Two reader reports on transportation trouble spots


That photo, and report #1, from Arbor Heights Elementary teacher Mark Ahlness:

It’s finally happening! The sidewalk on the south side of SW 104th next to Arbor Heights Elementary School is almost finished. Many thanks to the Arbor Heights PTSA, who have worked for several years with the city to make this happen!

The Arbor Heights sidewalk project was first mentioned here last November.

Report #2: As Manuel noted in his e-mail, the issue he is following isn’t technically in West Seattle, but certainly affects a lot of WS drivers “who use South Spokane Street to go to Costco or work.” He continued:

I wrote SDOT inquiring about the poor condition of the concrete panels at the railroad crossings down there. Over time they sunk several inches, and drivers had to slow way down. They have since fixed the eastbound panels, but the westbound panels are currently pretty bad. Anyway, just passing along a well-thought-out response from our city.

Read on for the full text of the response that Manuel received and forwarded:

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Seattle Dept. of Transportation (imailagent)
Date: Wed, Apr 23, 2008 at 4:36 PM
Subject: Responding to your message (Intranet Quorum IMA00286503)

I am responding to your inquiry about the poor condition of the concrete panels at the railroad crossing on South Spokane Street between 1st Avenue South and 4th Avenue South.

Maintenance of the area in the vicinity of the railroad tracks is the responsibility of the railroads. Railroads have exclusive jurisdiction within their franchise areas, which extends 7 ½’ off the centerline of their railroad track. The BNSF Railroad has very recently made repairs to their crossing in the eastbound lanes at 2nd Avenue South. The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is continuing work with BNSF Railroad to secure repairs at the westbound crossing at 2nd Avenue South.

In 2006 voters passed the Proposition 1 (Bridging the Gap) ballot measure, which provides new funding to address Seattle’s basic transportation maintenance needs. With the new funds, Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) implemented a nine-year paving program on the busiest arterial streets. In 2008, for example, most of First Avenue South between South Spokane Street and the central business district will be rehabilitated.

As you may know, a major widening project of the Spokane Street Viaduct is scheduled to begin later this year; the project will take more than two years to complete. During the construction period much of the Spokane Street lower roadways will be closed to traffic. The final phase of the project will include rehabilitation of the lower roadways. For more information about that project, please contact Stuart Goldsmith, SDOT project coordinator, at (206) 615-0860 or

Until the viaduct project begins, SDOT’s Pothole Rangers will continue to check South Spokane Street, making spot repairs as needed. You can request pothole repairs at specific locations by calling our 24-hour street maintenance dispatcher at (206) 386-1218 or the SDOT hotline at (206) 684-ROAD (7623) or by visiting our website at We respond promptly to these requests, usually within 48 hours.

I hope the information I have provided is helpful. If you have questions or need more information, please call me at (206) 684-5311 or email me at


Herb Allwine
Street Maintenance Division
Seattle Department of Transportation

We’ll bring you more details soon on the Spokane Viaduct project, which indeed is a biggie; you can read more about it in this area of the SDOT website.

1 Reply to "Two reader reports on transportation trouble spots"

  • Paul April 26, 2008 (9:46 am)

    Also on 35th Ave SW between Guadalupe and Webster they have it down to 1 lane each way for some repairs that are scheduled for 4 days.

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