‘No parking’ signs for 2 Junction projects: RapidRide and Oregon 42

Whole lot of new “no parking” signs in the eastern section of The Junction, and part of The Triangle. Here’s what they’re about:

SW ALASKA RECHANNELIZATION FOR RAPIDRIDE: After seeing the “no parking allowed as of June 4th” signs along SW Alaska today, we checked with SDOT to confirm that they’re for the upcoming “rechannelization” related to the approaching start of RapidRide bus service. Yes, they are, said SDOT’s Marybeth Turner, but – the date on them “is now incorrect,” she said, so “they will be removed. We don’t want to restrict parking before all the elements are in place, and before we have the stretch of fair weather that we need to apply the required pavement markings, which will be sometime in June. … Starting Monday, crews plan to begin installing permanent “no parking” signs that will be hooded until the parking restriction is implemented.” She also sent this copy of a flyer handed out to area businesses. If you missed earlier coverage of the rechannelization – it will remove more than half the street parking along SW Alaska between 35th and California (60 of 107 spaces), while adding a transit lane (more explanation, here). When the work starts, SDOT’s project manager Mike Ward has said, it’ll take about four days for the restriping work.

Not related, but happening less than a block north of SW Alaska:

CONSTRUCTION IMMINENT FOR OREGON 42: Two weeks ago, we noted a fence had gone up around the future site of the mixed-use building Oregon 42 at 42nd/Oregon, and checked in with the site’s San Diego-based owners/developers, who told us (here’s our May 18th story) that demolition of the 3 homes remaining on the site (including the two in our photo) was indeed soon to start, segueing immediately into excavation and construction. Today, the fence was moved out to the edge of the sidewalk, which is now closed along the site on the east side of 42nd SW, and “No Parking Mondays-Fridays 7 am-4 pm” signs are attached; in an even more telltale sign of imminent construction, the Honey Bucket arrived today, too. We’ll be on the lookout for the start of demolition.

36 Replies to "'No parking' signs for 2 Junction projects: RapidRide and Oregon 42"

  • Norma May 29, 2012 (6:54 pm)

    That dreaded word again. “rechannelization” It always makes me nervous.

  • Laurie May 29, 2012 (9:10 pm)

    There are some nice, old rhododendrons on site. Not the ideal time of year to move them, but I wonder if the developers might be willing to let someone come dig them up and give them a life elsewhere?

    • WSB May 29, 2012 (9:36 pm)

      Laurie, I suspect it’s likely too late for that – the crew we saw pulling the fence to the roadside was gone by the time we parked and got out to go over in hopes of asking them how soon the demolition equipment would arrive, but if I had to bet, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it there tomorrow morning. Makes me wonder, since you point this out, if there is any kind of plant-saving organization or company that does what Second Use and similar entities do for building materials (we saw them there before the fencing went up, earlier this month) … TR

  • cj May 29, 2012 (9:19 pm)

    I know this is a change that needs to happen, IMO the massive amount of street parking in West Seattle never should have been allowed to get this condensed in the first place. However here we are with a lot of muti-family units not offering any parking at all for their residents. I feel bad for those people and have concerns also for competitive parking in our few public parking lots.

  • John May 29, 2012 (9:21 pm)

    I wish the City of Seattle would understand that not everyone wants to or can take public transportation, and that further limiting parking around the Junction negatively affects local businesses.

  • miws May 29, 2012 (9:54 pm)

    I wonder if that’s something that Plant Amnesty could help with? If not directly, maybe they know of another organization that might.



  • Gene May 29, 2012 (10:01 pm)

    John, I know, right? It’s not like there are a bunch of free parking lots all around the junction where one can almost always find a parking space within about 30 seconds. Oh wait, there are.
    Thank you again West Seattle Junction Association – you rock.

  • ohthehorror May 29, 2012 (10:16 pm)

    We had the same no parking signs on 41st when QFC was being built, but it seemed to be so that the construction crews could park their cars on the street. I feel bad for the people living along 42nd if the crews are as messy and disrespectful of property as some of the QFC crews. During the whole construction period it was a pigsty with workers going to their cars at lunch and on breaks then throwing food wrappers and empty cans on the street and sidewalks. Guess it’s good business for local fast food restaurants, though. Hopefully they’ll use the dumpsters onsite for their trash.

  • John May 29, 2012 (10:25 pm)

    Gene: I very much appreciate the free parking in West Seattle. It’s why I shop here and not downtown. My concern is that population growth and a decline in the number of available parking spaces simply do not bode well for our local Junction businesses. One can usually (but not always) find parking very quickly in the Junction; that will not always be the case given the current mentality of city leaders.

  • DF May 29, 2012 (10:30 pm)

    As far as saving the plants goes in cases like this what you do is walk with purpose onto the property with a shovel gently dig up plants ,preferably after heavy rains, gather all plants up together then start loading into vehicle or bicycle or bicycle trailer. Like I did on this lot! I will continue in this. Did the same thing on Avalon.

  • Vince May 29, 2012 (10:49 pm)

    We saw a lot of the same kind of rerouting and parking issues come up during the Alaskan Way/Spokane Viaduct/West Seattle Bridge retrofit projects. The result was a lack of parking that ended the life of Avalon, a very nice restaurant. The people who think we all can and should ride the bus, the ones who inhabit the mayor’s office, are having a very negative effect on our city.

  • datamuse May 30, 2012 (12:01 am)

    I cannot consider parking in the Junction difficult to find as long as the Jefferson Square garage is three-quarters empty every time I go in there. Sure it’s a pay lot, but not at downtown rates…

  • WS Neighbor May 30, 2012 (6:20 am)

    Is there any way to undo the Rapid Ride bus stop on California, just north of Fauntleroy? It now sticks far into the street so that when the bus is stopped for passengers, there is no way to pass the bus. The traffic backs up several lights worth down Fauntleroy for the many, many people waiting to turn left to go north onto California, including all the ferry traffic. What a mess!

  • phil dirt May 30, 2012 (7:19 am)

    cj, I like the free parking. I shop in West Seattle because there is free parking. If there wasn’t, I’d go elsewhere where there is. I don’t give a hoot about the lack of parking for apartments. Apartment dwellers can walk, ride a bike or take the bus. West Seattle has been filled up with apartments to the detriment of West Seattle!

  • Jordan May 30, 2012 (7:49 am)

    Parking around the Alaska Junction isn’t too bad yet, but it does seem to get worse and worse as time goes on. Many of the parking lots have been removed and the loss of on street parking is getting worse. We used to go to the Admiral Junction once a week for a movie or to eat. Since all of their construction and the removal of parking I doubt I have been up there more than twice in the last three years.

    I will take the kids to Bellevue or Southcenter rather than deal with parking in parts of West Seattle and never go downtown. Kind of sad really. A lot of our businesses will die the way we are going.

  • Kgdlg May 30, 2012 (8:09 am)

    Was it really just the parking that ended the life of Avalon? I feel like that is an overstatement. The Junction has lots and lots of free parking. In lots, on the street. Right now, we have no reason to complain about parking here. I can definitely see the street going to meters in the next ten years, and this will be the way that parking is “managed” to ensure that people don’t park all day on streets which I think hurts businesses more than charging for it. hopefully by then our bus service will be more frequent and maybe even a high capacity rail line will be in the works? One can wish…

  • Oneanne May 30, 2012 (8:23 am)

    WS Neighbor – I totally agree about the new Rapid Ride bus stops. This weekend I also witnessed the mess at California/Morgan caused by a bus stopped at that bus stop… cars were backed up thru the intersection and people turning north onto California from Fauntleroy were pulling into the southbound left turn lane because they were stuck behind the bus. There aren’t enough riders to warrant the extra wide stops, and the impact on traffic flow on California – which is the only north/south arterial thru the business district – is going to be painful. The stops/sidewalks need to be cut back, who do we contact – Dow Constantine?

    • WSB May 30, 2012 (8:30 am)

      Whatever the effects – and you certainly can contact your county representatives (Executive Constantine, Councilmember Joe McDermott) to share your observations on how it’s going – this is how the RapidRide stops were designed, and it was all discussed in a variety of community meetings, almost all of which were covered here, over the past three-plus years. Once the actual RR buses are on the road this September, they are supposed to open, disembark, and board more quickly than the average bus (RR will replace existing service, mostly the 54), and enable the bus to stop in the lane rather than losing time by pulling over (enhancing the theoretical “rapid”). It has nothing to do with whether they needed more curb space for more passengers. – TR

  • Gary May 30, 2012 (8:30 am)

    WS Neighbor, I agree completely. What a lousy design – making the buses stop and block California Ave when they used to be able to stop along the shoulder. I assume this design was intentional, making life for car drivers more miserable and trying to force everyone onto buses. The quality of life in Seattle continues it’s decline…

  • JS May 30, 2012 (9:17 am)

    How much more proof do we need? The city is and has always been anti-car. Ride a bus? Yes we’ll give you a lane. Ride a bike? Even better – we’ll give you a lane too. Drive a car? Well that’s too bad. We’re taking lanes away from you. Oh and you want to park in WS to actually shop in the area? Well that only benefits businesses, and since they’re all part of the 1% anyway to heck with them. FORWARD!

  • S May 30, 2012 (9:50 am)

    There is nothing rapid about this design. There is not going to be any made up time. They are only going to make traffic worse and create time loss. I say we all go get jack hammers and take them out. Also, the one on Cal and Alaska seems to be blocking the ability for people to walk. If I was in a wheelchair I would complain and then sue the city.

  • Wes C. Addle May 30, 2012 (10:27 am)

    Just moved out of the Altamira this week. Looks like I timed my lease perfectly. I wouldn’t have liked hearing that construction all day since I was on the north side of the building. Hopefully the new liquor laws will free up parking on 41st. It was a mess when the liquor store moved in. Having the liquor available everywhere now should be great for street parkers.

  • kgdlg May 30, 2012 (10:34 am)

    It is becoming harder and harder to drive a car in this City. But people, let’s remember whose fault this is….people who drive cars! Every new car that hits the road adds to the problem. And I say this as a family that recently added a second car. I recognize that we made the problem worse, not better. The City literally cannot add enough space for all the cars that we have here. And they cannot stop people from moving here (as much as people dream about this actually being possible). What the City can do is maintain the roads to the level needed, and while the bridge repairs are a major pain the the butt, they are doing exactly that – maintaining the roads for the car drivers, primarily. Buses, whether we like it or not, are not the purview of the City, they are run by the County. So my gripe will always be this – we HAVE to tax ourselves to create a world class HIGH CAPACITY transit system, or people like me will always go the second car route, if they can afford it (which we can luckily). This means a major levy, bond measure, etc. to build Light Rail to W Seattle, or a streetcar in W Seattle, or a Monorail from W Seattle (suppose that will go no where though, huh?) Until then it will always feel like cars vs. crappy buses, because well, the buses are crappy because Metro is chronically under funded and buses are not fixed rail that people can ride reliably and efficiently. There will be a tipping point, and I hope it comes during my lifetime, but Seattle citizens don’t inspire confidence with the number of times they have refused to tax themselves to address this problem.

  • datamuse May 30, 2012 (10:41 am)

    I have to wonder how many of the people griping on this thread took advantage of those community meetings and other forums to make their voices heard.
    Personally, I find my quality of life improved by fewer cars on the road. It’s quieter, I don’t fear for my life every time I step off the curb, and the air doesn’t smell like exhaust. But quality of life is relative, I guess.

  • Give A Hoot May 30, 2012 (10:56 am)

    Don’t like it? Time to graduate to the suburbs where they pander to the car culture many of you are so obsessed with.

  • cakeitseasy May 30, 2012 (12:25 pm)

    Well said, kgdlg.

    Fine, take away car space….but please, let’s have efficient mass transit and safe bike riding space that doesn’t compete with other traffic.

    Not the silly marketing ploys called Rapid Ride and “Sharrows”.

    We need frequent mass transit out of the line of traffic. We need bike lanes out of traffic. It costs $$ and more importantly, requires creative leadership and development.

    The one traffic improvement that has worked well in my opinion; “road diets”. Does anyone miss the old Fauntleroy Way route? Would love to see something done about 35th Ave. Maybe make it a boulevard?

    There are more creative solutions to density and growth than what is currently on the table.

    Oh, and what a shame that cute little white bungalow in the picture is going to get smashed. Too bad it couldn’t be moved elsewhere?

  • datamuse May 30, 2012 (12:52 pm)

    There’s a great editorial by David Byrne in today’s New York Times about bike-sharing programs and bike culture in other cities. It makes peoples’ insistence that biking can’t work here especially frustrating–it can, and does, elsewhere, and quite well too.
    I like riding on Fauntleroy these days. Very pleasant.

  • WSratsinacage May 30, 2012 (1:05 pm)

    datamouse, myself and others have made our concerns known for the last 5 years but they have fallen on deaf ears. It’s one of those can’t fight city hall things I guess.

  • WSratsinacage May 30, 2012 (1:23 pm)

    Biking could probably work / is currently working but how safe is it? Accidents have always happened. Collisions can be reduced through education for both cyclists and drivers but the end result will be the same, the cyclist will die or be seriously injured.
    A cyclist ran a stop sign yesterday and I almost t-boned him. I didn’t honk or anything like that but he looked at me like I was the A-hole.

  • Nancy F. May 30, 2012 (1:51 pm)

    The residents and taxpayers of Seattle do not owe anyone on-street parking. Parking spots are in the _public_right_of_way_. They are owned by, and paid for, everyone in the city. Not just the business or home that fronts on it. The planning division is responsible for making use of public right-of-way that makes sense for the entire city, as a whole. Do criticize, comment, and watch how they do that, but one has to look beyond one’s selfish interest. If your business depends on parking for your customers, you need to plan for that and include it in your business expenses. You don’t pay for my essential business components, why should I pay for your customer’s parking? The best way to think of it is to be grateful we’ve had such a large number of free parking spaces up to now.

  • datamuse May 30, 2012 (2:51 pm)

    WSratsinacage, as today’s events illustrate, life is full of risk. Bicycling may carry a higher risk of injury due to accidents, but I gotta say, my stress level is lower overall, and traffic calming measures benefit everyone. How often do we see complaints on this very blog about people driving too fast through neighborhoods, with the attendant noise and danger to walkers? Ask the folks living on Sylvan Way in High Point how they feel about people speeding through their neighborhood.
    Personally, I avoid driving in the Junction anyway; the traffic patterns are a pain in the ass and there are lots of distractions. I’d rather park a block or so away and walk.
    Hey, I know: they could turn the Hole into a parking garage. Problem solved.

  • MMB May 31, 2012 (9:49 pm)

    I’m curious, O WSB, O trusted source of info: Has the population of WS grown over the past 5 years? 10 years? By how much? Do we over-index against pop growth in the rest of the city? I’m just wondering how much of the parking “problem” is due to overall growth of Seattle’s population. When we moved here in 1990, there were lots of retirees and households with one commuter. We’ve seen a shift to two-commuter households as couples and families move here. I’d venture to guess that we’re “victims” of a very liveable (awesome) area, at least in part. I know lots of great people who’ve come here from all over. I think they’ve injected life into WS. When we moved in the businesses in the Junction (exc. the then-new Easy Street store) were owned by blue-haired ladies who closed up at 6 p.m. Look at what we have now???!?! It’s truly better, folks.

    • WSB May 31, 2012 (9:55 pm)

      MMB, I’m sure there is a wiser person out there who knows how to look this up. The accurate population of WS is a mystery to us, and of course it depends on exactly where you draw the lines. Numbers from 65,000 to 100,000+ are quoted. If anyone out there is a whiz at reading census data, the best we could do would be compare 2000 and 2010. I have to run out on something in a minute but if no one magically happens to find this before I get back, I’ll look around … TR

  • Time to Think June 1, 2012 (4:12 pm)

    “I’m just wondering how much of the parking “problem” is due to overall growth of Seattle’s population. When we moved here in 1990, there were lots of retirees and households with one commuter. We’ve seen a shift to two-commuter households as couples and families move here.”
    Not just a growth in population, but a growth in the sort of population that came from places like the Midwest where car culture is worshipped and totally fails to adapt to their new surroundings. Why would someone leave a place and try to apply the worst parts about it to where they’ve arrived?

  • ellar June 2, 2012 (5:06 pm)

    I came here from the Midwest where car culture was worshipped, but where we also had an excellent and genuinely rapid ride: it was called the El. I also happened to live in a town where street parking was not allowed (you had to call in for an overnight permit to avoid a ticket, in cases such as a dead–or stolen–battery, or medical emergency). I paid monthly for a space in a lot two buildings away. I used my car for stocking up on groceries, taking the cat to the vet, and visiting my parents in the burbs. I rode the El and the bus to work. And new construction above a certain number of units had to include its own off-street parking.

Sorry, comment time is over.