What’s along ‘Fauntleroy Boulevard’? Highlights of JuNO’s briefing, before you get a look at next Tuesday’s community open house

It’s been six years in the making, but the “Fauntleroy Boulevard” plan is still in the “early design” phase – which is why, if you are interested in the future of Fauntleroy Way between the bridge and SW Alaska, you’re going to want to go to next Tuesday’s community meeting.

SDOT’s Fauntleroy Boulevard Project manager Therese Casper and consultant Mike Hendrix (from Perteet) came to this week’s Junction Neighborhood Organization meeting for one last community-council-level briefing before that meeting, which, by the way, will be in open-house format, so don’t worry if you can’t get there right when it starts at 5 pm – drop in for a look at the plans any time before 7 pm.

We’ve written about it before – going back to 2008 – and Casper noted that its origins go back even further, to the West Seattle Junction Plan of 1999, and now the Bicycle Master Plan‘s goals have been folded in, designating this as an area for protected bicycle lanes, as well as the “community needs” in the Triangle Streetscape Plan, and enhancement of Fauntleroy Way’s role as a gateway to West Seattle.

The Fauntleroy Boulevard plan has reached 30 percent design, and has funding through 60 percent design. The city budget process that kicks into high gear next week, with Mayor Murray presenting his proposal on Monday afternoon, will determine what happens next – will there be money to finish the design and build the project?

Its typical cross-section is the same one we first showed in July: 6′ sidewalks, 6′ protected bike lanes (asphalt), landscape strip, outside lanes of roadway maintained at 12′ (to facilitate freight needs), 10’ travel lane inside, then middle turn lane OR planted median. You can see it and the block-by-block concept on this info-sheet, also from July:

Here’s the latest on some key points – with many more details promised at next Tuesday’s open house:

*Casper told JuNO that they had just received approval for trees in the median island. The space for that will not come from existing travel lanes but some street parking will be removed, Casper said. There’s a water main down the middle, about 17 feet underground, and the type of trees that’ll be approved will take that into consideration.

*The “free right turn” at Oregon will be removed.

*Median midway through Trader Joe’s to 38th.

*At every intersection they will realign, to tee up, minimize crossings for pedestrians at side streets and increase safety

*At 38th, a fire-station signal – will be converted into a pedestrian signal

*Median island between 38th and Oregon

*Another median island between Oregon all the way up to Avalon

*At intersections of 37th, will again “T-up” those intersections – the protected bike lane connects to Avalon and will connect to future greenway on 36th – sidewalks and raised median up to 35th

*Avalon will become fully signalized

*The Whittaker‘s commitment to a crossing of Alaska between its corner (where the former gas station is now) and Spruce’s corner will be part of shortening the distance that pedestrians will have to cross, Casper said. She says they’re working with Spruce – though pointing out, it’s already got a permit to build what it’s buiding – to try to change the configuration.

In addition to briefing community groups, Casper said, they’ve been talking to businesses all summer, with some “expressing a lot of concern about some of the driveways we’re eliminating as well as the medians, affecting the flow.” They’ll continue to meet with some businesses, “with some, we’re on our third meeting,” says Casper.

They expect to reach 60 percent design next month.

“Is anything going up that would be ‘welcome to West Seattle’?” asked one attendee. Not in the plans, was the reply.

Again, the open house with full details on the Fauntleroy Boulevard’s project is next Tuesday (September 23rd), 5-7 pm, at the Senior Center of West Seattle – drop in whenever you can. Since the project is still in “early design,” this is the time to comment.

P.S. The JuNO meeting this past Tuesday included one other major agenda item, a discussion of the Junction-area “walkshed,” with two Seattle Planning Commissioners who are both West Seattleites. We’re writing that separately; look for it here this weekend.

12 Replies to "What's along 'Fauntleroy Boulevard'? Highlights of JuNO's briefing, before you get a look at next Tuesday's community open house"

  • O B Wan Kenobi September 19, 2014 (9:09 pm)

    Has potential.

  • B September 19, 2014 (9:40 pm)

    I can’t wait. I drive this road daily and it’s frightening… I feel like I’m in a game of Frogger!

  • westseattledood September 19, 2014 (10:35 pm)

    re: “welcome to West Seattle” query –

    Well it’s only partly funded anyway, but why not throw this out…

    I keep wondering…what if Seattle Parks might consider purchasing the old teriyaki place and build a bit of a park.

    On that parklet I envision at least one beautifully elegant carved cedar traditional Coast Salish Welcome Figure above the intersection facing the bridge. No color. Tall enough to be seen from afar – a couple of stories.

    Would not say “Welcome to West Seattle” in English or with a vivid colorful banner of plastic, or such. But it would definitely say welcome, simply and naturally. Google the images…Vancouver BC has them all over the city and islands. And they are stunning.

  • Out for a walk September 19, 2014 (10:48 pm)

    There is room for all those lanes? Wow!! Make it happen DOT or the city equivalent.

  • au September 20, 2014 (2:39 am)

    I don’t understand the curb lane. Is this for parked cars? If so, are the people supposed to get out of their car, climb through the bushes, cross the dedicated bike path to get to the sidewalk? That is what the illustration seems to show.

    I am curious to know in how many places people will be crossing over the bike lane to get to the sidewalk or a bus stop? Because commuting cyclists and pedestrians do not mix.

  • WS taxpayer September 20, 2014 (7:59 am)

    Hooray – removal of traffic lanes on the busiest street in West Seattle while “they” build countless condos…don’t see how this could end. Oh I forgot – people who buy new condos don’t drive amiright. Unless that middle lane has a train in it we are WAY too nearsighted in this waste of money.

  • Joe Szilagyi September 20, 2014 (8:20 am)

    @au systems like this work fine in other parts of the city and other cities world wide.

  • SCole September 20, 2014 (8:39 am)

    RIDE ON! I’ve long thought this is how to solve the biking/pedestrian/vehicle sharing issues. Bikes, for the sake of the bicyclists, in my opinion don’t belong on the street. (I’ve known too many people maimed or killed.) Alki has had this concept for years, and as the bike lanes were painted on the streets I wondered why the city wasn’t incorporating this design instead. Kudos to SDOT and the Fauntleroy Blvd developers! I can’t wait!

  • Kyle September 20, 2014 (10:39 am)

    au – I was confused by the term “curb” lane and thought it was parking. It just refers to the fact that the lane abuts the physical curb of the street. I think that particular piece of the design was best described by ‘outside lanes of roadway maintained at 12′ (to facilitate freight needs)’.

    I hope this actually happens. Our little borough is beautiful and everyone coming in – visitor or resident – deserves a beautiful welcome.

  • Diane September 20, 2014 (11:56 am)

    @Out for a walk; that was my question at the meeting; how are they getting enough space for all those lanes? wish she’d also shown us a diagram of current lanes/feet to see clearly how they are creating this; seemed like they were magically drawing land that doesn’t exist; she described how they’re doing it, but I admit, didn’t totally get it; I participated in their 1st public open house 2 yrs ago; this is a long time coming, and seems it still won’t actually break ground for a couple years; I wish it would happen now; this area is treacherous for pedestrians, with a long stretch of speedway without safe pedestrian crossings; especially in front of Trader Joe’s; people run across the speedway every day, all day/night; amazed no one has been hurt yet

  • Diane September 20, 2014 (12:04 pm)

    I’m pretty sure they’re getting most of the new lanes by removing street parking; so yeh, that “curb lane” is confusing; maybe should be labeled “freight lane”

  • Rachael September 21, 2014 (2:51 pm)

    this is an opportunity to create safer links where kids walk – between schools, parks (such as the Fairmount Park play fields) and other key destinations. My hope is this would be a priority when assessing pedestrian crossings. Community input is key during this process.

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