35TH SW FOLLOWUP: Schedule change; greenway discussion ahead; new petitions

(Map from July 2015 slide deck about 35th SW plan)

When last we checked in on the 35th Avenue SW Corridor Safety Project – which changed the configuration of lanes on 35th, from Roxbury to just south of Morgan, last fall – SDOT’s Jim Curtin told WSB that the plan for Phase 2, and stats on Phase 1, were expected to be out in May. That month has come and gone; we checked in again today to ask where things stand. Curtin’s reply:

We’ve adjusted our schedule to coordinate outreach with another SDOT effort that may have implications for 35th Avenue SW – the West Seattle Neighborhood Greenway. As you know, greenways are safer, calmer non-arterial streets prioritized for people walking and biking. We need residents to help us determine the best route for the greenway as well as locations for crossing improvements (the routes identified in the BMP are merely suggestions).

We’re aiming for the week of July 11th or 18th for our first meeting, where we’ll share preliminary data for Phase 1 of the 35th Avenue SW project, start the discussion about the Neighborhood Greenway route, share draft plans for Phase 2 of the 35th Ave SW project, and solicit feedback from residents. We also intend to host walking tours like we did for Phase 1 in August.

As a community-collaborative news organization, we cover many things that start with tips, questions, or other messages. Our followup with Curtin today was inspired by a note from Bob Neel. You might know him as an opponent of the rechannelization; he launched a Change.org petition against it last year. Today, he e-mailed both to wonder about the status of Phase 2 and to ask if we would publish the links to two new petitions he’s started. While there is no way for any online poll or petition to be anything resembling scientific (that’s why we don’t set up our own), he’s interested in comparing results from pro and con petitions.

He writes: “For those who like the lane reduction, here is a petition for SDOT to extend the project. For those who are not in favor of the lane reduction, here is a petition for SDOT to go back to 4 lanes. I have attempted to word each petition in a balanced, neutral way so that there is no inherent bias. I’d really like to see a large response to these petitions so that we can get a representative ‘pulse’ of the neighborhood reaction to the project.”

(If you do choose to sign one – or even if you don’t – consider commenting here to say why!)

62 Replies to "35TH SW FOLLOWUP: Schedule change; greenway discussion ahead; new petitions"

  • Oakley34 June 7, 2016 (3:26 pm)

    I am guessing this is not the petitions authors intent, but saying ‘extend it for all of 35th’ does create some possible bias as SDOT’s own proposal does not extend it for all of 35th.  I guess he meant fulfill the phase 2 implementation, but the wording is off. 

    • WSB June 7, 2016 (3:54 pm)

      Oak – I pointed that out too. Bob’s point in reply was that it is expected to stop just 2 blocks south of Alaska. Technically, though, if we’re talking “all of 35th” … the street goes all the way to East Admiral. But north of Fauntleroy, it’s one lane each way already. Anyway, the map atop the story is accurate, at least to what SDOT’s collateral looked like last year – TR

    • WalterMS June 8, 2016 (10:19 am)

      This is a fact. The reconfiguration of 35th has caused substantial increases in longT lines of cars at every time of day at stop lights. I drive to work at 3 in the afternoon, and see a line of cars a block long. At 3 in the afternoon! This is an arterial. If I could take the bus to work as a swing shift worker, I would, but as it is, it would more than double my commute time. If I could afford to live on Capitol Hill as a custodian, I would, but that is not realistic. The road diet has worked for a few, but for the majority, it is a failure.

      • KM June 8, 2016 (5:44 pm)

        3 in the afternoon is about the time many schools let out, that could explain why there is congestion at that time, though it isn’t “rush hour”. I notice that time in the afternoon is often more congested that 6pm, so I assume it’s WS Elementary, Roxhill, Sealth, Denny etc traffic. AM rush hour and school start times overlap a bit more.

  • Scott June 7, 2016 (3:51 pm)

    The battle against cars wages on and we are losing.  There is no way this should have ever happened. How do you move a lot cars North and South in West Seattle. Oh wait you don’t, we are to leave are cars at home and walk everywhere.  Forget the City and the people in power.  They are working against us and there is no common sense to be found.  

  • LDA June 7, 2016 (4:03 pm)

    I live on 35th Ave SW just north of Camp Long. I’m in favor of the lane reduction for several reasons:

    1. Safety – Cars go so fast along this stretch it’s surprising the accidents aren’t worse. There are way more close calls than actual accidents reported. I work at home so I hear how every single day there are huge screeches as cars almost hit other cars waiting to turn onto Hudson Street. And then there are the actual accidents which happen occasionally.  A single lane with reduced speed would seem to decrease accidents, and certainly would decrease damage.
    2. Pedestrians – We’ve basically learned to wait to cross 35th until there’s no traffic, which can take a long time. I assure you nobody stops for anyone trying to cross. Ever. A neighbor is a mother of three, including an infant in a stroller, who tries to cross with her kids and dog and a traffic safety flag held by one of the kids and nobody stops for them. I see this every day as they go to their school bus stop. It’s kind  of ridiculous. And at 35th and Hudson is Providence Mt St Vincent where there are all kinds of staff and old people who cannot cross easily. The increased visibility and lower speed of the converged lanes would dramatically aid people trying to cross.
    3. Aesthetics – Four lanes brings with it a sensibility of urban transport, along with which comes detachment from neighborhood connection, which means more litter, more noise, less regard for neighbors, etc. Two lanes and a center lane along with slower traffic bring back a sense of smaller environs and inherently more connection. Decreasing noise makes a big difference to the neighborhood quality of life as well.

    This is off the top of my head. Hope it helps some people understand why we want the changes. Your commute time is marginally affected but quality of life overall will rise with reduction in lanes.

    • PSPS June 7, 2016 (4:20 pm)

      With all due respect, you decided to live on a main arterial. By your reasoning, Aurora should be turned into a single lane just to mollify those who decided to move into one of the houses there.

      • Chris Stripinis June 8, 2016 (9:17 am)

        Living on a main arterial does not mean that you can not advocate for improvements in safety and aesthetics. 

        The flipside, as someone pointed out, is that the car commuters chose to live so far from their place of employment.

      • wb June 9, 2016 (3:44 pm)

        Ah, the elitists are weighing in.  Your fault–you don’t deserve to have a safe environment because you bought a house?    Do people need to drive up and down this road speeding and causing accidents?  You have brought this upon yourselves. Now deal.

    • Oakley34 June 7, 2016 (4:43 pm)

      well said.

    • WS Taxpayer June 7, 2016 (4:44 pm)

      for the houses along 35th this makes perfect sense.  For everyone else, it is crazy.  Put a crosswalk in.  

      • Curtis June 7, 2016 (7:57 pm)

        We had a system where people who lived along roads owned the roads and taxed passerbys:  it was called feudalism.  

        Best solution would be to keep two lanes but widen by removing center lane and parking on one side of street.  Compensate home owners $15000 each for losing their parking.

        • KM June 8, 2016 (10:09 am)

          The parking doesn’t belong to residents on 35th, it belongs to the city, it is on public roadway. Removing parking would take away convenience for residents and others who use the parking, but not property from the residents.

    • Lesley June 7, 2016 (7:45 pm)

      I completely agree and I do not live on an arterial, 35th, but rather on 34th, south of Camp Long. I have to make a left turn off of 35th at least once per day to get home and fear for my life every time, and take preventative measures in case someone is following too closely. I often drive PAST my street by a few blocks so that I can turn at the light at Findlay because people are more used to stopping there and it feels safer. I still have almost been clipped a few times. I have seen many instances of people being rear-ended attempting to turn left. It sometimes has ended in death.  While it doesn’t matter much to me about whether it is two or four lanes, because I always cross at the light at Findlay, a center turn lane is desperately needed to prevent the rear-end collisions and reduce the possibility of head on collisions, since most people driving on the left lanes are clicking around 40-45mph. So if no lane reduction, at least put in a center lane, maybe by taking away parking on one side? 

  • steve June 7, 2016 (4:12 pm)

    I drive this whole route 4 times every day and have seen no increase in travel time over the last year. It is much more safe feeling and less stressful than it used to be. It is easier on the car too now that the hard braking and gassing is not needed at the intersections. Nice job SDOT.

    • AL June 7, 2016 (5:04 pm)

      Yea…what Steve said!!!

    • Paul June 7, 2016 (6:01 pm)

      Amen!  Finish the job, SDOT!

    • Chris Stripinis June 8, 2016 (9:20 am)

      I agree.  I drive 35th almost every day, at all times of day, rush hour or not, and I haven’t seen any significant increase in travel times.  Plus, it’s so much more relaxing to drive where the lanes have been reduced!

  • LDA June 7, 2016 (4:20 pm)

    One way the FOR Changes petition shows negative bias is this statement found within the description:

    SPREAD THE WORD:  An amazing number of people were unaware of this project and the proposed changes, and were shocked to wake up to a different commute when it was implemented.

    While its  intent may be to alert people of upcoming changes and their ability to influence the outcome, anyone reading this can tell the author didn’t like the changes that happened.

  • D Del Rio June 7, 2016 (4:35 pm)

     I am not arguing for or against this road diet; I just wish that we could get our streets repaved with a quality material before all this reconfiguration is done. I have family and friends who live in Federal Way, and when I go visit them, I am amazed on how smooth their roads are. When they come here, they always comment how horrible the condition of our roads are in the Seattle city limits.  It just seems with our high property values and taxes that go along with it, this city seems to waste a lot of money, and our roads are falling apart. I have lived in Seattle for almost 50 years, and this is the worst I have seen them.

  • George T. June 7, 2016 (4:38 pm)

    I’ve lived on 35th near Camp Long many years and favor the reduction. Too many drivers treat it like a freeway — hence the I-35 nickname — and there have been multiple accidents near my house regarding cars turning onto or off of 35th. Having a turning lane will improve safety at every intersection. Many of my neighbors have young children and it’s unnerving to hear so many vehicles racing by as if it’s not a residential area. If people didn’t treat every street like a race track maybe none of these changes would be necessary. 

  • Gatewood gurl June 7, 2016 (4:38 pm)

    Every street in west Seattle looks like the ferry just came in……I walk a lot and never had a problem crossing  35th, I used a crosswalk….imagine that.

  • Lani and Mandi June 7, 2016 (4:58 pm)

    The bicycle lanes should be on the streets that run parallel to the main street. Not on the main streets like 35th and California ave, and delridge ave, and Alaskan ave, and Fauntleroy ave, any of the lanes that have buses also traveling should not double duty with bicycles! 

    • WSB June 7, 2016 (5:00 pm)

      L & M – that’s what the discussion of the greenway is about – if you click through to the link, the next greenway is proposed on 34th, and that’s part of what will be discussed, Jim Curtin said, at the upcoming meeting. But please note, unless expressly prohibited such as on freeways, bicycles are allowed on streets, so the absence of a bicycle lane doesn’t mean you’re going to see an absence of bicycles.

  • southwellj June 7, 2016 (5:13 pm)

    When the city made the last change, I sent in the following bullets.  They seem every bit as relevant as they did when I sent this a year ago.  These bullets also refer to many of the points the city was making when they were justifying this debacle.

    1.  Six lanes down to five – (To clarify, I’m including the parking lanes on each side of the road) I understand what the stated intention was but, days into the change, you can see that the current system is far less efficient.  What we now usually have, during peak times, is a solid line of cars that are traveling well under the newly posted speed limit.  This is creating a new safety issues that I doubt were part of the plan.
    –  People are now seeking alternate routes.  I’m watching cars pull off of 35th and head one or two blocks east to travel through the residential areas.  You’ve now taken commuters off of a standard arterial route and pushed them into areas that are not designed to move high volumes of commuters.
    2.  Supporting the need for more public transportation support – It’s been stated that there is increasing demand on public transportation.  Thus, a need to change the lane configuration to support this demand.  This is perhaps one of the more confusing parts to the puzzle.  We now have buses pulling in and out of a single lane of traffic.  There is no ability to move around the merging bus and keep traffic flowing.  If the bus is merging, traffic has no choice but to stop.  And, remember that steady stream of cars I mentioned in point #1.  Yeah, they all stop too, the whole chain.
    –  I’m already seeing people that are operating dangerously in a attempt to get ahead of the bus or to make it look like they were at a point where they didn’t need to let the bus merge in.  This just fosters an environment for road rage as every bus stop becomes a stop light every 10 minutes when a bus pulls in and out.  Considering there are a number of bus stops along 35th, this obstruction is considerable.
    3.  Slower cars equate to safer roadways for pedestrians and drivers – Well, this is a bit of a red herring.  If all drivers just stopped on 35th, and put their cars in park, there would be even fewer accidents.  Yes, that’s a bit of an extreme example but the logic is consistent and it’s what 35th is close to becoming during commute times.  
    –  The frustration here is that pedestrians are conditioned to know that 35th is an arterial and that there is traffic and risk to be aware of.  However, now that the same traffic is pushing into the residential areas, people are not conditioned to be looking for commuters on 34th or any of the sides streets running parallel to 35th.  We’ve created a much more dangerous environment as we have commuters traveling through neighborhoods and trying to navigate away from the mess that is 35th.
    4.  Support for emergency services – This is the most worrisome.  We now have an arterial that has considerably more congestion.  The same number of commuters, that were once supported by two lanes, are now supported by one.  This basically leaves the center lane as the only way for emergency services to move swiftly up and down 35th.  Remember, there are still people parked on the sides of 35th and therefore, motorists have very little room to move right to make room for the EMS providers.
    –  We now have an opportunity for a single car, sitting in the turn lane, to stop an EMS provider coming from the opposite direction.  The car likely is sitting with a solid stream of cars to their right and the EMS provider is trying to bypass the solid stream on their right.  Again, there is no where for people to go.
    5.  Lane size – This is perplexing too.  It would appear that the previous lane size was 9′.  I’m assuming that was a legal lane size.  We’ve now upgraded to 11′ lanes.  While it’s fun to have giant lanes, it feels like an incredible waste when I’m crawling along, in a steady stream of cars, at 20MPH. 
    6.  Simple common sense – I’m still surprised that someone looked at this problem and apparently thought “Well, there is more traffic and more commuters.  We better cut a lane and lower the speed limit” …and the City agreed.   I’ve looked at the data and a fatality every other year is certainly a sad statistic.  I’m sensitive to that statistic but I believe that pushing commuters and traffic off of 35th is just recipe for more accidents, injuries, and fatalities.
    6.  But the studies say… – Yes, I’m sure that the Aurora and Fauntleroy projects will continue to be cited as proof points for the project.  However, many people adapted to the Fauntleroy changes by simply using 35th more to move north and south.  (I was one of them) and the changes to Fauntleroy were in an area with far fewer lights and bus stops.  As for the Aurora project, I only know what I just read on the SDOT site about the project.  From what I can tell, there is no place along Aurora where traffic was taken from two lanes down to one.  
    • wb June 9, 2016 (5:54 pm)

      35th is residential.  Did you miss that in the presentation?

       •488 parcels
      •73% single family residential (359)
      •11% apartment, condo, townhouse (55)
      •10% commercial/industrial (48)
      •4 churches or religious service centers
      •3 schools within two blocks
      •2 libraries, parks and community centers
      •2 daycare centers
      •Retirement/nursing homes, medical services

  • WSoldguy June 7, 2016 (5:38 pm)

    No disrespect

    To LDA….you live on ARTERIAL

    To Steve and Al…what time do you drive 35th?

    To George T….again, you live on an arterial.

    To Gatewood Gurl…You are right on the nose.

    To Lani and Mani…thumbs up

    My thoughts….I have lived in WS all my life…55 years…

    1.  People take illegal turns over the double yellow lines which cause backups and collisions, and other bad situations.

    2.  I take the back streets which upsets people that live on 34th and 36th.  More traffic means lower house values on 35th.  A house on 35th is valued lower than a house on 34th or 36th….sorry to say but true.

    3.  I don’t have all the answers but ask yourself this….with all the new building going on in WS…..where is the traffic going to go?  

  • Rick June 7, 2016 (5:52 pm)

    Hey, at least I’m discovering much more of the neighborhoods I’ve bypassed for the last 45 years using those outrageous arterials being used what they designed for.  

  • Cainipoo June 7, 2016 (6:55 pm)

    Well, a lot of the side streets I started using have much smoother road surfaces than 35th. I think I’m doing my part to help prevent the growing cracks/craters on 35th.

  • WSoldguy June 7, 2016 (7:04 pm)

    Thank you Chemist for clearing this up.

  • WSoldguy June 7, 2016 (7:05 pm)

    To Rick….I agree…lol

  • Greystreet June 7, 2016 (9:32 pm)

    SouthwellJ–amazing and incredibly accurate but I feel it will only fall on deaf ears…Seattle becomes increasingly difficult to reside in on a weekly basis, but alas I love it here.  I feel like the math should speak for itself, they’ve created traffic patterns that didn’t exist when it was 4 lanes…there is traffic at 0530 when there shouldn’t be because someone is crawling at 20mph down 35th, yep I’m one of the people who have illegally passed people because I’m sorry, at least follow the speed limit–some of us have places to be and as a nurse I have a duty to report to work at a specific time 

  • Chemist June 7, 2016 (9:57 pm)

    Let’s bookend a non-arterial/walk-bike priority “greenway” planning discussion with how we turned an arterial into something more like a greenway and how to continue to do that ?

    Seems like it’s engineered to be bedlam.

  • WSoldguy June 7, 2016 (10:25 pm)

    To Southwellj…keep it simple

  • Eric1 June 7, 2016 (11:06 pm)

    Lol the complaints about the “choice” of living ON 35th?  Why do you live south of the Junction and have to use 35th?  Bought a cheaper/better house south?  Yeah, me too, and yep I commute on 35th. I don’t complain about the long commute north on 35th because it was my choice to live south in a quiet neighborhood (I wouldn’t live on Alki for free). You and I could have spent more money and be closer to work and enjoyed a 0 minute commute but I don’t have the $1.0-1.5M for houses near my office. So we all make choices and sometimes you gotta look at yourself and say: Yep, my choice, my problem.  Your 35th Ave commute problem is easily solved with the same “money” as you berate those who live on 35th should have spent to live on a quieter street.


    I don’t think 35th is any slower now but the WS bridge/I5 is always way more frustrating than 35th.  I love 35th now.  No yahoos in POS cars weaving in and out of traffic late for work.  If your job is that crabby about the time you show up, you need a better job or you need to leave earlier.  I used to commute to work in 25-30 minutes and get there at 8AM years ago.  Now I just shoot for a 7AM start and my commute is probably still 25- 30 at 6:20. My commute home on the other hand…  Always bad…. and again 35th is the least frustrating part. But that is better than leaving at 7:00 and riding the brakes both ways.

  • Heather June 7, 2016 (11:47 pm)

    Echoing @Eric1. Even 25th Ave NE, the arterial entrance into University Village, used to be four lanes and is down to two so that traffic slows and people can park and cross the street. 35th runs along a growing neighborhood which is beginning to have its share of great small retail establishments – I appreciate driving slower, street parking when I need it and being able to stop for pedestrians without as much worry that the person behind me is going to rear end me. This area is identified for future growth, “urban area”, so expect more small businesses and increased pedestrian usage. 

  • JanS June 8, 2016 (12:16 am)

    If y’all would just obey the speed limit no “diet” would be necessary.It’s an arterial….with a posted speed limit. People ignore it…people are the problem. Get after them, not SDOT.  And some of you need to look inward.

  • Jon Wright June 8, 2016 (1:12 am)

    It only took 3 posts before the supposed “war on cars” was trotted out.

    Making the road safe for everyone who uses it–drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, transit riders–does not equate to a “war on cars.”

  • Rick June 8, 2016 (6:22 am)

    In reality, it should have “galloped out at breakneck speed” as opposed to “trotted out” in the first post, but with the social engineering here, “amble” is about the best you’re going to get. 

  • Don June 8, 2016 (6:27 am)

    I live on 35th where the road changes occurred last year and it has made the area MUCH better…

    Less noise, less danger…

    of course we see the occasional a hole speeding down the center lane to get ahead of the law abiding drivers…but overall much better….

  • Josh June 8, 2016 (7:52 am)

    It’s not a fight between cars, pedestrians, and bicyclists, it’s a constant fight against bad traffic planning.

    This highlights the amazing thing about traffic design in Seattle. We have houses, schools, and churches that face onto an arterial.

    That makes it practically impossible for the roadway to end up performing like an arterial. Arterials don’t have 20 mph zones when school is in session, pedestrians crossing at every intersection, people trying to pull in and out of driveways. It’s fundamentally broken from the beginning.

    A good start would be reworking school traffic where possible to enter on a side street, making the kids safer and the traffic better. Alley improvements where possible to encourage alley parking for residents, and a reduction in street parking on arterials.

    The greenbelt proposal to create a better bike/pedestrian corridor is great. Decoupling car and bike commuters is great.

    Let’s keep improving the design to increase the safety and comfort for all.

  • Evil twin June 8, 2016 (8:30 am)

    No one wants to compromise safety.Not too over simplify but : 2 lanes north/ 2 lanes south, turn lane in middle. A few more crosswalks and more law enforcement of posted speed limit. Problem solved. Aren’t we putting the cart before the horse here on transportation? At best we get light rail in 2030 but we will just reduce capacity while growing until then? Seems like bad math to me. 

  • PG June 8, 2016 (8:34 am)

    I find 35th actually more stressful now during peak hours.  People drive much closer together, right and left turns are made into tighter spaces, drivers slow and stop abruptly with no warning.  I feel that many potential safety improvements could have been made without removing lanes, but were ignored in favor of a trendy solution.

    • wb June 9, 2016 (3:48 pm)

      Don’t drive it.

  • AIDM June 8, 2016 (9:01 am)

    I do worry that SDOT is conducting these pseudo elections and placing value on their result.  They are highly hackable and should not have baring on the decision.  Its an example of poor understanding by SDOT of technology/statistics/traffic engineering that is needed to do their work competently. 

    • WSB June 8, 2016 (9:07 am)

      AIDM – Please note, SDOT is NOT conducting pseudo elections or any other kind of elections. Bob Neel is a private citizen. As I aside’d in the story, WSB does not initiate polls/votes (though they are a favorite tactic of some news sites) precisely because they are nonscientific, among other things, but we do mention many if not most of the community-initiated ones brought to our attention on hot topics … If you think this reads as if he is associated with SDOT, perhaps I need to throw in a few more words to clarify. – Tracy

      • Bob Neel June 9, 2016 (10:07 pm)

        I have trouble with WSB’s contention that these petitions
        (polls, really) aren’t “scientific.”

        Tracy’s credentials with regard to blogging and journalism
        are evident to me; her scientific background or expertise isn’t.

        For my part, I have a Master’s Degree in Mechanical
        Engineering from Stanford University and 35 years’ experience in new-product
        development, process analysis & improvement, and quality systems, working
        in aerospace and high tech industries as well as consulting worldwide.  Full disclosure:  I am not a traffic engineer, not affiliated
        with SDOT, and I am against the road diet.


        I disagree that this is not ‘scientific.’  It certainly is not representative of ALL
        users of the 35th corridor. 
        It obviously is limited to people who have some degree of computer
        literacy, access to the internet, and who follow sources such as WSB and
        Nextdoor.  However being representative is
        not a requirement for being ‘scientific’. 

        The two petitions were created at exactly the same time and
        are essentially clones of one-another.  I
        wrote the ‘Extend’ petition, then made a copy and just exchanged the ‘for’
        arguments with the ‘against’ arguments to create the ‘Remove’ version.  Both were posted at the same time, and
        notification was sent to WSB, Nextdoor, and my local Blockwatch group at the
        same time.  (I am a blockwatch captain
        for 34th between Holden and Webster.)  In each case, a request was made to share
        this with all neighbors, so as to develop interest as quickly as possible.  Apart from the “all 35th
        reference in the wording – since corrected – and the use of the word “shocked”
        (which is true, but has been construed as biased), these are very neutral
        presentations of two opposing viewpoints.


        Some have criticized the use of petitions.  I would be happy if there were an
        easily-accessible alternative. I’d also be happy if SDOT would do something
        like send a ballot/postcard to everyone in the 35th ‘watershed’ and
        solicit their response.  But this is the
        most direct way I can get at the pulse of at least a sizable portion of the
        impacted population.

        Remember that this whole thing started with the “make it
        safer” petition that was initiated in early 2014, fueled by ardent support from
        Tom Rasmussen, our former Council Member. 
        The Mayor and then Scott Kubly, head of SDOT, got on board.  This became a political cause driven by the “I-35”
        camp, despite good ‘scientific’ data suggesting that it was misguided.

        At the final meetings last July, Mayor Murray said
        [paraphrasing], “We want to hear what you have to say.”  What he didn’t say is, “But we’re going to do
        what we want no matter what you think.” 
        Why do I say this?  Well, in
        roughly 14 months the very generic “Make it Safer” petition got some 800 signatures.  In about 6 weeks my specific “Don’t reduce lanes”
        petition got nearly 1000.  And many
        confided to me that they had signed both because the “safer” petition was like “motherhood and apple pie.”  But the die of political will
        was already cast…  SDOT went ahead
        despite popular opposition.

        MORE ‘SCIENCE’:

        Here are some ‘scientific’ analyses of the situation:

        1.      1.  Transportation (a.k.a., getting from Point A to
        Point B efficiently and safely) is a process – one which can be analyzed and

        2.      2.    They are
        trying to solve a process problem that does not exist.

         In the
        SDOT presentation, Slide 17 states, “Collision rate… …is BELOW citywide rate.”  [emphasis added]

        In the last 10 years there have been 1065
        collisions.  In that same period there
        were more than 64 million traffic ‘trips’. 
        Seen as a ‘process,’ that is about one incident (defect) in every 64,000
        events.  This equates to a rate of 16
        defects per million opportunities (“ppm”), or statistically speaking about
        5-1/2 Sigma.  (Sigma = Standard Deviation
        from the norm – 5 Sigma is 233 ppm, 6 Sigma is 3.4 ppm).  In quality circles, 6 Sigma is the ‘holy
        grail’ by which processes are measured and evaluated; it is considered to be
        essentially ‘perfect.’

        A 5-1/2 sigma process that involves humans and
        equipment in all states and conditions – trained or not; distracted or not; fatigued
        or not; impaired or not; maintained or not – is impressively GOOD.

        3.     3.    SDOT acknowledges that the traffic volume on 35th
        is too great to make it a candidate for a road diet.  But politics got in the way…

        4.     4.    In the last year of SDOT data, there were more
        fatalities on Delridge (with its road diet) than on 35th with four

        People have had a year to judge the
        effectiveness of the changes.  It is
        still early, but after only 2-1/2 days there have been over 300 opinions
        expressed.  For every one in favor there
        are roughly four who are opposed.

        Given that there are 24,000 trips per day and assuming most
        are round trips, that equals some 12,000 people/cars using 35th.  I’d LOVE it if we could somehow get 5 or 6
        thousand ‘votes’ from these users.  But
        lacking the resources of taking a door-to-door poll [or similar], this petition
        process is the best ‘scientific’ approach I have available.

        Please spread the work and try to get every one of our
        neighbors to weigh in.  Thanks.

        • Bob Neel June 9, 2016 (10:11 pm)

          Sorry about the crappy formatting — the cut & paste didn’t work very well…  :-|

        • Bob Neel June 14, 2016 (1:00 pm)

          Meant to say, “please spread the word” [not “work”]

  • aRF June 8, 2016 (10:10 am)

    I only use 35th for commuting and I support the road diet. Signal timing could be better. The 20 mph school zone does create a larger morning backup, but really only because people can’t zoom through illegally like they did when it was four lanes. One gets the occasional angry person using the turn lane as a passing lane. 

  • Mat June 8, 2016 (12:46 pm)

    I’m much rather see an SDOT petition that ‘counts’ like what they did for the transportation plan than these continued competing politicians. 

    • Mat June 8, 2016 (12:47 pm)

      apologies, I meant PETITIONS, not politicians. Heh. 

  • MJC June 8, 2016 (2:45 pm)

    As a resident of 34th Ave SW the road diet has cause and HUGE increase in safety concerns for our neighborhood.  People now travel at speeds in excess of 30-40 miles per hour to “avoid” 35th and beat the line of cars waiting at the lights.  I am tailgated and honked at daily by frustrated drivers who want to use 34th as an arterial.  Just today my neighbor and I were  almost hit by a driver who didn’t want to wait and yield.  On a daily basis I see people use the turn lane to pass other cars and get frustrated behind the wheel.  I feel no safer on 35th, and with the continued increase in construction projects wonder how these road diets will affect the future of West Seattle.  No matter which way you bend, something has to give.

  • Matt June 8, 2016 (3:14 pm)

    I don’t like the lane reduction … but it would be more tolerable if the lights on 35th were timed better and a left turn light/lane was added at Barton.

  • Sunuva June 8, 2016 (4:25 pm)

    Is a center turn lane on 35th a good idea? Yes. Was it a good idea to take away half of the general purpose lanes to create one? NO! This road has way too much traffic to reduce the lanes down to one in each direction. It is less safe for everyone in so many ways. I’ve already been in a couple of almost-accidents that would never have been possible before the reconfiguration. There are so many other options that could have been implemented to make 35th safer, like more/better crosswalks, lighting improvements, paint and road surface repairs, actual enforcement of the speed limit. Yet, SDOT implemented this heavy-handed approach that made the road not only unpleasant, but unsafe, to drive on. I was against it from the start, and I have given it a (forced) chance, and I have only become more convinced that it is absolutely the wrong solution for 35th.

  • Arbor Heights Traffic Hostage June 8, 2016 (9:20 pm)

    35th re-configuration:  What an  ill-conceived mess!  I see people making turns and narrowly missing pedestrians.  No improvement in safety,  just enormous and dangerous bottlenecks with idling cars and more pollution.  Go back to 4 lanes and end the massive continuous traffic jam that absolutely did not need to happen.  35th re-configuration was a total waste of our taxpayer dollars.

  • AmandaKH June 9, 2016 (10:42 am)

    If all of you put this energy into dealing with the Actual traffic problem in West Seattle – ingress/egress – we could put serious pressure on the City to actually make improvements.  Insulting your neighbors for where they live, or discounting their feelings because of Your inconvenience is polarizing.  But making serious changes to how we get into and out of the Peninsula is something real and uniting. 

    • Mat June 9, 2016 (1:21 pm)

      Agreed and well put!

  • If You Only Knew Me June 9, 2016 (10:44 am)

    I really can’t stand the merge traveling south on 35th just past Morgan.  Today there was a bus stopped near the pizza hut. There was a truck behind the bus. I was in the left lane. I knew the bus was going to be slow going up the hill from stop position so I thought I could pass (I was going speed limit in my standard lil car). The bus decided to pull out right as I was approaching and block two lanes much to my shock and apparently my rapid braking and sudden need to merge was too close for the truck (I think that was the problem because I couldn’t think of what else it was)  who followed me through the neighborhood and told me as much.  It’s ironic that I’m usually the one self policing 35th antics and here I was on the wrong side of the argument. I don’t blame the truck driver but if he knew me he would probably be way more compassionate and chalk it up to a perfect storm. I hate that merge and try to get to the right WAY ahead of time but made an exception seeing a stopped bus. My point is – like many are saying – in their efforts to make things safer I feel like I’ve seen more close calls and aggressive driving (this time the bus driver) and more frustration in general (rightfully the truck driver) ever since the changes.  

  • RayK June 20, 2016 (11:55 am)

    I support the road diet and proposed extension north. While not a commuter occasionally driving 35th during the day, I’ve had no issue with occasional slowing of traffic. If I were a driving commuter, I would adjust my departure time to allow for slower traffic.  
    Full disclosure: I will be living on 35th Ave soon and I don’t want to hear crashes and more sirens responding to those crashes. 
    I support the road diet for the intended result: fewer accidents and even fewer fatalities.

  • Jo Lubo June 20, 2016 (4:20 pm)

    How many times have you been caught at Morgan Junction NB on California behind a bus?  Those bus “bulbs” are heinous.  I worry that something like that is coming to 35th SW.  With the current lane cuts, ever get stuck near Holden because of Medic One or a firetruck coming out?  Or a garbage truck?  or a school bus or during school crossing hours?

    You like getting to I-90 or I-5N before 10AM on the WS Bridge?  We might as well be isolationists.

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