West Seattle, Washington
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.
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:
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).
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.
(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 email@example.com
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.
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:
-SW Lander (at 53rd 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
Project #17-153: Install crosswalk near Youngstown
Project #17-163: Traffic-calming on Avalon Way
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.
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.
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.
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:
– 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.
– 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
The April 19th meeting will be in the Rotary Room at the West Seattle YMCA (36th/Snoqualmie; WSB sponsor).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
You can browse WSB archives of transportation-related stories, including the projects mentioned above, by going here.
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.)
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!
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) August 18, 2016
(August 2016 video showing one example of the problem the task force is hoping to fix)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
In hopes of averting another summer of ferry-traffic-related misery from Morgan Junction to the Fauntleroy ferry dock, the Triangle Improvement Task Force has finished its first phase of work with two potential “quick wins,” finalized at the volunteers’ fifth meeting last night:
#1 – Speed up the average Fauntleroy tollbooth processing rate during pm peak hours, from three vehicles a minute to four vehicles a minute.
#2 – Make sure as many ferry customers as possible know what’s being done and how they can help.
As they reviewed the plans, the task-force members got a surprise visit from Washington State Ferries’ new leader, assistant WSDOT secretary Amy Scarton, who took over last month after the retirement of Lynne Griffith, who was in charge when the task-force idea was hatched.
More on her visit later. First: Read More
(Newest Delridge RapidRide slide deck, as shown to WSTC)
The main topic of last night’s West Seattle Transportation Coalition meeting: The 2020 conversion of Metro Route 120 to the Delridge RapidRide H Line. The city is leading the planning right now because it’s a service enhancement using the extra tax dollars approved by Seattle voters.
DELRIDGE RAPIDRIDE H LINE: Dawn Schellenberg from SDOT came at what she called the “middle of the second comment period,” which ends on March 31st. She brought an updated slide deck with a few new slides (embedded above, and viewable here in PDF). First comment she got, toward the start, was from WSTC board member Mark Jacobs, who suggested the new line should serve the underutilized park-and-ride lot under the west end of the West Seattle Bridge. Then Kim Barnes from the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council said the line should serve the Westwood-Highland Park Urban Village, which is already densifying with redevelopment and facing HALA upzoning, as are all urban villages. What about having an H-A line and an H-B line, one of which loops through the WW-HP area? suggested WSTC board member Chas Redmond.
Bicycle safety is a concern. One attendee said neither of the two options currently being pitched by SDOT seems safe from a bicycle rider’s standpoint, especially the loss of a median, which motorized-vehicle drivers usually use to get safely around riders who are in general traffic lanes. Read More
Metro has questions for you, in an online survey launched as they start a planning process in hopes of making “paying fares to ride the bus faster, easier, and simpler for everyone.” Here’s the announcement, which includes a link to the survey:
Metro and the six other regional transit agencies that represent the ORCA (One Regional Card for All) smart-card system have committed to looking at simplifying fares across all agencies as they prepare for improvements and modernization of the ORCA system. As part of that process, Metro is considering options that would allow for speedier boarding, improve safety for drivers, help increase ridership and further reduce barriers for vulnerable populations.
This month, Metro invites the public to provide direction on fare change options and longer-term work on fare-related issues by participating in an online questionnaire. In April, the public will have additional opportunities to provide feedback on fare change options via a second online survey and open houses.
The public can find the survey as well as sign up to receive updates via Metro’s fare review website.
Metro encourages all transit riders to participate, including youth, older adults, students, ORCA Lift riders, riders with disabilities, as well as schools, employers and community-based organizations. Metro also is contracting with community organizations to hear from harder-to-reach populations so their input is considered as Metro assesses options and develops programs to address affordability and access to transit. Feedback during the outreach process will be used to draft proposals. A final proposal will be submitted to the King County Council for consideration in June.
Metro also is convening an advisory group to consider various fare options and advise on additional work Metro needs to do to make transit and ORCA more accessible to people. The group, which will meet three times through May [next meeting April 4th], comprises employers, social service organizations, advocacy groups and others, and serves in an advisory role to provide input on fare options and longer-term programs. Meetings are open to the public for observation. Details are available on the project website.
We went through the survey to see if it included specific options under consideration. In the version we saw, it did not – you are asked an open-ended question at one point about what you think would make fare-paying simpler, and you’re also asked to set priorities for what you would want a changed fare-paying system to accomplish. The survey’s deadline is April 7th.