Mayor proposes $900,000 in East Marginal safety improvements, $500,000 for lower Spokane St. and vicinity

(5/7/2013 photo by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
Less than two weeks after 54-year-old Lance David died at East Marginal and Hanford after his bicycle collided with a truck, and one week after participating in a memorial ride to that site, Mayor McGinn says today that he’s asking the City Council to approve $900,000 in safety improvements to that area, and about half a million for lower Spokane St. and feeder roads such as Delridge and Admiral. Read on for the official announcement, which includes other proposed work around the city:

Mayor Mike McGinn today announced a proposal for $3.25 million in transportation investments made possible by additional savings from the Spokane Street viaduct project. These investments include pavement maintenance and bicycle safety improvements on East Marginal Way in SoDo, improvements to Lower Spokane Street, a cycle track on the Westlake Avenue corridor on the west side of Lake Union, pedestrian projects, and funding for transit-oriented design near light rail stations.

Last month McGinn announced $11.75 million in transportation investments resulting from savings on the Spokane Street Viaduct project. Those savings occurred because of cost savings due to a favorable bidding climate and strong management of this $163 million project. Today’s funding comes from additional project savings, bringing the total savings to $15 million.

“We have heard from the public that they want safety improvements on our roads,” said McGinn. “These improvements will help protect safety for people on these busy corridors whether they’re in their cars and trucks, on foot, or on a bicycle.”

The $3.25 million in funding will be used for the following projects:

· Improvements to East Marginal Way in SoDo

o $700,000 for pavement maintenance, restriping, and exploring interim cycle track options to provide further separation of bicycles and auto traffic.

o $200,000 will be included for conceptual planning and pre-design for a permanent reconstruction to the road, which will also include a long-term design of separated bicycle facilities such as a cycle track.

· Westlake Avenue Cycle Track

o $1.2 million for final design and construction of this project to improve separation between bicycles and vehicles and link the Ship Canal trail to South Lake Union. When combined with previous funding from the City and Puget Sound Regional Council, this project will have $2.3 million of funding which may be enough to build the facility depending on final design.

· $500,000 for Lower Spokane Street Safety Improvements. Project elements will be developed with input from the community, the Port, and other stakeholders and may include:

o Improving pavement conditions along the pathway.

o Improving crossing at Port driveways

o Improving crossing for bicyclists at Chelan (5-way) intersection.

o Improving crossing for bicyclists from the path to SW Avalon Way/SW Admiral Way.

o Increase separation for bicyclists on SW Admiral Way.

o Improving Delridge to Andover connection to the bicycle path.

· $400,000 for implementation of the Pedestrian Master Plan

· $250,000 for transit-oriented design in multiple neighborhoods:

o Study at Rainier Avenue South and Martin Luther King Jr. Way South to identify alternatives, conduct a traffic analysis, conceptual design, develop conceptual cost estimates and conduct public outreach

o New transportation analysis near Roosevelt light rail station, assessing station area access issues including evaluation of the Roosevelt/11th one-way couplet

o Station access and transit-oriented design near Othello Station

This is in addition to the previously announced $11.75 million in transportation investments from Spokane Street Viaduct savings. That funding was included in the First Quarter Supplemental Budget, and includes:

· $4.5 million for major road improvements on Northgate Way, closing the funding gap for this approximately $14 million project. This project includes paving, sidewalks and curb ramps, traffic signals, and lighting.

· $1 million in new funding for Pedestrian Master Plan implementation

· Design work on pedestrian projects currently being identified through the Lake City Way Traffic Safety Corridor Project and other community processes, and additional pedestrian mobility improvements along the length of the corridor and intersecting streets.

· Planning for intersection improvements at Rainier Avenue South and Martin Luther King Jr. Way South, which was identified as a high priority in the Southeast Transportation Study.

· Installation of a special pedestrian flashing beacon at 47th Avenue Southwest and Southwest Admiral Way. We will also work with the community to begin the technical design process for a permanent traffic signal at that location, and are working to identify funding sources for its construction.

· Installation of safety improvements on Northeast 75th Street near Nathan Eckstein Middle School. In April we described these improvements in greater detail. They include a flashing school zone beacon, evaluation of this site for a school zone speed camera, remarking of crosswalks, evaluation of Northeast 68th Street and 25th Avenue Northeast for a traffic signal, and new pedestrian countdown heads at existing traffic signals in the area. We have also been working with the community to examine possible physical changes to the roadway to reduce speeds. SDOT is currently analyzing this feedback and will develop a proposal in the coming weeks.

We asked the mayor’s spokesperson Aaron Pickus about the next step for all this – his reply:

This is subject to council approval. The previously announced funds are included in the Q1 Supplemental Budget currently before council. The additional funds announced today will be in the Q2 Supplemental Budget, which will be transmitted to council shortly.

The mayor, by the way, will be in West Seattle in a little more than an hour, for an announcement at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center regarding education/arts funding.

10 Replies to "Mayor proposes $900,000 in East Marginal safety improvements, $500,000 for lower Spokane St. and vicinity"

  • Lance May 14, 2013 (1:04 pm)

    Perhaps the mayor can also spare a couple hundred dollars to put a yield sign and yield paint on the Spokane Street onramp to the West Seattle Bridge eastbound. The countless number of idiots who do not understand that THEY are merging onto traffic, not the right hand lane of the bridge traffic.

  • amalia May 14, 2013 (1:37 pm)

    Very cool to have spoken and been heard. I’m a little concerned that so much of the East Marginal money intended for cycling improvements is for conceptual design only. Will the struggle have to start over for implementation funding?

  • Don Brubeck May 14, 2013 (2:17 pm)

    Thank you Mayor McGinn for this action. Nice to see that some of Spokane St savings goes back to Spokane St and East Marginal improvements for all users. More people feeling safe enough to ride bikes downtown on this route will mean less car congestion on the bridge for those who need to drive. Now we need Council support.

    Amalia, design has to come before construction, and all road projects get funded in stages. There are a lot of stakeholders who need to be involved in permanent roadway changes, so it will take time (years, not months). That’s why the short term fixes will be so welcome. Joining us at West Seattle Bike Connections is one way to to be involved in this if you are interested. Seattle Bike Advisory Board and Seattle Freight Advisory Board meetings are also ways to follow and comment to SDOT.

  • rocky raccoon May 14, 2013 (3:29 pm)

    Has there been an official determination yet of who/what was at fault in this accident?

  • Jake May 14, 2013 (3:45 pm)

    This is great news! Thanks to all the West Seattle folks who came out to help advocate for this sort of action in the wake of the tragedy a few weeks ago. I’m pleased to see both the short-term and long-term needs addressed.

  • vlado May 14, 2013 (4:37 pm)

    It is sad that it took another death in this area for our ineffectual mayor to act. He had lots of opportunity to do something before in conjunction with ongoing waterfront planning, but chose to ignore it because a dedicated bicycle path is one of the benefits of the SR99 tunnel project he so hates. Ironic, for a mayor who had portrayed himself as a cyclist, or at least had himself photographed as a cyclist.

  • AJP May 14, 2013 (8:55 pm)

    Does someone have to die before we get this area fixed? Yes, apparently so. Very sad.

  • themightyrabbit May 14, 2013 (9:33 pm)

    Thank you. This at least shows a sign that progress is finally being made for this area after arriving here in Seattle as an enthusiastic bicyclist in 1994. The delay is too long but let’s see this get done. And not merely become a press release with no reality.

  • Mke May 14, 2013 (11:56 pm)

    It’s nice to see that with elections only a few months away, the mayor has decided to show up to work.

  • Alex May 16, 2013 (7:44 am)

    @rocky raccoon, I’m not aware of any determination of fault, but it really doesn’t make a difference. This accident was a result of the area being very difficult for cyclists to navigate safely.

Sorry, comment time is over.