Next safety project: 30th/ Avalon/ Yancy/ Andover, with work starting soon

That’s a quick Instagram-video spin (mouse over the image to bring up the “play” button) around the treacherous intersection of 30th/Avalon/Yancy/Andover. Busy road, many residents, south edge of the Luna Park business district, RapidRide stop steps away … dangerous whether you’re on wheels or on foot. It’s been a concern for many years – and now improvements are on the way. This came in from project manager Brian Glas at SDOT this afternoon:

Starting as soon as late March, crews working for the Seattle Department of Transportation will add a curb extension, curb ramps, a striped crosswalk, and a flashing crossing beacon at the intersections of SW Avalon Way, SW Andover St, SW Yancy St, and 30th Ave SW.

As I’m sure you know, this junction of intersections does not have a marked crosswalk across the SW Avalon Way arterial. Also, the current sidewalks do not have curb ramps that are compliant with current Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards, making access difficult for people with assistive devices (such as wheelchairs, walkers, or strollers). Please see the map in the attached project fact sheet for more details about the planned improvements.

The contractor has not yet finalized the construction schedule, but we wanted to give you and your readers a heads up of some general construction impacts. Crews will need to temporarily close SW Andover, SW Yancy St, and 30th Ave SW at SW Avalon Way as they build the improvements. They plan to close these side streets on a rotating schedule, to minimize impacts. There will also be intermittent single lane restrictions on SW Avalon Way while crews are working. During these lane restrictions, a flagger will be present to maintain two-way traffic. As of now, we expect King County Metro routes will not be impacted. We anticipate construction will last approximately 6 weeks, though the paving work is very weather dependent. As we know more about the traffic impacts during construction, we will distribute construction notices door-to-door in the project area and to the project email list.

This project is part of the Pedestrian Master Plan, which aims to enhance pedestrian safety, comfort, and access in all of Seattle’s neighborhoods. This project is also part of the Neighborhood Street Fund Program and was one of three projects the Delridge District Council submitted in 2015.

We also plan to send out project listserv email updates throughout construction. People can sign up to receive updates here.

Note that this does *not* include a signal, though one was decreed as “warranted” back in 2011 – before the signal was added at Genesee/Avalon nearby.

15 Replies to "Next safety project: 30th/ Avalon/ Yancy/ Andover, with work starting soon"

  • sam-c March 11, 2016 (4:29 pm)

    Wonderful.  Definitely needed there.  I wonder though, if cyclists will be irritated by the curb extension as it pushes them closer to traffic before making that turn that they all do. I don’t know though, I don’t cycle there, I just watch out for them (cyclists) 

    • WSEA March 11, 2016 (4:41 pm)

      I agree.  Its been long overdue.   I cringe when people cross the street in that area. 

      I dont normally bike that strip due to hazards and wont even with the improvements.   I find it easier to go one block north to the light or come from under the west seattle bridge and up the avalon hill.   I dont think the curb blub will have any negative  impact on cyclists.  It will prevent the danger of cars coming from 30th cutting the corner tight and almost hitting others on yancy. 

  • Paul March 11, 2016 (4:52 pm)

    This area could definitely use a signal. I drive out of there from the nearby gym; it can be very hard when turning left to see traffic due to parked cars and buses. Really scary sometimes. I hope this happens eventually.

  • Pat March 11, 2016 (6:48 pm)

    I haven’t ridden a bicycle in years so any comment I make here is directed to autos. Why the heck would you try and use this intersection to get out on Avalon Way? Genesee is a short distance away and it has a controlled intersection. Is it that hard to drive one or two blocks? Come on people, this intersection of three roads is dangerous at best, just avoid it. And as far as coming out of the gym, sure you have to go a bit out of your way but it is sure safer. I suppose putting up a signal here could answer some of the issues but it is only one block from an already controlled intersection. The city can’t put a signal at every intersection. Okay, maybe they could but you and I would be paying for them through more humongous taxes and immense increases in commute times.

    • JTB March 12, 2016 (9:02 am)

      Pat, there is no direct route from Yancy to Genesee. From Yancy you have to take 28th Ave SW to  SW Nevada to 30th Ave SW to Genesse.  

      I’m at that intersection frequently going to and from the West Seattle Health Club. I’ve never seen anyone try to turn left from Yancy to 30th Ave SW but there are frequent leftish turns from Avalon to 30th Ave SW.  The greatest hazard I’ve seen is from vehicles entering Avalon from 30th Ave SW.  

      It’s a hazardous intersection for drivers, and when pedestrians attempt to cross Avalon, they’re pretty much at the mercy of drivers from both Yancy and 30th SW who may have some pent up frustration from waiting on Avalon traffic. 

  • themightyrabbit March 11, 2016 (6:57 pm)

    Finally something for that intersection.   I cross it every day on bicycle on my commute to and from downtown, and it’s been a game of higher level Frogger(tm).   Hopefully this will work, in other words, that the crossing will be obeyed by traffic on Avalon, since the speeds are fairly high along there.  

  • Danimal March 11, 2016 (7:08 pm)

    That curb extension is a terrible idea. Ramps, great. But that turn is dangerous as it is and forcing people farther north into the lane of traffic coming up the hill that they can’t see, and can’t see them, is GOING to result in an accident, or worse. Mark my words. The lack of foresight by our city planners is astounding sometimes. Tunnel vision (pardon the bad pun) is a bad thing when dealing with how to improve traffic and pedestrian safety.

    • Sam-c March 11, 2016 (8:20 pm)

      Yes, we take that turn in am pretty regularly; with curb extension, i imagine we’ll need to slow enough to have more of a risk of getting rear ended by traffic on avalon.  We do stop for pedestrians headed north to the bus stop. We stop for them all the time, and we stop in the place that will become the extended curb. So, yes, i foresee us getting rear ended now when we stop for peds. No where to pull out of the avalon traffic.

  • dsa March 11, 2016 (8:40 pm)

    If 30th is where I think it is, it should be closed  to Avalon.  This city is too accommodating to these five way intersections anyway and this one is not safe.

  • Curate March 11, 2016 (11:04 pm)

    I agree, a signal would be the best thing. But, barring that, NO ONE should be able to make a left from southbound Avalon onto 30th! That is one of the craziest-making things about that whole wacked intersection. 30th should be one-way, northbound.

    The area needs something far more calming than  ramps, curb extensions, and flashing crosswalk. I know that pedestrians take their lives into their hands trying to cross Avalon (or even Yancy), but have you tried to take a left from westbound Yancy onto southbound Avalon *in a vehicle*? I’ve driven this intersection daily for 10 years and it has gotten way, way worse in recent years. Between the new development on the southeast corner and the pedestrians running to catch the Rapid Ride, you have to be on top of your game when navigating through there. It’s madness.

  • Salal March 12, 2016 (8:45 am)

      Crosswalks and ramps are needed there. I agree…the curb extensions are a bad idea. 30th is not the problem. Its the people turning left onto avalon off yancy. Yancy should be a right turn only just like 30th is. Fairly simple problem to solve.  I am not to concerned if gym folks have to go over a couple blocks. They never stop at the bottom of yancy crossing over 28th on there way to the gym as it is. 

  • TS March 12, 2016 (9:39 am)

    I am happy SDOT is finally doing something to make this intersection a little more safe for pedestrians.  The crosswalk will be helpful. However, they really, really, really need to put a light at this intersection! It is extremely dangerous no matter which way you are driving/cycling/walking.

    I also like curate’s idea of  not allowing lefts from Avalon onto 30th. It might reduce some of the road rage I’ve seen at that intersection, plus make it safer!

  • Paula March 12, 2016 (1:15 pm)

    #1) I agree with all who have stated that traffic entering Avalon Way from 30th Ave is a hazard. Many, many times I have stopped on Yancy waiting for traffic on Avalon Way to clear so I can make a left onto Avalon Way, only to be cut off by a car entering the intersection from 30th SW.

    #2) It is also a hazard when cars waiting on Yancy to make a left onto Avalon Way  find their opportunity, only to have a car coming from the North on Avalon Way cross in front of them to veer onto 30th Ave SW.

    #3) Similarly, cars coming from the North on Avalon Way wanting to make a left onto Yancy wait for the last damn second to signal and move into the left turn lane, cutting off cars that have been waiting on Yancy to turn left onto Avalon Way.

    SOLUTION for #1 and #2: Make 30th a dead end at its North end. Cars fro 30th can drive a few blocks South to Genesee, make a right, then turn safely North or South onto Avalon Way at the existing traffic light.

    SOLUTION for #3: Put in a proper left turn lane for Southbound traffic wanting to turn onto Yancy.

    Voila! No traffic  lights needed – anyway not until several thousand more people with cars move to West Seattle to live in all those apartments for ‘bus riders’.

  • Keith March 14, 2016 (7:55 am)

    I’m glad to see the crosswalk going in.  I have crossed Avalon near Yancy on foot west-to east at night several times, and it is always an adventure.  On an slightly related note, the intersection at Yancy and 28th at the bottom of the hill has gotten pretty dangerous, too.  I can’t tell you how many times I have almost gotten hit by eastbound cars failing to stop at the stop sign.  

  • Mickymse March 25, 2016 (2:11 pm)

    I believe left turns from 30th Ave onto Avalon Way southbound are already restricted according to signage… which doesn’t mean anyone follows the law, but I thought that change had happened already. 

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