Beach Drive traffic calming, Harbor/ Avalon/ Spokane tidying? Neighborhood-fund proposals @ Southwest District Council

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Two community-proposed projects are seeking Southwest District Council support for their applications to get Neighborhood Park and Street Fund money – one on Beach Drive, one on Harbor Avenue. Both were presented at this month’s SWDC meeting, which also included a briefing on the upcoming work to re-replace earthquake-safety cushions on the Fauntleroy Expressway (west/southwest end of the West Seattle Bridge).

SWDC is one of West Seattle’s two groups of representatives from community groups and organizations in what the city defines as this area’s two neighborhood “districts” – Southwest, primarily western WS, and Delridge, eastern WS (see the map here). When it’s time for NPSF applications, the councils review proposals and make recommendations to the city. The criteria include “Projects must cost less than $90,000 as determined by SDOT and Parks” and “The project has widespread positive impact on the neighborhood as a whole.”

The photo atop this story is part of the area involved in the proposal from the Beach Drive SW Neighborhood Committee, formed for the application:

The committee proposes three to four speed humps for Beach Drive along Constellation Park, between Alki Avenue and 63rd Avenue SW, because of what the application describes as “excessive speed, burnouts, gang activity, illegal drug and alcohol use” and other “disruptive behavior.” The committee says it consulted local police before coming up with that recommendation. They quoted SDOT as estimating the cost of speed humps there would be “in the mid-five figures.” Some wondered about that figure, but Deb Barker from the Morgan Community Association said the speed humps on 48th SW in Seaview did cost around that much, and she also noted that they hadn’t done as much good as expected to relieve speeding and other problems on that stretch.

Second, the proposal for Harbor/Avalon/Spokane, described as “routine maintenance with priority given to cleanup and natural-habitat restoration and beautification” of the area surrounding the intersection under the bridge, including what you see in our photo:


Neighbors and Luna Park merchants are supporting this one. Drainage issues and overgrowth abound, as noted in the presentation, and new, native plantings could improve that, resulting in making the area safer for pedestrians and bicycle riders. They’re also looking for “more durable” signage on Manning, the “winding road” that goes under the bridge between Avalon and Admiral just north of the Luna Park commercial district, noting that the existing signs have been knocked down more than once.

SWDC members will review the projects and decide whether to recommend them for advancing in the process.

FAUNTLEROY EXPRESSWAY: Paul Elliott from SDOT came to the meeting with an update. As reported here in January and in February, dozens of closures are ahead when this work gets under way, but as with the original round of replacements, they’re expected to be mostly late at night, without much effect on traffic, as was the case with the closures during the original round of work. The work is most likely to start around mid-April, Elliott said, continuing for about three months. Backstory: It’s been more than a year and a half since it was revealed the cushions would have to be re-replaced (here’s our 2014 report explaining what went wrong)..

The Southwest District Council meets first Wednesdays, 6:30 pm at the Sisson Building/Senior Center in The Junction.

19 Replies to "Beach Drive traffic calming, Harbor/ Avalon/ Spokane tidying? Neighborhood-fund proposals @ Southwest District Council"

  • NW March 7, 2016 (7:19 pm)

    The times I have bicycled along beach drive and constellation park what I have noticed in the summertime and called in to sdot is the litter caked into the gutter plastic wrappers to cigars and cigarette butts this is shoreside practically the surf in the winter literally laps up onto this area and it drains direct to sound. Since making the call to sdot and requesting a street sweeper I see substantially less. Please call and make the request yourself if you see trash along this stretch of road in the future. 

  • Alki Bee March 7, 2016 (8:51 pm)

    The “street humps” on Beach Drive are useless.  Regular drivers on Beach Drive know that there’s no need to slow down at all for the street humps.  You can drive over them at 40 mph (many miles over the speed limit) with virtually no effect on cars, tires or passengers.  It will take the more disruptive type of humps like the ones in the Costco parking lot to slow down drivers.

  • lindynw March 7, 2016 (9:28 pm)

    I agree with Alki Bee.  The speed bumps on 48th in the Seaview area are easily straddled.  They have little to no effect in slowing down the traffic on that street.  The disruptive bumps in the Costco lot cannot be avoided, and they do force you to slow down.  Significant bumps that span the entire width of the street and placed fairly close together might get drivers to slow down on this stretch of road.

  • Overthere March 7, 2016 (10:08 pm)

    $90,000 for three to four speed bumps, or what does this project really cost? Is the benefit there? Seems like a lot. This is how money ends up down a hole that no one actually sees a bill and realizes how much money was really spent nor the benefit received.

    • WSB March 7, 2016 (10:13 pm)

      $90,000 is the maximum for projects in this fund. As mentioned in the story, SDOT estimated it would cost “mid-five figures.” That would be more like $45,000-$50,000. – TR

  • MJ March 7, 2016 (11:08 pm)

    How about we post more cops on Alki/Beach drive in the spring and summer months? Anytime it gets nice out the ratio of a holes to residents goes through the roof. Speed bumps do nothing for motorcycles that go nuts all over Alki. I’d think a cop at both ends of the beach area making life difficult for people would deter traffic.

  • Greenlakeslover March 8, 2016 (9:03 am)

    The Constellation Park section of Beach Drive SW is full of burn out marks in the good weather season. You won’t find these at 48th SW or further south on Beach Drive past Me-Kwa-Mooks Park where speed bumps have been installed. And the high speed reckless driving creates a wild and wooly environment that  brings on the syndrome of other issues mentioned in the article which are not present at the other locations.

  • West Sea Neighbor March 8, 2016 (9:09 am)

    I would like to see some sort of traffic calming on Alaska near Ercolini Park (47th-48th Ave SW). Every morning I see cars turn the corner from 49th and use it as a drag strip going up the hill. I also see a lot of cars coming down the hill at excessive speeds (maybe due to the steepness of the hill). Seems a bit dangerous right next to a heavily used children’s play park.

  • Mary L. March 8, 2016 (10:05 am)


    How about speed bumps on raucous Alki Ave.On any given spring summer or fall day cars and motorcycles rev up by anchor park and let fly down Alki endangering everyone. You can’t even cross the street for fear of being mown down by the speed demons. and that doesn’t even begin to cover the noise.

  • EGR March 8, 2016 (10:12 am)

    Traffic calming on Erskine Way SW would be welcome.

  • wsn00b March 8, 2016 (11:16 am)

    The overgrowth in the picture above looks almost manicured compared to the garbage dumping ground and weeds mess on the entrance to the bridge on Fauntleroy on the shoulders and median.  Somebody just dumped a large white pipe that was hanging over the roadway too.

    The whole primary entrance to West Seattle screams “Welcome to this junkyard. Nobody gives a #$%^”.

    Please take a photo of the bridge entrances and publish it – maybe SDOT will listen then.

    • Greenlakeslover March 8, 2016 (1:16 pm)

      The picture does not show the garbage left on this stretch of street by Constellation Park because the residents and park visitors  clean up the mess daily.  

  • WS Taxpayer March 8, 2016 (3:45 pm)

    speed humps discriminate against low-riders and post production aero-kits…can’t we all just get along?

  • wetone March 8, 2016 (4:51 pm)

    Speed bumps come on people, you really think you can control law with painted lanes , speed bumps , flashing signs and so many more laughable tactics ? It will never happen, but this is the new Seattle way of dealing with so many issues. People with their motor vehicles have sped and did stupid things since invented.  The only thing that stops stupid drivers are cops monitoring the streets and ticketing all that brake the law. Be it cars, motorcycles, bicycles or jay walkers. Until Mayor Murray ok’s police to start ticking all offenders nothing will ever change. Times today are no different than 40yrs ago here in WS. People drag raced along Alki ave, down 63rd, Beach Drive, West Marginal, South Park fwy and many other places. The only thing that stopped it or related issues was the police being able to do their job and write tickets or throw one in jail. Coming from one that grew up at Alki ; ) Something Seattle does little of anymore for anything. Placing speed bumps is just an expensive feel goodie that does nothing to deal with problem and penalizing all law abiding people in their daily lives. The new Seattle….. making responsible people lives more difficult…….  

  • KHARMA March 8, 2016 (8:35 pm)
    This part of Beach Drive differs from the other areas mentioned in several respects.  It is a non-arterial street with a 25mph speed limit that borders a park, which means that it is often full of walkers, runners, bicyclists.  These people have a right to enjoy this area without being menaced by cars–sometimes in groups–burning out from a dead stop to speeds of 40-50mph or more.  This is far from routine speeding.
    SPD has increased enforcement and monitoring in the area but they support traffic calming because, understandably, their resources are limited.
    This project isn’t about beautification, rather it’s about public safety.  Which is more important?
  • Laura March 9, 2016 (12:09 pm)

    This reminds me of a question I have often pondered but never asked: Why are there no crosswalks on Avalon up by Yancy where folks are constantly playing real-life frogger during rush hour to get to buses?  Is there any history on this? 

    • Kim March 10, 2016 (3:59 pm)

      There’s definitely a huge need for help on Avalon by Yancy. It’s become a busy crazy arterial with pedestrians, cyclists, cars, trucks and buses. I think crosswalks give a false sense of security for pedestrians, but maybe if it had a blinking light above? I would love to see a traffic light too. Someone mentioned there was going to be some improvements… I sure hope so! @WSTC? 

  • Beth March 9, 2016 (12:37 pm)

     Re the Constellation Park on Beach Drive:  Asking the city for more police presence is much more expensive than speed humps, and perhaps more substantial Costco-style bumps would be in order.  Seems it is a park community that is trying to calm the speeders in a sensible way.   I hope the city can help ameliorate the problem before some tragic event happens to a pedestrian or bicyclist, just out trying to enjoy the view.

  • Jan Clow March 10, 2016 (4:49 pm)

    The current speed bumps on Beach Dr. S.W. south of Jacobsen Rd. are almost more dangerous than the drag racing that previously was a problem there.  Because it’s an arterial and bus route, the bumps could not be big enough to make a difference.  What happens now is that people think they can avoid the bumps by going in the middle of them.  Now we are faced with cars speeding down the middle of the road which is possible worse.  Don’t know why smart people can’t look at those speed bumps and see that the least impact to them is to go directly over the center of them rather than swerving between two of them.  The Costco bumps would work much better in the area by Constellation Park since they are pretty jarring to go over and would have a bigger impact.

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