulb at the northeast corner of Harbor Ave SW and SW Spokane St intersection

■ Restripe the crosswalks at the intersection

■ Replace existing jersey barrier and vegetation along the Alki Trail approaching Harbor Ave SW

■ Install a bike ramp on SW Avalon Way at SW Spokane St

There’s some backstory on this project in this WSB report from two years ago. Meantime, the new info above isn’t on the project website yet but we’re told it will be soon.

P.S. According to the city bidding website, the contractor will be C.A. Carey, which submitted the winning bid for a package of five projects in the south section of the city, including this one and the walkway project in Westwood (our next update!).

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Highway 99 tunnel-toll hearing in West Seattle not much of a draw http://westseattleblog.com/2018/06/highway-99-tunnel-toll-hearing-in-west-seattle-not-much-of-a-draw/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/06/highway-99-tunnel-toll-hearing-in-west-seattle-not-much-of-a-draw/#comments Wed, 06 Jun 2018 17:03:28 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=918765 (WSDOT image – tunnel’s south portal is toward lower center)

By Randall Hauk
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

The Washington State Transportation Commission held an open house and public input meeting at High Point Community Center last night, seeking public comment on tolling proposals for the Highway 99 tunnel.

It was the second of three Seattle meetings between the commission and residents. Commissioner Roy Jennings opened the meeting by reminding those in attendance that the decision to toll the tunnel had already been made and was no longer up for debate. The commission instead was seeking input on a trio of toll-rate options.

Though all three plans are projected to meet the project’s fiscal obligations by 2045, they differ in price fluctuations throughout the day, as well as how increases are scheduled.

The highest toll rate of $2.25 is slated for weekdays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. in all three options.

Otherwise, tolls would range from $1.00 for late nights and weekends to $1.75 depending on the time the vehicle passes the toll point upon exiting the tunnel.

More notable was the difference in the handling of toll increases over time. Option A proposes a 3% increase every three years, beginning in 2022. Option B plans 3.5% increases every year between 2020 and 2024. Option C has just three increases, but at a 5% rate.

Additionally, drivers without a Good to Go! pass on their vehicle will see an additional $2 per toll when their toll bill arrives in the mail.

The tunnel, set to open as soon as this fall, will initially be free to use while tolling equipment and systems are tested.

With only three community members present for the hearing, Jennings was able to ask each attendee directly for their personal preference.. While there was not overwhelming enthusiasm for any of the options, the West Seattle contingent was united unanimously against Option B.

Despite a low turnout for the second consecutive night, senior financial analyst Carl See says the commission has already been receiving public comments online and that none of the three options has become the clear public favorite. See also noted that a significant number of comments centered on “no tolls.”

A feedback form on the commission’s website, available since May 22, will continue to be open for public comment through (updated) July 17, as explained here.

The final public meeting will be held tonight at the Phinney Neighborhood Center (6532 Phinney Ave. N.), with the open house beginning at 5:30 p.m. and the meeting at 6:30 p.m. The commission is expected to decide next month on one option for the last round of public review, before the final toll-setting decision sometime in the fall.

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New school-zone beacons in West Seattle – near school that’s about to move http://westseattleblog.com/2018/06/new-school-zone-beacons-in-west-seattle-near-school-thats-about-to-move/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/06/new-school-zone-beacons-in-west-seattle-near-school-thats-about-to-move/#comments Tue, 05 Jun 2018 23:45:06 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=918713

If you drive SW Barton west of Westwood Village [map], you might have noticed those hand-lettered signs. Residents on the block tell WSB they were startled to find out that a school-zone flashing beacon was about to be installed there – considering that the nearest school, Roxhill Elementary, is about to move, as we’ve been reporting for the past 2+ years. We also noticed a flashing beacon being installed Sunday in the same spot on SW Trenton, near 30th SW:

30th SW in that area is slated to be part of the new West Seattle Neighborhood Greenway, with work starting soon, so first we checked with that SDOT project’s spokesperson; he said the beacons aren’t part of their project, and pointed us to SDOT’s Safe Routes to School program. Here’s how that program’s manager Ashley Rhead explained it, replying to us today:

The SDOT Safe Routes to School program evaluates speeds in school zones on arterial streets on an annual basis and makes recommendations for improvements based on this data. SW Trenton St has an existing 20 mph school speed zone. Last year, Seattle Public Schools assigned SW Barton St and 30th Ave SW as an adult crossing guard location. For that reason, we evaluated speeds on this corridor as well.

On both streets, we found an 85th percentile speed of 34 mph, considerably higher than the 30 mph speed limit. 30th Ave SW is a walking route to school for Denny Middle School and Chief Sealth High School. SDOT is also installing a neighborhood greenway along this corridor later this year. We expect this improvement to further increase the number of people walking and biking along this route.

With that said, we are revisiting the decision to install 20 mph flashing beacons on SW Barton St and collecting additional information. The plan to install the beacons is on hold for the moment. We have reached out to the school district to confirm whether SW Barton St and 30th Ave SW will continue to be an assigned crossing guard location, how many Denny Middle School and Chief Sealth High School students live southwest of this intersection within the school walk zones, and what education program will be housed in the Roxhill building next year.

We actually reported on the latter yesterday, with more information added to our story this morning. The programs include special education and one location of the alternative high school Interagency Academy; other details are expected at the community meeting planned for 6 pm Thursday at Roxhill (9430 30th SW). On Thistle, by the way, which borders the Sealth/Denny campus, the existing school-zone beacons don’t start until east of 28th SW.

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HALA upzoning, tunnel tolls, Avalon changes – all at once http://westseattleblog.com/2018/06/hala-upzoning-tunnel-tolls-avalon-changes-all-at-once/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/06/hala-upzoning-tunnel-tolls-avalon-changes-all-at-once/#comments Mon, 04 Jun 2018 04:39:12 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=918577 We’ve told you about all three of these already – but since they’re happening pretty much simultaneously this Tuesday night (June 5), consider this a sort of two-night warning:

Tuesday slide deck by WestSeattleBlog on Scribd

HALA UPZONING, DISTRICT 1 PUBLIC HEARING: The Mandatory Housing Affordability proposal to upzone all commercial/multifamily-zoned property in the city, as well as parcels in “urban villages” (some of which would expand their boundaries) is moving toward a City Council vote later this year. The process includes public hearings outside City Hall, and Tuesday night is the one for District 1 (West Seattle/South Park), scheduled for 6 pm at Chief Sealth International High School (2600 SW Thistle). If you’ve got something to say about the upzoning proposal – for, against, or otherwise – this is the time and place to say it. You can get caught up in advance tomorrow (Monday) when the council, meeting as the Select Committee pondering the upzoning plan, discusses the District 1 proposal at 10:30 am at City Hall (live on Seattle Channel, of course). But for the public hearing, show up at the CSIHS Auditorium on Tuesday – here’s the agenda; the slide deck is above.

HIGHWAY 99 TUNNEL TOLLS, WEST SEATTLE PUBLIC HEARING: The last big decision before the Alaskan Way Viaduct makes way for the Highway 99 tunnel is: How much will the tolls be? The Washington State Transportation Commission gets to make the decision, but would first like to hear what you think. We previewed the proposed options when the West Seattle public hearing was announced. This too is Tuesday night, 5:30-6:30 pm informational “open house”; 6:30-8 pm, meeting for your feedback. It’s at High Point Community Center (6920 34th SW).

SW AVALON WAY RECHANNELIZATION/REPAVING: Two weeks ago, we brought you first word of the updated plan for rechannelizing and repaving SW Avalon Way – and a few blocks of 35th SW and SW Alaska just to the south – next year.

As with the early version of the plan a year earlier, it still takes away some parking on SW Avalon, and Luna Park businesses are girding for a fight. Whatever you think of the newest plan, Tuesday night is also when SDOT is coming to West Seattle to take comments and answer questions about it, 5:30-7:30 pm at the American Legion Post 160 hall (3618 SW Alaska).

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FOLLOWUP: Metro Route 56 to get more service, after Councilmember Herbold’s request http://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/followup-metro-route-56-to-get-more-service-after-councilmember-herbolds-request/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/followup-metro-route-56-to-get-more-service-after-councilmember-herbolds-request/#comments Fri, 01 Jun 2018 04:38:22 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=918272 Back in February, we reported on District 1 City Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s request to SDOT to see what it would take for the city to spend some of the “more bus service” Transportation Benefit District money on the underserved Admiral/Alki corridor. Tonight, Herbold tells WSB that SDOT, via the TBD, “has agreed to fund two route 56 trips each Monday-Friday beginning in September 2018. One in the am arriving downtown at about 10 AM and another leaving downtown at about 7:15 PM. Folks in Admiral and Alki have been super helpful in making this happen.” That’s just a start, though; Herbold had pitched for hourly 56 service but was told that would cost close to a million dollars and due to other factors such as fleet availability could require reductions in Route 50 service. She has been promised by SDOT that “we’ll definitely continue to work with the County to improve service to the North Admiral area.” She notes that research done by her legislative assistant Newell Aldrich revealed a few things strongly supporting increased service to Admiral, such as that it’s “the only Urban Village with no off-peak bus service to Downtown, one of only two Urban Villages not included in the High Capacity Transit Network, and … the only Urban Village not served by the current Frequent Transit Network.”

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