TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Tuesday updates & advance alerts

July 14, 2015 at 6:03 am | In Transportation, West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 4 Comments

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Good morning! We start, as we do most days, with transportation-related information:

TONIGHT – 47th/ADMIRAL/WAITE SIGNAL ‘COMPLETION CEREMONY’: As mentioned here last week, the Admiral Neighborhood Association and SDOT are hosting a 6:30 pm event to commemorate the completion of the 47th/Admiral/Waite traffic signal, which has been in operation for almost a week.

TOMORROW – 35TH SW PLAN: After years of concerns followed by months of controversy, what has the city decided to do with 35th SW? 7 pm Wednesday at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center (6400 Sylvan Way SW) is the first of two presentations.

SATURDAY – WEST SEATTLE GRAND PARADE & FLOAT DODGER 5K: We’re reminding you all week that the West Seattle Grand Parade is Saturday (July 18th), preceded by the Float Dodger 5K, and California SW will be closed from Lander to Edmunds that day until early afternoon while it’s all under way -watch for transit info later this week, and watch for parking restrictions on the streets to which Metro will be diverting traffic – parade organizers tell us Metro will be diverting earlier than usual, so the parking restrictions will start earlier (6 am).

Meantime, we’re on traffic watch; if you see a problem affecting West Seattle through/outbound traffic/transportation, but it’s not reported here yet, we appreciate tips when they can be made safely/legally (if you’re riding, or if you’ve arrived where you’re going) – 206-293-6302, text or voice – thanks!

5:30 PM: See comments for two alerts – a stall on the southbound Viaduct, and backed-up traffic on southbound Fauntleroy north of the ferry dock. Thanks for sharing the info!

Eligible for ORCA LIFT? Get it at West Seattle Summer Fest

July 10, 2015 at 10:59 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

If you’re eligible for ORCA LIFT, the new discounted transit pass for lower-income transit riders, you can sign up at West Seattle Summer Fest this weekend – but you’ll have to bring the appropriate documentation, so that’s the reason for this separate heads-up. Metro’s in a bright green tent on the west side of the California/Alaska intersection. Go to for full details on how the program works.

How do you use Delridge Way? What works? What doesn’t? Show and tell the city ASAP!

July 10, 2015 at 10:44 am | In Delridge, Transportation, West Seattle news | 6 Comments

If you walk, drive, or ride on Delridge Way SW … if you live and/or work on Delridge Way SW or nearby … SDOT wants to hear from you as part of its Multimodal Corridor Program, and time’s running out for its online survey and interactive mapping tool. Here’s the request:

Tell us and show us:

* How do you currently use this street?

* What works?

* What are your ideas for future improvements?

For more information on this program and to find links to both the online survey and interactive mapping tool, go here.

You have until July 18th to join in on this.

FOLLOWUP: 47th/Admiral/Waite traffic signal activated

July 8, 2015 at 7:29 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle news | 14 Comments

New Admiral/47th signal is activated, quietly … #westseattle

A video posted by West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) on

Verified on our way back from a meeting in Upper Alki – the new 47th/Admiral/Waite signal is in operation, with street-level “signal revision” signs to catch your attention if the light itself doesn’t do that first. As reported here last night, the “completion celebration” is scheduled for 6:30 pm next Tuesday, July 14th.

47th/Admiral/Waite signal & crosswalks: Celebration next week

July 7, 2015 at 9:39 pm | In Safety, Transportation, West Seattle news | 6 Comments

(June photo by Dave Brewer)
SDOT has announced a “short completion celebration” one week from tonight – 6:30 pm Tuesday, July 14th – for the traffic signal and crosswalks installed at 47th/Admiral/Waite. City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen and SDOT director Scott Kubly will join the Admiral Neighborhood Association on the southwest corner of the intersection, by Alki Mail and Dispatch. The announcement from SDOT also includes the final update on the project itself:

Power was wired to the signal equipment last week and this week, crews are:

· Removing the existing flashing beacon and old stop signs

· Installing new signage, including “No parking” and “No right turn on red”

· Testing and activating the signals (during signal activation, a uniformed police officer will be on site to direct traffic during this work)

Thank you for your patience during construction.

It’s been four months since work began – as predicted in SDOT’s pre-construction announcement – and a little over two years since the City Council overruled then-Mayor Mike McGinn and proposed full funding for the signal.

West Seattle Summer Fest 2015: Metro bus reroutes – see them here

July 7, 2015 at 12:55 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle festivals, West Seattle news | 7 Comments

In the information booth at West Seattle Summer Fest (where you’ll find us again this year), a perennially popular question is: Where do I catch my bus? Metro has just published this year’s reroutes, in effect from 5 pm Thursday (July 9th) through late Sunday night (July 12th). We’re linking them all below, in case you want to get familiar with them in advance:

RapidRide C Line Summer Fest reroute – here
Route 22 Summer Fest reroute – here
Route 37 Summer Fest reroute – here
Route 50 Summer Fest reroute – here
Route 55 Summer Fest reroute – here
Route 57 Summer Fest reroute – here
Route 128 Summer Fest reroute – here
Route 773 (Water Taxi shuttle) Summer Fest reroute – here

SDOT’s 35th SW plan: Two more chances to hear about it; Mayor Murray expected at first meeting

July 7, 2015 at 10:46 am | In Safety, Transportation, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

(WSB photo: 35th SW, looking south from SW Holden)
FIRST REPORT, 10:46 AM: Last Friday, after we published the announcement of the July 15th meeting at which SDOT will unveil its plan for 35th SW, commenters pointed out at least three other notable West Seattle events scheduled for that night. If you were already going to one of those other events but also want to hear the 35th SW details, good news – one more meeting and another info opportunity have just been announced. So here’s the full list of SDOT’s three planned events:

Wednesday, July 15, 2015
7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Neighborhood House – Room 207
6400 Sylvan Way SW

Thursday, July 16, 2015
6:00 PM to 7:45 PM
Southwest Branch Seattle Public Library
9010 35th Avenue SW

Tuesday, August 4
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Night Out – High Point
Central Commons

SDOT presented “design alternatives” for 35th in March; during the lightly attended walking tour in May (WSB coverage here), project manager Jim Curtin said “Option A” was shaping up as the most promising one for most of the project zone.

ADDED 11:56 AM: We e-mailed SDOT to ask if the three events would have different focuses – short answer, no, but spokesperson Marybeth Turner did add this: Mayor Ed Murray is expected at the July 15th meeting.

Survey updates: WSTC ‘Move Seattle’ results; ST3 nudge

July 6, 2015 at 11:02 am | In Transportation, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

Two quick notes about transportation surveys:

WEST SEATTLE TRANPORTATION COALITION ‘MOVE SEATTLE’ SURVEY RESULTS: WSTC has just announced the results of its latest survey, asking people’s thoughts about the city’s “Move Seattle” transportation levy that’s headed for the November ballot. WSTC says it received 476 responses – see the results, pie charts and all, by going here.

LIGHT RAIL TO WEST SEATTLE? OR? SOUND TRANSIT 3 SURVEY NUDGE: As mentioned here again last Wednesday, time is running out for the Sound Transit survey that represents your best chance right now to let ST know you want light rail to West Seattle – or, if you don’t, to otherwise express what you’d like to see on the Sound Transit 3 ballot measure next year. Go here, ASAP, because ST says the poll ends in two days.

FOLLOWUP: July 15th meeting set for SDOT’s 35th SW plan

July 2, 2015 at 4:54 pm | In Safety, Transportation, West Seattle news | 6 Comments

That’s the postcard the city is about to send to residents on and around 35th SW, announcing Wednesday, July 15th, as the date for the meeting at which SDOT will present its plan for 35th SW. The news come from project manager Jim Curtin, who had said, when we checked in two weeks ago, that the city expected to have a plan by mid-July. The meeting is set for 7-9 pm July 15th at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center (6400 Sylvan Way). If you’re just catching up with the 35th SW Safety Project, there’s backstory on the city’s webpage (which Curtin tells WSB will be updated next week to add the new meeting date).

Also in the state budget: Traffic-control help returns to Fauntleroy ferry dock

July 2, 2015 at 12:14 pm | In Fauntleroy, Transportation, West Seattle news | 14 Comments

The new state budget will restore funding for traffic control at the Fauntleroy Ferry Terminal, according to City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen. Ever since budget cuts did away with the help four years ago, it’s been a sore spot for terminal users, neighborhood residents, and people who travel through the busy terminal zone just south of Lincoln Park – more than 5,100 vehicles a day, in addition to hundreds of people on foot and on bikes. The new “transportation package” brings back $496,000 for use of off-duty law enforcers to “manage the loading and off-loading of ferry commuters,” according to Rasmussen’s announcement, which you can read in full ahead:

Click to read the rest of Also in the state budget: Traffic-control help returns to Fauntleroy ferry dock…

Sound Transit light rail for West Seattle? Next steps for ‘ST3′ – including one you can take right now

July 1, 2015 at 9:51 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 45 Comments

Will West Seattle get light rail if Sound Transit‘s next ballot measure passes? That’s not certain yet but the ballot measure itself is closer to reality because of the transportation package that finally made its way through the Legislature. In an announcement today, ST leaders including board chair King County Executive Dow Constantine said they’re proceeding with the measure known as ST3 for short, because legislators gave them the full potential funding authority they were seeking. That’s described in the announcement as:

*Property tax of up to 25 cents for each $1,000 of assessed valuation ($75 annually for a $300,000 house). …

*Sales tax of up to an additional 0.5 percent ($.50 on a $100 purchase).

*Motor vehicle excise tax (MVET) of up to 0.8 percent of vehicle value ($80 annually on a $10,000 vehicle).

Again, that’s just the taxing authority that Sound Transit will be given. The Legislature’s decision itself does not guarantee you’ll be taxed that way – it’s up to ST to ask voters and get their approval. The ST announcement says “ST3″ will take shape over the next year. If you want to speak up for West Seattle light rail or anything else in particular and have not yet taken the ST survey – go here to do it now – it’s only live for another week. Same survey we mentioned a month ago, so if you took it then, you’re covered.

(Back in Olympia, the transportation package itself still has a few more hurdles to clear, according to the Associated Press’s report from Olympia, and its own inherent costs – unrelated to the Sound Transit component – are calling for a gas-tax increase.)

‘Move Seattle’ transportation levy: After City Council sent it to the ballot, 4-month campaign begins

June 30, 2015 at 10:21 am | In Transportation, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 62 Comments

Now that the City Council has taken final action to send the Move Seattle” transportation levy to the November 3rd ballot – you’re going to hear a lot about it over the next four months. We noticed early today that SDOT has a new round of infosheets. The one below, for example, incorporates changes made by the City Council, including the revised categories for investments – “congestion relief” is now a focus – and added language, such as the “West Seattle ingress and egress planning” that Councilmember Tom Rasmussen pushed to add:

Breakouts by City Council district are now posted – though they’re still relatively short on specifics. Here’s the one for District 1 (West Seattle and South Park):

Again, the funding for Move Seattle – $930 million in property taxes – did not change before the final vote. And if you want to see the discussion before that vote, the Seattle Channel‘s archived video of yesterday afternoon’s meeting is up:

More background about the levy is on its city webpage.

West Seattle 4th of July: What you need to know before you travel by state ferry

June 29, 2015 at 11:11 am | In Holidays, Transportation, West Seattle news | Comments Off

(Live camera for Fauntleroy ferry dock; find it any time on the WSB West Seattle Traffic page)
If state-ferry travel is part of your plan for the 4th of July weekend – Washington State Ferries has just put out a quick guide with reminders and changes. One of the latter affects the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route: On the 4th, an extra run will be added from Vashon to Fauntleroy at 11:25 pm. In general, the biggest crowds are expected westbound this Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, and then eastbound on Sunday. If you’re traveling through Colman Dock downtown, remember that waterfront construction continues to change the traffic patterns, so your route there or back might be different than last time you used the terminal. Whichever terminal(s) you’re using, you can check conditions via cameras and other info on the WSF site (here’s the full list of links to terminals), and bulletins go out on Twitter, too.

FOLLOWUP: Who parks where and why? West Seattle Transportation Coalition’s survey results

June 29, 2015 at 12:06 am | In Transportation, West Seattle news | 30 Comments

Three months ago, we published a link to the West Seattle Transportation Coalition‘s survey about parking – whether you use it, where you use it, do you park on the street even if you have offstreet parking available where you live, and a variety of other questions. WSTC has finally crunched the numbers and published the results, from more than 900 responses. See them here. Among many points of interest, the WSTC reports, “7% of renters [said they] have no cars, compared to 2.6% of home owners,” and a nearly identical percentage of respondents in both categories said they kept their primary vehicle in offstreet parking – 76 percent owners, 74 percent renters. 76 percent of the respondents, meantime, said they live within 10 minutes of a bus stop, though various other responses suggest that proximity alone isn’t enough to make them full-time bus riders.

Alki parking: New plan for lot next to the Homestead

June 27, 2015 at 4:18 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle history, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

(SWSHS photo: Matt Schilling, son of Alki Homestead owner Dennis Schilling, finishing the sign)
Walking toward Alki Beach along 61st SW this afternoon, past the early-stage-renovation-under-way Alki Homestead/Fir Lodge, we noticed that sign, and maybe you did too. Clay Eals of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society shared the photo and this explanation/announcement:

Now that restoration work has begun on the city-landmark Fir Lodge​​/Alki Homestead, a procedure has been established for parking during construction work that will transpire over the next year or two.

The Southwest Seattle Historical Society holds an easement for use of the Homestead parking lot. Thus, visitors to the organization’s “Birthplace of Seattle” Log House Museum can park free in the Homestead lot during the museum’s open hours of noon to 4 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. Access is via the alley behind the Homestead lot.

Immediately upon parking in the lot during the open hours, a museum visitor must obtain a parking pass at the museum and return to his or her car and place the pass on the dashboard.

Staff and volunteers of the organization also can park in the Homestead lot during open hours and at other times by displaying a permanent parking pass.

The lot also is available to the general public seeking to park for non-museum purposes. Those seeking parking in the Alki area can park in the Homestead lot for a fee of $10/day.

The funds, which will go to Homestead owner Dennis Schilling, are collected in a locked honor box at the parking lot. Signs posted at the lot explain the procedure and fee.

Spaces will be designated for museum parking (and moved, as needed, to accommodate construction vehicles) so that no matter how many spaces are filled by those who pay for parking, there will be spaces available for museum parking during open hours.

The Homestead parking lot sits one-half block north of the museum. Access to the lot is via the alley behind 61st Avenue SW, between Alki Avenue SW and SW Stevens Street. (The alley entrance from Alki Avenue is between Starbucks and Top Pot Doughnuts.)

More Homestead restoration info, including the new parking policy, is on the SWSHS website.

$930 million transportation levy: Council vote on Monday; WSTC survey for you now

June 26, 2015 at 4:00 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 17 Comments

From the agenda for next Monday’s City Council meeting, that’s a revised summary of what the proposed $930 million Move Seattle transportation levy would go toward – mostly in generalities, though the Fauntleroy Boulevard project is mentioned by name. The full council votes Monday on whether to send it to the November ballot, after its committee approval this week (including rejection of a suggestion to mix up the funding – which will remain 100 percent property tax). Meantime, the West Seattle Transportation Coalition is wondering what YOU think of the levy, and launched a two-question survey today to find out. Go here to take it.

FOLLOWUP: Lights in place at 47th/Admiral/Waite signal/crosswalks project

June 26, 2015 at 3:01 pm | In Safety, Transportation, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

Thanks to Dave Brewer for the photo – the lights have arrived at the 47th/Admiral/Waite project; in the update we published on Monday, SDOT had said they were expecting delivery by the end of the week. Don’t expect to see them in operation immediately, though – testing/configuration is expected to take a while.

No update on Highway 99 tunneling schedule yet, stakeholders’ group told

June 25, 2015 at 6:52 pm | In Alaskan Way Viaduct, Transportation, West Seattle news | 26 Comments

(WSDOT photo from early June, installing new part for the tunnel machine’s cutterhead)
When will the Highway 99 tunneling machine be ready to resume digging?

(Added Monday – slide deck from stakeholders’ meeting)
WSDOT told its longrunning Highway 99/Viaduct stakeholders group today that it really has no idea – its contractor Seattle Tunnel Partners still hasn’t provided a new schedule for when it thinks the machine will be fixed and ready to go. So technically, they still only have a schedule that says it was expected to get going around August 1st, said Brian Nielsen, the new deputy program administrator (replacing Matt Preedy, who left for a job at Sound Transit). “Clearly they’re a couple months behind” where they would have had to have been to make that timeline, he said, but they haven’t heard from STP and will let the public know when they do. Once they start up, Nielsen said, they consider the session “a test section” with “essentially a new machine” for the first 500 feet or so, until they get to “Safe Haven 3,” where they’d have to stop down before going under the Viaduct.

We were the only news organization at the stakeholders’ meeting, held in a meeting room at Safeco Field, so we took notes on a few other items of general interest – they’re ahead:

Click to read the rest of No update on Highway 99 tunneling schedule yet, stakeholders’ group told…

‘Keep Alki Safe’: New neighborhood campaign against SDOT’s plan for west Admiral Way

June 24, 2015 at 9:31 pm | In Safety, Transportation, West Seattle news | 56 Comments

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

West Admiral/Upper Alki residents opposed to SDOT’s Southwest Admiral Way Safety Project have just launched a campaign titled Keep Alki Safe.

With little advance notice of the proposed Admiral Way changes, SDOT first presented them at April’s Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting (WSB coverage here), then at May’s Southwest District Council meeting (WSB coverage here), and finally in a contentious standalone community meeting May 21st at Alki Elementary (WSB coverage here). That meeting included the following slide deck, showing the heart of the plan in the final few pages, proposing removing more than 200 parking spaces along Admiral Way west of California SW, to make room for changes including the addition of bicycle lanes:

(Slide deck from May 21st meeting)
The parking removal is the center of concern for area residents, for reasons including that it would require some of them to park across Admiral and dodge traffic to get to and from their vehicles. When they heard SDOT say it considered the parking removal to have a relatively nominal impact because of usage studies they had done in the winter, rather than in the busy summer season, that led to further concerns. From the group’s newly launched website:

We are a group of neighbors who came together, in shock and disbelief, in April 2015, when Seattle Department of Transportation informed us they were planning to remove 200 parking spaces on Admiral Way, between the Admiral Junction and 59th SW, four months hence. Admiral Way is a residential arterial, bordering the Alki Parking Overlay; it is the main access route to Alki Beach, the Alki business district, Alki Elementary School, Alki Community Center, a church, and the Alki neighborhood.

We are concerned that SDOT does not understand this street: the traffic patterns, the parking, the adjoining structures and the safety challenges. Most of the accidents on this section of Admiral Way are caused by impaired drivers, late at night. The SDOT Admiral plan is dangerous because SDOT would force some residents to park on the dangerous side of the street, the side where impaired drivers crash into cars and structures on a routine basis. The plan is dangerous because SDOT would also force some residents to cross a busy arterial, with children, elderly and handicapped family members in tow, to get to their cars. The plan is shocking because this portion of Admiral Way suffers from extreme parking congestion during the summer and during school pick-up and drop-off time.

The new website also links to an online petition asking Mayor Ed Murray to drop the plan, and organizers say they’ll soon have yard and roadside signs to catch the attention of neighbors and visitors alike, including ones like this:

Organizers also tell us they are lobbying elected officials directly and expect to meet soon with Councilmember Tom Rasmussen.

As for where the plan officially stands:

At the May “open house,” pressed by Admiral Neighborhood Association president David Whiting to commit to at least one more public meeting about the project, SDOT agreed. No date’s been announced yet; Rasmussen asked SDOT director Scott Kubly about this project’s “public process” during yesterday’s City Council Transportation Committee meeting (starting 53 minutes into the clip at that link); Kubly said he knew one public meeting had been held and thought multiple additional meetings would be ahead. The project website now shows this timeline, mentioning a “community briefing” in late summer:

We left a message for project manager Emily Ehlers today to ask about the status, and have not received a response.

47th/Admiral/Waite project: SDOT update; safety reminder

June 23, 2015 at 10:10 pm | In Safety, Transportation, West Seattle news | 12 Comments

(Photo taken this evening, looking westward at 47th/Admiral/Waite)
Two messages tonight about the 47th/Admiral/Waite signal and crosswalks project. First one is a progress report from SDOT:

Work resumed last week at the intersection of 47th Avenue SW and SW Admiral Way. Crews installed the signal poles and striped the intersection, including new crosswalks. They also began installation of wiring in preparation for the new signal heads that we expect will be delivered later this week. We anticipate approximately three more weeks of construction while the signals are installed and configured.

The striping of the crosswalks before the signal’s installation, however, led WSB reader Jennie to e-mail this safety concern and ask if we’d share it:

I was wondering if you might be able to highlight a safety concern and an extra need for people to slow down and use caution when driving through the new Admiral stoplight intersection that is being created near Alki Mail and Dispatch.

There are not lights yet to control this intersections, yet they have decided to lay down all of the crosswalks. I am *very* concerned that someone is going to use one of these new crosswalks (potentially even young kids now that they are out of school) and get hit. The one crosswalk that was always there was placed in about the best position for line of sight for cars and it obviously didn’t do its job well with crossing deaths and accidents.

Crosswalks don’t require lights – don’t even require striping (as explained here) – but nonetheless, since the painted crosswalks are new features and the light is still a few weeks away, it’s a good idea to take extra care in that area as people using all modes get used to the new features.

What’s next for 35th SW Safety Project? Final plan due by mid-July

June 19, 2015 at 2:35 pm | In Safety, Transportation, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

After public meetings, petition drives, and a walking tour, the city’s final plan for 35th SW will be announced by mid-July. That’s what SDOT project manager Jim Curtin told us when we checked in with him today. Once a meeting date is finalized for the second week of July, SDOT will announce it in a variety of ways, including via postal-mail postcards to residences, businesses, and others on and near 35th SW in the project zone, from Fauntleroy Way SW south to SW Roxbury. The latter, of course, has its own changes in the works, as announced in April, and that work will be done first, Curtin tells WSB: “We intend to combine our work on Roxbury and 35th to save on construction crew mobilization costs. Work on Roxbury is expected to start the week of (August) 17th and we intend to move over to 35th as soon as Roxbury is complete. I believe work on 35th would begin in early to mid-September.” SDOT unveiled “design alternatives” for 35 in March; during last month’s lightly attended walking tour (WSB coverage here), Curtin said “Option A” was looking the most promising for most of the project zone.

West Seattle Transportation Coalition says ‘Move Seattle’ levy needs to ‘move West Seattle first’

June 11, 2015 at 1:40 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 29 Comments

As the City Council gets deeper into shaping the “Move Seattle” transportation levy proposed for the November ballot, the West Seattle Transportation Coalition has just announced its official statement on what it wants to see in the levy:

West Seattle has been working to resolve its transportation challenges for 125 years. We initiated Puget Sound’s first ferry service in 1888 and we built America’s first municipally funded commuter rail system in 1906. Today, that extensive rail line is gone, replaced by inadequate bus service and single lane choke points that hamper the mobility of our 100,000 citizens.

Seattle has not supported or expanded our historically great transportation ideas. Thanks to the lags and half measures the city has offered over the years, there’s widespread perception here that West Seattle and its transportation issues are not, and never have been priorities for the City of Seattle.

It took the City five years to re-build the South Park Bridge after significant lobbying efforts of citizens, six years to rebuild Seattle’s Spokane St. bridge after a freighter rammed the old one in 1978, and decades to re-start the seasonal cross bay West Seattle Water Taxi to downtown. After significant citizens efforts and pressure, the City is finally addressing safety and speeding issues on SW Roxbury Street and 35th Ave SW.

As our Peninsula population increases, traffic increases and further chokes ingress-egress. Our two bridges are gridlocked for hours every day now — with 93,000 vehicles crossing West Seattle’s high bridge, and 13,000 crossing the low bridge. Together, these bridges are Seattle’s busiest, non-freeway traffic corridor, carrying more human and freight volume than any other city bridge. By the time Move Seattle expires, West Seattle’s population in our Alaska Junction and Triangle areas alone will grow to equal or surpass that of Ballard.

Move Seattle fails to address West Seattle’s key issue — getting into and out of the peninsula, safely and efficiently. While the WSTC appreciates and supports the proposals West Seattle pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure improvements, we ask the Mayor and City Council to support and clearly define Council Member Tom Rasmussen’s amendment to Move Seattle. We would like the levy to:

Provide a fully funded, integrated, West Seattle Peninsula ingress-egress plan with a scope of work, timeline, and funding source. Its structure should be fully compatible with conversion to a future Sound Transit dedicated right-of-way, Light Rail or Bus Rapid Transit system.

In Sound Transit polling, more than 94% of West Seattle residents supported a dedicated solution for the people living in District 1. Currently, all of West Seattle’s transportation hopes and dreams seem to be bolted to the forthcoming Sound Transit 3 (ST3) proposal. Meaning, West Seattle’s transportation fate is now in the hands of Olympia legislators, the Sound Transit Tri-County Board, and competition from regional and local interests who also need ST3 resources.

Meanwhile, the clock is ticking down for West Seattle as our population and development density increase, and the Port gears up with planned expansions on Terminal 5, where freight and industrial growth will further choke traffic flows to SR 99, I-5, I-90, Marginal and Alaskan Ways. It’s a perfect storm of adverse effects on our situation.

West Seattle and South Park need a solution today. We cannot wait for some future, theoretical ST3 or ST4 package. We expect our leaders and elected officials to do whatever it takes to move the people of District 1 now.

We wrote about Councilmember Rasmussen’s proposed amendment, mentioned above, back on Monday.

P.S. Haven’t shared your comments on the levy yet? This page on the city website explains how.

Expand bike sharing to West Seattle? City seeking grant $

June 10, 2015 at 5:33 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle news | 33 Comments

(From city application for federal grant: Medium-blue shading is proposed expansion area; dark blue is “vulnerable population” area)
If you go downtown, you see them seemingly everywhere – racks of Pronto Bike Share bicycles, ready to be rented to get from Point A to Point B, in a program launched last fall. West Seattle would seem to have plenty of potential, but isn’t part of the bike-share zone.


As first reported by Seattle Bike Blog, an expansion of the bike-share network, including part of West Seattle, is part of a city application for a federal grant. The application for a TIGER grant is titled Northgate Non-Motorized Access to Transit and Education; 60 percent of the $25 million sought would go toward a bike/pedestrian bridge in Northgate that’s long been on the drawing board. But the other 40 percent would go to expand bike-sharing service in other areas of the city, including bringing it to part of West Seattle, primarily toward the “Access to Transit and Education” part of the grant, to improve access to South Seattle College (WSB sponsor). From the full application document:

South Seattle College is situated on the far eastern edge of West Seattle on a bluff overlooking the Duwamish industrial corridor. It lacks direct east/west connections to the neighborhood’s primary transit corridor on Delridge Way. Significant slopes require out of direction travel for safe walking and bicycling connections to the college. The college is located 1.5 miles from the closest bus stop at Delridge Way and Juneau Street. This is a 28 minute walk that will be a 7 minute trip on bikeshare with this expansion. The 138’ elevation climb of this trip will also be improved with electric assist bicycles.

SSC, of course, does have closer bus stops, so that line should read, “from the closest DELRIDGE bus stop.”

The cost of the proposed system expansion is proposed at $10,075,000, with $10m from the requested grant and $75,000 from city funds. To buy the bikes – $5,125,000 city funds, $3,000,000 private funding (from Pronto’s operator) is proposed.

While the map excerpted atop this story, from page 6 of the application, shows (in medium blue) what area of West Seattle is proposed to be part of the bike-share expansion, the city documents make it clear that they won’t be able to get specific about stations and locations until they know whether they get the full grant. Overall, though, the application says:

The project will expand the bikeshare system to 250 stations with 2,500 bikes. The proposed bikeshare fleet will include electric drive, pedal assist bikes (e-bikes). The proposed expansion will increase the service area from 5 square miles of the city and 14% of the population to 42 square miles serving 62% of the population (Figure 10). E-bikes will help Seattleites and visitors traverse the many hills in the city and take longer trips…

You’ll find many more details in SBB editor Tom Fucoloro’s report, which says a decision on the grant request is due this fall. (P.S. And if you like to comb through documents – find them all on the city website.)

TOMORROW: Show off your ‘safe travel habits’ along Delridge during SDOT event – rewards may follow

June 9, 2015 at 3:58 pm | In Delridge, Safety, Transportation, West Seattle news | 5 Comments

SDOT director Scott Kubly returns to West Seattle tomorrow – this time to launch a series of “positive reinforcement” events tied to the city’s Vision Zero safety campaign. From 8-8:45 am outside the interim home of Arbor Heights Elementary (5950 Delridge Way SW) on Wednesday, according to the announcement, “Kubly, Seattle Police, and community transportation safety advocates will be out rewarding parents and kids that follow the rules of the road and practice safe travel behavior as the summer school break is days away.” If you’re caught “practicing safe travel habits,” you might get “a $5 coffee gift card and safety swag (all items grant funded),” SDOT adds. This is the first of three events around the city this week; the other two will be downtown at noon Thursday and at the Fremont Bridge on Friday morning.

More for West Seattle in transportation levy? Two amendments on the agenda for councilmembers’ discussion tomorrow

June 8, 2015 at 4:59 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 8 Comments

Tomorrow morning at 9 am, the City Council – meeting as the Select Committee on Transportation Funding – takes another look at the revised transportation levy destined for this November’s ballot. Councilmembers are proposing a variety of amendments, and we’ve found at least two that include West Seattle-specific language:

*Under the section proposing spending $35 million for “transit corridor improvements,” Councilmember Tom Rasmussen – who chairs the transportation-funding committee – proposes adding the language “including planning for access and egress improvements to the West Seattle peninsula.” See it on page 6 of his amendment:

Rasmussen also has a separate amendment that redefines the “core categories” in which the levy would seek to make “transportation improvements” – instead of “safety … interconnectivity … vibrancy … and repair,” his categories would be “safe routes, “congestion relief,” “maintenance and repair.”

*Under the “Safe Routes to School” section, Councilmember Tim Burgess proposes adding language mentioning two West Seattle elementaries while requiring that SDOT “Complete projects within the first three years of the Levy in walk zones of the following schools that have high levels of poverty: Bailey Gatzert, Martin Luther King, Jr., West Seattle, Dunlap, Dearborn Park, Wing Luke, Northgate, Van Asselt & Wing Luke, Emerson, Concord, Rainier View, Roxhill.” See it on page 4 of his amendment:

The committee meeting taking up these and other proposed changes to the now-$930 million levy intended for the November ballot starts at 9 am tomorrow at City Hall; you’ll be able to watch live on Seattle Channel (cable channel 21 or online at As for your role in the process – more amendments, discussions, public-comment opportunities are ahead before the ballot language has to be finalized in August.

After weekend of complaints, new Metro ‘public service announcements’ scrapped

June 7, 2015 at 8:50 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle news | 10 Comments

This morning, David texted us about new public-service announcements on Metro buses, saying they were loud, annoying, and too frequent. Looking around the infosphere today, we saw this mentioned by others, especially via Twitter. And now – a text from Metro itself, pointing to its online post saying they’re being scrapped:

Boy, did we hear from riders this weekend! We tried out three new on-board public service announcements to improve safety on Metro buses, but it sure didn’t turn out the way we hoped or expected. …

What is NOT being scrapped – the new additions and restorations to Metro service – tomorrow will be the first weekday since they’ve taken effect, so be sure you plan your trip with that in mind. (Here again is our West Seattle overview.)

Light rail for West Seattle? Or? Next step toward ‘Sound Transit 3′: Take this survey!

June 5, 2015 at 1:54 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle news | 14 Comments

Thanks to Brice for pointing this out – the next step as Sound Transit works toward its next money-raising ballot measure, dubbed “Sound Transit 3,” includes a survey just made public. If you’re interested in seeing Sound Transit prioritize light rail for West Seattle – or if you’d rather see something else – tell them! The survey starts here.

BACKSTORY: While ST designated West Seattle as a “potential light-rail corridor” when updating its Long-Range Plan last December (WSB coverage here), that didn’t come with any guarantees – the agency would have to settle on a plan and on funding to make it happen, and this is far from the only area it’s considering including in the 2016 ballot measure.

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