After more than a year, SDOT has just gone public with what it’s decided to do on SW Admiral Way, between Admiral Junction and Alki. Here’s the full text of the e-mailed announcement, including plans for “walk-and-talk” meetings on August 20th:
We’ve spent the last few months incorporating feedback into a street design that will reduce speeding and crashes and preserve parking where it’s in high demand.
We heard during public engagement that people are driving too fast along SW Admiral Way, crashing into parked cars, and residents are afraid to cross the street. In fact, one mother choked up at our first public meeting at the thought of walking her children across SW Admiral Way.
When we started the project data showed there had been 71 vehicle crashes, two bike crashes and one pedestrian crash between 2011 and 2014. From January 2015 through May 2016 an additional 34 crashes have occurred. This statistic shows that crashes along Admiral Way SW have increased by nearly 28% in the past 1 ½ years. The neighborhood has people who’ve lived here for decades, new families, and visitors enjoying Alki Beach. Each person deserves safe travel whether walking, biking or driving.
After sharing a few designs with the neighborhood, studying on-street parking occupancy during the summer, and talking with community members, (the map above shows) what will be installed.
You may be wondering how the new design improves safety. We have proven success throughout the city that narrower travel lanes reduce the speeds people drive and the number of crashes.
We are also adding buffered bike lanes. Adding buffered bike lanes makes the street operate more predictably by giving everyone a space; and makes biking more comfortable, which can encourage more people to give it a try.
Here is how your input was included:
· Parking study. We conducted an on-street parking study during the month of August. Study times were 5-7AM, 1-3PM and 5-7PM on a sunny Saturday and Tuesday. The study confirmed what you told us. Parking spaces on the west end of the street with convenient access to Alki Beach are in high demand.
· Center turn lane. At our first public (meeting) you suggested we remove the center turn lane rather than impact on-street parking, so we did in the high-demand parking area.
· Left turn access at 57th and 59th Avenues SW. At the second public meeting, you requested left turn access to help reduce the risk of being rear-ended. We’ve included the access. To make room for them, about nine on-street parking spaces will be removed on the south side.
· Crosswalk at 61st Ave SW. We asked if you would like a new crosswalk in this location and one is included in the project.
Here is what we were not able to include and why:
· All-way stop at 59th Ave SW. You suggested we change the pedestrian activated signal at this location to an all-way stop. Unfortunately, studies showed that an all-way stop at this location did not meet guidelines. However, we have agreed to look at it again in the future.
Finally, we heard you want improved pedestrian crossings and supplied information on where. We’ll conduct a second round of outreach on August 20 in the form of “Walk and Talks” to gather site-specific input and talk about low-cost opportunities (visit web site for more details). The Walk and Talks will build off of comments collected through the first phase of outreach. Any improvements identified would be installed as a second phase of construction.
Our project web site at seattle.gov/transportation/swadmiralwaysafetyproject.htm has information on the walk and talk; and a flier with similar information will be mailed early August. Construction information will be shared as soon as available. However, work to restripe the street is expected to be completed before October 2016.
BACKSTORY: The first version of the plan was unveiled in April 2015 at an Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting. Ten months have passed since the second and final community meeting held by SDOT – which wasn’t planned until community members demanded it.
Datapoint regarding one assertion in the city news release: The “mother who choked up at (the) first public meeting at the thought of walking her children across Admiral Way” was reacting to what the city was proposing at the time, removing parking on the side of the street where her family lives, as noted in our coverage of that meeting.