West Seattle, Washington
(Live WSF webcam photo from Fauntleroy dock)
As part of the process of fixing problems plaguing the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth (aka “Triangle”) ferry route, Washington State Ferries promised last month that it would put together a task force. Today, WSF has taken the next step – calling for volunteers:
WSF is now seeking volunteers for the Triangle Improvement Task Force. The task force is the citizen advisory group that will be charged with:
· examining the situation on the Fauntleroy/Vashon/Southworth ferry route
· recommending “quick wins” to improve service by summer 2017
· coming up with recommendations for the long term
The task force will begin meeting in January and will consist of nine volunteers, three each from the Fauntleroy, Vashon and Southworth communities. For more information on the process and to apply to be a task force member, please visit our volunteer application page. Applications for volunteers are due Dec. 27, 2016.
Just out of the WSB inbox – Metro has just announced a pilot project offering mobile ticketing for buses, the Water Taxi, and other regional transit:
Riders who don’t want to pay cash to ride transit now have a new way to pay. King County Metro Transit is launching the Puget Sound region’s first-ever mobile ticket app – Transit GO Ticket – allowing riders to buy and redeem transit tickets on their mobile device without needing cash to ride. Under a six to 12 month pilot project, tickets can be purchased for use on King County Metro buses, King County Water Taxi, Seattle Streetcar and Sound Transit’s Link light rail and Sounder trains.
Currently, riders pay cash, purchase tickets or use an ORCA card to ride transit. Having an app is designed to be more convenient for infrequent transit riders – including visitors, sports fans or those who would otherwise pay cash.
Riders can simply use the app to purchase a Transit GO Ticket on an Apple, Android or Windows mobile device and show it to a transit operator, fare collector or fare inspector.
“Transit GO Tickets are the latest example of innovations that make transit easier for our customers,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “We look forward to hearing from the community about mobile tickets as we continue to make sure Metro and Sound Transit offer seamless, efficient service across town and across the region.”
Mobile tickets are the latest milestone in Executive Constantine’s efforts toward greater regional transit integration between King County Metro and Sound Transit. This includes joint regional planning and the bus and rail integration as Sound Transit extended Link light rail to Capitol Hill and UW.
Data gathered in the next year will determine whether Metro fully implements the service or makes adjustments.
“We are customer driven, and feedback will help make this new tool even more effective at serving the needs of riders,” said Metro General Manager Rob Gannon.
Water taxi customers also can pay to ride with their mobile device.
“A Transit GO Ticket is a flexible and convenient option for the casual water taxi rider, and could help visitors more easily travel to and from downtown during the holiday season,” said King County Marine Division Director Paul Brodeur.
How does it work?
Riders who don’t want to pay cash or purchase an ORCA pass can:
· Download the Transit GO Ticket app for Android, Apple or Windows mobile devices.
· Create an account
· Purchase one or more tickets through the app using a credit card or debit card.
· Activate the tickets needed just prior to boarding; there is no limit to the number of tickets that can be activated at one time.
· Show the mobile display to a transit operator, a water taxi fare collector, or have it available if requested by a fare inspector on RapidRide, Link light rail or Sounder.
· Transfers are allowed between Metro buses within a two-hour window.
The Transit GO Ticket app pilot project was created under contract by Bytemark, which has similar systems in use (or coming to) in Austin, Texas; New York Waterway; Massachusetts DOT, Atlanta, Toronto, and York. With its partners at Sound Transit, the City of Seattle and King County Marine Division, Metro will evaluate the performance of the app and gather rider feedback through November 2017. The results also will guide further developments of mobile ticketing.
The pilot project is budgeted at approximately $470,000 and 86 percent of the project is funded by Federal Transit Administration grant money.
If you were affected by bus cancellations, announced and unannounced, this afternoon and evening – we asked Metro, and here’s the reply:
Earlier Monday, Metro made changes to its trolley fleet operations as a precaution.
Articulated 60-foot-long buses are the workhorses of Metro’s fleet; however, the 60-foot-long articulated electric trolley buses were temporarily grounded due to the expected inclement weather – a regular measure for Metro with its trolley fleet due to difficulty operating in snow conditions. Some bus trips were temporarily canceled Monday morning and afternoon in order to shift buses to serve those electric trolley routes.
Metro will continue to evaluate when it is safest to return the 60-foot-long articulated electric trolley fleet to service depending on weather conditions in Seattle
That explanation is also included in Metro’s look ahead to more possible snow tonight and tomorrow. We’ll have a wider update later this evening about the overall forecast and how other local agencies are getting ready.
Just announced by Washington State Ferries – Assistant Secretary Lynne Griffith, who has led the system for two years, is retiring. Our photo above is from her appearance at the triangle-route problem-solving meeting in Fauntleroy back in October. Here’s the announcement we just received:
Lynne Griffith joined the Washington State Department of Transportation as assistant secretary for the ferries division in September 2014. Today, she announced that she will retire from public service at the end of January. Ferries division Chief of Staff Elizabeth Kosa, who has served alongside Griffith, will act as Washington State Ferries’ leader while the department finalizes its next steps.
During Griffith’s time at the helm of the nation’s largest ferry system, missed sailings due to lack of crew dropped nearly 70 percent over the previous 26-month period. She also secured funding for a fourth 144-car Olympic Class ferry, the Suquamish, and built a new high-performing management team from the ground up.
“Lynne has brought profound change to an organization which is a treasured icon of our great state of Washington,” said Governor Jay Inslee. “Her dedication is an inspiration to the hard-working people of Washington State Ferries, and she has my heartfelt thanks for a job well done. I hope she enjoys a much-deserved retirement,” Inslee added.
WSDOT Secretary of Transportation Roger Millar echoed the governor and said, “The ferries division has made real progress in coming together as an organization. We are on the right course, going in the right direction thanks to Lynne, her management team, and the employees who make sure we sail safely each and every day.”
Griffith postponed retirement to serve as assistant secretary just over two years ago. “I had no idea how much I would come to love the work and the amazing people who make sure thousands of passengers reach their destinations safely every day.” Griffith told employees, “I am incredibly proud to have been your shipmate and will continue to feel a sense of pride whenever I see one of our vessels sailing the Sound. I hope you share that feeling with me. You have much to be proud of.”
Griffith intends to move to the East Coast to be closer to her sister, two sons and four grandsons.
Griffith is the first woman to hold the position of Assistant Secretary in charge of WSF.
As first reported here three weeks ago, SDOT is circulating the “Delridge RapidRide Expansion Survey.” It’s set to close tomorrow (Monday). But it’s not only about buses – you’re asked for your thoughts on Delridge, featuring the graphics below, showing its current configuration:
The survey wants you to prioritize transportation options on each of those Delridge Way sections – including transit, walking, biking, and/or parking. It’s meant to look ahead to the RR route expected on Delridge within the next few years; the survey intro says, “Delridge Way SW is one of the corridors on which we’d like to make bus service better. We also have an opportunity to make it safer and more comfortable for people walking, biking, driving, and delivering goods.” If you haven’t already taken the survey, go here ASAP.
The list of what the city plans to show/answer questions about/take comments about at next Wednesday’s “open house” in The Junction just keeps getting longer.
After the city announced it’s expanding the December 7th event to two locations because of capacity concerns, we started collecting more information about topics beyond the biggest one, the “Mandatory Housing Affordability” rezoning we’ve been reporting on extensively lately. Here’s more on one of the newly revealed topics: The Fauntleroy Boulevard project.
When the mayor went public with his budget proposal in September, we reported that it included money to build this long-in-the-works project on Fauntleroy Way between the end of the bridge at 35th SW and the start of The Junction at SW Alaska, as also promised by the Move Seattle levy. Now that the budget has been finalized, SDOT has announced the “re-initiation” of the project, intended to “improve mobility and make the area more comfortable for people walking, biking, and driving on Fauntleroy Way SW, in addition to enhancing Fauntleroy as a gateway entrance to West Seattle.”
SDOT says the design is at 60 percent – see that plan as a PDF here – and likely to be finished next fall, with construction starting “in late 2017.” They promise “project materials” at Wednesday’s open house (5:30-7:30 pm at both Shelby’s Bistro and Ice Creamery and Uptown Espresso, kitty-corner from each other at California/Edmunds). And project spokesperson Rachel McCaffrey says SDOT plans “our own community briefings and other events specific to the project in 2017 in order to answer questions and share updates about the design.”
Last Friday was the deadline set by Metro for comments on the proposal to remove the two westernmost bus shelters on the south side of SW Alaska, east of 44th SW. It originated as part of a “problem-solving plan” promised by Metro and Transit Police (who are part of the King County Sheriff’s Office) reps following a walking tour/outdoor meeting in early October that also included reps from Seattle Police, the city Department of Human Services, the West Seattle Junction Association, and the WS Chamber of Commerce, as well as some local merchants.
Metro subsequently announced, via posted paper notices, that the two shelters, considered a draw for loitering and drinking, would be removed in mid-November; a subsequent uproar led them to “pause” the plan and take comments through November 18th. Now that the deadline has passed, we checked today with Metro to see what’s next; spokesperson Jeff Switzer replied, “We’re reviewing the comments that we received and will make a decision in coming weeks.”
With two and a half weeks’ advance notice, SDOT announced today that the “low bridge” (formally, the Spokane Street Swing Bridge) will not be able to open for marine traffic on the morning of Thursday, December 8th – approximately 8 am-noon – because of maintenance. SDOT says, “The date and time was picked to minimize the impact to marine traffic. Vehicle traffic across the bridge will not be impacted by this work.”
3:24 PM: Late last night, we reported on a medical emergency that left a RapidRide C Line bus stalled on the southbound Alaskan Way Viaduct and sent its driver to the hospital. As promised, we followed up with Metro this morning. The driver, they just told us, did not make it. Here’s the full news release that resulted from our inquiry:
A Metro Transit operator suffered a fatal heart attack late Thursday while driving a RapidRide C Line on the Alaskan Way Viaduct, just south of Columbia Street. Passengers on board were able to help bring the bus to a safe stop and call 9-1-1. No passengers were injured.
The incident was reported about 11:17 p.m. The driver, Sam Williams, 63, was traveling south when he said he was experiencing a heart attack and became semiconscious. Passengers noticed the bus swerving at slow speeds and quickly rushed to Williams’ aid. One passenger was able to help bring the bus to a stop in the outside lane – about six inches from the viaduct’s guardrail. Other passengers helped unbuckle the driver and remove him from his seat, and began performing CPR. A retired Auburn police officer who was driving behind the bus stopped his vehicle and helped provide aid until first responders arrived.
Williams was pronounced deceased after being transported to Harborview Medical Center.
“Those who ride Metro Transit know there is a sense of community on the bus, between passengers and drivers,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “When an incident occurs, people step up to help one another. The passengers on Sam Williams’ route exemplify the best of who we are as a region.”
“Our drivers care deeply about their passengers’ safety and comfort. We are grateful to the passengers who rushed to help Sam as soon as it was clear that he needed medical help. Sam will be missed by his friends, family, coworkers, and those who rode on his bus each day.”
“Many of us are grieving today over the loss of Sam Williams, a dedicated Metro operator for the last six years,” said Metro General Manager Rob Gannon. “I thank the passengers whose quick action to safely stop the bus prevented this from becoming an even greater tragedy.”
Williams started as a part-time operator in 2010. He achieved full-time status in 2014.
4:32 PM: We’ve learned more about Mr. Williams thanks to commenter Kelly, who informs us he was a juggler with the famous Flying Karamazov Brothers troupe. We’ve been researching his background and among other things found this podcast interview published earlier this month.
9:50 PM: Photo of Mr. Williams added above (courtesy John Cornicello). There are more tributes to him in the comments below, as well as a link to this video of a memorable TV appearance one commenter mentioned – Mr. Williams and the other Flying Karamazov Brothers teaching “Mister Rogers” how to juggle. On the group’s Facebook page, this tribute:
We are heartbroken to tell you that Sam Williams, aka Smerdyakov Karamazov, has gone on and joined the choir invisible. It was never publicly admitted, but we can all admit that he’s always been the funniest K, and his passing leaves a major hole in the world. Today is a very sad day. RIP.
Give someone a hug and tell them you love them.
(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
7:02 AM: Here’s what you need to know this morning:
*Metro on “reduced weekday” service
*No West Seattle Water Taxi service
*”Parking holiday” in neighborhoods with city pay stations
*Washington State Ferries plans moment of silence at 11:11 am, followed by a horn-blowing salute
WEEKEND ROAD WORK: SDOT is tentatively planning to close lower Spokane St. east of the low bridge tonight through Sunday morning, unless rain forces the work to be cancelled. Here are the specifics.
SDOT is circulating what’s titled the “Delridge RapidRide Expansion Survey.” But it’s not just about buses. It asks you to take a look at Delridge, section by section, featuring the graphics you see below, which show how it’s configured now:
The survey asks about your priorities for each of those sections along Delridge Way – including transit, walking, biking, and/or parking. Here’s how the survey is introduced in e-mail from SDOT’s Dawn Schellenberg:
We’re working with our partners at King County Metro to deliver 7 new RapidRide corridors by 2024 to advance the Levy to Move Seattle’s promise of 72% of Seattle residents with 10-minute all-day transit service within a 10-minute walk of their homes.
Delridge Way SW is one of the corridors on which we’d like to make bus service better. We also have an opportunity to make it safer and more comfortable for people walking, biking, driving and delivering goods. Please take a moment to fill out our survey and share your thoughts about how the street could be designed and potential related trade-offs. The survey replicates information shared at an October Delridge Workshop, in case you were unable to make it. Please complete the survey by December 4, 2016.
From last night’s Southwest District Council meeting:
A Metro planner told the SWDC that they’re likely to go ahead with removing two bus shelters in The Junction as part of a “problem-solving plan” to deter loitering.
While Metro is taking comments for two more weeks, so far few have come in, and more are in support than against, planner Dale Cummings said at the meeting. Read More
Is an electric vehicle in your future? The city has set a bold goal to dramatically increase the use of electric vehicles in Seattle, and that was the spotlight topic at this month’s West Seattle Transportation Coalition meeting.
West Seattleite Chris Bast works with the city’s Office of Sustainability and Environment and spoke to the WSTC on Thursday night about Drive Clean Seattle, pursuing a goal of 30 percent electric vehicles by 2030:
3:59 PM: That’s the new notice that you’ll find soon in the bus shelters on the west end of the south side of SW Alaska in the Junction transit hub, just east of 44th SW – if it’s not posted already. The notice offers a more-detailed explanation of the plan to remove the two westernmost shelters on that side of the street, and invites comments, with a deadline of November 18th.
The shelter-removal plan first came to light when notices went up last weekend; as we reported on Saturday, it was the first major result of a walking tour/meeting on October 6th, following concerns about those shelters being magnets for loitering, drinking, and other illegal behavior. In our Monday followup, West Seattle Junction Association director Lora Swift detailed other steps that are being taken to try to improve safety and security in the area, and Metro promised it would “press ‘pause'” on the removal plan so there could be a formal comment process, and that’s what’s starting today.
Metro also has answered a couple remaining questions we asked earlier this week. First, about the decisionmaking process on shelter removal and who has the final say:
Metro regularly evaluates issues with Metro bus shelters and makes decisions on the installation and removal of bus shelters, as ridership and circumstances change at bus stops. The Transit Route Facilities group within the Service Development section, takes the lead on evaluating these issues and makes the decision on installation or removal of bus shelters.
We also asked if other hubs in the Metro system had had shelters removed for similar issues: “Shelters have been removed from other high ridership bus stops due to chronic security issues that are unresolvable despite Metro’s best efforts. One example, is 2nd Avenue S & S Washington Street where the Metro bus shelter was removed due to chronic misuse of the shelter.”
Meantime, if you have something to say about the prospective removal of these shelters, e-mail email@example.com or call 206-553-3000.
4:30 PM UPDATE: Our crew just went to The Junction to check, and verified that the new notice IS up:
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
As promised, we followed up today on the Junction bus-shelter removal that was abruptly announced by the appearance of RIDER ALERT signs over the weekend (here’s our Saturday story).
Metro just announced it will “pause” the removal plan while soliciting feedback. Its answers to questions we asked this morning just came in; first, here’s what we learned while talking this afternoon with Lora Swift, director of the West Seattle Junction Association, who helped organize the October 6th walking tour that preceded the plan (WSB coverage here).
First, she confirmed that the shelters planned for removal are the two to the right of the trash can in our photo above, NOT all four of the blue non-RapidRide shelters on the south side of SW Alaska. Metro had placed notices in all four of the structures, which led to some confusion. These two shelters are at a spot which has about 200 boardings a day, according to Metro, a dramatic drop from pre-RapidRide days (the RapidRide stops on the block see 1,300 boardings a day).
“The ridership doesn’t support having four giant bus shelters there,” Swift said. In addition to removing a space that is used more often by loiterers, she said, removal will “open up visually the path between the sidewalk and parking lot, and give (space) between the Honey Bucket and the shelters.” She said that should cut down on illegal activities such as drug dealing in the Honey Bucket – paid for by the city Human Services Department, which says one has been there since the Junction Association requested it more than 20 years ago.
The Honey Bucket itself will “stay for now,” Swift said, so there’ll be a public restroom there.
In discussion of the removal decision following our Saturday report, some commenters wondered about increasing enforcement. According to Swift, Metro Transit Police (a division of the King County Sheriff’s Office) are now “doing plainclothes patrols … getting on and off those buses,” and working with transients to direct them to services they might need that are available downtown but not here. She says Seattle Police are patroling the area as well.
In addition, Metro’s facilities division will be cleaning the shelters five days a week instead of three. And the Junction Association already has taken action to remove a bench in the adjacent parking lot, which, along with the Junction’s other parking lot on 44th, is being evaluated for lighting improvements.
One factor pointed out in the October 6th walking tour as another possible draw for loitering in the bus-stop area was a fixture with open electrical outlets. While they can’t be removed because they’re required for events in The Junction, Swift says they will be raised out of reach on a pole and locked up.
This all began, she said, with messages from merchants who had pointed out “increased transient behavior” at the bus stops, including drinking and sleeping – both of which are against Metro rules – and harassment of passersby.
Now, via spokesperson Jeff Switzer, here is Metro’s reply, just received, to several questions we asked this morning (part of it, toward the end, synchronizes with some of what the WSJA told us):
The King County Metro transit facility at Alaska Junction is incredibly important to our customers and to the functioning of the transit network in West Seattle. Due to the attention possible changes have received over the weekend, Metro is willing to push “pause” on the shelter removal and actively solicit feedback before finalizing the shelter removal plan. New information will be posted at the shelters within the next couple days and will provide the appropriate contact information. We also read the West Seattle Blog and other forums and will compile comments along with all other feedback we receive.
But Metro would also like to take a moment to clarify the proposal to reduce the number of shelters on SW Alaska Street at the Junction. The Alaska Junction transit facility consists of six individual bus stops or “Bays”. Bays 1 through 4 are located on SW Alaska between California and 44th avenues Southwest. Bay 2, on the south side of Alaska between 44th and the alley, is the subject of this discussion. Bay 2 has about 200 Metro boardings per average weekday. For comparison, Bay 1, between California and the alley, has about 1,300 boardings, while Bays 3 and 4 on the north side of Alaska each see about 400 boardings. Bays 5 and 6 are on 44th north of Alaska, on the east side of the street and they remain unchanged by this proposal.
West Seattle businesses, residents, and others have been seeking to identify improvements to reduce illegal and uncivil behavior in the area. The shelters closest to the City of Seattle provided porta-potty have been identified as facilitating this type of behavior and creating an unwelcoming if not unsafe environment for transit riders and others.
Two factors – ridership that does not justify the number of shelters, and numerous complaints of illegal and uncivil behavior – combined to prompt Metro to plan for removal of the two shelters closest to the Porta Potty. The remaining two shelters would continue to provide very generous waiting space for Metro riders, as would the two Rapid Ride shelters in Bay 1 next to Key Bank. Bay 4 (immediately across Alaska Street) currently has two large shelters and twice as many Metro boardings as Bay 2, and we have observed the Bay 4 shelters provide adequate space for riders.
Metro regularly evaluates issues with Metro bus shelters and makes decisions on the installation and removal of bus shelters, as ridership and circumstances change at bus stops. The plan to remove these two Metro shelters arose out of concerns raised by the West Seattle Junction Association (WSJA), and subsequent meetings between WSJA, Metro Transit Police, the Seattle Police Department, and others regarding security issues in the junction, including loitering, public inebriation, fights, illegal dumping, public urination, and harassment of Metro bus riders and others. The removal of these shelters is one of several efforts in the Junction area that is attempting to address quality of life issues.
Removal of the two shelters at Bay 2 is one of several actions that WSJA and Metro are taking to improve security and maintenance at the Junction. Other efforts include:
· Metro Transit Police have started a “Problem Solving Project” in partnership with the Seattle Police Department SW Precinct to deal with code of conduct and quality of life issues to improve safety and security for business and citizens using the junction
· Possible additional lighting in the adjacent parking lots by WSJA
· Tree and bush trimming by WSJA in the adjacent parking lots to improve visibility into the lots
· Metro will increase custodial maintenance at the Junction bus stops from three times per week to five times per week.
Metro is looking forward to hearing further public comment and adjusting the proposal in ways that can both serve riders and improve public safety.
Thanks for the tips about the new signs announcing Metro‘s plan to remove two bus shelters on the west end of the south side of SW Alaska in The Junction’s transit hub.
This is part of the “problem-solving project” we first told you about back on October 6th, after a walking tour involving reps from Metro, Metro Transit Police, Seattle Police, the city Department of Human Services (HSD), the West Seattle Junction Association (WSJA) and some of its merchants, the West Seattle Farmers’ Market, and the WS Chamber of Commerce.
The major complaint involved loitering in those shelters and in the nearby parking lot, with multiple police calls resulting from fights, disorderly conduct by intoxicated people, and maintenance issues. According to a preliminary follow-up report from Metro planner Dale Cummings that was sent to walking-tour participants, a Metro ridership study showed removal of those shelters was feasible because the RapidRide shelters on the east end of the block – which are NOT proposed for removal – get most of the use. Cummings wrote, “Since the RapidRide bus stop was added at The Junction, ridership at this bus stop that serves Rts. 37, 50, 55, 128 has dropped to around 400 boardings per day.”
The Junction had already taken steps to try to reduce the problems through changing the environment, including removing some of the vegetation and seating areas on the southeast corner of Alaska and 44th. The organization also planned to evaluate lighting in the parking lot, and to look at how to remove access to electrical outlets that have been in place by the SW Alaska bus shelter dating back to the Farmers’ Market use of the parking lot.
According to the Metro notices that just appeared in the shelters, they are to be removed in mid-November. We’ll be following up with the Junction Association about any other impending steps from the “problem-solving plan.” Meantime, if you have a comment for Metro about the impending removal, the notices point you to its Customer Service division – contact info is on this page of the Metro website.
MONDAY AFTERNOON NOTE: We’ve spoken this afternoon with Junction Association director Lora Swift and, as noted in comments, she confirms that despite Metro’s posting of all four structures west of the parking-lot driveway behind KeyBank, the two on the west are the only two slated for removal. We also talked about the other area challenges discussed during the October 6th walking tour and will have updates in our upcoming followup – we’ve been waiting all day for Metro to answer some questions before finishing the story.
(May 2016 photo contributed by Chris, showing one traffic-choked morning at south section of the project zone)
The final official list isn’t out yet, but West Seattle Bike Connections says its proposal for improvements at Harbor/Avalon/Spokane/Manning topped the list last night when the citywide Levy to Move Seattle Oversight Committee voted on which proposals should get Neighborhood Street Fund money.
The proposal won top ranking from the Southwest District Council in neighborhood-level voting. Here’s the SDOT document explaining the proposal by WSBC’s Jodi Connolly, and estimating it at $352,000; here’s a WSBC report from February detailing the intersection’s challenges.
WSBC president Don Brubeck summarizes it as “The project will improve driver sight lines, traffic signals, and signage for safety for people crossing Harbor and Avalon on foot and on bikes. It’s a blind corner at the Spokane ramp to Harbor Ave SW for people driving low vehicles. At SW Manning to Avalon Way, the signage is confusing for the little pocket left turn bike lane and right-only vehicle lane.”
He adds – and note that one key change was made after SDOT’s version of it came out – “This grant application had strong community support, including Alki Community Council, Nucor Steel, Luna Park neighbors (who have their own Neighborhood Park & Street Fund project to improve the appearance and commemorate the history of this gateway to West Seattle). Our grant is for safety for people crossing the street on foot and on bikes. The Luna Park businesses has concerns about parking loss at Avalon and Manning by Luna Park Cafe. We discussed that, and modified the request so that no street parking spaces would be lost on Avalon (the SDOT link shows it before that modification). David Whiting, president of Southwest District Council and a founding member of West Seattle Bike Connections, helped us present to the council and obtain their recommendation.”
Following up on Brubeck’s note, we asked SDOT for an official list from last night’s meeting, but spokesperson Norm Mah said that wasn’t available yet: “This list of project recommendations has been transmitted to the Mayor for final approval. SDOT expects project applicants will be notified next week about final funding selections, with an official public release shortly thereafter.” A list tweeted by Seattle Neighborhood Greenways shows the only other West Seattle project to make the citywide top 10 was the “26th SW proposal” for the walking corridor between Chief Sealth International High School and Westwood Village.
West Seattle would be one of the areas getting a little more late-night/early-morning bus service, if Metro goes through with a proposed service expansion, and they’re looking for your feedback. From the announcement:
… Metro has about 40 routes with some level of late-night service throughout King County. Of these, 20 provide trips after 2 a.m., including three Night Owl routes that loop through some Seattle neighborhoods only between 2:15 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. The City of Seattle contributes funding to late-night transit operation and is a partner in this effort. Metro’s draft proposal would replace the three Night Owl routes with late-night service on regular, all-day routes that serve the same areas. The draft proposal also includes new after-hours bus service to Sea-Tac Airport for travelers and workers, for whom there currently are limited options after 1 a.m. It also includes hourly all-night service on the RapidRide C, D, and E Lines, which currently operate all night but with less than hourly frequencies. …
If you check “proposal by route” here, you’ll also see that “later” service is proposed for Route 120, which runs on Delridge. Want to tell Metro what you think of its proposal? Answer this survey by October 30th.
ORIGINAL SUNDAY REPORT, 8:10 PM: No details or advance alert (any neighbors get one?) about this, but we’re writing about it as a precaution, given what happened with the no-notice pavement repairs on 35th SW last week: While out this evening, we noticed “no parking” signs along a stretch of Beach Drive SW just south of 61st SW [map]. This is the bumpy area that SDOT confirmed in January would be repaved “this summer.” The signs we saw tonight were placed on behalf of SDOT’s paving division, and are dated for 7 am tomorrow (October 3rd) through 5 pm Wednesday (October 5th). We’ll seek the details tomorrow morning.
ADDED MONDAY: After our inquiry to the SDOT communication team this morning, they published this, confirming it’s the long-awaited paving project.
If you haven’t answered the city’s survey about potential routes for the next West Seattle greenway – this is your last chance. (The greenway concept is explained here.) The survey contains questions about transportation topics above and beyond the greenway route, too. Answer the survey here. The project website also has an interactive map of route options with options for “liking” one or more and/or leaving comments. Whichever route is chosen, the greenway is targeted for a 2019 debut. (Our area has two greenways now, both in east West Seattle, shown in green on the map above.)
The flashing-beacon signs are in at 35th and Kenyon, the first big step in the work to bring back a marked crosswalk there, nine years after one was removed there. The plan to reinstall one, as requested by local business owners during planning for the 35th SW Safety Project, was confirmed earlier this year.
Just last week, SDOT’s Jim Curtin had told the West Seattle Transportation Coalition that the 35th/Kenyon crosswalk installation was about to start (and he told us today it should be done “within a week or two” depending on weather). He was at the WSTC meeting with updates on the planning for Phase 2, as well as Q&A. He said SDOT is continuing to work on its promised report about the first year since Phase 2 rechannelized 35th to one lane each way plus a center turn lane for most of the stretch between Holly and Roxbury.
For those who contend the rechannelization has driven drivers to side streets, Curtin told the WSTC that the volume on 35th is down a little, most notably just north of Roxbury, which SDOT interprets as an indication that Arbor Heights residents are taking other routes – Roxbury or SW 106th, depending on where they’re going. Delridge volume is down slightly on the south end, up a bit on the north end. And SDOT is observing side-street traffic volumes, Curtin said, to either verify or debunk the contention that people are diverting to residential roads.
On 35th, post-rechannelization, hey’ve had a reduction in crashes involving drivers hitting parked cars, which is “the #1 crash type in the city of Seattle,” no right-turn crashes, a major drop in left-turn collisions, no pedestrian collisions, but rear-end crashes are up, especially on weekends.
That’s expected to be alleviated, he said, by new signal timings, which are being worked on right now – they were mentioned at the August community meeting, and Curtin replied to our followup question today by saying “we’ve gone to longer signal cycles on Saturdays to accommodate higher volumes of vehicular traffic between noon and 6 PM.”
He also told the WSTC that Roxbury signal timings are being worked on, and that left-turn signalization is being looked at for 35th/Barton.
What’s next? As explained in August, they’re still evaluating possible options for Phase 2 – see page 7 of the presentation. SDOT is “slowing down,” Curtin said, because of the decisions to be made about the route for West Seattle’s next “greenway” (have you taken the online survey yet? deadline is Sunday).
No date set yet for the next community discussion, he told us today as part of our followup exchange: “We’re developing the Phase 1 report now but we do not have our next set of meetings planned just yet.”
P.S. The WSTC meeting also included a vote to endorse Sound Transit 3, the Regional Proposition 1 ballot measure you’ll see on your November ballot – 5 WSTC board members for it, 1 abstaining, none against.
WSTC also saw a presentation of the city’s plans for the waterfront, once the tunnel’s open (still skeptical? tunneling is about to hit the halfway mark, WSDOT said today). We don’t have toplines for the latter but we did get the meeting on video and it’s the first presentation, if you want to watch:
The West Seattle Transportation Coalition meets fourth Thursdays, 6:30 pm, at Neighborhood House‘s High Point Center.