Bulletin: Fauntleroy rechannelization approved, work starts in May

(“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 reiner.blanco@seattle.gov. For questions about the paving project, please contact Jessica Murphy, Arterial Asphalt and Concrete Paving
program manager, at 206-684-0178 or jessica.murphy@seattle.gov.

53 Replies to "Bulletin: Fauntleroy rechannelization approved, work starts in May"

  • Erin January 23, 2009 (12:41 pm)

    Can someone please explain to me how reducing Fauntleroy from 2 driving lanes in each direction to 1 will maintain current capacity? I can appreciate wanting to make the roads safer for bikers (and hopefully fixing some of those nasty potholes!) but let’s be honest about the traffic flow… it’s gonna be crowded and probably lead to a lot of tailgaiting.

  • Yes! January 23, 2009 (12:51 pm)

    Good news– new pavement and slower speeds and a more pedestrian and bicycle friendly environment!

  • JustinB January 23, 2009 (1:04 pm)

    I love it!

  • Denny January 23, 2009 (1:07 pm)

    Didn’t we just hear from WA Ferries how we’re likely to have expanded capacity (read traffic) at the Fauntleroy Dock.
    Do these guys talk to each other?

  • Save Our Streets Seattle January 23, 2009 (1:09 pm)

    I think it’s so funny that SDOT considers lower speed and current capacity as possible. MOST of Seattle’s traffic problems are people driving too slow. Roads are for cars. Cars go fast. Commerce goes fast. Business goes fast. People is Seattle go slow. The slower the city the less business. Seattle is quickly slowing down economic growth by continuing to push drivers off the roads and increasing greenhouse gas emissions by increasing car-idle times instead of trying to reduce them. This is a sad day for West Seattle.

  • linda January 23, 2009 (1:21 pm)

    Yep, expanded capacity at ferry dock so more cars on Fauntleroy.
    Fauntleroy is going to move at a crawl. With a single lane of traffic there is no way a smart bus driver will pull all the way to the curb, they are going to block the lane rather than have to try to get back into traffic. Add all the ferry traffic and our green Mayor with the SDOT have created another way to add lots and lots of car exhaust to the environment when we’re all idling in the traffic.
    We’ll all be using our only remaining 4 lane north-south arterial, 35th Avenue S.W. (that is until they rechannel it for the same reasons cited for rechannelling Fauntleroy).

  • JumboJim January 23, 2009 (1:41 pm)

    Ok, probably way too late for this – but why not have a reversible center lane? Many cities like Tucson have reversible lanes on busy surface streets. The center lane could head towards downtown in the AM and towards Fauntleroy in the PM.

  • 56bricks January 23, 2009 (1:58 pm)

    Maintain current capacity? Ya gotta be kidding me! Maybe between 10am-2pm. Or should that be 10pm-2am? It will just take you much longer to travel that route during peak hours. I guess it all works out with the new math. I remember when the Junction was “rechanneled” many years ago. To the city’s credit it was returned to he original configuration very soon after when they realized that West Seattle as a whole was not in favor of it.

  • eigenwijs January 23, 2009 (2:00 pm)

    I don’t think this reconfiguration will be that negatively affected by ferry traffic. I live near Edmunds and Fauntleroy and commute daily to Vashon. The reconfiguration will be only between Edmunds and California. It has been my experience in the 15 years I have regularly ridden the Vashon/Fauntleroy route that by the time the ferry traffic reaches California, it has thinned out – between traffic lights and turnoffs along the way, there is a much smaller concentration of cars going through the California/Edmunds stretch than there is right at the dock as cars unload.

    As someone who needs to make a left turn in the midst of traffic, I am excited to have a dedicated turn lane so I no longer have to worry if the cars behind me have noticed my turn signal and brake lights – I have been almost rear-ended way too many times!

    And as one who occasionally leaves the car at home and commutes by bike, I am thrilled to have a dedicated bike lane so that too is less frightening in the midst of traffic and drivers not so aware of their responsibilities when bikes are on the road.

  • Chip January 23, 2009 (2:09 pm)

    This is an appalling example of twisting analysis to fit a pre-determined conclusion.

    They used flawed “analysis” to come to the conclusion that travel times & capacity won’t be impacted by excluding the streets which will flow into the “rechanneled” section. Having to wait for multiple stoplight cycles on California (especially if you are stuck in Ferry traffic) was not considered in the travel time measurements. Rush hour backups from Alaska to the West Seattle bridge were also ignored.

    In addition, they expect travel demand to increase slightly while the WSF is projecting a 64% increase in vehicle traffic.

    Overall, just a terrible decision justified by thin (at-best) analysis & a lack of common sense.

  • marty January 23, 2009 (2:14 pm)

    I only see one problem, but it is a BIG problem! After a ferry unloads there is currently a backup at the traffic signal at California and Morgan streets. Can you imagine how long it will take to clear up when the number of lanes is reduced from two to one?? Commuters are not dumb or patient. They will avoid the bottleneck by turning off Fauntleroy ave. early and then moving over to California ave. The side streets, including the street that goes right in front of Gatewood Elementary School will be filled with traffic. This clever “bypass” is already being used, but nothing like it will be following the change. The safety of Gatewood students will take a giant step backwards.

  • Fairmount is doomed January 23, 2009 (2:39 pm)

    This is an absolute shame, particularly for residential neighborhoods along Fauntleroy. Fairmount & Seaview neighborhoods are already innundated with peak-hour drive-throughs (folks cutting between Calif/Faunt & Alaska/Morgan to save an extra 30 seconds), and this rechannelization will make it much much worse. Hundreds more cars will be plowing through our neighborhoods to save driving time. Gear up folks, keep those cats and kids inside during rush hour. Our side streets are now officially thoroughfares.

  • jsrekd January 23, 2009 (3:01 pm)

    I agree that the turn lane is a nice thing for those of us that need to turn left on one of Fauntleroy’s curves. However, as has been said, ONE lane each way is going to cause major back ups at the Fauntleroy/California/Morgan intersection which is already a nightmare at commute times. As far as Seattle moving “slow”, that’s a laugh, I guess that person hasn’t had to avoid the drivers going 45-50 heading toward Lincoln Park, dare I say the ferry dock…

  • cmc January 23, 2009 (3:02 pm)

    I’m not trying to start the standard car vs. cyclist shouting match (good luck, I know), but from a pure safety standpoint I’m a bit concerned by the cycle lane between car lanes. I would think getting hit and knocked off the side of the road into whatever stationary object happens to be in the way would be bad enough, but getting crushed into another moving vehicle seems to have the potential to be a lot worse. I certainly am not wishing that on anyone, but yikes. Not that I ride much, but when I do I think I’ll skip using that lane.

  • cmc January 23, 2009 (3:04 pm)

    Cancel that. I just made out the image says it’s a parking lane, so it’s no more of a hazard than any other bike lane on a major thoroughfare in town.

  • Meghan January 23, 2009 (3:10 pm)

    I drive this route every day (each way) and I agree with eigenwijs. I don’t think traffic will be all that negatively impacted, if at all. Right now, too many people go tearing down Fauntleroy and constantly change (or veer into) the other lane to avoid cars stopping to turn left and cylclists. I think having the turn lane will make it much safer and allow people to stay in the dedicated ‘thru’ lane. But I guess we’ll see. It’s not like it couldn’t be turned back into what it is now (or with a reversable lane) if this doesn’t work out.

  • mpento January 23, 2009 (3:14 pm)

    obviously the “maintains current capacity” is wrong(2 lanes>1 lane) duh. It makes me wonder who said it first and then everyone else down the line said Oh yea sure? I think it is nice that the choice was made to be more residential friendly than commuter friendly but I wonder if a central turning lane is the best choice. Maybe make something like a bus lane for the commute that would be bike friendly too. I know bus and bikes togeather sucks for bikes but the bus still has to cross the bike lane to stop so its the same difference? Also I find at California the speed becomes an issue because the 2 lanes go into one and there is alway some vashion island lolly gagger doing their own traffic control effort :P

  • J Betzer January 23, 2009 (3:24 pm)

    SDOT wizardry at its finest.
    Therefore single lane of traffic all the way from the ferry dock to Edmunds.
    I don’t think SDOT, Yes!, Justin B, and Meghan are fully comprehending the project.
    One long snake of traffic on fauntleroy from the ferry dock all the way to Edmunds.
    Slow down and think of that for a moment.
    This is a total SDOT create-a-job program.
    We should be sickened by this.

  • LLP January 23, 2009 (3:28 pm)

    As someone who drives this route every morning and afternoon, anyone who says there will be no negative impacts to capacity or flow is blind. I get stuck behind busses who stop in the lane instead of pulling to the curb (even if there are no parked cars) and force everyong to use the inside lane. Combine this with increased ferry traffic, and Fauntleroy will be one long parking lot. I will definitely use the side streets (I currently drive down fauntleroy and cut over to california at findlay to avoid the alaska junction mess which will only get worse when the mega-developments are complete). Also, Fauntleroy backs up from Alaska all the way back down on to the West Seattle bridge in the west bound direction and only frees up once getting past Alaska – with only one lane between edmunds and California, this will not allow that traffic to free up. What about the proposed new Rapid Transit proposed for fauntleroy. According to the plan, busses will stop in the lane and a “tube platform” will move out to the bus from the bus stop from which people will board the bus. This is supposed to save time of busses pulling over and then not being able to get back out into traffic. Why aren’t these agencies communicating with one another? For those worried about left turns, why not restrict left turn lanes to only the 2 lights on Fauntleroy and then say no parking for a short distance on either end to make a center turn lane at those 2 intersections? Seems a much more effective way to make Fauntleroy safe for everyone.

  • Smitty January 23, 2009 (4:03 pm)

    Social engineering at its finest.

  • Ron January 23, 2009 (4:33 pm)

    To the SDOT and you people who think this will work: just keep drinking the Cool Aid, pretty soon you won’t feel anything!

    I have been emailing my objections from the start and these people have made up their minds. Maybe the politicians at City Hall got a big donation from the Bicycle Lobby. They compare West Seattle streets to Stone Way. There are way more bike riders in that area than West Seattle. Then there’s Rainier Ave, just drive over there and see how congested it is since they made the switch. Folks, wake up, this is Social Engineering, they want you out of your car even if you are going Mukilteo. If you want to become one of their robots, just sell your car, ride the bus or your bike to work then come home, pour a stiff one and sit down to an evening of brain washing on the TV, because that’s all the life you are going to have with your new life of imprisonment without private transportation. Your choice is to rise up and demand an end to this lunacy and get your friends to join you, otherwise, it’s going to happen.

  • bike2workmama January 23, 2009 (4:48 pm)

    Hurray for bike lanes! Maybe these traffic inconveniences will get naysayers out of their cars and onto a bike instead. On bike you’ll beat the traffic! Yippie!! Bikes go fast, roads are for bikes.

    Don’t worry “save our streets seattle”…we’ll save a car lane for you.

  • OP January 23, 2009 (5:05 pm)

    I can live with it. But when do we start charging more for bike licenses to help pay for the work?

  • JayDee January 23, 2009 (5:48 pm)

    I wonder what the phrase “maintaining capacity” means. Does anyone with a traffic engineering background know? I suspect that they are angling towards that cars going slower = more cars per travel mile.

    If my definition is correct, I don’t quite see how “capacity” relates to what I would call “throughput” or how many cars per hour past a given intersection. I suspect throughput is dropping and that all things being equal, “storage” of cars at traffic lights, or redirection of flow to alternate routes is what is really the intent.

    Like the traffic calming schemes (many of which improve the quality of life for peds and residents) today’s traffic planners do not seem to too worried about impacts to one’s commute–you should be using public transit, and they only need to make the alternative more unpalatable to get you to see the light. Which would work if one’s bus was not also stuck in the same grid.

  • amused in seaview January 23, 2009 (5:52 pm)

    @LLP and @Linda, I’ve always been able to drive around a stopped bus on California, could you explain to me why this would be any different?


    @Ron : Need a tin foil hat? The Bicycle Lobby? Seriously?

  • Jill January 23, 2009 (8:05 pm)

    So forgive me if I missed a comment that already said this, but those of you flying off the handle in worry might want to do a li’l checking around on places where this was already done. For instance, NE 50th, which is much busier than Fauntleroy at ALL times of day. There the new left-turn lane improved traffic flow, eliminated the weaving between lanes to get .5 second ahead of one’s previos position, and generally made driving on that street much less a pain in the a**. It also didn’t change the amount of traffic in the side streets. Anyone doing that now (or in the future) to avoid Fauntleroy isn’t as clever as they think.

  • Brandon January 23, 2009 (8:13 pm)

    All for more bicycles. But let’s license them first and make them take a driving test too. A bike tab tax should be appropriated too to help pay for the expansion and labor required. Add a tax on the helmets that are sold (and required). Share the bill Bikers, you’ve had a free ride for too long. (Surprised the City Hall money grubbers haven’t already done this!)

  • Alcina January 23, 2009 (8:53 pm)

    amused in seaview, yes there is a ‘bicyle lobby’, it is called the Cascade Bicycle Club.
    http://www.cascade.org It is the largest bicycle club in the US and very active politically. Take a look at their Advocacy page.

  • Cleveland Ken January 23, 2009 (9:19 pm)

    Cool now I’ll know where to aim my car to take out bicycles. It may be slower but have the same effect.

  • Big Al (No, Not THAT One) January 23, 2009 (9:29 pm)

    This is GREAT news! Please DOT — do 35th Ave SW next!!!!

  • mayjune January 23, 2009 (9:35 pm)

    As someone who uses the Fauntleroy bus routes, I am very much in favor of this change. It is difficult to cross the street safely because of the four (too fast!) lanes.

  • chas redmond January 23, 2009 (10:17 pm)

    It’s a public right of way but for those using privately owned vehicles you’d think it was for cars only. It’s not. It’s for buses. It’s for bicycles. Its sidewalks and crosswalks are for pedestrians. It’s a shared-use public right of way. When vehicles go faster than 35 miles per hour, there is an 80 percent probability of crippling injury or death – plain and simple. If that vehicle is a light truck, SUV, or truck (or bus) or minivan, because of the high front area, the probability of crippling injury or death goes up to almost 100 percent. That alone is a reason to slow down traffic on Fauntleroy Way, on 35th Avenue SW, on Delridge Way, and any other speedway (hey, Roxbury, you’re next).

    Shared right of way. Get used to the concept – it’s here to stay and it’s the “new” idea in town. Complete streets.

    And those of you curious about capacity and throughput – Google those terms and read up on the facts, modeling, observational data and behavioral statistics which go along with these findings – center turn lane allows travel lane to maintain speed which maintains throughput which is a component of capacity. Capacity is also defined as allowing alterations to nominal flow, in this case left turns and emergency vehicle travel. SDOT is not pulling smoke and mirrors tricks – most of you are simply not aware of the facts surrounding these changes and the underlying and verifiable statistics which support this. Part of this is the fact that Fauntleroy traffic is near a magic number for three-lane roads (two differential travel lanes and a center turn lane) – that number being close to 20 thousand vehicles a day. At that flow rate, three lanes configured as SDOT has identified is actually the “smoother” flow situation than two plus two (two in each opposing direction). The other thing to consider is WSDOT is expecting ferry traffic to grow but much of that growth is in ped boardings using transit on this side. The new RapidRide incorporates several specific advantages for connections with the Fauntleroy ferry (Vashon or Southworth).

    Anyway, as SDOT also states – it’s only paint and therefore reversable if it turns out everything is wrong with this.

  • I notice the mayors route home still has 2 lanes each way! January 23, 2009 (10:57 pm)

    So much for progress – good thing my route home is on 35th Ave – I won’t be using Fauntleroy much anymore, same as I avoid Delridge due to long slow lines of traffic during peak travel times, busses blocking traffic, people pulling out in front of you from the side streets since they can’t get a break in the traffic flow – too bad the city officials have there heads stuck in the sand.

  • No More Same Old Same Old January 24, 2009 (8:13 am)

    Thank you Chas for adding sanity to this discussion. As you state at the end of your comment, this is project is easily reversed if need be. My money is betting that it will not be the doomsday scenario that many seem to think.

  • Wednesday January 24, 2009 (8:46 am)

    Why not test the idea before spending all the money and wasting all our time on it. All it would take are some traffic cones to reduce the road to two lanes to see what the impact would be. Doesn’t sound too smart to me!

  • No More Same Old Same Old January 24, 2009 (9:16 am)

    Wednesday – Not sure about you, but when I see traffic cones I perceive them to be a serious deviation from normal driving conditions and drive accordingly. Painted striping on the street itself is what one encounters on a regular basis. Testing with cones would therefore not be a controlled experiment and would give very inconclusive results in terms of peoples driving behavior.

  • austin January 24, 2009 (9:59 am)

    The automobile addicts sure don’t like it when allowances are made for others. Selfish convenience culture at its finest.

  • JayDee January 24, 2009 (12:34 pm)

    Thanks chas redmond for the primer on capacity. I am a skeptic, but am willing to judge the results and admit I was wrong. Unlike sharrows, an actual bike lane does increase cyclist safety, albeit only northbound if the diagram is oriented correctly (correct being north-up.)

  • Cleetus Hartwood January 24, 2009 (2:47 pm)

    Yeah… this should go great with the new mega-plex condos currenty under construction in West Seattle:
    A splendid idea… make passage into and out of West Seattle IMPOSSIBLE!!!
    All you Eastside Techies who already LOVE your commute will REALLY love it when that last stretch of your drive (you know… the one where the volume may actually permit achieving the SPEED LIMIT!) is choked off to accommodate HALF the volume of traffic.
    Way to think this one through…
    The assertion that their “rechannelization” will “maintain current capacity” is either mistaken, or more likely just plain FALSE…
    Either someone needs a math lesson, or to own up to the truth that this is just plain BAD ENGINEERING!
    Would REALLY like to see what “analysis” their conclusions are based on…
    Does Mayor not worth a nickle’s contractor brother have a bid in on this massive job??!!

    Hate to say it, but relocation is sounding better by the day :(

    Another “great” idea brought to you by the good folks who brought you the 90 degree offramp on the WS highrise, and the 4th ave oramp closure resulting of a traffic accident nearly 20 yrs ago!!!

  • CS January 24, 2009 (3:07 pm)

    Wow another poor decision!!! First of all bikes dont have motors and do not go with the flow of the traffic which seems to me a hazzardous situation in itself. I worry about the bikers cuz they are hard to see and even with lights and turn signals they are so narrow it is hard to tell what direction they are going to chose. Bicycles should be on the sidewalks like they were when I was a child. They are an unsafe mode of transportation in a motorized world and I worry that children (Who by the way dont have drivers licenses) are at risk. Or is that next in the scheme of things and what age is a legal age to drive a bike on the street. We have to have a license to drive on the public streets how is this right that they dont.

  • thermo January 24, 2009 (7:26 pm)

    is there a way to find out who is responsible for changing things like this? I want to know why money is being spent on this when it is NOT necessary. No vote? No planning meeting?

  • WSB January 24, 2009 (8:55 pm)

    If you look at the paragraph in our report between the two big blue blocks of quoted type, you’ll find links to the multiple reports we published here in November and December, which answer all those questions. There was a meeting December 1st, “open house” format. The ultimate decision was in the hands of the director of SDOT; the recommendation was made by the project manager, the person who is featured in the Q/A story we did right after the initial announcement (who was at the open house and continually surrounded by people asking plenty of questions). Changing lane configurations on a road does not require any kind of vote, although you certainly are free to let your elected officials know if you are unhappy about it. Since Seattle’s city government is “strong mayor” rather than city manager-led, that would mean the SDOT director reports to the mayor.

  • Big Al (No, Not THAT One) January 24, 2009 (9:45 pm)

    I noticed people complaining that the change from four to two driving lanes on Fauntleroy will cause some sort of awful delay and slowing down. Honestly. Fauntleroy traverses all of what — maybe a few miles through a rather residential area? Now to mentiont hat the city’s zoned the street to pack a lot of people along the side in multifamily dwellings. This means that it makes sense to slow down drivers. But will it really casue such severe delay? Because the road is so short, at most, you will see maybe five more minutes added to your commute. Five minutes. Seriously. In my opinion, if you still think five minutes delay is a big deal, in an area with increased population density, I’ll have to keep my mouth shut — because I’ve nothing good to say.

  • CS January 25, 2009 (11:27 pm)


  • LLP January 26, 2009 (4:38 am)

    CS – Last time I checked it was illegal to ride a bike on the sidewalk. Not that I’m on the cyclists side – if they actually stopped at stop signs, red lights, looked before changing lanes, etc., it would be a much safer world for cyclists. Unfortunately most cyclists believe the rules do not apply to them and therefore put themselves in harms way.

    And for all of those pedestrians and cyclists that are upsets that drivers are protesting this? I think the 20,000 cars a day using that stretch of road far exceed the handful of bicyclists and pedestrians. There are now several lights along that stretch which people can use to cross the street to get to the park, catch, a bus, etc. If pedestrians and cyclists would obey the laws and actually look before crossing in traffic, then motorists (for whom the streets were made for) would not have to suffer the consequences.

    Seaview – And regarding being stopped by busses – yes you can get around them now because there is a 2nd lane. That will be impossible with the proposed lane changes.

  • Cleetus Hartwood January 27, 2009 (1:36 am)

    I am with OP…
    I expect we are going to then start licensing bicyclists, and their pedestrian vehicles to help finance the road work?
    If I am not mistaken the funding for such projects comes largely from driver and vehicle licensing revenues (at least theoretically, if gov’t is working as it should)…
    As for our elected officials; they will be fully alerted when NOT re-elected. The memory of betrayed constituants should not be underestimated.
    Suffice it to say if a rock were to run against Mayor McCheese, say HELLO to Mayor Rock!!!
    Real shame to see my beloved West Seattle victimized like this.
    And for all you math-impaired out there…
    2 > 1!!! How, then, does this arrangement “maintain current capacity”??!!
    Just how dumb do you have to be to buy into that load of crap??!!
    Referendum anyone??
    Erecting mega-dwellings + reducing traffic flow = MAJOR engineering F***up for WS!
    ALL who read of this action should be suitably disgusted!
    “Strong Mayor”??!!
    Try “Widely unpopular Mayor with questionable ethics at best”
    November 2009 Seattle: the end of an ERROR!

  • WSB January 27, 2009 (1:44 am)

    Have written this before.
    “Strong mayor” is not an opinion.
    It is a description of a form of government.
    You basically get two types of city government:
    City manager runs the city, council (including appointed mayor) has some power.
    Mayor runs the city (“strong mayor”), council has some power.
    Latter type is what we have.
    Former is seen more often in smaller cities, like Burien.

  • Cleetus Hartwood January 27, 2009 (2:11 am)

    Below is a slightly revised, more appropriate version of the SDOT announcement:

    The Seattle Department of Transportation (Nickels and his cronies) announced today its decision to tarnish Fauntleroy Way SW to make it more convenient for pedestrians and bicyclists, reduce vehicle speeds and efficiency, and retard current capacity. The department’s decision was guided by faulty analysis of current and future traffic conditions, Bicycle Master Plan recommendations, and minimal, if any input from the community.
    The rechannelizing (<—NOT really a word!!!) 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 be reduced from two lanes to one travel lane in each direction with a center two-way left turn lane, a bicycle lane northbound and shared lane pavement markings (sharrows… cute, huh?) 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 number of spaces may be impacted by bus zones, not to mention the combined impact on traffic when the busses fail to pull completely out of the through lane: a failure Metro is already well known for.
    Get ready to fight your way into or out of West Seattle (bring a book… you may need it!) if this main thoroughfare is a part of your daily commute.

  • Cali January 27, 2009 (8:06 am)

    I have never felt compelled to post on WSB until now. This situation really gets me heated. This 1.3 mile stretch of road is a part of my daily commute, so of course I am impacted by SDOTs decision. I am baffled because I have not noticed any major issue with speeding, granted I have only lived in this area 7 months. However, I have noticed an issue with bikers taking up an entire vehicle lane and metro buses not pulling entirely off the lane into the bus zone. I have also noticed increased traffic surrounding the ferry arrival schedule, which is going to only get worse when it bottlenecks into one lane. Bainbridge Island actually expanded its one lane highway to two lanes in a certain section to accommodate the increased population, which was a great fix. I don’t see how narrowing Fauntelroy for vehicles is going to accommodate a growing population.

    Also, what is the point of the speed radar on Fauntleroy?? I thought that was going to be a fix for speeding in lieu of narrowing the road. Everytime I pass it, it reminds me to check my speed, which has never been more than 5 miles over the required 35, and when I see it reflecting other car’s speeds, it is never over 40.

    I think what the road needs is to be repaved. The bumps in conjunction with the windy trek make for an uncomfortable ride.

    Ok those are just some ramblings of thought on the topic. I really think it should be reconsidered or other options explored to facilitate the flow of traffic, both for vehicles and cyclists.

  • WSB January 27, 2009 (8:41 am)

    Cali, just to be clear, it will be repaved, and this restriping is to be done when that happens. I checked with SDOT to see if they had indeed secured full funding for the repaving – a $5 million project, which was originally in the city budget before last fall’s vote till the council redirected some of it to a project in another part of the city – and they say, not quite yet, still working on it. Right now they are $1.5 million short, so they have enough money to repave about two-thirds of the stretch.

  • CS January 29, 2009 (3:41 pm)

    Wow Kudos to you Cali for only living here such a short time you have been more observant than the folks trying to put this into action. Get rid of the paint and PAVE for heavens sake.. Also the info Cleetus above provided was excellent. It seems that WSB is a little one sided and fond of the mayor and his ideas..I will not be voting for him he has done nothing good for this city in his term of office and I feel he needs to find another job. Dont know where WSB gets their stats but if that is the case that poor stretch of road hasnt seen a lick of new pavement in years and I should know having lived here over 45 years..It just gets worse and we dont need paint to tell us a bike is on the road with us .. Make it safer with pavement so people can safely motor and notice I said MOTOR along it safely. All the responses from the WSB seem defensive and don’t really make sense wonder how long you have lived in this area. But thanks for the opportunity to vent on that and other situations.

  • CS January 29, 2009 (3:56 pm)

    I also meant to state that the people who commute to this beautiful city daily from the other side of the water and back already have a tuff enough time getting back and forth and they bring a lot of business to this city and its businesses. I cant understand why anyone would want to work so hard to make it even more difficult for them to get back and forth. Just too many reasons against and not enough for it to allow it to take place. PAVE!

  • Cali January 30, 2009 (4:08 pm)

    Thanks CS. We are on the same page it sounds like! Pave, not paint. :)

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