ROAD WORK TONIGHT: Roxbury, 35th painting, marking, ‘hydroblasting’ continues

You might have missed this if you don’t read the daily road-work alerts in the traffic/transit coverage we publish each weekday morning: SDOT crews are due back out on Roxbury and 35th tonight, as marking, restriping, and “hydroblasting” removal of the old striping continues in both projects. We saw this crew on 35th north of Thistle less than an hour ago:

As we showed in this morning’s traffic/transit notes, the Roxbury rechannelizing north of White Center was mostly finished overnight. That’s far from the entirety of the Roxbury project, which is detailed in this presentation first shown at the April meeting of the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council, and has been in the works for more than a year and a half:

Jim Curtin, managing both projects for SDOT, says, “Our crews will be out on Roxbury again tonight since there’s still some work left,” as well as working on 35th (plan below, as announced two months ago):

If it does rain Wednesday, that could delay some work, Curtin adds: “We can remove paint in the rain but re-painting is impossible.”

55 Replies to "ROAD WORK TONIGHT: Roxbury, 35th painting, marking, 'hydroblasting' continues"

  • Bradley September 14, 2015 (8:33 pm)

    I can already see one major problem just today: since the north-side lane in the west-bound direction has now been turned into a bus lane, it takes more than one light cycle now to make a left turn onto 26th Ave SW from east-bound Roxbury. West-bound cars have to line-up single-file now in one lane instead of utilizing two lanes. This is already creating and unacceptable wait time and causing drivers to go down to the next left to cross over to Barton, which was never designed to handle that large of a traffic flow.

    • WSB September 14, 2015 (8:39 pm)

      Yes, a couple of people have brought that up, and I saw it myself while out on an errand (just before taking the 35th pic). Jim Curtin had said last April that they were still making decisions about how to handle that intersection so I have a question out to him about what’s planned. – TR

  • MOVE! Seattle PLEASE! September 14, 2015 (10:13 pm)

    Another observation is that drivers wanting to turn from the side streets onto Roxbury, desiring to travel west or east, now appear to have a harder time getting onto Roxbury because they have only 1 lane to turn onto instead of 2. They have to wait for traffic to have a break in it which is less likely since there is only 1 lane and traffic is trying to keep moving along. Then if traffic stops because it is backed up on Roxbury, the side street drivers have to hope the intersection is not blocked by stopped traffic.
    Another newly created back up is approaching the 35th and Roxbury intersection driving westbound. To turn left/south onto 35th there is not enough lane capacity for the left turners so you are sitting backed up on Roxbury. I used the funky middle lane to buy pass the stopped traffic wanting to turn right/north on 35th – as did the driver behind me. Making driver’s wait through 2 or 3 light cycles is not moving traffic.

  • TheKing September 15, 2015 (4:00 am)

    I hope a helicopter can land in my backyard to take me to the hospital in case of an emergency when this is all done.

  • flimflam September 15, 2015 (5:50 am)

    well, if nobody can move then there will be no accidents! vision zero! social engineering at its finest.

  • Mr. B September 15, 2015 (6:54 am)

    Why was the entire roadway not repaved? The north side of Roxbury at 35th is in terrible condition.

  • pupsarebest September 15, 2015 (8:37 am)

    Every concern and observation above, 100% valid, 100% predictable.
    That “experts” sat around and concocted this plan, then ultimately decided to actually implement it, speaks volumes.
    I will avoid Roxbury henceforth, and use residential streets, now that formerly workable, straightforward Roxbury has been crippled and snarled.
    Whatever its problems, this “solution” has only compounded.
    Not so much.
    Move Seattle?
    Really not so much.

  • JC September 15, 2015 (9:45 am)

    What about putting in a separate light just for left turns on Roxbury and 26th? I think that might help solve the problem. Has anyone mentioned this to our incompetent SDOT?

    • WSB September 15, 2015 (10:15 am)

      Here’s the response I received from project manager Jim Curtin after asking about the Roxbury-to-26th turn: “Just got back from a few hours of observations on both 35th and Roxbury. Roxbury was flowing really well during this morning’s peak hour traffic and drivers were able to make left turns from Roxbury to 26th without any delay whatsoever. Our plan for this intersection is to continue observations during peak hours (particularly the PM peak) and determine whether a protected left turn phase (green arrow) is necessary. If we find that there are insufficient gaps in traffic for this turning movement we will provide the protected left.”
      P.S. if you have feedback on this or any other aspect of the projects – Jim’s e-mail address is – TR

  • JB September 15, 2015 (11:16 am)

    Well done SDOT! Love the change so far! Thanks.

  • JPS September 15, 2015 (11:39 am)

    Ack. Giant projects that will not yield the results sought. Changing lanes and signals is not going to reduce distracted driving or fatal accidents. Save the presentation and check again at the end of 2015. 2016 expansion should not occur unless there is evidence it is worth it. This will get slower speeds but that’s about it.

    Seattle just keeps getting worse at getting proper transit right. Let’s keep adding massive housing and strangle any roadway that has capacity.

  • Greystreet September 15, 2015 (12:29 pm)

    JPS-that last sentence is the perfect synopsis for all of the West Seattle traffic scenario–I’m beyond frustrated…it’s the equivalent of only having 1 fire exit in a movie theater that’s full of people.

  • Rob H September 15, 2015 (12:41 pm)

    This is Seattle at it’s finest! 35th is now down to one lane with a center turn lane. The 10’s of thousands of cars that travel that road are going to be backed up from the golf course to Roxsbury!! What a complete disaster!! West Seattle is going to be more crappier to get around in then it already is. Can’t wait to move out fast enough.

  • B Dawg September 15, 2015 (12:54 pm)

    Let me get this straight – we have to accept upzones, and every new unit of housing the developers propose. But the lane capacity of our major arterials will be continually reduced. What am I missing here? Those of us with jobs and kids who need to get to work, school, sports, music lessons, etc. don’t have time to get caught up in socially engineered traffic jams!

  • Funrunner September 15, 2015 (1:24 pm)

    35th will be great in front of my house. I will now be able to rake and mow without cars whizzing by inches from me. Thanks SDOT!

  • Josh September 15, 2015 (1:39 pm)

    Turning left onto 26th from Roxbury isn’t hard in the AM, it’s the PM that needs to be watched– when hundreds of cars are heading westbound and it’s impossible to cut through the single line of cars.

  • smokeycretin9 September 15, 2015 (3:11 pm)

    yes, because speeding thru residential streets, mowing down children and small mammals will get you where you need to be, because you are soooo much more important than the rest of us.

  • bkn September 15, 2015 (3:20 pm)

    Goals – Item 4 (The least important for a transportation system in SDOT eyes). Maintain “acceptable” vehicular travel times.

    SDOT – is trying to engineer even worse traffic to try and force the public onto the horrible bus system. Taxes keep going up to maintain a system that’s 80% funded/subsidized by taxes. What does this mean: if the fare is $1.50 it actually costs Metro $7.50 to offer the service!

  • Bel September 15, 2015 (3:44 pm)

    After just one day driving to work this morning, I’ve committed to taking any road other than 35th and Roxbury. If it takes the same time on the side streets as those roads I’ll go the calmer scenic route at a slower pace.

  • Chuck September 15, 2015 (4:11 pm)

    This has got to be the dumbest idea I have witnessed in the city of Seattle. The people who conceived of and approved turning 35th into one lane each way should be fired. This is going to be a nightmare.

  • heather September 15, 2015 (4:16 pm)

    I like it. Was stuck behind a cement truck on 35th…in the new one lane section, started to get frustrated yet traffic was able to quickly see and stop for a family of six crossing the road. Turns out my commute just felt slower but when I looked at the clock it was a whopping 1 min longer than normal. For me, a totally acceptable change for the better.

  • Jason September 15, 2015 (5:42 pm)

    I love the changes to both streets. Even though the improvements are far from complete each street already feels noticeably calmer and safer.

  • Chuck September 15, 2015 (6:28 pm)

    Calmer? More like gridlock accomplished. This city seriously needs to grow a pair.

  • 30 year ersident September 15, 2015 (7:26 pm)

    Sadly this short-sighted plan has turned 35th as well as Roxbury into a bumper-to-bumper bottleneck. Rush hour has become stunningly and dangerously slow. The weekends, when folks use cars for errands ( recall family life?) will be packed and frustrating.
    Q: How did this plan get passed ?

  • j September 15, 2015 (7:51 pm)

    JPS for mayor.
    Westbound Roxbury at 35th. Right lane must be right turn only!
    Southbound 35th at Roxbury. Right lane must be right turn only!
    SDOT some changes definitely good. Good job. Other areas made it look like you didn’t even show up to the area before plans were made. Horrible job.
    Remaining neutral on the 35th Ave speed change from 35mph to 30mph. We’ll see when that takes effect. Question is… next time sometime is killed stepping in front of a car on 35th will the speed then be changed to 25mph and so on and so on? There’s no such thing as city with zero pedestrian fatalities just as you will not “cure homelessness”!
    Can we start setting attainable goals?

  • Chris September 15, 2015 (7:57 pm)

    On Roxbury, I notice a lot fewer people speeding WAY over the speed limit, which is nice. Traffic still seem to be flowing at a nice speed.

  • Greystreet September 15, 2015 (7:58 pm)

    30 year it was voted on and suggested by folks who live ON 35th and I understand the intent but I don’t understand why other options were not considered, it’s going to be hell on earth…a one minute slower commute for one car becomes an exponential slow down for the thee thousands of cars traveling this road. I am amused how I’ve read WSers writing that it will only add a “few minutes” to their commutes not understanding the cascading effect that will lead to a dead stand still, and let’s not forget weather, any of the wet stuff and we might as well ride horses

  • j September 15, 2015 (8:41 pm)

    Correction… Northbound* 35th at Roxbury right lane should be right turn only. The northbound 35th right lane ends immediately after Roxbury intersection. Very few cars ever turn left northbound 35th to westbound Roxbury making it necessary to have a passing lane on right.
    I foresee many car duels taking place here.
    Safety right?

  • ML September 15, 2015 (10:07 pm)

    This is the dumbest thing ever one lane per side on Roxbury, really???? This is very frustrating!! Instead of causing frustration with these changes on the road why don’t we focus on trimming all the overgrown bushes at Roxhill/Castle Park.

    • WSB September 15, 2015 (10:19 pm)

      Not the same city departments but there was in fact a work party just last Friday involving striking teachers as well as community members. If you want to get involved with the park, it’s been a topic at just about every WWRHAH meeting we’ve covered –

  • MOVE! Seattle PLEASE! September 15, 2015 (10:41 pm)

    Once SPS gets back to work on Thursday, the school buses will roll, parents will be driving kids to school. And then UW, South Seattle and Highline CC will resume soon….maybe Jim Curtin should check out the traffic flow when people resume the usual schedule that happens 9 -10 months of the year.

  • SB September 15, 2015 (10:42 pm)

    I live on 35th between Barton & Cambridge and I’m absolutely loving the change. It’s so much safer already! I can actually get into my parked car without my life being threatened. Yay for large clear parking lanes!

  • Eric September 16, 2015 (2:16 am)

    What a waste of money and a joke. Wait until the inevitable person does 20mph, causing a huge back up since the car can’t be passed, and then people start tearing down the side streets in order to get where they’re going. Or better yet, speeders dangerously crossing over into the opposite lane at night to get around what they feel is an impeding car. And all of the people moving into West Seattle because of the greedy over building happening here. Now California Ave. and Fauntleroy will be even more backed up. That’s just genius

  • pupsarebest September 16, 2015 (5:46 am)

    Yes, people taking alternate routes to avoid the frustrating gridlock caused by this absurd solution in search of a problem: absolutely a predictable outcome.
    Exactly why I scoff at the idea this new arrangement will result in added safety.
    Those who hatched and implemented this plan, destroying what used to be perfectly functioning routes, should be forced to endure what they’ve wrought every day of the week.

  • sam-c September 16, 2015 (8:44 am)

    Eric- not just that one car, but everyone will be going 20mph because that is how fast the traffic flow will be. It will be just like SB Delridge at 4:45 pm. A line of cars going 20mph. People won’t need to worry about getting tickets at the 35th Ave SW school zones. The traffic won’t be faster than 20 mph.

  • Oakley34 September 16, 2015 (10:06 am)

    re the rechannel on 35th: is rox-willow the extent of the rechannel, or is it being rolled out in phases? Is re-paving in the works for any stretch of 35th as part of the overall project? When will the speed limit be adjusted? Thanks WSB

    • WSB September 16, 2015 (10:26 am)

      We just came back from a look to confirm Brizone’s mention of it stretching a bit past Willow, and indeed, it goes most of the block north of Willow. (At which point, where it went from one northbound lane to two, an impatient driver in front of us – who had been swerving partway into the center turn lane repeatedly, apparently to look around the vehicle in front of her/him – gunned it into the second northbound lane – and made it one block before they had to stop at the Morgan signal anyway.) So I’m asking the project manager about that and about the speed-limit signage. But as announced in July, south of Morgan is the extent of Phase 1, then evaluation follows and Phase 2 is scheduled for next year … unless Phase 1 turns out to be a disaster. – Tracy
      P.S. From the city’s project website, the slide deck with the maps, stats, etc. from the July announcement of the final plan. This also was embedded in our coverage but if you just want to cut to the proverbial chase, here it is:

  • Lez September 16, 2015 (10:24 am)

    Hey Mike Joe and Smokey. Fauntleroy works well with road diets? You’re drivers (who apparently never sat through two light cycles @ California) I’m a pedestrian. The only time I checked it took more than nine minutes to cross Fauntleroy @ Graham at “ferry time”. Doesn’t work for me.

    • WSB September 16, 2015 (10:34 am)

      Lez – If you’re trying to cross at a corner, the drivers are supposed to stop for you, whether there’s two of them or 20, four lanes or three or two … Sorry to hear they’re not but I do see that driver misbehavior too often. (We’re the ones who stop every time we see someone waiting, and then are dismayed to see the drivers coming in the other direction failing to do the same … I’ve taken to flailing my arm out the window in hope THAT might catch the oncoming scofflaws’ eye and have been wondering if someday cars might get “stop” bars like school buses …)

  • Lez September 16, 2015 (10:56 am)

    I understand but supposed to (legally) and what actually happens are not the same thing. People rushing to the ferry are not going to stop. With four lanes it cleared out much faster. Bikes count, autos count, pedestrians are not considered

  • 30 year resident September 16, 2015 (11:18 am)

    Today it took 30 minutes to travel a distance I usually do in 10.
    Long line of cars waiting for one person to turn, several cycles to get thru lights.
    Lack of protected turns only complicates matters.

    What a poorly thought-out mess.

    It really is time to move.

  • sam-c September 16, 2015 (11:43 am)

    30 year- what street are you talking about in that observation? I thought the re-channelization on 35th had turn lanes?

  • steve September 16, 2015 (12:23 pm)

    Seriously, most of you were loving the proposed changes to 35th when they were announced. Did you people really not even think about it, or even read about the proposed changes?

    Just wait until more of 35th gets rennovated. Side streets will be packed with cars that would of normally traveled on 35th. I don’t know if the current plan that’s being put into action is the same plan that eliminates parking on 35th for the “turn lane”. But if it is, soon to say goodbye to parking your car on the side of the road for homes on 35th which will end up being parked in more residential streets I.E. 36th and 34th.

  • Eric September 16, 2015 (2:53 pm)

    I don’t know who the “most of you‘s” are Steve, but I sure wasn’t loving the proposal and am sure not liking the results. I live on 32nd and am already seeing the negative results on 34th

  • Chris September 16, 2015 (5:48 pm)

    I love it!
    Thanks SDOT!
    Sharowws down 35th now?
    Changes like this make Seattle a more positive place to live. It may even encourage small business growth in the Barton Junction area. It seems weird to me that 35th was ever two lanes without a center lane.
    Good work!

  • ET September 16, 2015 (6:04 pm)

    Just drove 35 from W Sea Bridge to 106th. Backed up from Morgan all the way to Roxbury. Fix the lights and give us back our road. All we talk about is traffic and you take away lanes. :(

    I will be one of those driving on the side roads to get around.

    Not happy.

  • cj September 16, 2015 (6:55 pm)

    Wonder how long until they decide this was an awful idea and they put it back the way that it was.

  • Myles September 16, 2015 (7:08 pm)

    7pm and no way to turn left onto 26th from eastbound Roxbury. Waited thru two light cycles and just turned on red. Needs turn arrrow. Wonder what the left onto Raymond from northbound 35th is going to be like. Probably impossible without a turn arrow. Pace on 35th and Roxbury was fine, but it is after rush, but left turns, forget about it.

  • Gurn September 16, 2015 (9:23 pm)

    Of the 46 comments I count 35 negative, some neutral, a few WSBs, and the rest pro. This is another reason why I wish more of “us” had showed up to the meetings SDOT had so poorly advertised and of which I called Project Manager Jim Curtin TWO TIMES and the City of Seattle once to get their act together in sending out meeting info outside of the WSB. Of those in the meeting, I was one of the few that stood and strongly vocalized concerns for not only traffic flow but emergency vehicle movement along this established snow route for our community. This arterial will now be slowed for the ambulances / emergency vehicles that will be sent to homes for cardiac / stroke / fire calls where not minutes but seconds count. One of my questions: “What measurement do you have to ascertain this isn’t a success and to reverse the channelization?” Curtin’s response was essentially only addressing the last part: “We can always erase the lines” which led me to believe they don’t care about the backups…it’s all about traffic slowing. If people are jogging past cars…all the better. Curtin lives in West Seattle and said he waves to the traffic as he passes it riding on the bus when it drives down Alaska…

  • Gurn September 16, 2015 (9:28 pm)

    One other thing… just saw what looks to be
    one of the first accidents: Southbound lane of 35th just south of Monroe. Safety first?

  • MOVE! Seattle PLEASE! September 16, 2015 (10:08 pm)

    Our taxes are to be used for the greater good but SDOT seems to have it backwards. SDOT gives a strong impression of catering to the ‘little guy’ like bicycle riders, pedestrians, home owners on main arterials who complain of the traffic & noise….Roads are to move vehicles and SDOT is impeding the flow of moving traffic instead of improving the flow of traffic. They do this in the name of safety. I don’t recall reading about lawsuits regarding dangerous roads….I think safety was somewhat of a smokescreen to hassle people who drive cars. Accidents do happen unfortunately and we have a choice to drive our cars on roads WE pay for.

  • Karen September 17, 2015 (1:06 pm)

    So happy this is being done. We live one block off of Roxbury and we were so tired of people zooming down Roxbury at 45 mph.

    Glad that people will need to drive slower now.

    Thank you to all who made this happen.

  • wsnorth September 17, 2015 (9:27 pm)

    This has got to be the ONLY city in the country that is trying to make traffic jams worse on purpose. They are intent on wasting our lives away 10 minutes at a time (every day, each way on our commute). VOTE NO on the next “(anti) transporation” initiative. This is so ridiculous. 35th was the last free flowing, efficient
    arterial in West Seattle.

  • Debby September 18, 2015 (4:16 pm)

    when are they going to fix all of the potholes? With one designated lane you can’t avoid them any longer. They are quick to paint but not resurface….grrrrrr

  • wb September 19, 2015 (3:09 pm)

    Thank you for the changes! All the “who moved my cheese people” can learn to be much more thoughtful about their high cruise speeds on 35th. Can’t wait for part II of the changes…keep it coming.

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