@ Admiral Neighborhood Association: SDOT’s pre-restriping Q&A; vehicle-noise researcher; concert-series help, anyone?

From last night’s Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting:


SDOT’S ADMIRAL WAY PROJECT UPDATE: SDOT’s Dawn Schellenberg and Sam Woods returned with an update, less than two weeks before the restriping of Admiral Way is set to start. Schellenberg reiterated the goals – to lower speeds, reduce collisions, make it “comfortable” for people to ride bicycles – and that the project has been a year and a half in the making. She recapped the final version of the plan, announced via e-mail in July, including where the center turn lane will be kept and where it will not. Another mailer is going out soon, she said, before pausing for Q & A.

“Why did the city spend money repainting parts of that corridor” before the current striping is set to be changed? asked ANA’s Mark Jacobs. “That seems like such a waste of money – literally within the past month they’ve been out repainting.”

Schellenberg said that repainting was done in June, and that it was part of SDOT’s annual restriping done by sectors. “Rather than leave the striping undone and leave potential confusion, we let the striping continue.” Woods added, “We use a new technique (to remove the markings) that does less damage to the roadway.” Jacobs and another attendee said they both liked the center turn lane along the entire stretch. “It’s unfathomable,” said the attendee. “All over the city, you’re putting in two-way turn lanes … here you’re taking them out.” Woods pointed out that they are leaving the left-turn “pockets” at the places where they counted the most vehicles turning.

Schellenberg reiterated that while bike ridership is not high right now, the point of projects like this is to encourage and make possible more of it.

Another attendee said she felt that slowing down traffic is very important to make the road safer, particularly for pedestrians.

What about controlling bicycle riders’ speed? Woods and Schellenberg said their data didn’t show that as a major problem, but they would be sure to watch and evaluate.

ANA secretary John Noonan asked what metrics would be watched in the next year or so to see how this is working, once it’s in place. Woods said they would look at the speed, collision, traffic volumes, and bicycle-use volumes. “Obviously the two goals everyone agreed on is lower speeds and reducing crashes.” There’s been a 28 percent increase in crashes just while they’ve been working on the project, she pointed out. Has the volume increased? asked Jacobs. Schellenberg said they would want to reduce the volume of crashes regardless of that.

When will the studies be done? Schellenberg said usually about a year after changes are implemented.

If data doesn’t show that it works, will it be changed back? Jacobs asked.

“That’s an option,” Schellenberg replied.

After that, they discussed the construction schedule, first noting – as reported here last week – that the lane markings have been laid out. “The work is scheduled to begin the week of September 26th – if weather is good, it will take approximately three days, but we are saying we have the whole week in case there needs to be some shifting.” Parking will be restricted on each side between 7 am and 5 pm during the work so that people can continue to get through. The contractor is thinking they’ll start on the east end of Admiral, work down the north side to 63rd, and then go back up the other side. But that is subject to change.

The project cost: $300,000.

SIDE QUESTION: Who’s accountable for the road patching done after construction projects dig up sections of road? Schellenberg said SDOT has a program under way to address that but she didn’t have full details handy. “It’s super-frustrating for us as well.”

VEHICLE-NOISE STUDY: Jesse Robbins, a private citizen – not affiliated with any government agencies – said his goal “is to better understand how neighborhoods and cities deal with and experience noise pollution from vehicles with after-market mufflers.” He said his project is very specifically limited to “the people who put (those mufflers) on their vehicles to make loud noise,” both cars and motorcycles. He’s talked to neighborhood organizations in Kent, Renton, Lynnwood, and other communities, and to the staff of Councilmembers Lisa Herbold, Sally Bagshaw, and Bruce Harrell. He said Bagshaw is currently drafting legislation to deal with noise pollution. He also has spoken with police departments. Why is he doing this? For one, “I hate being woken up at 2 am by a loud car … noise pollution at all hours of the day … leads to anxiety, stress, depression, inability to focus, sleep deprivation …”

He reiterated that he and a friend are doing this out of concern about noise pollution and its effect. First, they are trying to find out where this is a problem, and how much of a problem it is. One challenge – many people don’t bother reporting it to police, and seem “resigned to their fate,” so because police aren’t hearing about vehicle noise, there’s no evidence there’s a problem. “So here I am trying to understand if this is a problem.”

ANA member Diane Vincent said this topic came up at the North Delridge Neighborhood Council meeting one night earlier and that an SPD rep said there was little they could do about it unless an officer witnessed and could measure it.

The discussion veered off to a variety of noise issues from there, and it was also pointed out that “caravanning” of loud vehicles is an increasing problem. Robbins brought it back to: How much of a problem is this, when and where, and do you want the city to spend more time on it?

Groups of motorcyclists on Alki can be heard even in Admiral, it was pointed out. (Robbins said he had already spoken with the Alki Community Council.) The discussion meandered again to other noise concerns, such as emergency vehicles.

Robbins’ next question was, is it affecting your quality of life? “Not a big deal” was the most-common response. But one person said it has gotten much worse in the past two years and she would like to see more enforcement.

Bottom line, Robbins said, what he is working on is trying to head off the fact that this will get worse “if people are not held accountable” for it.

CONCERT SERIES: “We’re still looking for somebody to step forward” to take over Summer Concerts at Hiawatha, announced president Wymer. Katy Walum, the former ANA president who founded the series, announced at this year’s last concert (Caspar Babypants on August 25th) that she was stepping aside from that volunteer role after eight years. (If you are interested in helping – info@admiralneighborhood.org is how to reach ANA leadership.)

ADOPT-A-STREET: Eight people volunteered during the last Adopt-A-Street event on Labor Day weekend, Wymer announced.

SEATTLE SUMMER PARKWAYS: The big “car-free day” event on Alki is coming up September 25th, the group was reminded. As reported here previously, the day will start with the Orca Half (marathon) and then the SSS activities start at 11 am. A variety of groups are participating, and the Department of Neighborhoods will be giving out free ice cream 1-3 pm.

UPDATING MAILING LIST AND WEBSITE: Looking for ANA information online and/or via e-mail? ANA secretary Noonan is working on transferring over to a new e-mail service, and will be updating its website too. Once they’re ready for new subscribers, we’ll publish an update, so you can sign up for the mailing list if you’re not already on it.

The Admiral Neighborhood Association meets second Tuesdays at 7 pm, at The Sanctuary at Admiral.

21 Replies to "@ Admiral Neighborhood Association: SDOT's pre-restriping Q&A; vehicle-noise researcher; concert-series help, anyone?"

  • Justin September 14, 2016 (5:23 pm)

    SDOT ramming this proposal down our throats, whether we like it or not. Expect multiple head-on collisions at a combined 60+ MPH without the turn lane to serve as a buffer. “Bike Mayor” Ed Murray and Scott Kubly can go jump in a lake!

  • JAT September 14, 2016 (5:32 pm)

    As a cyclist and Admiral resident I can say with some confidence this re-striping is really really going to mess things up – Ugh.  Oh well the “All Ages and Abilities” folks have had their say and we’re all stuck with it.

  • Space Dust September 14, 2016 (6:40 pm)

    Time to vote these people out of office and a NO vote on any type of levies.  Got to hit them where it hurts. 

    • Pops September 14, 2016 (8:31 pm)

      I agree. Let us remember this and other issues plaguing our city during the next election(s).

  • Chris September 14, 2016 (6:59 pm)

    We had someone almost in tears today talking about going down Admiral  at the speed limit with people giving them the finger, laying on their horns, or shaking their fists at them.     This is a constant for them just for not speeding!    This happens going south on Admiral and also going down to Alki.   This road rage with what we have now seems to us will be even worse.   How in the world are we supposed to move out of their way with the new changes?  With some of the dark glass in some cars we do not know what might be behind that glass….though that was supposed to be illegal too.   Who are we protecting here anyway?    We feel for anyone being obedient to the speeding laws!!!!!!   How do we keep ourselves out of the road rage situations which may be more so from what we have been understanding?   No we certainly will not be voting for our current Mayor in the next election.

    • Pops September 14, 2016 (8:28 pm)

      This is so sad but it’s what I see everyday. Not sure how we got to this point of neighbors honking at and flipping off neighbors. This doesn’t seem to be what we, as a community, are about. Not the environment I chose to put down roots and raise a family in 20 years ago. I challenge people to chill out.

  • JanS September 14, 2016 (7:38 pm)

    it’s not the city…it’s the “I’m special” people who speed. I go the speed limit down Admiral, either way. TFB is what I have to say. Maybe we should make the speed limit 50 on Admiral….would that be more to y’alls liking? Yes, I’m pulling my “get of my lawn card” here. We’re all getting a little damned tired of the people who think the rules aren’t meant for them.Slow the eff down!

    • Mike September 14, 2016 (10:57 pm)

      yet none of these plans will slow drivers down that are already speeding and it won’t make bicyclists any safer.  

  • M September 14, 2016 (7:44 pm)

    The whistles go whoo whoo! 


    • Pops September 14, 2016 (8:29 pm)

      This is a classic! Thanks.

  • Soup Ninja September 14, 2016 (8:00 pm)

    How would one get in touch with Jesse Robbins regarding the “after-market mufflers” (I call them fart cans) issue? I could tell stories. I live over here in White Center… which is probably one of the bigger areas where you’ll find these criminals happily announcing their narcissism all over the state. I’m serious about this. I want to sign up and help, if I can, because I’ve been living here for 8 years, it has gotten VERY much worse, and I now have high blood pressure and fight depression constantly.

  • dsa September 14, 2016 (8:22 pm)

    $300,000.00 plus engineering (if you can call it that) wasted.

  • Pops September 14, 2016 (8:35 pm)

    Thanks Jesse. I feel the same way you do. I live on a street that sounds like a drag strip at all hours. Speed and noise, even though a school zone and another close by. I’ve asked SPD for enforcement for 10 years. 

  • Donna September 15, 2016 (11:02 am)

    It should be interesting to see what happens when all this is done.  Is it really going to stop the accidents from happening? I think not.  By taking out the middle lane that is asking for trouble going down Admiral.  I would like to believe that most of us who live down Admiral Way all the way to Alki go the speed limit.  It is the rest of the folks that come from all over to converge on Alki that create all the problems.  So how do you change that behavior? doing this modification is not going to change it.  You can’t change people’s behavior.  From what I see the bike lanes are going to be on the outside of the parked cars? am I correct?  from what I see there will be more accidents now.  Shame on the city for wasting $300K on this when there are so many more things wrong, like maybe us the money to help the homeless. 

    • Jort September 15, 2016 (11:36 am)

      I know that you “see there will be more accidents now,” but in every instance on the planet in which this type of road re-configuration is done, it makes the roads more safe. So, there is a really large differential between what “you see” and what the actual facts and reality of these projects are. 

      Seattle’s growth means we have to make streets usable to more than just cars, because there isn’t enough room on our roads to add more of them. And that’s not changing.

      It is time to deal with this. And move on.

  • Donna September 15, 2016 (11:03 am)

    I am thankful that I will be moving away from Alki next spring. 

  • Jort September 15, 2016 (11:32 am)

    I assure all of those who are concerned that, after the paint dries and you all adjust, you’re all going to live and you’ll all be fine.

    It’s a paint restriping. It is shown in study after study after study after study after study that it reduces collisions, injuries and deaths for all road users. It will objectively make the road safer.

    I know that lots of people have their feelings hurt about this, but, you know… move on. You’ll live.

    • Donna September 15, 2016 (2:05 pm)

      and do you live in the area where this is being done? 

    • OP September 15, 2016 (3:12 pm)

      Yes, just drink the Freeattle Kool-Aid and you’ll be fine. Just enjoy Scott Kubley ramming projects down the community’s throat in spite of severe opposition. Yeah, that’s just fine.  You know why there are fewer collisions? Because no one’s moving or they can’t move. Don’t believe me? Go take a ride down 35th during rush hour, or try turning left going northbound on Fauntleroy near the school at 5pm. Good luck. The DOT’s mission should be to more efficiently move traffic, not make it worse. Across the board, SDOT and Kubley have made it markedly worse. And all in the name (and ruse) of “safety” because the jokes that run the city, the city council and Kubley are trying to force people out of their cars and into their underperforming and costly public transportation boondoggles so they can justify the hike in taxes to pay for it all. It’s transportation Three Card Monty and Kubley’s the shuffler. We’re being played.

  • Neighbor September 15, 2016 (6:13 pm)

    I just want to point out that pedestrians and cyclists are “traffic” too. People are starting to think about traffic measurement as more than just moving cars and instead think of it in terms of how many people are being moved by the transportation system.  You cannot blame city officials for the effects of more people living here while not be willing to participate in solutions….that is unless you are just a whiner. 

  • Ferrywalker September 15, 2016 (9:25 pm)

    How about some crosswalks across admiral? Like 45th where the kids always cross for school

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