FOLLOWUP: No 35th SW repaving until 2023? Herbold asks Kubly to reconsider

(WSB photo, March 29th)

Remember our report last week about the rutted state of much of 35th SW, touched off by a reader tip about that particular hole on the northbound side, north of SW Webster? At the time, SDOT reiterated that 35th SW is not scheduled for major repaving work until 2023. City Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s staff, meantime, told us that she was asking SDOT to move that up, and working on a letter to SDOT director Scott Kubly to formalize the request. That letter has now been sent – read it here, or below:

The letter is featured in her weekly e-mail/online update, in which Herbold elaborates:

I’ve received numerous complaints about the condition of the pavement since taking office at the start of 2016, and experienced the poor condition of the road in my travels. Complaints have increased recently.

The letter … details some of what I’ve heard from West Seattle residents, and requests, “please consider this letter a request to examine and repair potholes on 35th Avenue SW from Roxbury to Alaska. I’d appreciate an answer to this request as soon as possible.” In the longer term, the letter requests SDOT:

To reconsider their 2016-2024 paving plan, which lists 35th from Roxbury to Morgan as a planned paving project for 2023;

To provide the current pavement condition rating of 35th, according to the standards of SDOT’s Pavement Management webpage;

Provide the estimated cost for the paving work on 35th, and

Whether they have an update to the 2013 Arterial Pavement Condition map included in the 2015 SDOT Asset Management Status and Condition Report (see Figure VII, page 68 of the report, page 74 of the pdf), which shows a significant portion of 35th as dark red, the worst rating.

I appreciated SDOT’s quick response saying that “…later this month our crews will be doing a concerted effort to address potholes caused by the wet and cold winter. 35th Ave SW is on their plan as a route to be targeted.”

SDOT also indicated they would be in touch later on my larger request re: modifying the pavement plan, and acknowledged that they have begun looking at the implications, as well as my request to re-evaluate the corridor.

We had asked SDOT last week if at least some short stretches were scheduled for spot paving this year, but they had no specifics of what areas might get that attention – for example, it was repaved between Cambridge and Barton just before the rechannelization in fall 2015.

54 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: No 35th SW repaving until 2023? Herbold asks Kubly to reconsider"

  • KT April 7, 2017 (8:27 pm)

    Herbold actually needs to drive around West Seattle and look at the third world condition of some of our roads.  Be proactive, don’t wait for taxpayers to get loud before you care.  

    • Dave April 7, 2017 (10:10 pm)

      True. I wish 35th was the only problem.

    • Jon April 7, 2017 (10:30 pm)

      Such is the nature of Big Government, regrettably. Nobody is truly accountable and the money that should be spent on the necessities (roads, teachers, et cetera) gets spent on the projects perceived to increase public standing / popularity (feel-good items) so that the incumbent might keep those coveted government jobs.

      Alternatively, brave citizens could theoretically spray-paint some weiners around the potholes in the cover of darkness (i.e.  the teachings of “Wanksy”).

  • Christopher April 7, 2017 (10:06 pm)

    Is this more of the road diet?  Maybe we could just reduce 35th to 1 lane in both directions.  Along with $1000 car tabs we are all being forced onto the bus anyway.  But fear not, light rail is coming (only to the junction) by 2040.

    • WSGuy April 7, 2017 (11:57 pm)

      Fear not.  Once Light Rail arrives in 2030, bus service will no longer run downtown.  You will be dropped off at the station so that you get to take the train downtown too!

      Well, not exactly.  You’ll take the train to the Stadium station in SODO where you’ll transfer to yet another train.  THAT train will take you to one of the three stations downtown.  About a decade later a second tunnel downtown will open for the West Seattle line.

      Do you think I’m joking?  I’m not.  That is literally the plan.  I hope you like traffic or transfers.

  • West Coast Nomad April 7, 2017 (10:27 pm)

    I appreciate the outreach but it’s not just 35th. Delridge Way is also a mess as are other roads throughout West Seattle. As I travel around other areas of Seattle (especially NE Seattle where I work) I don’t see roads anywhere near this level of poor condition. When friends visit from other parts of Seattle, they always mention the state of the roads here with wide eyes (and then they talk about the RV encampment). Why don’t all of our WS representatives stand up for us and demand  better infrastructure in West Seattle–and immediately? We’ll be back to driving on cobblestones by 2023! This situation is not tolerated in other parts of the city, and I don’t know if that’s due to other neighborhoods having higher property taxes, louder advocates, more power and privilege or all of the above. 

    • Sad! April 8, 2017 (8:21 am)

      Seattle hates West Seattle. Always has. At one time West Seattle tried to secede from Seattle. Perhaps it is time to attempt it again. 

      • KC April 8, 2017 (10:56 am)

        Yes West Seattle did have a movement to secede when the ship hit the bridge… I will be damned we got out bridge 

  • Westside45 April 7, 2017 (10:31 pm)

    Would the response have been different if potholes riddled the bike lanes?

    • JN April 8, 2017 (6:55 am)

      Well, they do riddle the bike lanes, so…..

  • Grant Morris April 7, 2017 (11:58 pm)

    West Seattle needs a council person who spends less time with ideology and trying to unionize Uber drivers while homeless camps and RV camps creep closer to our neighborhoods …and more  attention to our beautiful West Seattle.  Ineffective and misdirected is the current council representative we have  for now.

    • KT April 8, 2017 (9:43 am)

      It seems to me that people run for elected office in Seattle only to advance their personal ideologies.  That is why basic city services are always the last priority.  

    • Steve April 8, 2017 (10:10 am)

      Spot on!

  • WSGuy April 8, 2017 (12:01 am)

    Something you should know:  the City leaders, other than Lisa, don’t care about West Seattle.  They have learned that we don’t pay attention and we don’t matter.  It will take some peninsula-wide activism to change that and and maybe a few lawsuits to turn West Seattle into a political force.

  • TheKing April 8, 2017 (4:35 am)

    This really is the plan and I’ve accepted it by driving on back streets through neighborhoods. The plan is to get you so disgusted with it all, the tabs, the 48 cents we pay on gas taxes per gallon, road diets etc that you throw in the towel and find other means of transportation. 

    • lookingforlogic April 8, 2017 (9:28 am)

      Or sell your house and increase revenues for realtors, title companies, loans, hardware store, property taxes.  I could go on and on and on.

  • Chemist April 8, 2017 (6:20 am)

    Potholes keep speeds down, which is important data to collect after re-channelization.

    • wetone April 8, 2017 (7:34 am)

      Exactly, along with pushing traffic onto side streets where little data is collected, but making side streets much more dangerous. win win ;) 

    • East coast cynic April 8, 2017 (8:35 am)

      Potholes increase car repair costs and drivers on 35th may want to consider billing the city for damage to their cars, if they haven’t done so already, from those potholes. 

  • Seriously April 8, 2017 (7:10 am)

    As many have pointed out the roads around West Seattle are horrible. If Lisa herbold can’t get it done then vote her out. Our household certainly won’t be voting for her again. And if Seattle continues to ignore west Seattle then it should strongly consider leaving the city. West Seattleites are paying massive increases in taxes between property taxes, car tabs, and sales tax and yet we seem to be getting less and less back every year. This is why spending millions of dollars on a bike sharing program because it wasn’t very much money is infuriating. This is why spending money to rechannel a road is great right up until you can’t drive on it any more because it is in such disrepair. 

    And yet we are spending triple on the bridging the gap levy that we were previously which supposedly was going to fix the roads. Do the roads seem three times better to anyone? No, they are worse.

    Either give me bad roads or lower taxes. But when you give me huge tax increases and worse roads I’m gonna have a problem. And so should every single voter in Seattle. 

  • strike em out kinney April 8, 2017 (9:46 am)

    Sections of SW Roxbury are in also in poor shape.  Between SW 24th and 17th Ave. 

  • LyndaB April 8, 2017 (9:52 am)

    I would suggest that every construction project in Seattle put money to repave roads or even supply a road crew to patch potholes.   I woke up yesterday morning hearing three idling trucks ready to haul dirt away for the project next to the High Point library.   Those trucks contribute our road problems.  

    I’ll continue to report pot holes through Find It Fix.  

  • CanDo April 8, 2017 (10:15 am)

    I drive a small car and a couple of those 35th potholes look like foxholes.  I drive carefully, swerve to avoid what I can without endangering other vehicles and drive neighborhood streets where possible to avoid 35th.   If my car does happen to incur damage from one of those very large, neglected potholes though, I will absolutely bill the City!

  • West Seattle Hipster April 8, 2017 (10:38 am)

    I have to think that any repaving of 35th would coincide with extending the road diet.

  • Lagartija Nick April 8, 2017 (10:38 am)

    Is there anything you guys won’t complain about?

    Lisa does something proactive to get a major arterial fixed in a more timely manner, and you all collectively freak out and call for her head! Pathetic!

    Seattle hates West Seattle? Are you kidding me with this overblown hyperbole? If that’s true, then why is West Seattle THE ONLY NEIGHBORHOOD IN THE CITY WITH A DEDICATED FREEWAY TO OUR NEIGHBORHOOD?

    I suppose you all think that the fact that the junction is the only business district IN THE ENTIRE CITY to have THREE FREE PARKING LOTS is some monumental diss by the city to shaft us too!

    Absolutely pathetic!

    How about instead of excoriating our council member for doing something proactive about the sorry state of our roads, you commend her for actually doing something about it!

    • Chemist April 8, 2017 (10:51 am)

      How many parking spots are at Northgate mall vs University Village vs the Junction Business District (all 3 lots combined) ?

      • AHneighbor April 8, 2017 (11:19 am)

        The Junction cannot be compared to a large shopping mall. The Junction is an urban village, like downtown Ballard or Fremont, neither of which have free parking lots as far as I know. 

      • Lagartija Nick April 8, 2017 (11:36 am)

        Those are malls and shopping centers, not business districts.

        • Seriously April 8, 2017 (11:53 am)

          And as I said below the city has nothing to do with the three parking lots you cite and if left to the city the west seattle bridge would never have been built  

          • Alan April 8, 2017 (1:40 pm)

            I do disagree with most of what LAGARTIJA NICK said, though I agree that people took the opportunity of Herbold’s action to complain. I do feel that it important to point out that it was a city councilwoman that lobbied for the bridge and got Warren Magnuson involved. Her name was Jeanette Williams and her name is on the bridge. It’s the sign that most ignore, right above the other sign that everyone ignores.

    • Sw April 8, 2017 (12:46 pm)

      @Seriously is correct. The businesses in The Junction cover the cost of the FREE PARKING LOTS to give their patrons places to park. The city has nothing to do with it. 

      • Lagartija Nick April 8, 2017 (1:46 pm)

        I know that the junction businesses pay for those lots.

        My point is that one of the previous comments said that the city hates West Seattle which is completely untrue on every single level.

        The reactionary rhetoric by the above commenters is absolutely absurd. They act like West Seattle is some third world hell hole that is being picked on by city government for personal reasons.

        I pointed out a couple of great amenities that are found only in West Seattle.

        And the one person who is trying to make West Seattle even better (Herbold) gets attacked for it.

        • Seriously April 8, 2017 (2:59 pm)

          Those amenities are found in west seattle in the case of the parking lots because of private land owners  not the city. And in the case of the west seattle bridge because citizens demanded it and held their elected representatives accountable. The exact thing you’re attempting to chastise people for doing with herbold. 

          It is a fact that you are paying higher taxes today in Seattle than previous years. I don’t think it is remotely unreasonable for any resident to ask what are we getting for it? And if our area is not getting an equal return of funding from  the city for the taxes that we pay then our representatives aren’t doing their job or simply aren’t very good at it. If you don’t think that falls on Lisa Herbold then that’s your opinion. I and many others would disagree. 

          If you think writing a letter to SDOT is her being a model councilwoman that’s trying to improve west seattle again that’s your opinion. For me, that’s just doing a basic level of your job and in my opinion I wonder what roads has she been driving on since being elected in west Seattle that she just discovered this problem? She seriously needed constituents writing her to see and lobby for improving the roads in her district? 

          West Seattle residents are paying significantly more and getting less. 

      • KC April 8, 2017 (3:15 pm)

        If I am not mistaken the junction business association owns and maintains those lots and tried up in a trust of sorts never to be built on

        • WSGuy April 10, 2017 (11:51 pm)

          They are managed by the trust, but what you don’t know is that those lots came within a hairs breadth of being sold off to developers just a few weeks ago.  The Bellevue based owner of Junction forty seven led a charge to sell them and narrowly missed. 

    • Nancy R April 8, 2017 (4:13 pm)

      I agree.   The comments on this page are pathetic.   This article is about what our City Councilperson is making to improve the road conditions on 35th.   The roads are always especially bad this time of year because winters are hard on the roads,  and it is difficult for the pothole crew to patch when it is rainy.  Which,  um, it has been lately.    My regular commute involves going down the hill to the Water Taxi, and that road takes the cake in terms of bad road condition.    Lisa seems to be working hard and doing a good job from what I’ve seen.   Its nice to have someone that represents West Seattle interests.    Would you rather not have her not do this work?

  • TanDL April 8, 2017 (11:12 am)

    A.  There is no dedicated “freeway” to West Seattle.  It’s called a “freeway” but has a speed limit in the 40s, which isn’t a freeway.

    B.  OK… good job Lisa on getting some major arterial fixed in a timely manner…  Not sure which one, but I’m willing to give kudos if they are due.  Now, could you please get the $ for potholes on 35th before someone gets hurt?   Bicyclists are far more at risk on 35th than cars from the damaged roads.

    C.  Three parking lots in the Junction are cool, it’s just that the developers have been given free rein and now there are thousands more people and cars to handle and three isn’t enough anymore. 

    And D.   It’s her job to represent us and react when we point out problems and 35th is becoming a huge problem.   It’s a thankless, lousy position, but she surely knew that going in.  Y’all have a good weekend and watch out for those potholes. 

  • Seriously April 8, 2017 (11:21 am)

    Couple of points of clarification for you. West seattle has a dedicated highway because the duwamish river separates it from the city. The only reason it was built was because then US Senator Magnuson secured federal funding for it. This was after the city that you seem to have so much faith in spent many years unable to do much of anything including at one point awarding the contract to someone who bid three times the cost as the other contractors and not effectively fighting the bridge union who wanted the west seattle bridge to remain a draw bridge so the jobs they had wouldn’t be eliminated. (Any of that sound familiar today?) Think traffic is bad now imagine if the bridge opened still? The west seattle bridge was built in spite of the city not because of it.  

    As for the parking lots, the city has tried several times to make the area in the junction metered parking. The business owners in the junction have rightly fought it each time. And a simple review of king county parcel viewer shows you that the city does not own the three lots you sight and hasn’t owned any for over 30 years. It is owned by a west seattle trust which I don’t know but would guess is the collection of business owners in the area. They are now responsible for paying property taxes and maintenance of the parking lots. The city has nothing to do with the parking. I’m sure the WS Blog could tell you for sure who owns it.  But I notice the trust has challenged the property tax assessment every year for the last several years. 

  • Mr. B April 8, 2017 (2:51 pm)

    The city just allocated one million dollars to defend immigrants in court who entered our country illegally. Meanwhile property taxpayers in West Seattle are being told that our crumbling infrastructure is not a priority.  The ONLY way to solve this mess is to VOTE OUT the mayor and council members and replace them with new leadership.  City governance should be about infrastructure improvement and public safety.   Period.  

  • Nancy R April 8, 2017 (4:20 pm)

    Take another look at the picture of the dead twin babies in the world news.   Still think that waiting an extra couple weeks for the pothole crew to get to your potholes should be first priority?   Oh right,  America first.

  • David April 8, 2017 (5:30 pm)

    I just submitted a find it fixit request to resurface the worst part of 35th between Othello and Holden.  I encourage as many of my neighbors as possible to do the same.  Maybe we can get SDOT to listen if we are all loud and clear!

  • wsn00b April 9, 2017 (10:02 am)

    Find it fix it doesn’t fix it, even for 2 minutes. The pothole ranger “fix” quality is similar to my toddler fixing a hole with play dough. The “fix” breaks down in a little drizzle.  It’s a half-baked job that is a waste of time. They have to re-pave. 

  • sam-c April 10, 2017 (11:19 am)

    I left this comment on the other story, which is a little old I guess, so re-posting here: 

    “so, speaking of the road conditions, I just checked the pothole ranger map.  Funnily enough, the GIANT pothole at  5657 Delridge Ave SW is not on there. Is there another map for major pavement repairs? there’s like a 8′ x 10′ pothole, rectangular, right in front of the bus stop. more like a sinkhole.   I noticed it a couple days ago.  Just now getting to report it.”

    I reported it on April 7.

    • Alan April 10, 2017 (2:32 pm)

      Sam-c, I reported a couple of potholes (one for the second time) this weekend. I was playing with the dates trying to see what happened to my previous request and noticed a statement saying about larger projects not showing up as potholes. Now the good news…

      I went by there on Sunday and there was a crew replacing the concrete in that area. Your sinkhole has been repaired.

      • sam-c April 10, 2017 (2:56 pm)

        Thanks! that’s good news, I haven’t been back by that way since Sunday.    Now I kinda wish I had gotten a ‘before’ photo.

  • WSRob April 10, 2017 (10:15 pm)

    As was mentioned, this thread shouldn’t be a pile on about the ineffective city council and Mayor, but the roads and what we are getting for our additional 80, yes 80.00 dollars on every SEATTLE vehicle.  My recent renewal says T.B.D. Seattle (3 more in this household).  Wasn’t it for roads and infrastructure?  One dime anywhere else, and the whole lot need to be shown the door.  Where can this breakdown be found?  And I too saw them patching 35th Sunday.  Comical.  Like lipstick on a pig.  Feel bad for the guys out there trying.

    • WSB April 10, 2017 (10:25 pm)

      The TBD is the Transportation Benefit District. Mostly paying for extra bus service.

      • WSRob April 11, 2017 (7:21 pm)

        Thanks​, wonder if any of that has happened.  May have, and the increasing bus frequency is tearing up the roads more…

  • Raye April 11, 2017 (1:21 am)

    SDOT’s Scott Kubly, our mayor’s pal, doesn’t exactly have a sterling record. In addition to the infamous Pronto bike-share fiasco, there have been questions about him violating the city’s Ethics Code. You can look it up. 

    In the meantime, driving along 35th Ave. is jarring, to say the least. It’s a choice of BUMP! BUMP! or attempting to weave around the potholes. Not only is the latter option dangerous, the potholes are all over the lane, so one would have to swerve and swerve. Maybe auto manufacturers could use 35th as a test course to see if their cars are tough enough to handle it!

Sorry, comment time is over.