Happening now: Admiral Way ‘rechannelization’ open house

In a basement meeting room at the West Seattle (Admiral) Library, it’s about as low-key as public meetings get – several SDOT employees are here at two tables with simple drawings of Admiral Way as it will look if the new “rechannelization” proposal is approved – you can see those drawings here. (If you’re missing this meeting, SDOT says another open house is likely.) There’s some spirited discussion under way as well as basic Q/A – one man is challenging an SDOT employee about why bicycles should get what he considers a lot of accommodation, resulting in what he expects will be a lot of motorized-vehicle congestion.

This plan does include bike lanes uphill and downhill, and after staring at the drawings, it’s easier to summarize what’s being proposed: For vehicles, on the “downhill” side, Admiral Way would be one lane, with the outside southeastbound lane becoming a required right turn onto SW Olga before it ends; then, a right-turn-only lane returns most of the way down the hill, channeling people to the under-bridge connector to SW Avalon Way (which WILL remain open). There is a “buffered” bike lane in both directions, downhill and uphill; the uphill bike lane is separated from vehicle traffic not only by that buffer, but also by a parking lane (for the top half of the uphill section – some parking is being removed south of City View). Vehicles have two lanes uphill. Another key point: With traffic narrowed from the current four lanes, SDOT is proposing restoring the crosswalk at SW City View (map) that was removed in 2007. No signals, though.

Cost? An estimated $75,000. How much time to restripe? About a week. Decision? Not till public comments are received, which is part of what’s going on here tonight (you can fill out a hard-copy survey), as well as via e-mail or phone (walkandbike@seattle.gov or 206-684-7583). The plan also is on the agenda at the Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting, starting less than a mile away at Admiral Congregational Church, right when this one ends, at 7 pm. ADDED EARLY WEDNESDAY: Notes from that discussion, ahead:

Jason Grotelueschen, who covered the ANA meeting for WSB, reports that member Karl de Jong summarized the open house for those in the group who hadn’t been able to go. Then, he writes:

Another attendee who also went to the earlier open house reported that SDOT representatives were “open to feedback” and did a respectable job of answering tough questions — she encouraged West Seattle residents to focus on providing “constructive feedback” about the project and its goals. De Jong said SDOT representatives cited “reduction of downhill speeding” as a primary reason for the project, but some attendees at the ANA meeting questioned the effectiveness of that.

De Jong also said that SDOT representatives acknowledged that the previous “education solution” to the problem (flashing speed indicator) isn’t working very well, thus they are trying to employ an “engineering solution.”

ANA president Katy Walum reported that the group will be in communication with SDOT representatives to invite them to future meetings.

Attendees at the ANA meeting had a variety of opinions on the issue, but generally agreed that people “need to slow down” on the Admiral downhill, and were interested to be involved with future discussions.

58 Replies to "Happening now: Admiral Way 'rechannelization' open house"

  • D July 13, 2010 (8:21 pm)

    Please send in your comments against this proposal. I was disturbed to hear the real reasons behind this proposal: 1) the city committed to re-installing the crosswalk and they can’t do that with four lanes of traffic, 2) they want to provide bus access to the 60 houses on the hill, and 3) to slow traffic. But then the city explained that there are actually fewer accidents on this street than other comparable streets and only eight bikes travel on this street per day. That compared to 1200 cars (and that’s old data). So it’s not about safety, and it’s not even about bikers – it’s about an old promise to a handful of people who complained years ago about their bus stop going away. And a crosswalk in the middle of that road? With no signal light?! It’s a freeway on-ramp, people! This creates a dangerous situation, it doesn’t solve one.

  • Anthony July 13, 2010 (9:22 pm)

    It’s not really clear what problem SDOT is solving with this proposal, other than a previous commitment to a crosswalk. (Can’t we build a pedestrian overpass or put in a light?) Simply slowing down what is really a corridor to and from the freeway seems punitive and to ignore the needs of the vast majority of the road’s users. By forcing all downhill traffic into one lane SDOT eliminates the ability at rush hour to get down Admiral Way to Manning to go towards Avalon, Fauntleroy, the Junction, Allstar Fitness, Luna Park Cafe, not to mention all the alternate routes to and under the Bridge. If they MUST do something (and I’m not saying they must), put two lanes downhill and one going up.

  • Oh, Please July 13, 2010 (9:40 pm)

    The traffic on Admiral Way needs to be slowed down. This is not a freeway on-ramp! Nor a speed way to other West Seattle shops and services. This is a community street with homes on both sides at the top of the hill and on one side along the bluff. There are many folks walking on the Admiral Way sidewalk. It needs to be made much safer. The folks in cars should use it just like any other neighborhood street and not make it a thoroughfare. I applaud the city for doing the right thing.

  • miws July 13, 2010 (9:55 pm)

    Admiral is a “freeway onramp”?


    That’s the funniest thing I’ve evah hoid! [/Groucho]



  • nmb July 13, 2010 (10:26 pm)

    @D: SDOT classifies Admiral Way SW as a principle arterial; it is *not* a freeway on-ramp. The posted speed limit in both directions is 30mph. I bike to work and back on Admiral Way every day, along with *many* more than 8 cyclists per day (what did you pull that number out of?). Riding up the hill, I get to watch the radar sign flash the speeds of all the cars rushing home. It is extremely rare that I see it dip below 35mph, and speeds of 40mph and higher are very common. The current design of this stretch of road encourages this driving behavior.

    @Anthony: The new design does not eliminate the ability of drivers to access Manning during rush hour. Have you reviewed the drawings linked above? There is still a right turn lane at the bottom of the hill that is upwards of 750′ long. What this does is prevent drivers from using the right lane to jump the line at the bottom of the hill heading onto the bridge (how many times a day do you see *that* happen?). And in my daily observations, I would say that half of the traffic using Manning Street use it to shortcut any traffic queues building up on Admiral (the ol’ Manning-Avalon-Spokane corkscrew move).

    And re: 2 lanes up and 1 lane down, this is being done to allow passing slow moving vehicles (buses, big rigs, etc) which often cannot even reach the speed limit going up Admiral.

    RE: the crosswalk at City View Street, it wouldn’t be so unsafe for pedestrians and so difficult for vehicles to stop for them if motor vehicles would simply obey the posted speed limits. What I hear you saying, @D, is that pedestrians should not be allowed to cross there because it inconveniences car drivers. @Anthony, a pedestrian overpass would be prohibitively expensive for the few people that cross there, likewise for a signalized crossing. I believe a simple crosswalk is the best solution for everyone involved. I would, however, encourage the city to install flashers in pavement lining the crosswalk, similar to what they installed recently at two crosswalks along Alaskan Way.

    While I enthusiastically applaud the rechannelization project, I would like the City to put more effort into providing a safer route for cyclists heading down the hill and transitioning to the bike path at Spokane Street. Even with the new plan, this route is terribly disjointed and confusing (reference the recumbent rider who went under the car a few weeks ago).

  • Brendan July 13, 2010 (10:46 pm)

    Admiral way is a local community street, and a major conduit for cyclists, motorists and pedestrians. This proposal will ensure greater safety for all three modes on Admiral Way. Safety outweighs convenience. As a cyclist who commutes up and down this street every day (and there are many more than 8 of us), I am thrilled that there will be more delineated and protected space. I am also a motorist who will use these driving lanes, and will be equally thankful for a safer driving condition.

  • D July 13, 2010 (10:48 pm)

    Yes, it’s not a freeway on-ramp, I was going for hyperbole. That IS, however the primary use of that road…to get several neighborhoods to the freeway. To create a situation that inhibits the primary use of the road for the benefit of a very small minority is completely unfair, especially when we (the majority) are paying for it. And to claim that this is going to make the road safer is just crazy. Adding a crosswalk across a three lane road with people getting off the bridge going an average of 44 mph (the city’s figure, not mine) is supposed to INCREASE safety? I’m sure no one will ever try to pass someone waiting to let a pedestrian cross (sarcasm).

  • D July 13, 2010 (11:23 pm)

    @nby: that eight biker figure was from the city reps at the meeting tonight, and as someone who drives that road every day, I don’t doubt it at all.

    I take Manning often to go up Avalon to go to the gym or the coffee shop, (which I would never do if I had to wait in a line of traffic). People don’t usually cut in at the bottom of the hill, they use your “ol’ corkscrew move”. It’s a legal and legitimate alternate route to the bridge that frees up space on Admiral. And no, I’m not saying people should not be allowed to cross Admiral because it inconveniences car drivers, I’m saying they should not be allowed to cross there because it would be ridiculously dangerous. Nothing in this proposal will slow the uphill traffic. Still two lanes, still the same speed limit. The safety claim is a red herring.

  • Anthony July 13, 2010 (11:28 pm)

    @nby: To clarify the Manning turn issue, I was at the meeting and reviewed the drawings. There still will be a right turn lane, but you will have to get to it by driving all the way down Admiral through a single, jammed lane, which would push me, at least, off Admiral altogether and back through the neighborhoods.

    • WSB July 13, 2010 (11:40 pm)

      The drawings are linked in the story. FWIW, the right turn lane to Manning/Avalon picks up at least a block and a half up the hill – you can do a rough count of the length via the drawings

  • C July 13, 2010 (11:39 pm)

    My husband bikes up admiral and uses the sidewalk because he feels the speeding cars makes it not safe.

    I wasn’t even aware of this and I am all for it. I obey the speed limit and am passed/tailgated all the time.

  • JanS July 14, 2010 (12:01 am)

    question to the naysayers…. There is a bus stop on the Admiral hill going east where they want to reinstall the crosswalk. How do you propose people get to that bus stop from the neighborhood across the street if it’s indeed “too dangerous” to cross there. Is the danger ( average speed 44 mph, in a 30 mph zone) because drivers need to…oh, my, here it comes…..SLOW DOWN?

  • nmb July 14, 2010 (12:38 am)

    @D: The safety claim is a red herring.”

    I would point you to a study completely a couple months ago by SDOT regarding the rechannelization of Stone Way in Fremont.


    The project made vast improvements in safety for vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians. It also had the effect of *decreasing* traffic on neighborhood side streets. A similar study is in the works for the recent rechannelization of Fauntleroy Way. I would put money on that study presenting similar results.

    And as for your concern about having to drive in a jammed lane, I feel for you, I really do. With all the hundreds of thousands of cars in this city, it simply isn’t fair that so many of them should get in your way.

  • nmb July 14, 2010 (1:11 am)

    @D: “To create a situation that inhibits the primary use of the road for the benefit of a very small minority is completely unfair, especially when we (the majority) are paying for it.”

    This is an anti-cyclist meme that is regurgitated any time there is talk of improving bicycle/pedestrian infrastructure.

    First, most bicyclists and pedestrians are also car drivers (including myself) and, as such, pay the same taxes as the oppressed “majority”. And ask yourself what benefit is being afforded to the “very small minority”. The benefit is for their safety, period. Would you also argue against Americans With Disabilities Act requirements in buildings because they only provide a benefit to a very small minority, and are paid for by the majority?

    Secondly, the amount of tax dollars spent on bicycling/pedestrian infrastructure is chump change compared to the obscene amounts of money we throw at car-centric infrastructure.

    (By the way, the name’s “nmb”, not “nby”)

  • Carson July 14, 2010 (5:57 am)

    We fully support the change to Admiral Way. It is unsafe for cars, for pedestrians and bikers. We will be emailing and calling to make this happen as presented!!!

  • afs July 14, 2010 (6:42 am)

    Commuting on Fauntleroy Ave between Morgan and Edmunds is much more enjoyable these days.

  • about time July 14, 2010 (7:04 am)

    Please send in your comments in favor of this proposal. Admiral is absolutely unsafe for all users and this rechannelization will greatly help.

    One of my main concerns was that it sounded like they were retaining the parking which is only used by people selling their cars. If what WSB states is true, there will be no street parking south of the “city view” turnout park. Can someone please confirm who was there or who has access to the drawings? Thanks.

  • Tony S July 14, 2010 (7:28 am)

    “Admiral is absolutely unsafe for all users”

    How do you justify this statement? It’s clear by all the studies that it has no more or less incidents than other roads of it’s size and volume.

    Admiral Way isn’t a ‘community road’, it’s a major egress/ingress to West Seattle. Of course it’s going to be busy with a lot of volume. The comparisons to Stone Way or Fauntleroy don’t match — those to arterials in in high-density zones with many cross streets and mixed uses of residential and business traffic. This excercise is a solution in search of a problem.

  • Carson July 14, 2010 (8:01 am)

    Admiral is unsafe for all users. How to we justify this? Simple. Try and cross it to catch a bus during rush hour. Trying riding your bike up and down the hill. Try driving the speed limit and nearly get rear ended. Its a simple fact, Admiral Way, as it is set up now is unsafe. It is in need of a major make over, long overdue.

  • Al July 14, 2010 (8:55 am)

    I am in full support of this change. As a driver, motorcylist, bus rider, cyclist and pedestrian this is a good change.

    I had my doubts about Fauntleroy before Fauntleroy was “re-channelized” but it’s better now, for everyone, for all commuter modes.

    The problem isn’t cyclists or pedestrians or bus drivers, the problem is too many drivers in too many single occupancy vehicles all trying to get somewhere too fast. It’s too much of me, me, me instead of how to help the we – the everyone – and that isn’t just SOV drivers. I think that in the end this will be a good change.

    I proposed to SDOT that the uphill bike lane be extended past the north exit of the overlook rather than dumping out onto the street before the main overlook entrance and into the path of vehicles travelling uphill at what will be a much greater speed than the cyclist.

    I also proposed as other cyclists have pointed out that the Sharrows need to be added to Admiral heading under the bridget as well as along the right turn only lane; cyclists don’t all exit at Manning and the current markings could create confusion for both motorists and cyclists.

  • about time July 14, 2010 (8:59 am)

    “Remove under-utilized parking on the uphill side of the street between the West Seattle Bridge off ramp and SW City View St.”

    Now that I look at the map, it is clear that very little street parking is being removed. The distance between SW City View Street and the Bridge off ramp is almost nothing. Currently, almost the entire stretch is used primarily to sell cars. Why can’t this be an opportunity to reclaim this right of way for a better use?

  • D July 14, 2010 (9:19 am)

    The city says this stretch is actually SAFER than others and has FEWER incidents. The city says there are eight bikers each way (who evidently have access to a sidewalk if they feel unsafe). The city says this is mainly about a promise to install a crosswalk. Cry “slow down” all you want, but nothing in this proposal will cause the uphill drivers to slow down. Cue Mrs. Lovejoy now, “But what about the children?!!”

  • vkj July 14, 2010 (10:30 am)

    I have to say I’m with D on this one. Getting to the bridge during rush hour is already difficult, take away a lane on a major arterial and it will be a nightmare for all. At least the buses going downhill could use the 2nd lane to bypass all the traffic that was lining up and the bus riders had the benefit of getting to the bridge somewhat faster. Now that will go away too.
    And how exactly is this going to make people slow down going uphill? I don’t see it. It will support the perception that West Seattle is hard to get out of – not a good thing when you try to sell your house…

  • Carson July 14, 2010 (10:49 am)

    vkj, hurry and get your house on the market, before the area becomes safer for all of us!! Or, just don’t show your house between 7 and 9am weekdays…

  • vkj July 14, 2010 (11:04 am)

    @Carson, again it’s all about perception… Just like you perceive Admiral to be unsafe, when all the data tells you that is no more or less safe than other comparable roads… See Tony’s note earlier
    To make it completely safe should we all slow down to 20mph?

  • Carson July 14, 2010 (11:26 am)

    It is unsafe. Meet me tomorrow morning at 7am and try and cross the street at any bus stop that lines Admiral Way that is not close to any crosswalk. I say 7am, because its much safer then compared to 8am. The perception is fact.

  • Kimberley July 14, 2010 (11:35 am)

    @nmb when you cycle home, do you cycle from the bridge up Admiral past City View, or do you use City View to connect to Admiral (like every other cyclist I know?)

    I think this is going to be a bad thing for those that live in the City View community. I see many cars coming down Admiral already make the (illegal) turn onto City View (or any of the side streets off of that side of Admiral. If you make Admiral one lane going downhill it’s going to take them even longer to get down to Avalon in order to turn into that neighbourhood via SW 30th (and going along California/Alki/Harbor Ave takes even longer.

    @Carson most who would use that bus stop go down to Harbor Ave or Avalon.

    Also, the stretch of road between the bridge and SW City View isn’t used to sell cars, that’s the section of road above SW City View. The two or three houses below SW City View park their vehicles there.

  • Carson July 14, 2010 (11:46 am)

    Kimberley, I am talking about the top of the hill, past the viewpoint. During rush hour, when people use the bus (like my wife) the cars FLY by. It can be dangerous to cross for anyone. So, do you eliminate the bus stops? That will put more cars on the road. Do you add crosswalks at every bus stop? THAT will slow traffic when it makes the entire top of Admiral stop and go. Or, do you find a mix that is best for all, pedestrians, bike rides and cars? I love the change idea, and I love to lobby City Hall!!!

  • KeiperS July 14, 2010 (11:46 am)

    AS a cyclist and driver that uses this section of public right of way daily I think this re-channelization will increase safety for all users without significantly impacting traffic throughput.

    For the most part downhill car traffic at rush hour uses left lane to make their way to the high or low bridges. Drivers want to go right at the bottom of Admiral to head up Avalon or left to Harbor will be impacted. Maybe the right turn lane could be extended to where the back up tends to start in the left lane???

    As a cyclist I wish there was something that could be done at the chock point where Admiral begins to turn left at the viewpoint. Even though there are sharrows here the combination of the hill, traffic speed and view distraction has me riding on the sidewalk. Sidewalk riding is legal in Seattle, but I try not to.

  • Kimberley July 14, 2010 (12:03 pm)

    Ah, okay – that makes sense Carson. I tried to cross the street at SW City View once to catch the bus and just gave up. Even when cycling from West Seattle to SoDo, I cut down City View because it seems safer to me.

    If cars could legally cross Admiral to get onto City View, I’d be all for the rechannelisation.

  • KeiperS July 14, 2010 (12:11 pm)


    “I also proposed as other cyclists have pointed out that the Sharrows need to be added to Admiral heading under the bridget as well as along the right turn only lane; cyclists don’t all exit at Manning and the current markings could create confusion for both motorists and cyclists.”

    Although this is perfectly legal I do not think sharrows should extend beyond Manning. At rush hour there is far too much merging/lane changing/ congestion for this to be encourage as cycle route. Going this way significantly increases a cyclists risk and going this way had a lot to do with the incident with the recumbent rider a few weeks ago. The corkscrew method is safer and takes maybe 30 seconds longer.

  • nmb July 14, 2010 (12:23 pm)

    @ Kimberley: “I think this is going to be a bad thing for those that live in the City View community.”

    Don’t tell that to @D; he doesn’t care about the needs of anyone but the majority.

  • rob July 14, 2010 (12:47 pm)

    looks great to me. i use fauntleroy every day and i talked to several people who thought the proposed changes were going to wreck it altogether. since it has been done, doesn’t seem any more crowded or slower to me. traffic seems smoother and much more predictable. no more of that driving in the left lane and seeing the car in front of you make a snap lane change to reveal a totally stopped car waiting to make a left.
    “@nby: that eight biker figure was from the city reps at the meeting tonight, and as someone who drives that road every day.”
    do you drive up and down it all day long? i have seen 4-5 bikes going up it at once, the notion that there were only 3-4 more through the course of the day is a bit silly.
    “People don’t usually cut in at the bottom of the hill”
    i don’t think i have ever driven down that hill in the morning and not seen a car, or multiple cars doing this. even when there isn’t a stop and go backup, i see cars charging down the right lane to pass as many of the cars in the left lane as they can, and speeding to do it.
    “To create a situation that inhibits the primary use of the road for the benefit of a very small minority is completely unfair, especially when we (the majority) are paying for it.”
    I really hope people don’t believe that the little bit of money we pay for our car tabs and gas taxes actually stack up as our “fair share” of what it costs to build and maintain all of this transportation infrastructure we have. Taxes are not based on fairness, and neither should be decisions like this project.

  • D July 14, 2010 (12:50 pm)

    What’s with the hate, nmb? Just because I’d rather deal in facts than perception? If it’s so unsafe for everyone, how can you be in favor of throwing a crosswalk in the middle of the road? It’s not just bad for the vast majority, it’s bad for those who would dare to cross the street with three lanes of 44 mph traffic. And I’m a she, not a he.

  • maplesyrup July 14, 2010 (1:21 pm)

    I will definitely increase safety on Admiral, but not for all of the Belvedere residents who suddenly have a bunch of extra traffic moving through their neighborhood.

    There was an earlier comment about selling your house- if you live on the arterial in Belvedere, now’s the time!

  • Inspector Clueless July 14, 2010 (2:13 pm)

    As the ivy choked forest on the West side of Admiral Way is improved upon by the good follks at Green Seattle Partnership, I for the life of me cannot understand why everyone is in such a gawd-damned hurry to race through what I experience as one of the treasures of West Seattle. Meaning, a forested street-scape to enjoy while motoring by. Just suggesting that people slow down and take a glance at the natural beauty on both sides of the street.

  • TK July 14, 2010 (3:51 pm)

    I fully agree with Tony-
    “The comparisons to Stone Way or Fauntleroy don’t match — those to arterials in in high-density zones with many cross streets and mixed uses of residential and business traffic. This exercise is a solution in search of a problem.”
    This “solution” will create a nightmare in the Belvidere neighborhood streets, particularly with a right turn only lane onto Olga. Cars wanting to avoid gridlock will turn there & speed south instead through the neighborhood streets for a new route to the WS Bridge at 35th/Fauntleroy.
    Why not try blocking off the one lane of Admiral as proposed, starting at the stop light at the top of the hill for 3-4 weeks and see how far traffic backs up & what unintended consequences happen?
    Two other concerns- how does this whole project slow down the uphill traffic at all? The traffic speed box was mounted only in the uphill lanes, which with the changes will actually make it easier for traffic to go faster!
    Secondly, how many people actually use the downhill bus stop daily? Why not move that bus stop and add more service at the bottom side of City View? In 20+ years of travelling Admiral, I rarely see anyone getting on at that stop going towards town (although they do occasionally get off on the uphill route coming home, on the east/City View side of the street).
    Finally, speeders and bargers going down the hill would be slowed down with a simple SOLID WHITE LINE (“illegal to cross”) like they effectively put at the I-5 entrance from the WS bridge. That would solve alot of the complaints I hear, and also free up the far right lane for more room for bikes, busses, etc.

  • miws July 14, 2010 (5:29 pm)

    I’m not intending to take this way off topic, but the comparison to Fauntleroy is already being used, (thanks to those folks that have weighed in on that, I’ve been curious, since I don’t have a car and thus rarely travel on that section).


    Anyway, my question is for anyone living on the surrounding streets 40th, 41st, 42nd, etc; have you noticed a significant increase in traffic since the changeover? (Which was predicted by several people while it was in the planning stages.)


    If not, perhaps that could assuage some fears of those in the Belvidere neighborhood. Although, even if some drivers start using Belvidere, because they’ve “found the shortcut!”, I wonder how long that would last, if they end up waiting for two or three light cycles, to turn left onto the Fauntleroy Expressway, from southbound 35th.



  • K July 14, 2010 (5:47 pm)

    I’m one of the “few” people who get off the bus at Admiral/City View and would use the opposite stop quite often when I don’t walk/run or cycle to work but it’s not safe for me to cross Admiral at that location. I’m not sure what you mean by having more service at the bottom side of City View – the last time a bus tried to take a short cut down City View, along SW 31st/SW Hinds/SW 30th to Harbor it got stuck on the corner of SW Hinds/SW 30th for several hours and caused those residents who live in that area to go up to Admiral/City View and take a right across traffic onto Admiral.

  • JayDee July 14, 2010 (6:26 pm)

    I am afraid I am with the “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” crowd. City stats say it isn’t dangerous. If they did, then maybe it needs to be addressed, but Admiral has a better safety record than similar streets in it’s class.

    Going over the absurdly low speed limit of 30 mph is unsafe? Imagine that, setting a speed for a four lane street at 30 mph, not 35 mph? If it caused a safety problem, it would be reflected in the accident stats. It isn’t.

    Sure a bike lane uphill would be OK, but if it ends at the overlook, where is a bike supposed to go? Oh, yeah, the Sharrows will protect the cyclist as they go westbound. I will sell you the Fairmont bridge if you buy that.

    But since I doubt common sense and citizen input will stop these improvements, I will welcome the end of the right-lane racers who suddenly cut the line. The reason there is a line is partly due to jerks like these people. (It should be noted I was wrong about the Junction parking review which somehow didn’t result in the installation of those parking meters…but in both cases I don’t mind being wrong if it happens.) IMHO.

    • WSB July 14, 2010 (6:29 pm)

      FYI FWIW I have asked SDOT about the “eight bicyclists” figure quoted earlier in this comment thread. Reply expected tomorrow.

  • TK July 14, 2010 (9:37 pm)

    One more question that no one has addressed here yet:
    What other arterial in Seattle with 4 lanes & very limited cross streets, and no residential or businesses, has a 30mph speed limit? (Admiral used to be 35mph). I can’t think of any. It makes sense at the top end of Admiral, with all of the cross streets to be 30 mph, but why was it been lowered from 35 to 30mph?
    30mph is the same speed limit as all residential arterials in Seattle “unless otherwise posted” are, including the small 2 lane neighborhood roads (like Hanford, leading to 37th and then to the residential part of 35th Ave SW) which don’t even have enough space for a bus & a truck to pass by each other at the same time.
    Why is Admiral Way 30mph also?

  • Linda Ann Cox July 14, 2010 (11:15 pm)

    There are residential homes on this street and many folks walk these sidewalks all the time and attempt to cross the street. There MUST be parking on the street for the residences along the bluff side of Admiral Way or there would be no way for these folks to park – street side- at their homes, or have guests. (Many have garages but still use street parking as most of you do in front of your homes.)
    There MUST be parking permitted south of the View Point. Parking south of View Point is not just for folks trying to sell their vehicles. And, parking there to sell your vehicle should be prohibited in my personal view.
    This is a busy street but the homes there have wonderful views and folks there I have talked to love living there. Many folks stop to see the view point and take photos. It is an important view spot in the city and draws tourists and locals. I have seen many, many folks walking up and down this sidewalk as I have a For Sale listing on this stretch of Admiral Way.

    It seems to me that re-channelization might help many of the problems in this neighborhood… helping those who ride bikes, who walk, who are in a hurry to get to the freeway and folks who simply enjoy our great wonderful neighborhood and are trying to preserve what we have as our community gets more developed. Many folks come to this neighborhood. It needs to be much safer. The city is proposing to do the right thing.
    Full disclosure: Linda Ann Cox, REALTOR, Rockwell Realty LLC, phone: 206-910-1234. Listing For Sale at 3556 Admiral Way SW.

  • KB July 15, 2010 (9:04 am)

    I just sent the following e-mail to the contact listed on the website showing the proposed lane changes. I’m one of the “concerned Belevidere residents” who endures speeding cars down my street to avoid backups on Admiral. Any suggestions as to who else I should send this to would be appreciated:

    We were unable to attend the open house you hosted on July 13. As residents of West Seattle for the past six years, we have endured countless “near misses” from cars exiting Admiral/Olga and speeding down 36th as we attempt to back out of our driveway.

    My son’s car was totalled by a driver who hit his car parked in front of our house while turning the corner from Admiral/Olga to 36th. We have also talked to many people who say, “Yes, I know your house, I drive by it every day on my way to work — it’s a great shortcut!”

    Even before the proposed lane changes to Admiral were announced, I had considered contacting you to possibly install a round-about at the end of 36th where it crosses Olga. Now that the proposed changes have been announced – which include a dedicated turn lane onto Olga, I’m convinced that more cars than before will now avoid the backup created by the one lane down Admiral, turn onto Olga, then onto 36th to find a shorter route.

    I’m requesting a response as to what will be done to prevent these cars from hopping off Admiral and finding their way through the neighborhood streets?? It’s already happening now, and it will only get worse. While I appreciate your effort to slow traffic on Admiral, I’m afraid that this proposal will make 36th and other neighborhood streets a thoroughfare for impatient drivers. This is unsafe for the residents. I’m proposing that the following be done:

    Install a round-about at the end of 36th Ave SW where it meets Olga


    Install speed humps from the intersection of Olga & 36th to Lander.


    Install a large curb that juts out on the East side of 36th causing the drivers to slow down to navigate around the curb.

    After Lander, 36th has houses on both sides of the street, with cars parked on each side which naturally slows down traffic. Until that time, the street is wide open which invites people to turn fast around the corner and speed up until they have to slow down to allow for the narrowed road way.

    Please respond at your earliest convenience

  • slp July 15, 2010 (11:57 am)

    Tuesday night’s Open House was a rechannelization for the Bicycle Master Plan. Again why are we reducing an arterial that works for all which includes bicycle sharrows? Any dedicated bike lanes needs to be paid for by licensing bikes not subsidized by car tab fees. Reducing SW Admiral Way to one vehicle lane between Olga St (near Metro Market) downhill to Manning & Avalon will only add more congestion & frustration where there is already maximum vehicle capacity. The adjacent residential streets and business communities will experience more vehicle congestion especially during peak commuter hours. To address Safety concerns – install flashing crosswalks & overhead signage for pedestrians. SW Admiral Way is wide enough to accommodate a bike lane on the right shoulder from Belvidere to Manning Street. The Lower Ramp can accommodate bikes on the right shoulder using the oversized sidewalk adjacent to steel mill creating a passage under the ramp incline connecting to Spokane St. Using the current sidewalk up SW Admiral Way or reducing parking will accommodate the bikers attempting the steep grade. Do not change other than maintain the road – good signage, lines and crosswalks.

    Please send to your vote against this lane reduction/rechannelization to: walkandbike@seattle.gov and write your Seattle City Council.

  • rob July 15, 2010 (12:37 pm)

    “Any dedicated bike lanes needs to be paid for by licensing bikes not subsidized by car tab fees.”

  • rob July 15, 2010 (1:23 pm)

    i will explain why i ask that:
    i don’t know about this year or next, but in 2006 (the newest budget i could find) SDOT got a grand total of $0 from car tabs for its $157 million budget. what’s more, it got only around $12 million of that budget from gas tax. so cars, or more importantly owning, licensing, and paying for gas that goes into them, contributed only about 13% of the cost of running SDOT.
    if you go to the section where they identify the sources of the funds, you will see that a huge chunk of the money comes from the federal govt, and another pretty big chunk from the city’s general fund. a lot of the rest of it looks like property tax levees.
    the point is the bulk of the funds that run SDOT appear to come from sources that are filled by taxes paid by everyone (varying of course by how much money they earn and spend, and how much any property they own is worth), regardless of whether they own or drive a car (sales tax, property tax, federal income tax, business taxes, etc).
    so please consider that before we go too far in suggesting that any user class needs to pay its own full way into the infrastructure, because if that’s the way it is supposed to work, cars are way behind on their payments.
    the transportation infrastructure we have is a resource that should be available to be enjoyed safely by everyone who lives here, regardless of how much they are able to contribute.
    adjusting how it works to more safely accommodate more users is a benefit to everyone.

  • D July 15, 2010 (2:51 pm)


    That’s the way all cities that are serious about bike safety do it. Check out Davis, California. Dedicated bike lanes on every city street, traffic signals exclusively for bikes, and bike parking everywhere. Bikes there must be registered and you must pay a small licensing fee. That’s a bike-friendly city. Seattle is not bike friendly, just anti car.

  • Jim July 15, 2010 (3:26 pm)

    A little confused here about the Belevidere spillover and overall congestion concerns. It’s not obvious to me why there would be increased congestion sending drivers through the neighborhood all the way around to Fauntleroy.
    1. Admiral SB volume already is limited by the one lane ramp to Spo St and bridge. No change there.
    2. Elimination of right SB lane at top half of hill would not affect Spo St and bridge traffic. Might cause slight delay for traffic bound for Manning during peak times, but would that traffic opt for Fauntleroy through the neighborhood? Doesn’t seem likely.
    In any event, it’s just paint. If there’s a problem it can be easily changed around. If SDOT makes the right SB lane bus/bike only on the top half that seems like a good config for all users.

    • WSB July 15, 2010 (5:51 pm)

      I promised we would check with SDOT on the bicycle figures. From communications director Richard Sheridan:
      >>A bicycle count performed on January 25, 2010, showed eight cyclists total in the a.m. peak. This mid-winter count does not fully capture bike usage of this roadway so we conducted another this morning. It showed 21 cyclists using the road/sidewalks over a two-hour period in the a.m. rush hour.

      The city is proposing to rechannelize Admiral Way, however, to lower vehicle speeds and enhance safety for all users. Adding bicycle facilities is not the primary driver for improving this roadway.<<

  • JayDee July 15, 2010 (6:51 pm)

    “Enhancing safety for all users”…hmmm. Unless the statistics cited in the City-sponsored meeting are wrong, who’s safety is being enhanced?

    From the first commenter’s post: “But then the city explained that there are actually fewer accidents on this street than other comparable streets and only eight bikes travel on this street per day. That compared to 1200 cars (and that’s old data). So it’s not about safety, and it’s not even about bikers…”

    So we trebled the number of bikers to 24…24/1200 is only three times larger than a very small number…and that is assuming there are no 2-passenger cars.

    I am not saying that bikes are evil or that cars shouldn’t slow down (we should all get more exercise and watch our weight too). What I am saying is Why? Admiral is already safe according to City statistics. Slowing cars down for the sake of slowing them down…Is that worth the money needed to accomplish/study this, or the unintended consequences of such a change? Go pick on 15th Ave NE, from what I read is truly dangerous, or the Ballard bridge–kryptonite to bikes–and leave Admiral Way alone.

  • jodi July 15, 2010 (10:33 pm)

    @WSB – My husband and I were wondering what you were doing standing on the embankment this morning. We would have waved, but didn’t want to take our hands off our (respective) handlebars. Thanks for your commitment to getting accurate information. Good discussion here.

    Lots of folks have covered facts and opinions here. I will share observation as a cyclist/driver/pedestrian. Admiral is a “hurry up and wait” in both directions. I appreciate the attention that it takes for me to maintain 30 mph as a driver. I am more attentive, aware, and not in as much of a hurry. When I am driving and in a hurry, I suck as a driver. That is no good for anyone.

    This restriping sure seems like a good response to a scary road. I agree there should be no sharrows directing cyclists to use the left lane to Spokane Street. We (cyclists) can take the extra 30 seconds to turn right at Manning (to Andover) and stay visible and predictable.

    I agree that there needs to be more attention at the top (N-W bound) of Admiral to keep cyclists visible at the exit of the viewpoint. Scary there. I often cross at the Olga crosswalk (from the sidewalk) but have experienced cars running a red light there.

    I am thrilled to see there will be a protected bike lane uphill.

    We all need to slow down – just going to have to wait when we “get there” anyway.

    • WSB July 15, 2010 (10:42 pm)

      Hey, just so you know, that wasn’t us – that was SDOT. We asked them yesterday morning about the eight-bicycle figure that was quoted from the open house; it took the entire day for someone to answer us last night “We’ll get back to you tomorrow” – perhaps that’s because the re-sample was in the works. (If you see one of us out and about, we’re generally wielding either a camera or a laptop. Occasionally both.) – Tracy

  • mondo July 16, 2010 (2:18 pm)

    FYI, the bicycle licensing program in Davis, CA noted above does NOT raise funds to create bike lanes all over the city (Do the math: maybe a few thousand bikes at $4 to $8/year for license fees? That ain’t paying for building bike infrastructure!).
    As noted in this link, the fees are used to pay for bike related programs at UC Davis, such as stolen bike recovery, bike map publication, and bike safety programs.

  • mondo July 16, 2010 (2:31 pm)

    Jim’s comments are spot on! The choke point for southbound Admiral Way traffic is all the way down at the one-lane on-ramp to the West Seattle Bridge. Reducing southbound Admiral to one lane should make no difference to what happens at the on-ramp.

    Regarding comments about how accident reports show that Admiral Way is already “safe”: “safe” is a relative term. Admiral Way may be safe for cars (as demonstrated by the low-number of accidents), but as has been pointed out, it is NOT a safe environment for pedestrians (many here have noted that crossing Admiral is crazy or extremely dangerous). Any the bicyclists in the crowd complain that they feel threatened by vehicular traffic, which has been demonstrated to blatantly ignore the posted speed limits.

    So safe for cars, unsafe for pedestrians and bicyclists. How about making it safe for *everyone* who uses this public right-of-way? Making is safe for the latter two groups is NOT going to make it unsafe for cars now, is it? Really?

  • mondo July 16, 2010 (2:46 pm)

    And to KB and others who are worried about increased traffic in the Belevedere neighbor, I find it unlikely that car drivers are going to try to circumvent a backup at Admiral to drive all the way down to Fauntleroy to get caught in another traffic jam (and trying to make a horrible left turn at the painfully short light at 35th and Fauntleroy).
    But still, even if that does become a problem, the simple solution is to do what the City did on Lander between California and Admiral (on the west side of West Seattle). When residents complained about cars cutting through the neighborhood there trying to avoid the traffic light at Admiral & California, the City installed curb bulbs at each end of Lander, and made the ends one-way traffic OUT of the neighborhood. This worked wonderfully to keep neighborhood traffic limited to local residents only, and was an easy fix.

  • diane July 26, 2010 (1:03 pm)

    What they are planning is pretty much the real traffic pattern as it stands now anyway! Going down the hill in the morning the cars are all in one lane 95% of the time and going up hill it is always 2 anes of traffic filled with cars-no surprise here! The added bike lane is a nice bonus.

  • BH July 26, 2010 (4:29 pm)

    I’m a bike commuter, and I think in some cases, Seattle errs too far in favor of bikes. Anyway, I don’t see an improvement for bikers in this plan.

    I both bike and drive this route. I never had a complaint about traffic while I was biking. I always take the sidewalk going up. It’s wide in most places, and uncrowded. Going down, I go fast, and merge with traffic to go down onto Spokane Street. To the reader who said it would only take thirty seconds to go around the “corkscrew” route, I’d like to know where you got that number. To go down the ramp with other traffic, if traffic is flowing it takes about ten seconds to get onto Spokane Street, and you still have your momentum. To go around, I’d estimate, would take three or four minutes, and you still end up merging with traffic at the same place.

    I believe the accident with the recumbent biker was due to a fundamental problem with recumbent bikes: they’re too low, so the biker can’t see what’s going on, and drivers can’t see the biker behind another car.

    As for the eight bikes per day, that figure might be correct if it includes every day, every month of the year.

    I think 35 is already too slow for that road, so that it’s a favorite place for police to get their ticket quota. I think $75,000 could be better spent. It sounds like the salary for one of the important positions the City had to eliminate because of budget constraints.

    I think there does need to be a crosswalk for the few bus riders though, but without a stoplight, it is more dangerous to the pedestrians than having no crosswalk. Can you tell I’m from the East?

Sorry, comment time is over.