On today’s city-budget agenda: $ for part of the West Seattle Bridge Corridor ‘action report’ list

(NOTE: Click “play” to see live feed when Council is meeting – budget hearing resumed just after 2 pm)
10:27 AM: The City Council‘s next round of budget-related discussions is set to start shortly (10:30 am) and today’s list of potential additions/changes to the original budget proposal includes transportation items. Among them, two related to the West Seattle Bridge Corridor “action report” made public in September.

The first item would specify $700,000 to be spent this way:

… The proposed budget action would allocate $200,000 for further analysis of physical and operational improvements in the Corridor. The following evaluations or studies would be conducted if the green sheet were included as part of the City’s 2016 Adopted Budget:

1. Evaluate the feasibility and benefit of installing center barrier sections so response vehicles can make U-turns to speed up response time.

2. Evaluate the feasibility and benefit of installing markings and signs to provide one designated emergency lane in each direction of the West Seattle Bridge upper roadways for use during emergencies.

3. Coordinate with WSDOT to determine the feasibility of traffic management modifications to improve eastbound Spokane Street Viaduct connections to south- and northbound I-5.

4. Evaluate Lower Spokane Street chokepoint relationships to determine if rail, truck and bridge opening blockages can be better coordinated to avoid cumulative impacts.

5. Evaluate better communications protocols for Port of Seattle cooperation with truck queue management and dispersal.

6. Evaluate the process and capability for providing data reports to the Washington State office of Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) in order for FRA to enforce the maximum 20 minute blockage rule.

7. Initiate an SDOT/WSDOT Peer Review Team to review traffic operational and safety improvement opportunities on the West Seattle Bridge upper and lower roadways and make recommendations.

In addition to the feasibility studies, the green sheet would add $500,000 for installing ITS infrastructure to help communicate delays and wait times associated with train activity in the Corridor. This project would install ITS equipment including Bluetooth readers and dynamic message signs along the Corridor between Airport Way South and Port of Seattle Terminals 5 and 18 in order to collect and display real-time travel time information to trucks drivers and other motorists. Traffic signal system improvements at the intersection of Chelan Avenue Southwest and West Marginal Way Southwest could also be included in the project scope.

The second item, at unspecified cost, basically calls for a report on how the “action report” is being followed up on:

… This Statement of Legislative Intent requests the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) prepare a written progress report on the implementation of initiatives described in the West Seattle Bridge Corridor Whitepaper and Priority Investment List.

The report should describe the Executive’s planning and progress implementing the 2015 West Seattle Bridge Whitepaper and Priority Investment List (the Investment List) recommendations to the Transportation Committee or the appropriate Council committee. The report should be transmitted to the Council no later than March 31, 2016 and should include the following information:

1) A description of all anticipated 2016 SDOT maintenance and capital project activities planned for the West Seattle Bridge Corridor (the Corridor). The report should identify all planned Corridor project activities included in the Investment List and any planned Corridor project activities not included in the Investment List.

2) A comprehensive schedule review defining SDOT’s timing for implementing the Investment List’s recommendations including any multi-year initiatives or projects that may not have full funding.

3) Estimated total investment of City resources in both staff and funding to carry out Investment List recommendations in 2016 and beyond.

4) A description of the on-going metrics SDOT will use to measure the effectiveness of the recommended investments and a Corridor-wide assessment of traffic conditions for all modes in 2016.

See the full list of items to be discussed at today’s budget meeting – no votes, since this is “Round 1” of the budget review – by going here; you can watch the meeting live via Seattle Channel, online (the “live” player is embedded above) or cable channel 21.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? To comment on anything in the budget process – which will continue until a final vote before Thanksgiving – click the “Send Us Budget Feedback” button on this page.

12:17 PM UPDATE: The West Seattle Bridge-related items hadn’t been reached yet when the council recessed for lunch, due back in session at 2 pm.

2:58 PM: They’ve just reached the West Seattle Bridge Corridor items now. (a moment later) Both went by without discussion, aside from a bit of context from Councilmember Tom Rasmussen.

19 Replies to "On today's city-budget agenda: $ for part of the West Seattle Bridge Corridor 'action report' list"

  • AmandaKH November 2, 2015 (10:41 am)

    Fantastic!! Wow, how exciting (I am a transportation wonk though…)!

  • RayK November 2, 2015 (10:48 am)

    Still no commitment to coordinate with WSDOT to determine the feasibility of traffic management modifications to improve eastbound Spokane Street Viaduct connections to SR99.

  • KT November 2, 2015 (10:59 am)

    Evaluations and studies on basic subjects that should have been evaluated and studied by now. The Seattle process…..

  • Tom L November 2, 2015 (11:06 am)

    Excellent news!! Thanks to all who keep the peninsula’s transpo issues from falling off the radar.

  • AmandaKH November 2, 2015 (11:11 am)

    No doubt KT – but no one in our local city government was looking at these things before. While I too, hate the “process”, this gets the West Seattle Transportation Coalition a Huge foot in the door!

  • WS4life November 2, 2015 (11:21 am)

    Analyze Evaluate Analyze aka do nothing to improve traffic flow in and out of West Seattle.
    “Installing markings and signs”
    Putting up more fancy signs & more paint on already existing crumbling over capacity roads is not an infrastructure improvement.
    Just another waste of $700,000.

  • Timeslid November 2, 2015 (11:36 am)

    I am glad this is getting the attention we deserve. If my sources are correct West Seattle would be the 7th largest city in Washington if it were independent – we are the largest of all the neighborhoods. Also a point of fact, these studies are being done WITHOUT prop 1. Furthermore, prop 1 doesn’t have any of the potential mitigations to the above study areas. Just saying.

  • Mark schletty November 2, 2015 (11:41 am)

    More process. Nothing done. How about doing a couple of the obvious things now while they “think” about the rest. Like rehooking the 4th street access from sodo to the bridge and stop routing the fauntleroy ferry traffic through west seattle to downtown. And, of course, a moratorium on any new housing redevelopment other than one-for-one replacement would give them some time to “think” without making it even worse while they stall around.

  • YourAdHere November 2, 2015 (11:52 am)

    How about fixing the lane markings on the bridge so that I can see them in the rain? Could not even see the stupid red stickers they put up since they blend in when it is dark & wet, a rare condition here.

  • Rick November 2, 2015 (12:10 pm)

    Yeah, my neighborhood went to hell once they installed that darn ferry dock in Fauntleroy.

  • old timer November 2, 2015 (1:52 pm)

    “Evaluate, co-ordinate, initiate.”
    No where do I see the word BUILD.
    Until we see some real improvements made in concrete and steel, we are stuck here on what might as well be an island.

  • M November 2, 2015 (2:00 pm)

    Did I read that right? Dedicate one lane in each direction for emergency vehicles on the upper bridge? That is a joke right?

  • Marlene November 2, 2015 (2:46 pm)

    Here’s an idea: Start with fixing the stupid red turn arrow signal near the Chelan Cafe. We need the signal for fire vehicles and the occasional car crossing the road, but it doesn’t need to stay red nearly all the time.

  • sam-c November 2, 2015 (3:11 pm)

    M- that’s is what I thought too, and assumed I was reading it wrong. It couldn’t be a 24/7 dedicated emergency services lane, right? can’t they use the bus lane that no-body uses (most of the time) ?

  • Smitty November 2, 2015 (3:43 pm)

    I still think it is ridiculous that you have to commit to either 99 NB or I-5 NB prior to ever seeing which option is best.

    If the city wants to maximize the utilization of our roads they need to allow for lane changes after the crest of the bridge.

    At the very least you should be able to change lanes outside of rush hour(s).

  • East Coast Cynic November 2, 2015 (7:19 pm)

    Rather disappointing that the WS Bridge Corridor items did not merit discussion and that our WS City Council person Rasmussen did not fight to initiate any substantive discussion over such a crucial transit issue for his constituents.

    I’m glad he leaving.

    • WSB November 2, 2015 (7:27 pm)

      ECC, I’m sorry, I should clarify the process. 99 percent of what goes through “Budget Round 1” doesn’t get discussed – unless someone has a major concern or big question – it’s kind of an introductory round, just to get all these things on the record. Doesn’t at all mean nobody cares, and lack of discussion does NOT mean they don’t advance to the next round. If you follow the links to the list, there are dozens and dozens of items and they spend hours just getting through them. CM Rasmussen did take the time to reiterate the context for these proposals being on the table. I am in the middle of something or I’d go try to find the time code. Most items are read into the record and they just keep moving.

  • trevor November 2, 2015 (9:03 pm)

    We need to raise car tab fees. We need to charge a toll for the Vashon residents. We need to pay for this.

  • wetone November 2, 2015 (9:48 pm)

    Looks like ground work starting on T-5 and Heavy Haul Corridor projects, nothing more. City just trying to make it look like something else………..

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