VIDEO: More SW Admiral Way changes in the works, SDOT tells Alki Community Council

Six months after SDOT rechannelized most of SW Admiral Way west of California SW, more changes are on the way. A briefing from SDOT transportation planner David Burgesser was part of last night’s Alki Community Council meeting – we recorded it on video, as you can see and hear above. There’s actually not much to see — no slide deck, because SDOT says it’s all being designed right now, but they’re planning “crossing improvements” at six intersections along Admiral:

-49th SW
-SW Lander (at 53rd SW)
-SW Stevens
-59th SW
-61st SW
-63rd SW

Some of the improvements will be “painted curb bulbs” to narrow the crossing distance for pedestrians, possibly decorative with a “beach theme,” said SDOT’s Burgesser. But one intersection might be in line for a major change – he said that the five-way intersection at 59th SW/Admiral is being studied for conversion to an all-way stop. Right now, it has a pedestrian-activated signal; that would be converted to flashing red during a study period, Burgesser said.

One thing they’re not going to do: Make changes at 57th SW. That was explained in an e-mail from SDOT’s Dawn Schellenberg:

We also heard support and concern for adding a crosswalk at 57th Ave SW. One suggestion was to shift the bus stops east closer to Schmitz Park. Generally, folks agreed sight distances for crossing Admiral were better at this location; and it would have less impact to on-street parking. We met with King County Metro staff onsite to discuss the change. Because the bridge was not built to withstand the weight of buses stopping there, we looked at shifting the stop west away from the bridge. Unfortunately, the sight distances are not good for their drivers. Therefore, at this time we’re holding on any changes at 57th Ave SW.

Her e-mail added, “We also committed to evaluating speeds and crashes about one year after the street was restriped. Evaluation will happen over the summer/fall timeframe. We look forward to reviewing and sharing the data; and learning how the street is functioning and if any additional tweaks are needed.”

As noted on the project page, and reiterated by Burgesser at last night’s meeting, the next round of changes will be made before year’s end, and will be brought to the community once the designing’s done.

19 Replies to "VIDEO: More SW Admiral Way changes in the works, SDOT tells Alki Community Council"

  • JayDee April 21, 2017 (4:55 pm)

    Living up the Genesee Hill near Schmitz Park I have the following observations that may or may not have merit in the City’s eyes.

    1. The installation of the signal at 47th and Admiral lets a big concentrated “slug” of traffic down Admiral, making it difficult to cross from the 57th Ave bus stop to the south side when the slug comes.
    2. The EB traffic is heavier than in years past due to trades-people, and the increase of population due to the increased development.
    3. The lanes and paint were completed in “subgrade” mid-fall conditions (just look at where the paint is and isn’t) and people are veering all over the place–will that be redone?
    4. When one pulls over to make a 57th Ave LT going southbound you gotta stop in a 40-foot strip and hope the asshat behind you realizes you have to come to a stop due to # 2.
    5. The pavement along Admiral to CA sucks.
    6. It will be interesting what happens when Summer crowds come.
    • aRF April 21, 2017 (6:47 pm)

      I agree about the short turn area for 57th. I end up slowing and signaling at the uphill turn, which is irksome to cars following until they see how quickly I need to come to a stop.

  • John April 21, 2017 (5:14 pm)

    A mixed bag here. Awesome for all of the crossing improvements. But a five-way stop at 59th? That’s going to be really annoying. Is that really a problem area?  I’d love to hear from the folks who live close by.

    • aRF April 21, 2017 (6:55 pm)

      59th is a problem. Cars entering or crossing Admiral at 59th often have to make a mad dash or hope a pedestrian trips the crossing. Cars fly down the hill. Lots of school kids and parents too. And the way Hanford dumps into it is awkward. The left turn from 59th to Hanford (which SDOT told me was legal) is just behind the stop line for 59th NB to Admiral. An all way stop will make it safer but Admiral drivers will get backed up and angry.

    • AlkiResident13 April 22, 2017 (11:48 am)

      It’s a very confusing intersection – especially people that don’t live here. There are accidents all the time in that intersection. I don’t like sitting at red lights, but it will definitely help and make the intersection better. 

  • Admiral Parent April 21, 2017 (7:02 pm)

    This is great news! The crosswalk at 49th has been a great improvement. More crossings (without the risk of people darting through traffic) will be safer for both pedestrians and drivers. The current mixed stop/signal at 59th is confusing… and three cheers for anything that gets drivers to slow down on Admiral and all the arterials near schools… 

  • chemist April 21, 2017 (8:08 pm)

    Only 6 months after “it’s just paint” modifications the roadway will be narrowed with more substantial surfaces.

  • KT April 21, 2017 (8:28 pm)

    The thing is already painted like an airport runway.  Must have shot thru the painting budget with this job.

  • Brenda Brynildsen April 22, 2017 (12:57 pm)

    The road pavements are a mess.  The wet cold winter and spring has made Admiral Way an obstacle course.  While driving, I must look like a drunk driver swerving to avoid pot holes, dips and dives, all while trying to stay within all the dotted lines.  These so called road improvements are a dangerous joke. Please use our valuable funds to repair the road surfaces with material that wouldn’t deteriorate so quickly.  The use of diesel in the hole and pouring asphalt over the diesel is a formula used by SDOT employees that aids in the deterioration of the roads.  They knowingly use this formula for “job security” and that is unethical and disgusting. Please terminate the unethical employees!  Please spend our money maintaining the  existing roads, that alone will improve the safety of our roads for drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians!  

  • Fisherman April 22, 2017 (3:33 pm)

    59th and Admiral is NOT a problem. I’ve lived  near 62nd and Admiral since October 1987.  Turning left on Admiral  from 59th or going straight has never been an issue. Also, I’ve NEVER seen an accident there. Fixing the pavement would help everybody. Admiral was repaved in @1979-s-dot hasn’t done anything to maintain.

  • Mark April 23, 2017 (7:15 am)

    An all way stop at 59th is not warranted, Admiral is an Arterial with much higher traffic volumes than the side streets.  Warrants for all way stop include that the traffic on all approaches be balanced, they are not even close at this location.  

  • Mark April 23, 2017 (7:28 am)

    And furthermore, stopped idling cars generate more pollution

  • au April 24, 2017 (7:31 am)

    I would like the middle turn lane returned. Turning L from eastbound Admiral Way onto 45th SW is going to be very problematic when the summer season hits. Already on nice days its getting difficult to turn left onto 45th SW. Traffic now backs up to the intersection of Calif and Admiral because of the lack of a middle turn lane.

  • DR April 24, 2017 (9:57 am)

    Instead of these “feel good” mini projects, how about repaving Admiral way?

    There are so many pot holes, dips, cracked and deteriorating pavement you have to swerve like a crazy person down the road to avoid these obstacles.

    The product of the last Admiral Way striping project was of such poor quality, it is comical. After repeated attempts to contact Dawn Schellenberg, without a response I’ll provide my examples below.

    For example, the Westbound fog line that curves between 59th Ave. SW and 60th Ave SW. (see green arrows on map below) look like a drunk person painted it.

    The other example of the poor quality of craftsmanship are the bike lanes they painted on Admiral From 59th Ave. SW- 53rd Ave. SW are done incorrectly. The westbound direction has the “buffered” area faces the curb, where as the eastbound direction has the buffered area on the vehicle traffic side of the lane.

    • Kathy April 28, 2017 (8:41 am)

      On downhill bike lanes where bikers are coasting closer to the speed of the cars, they have the ability to bike in a straight line, but limited ability to stop suddenly. In this case, the highest safety risk is hitting a door opening from a parked car, which can throw a biker into the path of moving traffic. On uphill bike lanes the parked car door threat is minimal, but bikers are pedaling hard and must sometimes “bike wobbly” to keep their bikes upright. In this case, the highest safety need is for the buffer to be between the bike and the moving traffic. This is why you see the bike lane buffer position shifted when the topography goes from steep to flat. If you get on a bike and try it you will understand why the bike lanes were painted this way.

  • TheWiserOne April 25, 2017 (10:36 pm)

    59 th is not a problem, never seen an accident here ever and use this  area 2x daily. Admiral needs repaved not potholed bandaided. Crosswalks need to be marked. And there needs to be a middle turn lane so that traffic flows. If  there’s an issue of crossing to bus area maybe an overhead crossing is warranted. Anything that stifles traffic more on any street, which is SDOT Stupid Seattles thinking, is not good for traffic congestion. It always makes traffic worse. Our tax dollars pay for roads not pothole fixes. There should be crosswalks ever so often and if it requires a light or just flashing yellows so be it. Kids crossing streets need to be safe but kids are better at looking usually than their adult counterparts who walk out into a crosswalk without even looking left and right.  And accidents aren’t caused from stop sign or lights so much as the inattentive driving takes a backseat to cell phone use. #TheRealDeal

  • mrsB April 27, 2017 (9:10 am)

    I couldn’t agree more about the traffic signal lights at 49th and Admiral.  It’s rare to get through without a red on Admiral and traffic does back up badly at times.  In fact, we’ve taken to avoiding Admiral altogether and go along Alki Ave/Harbor Ave instead.  Too many lights in too short a distance on Admiral.

  • AlkiSherie April 29, 2017 (6:51 am)

    A real issue is the number of times drivers are flying thru the stop signs at 63rd and Admiral.   I have almost been nailed twice in the past 6 weeks, along with many neighbors.   It seems the drivers on 63rd do not see the stop signs, and the last time the driver was going about 30 mph and ran the stop sign nearly missing me!  I would suggest a police car monitor this area, especially during the summer, outsiders don’t realize there is a stop sign.

  • Linda Kustok May 9, 2017 (11:25 am)

    Our issue is the crosswalk on 49th & Admiral, I cross this almost everyday with our dog, 9 times out of 10 cars do not stop for pedestrians crossing. Since the new road striping believe it or not it has gotten worse. I would never let my 12 year old grandson cross there!  This is so sad, plus the main concern is that  Admiral Way needs to be repaved, while this is being done, please get rid of all the striping it has proved absolutely worthless! Also, the timing of the light on Admiral & 49th SW needs to be re-evaluated, so many cars run this light especially going west! So dangerous, cars just cannot wait until someone gets killed in that crosswalk again! Please City of Seattle, we need help desperately!  Thank-you!

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