West Seattle, Washington
Just in case you see either of these and wonder – thanks to tips, we’ve already checked them out:
RAPIDRIDE SHELTER AT FAUNTLEROY/ALASKA: Christine Deppe from West Seattle Office Junction (WSB sponsor) sent the photo and wondered about the removal of the shelter next to Les Schwab:
Metro’s Jeff Switzer responded to our inquiry: “The small shelter was removed today and will be upgraded to a larger shelter, to be installed tomorrow (Friday, July 22nd).
BROKEN GLASS AT 45TH/ADMIRAL: Al sent the photo:
Since we were already asking about the Triangle shelter mentioned above, we asked about this too. Switzer says, “Thanks for the heads-up. Staff are submitting a work order to repair the glass at that shelter.”
If you’re interested in the next phase of the 35th Avenue SW Safety Project and that August 4th meeting we’ve been telling you about – check your US Postal Service mail closely when you get home (etc.). Ours today brought a mailer that includes even more details than were on the SDOT Blog preview we featured last Friday night, the website information we featured. We subsequently just found this PDF of the mailer linked from the West Seattle Neighborhood Greenway project page, but not (yet) the 35th Avenue SW project page.
Here’s how it begins:
35th Ave SW Road Safety Corridor
In 2015, we redesigned the southern segment of 35th Ave SW to reduce speeding, collisions, and injuries, and enhance conditions for everyone that uses the street. Phase 2 of this project begins later this year and continues into 2017 to address safety and mobility issues in the northern segment.
Join us on Thurs., Aug. 4, when we will share preliminary data from Phase 1 and draft plans for Phase 2. We want to hear about your observations and experiences along the corridor.
The project team will also host a walking tour of 35th Ave SW on Tues., Aug. 9. For more information, visit our website.
West Seattle Neighborhood Greenway
We’re studying routes for a new north-south neighborhood greenway parallel to 35th Ave SW. The new West Seattle Neighborhood Greenway will prioritize people walking an biking on residential streets.
At the meeting, we can share traffic data, and you can help us learn where people want to walk and bike in the neighborhood, and what barriers stand in their way. Neighborhood greenways are safer, calmer streets for you, your family, and neighbors. For more information, visit our website.
That website indicates the greenway isn’t slated for construction until 2019. Meantime, we asked SDOT about the starting time/place for the aforementioned walking tour, since that’s not on the website yet, project manager Jim Curtin says it’ll start at 6 pm August 9th on the east side of 35th at Avalon and will proceed to end at 35th/Holly at 7:30 pm; you’ll be able to join/leave along the way if you can’t make the entire walk. We also asked him about the distribution of the mail flyer – some complained last year that they didn’t receive a mailing; we received this one despite being at least half a mile west of 35th. His reply: “The flyer went out to a rather large swath of the neighborhood from the Junction/Avalon corridor on the north to the city limits on the south and from the Puget Sound waterfront to Delridge.”
Been waiting to see what’s next for 35th SW? A week and a half ago, we reported that SDOT had updated its website for the 35th Avenue SW Safety Project to announce an August 4th meeting for information on the next phase of the project (north of SW Morgan). We expected more details would emerge shortly thereafter. Finally, they have – published on the SDOT Blog:
We’re hosting a public meeting for our continued work with the 35th Ave SW Safety Corridor and new West Seattle Neighborhood Greenway planning.
The meeting will be held on Thursday, Aug. 4, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Neighborhood House High Point (6400 Sylvan Way SW).
In 2015, we redesigned 35th Ave SW to reduce speeding, collisions, and injuries as part of our Vision Zero plan to end traffic fatalities and serious injuries by 2030. We have some early data to share at the meeting and want to hear your observations and experiences along the corridor.
We’re also studying routes for a new north-south neighborhood greenway parallel to 35th Ave SW. The new West Seattle Neighborhood Greenway will prioritize people walking and biking on residential streets.
At the meeting, we will share traffic data and you can help us find out where people want to walk and bike in the neighborhood, as well as what barriers stand in their way. Neighborhood greenways mean safer, calmer streets for you and your family.
We’re pairing our outreach and engagement for these two projects – the safety corridor and neighborhood greenway – to get the people who live, work, and travel in West Seattle comprehensive information.
Please join us at the open house and learn how we plan to improve the safety for everyone.
Open House on the 35th Avenue SW Road Safety Corridor Project
Thursday, August 4 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
6400 Sylvan Way SW, Room 207
Project manager Jim Curtin had told us back in xx that the next phase of 35th SW was being tied to the greenway work. Meantime, still no media notification about this meeting, so hat tip to Michael Taylor-Judd of the West Seattle Transportation Coalition for spotting the SDOT Blog link and posting it tonight on the District 1 discussion page.
Two more overnight closures of the west end of the West Seattle Bridge have just been announced. SDOT says the Fauntleroy Expressway will be closed the nights of Wednesday and Thursday (July 20-21), 9 pm-5 am. All 674 earthquake-safety cushions have been re-replaced; now crews need to apply epoxy “to ensure the pads are providing thorough cushioning.”
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
“Light rail is coming to West Seattle.”
That’s how King County Executive and Sound Transit board chair Dow Constantine opened his speech to the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce Thursday afternoon – his second pitch in the area in less than 24 hours for the transit megameasure known as ST3. He proclaimed it even more jubilantly in his first one, talking to the 34th District Democrats Wednesday night, as you can see and hear in our video:
Shortly after Constantine’s speech, the 34th DDs endorsed ST3 (as reported here earlier). His appearance before the Chamber – which did not involve an endorsement vote – was longer, and more educational; Constantine called it the “transit planner” or “nerd” version of the speech, rather than the “campaign” or “stemwinder” version.
The vote is still three-plus months away; ballots for the August primary hadn’t even arrived yet as he stood before the two local groups talking about ST3, which won’t be decided until November. But with an 11-digit price tag, this is no ordinary ballot measure. And supporters are pulling out the stops to avoid what happened with Sound Transit 2, a defeat, rewrite, and revote.
Beware of that hazard on the 1st Avenue S. Bridge! That’s the warning from Aaron Goss, proprietor of Aaron’s Bicycle Repair in White Center, who sent the photo along with a CC on this note:
Please fix this IMMEDIATELY!!!!!! (see attached photo)
Someone is going to get killed. This cannot wait another day!
The metal strip that covers the gap has been bent and jammed down in the gap.
Aaron got a reply at day’s end from SDOT – pointing out only that the bridge belongs to WSDOT and saying they would forward the concern.
Thanks to Don Brubeck of West Seattle Bike Connections for sharing that photo from the south end of today’s Mini-STP ride (Seattle Street in North Admiral to Portland Street in Gatewood and then on to West Seattle Summer Fest in The Junction). WSBC says 35 people of all ages joined in the ride, and that the Portland neighbors kindly offered them Otter Pops again this year! This is the fourth year they’ve made the trip on Summer Fest weekend (first one was in 2013). The name is a tribute to the STP (Seattle to Portland) megaride, which is happening next weekend, with thousands of riders taking one or two days to get between the two cities.
(Map from July 2015 slide deck about 35th SW plan)
The long-promised meeting about what’s next for 35th Avenue SW has finally been set by SDOT. We’ve been checking the project webpage for word of the next community meeting, and today it’s been updated. So if you are interested in what’s happened with the 35th SW changes so far, and what’s ahead, get it in your calendar now – here’s the date and place:
7-9 pm Thursday, August 4th
Neighborhood House’s High Point Center (6400 Sylvan Way SW)
That’s the same place SDOT held meetings a year ago to announce Phase 1 of the rechannelization (“road diet”) plan for 35th, south of Morgan. At the time, SDOT project manager Jim Curtin said plans for north of Morgan would be discussed this year; when we most recently checked in with him a month ago, he expected the first meeting would be set for the middle of this month, but it’s been clear that plan slid again. He told WSB then that the discussion of Phase 2 would be in tandem with early discussions of the next neighborhood greenway in West Seattle, but right now the webpage just says the August 4th meeting will be “to learn more about our plans to further enhance safety on 35th Avenue SW.” More to come.
If you’ve noticed that sign on 16th SW near SW Myrtle – as did Alan, who sent us the photo – no, it’s NOT foreshadowing a future school-zone speed camera. Not a fixed installation, anyway. We checked with SDOT, whose spokesperson Sue Romero replied, “The 7000 block of 16th Ave SW is a pre-existing site for SPD to use mobile photo enforcement cameras to enforce the school zone speed limit. While there are no plans for near-term enforcement work, as a pre-existing site it needs proper signage for any future speed enforcement by SPD. The original sign is missing and this new sign is merely a replacement.” As far as we can tell from consulting both Google Street View and memory, the previous sign did not mention photo enforcement. The “mobile” version of that, by the way, was inaugurated in 2008 in West Seattle near Gatewood Elementary – where there are now fixed cameras (the other fixed cameras in WS are on Roxbury by Roxhill Elementary and Holy Family School, and on Delridge by Louisa Boren STEM K-8). The speed van also works on 35th SW near Our Lady of Guadalupe, where you’ve probably noticed signs similar to this one, though there’s no permanent camera installation.
Another car-sharing service just added part of West Seattle to its territory. Three years after Car2Go expanded into this area, BMW-owned ReachNow has added north West Seattle. Here’s the map of what’s now part of the service’s “home area”:
(See the full Seattle-wide map here, as a PDF.) The company says it’s added 150 four-door MINI Clubman cars to its Seattle fleet, which now numbers 520, also including “the all-wheel-drive BMW 3 Series, the electric BMW i3, and the MINI Hardtop two- and four-door.” Along with ReachNow and Car2Go – which has 750 Smarts in the city – West Seattle also is served by Zipcar, which recently added one-way trips to its offerings.
1:35 PM: Above, you see a live feed (evening update: archived version substituted) from the Sound Transit Board of Directors meeting that just started downtown. During this meeting, the board is expected to finalize the ST3 ballot measure that, among other things, includes a plan for light rail to West Seattle by 2030. See the agenda here. The ST3 resolution, calling for the plan to go to voters on November 8th, is here, with the financial-component resolution here, and the draft of plan details (including who gets what, when) is here. (Other docs are linked from the agenda page.)
2:07 PM: The public-comment period is continuing. The board has heard so far from a variety of speakers, expressing both support – from suburban and Seattle speakers – and opposition, including reps of a newly formed coalition under the banner “No ST3.”
2:32 PM: After about an hour, public comment is over, and the board will hear from the “expert review panel” that took a look at the “methodologies and key assumptions that (have been used to prepare) the plan.” You can read their memo here. From that memo, this might be of interest to those who would like to see a tunnel toward the end of the proposed line to West Seattle, rather than elevated:
For example, several stakeholder groups or jurisdictions have already expressed
interest in supporting construction of a tunnel in alignments where a tunnel is not being
proposed. Staff responded that such a major change in the project scope resulting in increased
costs would likely require additional funding from other public or private sources, beyond what
is available through the ST3 funding package. The Panel suggests that the plan should make it
clear that it is likely “outside” funding would be necessary to support major alignment changes.
This would help set expectations regarding future discussions about alternatives. This suggestion
could be particularly useful in light of the fact that the proposed ST3 plan includes provisional
projects. We assume that additional ST3 funding for a tunnel that is not included in the current
plan would be at the expense of identified provisional projects.
2:58 PM: In case you’re just coming in now – the board is handling other business before getting to ST3 (as with many public meetings, there’s some separation between the public-comment period at the beginning and the actual agenda item about which most spoke).
3:02 PM: And almost as soon as we made note of that – then the board arrived at the ST3 agenda items.
4:03 PM: The board members are making their final round of speeches before the official vote.
4:08 PM: “We have a plan,” declares board chair County Executive Dow Constantine after a unanimous vote in favor of the plan. Next, the vote to send it to the November ballot.
4:20 PM: More from Constantine: “It’s expensive, but it’ll never be cheaper … so we must move forward to November … the hardest work is yet to come” – the work of convincing voters around the region to approve it. A moment later, the final, unanimous, voice vote sending it to the November 8th ballot.
9:02 AM: We hadn’t mentioned this yet because it looked for a while like the problems had been solved, but now Washington State Ferries has announced more cancellations on the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth run – on a day when traffic was already expected to be heavy, not just for usual weekend increases, but because it’s graduation day at Vashon Island High School. WSF cited shorthandedness as the reason for cancelling runs from Vashon and Fauntleroy last hour; check here for the latest.
10:10 AM: As noted in comments, looks like the route is back to the usual capacity now, but even before this, WSF was advising early arrivals today.
Years in the making, the city’s “Seattle 2035” comprehensive-plan update is moving toward finalization. With transportation being one of West Seattle’s hottest issues, you might be interested in that specific section of Seattle 2035, which gets a briefing at the City Council’s Sustainability and Transportation Committee next Tuesday (June 21st) at 2 pm. The map above, setting a goal of 35% single-occupancy-vehicle trips for our area, is in both of the following documents linked to the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting:
The documents go into added detail about the focus on “mode share” – moving the same number of people with fewer vehicles – and other parts of the transportation philosophy in the proposed plan. Following up on this briefing, and in advance of others before committees handling topics that correlate to other parts of the plan (the dates are all in the slide deck linked above), a public hearing on the overall Seattle 2035 plan is set for June 27th, 6 pm, at City Hall – full details here, including how to comment on the plan via e-mail before then.
(UPDATED FRIDAY NIGHT with trash can’s arrival)
9:24 PM: Another followup tonight: This one, in the case of the 61st/Alki bus stop that is without a trash can because Metro says the one it used to have was used too much. On Wednesday, we published the response that Diana got from Metro after asking them to place a can there – it boiled down to “no.” We followed up with Metro spokesperson Jeff Switzer, including a question of whether it’s Metro policy to remove trash cans that are much-used. This evening, he sent word that they’ve changed their mind and will try a trash can there again:
Our records show Metro hasn’t had a trash can at that site since 2012 after seeing a pattern of it being misused by nearby businesses and residents, with home garbage showing up at the bus stop. It reached the point that our facilities crews were regularly receiving work orders and complaints about garbage, so we decided to remove it.
One of our thresholds in deciding whether to remove a trash can is if a location becomes so problematic that it generates a large number of work orders and crew time cleaning up a persistent problem, something that stretches beyond a transit issue into a community issue.
That said, we’re going to put a new 35-gallon can out there in the next few days, and will monitor how things go. If problems re-emerge beyond what Metro can address, we’ll see if we can get some help from the city and businesses to supply additional trash cans in the area.
We’ll keep an eye out for the new can – please let us know if you see it first.
ADDED FRIDAY NIGHT: The trash can has arrived. Diana sent the photo to prove it:
After two and a half weeks, Washington State Ferries says it’s giving up on new “procedures” that were intended to speed up loading at the Fauntleroy dock, but caused new problems instead. This afternoon’s announcement:
On Monday, May 23, WSF instituted new ticketing procedures at the Fauntleroy ferry terminal in order to address several problems identified by the passengers, ferry advisory committee members, and WSF. Over the past three weeks, we have learned from passenger feedback and direct observation that the new procedures were not working. Based on this experience, we are suspending the change and returning to the ticketing procedures that were previously in place starting on Friday, June 10.
Passengers with pre-purchased tickets will be waved through the tollbooth, and their tickets will be scanned on the dock. Passengers who do not have tickets must stop to buy them at the tollbooth. We recognize that this solution does not address the underlying difficulties at the Fauntleroy Terminal, including limited vehicle capacity, challenges with consistent fare recovery, and an outdated schedule designed for smaller vessels and lower traffic volume. These factors create conflict between maintaining the schedule and filling the boats.
Going forward, we will reach out to and communicate with stakeholders as we explore options to improve service within the constraints of our system. Thank you to all of our customers for your patience. We heard you, and we apologize for the disruption and inconvenience this change has caused.
On sunny days, visitors to Alki generate a lot of trash. On the beach side, Parks struggles to keep up with it, as reported here before, and as a few regional news organizations noted earlier this week. But today, outside the park boundaries, Alki has one less trash can – apparently, because it was used too much. Diana e-mailed Metro to ask about the trash can that disappeared from the stop on eastbound Alki at 61st SW and shared the response she received today:
Thank you for your recent case submittal, advising Metro Transit of your concerns about maintenance and lack of trash can at the bus stop on 61st Ave SW & Alki Ave SW. I appreciate your use of public transportation and I regret the circumstances that made it necessary for you to contact us.
This trash can at this stop was pulled due to excessive trash from the coffee shops and not our bus patrons. Our shelter cleaning crews are not (there) everyday and the amount of trash that was being dumped was a factor in the removal of this trash can. A trash can will not be re-installed.
“Coffee shops” would apparently be a reference to the Starbucks store that’s a few steps down and the Top Pot store to the west of that. And as to how much trash is NOT too much, we’re contacting Metro to follow up.
(Wednesday evening note: We’re expecting Metro’s response tomorrow, so look for a followup.)
(Map from July 2015 slide deck about 35th SW plan)
When last we checked in on the 35th Avenue SW Corridor Safety Project – which changed the configuration of lanes on 35th, from Roxbury to just south of Morgan, last fall – SDOT’s Jim Curtin told WSB that the plan for Phase 2, and stats on Phase 1, were expected to be out in May. That month has come and gone; we checked in again today to ask where things stand. Curtin’s reply:
We’ve adjusted our schedule to coordinate outreach with another SDOT effort that may have implications for 35th Avenue SW – the West Seattle Neighborhood Greenway. As you know, greenways are safer, calmer non-arterial streets prioritized for people walking and biking. We need residents to help us determine the best route for the greenway as well as locations for crossing improvements (the routes identified in the BMP are merely suggestions).
We’re aiming for the week of July 11th or 18th for our first meeting, where we’ll share preliminary data for Phase 1 of the 35th Avenue SW project, start the discussion about the Neighborhood Greenway route, share draft plans for Phase 2 of the 35th Ave SW project, and solicit feedback from residents. We also intend to host walking tours like we did for Phase 1 in August.
As a community-collaborative news organization, we cover many things that start with tips, questions, or other messages. Our followup with Curtin today was inspired by a note from Bob Neel. You might know him as an opponent of the rechannelization; he launched a Change.org petition against it last year. Today, he e-mailed both to wonder about the status of Phase 2 and to ask if we would publish the links to two new petitions he’s started. While there is no way for any online poll or petition to be anything resembling scientific (that’s why we don’t set up our own), he’s interested in comparing results from pro and con petitions.
He writes: “For those who like the lane reduction, here is a petition for SDOT to extend the project. For those who are not in favor of the lane reduction, here is a petition for SDOT to go back to 4 lanes. I have attempted to word each petition in a balanced, neutral way so that there is no inherent bias. I’d really like to see a large response to these petitions so that we can get a representative ‘pulse’ of the neighborhood reaction to the project.”
(If you do choose to sign one – or even if you don’t – consider commenting here to say why!)
The 80 “zone” signs installed on the West Seattle Bridge this past weekend comprise one of four projects SDOT has added to the action list for the West Seattle Bridge-Duwamish Waterway Corridor, a list originally shepherded by WS-residing City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen during his final year in office, following the WS Transportation Coalition‘s 2014 list of priorities.. As our area’s first-ever elected-by-district Councilmember, Lisa Herbold has picked up the ball and run with it, and has just announced the release of the newest document in the project, a progress report (technically, the SDOT response to the council’s Statement of Legislative Intent).
When Councilmember Herbold announced on Friday that the progress report was out, it wasn’t available yet in digital format, but now it is – see the full progress report here – and the link’s been added to her online post about it. In that post, her overview of the progress report includes:
The report lists work completed so far, estimated costs for the 27 projects mentioned in the Whitepaper; implementation status, though some are listed as TBD (to be determined); which agency has primary and implementation responsibility for each project; resources directed so far, and timetables.
Here’s the table listing those 27 projects, in case you can’t remember them all:
Councilmember Herbold’s overview continues:
Of the 27 projects mentioned in the Whitepaper, SDOT proposes to focus on the 15 projects in the Primary West Seattle Bridge/Spokane Street Viaduct corridor (See map). In addition, SDOT added four projects from after the publication of the whitepaper in 2015, including installing additional locational markers on the bridge.
The report provides data for corridor traffic trends. Of note is that the West Seattle Bridge carried an average of 107,300 vehicles per weekday, and 29,300 transit riders. In 2015, there were 56 collisions on the bridge and the Spokane Street Viaduct, and 117 “incidents”, which averaged 47 minutes in duration.
The report notes the $500,000 approved by the Council in 2015 for Intelligent Transportation Systems improvements will mostly be finished by 2016, with the rest scheduled for 2017.
Also included are cost estimates and grant application status for the South Lander Street Grade Separation and RR Safety Project.
SDOT proposes to exclude some projects from future whitepaper reports, including 4th Ave Transit Ramp to Spokane Viaduct, Delridge Way Rapid Ride Transit, and Sound Transit expansion (which is subject to a public vote). This may be worth additional discussion.
Primarily, SDOT writes in the progress report, the items it suggests leaving out of future reports are items that are in other agencies’ jurisdictions, and/or outside the main bridge corridor. Here’s that list:
(It doesn’t mean they’re being shelved – just that SDOT wants to concentrate its tracking on the others.) Back to the list of four added projects we mentioned at the start of this update: Besides the “zone” signs on the bridge, the list includes repair and painting projects for the “low bridge” (South Spokane Street Swing Bridge), plus the Fauntleroy Expressway earthquake-cushion re-replacement work that is already under way.
What happens next? In addition to SDOT proceeding with the project list, it’s asking for the release of $100,000 – a pre-planned amount – for more traffic studies. Its revised timeline grid, on the last page of the project report, stretches as far out as 2022 (for studying another railroad crossover beyond Lander) and TBD (for “freight-only lanes on Lower Spokane,” “bicycle connection on W. Marginal,” and “Terminal 5 overpass to Alki Trail”). As pointed out in our previous reports on the project list, it’s mostly incremental; the only real big-ticket item is the Lander Street Bridge (which, reminder, has an open house event this Wednesday in SODO) – no ramp widening from the bridge to 99, for example.
P.S. Pages 9 and 10 of the report are where you’ll find the full data table that Councilmember Herbold mentions, with key numbers about local commuting, freight, and more.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Tonight, the Southwest District Council‘s June meeting includes a discussion of an in-progress city review that could eventually determine whether the SWDC and the city’s other 12 district councils continue to exist.
One of the arguments for district councils is their advocacy for their respective jurisdictions getting their fair share of city attention and money, in programs like the Neighborhood Street Fund.
Since their last monthly meetings, members of both SWDC and its eastern West Seattle counterpart, the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council, have decided which five community-proposed NSF projects they’re forwarding to the city for consideration.
1st-through-5th-ranked by the Southwest District Council (western West Seattle):
1. Improvements at Harbor Ave SW & SW Spokane Street
2. Improvements at 39th Avenue SW and SW Oregon Street
3. Rapid Ride Bus Stops, Morgan Junction
4. Improvements on Fauntleroy Way
5. Traffic Circles, Sidewalks, and Safety Improvements in Arbor Heights
1st-through-5th-ranked by the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council (eastern West Seattle):
1. Modernize the Intersection of 16th Ave SW & SW Holden Street (Highland Park)
2. (tie) Complete SW Barton Street
2. (tie) Roundabout for Highland Park Way/SW Holden St
4. Brandon St Sidewalks (Delridge to High Point)
5. Safety Improvements to 26th Ave SW and/or 25th Avenue SW (Connecting Chief Sealth HS and the Westwood Village Bus Hub)
Both sets of decisions followed project-proposers’ presentations at the respective district councils’ meetings, and review of written applications – this document explains the criteria for evaluation.
No project is guaranteed funding just because the district council supports advancing it; the city’s pot of money is finite, and the Neighborhood Street Fund is citywide, opening for applications every three years, available for
up to $90,000 $100,000-$1,000,000* for a project making it all the way through the process. But sometimes even projects that don’t get NSF funding land on SDOT’s radar. If you’d like to know more about any or all of the 10 aforementioned proposals, scroll ahead (or jump from the home page) for more details on each, excerpted from the community proposers’ applications – sometimes brief, sometimes detailed: Read More
(UPDATED 4:26 PM with information we requested on project’s cost)
1:12 PM: If you got into trouble somewhere on the West Seattle Bridge – would you be able to clearly describe your location to a 911 dispatcher? SDOT is about to install signs that it hopes will help more people answer “yes,” resulting in most incidents clearing more quickly: The bridge will be broken into nine “zones,” each with signage that will be installed this weekend. Read the full announcement ahead:Read More
First thing we found out at last night’s West Seattle Transportation Coalition meeting: SDOT has an open house coming up for what it’s now calling the South Lander Street Bridge project. While the project is in SODO, the former “Lander Street Overpass” proposal has long been of interest to West Seattleites traveling on surface streets to/from there, and has been on the WSTC’s priority list for almost two years; it was shelved almost a decade ago, then revived with partial funding in last year’s voter-approved Move Seattle levy. It will go over the railroad tracks on Lander between 1st and 4th (see the map above; click it for a full-size PDF).
The city’s current timeline is for completing design next year (saying the design from a decade ago is outdated), then building the overpass from “early 2018-early 2020.” As the city infopage notes, funding is not finalized – while local and state dollars are available, they’re awaiting word on a federal grant.
The open house is set for 4-6 pm Wednesday, June 8th, at Metropolist in SODO, 2931 1st Ave. South. An “online open house” goes live two days before that.
P.S. Our second report from the WSTC meeting is coming up later today, covering last night’s Q&A with a port executive re: the Terminal 5 Improvements Project Draft Environmental Impact Report (open for your comments until June 21st).
TOPLINE, 3:37 PM: Sound Transit said the big objections to the draft ST3 25-year proposal involved timelines – such as, West Seattle light rail in 2033. So this afternoon, board members proposed changes that include, as seen in the list below, moving that timetable up by three years:
From earlier, here’s how it unfolded, and what happens next:
FIRST REPORT, 2:37 PM: We’re in the Sound Transit board room on the south side of downtown, with a full house of people interested in the forthcoming Sound Transit 3 ballot measure for a variety of reasons – from journalists to advocates to elected officials and beyond. Public comment’s been under way since shortly after ST board chair King County Executive Dow Constantine convened the meeting (see the agenda here) at 1:30, and has just wrapped up. Much of it has focused on concerns from and related to the east and north sides of the area. This is all leading up to an expected vote one week from today on finalizing an ST3 measure to send to voters in November. You can watch live via the embedded stream above and we will add notes of interest from here on out. First up, Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff will talk about how they might “reduce delivery times” (relevant for WS, where light rail is proposed for 2033 arrival, in the ST3 draft) – including talking to communities before making specific proposals, so they know if they’re walking into a minefield. Also: “establish a transparent schedule for … timely decision-making … throw it up on the Web for all to see,” and other process tweaks, such as fast-tracking permits. In the end, Rogoff added, a “culture change” would be needed, overall, to help speed things up.
2:54 PM: Now, a quick update on the ST3 finance plan. It has “additional capacity to accelerate the program you have under consideration,” the board is told. That’s followed by board members from each of five “sub-areas” proposing changes to the overall plan.
First list of changes includes proposing moving West Seattle light rail up to 2030 – three years sooner than the draft plan released in March.
3:13 PM: The proposed changes are “fully affordable” and meet “sub-area equity,” the board is now told. Next step: The board will consider on June 2nd whether to include any or all of these changes in the ST3 plan. Chair Constantine says, “It’s clear to me … that the will of the board is to move forward with these changes,” so he’ll have them written up by that meeting. The final vote on what to send to voters in November, he says, will be on June 23rd. And with that, this discussion is over and the ST board is moving on to other items.
3:37 PM: The meeting has just adjourned, and Sound Transit’s just sent a news release that points us to this summary of the proposed changes. The only other mentions of West Seattle: “The scope of a study of high-capacity transit between West Seattle and Burien would expand to explore potential future service to Renton via Tukwila.”