(“rechannelization” plan as shown on easel at 12/1/08 open house)
Just in from SDOT – the decision’s in, and the city WILL reconfigure the lanes on Fauntleroy Way between Edmunds and California when it repaves the stretch starting in May: One car lane in each direction, center turn lane, northbound bike lane, two crosswalks to be added. Here’s the official city news release:
The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) announced today its decision to change Fauntleroy Way SW to make it safer for pedestrians and bicyclists, reduce vehicle speeds and collisions, and still maintain current capacity. The department’s decision was guided by an analysis of current and future traffic conditions, Bicycle Master Plan recommendations, and input from the community.
The rechannelizing of Fauntleroy Way SW, from California Avenue SW to SW Edmunds Street, will occur with the paving project scheduled to begin in May 2009. After work is completed, the 1.3 mile stretch will feature one travel lane in each direction, a center two-way left turn lane, a bicycle lane northbound and shared lane pavement markings (sharrows) southbound. Marked crosswalks will be added at SW Brandon Street and 40th Avenue SW, south of SW Juneau Street. On-street parking will remain, though a minimal number of spaces may be impacted by improved bus zones.
(6:07 pm note – We asked SDOT’s Rick Sheridan a follow-up question re: what “minimal” means; his answer – about 15 spaces. Back to the news release and the original 12:28 pm post:)
Residents have expressed concerns about excessive speeds on Fauntleroy Way SW, which has a posted 35 miles per hour speed limit. Creating a single through lane for each direction has been shown in national studies to calm traffic, creating a safer environment for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists.
After the paving and rechannelization are complete, SDOT will study the street’s performance and make adjustments as needed to keep traffic flowing. It will additionally assess whether additional marked crosswalks can be added in the future. The department held an open house in December to solicit public comment and its decision carefully considered the needs of motorists, freight, transit, bicycles, pedestrians, ferry users and emergency response.
Here’s our report on that 12/1 open house; here’s an update from 12/14, when the city published answers to questions asked at that event. We first reported on the “rechannelization” proposal in mid-November, with word of the official city announcement on Nov. 13th and an in-depth followup later that week after speaking with the key SDOT manager working on the plan. ADDED 2:32 PM: We also have a version of this announcement that went out to a different city-managed mailing list, and the verbiage is a bit different, so for those interested, we’re publishing that too – it also includes contact info if you have questions about the project – read on:
SDOT will take advantage of a paving project scheduled for 2009 along Fauntleroy Way SW to implement changes that will reduce speeds and collisions, improve the pedestrian and bicycling environment, and maintain capacity. Reconfiguring the roadway to have only one lane in each direction with a middle turn lane, bicycle facilities and on-street parking will improve the way this street functions. While this may seem counterintuitive, our experience along sections of Rainier Avenue S and Stone Way demonstrate that building ‘complete streets’ benefit all users.
The decision is consistent with the analysis of current and future traffic conditions on the corridor, recommendations in the Bicycle Master Plan, input from the community received at the December 1 Open House, and letters and phone calls to SDOT.
Rechannelization of Fauntleroy Way SW from California Avenue SW to SW Edmunds Street will occur with the paving project scheduled to begin in May 2009. After rechannelization is complete, Fauntleroy Way SW will have one travel lane in each direction with a two-way left turn lane, a bicycle lane northbound and shared lane markings (motor vehicles and bicycles) southbound. We will retain on-street parking, though a minimal number of spaces may be impacted to accommodate Metro Transit bus zones.
SDOT carefully considered the needs of all user groups on Fauntleroy Way SW:
● Motorists – Based on analysis, travel times will not increase significantly after rechannelization occurs, or into the future.
● Freight – Wider lanes will provide more maneuverability along the corridor.
● Transit – SDOT coordinated with Metro Transit to ensure bus stops are appropriately configured to reduce conflicts between buses and vehicles.
● Bicycles – Rechannelizing Fauntleroy allows SDOT to add a dedicated bicycle lane northbound and a shared lane southbound.
● Pedestrians – Rechannelizing Fauntleroy enables SDOT to add marked crosswalks at SW Brandon St and at 40th Avenue SW, south of Juneau. Once the rechannelization is in place, SDOT will evaluate the corridor for possible additional marked crosswalks.
● Ferry Riders – SDOT observed traffic conditions in the corridor at times of heavy ferry use and considered ferry traffic surges in our analysis. No impacts are expected for travel to and from the ferries.
● Emergency Response – Because emergency responders, such as ambulances and police cars, can use their sirens and lights to clear their paths, this plan will not adversely impact operations.
SDOT thanks everyone in the community for their concern and input about our plans to make Fauntleroy a better corridor for all travel modes. Periodic updates on its performance, after the paving and rechannelization are complete, will be provided to keep the community informed.
For questions about rechannelization, please contact Reiner Blanco, Arterial Operations supervisor, at 206-615-1911 or at email@example.com. For questions about the paving project, please contact Jessica Murphy, Arterial Asphalt and Concrete Paving
program manager, at 206-684-0178 or firstname.lastname@example.org.