When SDOT confirmed the extended Fauntleroy Way bike-lane work one week ago, you may recall they also mentioned Sylvan Way. Just got this from Stacy, who’s concerned about the Sylvan work:
I wanted to share with you correspondence I received from SDOT regarding the road work on SW Sylvan Way. I sent SDOT an e-mail regarding my concerns about the recent work on Sylvan Way SW.
While I am very excited that they’ve added a long overdue bike lane and much needed re-striping (especially with bad weather approaching), I expressed my disappointment that this work was completed on a street which desperately needs resurfacing and/or at a minimum urgent pothole repairs – which I believe are dangerous to both bicyclists and motorists. I also found it interesting that in light of the lack of funds, most of this work was completed last Sunday, which has to cost SDOT an arm and a leg (have they never heard of time and a half on Sunday)?
As Mr. Hathaway pointed out, I plan on contacting the pothole hotline until the problem is addressed. With the increased number of condominiums and homes in the area, I can’t be the only person who uses this street on a daily basis. Hopefully more community members will also call this hotline.
(reply that Stacy received from SDOT)
Thank you for contacting the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) regarding the bike facilities being laid down on Sylvan Way SW from Delridge Way SW to 35th Ave SW & SW Morgan St.
SDOT recognizes that portions of Sylvan Way SW are in poor condition. Let me provide some background on how Seattle prioritizes its paving needs, and then directly address where Sylvan Way SW stands in the queue.
On November 7th, 2006, voters passed the Bridge the Gap Levy (BTG), which provides new funding to address Seattle’s basic transportation maintenance needs. BTG is designed to address a backlog that has over $300 million in deferred street maintenance. These are streets like Sylvan Way SW and others nearby, where the road conditions indicates a need, but no funds have been available for years to provide re-pavement.
Unfortunately, it has taken a long time to accumulate this maintenance backlog, and it will take some time to work it off. SDOT cannot meet all the needs immediately, so work is prioritized. We recognize Sylvan Way SW as a need; however, it is prioritized below other major arterials which have higher traffic volumes. In 2009, SDOT has rehabilitated First Avenue South, Second Avenue South and Fourth Avenue South, as well as Fauntleroy Way SW. Major corridors on the list from 2008 include Boren Avenue, 15th Avenue West, and First Avenue South. To make sure we get the most benefit out of the funds available, we focus on repairing the busiest streets first, taking into account condition, cost, transit, volume of traffic, and several other criteria. Our goal is to deliver the greatest area of improvement to the highest number of users.
Even though Sylvan Way SW is not in optimal condition, it is an important connection and there is still a benefit to cyclists by providing the facilities. Installing bicycle lanes and sharrows on Sylvan Way SW is part of a larger effort to implement the Seattle Bicycle Master Plan which was adopted in the fall of 2007. The plan calls for installing over 400 miles of new bicycle facilities. There are many bicyclists who prefer to use Sylvan Way SW since it provides a very direct east/west connection. These new bike lanes & sharrows will benefit these bicyclists.
If you are a cyclist considering the use of Sylvan Way SW, we recognize that there are many different types of bicyclists with varying skill and comfort levels. If you do not feel comfortable riding on Sylvan Way SW, there are alternative routes. You may want to look at our bicycling guide map which can be found on our web site at http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/bikemaps.htm.
In the mean time, SDOT will continue to make spot repairs along Sylvan Way SW as requested and identified. You can request pothole repairs to specific locations by calling the SDOT hotline 206-684-ROAD (7623) or visiting www.seattle.gov/transportation.
James Hathaway, Manager
Street Maintenance Division
Seattle Department of Transportation