The ‘other’ RapidRide-related work: SW Alaska rechannelization in May

The next major “rechannelization” in West Seattle is now just weeks away, according to SDOT. The timetable for SW Alaska changes in The Junction and Triangle came up during a briefing at tonight’s Morgan Community Association meeting, mostly about RapidRide-related road work (though RapidRide is a county Metro Transit project, the road/sidewalk/signal changes are being done in association with SDOT). SDOT’s RapidRide project manager Mike Ward told MoCA that the work is now expected to be done next month – no date firmed up yet, but they’ll plan on making it happen over a period of about four days – starting on a Monday, wrapping up Thursday. As reported here last year, the rechannelization will include these changes:

· Install an eastbound business access and transit Lane (BAT) between 42nd Avenue SW and 40th Avenue SW

· Install a westbound BAT lane between Fauntleroy Way and 42nd Avenue SW

· Remove parking on the north side of SW Alaska Street between California Avenue SW and 42nd Avenue SW and north side of SW Alaska Street between 41st Avenue SW and Fauntleroy; remove parking on south side of SW Alaska Street between 42nd and Fauntleroy

· Install a westbound left turn pocket at California Avenue and SW Alaska Street

· Install an eastbound left turn pocket at 42nd Avenue SW and SW Alaska Street

· Install a westbound bicycle lane between Fauntleroy Way and approximately 30 feet west of 41st Avenue SW

We’ll have the rest of the RapidRide discussion in our full report on the MoCA meeting, but wanted to get this news out sooner. For the city’s renderings of how the rechannelization will work, scroll down this page.

19 Replies to "The 'other' RapidRide-related work: SW Alaska rechannelization in May"

  • JoAnne April 19, 2012 (5:39 am)

    Replacing car lanes with bike lanes in areas that are already severely congested with car traffic is dangerous and stupid.

    How many more bicyclists have to die before these idiots get the idea that a 20 lb vehicle cannot safely share the same roadway with hundreds of 4000-lb vehicles?

  • CanDo April 19, 2012 (6:05 am)

    They told us the Rapid Ride work would last a month in the Morgan St Junction area, too. That was in late February and we’re now past mid April with construction continuing daily.

  • Neighborly April 19, 2012 (7:13 am)

    Severely congested, Really? Traveled lately?

  • Patricia Kloster April 19, 2012 (7:23 am)

    Wow, eliminating parking when there have been times I turned around & went home because I couldn’t find a place to park in the evening at the junction – I prefer shopping/patronizing businesses at the junction (having been born/raised in WS) but you’re making it more and more difficult to do so. I commute by bus to the UW and that will be significantly longer once “Rapid” Ride is instituted. Eliminating the 133 route and the 54Express. Not sure where the “rapid” is in rapid ride.

  • craig britt April 19, 2012 (7:43 am)

    Another bike lane, what a colosal waste of taxpayers money………………..taking away parking…….great planning

  • DRW April 19, 2012 (7:54 am)

    Rechannelization. I think that pretty says it all.

  • Had Enough April 19, 2012 (8:44 am)

    This is life under Mike McGinn and his biker brown shirts.

  • datamuse April 19, 2012 (8:52 am)

    Y’all are right. Personally I’m in favor of separated bikeways with a curb between them and car traffic. I saw this all over the place in China, why can’t we do it here?
    Patricia, not doubting you but I’m genuinely surprised at your statement that you can’t find evening parking in the Junction. This has, literally, never happened to me–okay, sometimes I have to walk a block or two, but compared to when I lived on Capitol Hill and sometimes had to park a mile or more from my destination, that’s nothing. There’s always that garage under Jefferson Square that nobody ever seems to use…

  • Sharonn April 19, 2012 (9:54 am)

    Now that the Sound Transit #560 is reduced to rush hour only, the bus holdover on Alaska at 37th should be eliminated. All necessary bus holdovers should be on 35th where they already have a designated bus holdover stop.
    The corner of 37th and Alaska is in critical need of a pedestrian crosswalk! Added density of Link plus the adjacent single family homes need to be able to cross Alaska when Rapid Ride begins. Extremely dangerous site lines, three lanes of traffic is not manageable and dangerous.

  • Tuesday April 19, 2012 (10:44 am)

    Don’t worry, when these “solutions” don’t work, more good “solutions” will be implemented. Who knows, maybe in 5 years they’ll go back to the previous “solution.” After all, it’s only money.

  • Doris April 19, 2012 (11:14 am)

    As long as drivers refuse to coexist with other traffic on the road, they should have lanes and parking taken away. There’s no reason to pander to an expensive and wasteful habit if it just causes problems. If you can’t figure out how to get around in the city without bloated personal transport, you should live in the suburbs of the Midwest where those antiquated points of view are still supported. In Seattle we can see past our own laziness and entitlement.. If you can’t get with the program, go somewhere else.

    • WSB April 19, 2012 (11:26 am)

      From the management: NO MORE “BIKES SUCK”/”CARS SUCK” HOSTILITY, THANK YOU. Both are legal means of transport. Both have great operators and dangerous operators, and the rest of us inbetween. If you have constructive suggestions about how the city can accommodate both (and buses, and motorcycles, and scooters, and anything else that can legally use the roads), or other specific comments about this plan – we wrote about it many, many times while it was under development, and now this is simply the news that it’s about to become reality (at which time I’m sure we’ll all have plenty to say about how it’s working, or not) – you are welcome to comment. Otherwise, I see this going down the same old squabble-rutted road and am putting up the roadblock on THAT right now. Thanks. – Tracy

  • JN April 19, 2012 (11:44 am)

    Thank you for the moderation. The whole “bikes=bad” line of thinking just results in people hitting back at each other from behind their screens, while forgetting that in the real world, everyone out there is a person who needs to be respected and not ridiculed or physically abused because they are not in a car.

  • Kathy April 19, 2012 (1:19 pm)

    We will still have sufficient lots, garages and street parking after these changes. Removing street parking for a few blocks in this corridor is required to speed up our bus service so that it can carry more people more efficiently to their destinations, making more room for those who like to or have to drive. If you have ever tried to bike up Fauntleroy/Alaska from Avalon, you will realize that we desperately need bike lanes along Alaska and Fauntleroy. I have biked it pulling a trailer but the speed differential with the cars is too extreme. So I stick to the sidewalks for safety, which is not really fair to the pedestrians. There are no ramps at many of the intersections so you have to get off and walk your bike or try to jump the curb. There aren’t a lot of alternative bike routes to get to California from Avalon, due to the very steep hills in other parts of the neighborhood.

  • Al April 19, 2012 (2:18 pm)

    I think this is a good re-channelization. It’s simply formalizing how the street is used now. Buses/bikes tend to use the right of the lane, other traffic uses the middle/center lane. While the permanent loss of parking is too bad (I don’t see why it couldn’t be line other BAT lanes where parking is restricted only during rush hours/high commute times), people will adjust. I only look forward to the re-working of the “triangle” area as a whole.

  • Nick April 19, 2012 (9:01 pm)

    Rapid ride sucks we need real mass transit that is not based around a bus system

  • TJ April 20, 2012 (9:21 am)


    Maybe you’ve got such a lazy life that you can afford to spend hours on the bus. Some of us actually work long stressful hours. I’d be supportive of public transportation if there were enough routes and buses to make it even mostly convenient. Fix the public transportation here and THEN start worrying about making life difficult for drivers.

  • Mickymse April 20, 2012 (2:22 pm)

    This is HOW you begin to fix public transportation. If some of you wonder why buses “suck” or get “stuck” with all the other traffic, you need merely look at some of the comments above…
    I might also point out that the addition of turn lanes should improve flow for all vehicles — public transit or personal.

  • pjmanley April 20, 2012 (3:34 pm)

    As a biker, walker & bus-rider, but also father of two kids, small business owner, and therefore vehicle driver, am I a sinner or a saint?

    And since all of my family’s bikes got here by stinky, polluting freighters from China, where they were likely built in anything but “green” factories with slave-like labor, did I reduce my carbon footprint, or increase it?

    Neither side owns the Soapbox. Everyone I know tries thier best to get along without hurting anyone else or the planet they inhabit.

    In the meantime, we have to share and cooperate, and I’m not a better person when I bike than when I drive. Same guy, different circumstances.

Sorry, comment time is over.