People returning home tonight from work to the Alki neighborhood along and around SW Stevens and 59th/60th environs will notice many new markings like that (as well as the word “locate”) on the curbs near driveways and corners, thanks to a city Transportation Department worker who was out there, wielding a can of white spray paint, this morning.
This is a busy parking street about to get busier, with the sign in the photo above heralding a teardown we’ve mentioned before, five units going up in its place, directly across 59th from Alki Elementary/Playground/Playfield. But the city marking project — delineating the areas around driveways/corners that must be kept clear — is the first step toward getting cars out of some illegal spaces on the street, for safety’s sake:
We found out about the SDOT worker’s presence there today thanks to a WSB’er who called to tell us, talked with us in person, and sent this note explaining that signs will go up to clearly mark where vehicles can and can’t park:
For those of you who have driven the streets (Stevens etc.), you know how difficult it is to see past cars who have parked too close to alley openings and intersections. According to SDOT, these signs will be marking No Parking North, South, East and West.
Again, this move stemmed from Proposal #3008596 on lot 2771 59th Ave SW, where a single family home is scheduled for tear down to be replaced with three, three-story structures for a total of five units. Concerned neighbors in the area have sent comments to Department of Planning and Development regarding size and bulk of this proposal and how it will affect sight lines to the alley and already congested intersection of 59th Ave and SW Stevens – especially since it is the corner lot.
As Alki Elementary, Alki Playfield/Playground and the Alki Community Center are directly across from this lot, there is a lot of traffic – 360 children at Alki Elementary alone. We are just trying to make sure the sidewalks, alleys and streets don’t become more dangerous with visibility impairments. Another neighbor’s concern is the height of the structures and how they will shadow the Playfield. Everyone in Seattle knows how warm and beautiful the sun is and how cold it gets when it hides behind buildings. Even the City knows as there is a code specifically for Shadows on Open Spaces, SMC 25.05.675 Q.
SDOT is amazing – once they were aware of the existing street parking and congestion issues, they started working on a solution.
The solution won’t just affect residents, though – this is a popular street for everyone from Alki Elementary families who don’t live within walking distance, to weekend beach visitors. And while we were out there taking pictures this morning, another resident showed us what he says is another factor contributing to the street parking crunch — townhouses where the driveways and garages are legal-sized but not necessarily convenient to use:
On the west side of that same building, the neighbor who talked with us pointed out cars parked on townhouse buildings’ alley-facing mini-lawns, like this one:
This is all unfolding near the alley where 10 mph signs went up recently (WSB coverage here), and just a couple blocks east of more development (recent teardown reported here). So more signs, and fewer parking spaces, are in the works; we have a message out to SDOT to try to find out more about the scope of the work.