UPDATE: Fauntleroy Boulevard project part of revised transportation levy

(WSB photo from this morning’s announcement event)
11:23 AM: We are on Beacon Hill, where Mayor Murray is announcing the revised transportation levy. The West Seattle headline: The Fauntleroy Boulevard project is now part of the levy. More to come.

11:56 AM: Councilmembers Tom Rasmussen – longtime advocate of the Fauntleroy Boulevard project – and Mike O’Brien also spoke. Various notes: $35 million more for sidewalks in the revised levy (we’re looking for proposed locations). The total package to be funded is now up to $930 million – $30 million more than the first draft – but the city says that is not from an increase in the proposed tax level, but from additional revenue they expect will be generated as “assessed value of new construction” rises. Lander Street Overpass – touted as key for freight as well as for surface-level travel between West Seattle and SODO – is still in the package, and the Delridge corridor is shown on the highlights map, too. Rasmussen said the first council consideration of the revised levy will be on May 12th; a public hearing is planned June 2nd. More to come.

1:52 PM: If you’d like to see how the mayor framed this, here’s the news release. Meantime, we’ve added a few of our photos from the announcement event, and here are a few more notes. The amount of money allotted for the Neighborhood Street Fund also has increased. We’ve sent a followup question to CM Rasmussen’s office to ask whether the Fauntleroy Boulevard proposal that’s now in the levy is the with-undergrounded-utilities or without-undergrounded-utilities version, and will add the reply when we get it.

3:36 PM: CM Rasmussen says $16 million will be earmarked for Fauntleroy Boulevard. While that isn’t the full amount that would need for undergrounding, he says, they are working with Seattle City Light on “cost-sharing.” He also adds that he is “thrilled” that the project made it into the revised levy and says it’s evidence the mayor listened to community members, and him, who said they wanted it included. (It dominated the discussion during SDOT director Kubly’s visit to the Southwest District Council a month ago, for example.)

44 Replies to "UPDATE: Fauntleroy Boulevard project part of revised transportation levy"

  • OP May 6, 2015 (11:49 am)

    Let’s get our dear Mayor over here during rush hour and see how SDOT’s impotent and traffic-inducing “plan” would turn Fauntleroy into an insufferable cluster(youknowwhat) if SDOT gets its way and the people (yet again) get pushed aside.


  • Chas Redmond May 6, 2015 (11:53 am)

    This is excellent news. i’m glad to hear that SDOT has listened to community input. The safety improvements alone are worthwhile. The bicycle and pedestrian enhancements will be great, and the entryway will finally be worthy.

  • m May 6, 2015 (12:01 pm)

    Buried lines?

  • Jason May 6, 2015 (12:02 pm)

    I agree with Chas; this really is excellent news! These improvements are long overdue, and the improved street design will serve all users and businesses much better than what we have now.

  • Nicholas May 6, 2015 (12:03 pm)

    Thank you Chas and all the others who have worked to get this change made! Nice work!

  • Diane May 6, 2015 (12:05 pm)

    yes, EXCELLENT news; and very long time coming; these improvements will be wonderful; this section of Fauntleroy has turned into a speedway, and far too many pedestrians risk their lives jay-running across the street dodging traffic; with 100’s more apts coming soon in that block, there will be many many many more pedestrians; slowing down cars in this section will be a very good thing

  • OP May 6, 2015 (12:39 pm)

    This is good news? Nonsense. Have you folks looked at the plan? Do you honestly believe that section of Fauntleroy will stay four lanes and that that curb-side lane will not magically become a bus-only lane shortly project’s completion? If not, you haven’t been paying attention to how SDOT and our city councilcritters operate. Furthermore, how does the city financially justify the construction of bike lanes given the low-volume of cyclists using that section of Fauntleroy? Yes, Fauntleroy desperately needs improvements and widening, but none that includes the continued building of bike lanes which fiscally irresponsible and unnecessary.

    @Diane. “this section of Fauntleroy has turned into a speedway>..” What1? Clearly you don’t drive it during the rush hours or at any other days. It’s getting more bogged down day by day.

    As far “jay-running across the street dodging traffic” they should be using the crosswalk!

  • Craig May 6, 2015 (1:12 pm)

    OP… you obviously haven’t been paying attention here. Otherwise you’d know that any road with a car on it has “turned into a speedway”.

  • Patrick May 6, 2015 (1:12 pm)

    So nice to hear that SDOT actually listened to the community feedback on this. (Especially since West Seattle certainly has a lot to offer!) Thank you, Chas, and everyone else who may have helped to steer the project forward and get it the attention from SDOT that it deserved. Not an easy process to navigate at all. Keep up the good work!

  • Melissa Huelsman May 6, 2015 (1:22 pm)

    Spot on OP! Unfortunately, the people who want to force everyone in this City to ride bikes everywhere and to require all cars which have the audacity to try to drive on city streets to be forced to no more than 10 miles an hour at all hours have control. The lunatics have taken over the asylum and everyone should be free to wander into streets any time – any place – and traffic should be stopped and slowed so they are free to do so. People who bought houses on or immediately adjacent to busy thoroughfares like Fauntleroy and 35th MUST put a stop to those streets being used as a thoroughfare because they want them converted to residential side streets. Murray, Rasmussen and O’Brien are lining their pockets with developer money and then preventing those of us who pay for the streets from being able to use them.

  • Diane May 6, 2015 (1:36 pm)

    @OP; yes, “they should be using the crosswalk”, but reality is, they don’t; they run across this way too busy street, dodging cars; most are running over to Trader Joe’s
    and you make false assumptions; yes, I drive this road during rush hour; coming from Belvidere, merging into and/or getting across Fauntleroy during rush hour traffic is treacherous; especially around Trader Joe’s, where many cars are trying to get into their always busy parking lot
    after rush hour, later at night, many cars drive 50mph+ down Fauntleroy
    any/all traffic calming in this area is very welcome
    and yes, many of us have been highly involved in advocating for this plan for years, which we have studied in detail

  • Diane May 6, 2015 (1:43 pm)

    and this is NOT just about bikes; I don’t ride my bike in Seattle because I don’t feel safe; what I do want is an inviting entry to West Seattle where our residents can WALK SAFELY; I have a car; I love my car; I will always drive my car; this is also about more pleasant and safe driving experience

  • Me May 6, 2015 (1:47 pm)

    I would prefer they not package these projects in such large bundles. I’d vote all day for metro & streets but I don’t like having bikes & trucking/shipping projects shoved down my throat. The port should have to pony up to deal with the wear they put on the streets & the improved access they want & bikes that use the road should have to register & be licensed to help offset the cost of their needs. I don’t believe it’s fare to put all these costs on homeowners alone.

    • WSB May 6, 2015 (1:59 pm)

      “Me,” please note that bicycle riders actually don’t get the value of the taxes they pay. We’ve gone over this here time and time and time and time and time again but I’ll do it one more time, briefly. For one, car-related tax money is NOT the bulk of what funds roads. For two, most bicycle riders also own cars, but use them less, but don’t get a tax discount for that, so they are somewhat subsidizing the others. Also, car drivers are heavily subsidized in terms of the amount of wear and tear their vehicles cause to the roads, compared to other vehicles such as bicycles. Somebody please find the links again – I can recite this from memory but don’t have the time to go find those, gotta get back to finishing this story among others. The bicycle improvements that are being funded are long, long overdue. I haven’t ridden a bicycle in years but it’s very clear that this is a flat-out matter of safety. When bicycle improvements are built, people finally feel safe enough to use the roads, which are for EVERYONE, not just us car drivers. I drove up Avalon the other evening with a steady stream of bicyclists in the lane to the right of my car. Let’s quit begrudging improvements finally planned for our neighbors who are taking their lives into their hands with a safe, clean method of transportation until roads are equitable for all – Tracy

  • KT May 6, 2015 (1:48 pm)

    “Thank you, Chas, and everyone else…”
    “Thank you Chas and all the others…”
    WSB isn’t being used for political advertising is it?

  • old timer May 6, 2015 (1:53 pm)

    IMO, the Fauntleroy ‘improvements’ will have to be adjusted in perpetuity. There is too much traffic going thru the Fauntleroy?Alaska intersection, and we will probably never get it ‘right’.
    My first clue was the failure to secure an Alaska street right turn lane from the Whittaker property in exchange for the alley vacation.
    The new CVS will only add to the toxic brew.
    So, prepare for divisive and eternal conflict on this one.
    One thing certain, we will all have to linger in the “new foyer’ to West Seattle; gone will be the days of just driving thru.
    Let’s just hope they make it pretty enough.

  • Amne May 6, 2015 (1:54 pm)

    Voting huge NO on this- pretty soon property taxes will be so high no one but the wealthy will be able to live in Seattle.

  • Diane May 6, 2015 (2:16 pm)

    where specifically is that location for the press event? that’s the widest, cleanest, spiffiest sidewalk I’ve ever seen on Beacon Hill

    • WSB May 6, 2015 (2:17 pm)

      14th/Beacon, it is a newly completed safety project. Although what you didn’t see because it was behind us, was a gas station.

  • jetcitydude May 6, 2015 (2:20 pm)

    What a joke! But keep voting yes because money grows on trees here..

  • Chad May 6, 2015 (2:33 pm)

    I ride my bike to work in and out of West Seattle several times per week. I own two cars and pay property taxes. I think the argument that there are few bicycles on Fauntleroy is precisely due to the fact it’s not safe. Bike infrastructure is fairly inexpensive and it lasts without much maintenance. It gets the bikes out of the way of the cars and the cars out of the way of the bikes. In order to increase bicycle commuting the infrastructure needs to be there. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work the other way. Despite the lack of infrastructure, there are typically 1000 bicycle trips/day this time of year coming in and out of West Seattle and that number is steadily increasing. I welcome the changes on Fauntleroy as a cyclist, a driver, and a resident of West Seattle who wants our neighborhood to be comfortable, safe, and efficient for all modes of transportation.

  • theresa0003 May 6, 2015 (2:45 pm)

    Yay! This is great news and a long time coming. I hope they update the levy again to add in Highland Park round about too!

  • Civik May 6, 2015 (2:45 pm)

    Wait, is this the same levy which doubles the taxes for the previous one yet fully funds almost none of them?

  • Me May 6, 2015 (2:54 pm)

    Begrudging? All I’m saying is I would like to vote on things in a little more of a line item fashion. Not this all or nothing way of doing business. Its called packaging & its intended to get things passed that would never pass on its own.

  • Another Neighbor May 6, 2015 (2:58 pm)

    “Me,” your comment that “I don’t like having bikes & trucking/shipping projects shoved down my throat. The port should have to pony up to deal with the wear they put on the streets & the improved access they want…” sounds as though you think freight issues are all about the Port. They aren’t.

    Every neighborhood restaurant, shop, and other small business depends heavily on trucks being able to get goods to their door weekly, or sometimes daily. People see the word “freight” and think of 18-wheelers on the interstate, but the movement of goods within the city is a huge problem that has to be addressed.

  • miws May 6, 2015 (3:05 pm)

    KT, Chas has been involved in the community for years. One of many parts of that involvement, has been advocating for a more walkable West Seattle. I think he’d be being as vigorously thanked, even if he weren’t running for a position in Seattle politics.


    This project aside, I’m just grateful that SDOT is finally taking steps to make West Seattle more safely walkable. Those that have the least physical protection around them, when trying to get around West Seattle, and Seattle at large, have far too long gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to safety and convenience.


    Oh, and BTW; thanks Chas and others!



  • ChefJoe May 6, 2015 (3:25 pm)

    WSB, let’s not forget about the plight of the poor motorcycle riders around here who do pay a yearly registration/licensing fee for their mode of transit that is probably used even less frequently than those bicycles.

  • jwright May 6, 2015 (3:26 pm)

    I think this is wonderful news. Our West Seattle family drives, walks, and rides the bus. Projects like this are about restoring balance. Once upon a time, roads were only designed for cars. Now we’re finally fixing them so they also accommodate walkers, cyclists, and transit users. It is not a war on cars but how to best allocate scarce resources for the greatest good. If the redesign encourages more people to walk, ride, or take the bus that still benefits drivers by reducing the number of other cars on the road.

  • JN May 6, 2015 (3:27 pm)

    @Me and others who believe the myth that car drivers pay for the roads, this study was just released that reveals that less than half the cost of maintaining and expanding the road system is funded by all car-related fees:

    • WSB May 6, 2015 (3:34 pm)

      Update: I asked CM Rasmussen regarding whether the Fauntleroy Boulevard price tag includes undergrounding, asked upthread and much-discussed in recent months. The answer: Sort of. $16 million is going onto the levy list for this project, he says, but while that doesn’t on the surface cover the whole cost, they are working with City Light to work out some kind of cost-sharing. – TR

  • WaitASec May 6, 2015 (4:16 pm)

    Can somebody speak to the Highland Park Way and Holden Roundabout? Where was the money requested from originally?

    Was it Neighborhood Street Fund?

    Or what?

    Please, somebody who knows what they are talking about, please explain the status for the ten thousand or so people who commute through there daily dodging pedestrians without a crosswalk.


  • West Seattle Hipster May 6, 2015 (4:39 pm)

    I am all for pedestrian and vehicle safety, but 16 million sounds awfully steep. I think SDOT is a bit too careless with the money we give them.

  • JeffK May 6, 2015 (6:04 pm)

    I support this levy, gotta pay to have nice things.

  • Judy Adams May 6, 2015 (7:18 pm)

    Would someone please explain the logic of having Seattle property owners pay for transportation improvements that benefit people who commute into the city and others who are in no way impacted by property tax increases. I am sick and tired of people who don’t pay taxes, i.e, those on welfare and other government subsidies voting to increase taxes. Keep raising property taxes and you’ll fix the housing shortage fast since no one will be able to afford to live here.

  • LS May 6, 2015 (8:16 pm)

    So the city says “the money is not from an increase in proposed tax level but from additional revenue the expect will be generated as “assessed value on new construction rise.” Who’s kidding who? That’s called smoking mirrors. Wait until you receive your next property assessment evaluation for future property taxes.

  • datamuse May 6, 2015 (9:05 pm)

    Dang, there’s some severe hyperbole on this thread. I suppose I could be persuaded that this is a bad idea, but not if your idea of an argument is that everyone in favor thinks 10 mph is a reasonable driving speed, or that I must be a welfare dependent who lives in another county. Sheesh.

  • m May 6, 2015 (9:23 pm)

    Hope it includes elements of public art in the final design.

  • sam-c May 6, 2015 (9:29 pm)

    Based on what I’ve seen at the Delridge/ Orchard intersection construction changes, SDOT seems clueless. Why give them more money to screw things up?
    forget ‘improving’ sidewalks, why don’t they put sidewalks in areas that don’t have them? school walk areas, even.

    • WSB May 6, 2015 (9:42 pm)

      M – good question, I don’t believe the absolute-final design has been shown yet, since it was holding at 60 percent design pending the undergrounding decision. Many but not all projects do include public art; I’m writing our story from last night’s Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights CC meeting right now and one of the presentations was about the public art included in SPU’s combined-sewer-overflow project a few blocks east of Westwood Village.
      Sam – Page 3 of the new breakout includes this “Build 150 new blocks of sidewalks, filling in more than 75% of the sidewalk gaps on priority transit corridors citywide,” separate from the “repair 225 blocks of sidewalks.” Locations not specified yet – the full language of the measure is to go to the City Council next week, and we’ll be reading the fine print. – TR

  • Captain Dave May 6, 2015 (10:15 pm)

    This is good news for people who work on the sea. The more Seattle planners blindly follow ICLEI standards to destroy the ability to get around on land efficiently, the more people will need to eventually consider the sea for local transportation. Fortunately West Seattle has a lot of water around it.

  • Community Member May 7, 2015 (4:15 pm)


    Same question as every other story about this – what replaces the truck delivery for TJ’s? Will they have to block a lane for every delivery?

  • DLR May 9, 2015 (9:14 am)

    The project will likely not go forward without the new levy.

    The new levy is a HUGE increase over ‘bridging the gap’. something near 250.00(total) a year for ‘average’ home.

    Lots of money in it for bicycles again. Take a look money spent on bicycles now, and divide it by the number of bicycles on the road, current or projected and the price-tag is astonishing (per bicycle).

    I am NOT a complete anti-bicycle person. I Think bike ways and seperated bicycle routes are a GREAT idea.

    However-when there is a separated bicycle route or path. Bicycles should be, by law or code, REQUIRED to use it. (enforced). Safer for everyone. Cars, trucks, bicycles, and pedestrians.

    West Marginal way is a good example. there is a long stretch with an (expensive) bicycle path wide enough for a truck. Yet some bicyclists seem to think that riding in one or both lanes of travel is a good idea. Ban bicycles on truck routes-Ban heavy trucks on green ways. a fair trade. safer for everyone.

  • MOVE Seattle May 11, 2015 (9:41 pm)

    I have 2 cars which will be a $120 in increased license fees for Seattle, and then the estimated $275 property tax increase for Transportation! Road diets on 35th Ave SW and Roxbury – I just don’t see the value in what I will get for these increased taxes exclusively for transpo in Seattle. Move Seattle – not!

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