Transportation 2463 results

FOLLOWUP: See the light-rail community comments West Seattle Transportation Coalition just sent to Sound Transit

(Map from Sound Transit’s “system expansion” website)

West Seattle’s branch of Sound Transit light rail is still an estimated 13 years away, and major planning is a ways off too. But the West Seattle Transportation Coalition saw no wisdom in waiting, and organized a June workshop to collect early community ideas and feedback (here’s our as-it-happened coverage).

Today, WSTC sent Sound Transit its wrapup of what participants said, as well as documents with community comments collected in connection with the event.

Here’s the summary they sent, followed by the community-comment collections:

Dear Sound Transit Board Members:

The West Seattle Transportation Coalition (WSTC) sponsored and conducted a peninsula-wide, public workshop on June 22, 2017, to inform the community and gather their input on the ST3 light rail proposal for service to West Seattle.

Following an introduction on light rail by Tom Linde, P.E., and supported by traffic engineers Larry Wymer and Mark Jacobs, the WSTC shared the representational ST3 alignment for West Seattle, as shown in Sound Transit’s documents dated July 19, 2016 (C-03a2, Downtown to West Seattle Elevated, Rev. 1, Sheets 1-5), including station areas at Delridge, Avalon, and the West Seattle Junction. Workshop attendees were asked to complete a comment card and answer survey questions. The comments are attached.

In general, attendees expressed the following preferences:

*Run the rail line underground through the West Seattle Golf Course, and into The Junction—the central, historic West Seattle business district,

*Include a Park & Ride and a bicycle garage at each station

*Conduct more community meetings to gather public input,

*Regular Sound Transit must provide timely reports on options, decisions, and progress toward implementation

*Sound Transit and other transportation agencies are strongly encouraged to examine less expensive options that are not slope-challenged, and can be delivered faster, such as aerial tramway, app-centered van pools, and driverless vehicle systems.

To arrive at their results, WSTC workshop organizers and attendees identified several factors that they want taken into account, including: Read More

FERRY ALERT: 2-boat schedule starting tomorrow for Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth

Trouble with the Washington State Ferries vessel M/V Hyak on the Bremerton run is leading to changes that will, in a domino effect, put the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route on a 2-boat schedule starting tomorrow. WSF published this announcement with full details. WSF says this could last up to two weeks.

SDOT scales back grant-funded walkway near Chief Sealth IHS because of possible future development

(Above, original design made public in March; below; revised design announced today)

Sent late today by SDOT – news that they’re scaling back on planned pedestrian improvements because of possible future development. The update sent to the project mailing list was signed by outreach lead Michael Charles:

I am touching base with you to share an update on SDOT’s Chief Sealth High School Walkway Improvements project. This project is part of the Neighborhood Street Fund program, which funds community-requested projects.

Updated Design

In the original design, we planned to have a walkway along 25th Ave SW. This was removed because of the likelihood that a developer will submit a permit for construction on the east side of 25th Ave SW in the relatively near future. Knowing this, we’ve removed the paved walkway on 25th Ave SW from the project design, because the developer will be required, per the City’s Land Use Code, to construct similar right-of-way improvements.

We recognize that this is unwelcome news to some of you who looked forward to the improvements on 25th Ave SW. While it could still be several years before this development takes place, the high likelihood of its occurring means that investing public funds at this location would not be prudent.

We will continue to advance the project and improve the walkway on 26th Ave SW. Please see the project website to view the updated project design.

(That’s the second map at the top of this story.) This is the first major update since project feedback was sought back in March. The project website now has an updated “fact sheet.”

As for the possible development, we’ve just checked the parcels along the east side of 25th and have not found any early-stage filing that would correlate with what the city’s referring to, so far. But there’s vacant land on the north side of Trenton and 25th (as spotlighted unpleasantly during last year’s Find It, Fix It walk) – we’ll keep watching the files.

WEST SEATTLE’S NEWEST CROSSWALK: SW Alaska, west of Fauntleroy

The long-anticipated SW Alaska crosswalk on the west side of Fauntleroy Way is now open (lower half of the top photo). First word came in a short time ago from Matt, who also sent the photos:

Finally! They painted the stripes this morning and it was open by the afternoon. They also re-striped East across Fauntleroy.

The walk signal is about 15 seconds long and the turn arrow does remain red; however, I did observe one southbound car start to proceed through the right turn when the signal turned green for the other two lanes only to stop quickly when they saw a pedestrian crossing. I’d suggest caution when crossing here as it may take a while for people to get used to a crosswalk being here.

This crosswalk has been years in the making – though SDOT installed it, it was part of The Whittaker‘s (WSB sponsor) “public-benefit package,” required for its alley vacation; the crosswalk goes from The Whittaker’s northeast corner across SW Alaska to Spruce (LA Fitness + apartments). We’re told there’s still a little more work ahead at this intersection, so don’t expect to see it crew-less just yet.

ALKI-AREA SURVEY: Your thoughts sought on 10 potential concerns

If you didn’t already see it via City Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s weekly e-mail/online update, the city is circulating a short survey about 10 possible concerns in the Alki area, all involving vehicles/driver behavior. It asks your thoughts on those concerns, plus an open-ended question on whether you’re “concerned about anything else.” You can answer the survey by going here.

FLAT FARE: Ready to pay $2.75 per Metro trip?

Last spring, Metro launched two surveys about simplifying fares. The second one asked about two options. Today, King County Executive Dow Constantine announced the County Council will be asked to approve one of those options – a $2.75 flat fare. That would be a fare reduction for some riders. Otherwise, the announcement notes:

An estimated 35 percent of Metro boardings take place during off-peak hours, and those passengers would pay 25 cents more.

21 percent of off-peak riders pay full adult fares without any subsidy or employer-sponsored pass.
14 percent of off-peak riders use employer or organization-sponsored transit passes.
About 31 percent of Metro riders qualify for ORCA Lift, youth, senior and disabled fares. They would see no change.

The ordinance would include additional funding to help passengers who earn very low incomes not covered by ORCA Lift and passengers least able to pay during off-peak hours:

-Increased funding for the Human Services Ticket Program, from $3.6 million to $4 million, to offset higher cost for social service agencies that distribute discount tickets. Forty-four percent of tickets sold through the program are for off-peak trips.

-Working with ORCA partners to reduce fees for adult and youth ORCA cards and eliminate the $3 card fee for seniors and people with disabilities.

-Continuing to work with schools, colleges and universities to enhance fare programs for students.

The announcement says the soonest this could take effect is July of next year. Here’s more background on the process that led up to this proposal.

FOLLOWUP: 59th/Admiral all-way-stop conversion next week

(SDOT graphic for 59th/Alki all-way-stop conversion)

Three weeks ago, SDOT said it was going ahead with the plan to convert 59th/Admiral to an all-way-stop intersection, with the first phase of work to be done before school started. Since that’s just two weeks away, we asked SDOT’s Dawn Schellenberg for an update on the timeline. She tells WSB today that the stop signs will be installed next Monday or Tuesday, and once they’re in, the pedestrian signal at the intersection will be set to flashing red. The plan from there is what was announced in early August – to evaluate how it works for a few months, and if it’s a keeper, to go ahead with phase 2, which includes “decorative painted curb extensions, a relocation of the westbound bus stop, and a red flashing all-way stop beacon.”

BACK TO SCHOOL: SDOT plans tree/shrub trimming on walking routes

August 17, 2017 6:34 pm
|    Comments Off on BACK TO SCHOOL: SDOT plans tree/shrub trimming on walking routes
 |   Safety | Transportation | West Seattle news

Just announced by SDOT:

Summer break is winding down, and next month Seattle’s youth head back to school. The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is launching Operation TREE-IAGE (Triage) to make sure that the city’s Safe Routes to School locations are clear of overgrown vegetation so that students have a safe and clear walking path. This important safety project will prune trees and vegetation along school routes to improve safety as part of Vision Zero so that drivers have clear visibility of traffic control signs such as STOP, CROSSING and SPEED LIMIT. Crews will be targeting areas around Seattle’s 59 public elementary schools.

Beginning Monday August 14, through Friday August 18, 6 teams of SDOT inspectors began inspecting routes along Seattle School District elementary schools looking for areas where trees or other vegetation blocks the visibility of school zone signs, beacons, signals, and sidewalks.

Beginning Thursday August 17th, SDOT staff began notifying adjacent property owners if their sidewalk was partially blocked by vegetation.

On August 21 through September 1, SDOT and contractor crews will focus along these school routes to prune overgrowth before classes begin this fall to clear sidewalks for students who walk to school, and make sure all traffic control signs, signals and beacons are free of overgrowth so drivers can adjust their speeds accordingly.

All major tree pruning operations will be overseen by an ISA certified arborist (as required by City Ordinance). Most SDOT gardeners are ISA Certified Arborists and/or Certified Horticulturists. All pruning crews will include experienced Urban Forestry Gardeners to ensure the best outcomes.

SDOT will also be engaging Seattle residents to share information on tree trimming and vegetation maintenance requirements in the right-of-way. In addition, SDOT is working with Seattle Department of Construction and Inspection to educate residents of the City’s weeds and vegetation ordinance.

Questions? 206-684-TREE or Seattle.Trees@seattle.gov.

ADMIRAL REPAVING: The bumpy backstory

(Monday photos courtesy Tim Nelson)

The repaving work that’s under way this week on the west section of SW Admiral Way has more of a history than most other “spot paving” projects SDOT announces shortly before they start. When Admiral Way rechannelization west of California SW was first brought up in 2015, calls for repaving resurfaced, but it wasn’t part of the project, and it wasn’t even part of the SDOT long-range plan (see this map). But the road has had persistent bumps, sinks, and other problems, especially near Schmitz Park, and some residents have been persistent about urging that SDOT get something done, including Tim Nelson, who shared the photos.

Last May, we reported on a sinkhole, thanks to a tip, and it was finally filled days later, but that’s continued to be a trouble spot – one of several revealed as SDOT ground off the old pavement yesterday:

Nelson says he has been trying to get something done about this section for a year and a half. He rides a motorcycle and has as a result been extra-aware of the bumps and holes. After getting nowhere with SDOT, he contacted City Councilmember Lisa Herbold; this is from a response she sent him in late June:

… in response to yours and my requests, Transportation Maintenance Division Director, Rodney Maxie, conducted several site visits in West Seattle last week, including this segment of Admiral. In response to my follow up questions last week, when several Admiral Way constituents visited me at my office hours on Friday, SDOT told me the following:

“Mr. Maxie, or one of his Pavement Maintenance leads will follow up with an assessment of Admiral Way. Depending on the ensuing assessment, Mr. Maxie may request a follow-up site visit with the residents who have sent in complaints about the pavement conditions on these blocks. While this street is not prioritized as an AAC project, Rodney will be looking to see whether it might be a good candidate for nearer term spot improvements.”

And then, last week, this week’s work was announced. Meantime, work is still ahead for nearby intersections, including the conversion of 59th/Admiral to an all-way stop; we are checking with SDOT on the newest timetable for that, since it had been announced as “before school starts.”

FERRY ALERT: Two Fauntleroy/Vashon runs canceled Wednesday morning

August 15, 2017 6:12 pm
|    Comments Off on FERRY ALERT: Two Fauntleroy/Vashon runs canceled Wednesday morning
 |   Fauntleroy | Transportation | West Seattle news

From Washington State Ferries:

On Wednesday, August 16, the Vashon 5:45 am to Fauntleroy and the Fauntleroy 6:10 am return to Vashon are cancelled due to overnight repairs to the propulsion system of M/V Issaquah, requiring sea trials in the morning. The Issaquah will return to service with the Vashon 6:40 am sailing to Fauntleroy upon successful completion of sea trials. We apologize for any inconvenience. Updates will occur as more information becomes available.

UPDATE: Fairmount Ravine tree concern

ORIGINAL REPORT, TUESDAY: Earlier today, we mentioned in the morning traffic/transit report that closure signs were up – then removed – for Fairmount Avenue, through the ravine between Alki and Admiral, and that a reader had called us last night asking how best to report a tree concern. The reader, who comments here as Drahcir61, has since sent the photo shown above, with this report/alert:

I called 911 last night to report a 200-foot dead tree that is collapsing & now resting on another massive live tree. I heard several small popping/cracking of tree branches giving way. The dead tree is now at a 45-degree angle; the live tree is now leaning itself from the weight of the dead tree.

The police & SDOT responded early evening last night & put up warning tape & flashing beacons to alert anyone moving past this area overnight. One of the SDOT guys told me he also heard branches starting to crack & pop. The police returned this morning & closed off Fairmount while SDOT surveyed the site (see attached photo). Due to the proximity of power lines it appears SDOT has deferred to Seattle City Light. By 10 am this morning the police, SDOT & all warning cones/beacons have been removed.

I advise extreme caution if you are in this area, especially if you are walking or riding a bike. These are massive trees & if/when they fall there will be little warning to get out of the way.

We’re checking with SDOT and City Light to see if anything is planned. By the way, if you see what seems to be an imminent or current hazard – whether it’s a tree, road debris, etc. – the first call to make is always to 911.

THURSDAY UPDATE: Drahcir61 confirms that City Light crews did the work promised in this Wednesday comment from SCL’s Scott Thomsen. And SDOT’s Sue Romero just sent this reply to our original Tuesday inquiry:

The tree was growing in the side of a creek bank which may have contributed to its failure. As the tree leaned, it got hung up on another tree and began to encroach on both the road and nearby high voltage powerlines. Though the tree initially appeared somewhat stable, the City determined the tree needed to be removed quickly. SDOT, SCL and Parks coordinated efforts and determined an SCL contractor was best suited for the job as they access to a 70’ aerial lift. The tree was on Parks property. The road was closed for about 2 hours while the work was completed.

WESTWOOD TRANSIT HUB: Long-requested lighting, sidewalk work to start within weeks, Metro says

(WSB file photo: ‘Wall of buses’ along Roxhill Park, across from Westwood Village)

Another “years in the making” project is about to get going. Even before the south side of SW Barton across from Westwood Village became a major transit hub, there was talk of more lighting – it’s mentioned in this WSB story from 2009. Four years later, the lack of lighting was still an issue when the then-new Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council led various government reps on a walking tour including the transit hub. In early 2015, Metro promised the lighting, and sidewalk improvements, would happen that year. Then the time-frame estimate shifted to mid-2016.

Now here we are in the second half of 2017 … and the work is apparently finally about to begin. Metro’s Paul Roybal responded to an inquiry from former WWRHAH leader Amanda Kay by saying, “Currently the construction work is scheduled to begin on August 28th, but subject to slight modifications (contractor is finishing up other work for Metro elsewhere, so the start date may be a few days later).” We subsequently checked with Metro spokesperson Scott Gutierrez about the planned scope of the work; he says it’s “to repair the sidewalk along the south side of SW Barton … and to add 4 pedestrian-scaled light fixtures to improve visibility and safety from the layover [area] to the existing RapidRide bus stop.”

ROAD WORK ALERT: 4th Ave. S. repaving starts next week

August 12, 2017 8:09 pm
|    Comments Off on ROAD WORK ALERT: 4th Ave. S. repaving starts next week
 |   Transportation | West Seattle news

In addition to the Admiral Way repaving alert we published on Friday, there’s one more that you might want to know about – outside West Seattle, but a major route for getting to/from downtown. SDOT says that the six-month repaving project for 4th Avenue South, between S. Spokane Street (the bridge) and S. Royal Brougham (stadium zone), starts Monday. Here’s what that means:

From 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays beginning Monday, August 14, travelers can expect:

· Crews on 4th Ave S to be working from south to north beginning at S Spokane St and working north to S Royal Brougham Way.

· Work will be done during the week; however some night and weekend work is expected and will be communicated in advance.

· Intermittent lane closures around the work zone. 4th Ave S will otherwise remain open throughout construction.

· On-street parking will be temporarily removed in the active work zone.

· Rough pavement after grinding and steel plates on the roadway.

· Construction-related noise, dust, vibration, and asphalt odor. …

· King County Metro bus stops will be temporarily shifted around work zones. For information on changes to Metro routes, please (go here).

You can read the full announcement here. We’ll track this project in our weekday-morning traffic coverage, in the weeks/months ahead.

THE WINNERS: Four West Seattle/South Park projects get enough votes to share Your Voice, Your Choice dollars

Just announced by the Department of Neighborhoods – the results of the Your Voice, Your Choice voting on how to spend city grant money for park and street projects. In District 1 – West Seattle and South Park – these are the four winners:

Delridge: Crossing Improvements at Delridge Way SW & SW Oregon St (Cost: $90,000, Total Votes: 477)

Westwood/Highland Park: Bus Stop Improvements at Delridge Way SW & SW Barton St (Cost: $90,000, Total Votes: 470)

High Point: Walkway Improvements on SW Orchard St between Delridge Way SW & Sylvan Way SW (Cost: $80,081, Total Votes: 425)

South Park: Crossing Improvements on S Cloverdale St (Cost: $85,700, Total Votes: 396)

If you paid attention to the process, which started with suggestions and continued through voting on finalists, you might notice that adds up to more than the $285,000 maximum per district that the city had said was available. The online announcement explains:

To provide some context to the results above, with $2 million to spend on park and street improvements, we allotted a maximum of $285,000 per City Council District. After the top projects in each district were selected by voters, there was $233,019 remaining in the budget. These dollars were used to fund one additional project in the three districts with the highest voter participation (Districts 1, 2, and 5).

You can read more about the winning projects (and the other finalists) in the District 1 Voter’s Guide that was circulated while voting was under way in June.

FERRY ALERT UPDATE: 2 boats on Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth run until mid-evening

(WSF “live” view of Fauntleroy terminal loading zone)

3:01 PM: Washington State Ferries says the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route is down to 2 boats because the M/V Issaquah is having mechanical trouble. This is separate from the problem that canceled some M/V Kitsap runs this morning because of a crew shortage.

6:38 PM UPDATE: WSF says M/V Sealth will take the Issaquah’s place at mid-evening, but it’s still 2 boats until then:

The M/V Issaquah is out of service for the remainder of the day due to an issue with the clutch. This will cancel the following sailings:

Fauntleroy 7:10 pm and 8:15 pm
Vashon 6:35 pm and 7:45 pm
Southworth 6:15 pm

M/V Sealth will sail the remainder of the service day for the Issaquah beginning with the 8:45 pm departure from Vashon.

Please expect delays due to the service disruption on the route.

6:46 AM MONDAY: The Issaquah is repaired and back on the route, which has returned to full service, WSF says this morning.

ADMIRAL WAY: SDOT moving ahead with converting 59th/Admiral to all-way stop

(SDOT graphic for 59th/Alki all-way-stop conversion)

One month ago, SDOT announced its plans for pedestrian-related changes to intersections along the west stretch of Admiral Way. Today, another announcement: What was described in that late June announcement as a “tentative” plan to convert 59th/Admiral to an all-way stop is now an official plan:

The crossing improvement will be installed in 2 phases. Before the start of the 2017/2018 school year, we will install new signage and signal modifications to convert the intersection to an all-way stop. These changes will encourage slower vehicle speeds through the intersection.

We’ll evaluate the all-way stop over a few months, and if it’s performing well, we’ll install phase 2 improvements, which include decorative painted curb extensions, a relocation of the westbound bus stop, and a red flashing all-way stop beacon.

Most of the other intersections where SDOT plans changes will also have “decorative painted curb extensions”; SDOT asked in June for opinions on three potential designs, and says this one won:

The 59th/Admiral news and curb-extension pattern are in this mailer that SDOT says it has sent to nearby residents. Details of the other intersection changes that’ll be made later this year were in our June report and are on the project webpage. This is all a followup to the rechannelization of Admiral west of California SW last year.

VIDEO: Construction begins for temporary Water Taxi dock downtown

August 1, 2017 11:07 am
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 |   King County Water Taxi | Transportation | West Seattle news

That’s the first of nine piles, each up to 100 feet tall and 3 feet wide, that’ll be driven for the new temporary King County Water Taxi and Kitsap Transit foot-ferry dock on the north side of Washington State Ferries‘ main downtown terminal Colman Dock. The work is starting right now, and we’re at Colman Dock for a media briefing.

As reported here previously, the Water Taxi will suspend service for up to a week, starting next Monday (August 7th), so it can move operations to the temporary dock by the following Monday (August 14th). (Added: Here’s video of Water Taxi spokesperson Brent Champaco:)

The temporary dock is expected to be in use for up to a year and a half while the new passenger-only-ferry terminal is built on the south side of Colman Dock, in the same spot where the current one is. Colman Dock itself also will be renovated/rebuilt over the next five years.

In comments after previous reports, some have wondered why work is starting now, during the peak of summer; at today’s media briefing, it was reiterated that this is because today is the first day of the six-and-a-half month annual period to which in-water construction is limited, to protect salmon and other wildlife. If the full construction period isn’t utilized each year, the completion of the full Colman Dock project could be delayed. And here’s one reason why they need to get going – a section of an old piling with holes from gribbles:

So to recap: No Water Taxi for up to a week starting next Monday; once service resumes, the downtown dock will be in its new temporary location north of Colman Dock, by the waterfront fire station. (Side note: Kitsap Transit’s foot ferry is continuing service during the switch by using Pier 54, further north; Water Taxi reps explain their vessels are too big for that.) More photos/info to come.

@ West Seattle Transportation Coalition: Who’s responsible for dealing with port-truck trouble?

(2015 photo by Don Brubeck)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

When port-bound trucks clog routes leading to shipping terminals, who’s ultimately accountable for clearing them, and preventing future problems?

That was part of what was explored in depth during port reps’ visit last night to the West Seattle Transportation Coalition, which also reviewed key points made by participants in its June workshop about light-rail routing.

First:

PORT TRUCKS: As they had done at this month’s Southwest District Council meeting, operations executive Zachary Thomas from the Northwest Seaport Alliance and Port of Seattle communicator Mick Shultz talked, and answered questions, about the truck traffic.

Thomas explained again about how the shifting alliances in the shipping business had led to the “additional volume (for) some terminals” and less for others. The “general shift of volume from Tacoma to Seattle” led to a 40 percent increase in volume at Terminal 18 on the east side of Harbor Island at one point this spring, Thomas said, noting that similar changes were happening around the world at the same time, “massive changes” that meant “for the first two to four weeks of the new alliance(s) … the vessels were just all over the place.” (Terminal 46, further north, didn’t see any change, though.)

At the time of that volume increase, “you would have seen a lot of trucks, no doubt about it.” The terminal operator, SSA, did take action in response to what was going on, Thomas said – though not enough to prevent backups. So that led to some grilling on who could have and should have done more.

Read More

WEST SEATTLE ROAD WORK: 35th SW repairs this week, Alki-area paving next

8:23 PM: Thanks to @MetPatrick22 for the photo and word that 35th SW near SW Webster* is getting some spot-paving repairs this week. No advisories from SDOT, so we checked in with spokesperson Sue Romero – who explained that “spot repairs” do not usually generate advance alerts – and asked about any other smaller paving projects coming up. She mentioned these:

Paving Beach Dr. SW between SW Andover St. & SW Charlestown St., August 1-2 & August 8-9, 9 am-4 pm

Paving 63rd Ave SW between Alki Ave SW & SW Admiral Wy, August 3rd & August 10th, 9 am-4 pm

The 35th SW spot repaving plan was noted here twice last month, most recently in an update last month from City Councilmember Lisa Herbold.

8:54 PM: Right after we published this, Chas Redmond mentioned the repaving in the waning moments of the West Seattle Transportation Coalition meeting, also noting that it had been done near SW Thistle. So after the meeting, we drove 35th to see exactly what’s been repaved: Northbound lane, Cloverdale to Thistle, and Holden to Othello.

THURSDAY: Port-truck backups and more @ West Seattle Transportation Coalition

(2016 screengrab from traffic camera near port)

The ongoing issue of how, where, and when semitrucks queue up for Port of Seattle terminals is at the center of the agenda for tomorrow (Thursday) night’s West Seattle Transportation Coalition meeting. WSTC will hear from and talk with Zachary Thomas, director of the Operations Service Center for the Northwest Seaport Alliance (the Seattle/Tacoma port partnership). WSTC, which is an all-volunteer community group, also will talk about last month’s workshop looking ahead to West Seattle light-rail routing (WSB coverage here). All are welcome; the meeting’s at 6:30 pm Thursday at Neighborhood House High Point (6400 Sylvan Way SW)

FOLLOWUP: Ferry-fare increases OK’d by state Transportation Commission, with changes

(Live WSDOT camera view of Fauntleroy ferry dock)

Earlier this month, we published word that the state Transportation Commission was taking comments on proposed increases in state-ferry fares. Today, commissioners took their final vote – with a few changes. From the announcement:

After hearing from ferry riders during local community meetings, reviewing hundreds of emails, and gathering input from key stakeholder groups, the Washington State Transportation Commission took final action today (Wednesday, July 26) on ferry fare increases that will be implemented over the next two years. The commission made changes to its original proposal in response to public input, which resulted in benefits to passengers and bicyclists.

The commission is required to ensure ferry fares generate $381 million in operating revenue between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2019, as required in the recently passed two-year state transportation budget for Washington State Ferry operations. The commission’s fare proposal accomplished that but increases to passenger fares and bicycles with trailers generated the most concern from the public. In response to those concerns, the commission reduced the passenger fare increase in 2017 from 2.5 percent, to 2.1 percent. It also applied a fare increase to bikes towing a kayak or canoe; this does not change the fare for bicyclists towing other types of trailers.

The final ferry fare adjustments adopted by the commission will take effect as follows:

October 1, 2017

2.9 percent fare increase for small and standard sized vehicles

0.8 percent to 1.8 percent fare increase for oversized vehicles (22 feet and longer), depending on vehicle size

2.1 percent fare increase for passengers

Passengers who bring bicycles towing kayaks or canoes will pay the motorcycle/ stowage fare. All other bicyclists towing items other than a kayak or canoe would continue to pay the same fare as today (bicycle surcharge plus the passenger fare).

October 1, 2018

2.5 percent fare increase for small and standard sized vehicles

No fare increase for oversized vehicles (22 feet and longer)

2.1 percent fare increase for passengers

School Group passengers fare will increase from $1 per group for a one-way trip to $5 per group for a one-way trip

New bike-share program Spin launches in Seattle – but not here, yet

Thanks to ScottA for pointing out, in a comment below this morning’s traffic coverage, that the newest bike-share company to serve Seattle just launched today. (Here’s coverage on Seattle Bike Blog.) Unlike the previous one, this one does not have fixed stations, and is not operating with public dollars. Like the previous one, though, it’s not serving West Seattle – for starters – although some of its bikes theoretically could wind up here (unless specifically prohibited – check the rules if and when you try it). The service is called Spin. We e-mailed to ask if any of their bicycles would be placed on this side of the bay, and Head of Operations Matt Whiffen replied:

The city of Seattle put forth a few specific regulations as to how many bikes can be put out per company and when. Basically, it’s 500 the first month, another 500 the second month, an add’l 1,000 the third month, and TBD after that. We’re not quite to the point of expanding to West Seattle, but it’s on the short list!

Matt also expressed interest in “what parts of West Seattle would be best suited for what we do.” We suggested he talk to local bicycling advocates such as West Seattle Bike Connections, if they haven’t already. Meantime, another stationless bikeshare service, LimeBike, is launching in Seattle this week too, as SBB reports, but its test-ride-location list suggests it’s not addressing this side of the city yet either.

WEST SEATTLE WEEKEND SCENE: 2017 Mini-STP ride

July 16, 2017 9:02 pm
|    Comments Off on WEST SEATTLE WEEKEND SCENE: 2017 Mini-STP ride
 |   Transportation | West Seattle news

When Don Brubeck from West Seattle Bike Connections stopped by the Summer Fest Info Booth to say hi today, we asked how this morning’s 5th annual Mini-STP bike ride had gone. He reported it was a success, and later sent photographic proof.

With the photos, Don sent this summary: “We had 34 participants, ages 2 into their 70’s, who made it from SW Seattle Street to SW Portland Street, and back to Summer Fest. Riders included a few on their first group ride, and onw for her first ride on city streets. Everybody finished in good spirits!”

Those streets are close to being bookends on the California Avenue SW straightaway. The ride’s name is a nod to the Seattle to Portland city-to-city ride that also happened this weekend.

WP-Backgrounds by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann