EAST MARGINAL WAY: What SDOT says it heard from ‘online open house’

Though this transportation project is just outside West Seattle, it’s a vital route for many who live here, particularly bicyclists headed to and from downtown. So we’re sharing the newest update from the SDOT’s East Marginal Way project, following up on their “online open house” this spring:

For the north segment (S Atlantic St to S Spokane St) we heard a preference for a westside multi-use path to accommodate simplistic bicycle travel. We also heard that some people favor a 2-way protected bike lane on the east side of the road to avoid Port driveways, and to separate people biking and people walking. A smaller number of people expressed support for enhancing existing conditions (with a bike lane on both sides of the road).

Based on that feedback, we are doing further analysis of the 2 options that received the most support: the westside multi-use path and the eastside 2-way protected bike lane. The 3 options can be viewed in the online open house materials.

From the survey, we also learned that the top 3 improvement priorities for the south segment (S Spokane St to S Michigan St) are a multi-use path for those who walk and bike between S Spokane St and Diagonal Ave S, pedestrian crossing and safety, and sidewalk conditions. We also heard a desire for more improvements, outside of those being proposed in this project, for people walking and biking in the South Segment.

Common themes emerged from community comments:

*Physical separation of bikes and vehicles is a priority for safety
*South segment needs better options for people walking and biking
*North segment bike route should have minimal driveway crossings
*Improve signal timing for bikes
*A continuous option for a bike route is preferable
*Near-term improvements are needed

… We will be back in touch later this summer with a project update, including a preferred option for the north segment and the scope of improvements for people walking and biking in the south segment.

2 Replies to "EAST MARGINAL WAY: What SDOT says it heard from 'online open house'"

  • Don Brubeck June 28, 2017 (9:53 pm)

    West Seattle Bike Connections members are happy to see this project starting up, and with lots of input from the people who use East Marginal to haul freight and to get to work by bike. Making this route safe and predictable will encourage many more people to ride downtown. That can reduce pressure on crowded buses and traffic lanes.  

    We are encourging SDOT to develop design for the “Hybrid Option” of multi-use path on west side from S Spokane to S Hanford, with signal improvements at Hanford, and then two-way protected bike lane on east side to S Atlantic with concrete barrier separation.  We concur with the Freight Advisory Board, the Bicycle Advisory Board, and the Northwest Seaport Alliance/Port of Seattle that this option should be thoroughly analyzed and developed.

    This hybrid option follows the desire line of travel for most people
    currently riding bikes northbound, so it has the most potential to be used and
    to make bike traffic more predictable to drivers. Keeping bike traffic on the
    east side will give the Port terminals more safety, efficiency and flexibility for
    their gates. It avoids the most intersection and driveway crossings by people
    on bikes.

    A separated bike/pedestrian path is important for the segment south of Spokane Street, for people going to work at the Federal Center South and in Georgetown. Currently, just taking a bus there is a risky proposition, requiring walking on active railroad tracks from the bus stop.

  • Jort Sandwich June 29, 2017 (9:19 am)

    A protected bike lane on Marginal Way is a critical link for people cycling between West Seattle and Downtown, and it’s also a critical part of any kind of cohesive city bike network.

    I hope that SDOT will spend the extra time and money to build a well-protected, safe biking space.

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