JUST IN: New plan for SW Admiral Way Safety Project, announced ahead of tonight’s ANA meeting

SDOT has just gone public with the revised SW Admiral Way Safety Project plan, ahead of a briefing at tonight’s Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting. This is the plan that originally stirred controversy for seeking to remove more than 200 parking spaces along parts of Admiral Way west of California SW. Some residents launched a petition drive and campaign, with concerns including SDOT having made decisions based on a parking study conducted in the winter. SDOT agreed to do another parking study in the summer, and this is the revised version just announced:

Our revised proposal maintains on-street parking on both sides of the street, constructs a buffered bike lane, adds a new crosswalk and a westbound radar feedback sign. It also helps motorists maintain speeds closer to 30 mph by reducing travel lane widths. We are doing this by removing the center turn lane, while maintaining left turn pockets at four intersections with high left turn demand. Providing these left turn pockets would require removing a limited amount of on-street parking at 59th, 49th and 47th Avenues SW (no changes proposed at California Ave SW). The design is not at a point where we know how many spaces, but as you can imagine it will be much less than the initial concept shared in May.

While the revised proposal significantly reduces impacts to parking, we still wanted to honor our commitment to studying parking during the peak summer season. A parking study was conducted from July 30 through August 11 along SW Admiral Way by an independent consultant. Here is an overview of what we learned (the full report is available online).

We are looking forward to engaging the community in a conversation about the revised proposal. A public meeting is being held on September 17 from 6:15 to 7:45 PM at the Hiawatha Community Center and more information is available at our project website. We will be taking comments until October 1, 2015.

Your first opportunity to do that will be at tonight’s ANA meeting, 7 pm at The Sanctuary at Admiral (42nd SW & SW Lander).

29 Replies to "JUST IN: New plan for SW Admiral Way Safety Project, announced ahead of tonight's ANA meeting"

  • Nate Todd September 8, 2015 (4:23 pm)

    I hope the new design will not feature “buffered” bike lanes in door zones.

  • bree September 8, 2015 (5:10 pm)

    Hate to see the loss of center turn lanes on Admiral. Sometimes the only way to get out of the way of speeders going very fast & they get on bumper. How do we escape? And smaller lanes? We are not looking forward to this at all, though glad parking is maintained.

    Between speeders and drunk drivers coming off of Alki may be time to find another way to drive when this happens.

  • Sunny.206 September 8, 2015 (5:12 pm)

    This is precious, they going to make the lane width smaller to reduce speed. lets see how many head on crashes that causes, isn’t there something that says how wide the lanes must be, or have they changed that too?

  • JayDee September 8, 2015 (5:37 pm)

    What about the no-action alternative? Cyclists are not howling for bike lanes, and the condition of the pavement should be a bigger concern…it’s bad and getting worse. No Left Turn pocket at 57th. That ought to be interesting with folks whipping around a blind corner and realizing I am turning left at 57th.

  • Jason September 8, 2015 (5:42 pm)

    Narrower lanes slow cars down. That’s why SDOT is narrowing the lanes. They make the road safer and less dangerous for everyone.

  • Kathy September 8, 2015 (5:55 pm)

    I’m howling for segregated bike lanes on Admiral Way, no-action JayDee, please speak for yourself and do not presume to speak for others.

  • Emily September 8, 2015 (7:20 pm)

    No turn lane at 57th is a bad idea. The west-bound bus doesn’t fit all the way in at the bus stop and cars go into the turn lane to go around it. What if they start going into the oncoming traffic lane now? The blind curve there is a doozy (as shown by the honking of east-bound cars at people trying to turn off 57th).
    The narrow lanes worry me with the amount of truck traffic on the road. It’s not a ton, but enough especially with no center turn lane as a buffer.

  • JayDee September 8, 2015 (7:32 pm)

    Heretofore @Kathy most cyclists opined that the wider lanes protected them more than the “dedicated” painted lanes. Merely repeating was stated. Note what Nate Todd said regarding “buffered lanes” next to parked cars. I’d prefer a curb separating me from traffic since paint doesn’t stop cars.

    Why fix what isn’t broken? IMHO and I am a cyclist and Admiral is the only option from the beach that won’t make a cyclist hurl other than Jacobsen

  • ChefJoe September 8, 2015 (7:33 pm)

    bree, if you feel that you need to get out of the way of speeders I think the new roadway design will still permit you to pull off to the right into a parking area rather than the escape-by-pulling-into-the-middle-of-the-road maneuver you seem to prefer currently.

  • Neighbor September 8, 2015 (8:18 pm)

    we need a public education campaign about awareness of cyclist in the bike lanes. Seems obvious but I encounter daily peds who stand in the bike lanes walk 2 or more abreast in a shared used path. People must stay to the right and look to see if the bike lane is clear just as they would before entering the street.

  • mrsB September 8, 2015 (9:22 pm)

    No left turn lane from Admiral onto SW Lander just before 53rd? That’s a very dangerous intersection in the first place, since it’s used so much for traffic to and from the beach. There’s plenty of room for a left turn lane. Also, since there are two well-used bust stops at or near that intersection, what about some kind of crosswalk?

  • John September 8, 2015 (9:23 pm)

    This really makes me mad.
    A bunch of people complain about losing parking. The city does an additional study as requested, and finds that it’s original study was pretty much spot on (parking is severely underutilized for most of Admiral Way).
    Based on the initial backlash, the City recommends removing the center turn lane. This change actually affects people’s safety, unlike the amorphous concerns people raised about losing parking. I know for a fact that I or my wife will get rear-ended turning off of Admiral.
    When you hear the ambulance, I hope you’re happy that you still have parking that you don’t use.

  • Dis September 8, 2015 (10:56 pm)

    The city is creating a false polarity between accessibility and safety. It’s untenable, and it’s in the service of an ideology, nothing more and nothing less. The new design for 35th SW has a center turn lane, for “safety” but Admiral Way is losing the center turn lane, for “safety.” Everyone knows that safety is the new city buzzword, because only fools would dare to argue. That tactic has been around for ages. There are so many holes in the city’s “studies.” And as a side note, the mission of the dot, of vibrancy, is kind of ridiculous. How about the goal of facilitating transportation, supporting Metro and ST in getting some real MASS transit in this city, instead of painting multicolored crosswalks and converting alleyways into meeting spaces? Is the Seattle Dept of Transportation even necessary? the Parks Dept. can do those things. This counts against our mayor. And please, DOT, don’t pit your levy against ST3.

  • AlkiResident September 8, 2015 (11:20 pm)

    Not that I want to see them, but the city already uses speed cameras near various schools to reign in speeders. If safety(reducing speed) is REALLY the goal—then skip all this and either install cameras or radar traps.

  • ChefJoe September 8, 2015 (11:35 pm)

    Dis, I think admiral’s plan is now going 3 to 2 lane, with turn pockets and a bike lane vs 35th going from 4 to 3 with possible consideration of bike lanes in future. I think the lanes are slated to become narrower in both circumstances. The bike lanes in admiral might even create a larger buffer between the roadway and at least half the parked cars (which is the type of collisions being documented most).

  • Kathy September 9, 2015 (12:17 am)

    Dis, your comment about “the Parks Dept. can do those things” indicates to me that your attitude is that bikes are just toys that impede the important work of motorized vehicles in getting people to their destinations. In fact, bikes preceded the automobile as a form of personal transportation and are still far more efficient than private cars for getting people to their destinations when those trips are relatively short (such as between Alki and the Admiral business districts). So it is very much SDOT’s business to insure that Admiral Way is made safe for people on bikes. There is no other bike route with reasonable distances and hill grades to get people from Alki to the Admiral District. Bonus for you: less competition for car parking spaces near your destinations, and more room for your car on the road. That is because people will discover that using a bike on a safe facility is a more rewarding and parking-hassle-free way to travel for errands, to patronize theaters and restaurants, to get to work and school, to connect with frequent transit service and to get a little exercise in the process.

  • Kathy September 9, 2015 (12:39 am)

    John, you can get rear-ended in a left turn lane, too, so I wouldn’t worry so much. The left turn lanes are also severely underutilized. One of the goals of this project is to slow down traffic, which should reduce the chance of getting rear-ended, or if such an accident should happen, the impact will be less at the lower speeds.

  • JM September 9, 2015 (5:54 am)

    I am a liberal from anywhere you could look at me, but projects like this one make me hate public employees and goverment. What an ill conceived disastrous plan.

  • Dawn September 9, 2015 (7:13 am)

    Yes, getting rid of the middle turn lane will absolutely slow down traffic as it backs all the way up the hill while everyone waits 15 minutes for somebody to turn left.

  • Bearschick September 9, 2015 (9:11 am)

    I’m not seeing a left turn lane for turning south onto 61st Ave SW. So many folks use that as a short cut to get to Beach Dr (rather than turn at the stop sign at 63rd).

  • JanS September 9, 2015 (10:27 am)

    there are lanes much narrower all over West Seattle.. I have no problem with that. From what I’m hearing , those who live on Admiral and surrounding areas there simply want no changes. “It’s the way it’s always been, and it’s always worked just fine”.

    Things change.

  • Dis September 9, 2015 (11:24 am)

    I don’t think the issue is the narrowing of lanes. It’s that the dot didn’t do their due diligence when planning. Making changes just for the sake of change is not always a good idea. Removing parking lanes, just for the sake of change, is not a good idea if you don’t know that the elementary school parents park there to drop off their kids at the school when it is in session. for example. If the dept wants to change, they need to find accommodations for those parents, for example. among many other examples. (or build the school somewhere accessible for god’s sake)(or only allow students from within a certain radius at the school) it’s not responsible for the city to make changes just because they feel like it. it’s not responsible to build apartments with no parking if there is no MASS transit. for example. IN the USA we expect government to be accountable. Maybe that’s an outdated idea.

  • dsa September 9, 2015 (1:07 pm)

    Yep, makes sense to me. The SDOT’s main goal all along everywhere in the city is to slow traffic down. The most effective way to do that is to remove lanes and make the remaining ones narrower. It’s working quite well if that’s what you want.

  • AdmiralRes September 9, 2015 (8:09 pm)

    SDOT counted parking spaces(utilized and unutilized), car accidents, pedestrian accidents, bicycle accidents. They completed a new bicycle count on Admiral Way. Has anyone looked into the effect of these proposed narrower lanes, restricted left turn areas and their effect on First Responders possible slower response times(police, fire and aid cars)!!

  • Oscar p September 9, 2015 (9:04 pm)

    These comments are ridiculous.

  • Nancy R. September 9, 2015 (10:12 pm)

    Count me in as another cyclist that is indeed “howling” for a safer, more bike centric approach to Admiral Way SW, which is the only decent way to get up and over the plateau of West Seattle. The neighbors who want lots of parking have been heard and the plan has been changed to accommodate. This plan isn’t ideal for any one stakeholder, but it seems to be a reasonable compromise.

  • barry devenney September 10, 2015 (10:47 pm)

    I applaud SDOT’s work here. We have to be the city that we want to be, and prioritizing the status quo of the automobile is not that. The ridiculous center lane must go, sight lines must restored, and speeds must be reduced. Thank you SDOT for your leadership in providing these much-needed and long-overdue improvements to our neighborhood corridor. We’ll be much better for them.

  • John September 15, 2015 (10:26 am)

    Nancy, I’d honestly and sincerely love to hear more about the need for a safer approach to Admiral. The lanes, as currently structured are extremely wide. There has only been one accident in the past three years with a bike (without context and comparison, that sounds pretty good for a major arterial in a major city).

  • John September 15, 2015 (10:32 am)

    Kathy, I’m sorry to reply so harshly, but that is very poor logic. It’s like saying that knives are just as dangerous as guns, because you can get hurt by both of them. Please see: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/research/safety/02089/02.cfm
    noting a 76% reduction in accidents when utilizing uncontrolled left-turn lanes. So, you are about to make my left turn 3x more dangerous as it is today, as with every other person turning left. That is not an acceptable “Safety” trade-off to me.

Sorry, comment time is over.