Speaking of road work: Another Fauntleroy Way followup

A side note to the Fauntleroy Way lane-reconfiguration proposal, which as we reported last week will be discussed at an open house December 1st (now that the prerequisite repaving project’s a go despite city budget woes): Cindi Barker‘s latest bulletin to the Morgan Community Association includes background on the last time something similar officially came up – voted down by Morgan Junction “stakeholders” in the neighborhood-plan process exactly 10 years ago today, as it turns out – here’s the excerpt from what Cindi sent out:

Brief history of “ Fauntleroy Way SW Boulevard” proposal as part of the Morgan Junction Neighborhood Plan process.

As part of the process to create and adopt the Morgan Junction Neighborhood Plan, the MoCA Transportation Sub-committee proposed a series of improvements. One of those recommendations was for Fauntleroy Way SW to be studied for reconfiguration into a boulevard concept. Below is the text of the draft recommendation that was presented to the public at a Validation Event on Nov 21, 1998, at which Morgan Junction stakeholders voted on all the elements of the proposed plan. There were 222 ballots returned, 79 supported the Boulevard concept, 123 opposed the concept and 20 ballots were blank for this element. (104 of the votes were cast at the event, the rest were mailed in or submitted at the town hall drop box). In addition, a “straw poll” was conducted on the day of the event by a group associated with Neighborhood Rights, which was a group in opposition with the Urban Village and Neighborhood Plan concept. The results of their straw poll was that 12 people supported the Boulevard Concept and 56 opposed the concept.

To see the exact text of what was voted down on that date, read on:

Excerpted from the November 21, 1998 Morgan Junction Draft Neighborhood Plan:
Fauntleroy Way Corridor

The Fauntleroy Way corridor is one of the main north-south arterial routes serving West Seattle . The corridor provides arterial access between the Morgan Junction Neighborhood and the regional highway system (via the West Seattle Bridge), and it serves as the primary access route to/from the Washington State Ferry System’s (WSF) Fauntleroy Terminal and its Vashon Island and Southworth (Kitsap County) ferry service. Secondarily, Fauntleroy Way provides access to the Morgan Junction commercial area, located at and around the Fauntleroy Way/California Avenue SW intersection. In making its way from the ferry terminal in the southwest to the West Seattle Bridge in the northeast, Fauntleroy Way cuts across the grid of local and arterial streets in West Seattle; the roadway runs diagonally through part of the neighborhood, and in other parts it follows the alignment of north-south streets, moving in an east-west direction by shifting from one to another. The diagonal segments and the sideways shifts of the alignment create awkward and confusing local and arterial street intersections at 39th Avenue SW , Juneau Street, 40th Avenue SW , Morgan Street , 45th Avenue SW , and Holly Pl.

North of the Morgan Junction commercial area, Fauntleroy Way has four travel lanes with on-street parking on both sides of the street. South of the Morgan Junction commercial area, Fauntleroy Way has a three-lane cross-section – with a travel lane in each direction and a wide center two-way left turn lane (CTWLTL) – with on-street parking on both sides of the street. The portion of Fauntleroy Way in the Morgan Junction Neighborhood is designed to support free-flowing traffic operations: there is only the one traffic signal at California Avenue SW to control Fauntleroy traffic flow.

Traffic volumes on Fauntleroy Way can be heavy, with traffic leaving the ferry[1] tending to travel in unbroken “platoons” through the neighborhood (the lack of traffic signals allows the platoons to remain intact over a greater distance from the terminal than they might otherwise). There is a perception that speeds on Fauntleroy Way are excessive; the roadway configuration and traffic control (i.e., the roadway width and the lack of signals) are significant contributors to any speed problems that exist. (There also is a perception that much of the traffic enroute to and from the ferry is trying to get through the area as quickly as it can, and that there is little respect for the neighborhood through which Fauntleroy passes.) All of these factors – roadway width, traffic volume, platooning, and speed – combine to make pedestrian movement across Fauntleroy Way difficult and dangerous. To facilitate safe crossings at selected locations there are pedestrian signals at Findlay Street on the north side of the neighborhood, and at Myrtle Street and Webster Street near Lincoln Park .

In addition to its important traffic-carrying role, Fauntleroy Way must provide safe, convenient crossings for pedestrian movement to/from bus stops, parks, commercial areas and other neighborhood destinations. Lane configuration and traffic control/calming must be designed to serve these conflicting needs.

Goal 1: Improve local access and circulation on arterial roadways in the MoCA Neighbohood

* Policy 1.1 Periodically assess pavement conditions and implement repairs as warranted.
* Policy 1.2 Optimize lane configuration and signal timings at signalized intersections to improve vehicle and pedestrian circulation.
* Policy 1.3 Develop and implement strategies to reduce speeding traffic and to maintain appropriate speeds on arterial roadways.

Recommendation: Evaluate the feasibility of reconstructing Fauntleroy Way SW as a landscaped boulevard in order to (a) improve pedestrian crossing safety by reducing crossing distance and traffic speeds, (b) provide space for bike lanes and (c) “calm” high speed traffic flows on Fauntleroy.

· Analyze traffic volumes (existing and future), delay times, travel times when considereing one travel lane in each direction separated by a raised landscaped median, with left turn lanes and/or U-turn lanes, and retaining on-street parking and bus zones; consider bicycle lanes

· Improve bus stops and pedestrian crossings by installing painted crosswalks, curb bulbs, pedestrian median refuges, and pedestrian signals as appropriate

· Redesign California Ave SW intersection to integrate with boulevard concept

Here’s the footnote referenced above:

[1] It is important to note that the ferry system has a finite, limited capacity to put traffic on Fauntleroy Way . During the busiest 60-minute period, a maximum of four boats dock at Fauntleroy. These boats have a combined total vehicle carrying capacity of 405 cars, and as a result ferry traffic cannot amount to more than 300-400 vehicles per hour on northbound Fauntleroy Way (if the boats are all full and all off-loading traffic continues north on Fauntleroy). Comparing these volumes to the typical capacity of an arterial lane (1400-1500 vehicles per hour), it can be concluded that with the exception of the signalized intersection at California Avenue SW, a single travel lane in each direction will provide adequate capacity for traffic on Fauntleroy Way.

5 Replies to "Speaking of road work: Another Fauntleroy Way followup"

  • sam November 21, 2008 (8:46 pm)

    When updating on this work, did SDOT mention anything about the horrible stretch of road on 16th?


    it’s been more than 2 months since that was published…….

  • WSB November 21, 2008 (9:02 pm)

    That came up in two other places earlier this week (including the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting) and I have an inquiry out to SDOT to see what the deal is. They have promised to get me an update on Monday, and I will publish that as soon as I receive it. — TR

  • CandrewB November 22, 2008 (8:04 am)

    If I understand this right, they will be changing Fauntleroy from two lanes to one between Edmonds and California. Won’t that cause a large rush hour bottleneck in the already congested area by the old Huling sites? Add a couple of thousand new residents after all of the condos are built there and that area is going to ridiculous.

  • sam November 22, 2008 (11:15 am)

    awesome- I love that West Seattle has its own investigative reporter.

  • Sandra M November 22, 2008 (11:36 am)

    Neighborhood activist Chas Redmond has been very involved in transportation and pedestrian issues facing West Seattle. I’d like to hear his perspective on this.

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