ROAD-WORK UPDATE: Crews out on 35th, Roxbury for 2 more weeks

(WSB photo from Tuesday night, 35th/Trenton)
In the third week of work on the Roxbury and 35th SW safety projects, SDOT crews are still out, especially at night. After spotting the workers in our photo, using torches last night to install markings, we asked project manager Jim Curtin today for a progress report on what remains to be done:

There is still quite a bit of work to do out there but we hope to complete these projects within the next two weeks. Both corridors are active work zones and we appreciate reminders to the traveling public to slow down in construction zones. Here’s a quick summary of the remaining work:

-Pavement markings and signage: We still have more than 150 pavement markings and signs to install including turn arrows and bus lane legends. [top photo] These markings should help drivers adjust to the new design. We’ll also be back to complete our channelization work on SW Barton Street where we’ll be formalizing the channelization and adding left turn pockets.

See the image [above] for more details.

-Signal adjustments: We’re monitoring these corridors closely to determine if additional signal timing changes are needed. We’re currently keeping a close eye on the intersection of Roxbury and 26th Avenue SW as well as the segment of 35th Avenue SW in the vicinity of Webster and Holden.

-Radar speed signs: We will install two radar speed signs on Roxbury in November near 6th Avenue SW (facing westbound traffic) and 12th Ave SW (facing eastbound traffic). We’ll also replace the radar speed sign on 35th Ave SW and SW Brandon Street around the same time.

While neither of these projects are complete and we’re still working on a few issues, traffic has responded quite well to the design changes. We will begin collecting vehicle and transit travel times in the near future to quantify the effects of this work.

The Roxbury plan was finalized in April (WSB coverage here); the 35th plan in July (WSB coverage here). If you have specific feedback, you can contact Jim at

39 Replies to "ROAD-WORK UPDATE: Crews out on 35th, Roxbury for 2 more weeks"

  • Dave September 23, 2015 (8:11 pm)

    Hmmmm, lets see…. Red paint for Bus lanes, green paint for bike lanes, and the color for automobile lanes is….???

    • WSB September 23, 2015 (8:14 pm)

      No red or green paint on 35th.

  • dsa September 23, 2015 (8:27 pm)

    I believe the west to north lane at 35th and Roxbury is now gone. It was marked out last week. The color would have been white.

  • freecitizen September 23, 2015 (8:52 pm)

    They should cease & desist from continuing. This was not validated by the majority of West Seattle residents. It was a small group claiming “safety.” This is not safe or concientious of this little group to advise the whole of West Seattle on how it should behave. It is not a smart solution, hence the beginning…

    • WSB September 23, 2015 (9:46 pm)

      Hi again, free! Hating it, loving it, begrudgingly tolerating it, however people feel about it, the fact is that this is not related to any “small group,” as shown in the backstory we detailed when you made the same allegation in the Forum –
      This story is the followup I mentioned toward the end of that response, BTW. – TR

  • Wb September 23, 2015 (9:03 pm)

    As hideous as they are, i’ll be glad when the radar speed signs are back up–apparently there is a renewed free for all on n. 35th.

  • Community Member September 23, 2015 (9:57 pm)

    “We’re currently keeping a close eye on the intersection of Roxbury and 26th Avenue SW ”
    What does this mean? Can someone clarify?
    i.e., does this mean that they will be adjusting the signal timing to maximize traffic flow? Or something entirely different, such as concern/monitoring changes in the accident rate?

  • Bloicer September 23, 2015 (10:06 pm)

    I’m with free, I certainly didn’t back this. somewhat bearable after Morgan, but if the move further north past Morgan with rechannelization I might have to move so I’m not commuting my life away… Didn’t move to west Seattle to be in my car for 2 hours out of the day

  • Confused September 23, 2015 (10:45 pm)

    Has anyone noticed the center non-lane is wider than either of the travel lanes? If they would have widened the travel lanes then biking would be safer. Sometimes SDOT stymies me. Kind of like the work on Orchard East of Delridge. Perfect time and space to put in Bike Lanes. But we get bark. YEA

  • Cainipoo September 23, 2015 (11:32 pm)

    Please, write Jim Curtin ( an email. SDOT needs to hear feedback from everyone in our community, not just 35th residents.

  • dsa September 24, 2015 (12:34 am)

    This has been on SDOT agenda for at least 20 years. It won’t change until there is reasonable change from the very top.

  • Sanders September 24, 2015 (5:03 am)

    I think that the changes being made will work and I support them.

  • Chuck September 24, 2015 (5:14 am)

    How is it that downtown streets manage multiple lanes of traffic, buses, bikes. Monorails etc, but in the neighborhoods the only safe option is a single lane? This idea is terrible.

  • Robert September 24, 2015 (7:14 am)

    as I said before many times FIX THE POTHOLES FIRST, you can put all the lipstick in the world on a pig and it is still a pig..there are potholes on both streets that have been there for years, not months but years without being fixed..

  • Al September 24, 2015 (7:17 am)

    Yes, please, to the left turn lane on 26th at Roxbury. People whipping around the turning buses to go straight on 26th will surely hit folks turning left from the opposite direction eventually. It’s literally an accident waiting to happen.

  • Chris September 24, 2015 (7:41 am)

    As I have been reading the comments about these projects over the last few months, I have been struck by how much people seem to hate their cars. The thought of spending a few extra minutes in a comfortable climate-controlled vehicle where you control the radio station drives some people to near rage.

    Although the bus is far is less comfortable, I don’t recall seeing the same seething tone in comments from bus riders about routes which take a few minutes longer. I think there is something about the nature of a private automobile that creates high expectations for fast travel – regardless of what is happening around them – and induces huge disappointment when those hopes are dashed.

  • Watchdog September 24, 2015 (7:55 am)

    Did anyone ever consider SYNCRONIZING the lights up and down 35th Ave? The situation is much worse when people are rushing to get thru the lights because the signals are un-synced.

  • j September 24, 2015 (8:18 am)

    I’m majorly confused with this whole ordeal. To my knowledge most of the pedestrian and bike fatalities on 35th were North of Morgan St where it is still two travel lanes in each direction.
    I thought this was the area of concern???

  • jtreehorn September 24, 2015 (8:42 am)

    As a Super Deli regular (you should be too if you’re not) and dog walker who crosses 35th daily as a pedestrian, I’m relieved this safety upgrade is happening. Are they planning on adding protected left turn signals for north and southbound vehicles on 35th? Those unprotected left turns drive a majority of the bananas unsafe motorist behavior I witness at this intersection.

  • acemotel September 24, 2015 (9:22 am)

    question for dsa:
    >>>>This has been on SDOT agenda for at least 20 years.

    I’m not arguing, and I don’t even have an opinion about this change at the moment. But I am curious where you found a 20-year plan? and one with this particular plan?

    I do have an opinion, actually, now that I think about it. IF SDOT is using a 20-year old plan to do projects, we have a real problem in Seattle.

  • chemist September 24, 2015 (10:29 am)

    j, slide 14 and 15 of that pdf WSB posted right before your comment will show a map with 3 year collision data south of Morgan and bike and ped collision data north of Morgan. I don’t think any plan changed things North of Alaska where a cluster is and we don’t really have a map of where collisions occur around the current “willow” end of phase 1.

  • kwhitson September 24, 2015 (10:36 am)

    j – You are correct, we’ve had at least three pedestrian fatalities on 35th north of Morgan in recent memory. So, I was confused as well when this project stopped just south of Morgan.

    As I understand it, based on what I’ve since read here on the blog, this is a phased project. They are doing the stretch they’ve done so far now, and will observe and see how it affects traffic flow and travel times, and then based on what they learn, next year sometime they will tackle the portion from Morgan Street north to the crest of the hill just north of Mount St. Vincent. If you like the change and want it extended, contact the folks in charge of the project and let them know!

    FWIW, I drive my kids to and from school along 35th from Brandon south to 104th and back again along the same route. The change has added about 2-3 minutes (from 7 minutes to 9-10 minutes) to my travel time, on average. People complaining about the hours this is going to add to their commutes–seriously?

    The fact is, many of the collisions and pedestrian injuries were due to people stopping traffic to make a left turn and impatient drivers veering around them. The new middle turn lane provides a safe place to remove yourself from the flow of traffic for a turn. I believe it will reduce traffic accidents significantly and save lives.

  • dsa September 24, 2015 (11:19 am)

    acemotel, I did not mean they are working off old plans, it’s the concept of reducing lanes, that I meant. They brought up reducing 35th to two through lanes at an informal meeting we had just under 20 years ago, probably about the Alaskan Way Viaduct. I asked them not to do what they had done to 1st Ave downtown. You may or may not know, it used to be four lanes including the stretch through Pioneer Square.

  • dsa September 24, 2015 (12:21 pm)

    An alternative to the left turn lane is *NO LEFT* turn and keep four through lanes.

  • HTD September 24, 2015 (1:08 pm)

    Since they reduced 35th to one lane-I’ve seen Metro articulated buses (heading south on 35th) trying to make a left turn (eastbound) onto Barton run a red light to make the turn. I’ve seen it happen 3 times now. With the ‘funnel’ of cars heading down 35th northbound- it’s nearly impossible to make a left turn to go towards Westwood Village, unless you wait for the light to turn red. Instead of making this safer- it has made it more dangerous!
    When are they going to install left turn arrow signal lights at this intersection?

  • AJP September 24, 2015 (1:11 pm)

    Did any of the people who are griping about this go to any of the many, many meetings over the past few years to give their input? If those meetings were inconvenient, did you read WSB’s excellent coverage, which included links to the reports, video of the discussions, and contact info for making your comments? Did you pay any attention whatsoever and use the multiple avenues (ha ha get it?) available to you to let your opinion be heard by those in charge?

    And Chris is 100% spot-on. What is it about cars that make people so incredibly selfish?

    • WSB September 24, 2015 (1:18 pm)

      HTD, please note in the story above, the Barton plan, which includes multiple components – I’m not sure about signal lights but PLEASE, send the project manager (mentioned multiple times above) your feedback. – TR

  • Chris September 24, 2015 (1:54 pm)

    @AJP – Thanks for the comment. I think it’s important to recognize that the people both for and against these road changes are all good people. Everyone – even the people against these changes – is busy, driving around, trying to get places, just trying to get through their day.

    That’s why it makes me think that there is something in the nature of automobile driving that makes people feel rushed and inpatient, like a betrayal from what they feel they’ve been promised to the slower reality of what driving entails. Food for thought…

  • anonyme September 24, 2015 (2:21 pm)

    Chris, thank you for the thoughtful comments. I think you make some great points.

    I would add that driving is not a right. Nor is it any driver’s “right” to expect to be able to travel unimpeded from Point A to B at any speed they choose, as several have suggested. The amount of rage and intolerance being expressed both in some comments and on the road is frightening.

  • Molly September 24, 2015 (3:41 pm)

    I think it’s important to consider what a bus represents and that is 10 – 20 additional cars that AREN’T crowding your drive on 35th. Which would you prefer: 10 – 20 cars in front of you or the bus? I take the bus (literally) every time! We live in Seattle with other people, not Montana where you can go as fast as you want.

  • Trevor September 24, 2015 (7:23 pm)

    We as Seattle and Vashon citizens just need to spend more on car tabs. Seattle will put it to good use and will get these roads fixed.

  • j September 24, 2015 (7:36 pm)

    Good one Trevor that’s the funniest comment I’ve read on the blog in a long time.

  • Cainipoo September 24, 2015 (8:19 pm)

    I tried taking the bus to work after one of the 35th safety meetings. When it takes over 50 minutes to travel under 6 miles by bus, count me out. Oh yeah, and $2.75 a ride, no thanks!

  • AceMotel September 24, 2015 (8:31 pm)

    Thank you, dsa. Very interesting. I went to a lot of meetings 20 years ago, especially many in re: neighborhood planning, and don’t remember any of that talk about reducing lanes, but frankly I wasn’t really paying a lot of attention to the transportation component in those days – it was mostly about the future development and priorities slated for urban villages. And yes, I know about 1st ave, heck, I even remember Seattle before we had the freeway. :-)

  • TheKing September 24, 2015 (9:31 pm)

    Good luck turning left from the west or east side of 35th, even right turns are challenging with the never ending rows of cars going in either direction. With the cars parked all along the sides of the road you just can’t see. It’s going to take a few cars getting t-boned and on their lids before the safety police take a hard look at this poor decision.

  • Kimmy September 24, 2015 (10:09 pm)

    I was skeptical about this project of 35th going down to one lane, and lowering the speed limit, but I’m noticing no major issues thus far, and somewhat enjoy it.
    I do find it *baffling*, however, with how wide the middle lane. It’s HUGE. The travel lanes are wide as well. There’s also a lot of unused space between the travel lane and the parking lane. Seems like a pretty poor design, a bit of mind and they could have fit in bike lanes as well? I’m truly puzzled by how this was executed. As I understand it, studies indicate that people drive more recklessly with wide lanes. Aren’t they using that science to narrow the lanes of Admiral, and this road diet was designed with safety in mind? While I am totally fine with the road diet, their ways of going about it and reasoning seems inconsistent at best.

  • wsn00b September 25, 2015 (12:49 pm)

    Don’t think of it is as roadway taken away from you – think more positively.

    I still use that huge center lane to drive/swerve around the bad utility cuts/potholes/ruts/swiss-cheese-o-tarmac/concrete in the main driving lane when it is smoother than the main lane. I just pretend I’m a Metro bus and don’t fit in the driving lane. I have the lane dodging down to a science now.

    Some motorcyclist on 35th 2-3 days ago during the 5-6PM commute decided to just ride around the Holden signal congestion and rode that center lane from Webster to about Kenyon. It was beautiful to see. He/she has the right idea.

Sorry, comment time is over.