FOLLOWUP: Speed-limit cuts still on the way, but Delridge will get an extra line, too

(WSB photo looking north on Delridge near Myrtle – existing ‘fog line’ is toward the left)
Though SDOT reaffirmed two months ago that its planned speed-limit cuts for three more West Seattle arterials would happen before the end of 2015 as planned, they didn’t happen. They’re still on the way, says SDOT’s Jim Curtin, but one of them – Delridge Way north of Orchard – will come with something extra: Fog lines. This news came in another round of correspondence with the concerned citizen whose questions sparked our November followup, “A Dad On Dangerous Delridge.” Curtin’s first reply to ADODD this week:

In an effort to achieve the lower speeds we seek on Delridge, we will be adding a fog line (aka edge line) to narrow the existing travel lanes on the street. The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) has a good website dedicated to lane widths here. Some sections of Delridge already have an edge line but most areas do not. Several locations, including the area just south of the Boren Building (home to two schools), have wide swaths of roadway with little to no organization or structure. The edge line will change that and help us reduce vehicle speeds on the corridor. This work is weather-dependent so we’ll need some dry weather before we can install the new pavement markings. We are hoping to make this change in the first quarter of 2016 during a dry stretch. A public communications effort will accompany these changes to help raise awareness of the speed limit change.

After seeing that via a CC in ADODD’s correspondence, we followed up with Curtin, first to ask if there’s a specified width for the resulting, narrowed traffic lanes: “Travel lanes will be 11 to 12 feet wide depending on the location to match the existing edge lines on the corridor. The roadway channelization will look very similar to the existing conditions on Delridge between Croft Pl SW and SW Myrtle Street.” (That’s where we took the photo atop this story.) He added that “the edge line will be applied to both sides of the street. Bike lanes are not planned through this low cost effort.” No existing markings will be changed, according to Curtin, just “essentially filling in the gaps in the channelization so we will not make changes to existing pavement markings.”

Our last question: What about the other arterials set for speed-limit reduction? Curtin replied: “Fauntleroy between Alaska and California will occur first – likely within the next month or so. The speed limit is already 30 mph along most of Fauntleroy but the speed limit jumps up to 35 in this section (which contains mainly residential land uses, Fairmount Park Elementary, and a park). Speed studies show that drivers are already traveling well below the existing 35 mph speed limit on this section of Fauntleroy. We intend to recalibrate the radar speed sign at SW Brandon Street and change the existing speed limit signs. As you know, the design of the roadway was significantly changed in 2009.” The 30 mph speed limit for more arterials was first announced last February.

32 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Speed-limit cuts still on the way, but Delridge will get an extra line, too"

  • Gramps January 7, 2016 (12:54 pm)

    How much slower can the roads of West Seattle get? (hint: the answer is none more slower)

  • Aaron January 7, 2016 (1:17 pm)

    Narrower lanes? How about they fix the moonscape that is Delridge asphalt so you don’t have to swerve all over the road to keep your fillings in!

  • Buttercup January 7, 2016 (1:18 pm)

    I find it disturbing that people complain about speed zones around schools. So what if it makes your travel time 30 to 60 seconds longer. The children need to be protected from traffic. I am sure you will figure out a way to make up for lost travel time, unfortunately. To many people butch and complain out here. Sad!

  • sam-c January 7, 2016 (1:21 pm)

    I don’t know, the terrible road condition keeps me pretty slow. I’m always looking up ahead to see which way i should veer to avoid the potholish areas or the large rectangular sections (defined by the joints between the different pours) of just depressed pavement.. There’s a nice one out in front of the Delridge community center- at least they fixed the one in front of the skate park/ bus stop. Then again, with all the traffic, I don’t see how any one could go over the speed limit if they wanted to (at least between 4:30 and 5:30)

  • KM January 7, 2016 (2:10 pm)

    Echoing that Delridge is already slow because the conditions are so poor. Since Delridge is slated to be revamped under Move Seattle, why not just take care of the whole process then? Not trying to bring up a road diet argument (I really don’t care either way) but they did half of the project on 35th and not very well, with plans to finish and redo some at a later point, while leaving us with that they consider to be unsafe “wide swaths of roadway” (mentioned here and on the Admiral project as well.) I would appreciate if SDOT could take care of the whole project at once, and improve their quality of work (and consistency of their reasoning).

  • West Seattle Hipster January 7, 2016 (3:18 pm)

    Agreeing with the other folks that the road surface of Delridge is in terrible shape, and any money spent on that critical arterial should be for improvements, not detriments.


    It would be great if someone from SDOT would read the comments on the WSB regarding their streets.

  • D January 7, 2016 (3:27 pm)

    Great the road thieves strike again

  • Matt January 7, 2016 (3:35 pm)

    If we all keep our speed to 0 miles per hour there will be no accidents. Is that the goal here?

  • cjfranko January 7, 2016 (4:15 pm)

    Less arterial lanes = more cars diverting to side streets = more accidents

    • WSB January 7, 2016 (4:18 pm)

      Please note, there are no lane reductions in this story. The “fog line” narrows (from the current outsize width in some spots) but does not remove a lane. – TR

  • Katherine January 7, 2016 (5:03 pm)

    As others have stated earlier, Deleridge, particularly from Orchard north is a kidney jarring mess. The center section is asphalt and the outer section is concrete and where the two materials meet the asphalt is breaking up badly. The way the lines are currently painted, if there was an outside line, your driver side tires are running right down the asphalt/concrete seam, breaking the asphalt up even more. Those articulated 120 buses running every 15~20 minutes aren’t doing the situation any favors either. A lot of us drive as far to the right as is safe in order to stay on the concrete which is in better shape. With the bad road surface, the frequent 120 buses and the amount of traffic the only time I’ve been able to get over 35 is after 9pm.

  • Matt January 7, 2016 (6:06 pm)

    I’d rather see more enforcement regarding cell phones rather than slowing everyone down because they aren’t paying attention in the first place.

  • trickycoolj January 7, 2016 (6:10 pm)

    next year: “we’re taking out the added edge lines as it turns out channeling the traffic through the crater-like potholes caused us to burn through the entire Move Seattle budget paying out wheel and tire damage claims.”

  • chemist January 7, 2016 (6:56 pm)

    Remember trickycoolj, the city needs to have been informed of the pothole prior to your accident to be liable for damage claims. Q13 did a story on that in May.

  • sam-c January 7, 2016 (7:22 pm)

    Ok then, time to start calling in all the potholes.

  • Overthere January 7, 2016 (7:43 pm)

    Lower speed limits means increased revenue. Duh, its a no brainer for the city instead of actually fixing something.

  • koni January 7, 2016 (9:02 pm)

    The crazy thing about all of the school zones…every time I am in one with all the lights a flashing…not a child to be seen …where are all these mythical endangered children anyway???

  • AMD January 7, 2016 (9:08 pm)

    There is a LOT of pedestrian traffic along Delridge in addition to those school areas. Cars aren’t the only consideration in these decisions.
    Agreed about the condition of the road though. Really don’t know how anyone speeds there without shaking engine parts loose. Clearer lines so that drivers aren’t deciding where turn/passing lanes are on the fly will be a nice improvement, imo.

  • Paul January 7, 2016 (10:52 pm)

    I completely agree that the road conditions on Delridge are terrible. They look like they haven’t been maintained in years. Is there any plan to fix them? This should be a high priority for our transportation department.

  • Luna Park January 8, 2016 (12:09 am)

    Random, but semi-related… What ever happened to the crosswalk that was supposed to go in at 24th Avenue SW/Graham and Delridge? I appreciate the one place by the school, but there really needs to be another one connecting the bus stops to the south. As a pedestrian it’s really dangerous to cross there having to fight traffic speeding around the curve. I thought this was a done deal?

    • WSB January 8, 2016 (12:12 am)

      Luna, it was at last report. We’ll check tomorrow.

  • redblack January 8, 2016 (5:55 am)

    WSB: has anyone ever asked SDOT about the poor quality of their retroreflective paint? when conditions are wet, lane markings disappear under reflections from street lights – including the big red boxes on the bridge. and the paint doesn’t seem to last very long.

    SDOT (and WSDOT) needs to ask caltrans how to paint roadways. highway 1 on the north coast literally lights up when your headlights hit the lane markings.

  • AN January 8, 2016 (7:43 am)

    Patching the potholes only works until the next rain! They say paving with asphalt is less expensive, but is it really when you have to constantly fill holes? Concrete last for years…and we wouldn’t have the asphalt/concrete edge that grips the tires.
    Delridge is horrible.

  • McBride January 8, 2016 (9:19 am)

    The Delridge Neighborhoods District Council is lining up an agenda for February that focuses on SDOT and Delridge (the roadway).
    There is a named project in the recently passed levy to upgrade Delridge. SDOT representatives (the current project manager and senior management) will be on hand to discuss the details of what exactly is planned (At issue: the council has been a champion for the last two administrations that this project, once funded (we fought for that one too), would include urban renewal elements – lighting, walkability, flora, etc. – in addition to resurfacing or deck replacement).
    It’s kind of a big deal. Significant decisions result from public meetings, and this will be an important one. Come try out some first-hand democracy. Also, we’re a lot of fun. (The DNDC meets the third Wednesday of each month at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, details and agenda available here on the WSB.)

  • delridgestepchild January 8, 2016 (9:20 am)

    When is this city going to stop treating North Delridge like a step child? I’ve lived there off SW Brandon for 15 years, and have seen the upper hills get rapid rides, speed bumps, repaving etc etc, and yet we get zilch. The 120 is always over crowded, standing room only, and while waiting downtown to go home for one 120 I see 4-5 C lines zipping by. It’s ridiculous. Who cares about speed limits when you only commute by transit. There should be a 100 mph limit for buses, and 55 mph for cars OUTSIDE of school zones. We don’t WORK in Delridge, we COMMUTE in Delridge. And off topic, when is the FOOD DESERT going to get some GREEN????

  • miws January 8, 2016 (9:38 am)

    AN, I totally agree with you but have to add that concrete should last for years, but in reality will last only last for a couple months, at which point a chunk is dug up for general utility work, or by developers, for utility connection access, to their new building(s).


    I have held a strong belief, for decades, and seen others express the same for several years, here on WSB, that the dug up area needs to be fully restored, to original condition, and not to some crap condition, that will become yet another pothole in a couple months or so. I’ll add, that restoring to original condition, should be only on road sections already in good-newish condition. If the area was already in crap condition before they dug, then they should restore enough of the area, to where there’s little or no chance of the area of the restoration becoming potholed in a couple months or so.


    Finally, the restoration should be inspected by SDOT, or the department formerly known as DPD, and redone if needed. Also, their should be liability for the repair for a set period of time afterward, (90 days? 180 days?) in case the restoration fails much too soon.



  • WS resident January 8, 2016 (10:07 am)

    I have had good success with the “Find it, Fix it” app for reporting potholes. The first time I used it to report a spot in the road where the concrete had settled, creating a 3-4″ dip at the seam, the hole was filled (albeit with asphalt) within 2 days. A few other times, they were filled within the week. I guess it depends on the weather.

  • Steve January 8, 2016 (10:17 am)

    Has SDOT given a date for restoring the center asphalt? The concrete in the outside section (the old right lanes northbound and southbound) isn’t in too bad of shape, but the center asphalt section is awful!

    Adding fog lines to reduce the lane width prior to fixing the asphalt issues will create additional problems of people swerving around the huge holes in the center asphalt section, rather than just driving on the right side of the existing lane.

  • DukeMalisto January 8, 2016 (11:58 am)

    I love that they just paint lines in Seattle, without fixing roads first. They put the tire contact points DIRECTLY on existing potholes/sink holes/uncovered drain holes, and have no care in the world about it. Seattle’s current officials’ priorities make me sick.

    That wide swath of road they mention having almost no markings, if it is the same one I am thinking of (near the crosswalk with an island) it is one of the most dangerous parts of Delridge for a motorcyclist already. Going around the holes and broken/uneven pavement would put even a bike outside of a normal lane…

  • Kathy January 8, 2016 (5:40 pm)

    So are the people that are complaining about all these dangerous potholes simply in too much of a hurry to do their civic duty and report them? Probably a lot of the potholes that do get fixed are reported by pedestrians and cyclists who travel at a slower pace and have a lot of “skin” in the game.

  • NS January 8, 2016 (6:24 pm)

    Has there been any talk of a crosswalk going in on Delridge and Hudson? By the bus stop? It’s dangerous to cross! But necessary, as there are no crosswalks close by north or south of there. I see kids crossing all the time.

    And agree with all the pothole statements.

  • willbehonest January 8, 2016 (7:53 pm)

    Delridge is an embarrassment.

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