Here’s what happened at 35th SW safety-options meeting #2

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Two days after SDOT debuted the 35th SW safety-design options (WSB coverage here), an afternoon encore presentation filled the upstairs meeting room at Southwest Branch Library.

While the information presented by SDOT’s Jim Curtin on Thursday afternoon was the same – most of it in this slide deck – the reaction and questions were not. And that wasn’t surprising, since Curtin asked for a show of hands by those who had already heard something about the proposals.

As we listened to the presentation a second time, different facts jumped out, beyond the big ones (five people killed and more than 1,000 crashes in a decade):

Here’s one: Types of crashes – 31 parked cars hit on 35th, for example.

Causes of crashes:

Rationale for the safety-design options: “Balance the need to move people and goods with the function of the nearby land uses (and) reduce collisions.” Curtin noted that the 35th/Henderson intersection right outside the meeting location was a good example of multiple uses – the library, small commercial businesses, homes. And he again vowed that 35th will be monitored “in perpetuity.”

Enforcement is something many asked about. “(State) grant funds secured for extra patrols; data-driven deployment; pedestrian-safety emphasis” are the points he hit. Asked for more details on the grants, Curtin said one is in effect now, through September 30th, and then there’s another one for next year, also through September 30th. He later notes that many comments they’ve received, and have monitored “online” (ostensibly here, since no other local news outlet reported on the first meeting) in the past few days, asked for enforcement, so he was “really happy to see somebody pulled over on the way here.”

Asked about those killed on 35th – actually five over the span of seven years, fall 2006-fall 2013 – Curtin mentions (not all by name) James St. Clair in late 2013, who was “in a legal (though unmarked) crosswalk,” at 35th/Graham, where Susanne Scaringi was killed while riding her bicycle in 2006; lighting has been added and turns have been restricted at that intersection, he noted. He also mentioned the 2008 35th/Dawson death of Gregory Hampel, and the deadly 2011 motorcycle crash of Andrew Seffernick, while acknowledging that “re-engineering wouldn’t likely have prevented that crash.” (Not called out, the 2007 death of 85-year-old pedestrian Oswald Clement near 35th/Othello.)

One audience member asked, “So you’re proposing these massive changes because of five deaths in 10 years?”

Curtin said it goes beyond that – it’s the 1,000 crashes, with so many life-changing serious injuries – each one costs society “about $6 million apiece – that’s a huge part of our thinking out here,” including the value of reducing the need to deploy police and fire to crashes, if there are fewer crashes. Talk erupts about distracted driving and texting; a woman mentions that long before cell phones etc., small children in cars could be a distraction too. “Next, we’re coming after the kids,” Curtin subsequently joked (after noting he is the dad of two, 2- and 5 years old).

For those looking for more data, Curtin said a “thick book of” traffic analysis and data will be available at the next 35th SW meeting(s) in June. He think implementation will start toward mid-September, continuing into 2016, and “It’s very possible it will be incremental.” The speed-limit drop to 30 mph will happen “as we change the roadway.”

At one point, a discussion briefly erupted between members of the audience regarding 35th SW residents parking cars on the street and getting ticketed if they break the rules.

Parking also came up with residents wondering if bicycle lanes would someday be installed and lead to parking removal. Curtin stressed repeatedly that bicycle lanes on 35th are not envisioned as part of this project: “We’re not talking about bike lanes right now” – though the city’s Bicycle Master Plan does call for them eventually.

The rough road surface comes up; reporting potholes is exhorted. (Here’s how.)

When it came time for specifics, some applause and a scattered boo greeted Design Alternative A, the full-length rechannelization proposal (one travel lane each way plus a full-length center turn lane). One man says the city’s rechannelized roads are “terrible” and as an example, cites the bus-bulb backup at California/Morgan. “That had nothing to do with the rechannelization” (of Fauntleroy), points out Curtin.

(Later, someone brought up Delridge and noted that it is one lane each way plus a center turn lane – “It was rechannelized way before my time,” Curtin says – and that it is backed up during rush hour. “Yes, it is,” he acknowledged, and asked, almost rhetorically, “But what about the other 20 hours of the day? How does it work?”)

Design Alternative B would rechannelize part of 35th and implement some daypart restrictions. Buses would be out of the traffic lanes when pulled over at stops.

Most of the specific intersections called out in the main slide deck used at both meetings were described as being primarily at risk for left-turn crashes in the 3-year study period cited.

When 35th/Juneau came up, some vigorous back-and-forth erupted regarding whether it should have a traffic signal since people use Juneau as an arterial. Curtin said the city didn’t want to encourage people to use it even more by installing a light. Also: “If we introduce more lights to the corridor, we’re going to introduce 80 seconds more of delay.”

Juneau, as first noted in our Tuesday coverage, might eventually be a candidate for a pedestrian crossing with an island. Regarding crossings, a question comes up: What about a pedestrian overpass? Not an option, Curtin contends. Too expensive, too often ignored.

For stretches where street parking might be removed during peak times as part of Alternative B – What about people whose only parking option is on the street, because of no driveways, garages, or alleys? Curtin is asked. He acknowledges that has to be taken into account, and adds, “in the past, we have built driveways for people.”

He wraps with info on four other rechannelizations – Fauntleroy, and outside WS, Nickerson, NE 125th, NE 75th. “It’s the design of the street that dictates how people actually drive,” Curtin declares. (And for those interested in North Seattle, he says a full report on NE 75th will be on the SDOT Blog website Monday.)

Talk veers off into whether just putting up speed-limit signs would make a difference. Curtin: No. Then there’s talk of the radar signs showing you how fast you’re going, and it’s revealed that those have max points at which they won’t show you your speed – just SLOW DOWN.

Then one of two City Council candidates who were in attendance, Tom Koch (also present: Chas Redmond), says the city would have more money for this kind of thing if it had been collecting development-impact fees.

In the only “gotcha” type moment so far this meeting, one attendee read aloud from an e-mail he says he received from Councilmember Tom Rasmussen in 2013, saying that it had been determined rechannelization wouldn’t fix/be appropriate for 35th. “So was that wrong?” he asked. Curtin: “I don’t think (it was, at the time), I think conditions have changed.” One condition he cited: The 40 percent increase in transit ridership, which he declared “huge.”

Shortly thereafter, discussion on a variety of topics broke out around the room, and Curtin (above) invited anyone with questions to stay for one-on-one conversations. Many did just that.

WHAT’S NEXT: A proposed final design will be presented in June. In the meantime, you can comment on the newly revealed options, and anything else related to 35th that you would want SDOT to hear as this proceeds, by e-mailing Curtin – Whatever’s in the final plan, work will likely start in late summer.

P.S. The city’s official project page is here.

46 Replies to "Here's what happened at 35th SW safety-options meeting #2"

  • Oakley34 March 13, 2015 (10:34 am)

    I’m glad to see that THEY are glad to see that enforcement is a vital part of this. For example, I live at 35th and Graham, and see cars turning Left onto 35th coming from the West on Graham (right next to the Right Turn Only sign) nearly every day (and I cannot see that intersection from my window- the cars I see doing this near daily are just the cars I happen to catch as I walk my dog/leave my place). I even had one honk at me recently as he made the illegal left (I presume I was too slow for his liking as I crossed the ‘highway’)

  • wakeflood March 13, 2015 (10:49 am)

    Initial preference is “B”. But still open to changing my mind. B offers some flexibility that I think is handy to have whenever possible.

  • Jason March 13, 2015 (11:07 am)

    I definitely think Alternative A is the way to go. It’s safer for pedestrians, allows for more on street parking for residents and businesses, and will create a safer street by eliminating confusing lane restrictions that encourage dangerous passing maneuvers.

    Aside from traffic flow issues, please keep in mind the human and community dimensions of this project. 35th is currently so fast and so dangerous and uncomfortable to cross (even for someone like myself who runs for exercise on a regular basis), that it serves as a de facto barrier between the east and west portions of our peninsula. Making the street safer and easier to cross will help to heal that wound and stitch our community together. We should choose Alternative A because it creates the longest possible run of improved roadway and will have the largest positive effect.

  • Frustrated March 13, 2015 (11:17 am)

    Knew this was coming…ridiculous.

    I guess there will eventually be no roads to drive on…maybe we should go back to the horse and buggy, because the speeds are lower and people might not get hurt as often.

    How about Seattle does something to actually improve traffic, rather than make it worse? That would be a novel concept, and must be too advanced for the people in charge of these decisions.

    In a time where Bertha sits broken for two years, on the stupidest transportation project known to mankind, where countless of the public’s dollars are being frivolously wasted…really?

    You want to make the traffic situation that is already horrendous worse? Do you live in West Seattle? I really want to know if any of these people making these decisions will be affected by any of the proposed road diets on 35th or Roxbury.

    While your at it, why don’t you make it not rain? Rain causes dangerous driving conditions, and a lack of rain would reduce the number of accidents.

    • WSB March 13, 2015 (11:45 am)

      Yes, Jim Curtin often points out that he lives in West Seattle (Arbor Heights, to be specific) and uses 35th SW every day.

  • cynical girl March 13, 2015 (12:40 pm)

    Haven’t seen anyone use the center turn lanes correctly EVER. All they’re used for are for delivery trucks to unload.

  • Chris March 13, 2015 (12:48 pm)

    Wait a minute…SDOT has the ability to control rainfall? And they aren’t using it?

  • Oakley34 March 13, 2015 (12:51 pm)

    Frustrated- calling the current traffic on 35th “horrendous” is disingenuous and hyperbolic, at least from a driver standpoint. You are right if you are saying it’s horrendous from a safety standpoint, but cars move along 35th just fine at the moment.

  • 35th ave Resident March 13, 2015 (1:33 pm)

    Does this mean 35th ave will be re-paved? The current road is really LOUD.

  • mpento March 13, 2015 (1:47 pm)

    Roundabouts You can’t please everyone but this would spread the misery more evenly (except for pedestrians but evolution will eventually solve that. Get faster or die!)

  • Diane March 13, 2015 (2:00 pm)

    kudos to city council district 1 candidate Tom Koch for addressing the need for development impact fees; these fees have been collected in 80+ cities all over WA state for decades, to help pay for street projects exactly like this; our city has lost millions by not utilizing impact fees

  • datamuse March 13, 2015 (2:07 pm)

    How about Seattle does something to actually improve traffic, rather than make it worse?
    Such as?

  • Frustrated March 13, 2015 (2:14 pm)

    Oakley34 – I wasn’t calling traffic on 35th horrendous. I am pointing out that Seattle traffic, as a whole, is horrendous, and that is probably an understatement. So, when traffic is at its worst, we are going to make it worse again?

    Why can’t we keep one single fast moving road to get people from location A to B. I will personally stop spending my money in West Seattle, particularly the AK/CA junction, Admiral, Alki area. I live on the South end, and when traffic worsens, partly due to road closures, and partly due to decreased flow, I’ll either choose to just stay home, go somewhere I really want to go, rather than just staying in the neighborhood because its close and easy to get to.

    A 20-25 minute trip to Admiral will keep me away from there, on a near permanent basis. Am I the only one that feels this way?

    And, I’d like to point out, the only people the city hears from are the people that don’t like the street the way it is now. Is that actually representative of the rest of the population of West Seattle.

    Personally, I’d like this put to a vote. I doubt the majority of the area want this change, and forcing it on everyone for the sake of a few complainers… ridiculous indeed. I’d happily shut my mouth if the majority like this idea.

    This online forum, again is not representative of the majority. Most people won’t even have a clue this is happening, until the pavement starts getting torn up. People on this forum are more likely to know about it because they are pressing for the change, and therefore intune with it moving forward. My wife keeps up to date on all things happening in West Seattle, and if it weren’t for her, I’d not even be aware….

  • Funding street improvements March 13, 2015 (3:00 pm)

    I pay taxes in both King County and Kittitas County. It’s not hard to notice how horrible our streets and roads are here compared with Kittitas County -and I think I know why. Clearly spelled out on my property taxes in Kittitas County is ROAD TAX. We pay for it continually each year and it’s a couple hundred dollars. Now, in King County taxes, I see nothing on the tax bill for Road tax. Interesting. And this is why we have to fix things long after they are overdue and when they become a big problem. Dodging potholes on Delridge, Riding the strips of uneven pavement on 35th. I don’t know which is worse, but it makes me wonder if we had a better mechanism for all this work, we won’t be in this situation. Dealing with removing lanes in favor of bikes is another story – we only have so much real estate and last time I checked, more people drive cars than bike, but they are getting about 50% of arterials in some cases. Losing two lanes on Delridge by Orchard was a bad decision. If we have that AND we lose a lane on 35th, I think I may as well sell and commute from Eastern WA. It takes about as long some days.

    • WSB March 13, 2015 (3:10 pm)

      Please report the potholes. If everyone gripes about them but no one reports them, they’re not going to be fixed. If you have reported them and are not seeing repairs, that’s a problem. I included the “how to report a pothole” information in this story but in case you missed it:
      The map of what’s been fixed recently and what’s pending is here. Delridge shows nothing pending (reported but not fixed), so please report them – there’s a phone number, an online form, an app, multiple ways to do it, and the city says it’s close to 80 percent successful in its ongoing goal to fix them within three business days:

  • Jason March 13, 2015 (3:06 pm)


    Please keep in mind that 35th isn’t simply about getting from place to place — it’s part of a neighborhood and is lined with houses and families for approximately 80% of its length. I live in the south end as well, and I’ll happily accept a slightly longer travel time in exchange for dramatically increased safety. Also: slower, more pedestrian friendly streets like this are much more attractive to businesses, so these changes are likely to bring new business to 35th, potentially eliminating some of your need to drive up to Admiral for various things.

  • East Coast Cynic March 13, 2015 (3:30 pm)

    I could live with Option A, but disagree with Option B as long as the peak hour parking restrictions are in place—The cars of residents w/o driveways on 35th Ave SW won’t disappear; many will go to 34th Ave SW and 36th Ave SW and take spots from the residents of those blocks not to mention the cars of people who patronize businesses on 35th SW who will also go to those adjoining blocks and create headaches for those residents.

  • datamuse March 13, 2015 (4:09 pm)

    Am I the only one that feels this way?
    Probably not, but I’m further south as well and wouldn’t mind some modifications if they keep people from trying to drive up my tailpipe.
    Still want to know what you think would improve traffic. That was a serious question.

  • Eric1 March 13, 2015 (4:14 pm)

    I have to agree with Jason. I live far south as well and I would like to see a road diet. I don’t get why people speed on neighborhood streets because for the most part, they will wait on the daily viaduct backup. If the viaduct is clear, then a single lane on 35th is more than enough. Otherwise you are just beating me so you can wait on the viaduct.
    I am more frustrated with the narrow 8 foot lanes in the south end. Delivery trucks and buses don’t really fit making it pretty dangerous. I worry that somebody will pop out between cars suddenly with little time to react because the outside travel lane is forced so close to the parked cars. Making one fat 11 foot lane would make me very happy.
    Why rush to work? LOL

  • wetone March 13, 2015 (6:25 pm)

    Quote from above [ Parking also came up with residents wondering if bicycle lanes would someday be installed and lead to parking removal. Curtin stressed repeatedly that bicycle lanes on 35th are not envisioned as part of this project: “We’re not talking about bike lanes right now” – though the city’s Bicycle Master Plan does call for them eventually. ]

    So does that mean as soon as this project is finished it goes back for redesign for the Bicycle Master Plan ? Where’s the common sense on that one ? What wasteful spending of tax dollars. To bad the city hasn’t asked or informed the people that live or own property on 35th what they think, as in door to door or mailers….. letting them know what they are planning for the area.

  • P March 13, 2015 (7:05 pm)

    Ok, I live south of Roxbury, and I also have serious reservatioside about this plan. I believe it will increase congestion and frustrated driverso on 35th.

  • Tim Jones March 13, 2015 (7:20 pm)

    Wait so everyone will have to wait behind the bus like on Delridge?
    Most of the buses don’t put on their turn signal when they pull over to pick up passengers, or they don’t pull over far enough to let cars by. Drives me nuts. Give them a ticket. Oh wait no one in Seattle uses their turn signals, not even the police.

    • WSB March 13, 2015 (7:32 pm)

      The bus will be able to pull out of the traffic lane in many spots, SDOT says. If I didn’t mention it above, apologies.

  • Al Dimond March 13, 2015 (8:11 pm)

    @wetone: The Bike Master Plan doesn’t commit Seattle to building anything in particular. The line on 35th on the BMP map really only indicates something very obvious: that a north-south bike route in the general corridor is needed. It’s basically a reminder of the city’s “complete streets” commitment: to evaluate those needs in this corridor when changes are proposed.

    It’s likely that 35th will not have on-street bike lanes in either of our lifetimes. For a street without many public destinations on it that’s fine. Routes on parallel side streets will accompany changes to 35th instead.

  • Frustrated's Twin March 13, 2015 (8:15 pm)

    I agree with frustrated. Completely. I serious wonder how people have tolerance for plans that will only make traffic more miserable. 35th is in fact an arterial used for getting from place to place. If you don’t like it by all means move farther away.

  • West Seattlite March 13, 2015 (8:20 pm)

    I do not see either option as being in the best interest of the commuters of West Seattle. I traverse 35th everyday. I do not feel threatened by doing so. It moves traffic fairly efficiently. People not following traffic rules can be a problem, but that is the ONLY problem I see. Focus on that.

  • Also frusterated March 13, 2015 (8:32 pm)

    This is a terrible idea that will make non arterial streets more dangerous. cars will ‘bleed’ into neighborhood streets and look for the quickest route which should always be the arterial street!

    We need this arterial street to handle current and expected increased flow. To reduce it seems insane. It’s the life line for a lot of people in southern west Seattle.

    I’m totally fine with a lower speed limit but to redesign the road is not where I want to be spending my tax money.

    City planners, please consider the true need for a proper arterial street…

  • Complaining takes zero talent March 14, 2015 (8:23 am)

    Do what you can, with what you have, where you’re at.

    You can move, take different routes, proselytize your preferred solution, get on a bike, take the bus, travel at different times, go to meetings and appreciatively inquire, seek to understand, develop empathy for other humans using this public conveyance, slow down, paint your bumper orange, promote military thinking of acceptable collateral damage, make signs for your solution and parade all day on 35th with them, assume we all will make mistakes, zip line crossings for pedestrians, under/over crossings for peds.

  • Paul March 14, 2015 (10:15 am)

    I think the idea for a turn lane is great! One of the most dangerous things about 35th I’ve noticed is at the intersections with no left turn lane people swerve between lanes or slam on their brakes, or both. It’s just too bad there’s not room on the road to implement a turn lane without reducing the other lanes down to one in each direction. Their modeling suggests this will slow down commute times significantly, as to be expected. This will certainly cause frustration for drivers trying to get through WS, and frustrated drivers certainly aren’t safer.

    I’ve read a lot of people mention re-paving, wider lanes, brighter road paint, well-lit intersections, more turn lanes at intersections, crosswalks with warning lights, etc. Can we get a plan C that combines those type of improvements so we can compare the modeling and projected safety improvements of those options as well?

  • Dunno March 14, 2015 (10:42 am)

    B seems like the better of the two bad plans to me. A will back up traffic and for sure send many of us to the side streets. Would be good to see more enforcement on Fauntleroy and 35th. I would rather see no parking on 35th. Give homeowners the parking strips, but I know this is just a pipe dream. Most have backside or alley parking.

  • pjmanley March 14, 2015 (12:07 pm)

    What we are witnessing is simply the required “public engagement” part of a decision that has already been made. Each modification will create a new set of circumstances and new dangers for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists, but you’ll hear no talk of that now. The word re-channelization is just code for “remove more cars from the road.” Fine. Just say that. But we can’t do that in double-speak Seattle. Eliminating choke points and bottle necks improves traffic flow. Instead, in Seattle, we create them to slow down and get rid of all those evil car drivers. But, again, we can’t just say that in Seattle. Someday I hope we all grow up and realize that win-wins are largely fallacies, and trade-offs are all we get. Eliminate a problem, create another. Want people out of cars? Add buses. But that costs money, kids. And in an environment where everybody wants what they want, while somebody else pays for it or suffers it’s consequences? Welcome to Seattle.

  • Paul March 14, 2015 (12:51 pm)

    I share the suspicions that a motive is to make it so painful for car drivers that they are forced into other options. For my commute, the average drive is 25 minutes and the average bus ride is over an hour. Busses in this city only work for certain commute destinations. Needless to say, being forced into taking an option that can triple my commute time won’t make me happy.

    I’d also add that when you make things painful for drivers you also make it painful for other less impactful modes of transportation like motorcycles. I can tell you it is not any fun to be stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic on a motorcycle. I think we should be encouraging more light vehicles and two-wheeled vehicles to spare our roads the extra damage and save people some gas money. These plans seem bound to have the opposite effect.

  • East Coast Cynic March 14, 2015 (3:51 pm)

    @Dunno, a lot of homes on 35th Ave SW have more than one person, ergo, more than one car. a home with one driveway/garage whether in front or in the backside/alley won’t accommodate 2-4 cars. Removing the parked cars of people who reside on 35th Ave SW will cause them to redistribute to adjoining streets and create parking headaches for those residents on those streets.

  • wetone March 14, 2015 (5:34 pm)

    Thanks Al, But I think the way Seattle is prioritizing projects these days I think the bike lanes will be sooner than later. As one that has lived in W/S a very long time and seen more and more vehicle traffic using side streets that run parallel to main arterials due to increased traffic and signals common sense would tell me it would be much safer to keep bikes on main roads with dedicated bike lane. Side roads having an intersection every block is a disaster in the makings for bicyclist and vehicles from cross traffic. Car accidents at these intersections and very close calls have been increasing greatly as WS builds up. Going from what I see daily not SDOT data.

  • pjmanley March 14, 2015 (8:29 pm)

    Another irony in this debate is the use of pedestrian accidents and deaths as data to support a mandatory “we must do something” change, when SDOT themselves embraced a policy of erasing crosswalks throughout West Seattle, because they felt that would encourage pedestrians to cross at signals instead of at any intersection where they had the right-of-way. When drivers see crosswalks, especially contrasted by a pedestrian within them, they tend to react accordingly & stop. Not always, as I know by living not far off California Ave, but much more than where SDOT removes the markings, such as in the ADA ramp complaint crosswalk to the central entrance of Fairmont Park. Several times drivers ignorant of the unmarked crosswalk rule would have hissy fits when I crossed there, and why wouldn’t they, when SDOT refused to mark the crosswalk. I called and wrote SDOT, and they refused to mark the crosswalk, even though they’d installed the ADA compliant ramp. Unbelievable. And now SDOT uses those same scenarios and dangers they willfully created to justify choking traffic for everyone. The hypocrisy is only rivaled by the audacity.

  • (required) March 14, 2015 (10:51 pm)

    Did someone REALLY say “So you’re proposing these massive changes because of five deaths in 10 years?”

    OMG what an astonishingly ignorant and hurtful thing to say.

    Tell them to ask those decedents’ families that question.

    Option “A” all the way, baby! The nay-sayers will go away and learn to take the bus. And I-35 will be like the wicked witch under the house. AT LAST!!!!!

  • Frustrated is right March 15, 2015 (10:40 am)

    Frustrated and Frustrated’s twin are right. 35th is an arterial. It is not a neighborhood street. It should be the route that all the sleepy neighborhood streets lead to. If you slow 35th to 30 mph, how is that going to stop a collision because of someone staring at their phone? We need a road system that allows for fast flow through designated corridors. If it is only 5 mph faster to drive on the arterials with significantly more traffic, then why would I drive there vs the neighborhood streets with no traffic?

    When Curtin said that Delridge works just fine because it only is a problem 4 hours a day, it showed his complete lack of understanding about traffic and traffic systems. The problem IS the 4 hours where the system doesn’t work. That is what the system should be designed to alleviate. You could have one lane with alternating traffic at 3am and it would work just fine. Touting that the system works because it works every other time but rush hour is ridiculous. It also shows what we’re up against in this City. There are a lot of planners without any knowledge of what they are doing that are making decisions that will adversely impact the City for decades to come.

  • Actually Live on 35th March 15, 2015 (5:28 pm)

    @wetone, if you are serious about your statement, “To bad the city hasn’t asked or informed the people that live or own property on 35th what they think, as in door to door or mailers….. letting them know what they are planning for the area”.

    Please be advised that the city did send out mailers to those who live on 35th and many others who live in WS. This blog and the mailer convinced me to actually go to one of the meetings. And I’m glad I did.

    @Frustrated et al. There is no need for the elitists to denigrate Mr. Curtain’s or the city transportation department’s expertise in all matters of traffic control. There are a lot of people who aren’t west seattle armchair traffic controllers who have studied road safety worldwide.

    According the World Health Organization, reducing speed is a way to reduce the severity of crash consequences.

    for urban roads–those shared by pedestrians, cyclists, users of public transport–best practice is 50 km/hr–that comes to about 31 mph–exactly the way Seattle’s Vision 0 plan is going.

    “A number of countries considered
    leaders in road safety, such as Australia
    and Sweden, have adopted universal urban
    speed limits of 50 km/h, based on the
    effectiveness of this measure in reducing
    injuries and death”

    Instead of killing the messengers, take a look at what’s happening. West Seattle is exploding in population (as is Seattle itself). None of us who live on 35th ever expected the amount of traffic it now carries. People who choose to drive are going to have to put on their big boy pants and slow down–not treat 35th as their personal private freeway. It’s a new day, and one that is long overdue.

    • WSB March 15, 2015 (5:44 pm)

      Thanks, “Actually” … I was fairly sure the city had sent mailers – that’s their SOP for things like road changes – but I wasn’t going to be able to confirm until tomorrow.

  • miws March 16, 2015 (9:29 am)

    Yes, thank you, Actually Live on 35th.



  • Fed up March 16, 2015 (2:37 pm)

    “A number of countries considered
    leaders in road safety, such as Australia
    and Sweden, have adopted universal urban
    speed limits of 50 km/h, based on the
    effectiveness of this measure in reducing
    injuries and deaths.”

    Did Sweden and Australia had a rode diet? NO. They just reduced the speed limit.

    “West Seattle is exploding in population (as is Seattle itself). None of us who live on 35th ever expected the amount of traffic it now carries.”

    So, lets make traffic miserable by doing a rode diet? No, lets make arterial streets more efficient by having mass transportation that are truly “Rapid”.
    People chooses to drive because takes 1/4 of their time than taking the bus.

    Sometimes I wonder if any of you actually commutes to work outside WS.

    BTW the city should notify those who uses 35th, also. AKA everybody else, no only who lives there.

  • Arbor Heights March 16, 2015 (10:52 pm)

    While 35th may have been a neighborhood street many years ago, today it is a 4-lane arterial. Times have changed, and maybe not for the better for those who live on 35th. Yet the fact is that 35th is the main road from Arbor Heights to the West Seattle Freeway. SDOT said there is more room on 35th – make the existing lanes wider and add/improve turn lanes at the intersections.

  • wetone March 17, 2015 (10:30 am)

    WSB, I never received notification of any type on this plan and neither have a couple of my neighbors on 35th. Homes are a few blocks north of Morgan street. I have received 2 letters from DPD on zoning issues involving future neighborhood rezone and more recently height variance issue in Holly st. area. The police department could be a huge help on 35th if they would just set up speed traps a couple times a week (during rush hours) The simplest, cheapest most commonsense solution. Morning or evening rush hour speeds are out of hand, evening 5-7pm being the worst by far. Last evening while doing some yard work for a 1/2 hr I saw many cars doing well over 40mph and a few of those could of been neg. driving tickets. Police need to get on 35th and ticket people because the same people will speed no matter what the city does on I-35. The only reason I can think of for the city not putting police presents on 35th would be numbers the city doesn’t want.

    • WSB March 17, 2015 (2:39 pm)

      Wet, I suggest you and your neighbors check on your mail service. Might be a problem there. And/or let Jim Curtin know to be extra sure there’s not some problem with the list, regarding future mailings. ( I followed up with SDOT to inquire about the mailing:

      The postcard was delivered to 4,565 households located in the vicinity to 35th SW (within three to five blocks east or west of 35th from SW Avalon Way to the southern extent of Arbor Heights). The postcard was dropped in the mail on February 23rd.

      They sent the postcard art too (two-sided) so I uploaded it:

  • Kathy March 18, 2015 (8:08 pm)

    At one of the briefings SDOT stated that traffic volumes have been pretty steady for a few years on 35th Avenue SW. (Around 25,000 per weekday near Avalon – where both Alternatives A and B keep the 4 travel lane configuration – and around 16,000 per weekday near Roxbury). The traffic delays that appear to be getting worse on the arterials out of West Seattle are the result of backups on the West Seattle bridge (due to cross traffic from Hwy 99 and I-5?). If this is true, then reducing general traffic lanes on 35th Avenue SW should not have much impact on the the length of your commute, but would greatly reduce delays on 35th caused by the high rate of collisions as the road is currently designed. The safety improvement statistics for completed road diet projects like Fauntleroy, Nickerson, NE 75th and NE 125th, if you took the time to read them, are impressive. As to 5 deaths in 10 years (one in a vehicle and 4 peds/bikers), this is tragic, but don’t forget there are also many more injuries caused by these collisions: people with temporary or permanent disabilities, lost work productivity, impact on families and caregivers, financial hardship and property loss, the strain on our limited police and EMT resources. I hope they implement Alternative A which seems to give the most safety bang for the buck.

  • Kathy March 18, 2015 (8:36 pm)

    On second thought, maybe “safety bang” wasn’t such a good choice of words…

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