FOLLOWUP: State grant denied for Highland Park Way roundabout, but SDOT says design will continue

(Early design for proposed Highland Park Way roundabout)

Just in from Highland Park Action Committee co-chair Michele Witzki – word from SDOT is that the hoped-for state grant to help pay for a roundabout at Highland Park Way and Holden did not come through. Witzki forwarded this response she received from SDOT’s Jim Curtin, after asking for an update on the grant status:

Somehow, we did not receive the grant for this project. We are extraordinarily disappointed and I know you are as well. I have raised this issue to leadership here at SDOT. We will be meeting soon to discuss our next steps. As you know, we have allocated more than $200k in local funds for design and survey/design will continue into 2018. I hope to have more information soon.

As reported here in September, there was big support for the $1 million-plus state Transportation Improvement Board grant that SDOT had sought to supplement $500,000 in money that it had allocated. Part of that had been announced by Councilmember Lisa Herbold during last May’s Find It, Fix It Walk in Highland Park – after Witzki recounted the long history of problems at the intersection and disappointment in trying to get it fixed:

The roundabout was first proposed by Highland Park community advocates almost five years ago, as a way to calm the dangerous and increasingly busy intersection at the top of the Highland Park Way hill.

7 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: State grant denied for Highland Park Way roundabout, but SDOT says design will continue"

  • dsa November 22, 2017 (12:48 pm)

    Very short weave in the south west quad between east to north bound and south to south bound.

    • ScottRAB November 28, 2017 (11:16 am)

      Not a weave, exactly.  In a modern roundabout the circulating traffic has the right of way.  All entering traffic must yield to traffic approaching from the left.  And at the 20 mph design speed, a lot more interaction can happen that doesn’t currently.

  • BlairJ November 22, 2017 (2:43 pm)

    I cringe every time I see pedestrians waiting anxiously for a break in the traffic to cross this intersection.  This roundabout will slow down north/south drivers like myself and make it much safer for pedestrians to cross to or from the bus stops.  Drivers will get used to handling the weave.

  • Question Mark November 24, 2017 (1:31 pm)

    Some years ago in Rainier Beach there was big talk of building a roundabout at what is essentially a six way intersection, but the city chose not to pursue the necessary funding …

  • Bryan Hillerman November 24, 2017 (10:48 pm)

    The road here is very wide. I am dumbfounded why putting a circular curb requires years of study. This area is a public nusance, every driver that passes here enters into a risk. Maybe we could start making decisions in this city, and stop paying for so many studies. 

  • ScottRAB November 28, 2017 (11:16 am)


    People using
    the road make mistakes, always have and always will.
    will always be with us, but they need not result in fatalities or serious injury.
          Modern roundabouts are the safest form of
    intersection in the world – the intersection type with the lowest risk of fatal
    or serious injury crashes – (much more so than comparable signals). 
    Modern roundabouts require a change
    in speed and alter the geometry of one of the most dangerous parts of the
    system – intersections.  The reduction in speed and sideswipe geometry
    mean that, more often than not, when a crash does happen at a modern
    usually need a tow truck, not an ambulance. 
    Roundabouts are one of nine proven road safety features (FHWA). 

    The life saved
    may be your own.

  • D December 7, 2017 (9:58 pm)

    As someone who’s lived all around the world I don’t understand why we don’t have more roundabouts here; they improve traffic and reduce the amount of collisions.

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