UPDATE: What’s proposed for West Seattle in just-announced ‘Move Seattle’ plan

(WSB photo: SDOT director Scott Kubly at podium, next to Mayor Murray)
12:30 PM: At a media event in Ballard, Mayor Murray is officially unveiling “Move Seattle,” the city’s transportation focus for the next decade. It includes 24 major projects citywide; those listed as priorities for the next decade in West Seattle include:

FAUNTLEROY WAY/CALIFORNIA TRANSIT CORRIDOR – projected to cost at least $70 million
*Transit improvements including a “full transit station on Fauntleroy Way near the West Seattle Bridge
*Also described as “add(ing) real-time arrival information at all bus stops and transit centers” and “link(ing) discontinuous bus-only lanes along the corridor to complete the transit-priority system
(added) *Page 62 in the PDF

FAUNTLEROY WAY SW BOULEVARD – projected to cost at least $13 million (separate from the cost of undergrounding, as has been discussed recently)
*This project is now at 60 percent design, but funding hasn’t yet been discussed/identified
(added) *Page 63 in the PDF

DELRIDGE COMPLETE STREET – projected to cost at least $38 million
*This is described as adding “transit lanes and improv(ing) transit speed and reliability”
*”Includes protected bike lanes, sidewalk improvements, and amenities for walkers and transit riders along the corridor”
*”Streamlines traffic operations and improves multimodal connections between transit, freight, people who walk, and general-purpose vehicles”
(added) *Page 47 in the PDF

All three of those projects are described as likely requiring “Bridging the Gap replacement funding” to happen. Also of major interest to our area:

LANDER GRADE SEPARATION/RAILROAD CROSSING – projected to cost at least $100 million
*This is a long-shelved project that West Seattle leaders have targeted as vital to mobility between West Seattle and SODO/downtown

1ST AVENUE/1ST AVE. S. CORRIDOR – projected to cost at least $10 million

EAST MARGINAL WAY CORRIDOR IMPROVEMENTS – projected to cost at least $40 million

In a briefing before the mayor’s announcement, SDOT director Scott Kubly discussed the plan with reporters – his topline, “It’s not about doing a new plan, it’s about integrating the plans we have.” He started with trends, including the decline in driving, particularly among millennials, quoting a study as saying that up to a third of that generation doesn’t want to own a car. He segued from there into principles starting with safety.

With a nod to the city’s recently unveiled “Vision Zero” strategy, Kubly reminded, “Speed kills.” While the number of crash-related deaths has dropped – 40 deaths a year a decade ago, down to 15 a year now – more needs to be done, he said. Another principle: The city is working to “re-orient to a multi-modal system … one that works for everybody.” That includes bringing transit service within walking distance of as many Seattle residents as possible, and making city streets safer for bicycle riders of all ages and abilities – Kubly used City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw (who rode in Delridge as the greenway project was getting under way) as an example of the atypical bicycle rider. Freight mobility is a key value for SDOT too, he said, as is affordability – including “lower out-of-pocket transportation costs” for people. The average household spends 17 percent of its budget on transportation, he said. Affordability also relates to the city budget, he noted, so the city will do more repair/maintenance work, including microsurfacing, which has been done extensively in Arbor Heights.

Kubly also said the city intends to “innovate in how we reach people,” saying the traditional public meetings held regarding proposals and projects only reaches a narrow slice of the population. And he discussed an intricate prioritization process, starting with overlays of the city’s various transportation-related plans, to see where priorities intersect. That’ll be the role of a new Project Development Division, he noted, as part of an intradepartment reorganization.

We’re now listening in on the mayor’s part of the briefing, and will add details here afterward, including weblinks with more details.

1:13 PM UPDATE: The mayor’s briefing, outside Swedish Hospital in Ballard and alongside busy Market Street (used as a backdrop to emphasize the city’s continued growth), is over. No additional details on the specific projects as mentioned above, but he did say that details of the proposed funding – ostensibly a ballot measure – will be made public within a few weeks. Full video of his briefing should be on Seattle Channel‘s website a bit later, and we’ll add the video here when we find it. The official webpage for Move Seattle is here; the full document with details on the projects mentioned above (and others around the city) is here, as a PDF.

31 Replies to "UPDATE: What's proposed for West Seattle in just-announced 'Move Seattle' plan"

  • Jeremy K March 2, 2015 (12:57 pm)

    Twitter account mentioned light rail(!) to WS — what did the mayor say about that?

    • WSB March 2, 2015 (1:10 pm)

      This was during the outdoor portion, loud trucks rumbling by, cold wind blowing, but it really was as I tweeted just a quick shoutout that the city supports/will continue pushing for Sound Transit to build light rail to Ballard (where this event was held) and West Seattle. That process otherwise is wholly within ST’s purview and they’re still working on what will be in the next ballot measure, ostensibly next year.

  • Wendell March 2, 2015 (1:01 pm)

    I wonder if this collective brain trust will “Watch for Motorcycles”?

    • WSB March 2, 2015 (1:11 pm)

      Wendell, the rhetoric was very much “multi-modal” though motorcycles did not get a specific shoutout that I heard.

  • George T March 2, 2015 (1:19 pm)

    The only way Light Rail will work to/from and in W.Sea is if it’s above the traffic — like a “monorail.” Otherwise it’s just more clutter on the already and increasingly cluttered surface streets.

  • Pete March 2, 2015 (1:20 pm)

    Delridge Way SW cannot be considered a complete street without doing some major infrastructure improvements. First major improvement has to deal with drainage in the Brandon Node area. And Delridge Way SW has to become more than a piece of concrete for folks to make their way to the West Seattle bridge. Softening the concrete in some way to make all means of movement interact well. It would also be nice if the city, especially SDOT, would talk to the neighborhoods about our vision for Delridge and not the vision someone downtown has for Delridge.

  • natinstl March 2, 2015 (1:22 pm)

    Everyone wants light rail until they start using eminent domain to get rid of existing structures. I would love for WS to have it, but be careful what you wish for.

  • Colleen March 2, 2015 (1:26 pm)

    Interesting to see another ballot measure – I will say, I want to see the metro transit updates in action before I can get behind another one. While its great to hear the plans and wishes, my only transit wish right now is to get on a rapid ride and not be shoved up against the door, praying it doesn’t go flying open.

  • Holli March 2, 2015 (1:42 pm)

    Amen, Pete!

  • G March 2, 2015 (2:24 pm)

    How about adding some MORE C-line buses. The crowding is atrocious all morning. It’s not just an inconvenience, it’s really serious for those with a variety of ailments. I recently got faint and the bus was so jammed that I had to sit in a bus stair well.

    This is progress – the “Beautiful Life” in West Seattle?? You can have it.

  • Lindsey March 2, 2015 (2:40 pm)

    Boy, fingers crossed that “amenities for walkers” in Delridge will be SIDEWALKS. They are desperately needed.

    • WSB March 2, 2015 (3:19 pm)

      Taking a break for lunch a little while ago, I got to read the rest of the booklet, which contains a lot of other insights into what the city will be pursuing in the years ahead, including sidewalks … I’ll be adding some more to this a bit later with those non-project-specific notes.

  • wscommuter March 2, 2015 (3:52 pm)

    @natinsti …you’re correct. If/when we get light rail will mean that the route will inevitably involved condemnation of private property in some places (the idea of putting it up above grade is almost certainly never going to happen as it would jack costs too high). So we WILL have to accept some loss of private property along the route alignment. Cost of doing business, so to speak.

  • Jeffrey March 2, 2015 (4:06 pm)

    What the mayor is saying is that your taxes are going up.

  • hannah March 2, 2015 (4:17 pm)

    Several years ago when the monorail was considered the city excercised eminent domain, moved out several small business…monorail never happened and the business could not afford to re-purchase their land…city made a killing

  • West Seattle Hipster March 2, 2015 (6:06 pm)

    Good point Jeffrey. Taxes will go up, and if history proves anything, our taxes will be frivolously wasted.


    Light rail can’t come soon enough.

  • WSobserver March 2, 2015 (6:35 pm)

    “Everyone wants light rail until they start using eminent domain to get rid of existing structures. I would love for WS to have it, but be careful what you wish for.”

    I’ve mentioned it here before, I lived in the Bay Area in the 1970’s when they constructed BART in the middle of an existing metropolis.


    It was a dug up, demolished, tore down construction mess for years, all over two counties.

    Now it’s a virtual lifeline for anyone who lives there.

    If you want a decent and functional long term public transit system, you have to bear with the mess it takes to get there. It’s definitely worth it.

  • Chuck and Sally's Van Man March 2, 2015 (7:32 pm)

    WSobserver, I also lived in the east bay during BART’s construction, and you’re absolutely right about having to bear with it (gritting my teeth right now about the current tunnel dig as I think the tunnel is a waste, but we’ll see). But it just gals me how behind the times Seattle is when it comes to light rail and transportation in general. BART was constructed over 40 years ago, and we still don’t have anything like a real light rail plan in place. Playing catch up is going to be even more painful than we want to know, and more costly.

  • David March 2, 2015 (8:19 pm)

    Anyone besides me that is wondering how “full transit station on Fauntleroy Way near the West Seattle Bridge” is going to be helpful? Yes, there are a few buses which run on Fauntleroy (55,116,118,119), but not really anything that would justify having transit station which would allow transfers to these routes. The majority of the transit traffic funnels through 35th and Avalon and then down avalon to the bridge.

    What is really needed is to eliminate street parking between 5:00AM and 10:00 AM on the east side of Avalon to keep the buses moving when the bridge gets backed up. Wouldn’t hurt to build an additional NB bus only lane on 35th between Alaska and Avalon too.

  • Jennifer March 2, 2015 (10:43 pm)

    Chuck and Sally….,
    Bear in mind that it is taxpayers who put us 40 years behind the times. The Forward Thrust plan in the 1960s was a comprehensive plan to modernize Seattle, and included high-capacity rail, which would have been partially funded by the Feds. Voters backed everything but the transit piece, and our federal dollars instead went to build MARTA in Atlanta.

  • FreGirl March 3, 2015 (12:07 am)

    How about linking the 128 or 50 to the water taxi???? The shuttle doesn’t cut it and service is far too limited. Would make such a huge difference if you had a California corridor bus to the water taxi. And how about a bloody direct bus from Junction to South Lake Union where half the jobs in the city seem to be now???

  • Fregirl March 3, 2015 (12:08 am)

    And a bloody continuous bus lane from West seattle to downtown would cut that trip in half during commute hours.

  • Lox March 3, 2015 (8:46 am)

    What Pete said!!!

  • Scott March 3, 2015 (8:51 am)

    Were are they going to get a bus only lane from. That would involve taking out a normal lane and think about traffic after that happens.

  • Chuck and Sally's Van Man March 3, 2015 (8:53 am)

    Fregirl; if you’re talking a reverseable lane designnated for busses (not sure how it would work, honestly) that would make sense. But there are so few busses that giving them a lane makes no sense. If you’re going to designate one of the two existing lanes to busses, let’s get more damn busses as others here are asking for. The city wants us out of our cars but doesn’t have a better plan. At Jennifer: Totally agree. Not saying it’s all our leader’s faults. Seattle taxpayers have long had a backwards mentality to transportation and growth in general. Sort of a “don’t build it and they won’t come,” approach. So we didn’t, and they came anyway. And now they’re here with nowhere to go. And now we’re going to pay a LOT more for our lack of vision. Wheeeeee!

  • highlandpark March 3, 2015 (10:35 am)

    “And how about a bloody direct bus from Junction to South Lake Union where half the jobs in the city seem to be now???”

    YES! Now this might actually get me out of my car.

  • Fregirl March 3, 2015 (9:10 pm)

    A bus only lane all the way from the start of the bridge to downtown is what I meant. They go rapidly enough through West seattle. But get major bogged down by the no bus lane choke points in commuter traffic.

  • KM March 3, 2015 (9:45 pm)

    Any details on the Lander/Railroad crossing? Not quite sure what they are referring to in the above description, but waiting for a train that may or may not move on a commute to or from work is quite the juggernaut for WS commuters. Is totally wishful, crazy thinking that they would have an overpass that goes above the tracks? I truly have no idea what $100m will buy with these types of projects.
    I echo those who have mentioned the Bay Area improvements for the past decades, including Bart, Muni and CalTrain. What a dream that would be to have here!

    • WSB March 3, 2015 (11:21 pm)

      KM – the Lander project is one that’s been in the wings a long time and went dormant for a while until locals like the WSTC agitated to get it back front and center. Here’s the official SDOT page (last updated a couple years ago): http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/southlanderdraft.htm – TR

  • KM March 4, 2015 (2:46 pm)

    Awesome, thanks TR!

  • David Whiting March 4, 2015 (3:35 pm)

    @Hannah, you are wrong on at least two points. First,”the city” did not exercise eminent domain, that was the Seattle Popular Monorail Authority, a public agency created by popular vote. Actually the mayor at the time, and most members of the city and county councils were already committed to Sound Transit and weren’t supportive of a competing transit agency.

    Secondly, after the final vote the property that SMP had acquired was used to pay down the massive debt that accumulated, so there really wasn’t a “killing made” . Were businesses displaced? Yes, but unfortunately that’s how eminent domain works with property owners compensated at fair market value.

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