FOLLOWUP: SDOT goes public with details of changes at 6 Admiral Way intersections

(The three proposed painted-curb-extension designs SDOT wants you to vote on)

Two months ago, SDOT told the Alki Community Council (WSB coverage here) that more changes were coming to the western stretch of SW Admiral Way — specifically, to crossings at six intersections.

At the time of the April briefing, details weren’t finalized. Now, they are – and perhaps the biggest one is that 59th/Admiral will be converted – tentatively – to an all-way stop. Here’s the update SDOT sent us today (also note that it includes a “poll” seeking your vote on the design for painted curb extensions – the three options above):

Following the SW Admiral Way restriping completed in late 2016, we’re improving pedestrian crossings at 6 intersections along the corridor this year:

 49th Ave SW

 SW Lander St (at 53rd Ave SW)

 SW Stevens St

 59th Ave SW

 61st Ave SW

 63rd Ave SW

These improvements are intended to provide a safer and more comfortable pedestrian environment along SW Admiral Way and were informed by feedback from the community. The crossing treatments work to:

 Shorten crossing distances

 Reduce speeds of turning vehicles

 Improve access to key destinations throughout the corridor, including schools, transit, and parks

We’re aiming to have all 6 improvements completed by the end of 2017, with the crossing at 59th Ave SW on a slightly faster timeline. This crossing will be implemented in two phases. Before the beginning of the 2017-18 school year, our crews will install new signage and signal changes to convert the intersection to an all-way stop. After a couple of months, we’ll evaluate the all-way stop. If it’s performing well, we’ll install phase 2 improvements, which include curb extensions and a red flashing all-way stop beacon.

Five of the six projects will also feature decorative painted areas, and we’re asking community members to weigh in on their preferred design. We’ve added a poll to our project website for community members to vote for their favorite option.

Questions or comments? Dawn Schellenberg at or (206) 684-5189.

29 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: SDOT goes public with details of changes at 6 Admiral Way intersections"

  • aRF June 27, 2017 (2:47 pm)

    59th and Admiral was temporarily an all-way stop a day or two ago with a flashing red on the pedestrian signal. The intersection was great. No one had to dash out from 59th. Certainly, it will back up in the morning and evening commute just like the all-way stop at 45th and Wildwood Place.

    • AdmiralWayResident June 27, 2017 (3:11 pm)

      Maybe it was great for cars but it was worse as a pedestrian. Cars not really stopping and rolling through. Absolutely a horrible change for all the kids heading to school — especially in the dark mornings in the rain during the winter. Absolutely horrible. And no changes to 57th and Admiral (yes, they gave a lame excuse for not addressing this previously) where cars continue to go too fast and honk at the drivers trying to turn off 57th. 

  • Another ws native June 27, 2017 (3:36 pm)

    Born and raised in West Seattle. I’ve lived at 60th and Admiral since 1985. I’ve NEVER EVER had an issue At the 59th and Admiral intersection, regardless of the direction I was going. SDOT seem’s to be inventing a problem that they can spend our money to fix. I predict LONG lines of idleing cars waiting to go throught this intersection on summer weekends. 

    • Ken June 27, 2017 (4:16 pm)

      Totally agree Another WS Native.  Been using the intersection at 59th and Admiral on an almost daily basis for 40+ years and have NEVER encountered any problems or issues there whatsoever.  SDOT needs to focus their energies on areas in the city where there actually are existing problems instead of trying so hard to create new ones. 

  • Steve June 27, 2017 (3:55 pm)

     Can we please get a flashing red light at the intersection of 63rd and admiral? So many cars blow through that intersection without stopping…they just don’t see the stop signs!

  • Romper June 27, 2017 (3:58 pm)

    @another ws native 

    100% agree!

  • Mark June 27, 2017 (4:11 pm)

    The 59th at Admiral intersection does not warrant all way stop control, not even close!  Once again violating standards, any PE authorizing this should be taken in front of the Board of Registration for violating the requirements of being PE

    All way stops are used where there are balanced traffic volumes and street classification.  The 59th at Admiral clearly does not meet the criteria!

    • dsa June 27, 2017 (7:25 pm)

      I agree, the problem violating warrants is that people learn to disrespect stop signs.

    • sb2780 June 27, 2017 (8:07 pm)

      This. If any traffic control device is in use, it should be a light. The intersection is too confusing due to it’s size and the one way section on either side of 59th to warrant use of a stop sign. I also agree that the pedestrian crossing is scarier with a stop sign than with a stop light. Can the Admiral neighborhood association chime in on these changes? This seems like a step in the wrong direction. 

  • flimflam June 27, 2017 (4:24 pm)

    ugh. too many curb bulbs – those things are terrible.

    • MK June 27, 2017 (5:26 pm)

      And by all means, let’s waste money decorating them!

      • WSB June 27, 2017 (10:43 pm)

        They won’t be decorated. The paint IS the curb extension. And that’s cheaper than concrete curb extensions/bulbs, if you’re just worried about cost.

  • JayDee June 27, 2017 (5:37 pm)

    I’ve only been here 20+ years and I will say traffic volumes are up in the last 5 years. My bus stop is 57th and Admiral and I see all sorts of high speed violators. Crossing the street is an exercise in both frustration and alacrity.  Extending the street bulb at 59th will prevent me from accessing Hanford EB by feinting right and slipping behind those stopped at Admiral NB on 59th. Meanwhile the teeth-jarring pavement conditions and crappy asphalt patches and shitty paint-stripping job just keep getting worse.  

    And moving the cross-walk from one side of 49th to the other seems like make-work and maybe more dangerous. IMHO.

  • WS Guy June 27, 2017 (5:47 pm)

    I think you misunderstand SDOT’s role.  You think it’s to make roads better and safer for drivers.  It’s not.  It’s to make driving less convenient so that you take the bus. It’s been that way since the McGinn administration. 

  • Gina June 27, 2017 (6:10 pm)

    The curb extension designs look like phone covers.

  • Jackie June 27, 2017 (6:49 pm)

    Can we just repave Admiral?

  • Joanne June 27, 2017 (9:35 pm)

    Totally with you on that.  Ever since all the so called improvements there seem to be a lot of sink holes developing.  Pave first then do the improvements!

  • wscommuter June 27, 2017 (9:59 pm)

    Count me as another who regularly goes through 59th/Admiral and has no problems.  This is throwing money at a problem that doesn’t exist.  But Admiral Way, especially between 59th and 49th, is crumbling.  The sink holes keep reappearing, the asphalt is cracking up and down the road and the potholes keep coming.  I understand why its happening (slope + traffic) and this is where SDOT money needs to be spent.  

    IMHO Admiral will be safer with maintaining the road, rather than more lane diets and stop signs/traffic lights.  

  • KBear June 27, 2017 (10:20 pm)

    Gotta love the armchair traffic engineers. If all you complainers would have been driving under the speed limit and stopping for pedestrians, these changes wouldn’t be necessary. Sorry, but you brought this upon yourselves. 

    • WSB June 27, 2017 (11:00 pm)

      And if such behavior isn’t curbed, so to speak, we might face further crackdowns. Perhaps cameras at every crosswalk. Like the one between the Fauntleroy Y and Schoolhouse, where drivers continue to fail to stop for people waiting clearly and visibly to cross (like me, just about every time I have to cover something there). Like the raised midblock crosswalks on California in The Junction, where again today we stopped to let someone cross – while drivers going the opposite direction zoomed by, oblivious, until I started waving wildly out our window. AGAIN. In this case, the would-be crosser was a woman with a toddler/preschooler-size child! REALLY, people. Slow down and look to be sure no one’s waiting to cross before you speed along … to the nearby stoplight. – TR

      • dsa June 28, 2017 (12:35 pm)

        It wasn’t always this way.  People used to stop for pedestrians.  Pedestrians used to be considered to have the right of way.  This used to be a considerate city.  I remember back when if a person signaling to change lanes the driver in the next lane slowed down,  now they speed up and prevent you from changing lanes.  Times have changed.  We will have to roll with the changes.  But on the other hand adding warrantless four way stops is dangerous.

  • Jrr June 27, 2017 (10:55 pm)

    These changes aren’t just for drivers. Pedestrians (including people with disabilities) and cyclists all use the streets to get around. As a runner who has almost been run down here a number of times, it’s quite welcome. Sorry it’s going to take a few people a few seconds to learn the change, but I think civil society requires the roads be for all uses. 

  • Azimuth June 27, 2017 (11:41 pm)

    WS Guy, I think it’s about making the roads safer for everyone.

  • SGG June 28, 2017 (9:19 am)

    All these changes will be great.  The curb bulb thing at Admiral and Lander will force people to slow down when going downhill.  As it is now, people treat that location like a freeway off ramp.  I will appreciate the 4 way stop at 59th and Admiral.  I often drive straight across at 59th and I feel like its a real gamble every time.  Thank you SDOT!

  • Former Mayor of Alki June 28, 2017 (10:59 am)

    The intersection at 59th needed something done. Those thinking there isn’t a problem are probably the problem – I used to see on a regular basis cars turning illegally onto Admiral when the light was red and traffic stopped. A few times I saw the pedestrian, who is the reason traffic is stopped and the light is red (not to give turns from 59th), almost get hit.

  • Wondering on Wednesday June 28, 2017 (11:46 am)

    I am wondering – has the *Alki* Community Council weighed in?  Wouldn’t these changes be considered more Alki Community Council issues than  Admiral Community Council issues?

    On another note,  about that light on Admiral by Starbucks.  Coming up Admiral from the beach, after being stopped at the light to cross California you travel only one block (or less!) before you are stopped again at the light by Starbucks.  Does anybody know – is that a light-timing issue or does a car on the side street trigger the light to stop Admiral traffic? I am wondering if anything can be done to make traffic flow more smoothly on Admiral there.

    • WSB June 28, 2017 (1:12 pm)

      Thanks for identifying an error in the first line. The briefing in April – our coverage of which is linked – WAS at the Alki CC, not the Admiral NA as I originally wrote in this story; fixed. Both community groups have discussed and been briefed on the Admiral Way Safety Project, of which this is part, but these crossings are indeed mostly in the Alki area. Sorry and thanks!

  • Clifford June 28, 2017 (3:23 pm)

    TOTALLY agree with another ws native.  Have driven all directions through the 59th and Admiral intersection for 42 years without a problem. If you think adding stop signs will “fix” things I’ve got a great bridge to sell you.  The issue of bad, reckless, aggressive, careless, inattentive drivers is real. The fix is easy, as in heavy fines-say $250 for every mile per hour over the limit or your car’s towed on the spot. The reason this will never happen is that there are too many people who think they’re not the problem and they don’t want to pay, Remember that for every time you point out a driver doing a bad thing someone is pointing a finger at YOU for not following  ALL the law’s ALL the time. Gentle reminder: we’re all human. There isn’t a pedestrian, bicyclist, driver that doesn’t break the law at some time. 

  • Pat Wilder July 3, 2017 (4:24 pm)

    The new crosswalk at Lander going from Admiral Way to the east side of 49th makes sense, but will there be a cross walk across 49th? People crossing at this intersection are typically going down Lander to Alki or up Admiral Way straight up Lander to go shopping.

Sorry, comment time is over.