THE 35TH AVENUE SW DECISION: No more rechannelization planned. Here’s what SDOT will do instead.

(WSB photos. Above, 35th/Dawson)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The final decision is in regarding what SDOT plans to do about 35th SW north of Morgan. Actually, first, what it won’t do: No further rechannelization, though that doesn’t mean it’s off the table forever.

The Phase 2 plan is going out via e-mail and web updates soon, probably next week, as SDOT had told us when we checked back two weeks ago. Then we got first word of the final plans during a briefing at SDOT headquarters downtown today, along with toplines on how Phase 1 has been doing.

First, some backstory. The project to improve safety on 35th SW was announced in February 2014, after five deaths in seven years on what some called “I-35.” In fall 2015, two miles of 35th SW were rechannelized between Roxbury and Willow.

SDOT’s Jim Curtin says that was the longest rechannelization SDOT has ever done. It is part of the city’s Vision Zero initiative – working toward zero traffic-related deaths and zero major injuries.

And since the south-end rechannelization (and speed-limit reduction, to 30 mph), he says, 35th SW has reached that goal.

The last person killed on 35th SW was James St. Clair, hit by a driver while crossing at Graham in December 2013, two months before the safety project was announced. And while the stretch was averaging 3 major-injury crashes a year before the project, it’s had zero since then. Five pedestrians were getting hit in an average year before the project; two since then.

Crashes overall are close to the same rate – 40 per year before, 38 per year now. Before and after, rear-enders were and are the most-common type. But, Curtin says, the addition of a left-turn lane in the rechannelization has “nearly eliminated” left-turn crashes.

Also: “Speeding has decreased substantially,” and traffic volumes are up (for those wondering if 35th has lost vehicles to side streets) – 19,000+ per day at 35th/Roxbury, from 16,000 before the project. Yes, they studied side streets, Curtin says, and while they saw some volume increases immediately after the rechannelization, that’s dropped and “clearly people are back to 35th in droves.”

One of his favorite stats is next: Bus travel times have stayed the same or decreased.


And as for car travel times, Curtin says it’s played out the way they said it would pre-project – “maximum delay, about 1 minute, 20 seconds.” He says this was measured in “hundreds of runs on the corridor” with one person driving, one person recording. In some stretches, it’s faster, as they have continued to work to refine the signal cycles.

You’ll see more about these stats in the SDOT mailer and web updates soon. But these are the toplines. And now, what work is planned:

To recap what we wrote above, “We’re not rechannelizing the northern section at this time. That doesn’t mean we’ll never rechannelize it,” Curtin says.

You’ve probably already heard about the new signal planned at 35th and Graham, as part of the West Seattle Neighborhood Greenway project (which itself has meetings coming up). Here’s the design made public last fall:

That will be “prioritized for walking and biking,” according to Curtin, and should be even more helpful once the Upton Flats project on the northeast corner opens.

Further north, a “full traffic signal” will be added at 35th and Dawson, the intersection that includes the entrance to Camp Long. This, Curtin says, has long been requested by the community – he says that in his 11 years with SDOT, it’s likely the longest-running unfilled request. Pavement at the intersection will be repaired, too, “all the way to the Camp Long gates,” and new curb ramps will be installed.

That’s it for new signals. Some have asked for one at 35th/Juneau, Curtin acknowledges, but says that didn’t qualify for one – so they are going to do some other things, primarily, turn restrictions: Whether you are eastbound or westbound at Juneau, you will only be able to turn right. This intersection also will get pavement repairs and new curb ramps.

Then, dipping back into the Phase 1 zone, pavement repairs and curb ramps also are planned at 35th/Kenyon, which had its crosswalk restored last year, a decade after it was removed, and now has flashing pedestrian-activated beacons, too.

And continuing south, a longstanding request will be fulfilled at 35th/Barton: Left-turn signals in all directions.


So when will this all happen?

Construction is expected this fall – but what gets done first depends on the contractor; this is all expected to go out to bid next month, and sequencing details are likely to be available around July. The 35th/Graham light will be part of the greenway work expected in 2019.

And then, Curtin says, there’ll be a Phase 3. They’re looking at a “greenway spur” along a relatively short stretch of 36th SW, likely in 2022 or 2023, and residents will hear from SDOT long before that. They’ll also be looking at “traffic calming” on 34th between Findlay and Raymond, measuring the effects of the Juneau turn restrictions.

So since Curtin cautioned that they weren’t saying they would “never” consider further rechannelization, what would the criteria be for any future review? Installing the new signals and seeing what happens will be big, along with measuring the volumes on 35th.

If you have questions about all this, watch for a project e-mail address once the details are postal-mailed and posted online. There is NOT going to be a community meeting about all this, Curtin says; much of this was foreshadowed at the “Phase 2 possibilities” meeting a year and a half ago.

P.S. As for enforcement – Curtin says SPD has been out on 35th lately and will continue to be.

68 Replies to "THE 35TH AVENUE SW DECISION: No more rechannelization planned. Here's what SDOT will do instead."

  • J April 2, 2018 (8:47 pm)

    Well that sucks. Mount St Vincent and Camp Long could really use a turn lane.

  • Delridger April 2, 2018 (8:51 pm)

    This doesn’t make any sense! The south end road diet is a success, so they won’t bother with the north end? That’s crazy!

    This is incontrovertible proof that SDOT is not serious about vision zero. It’s all just an empty slogan. 

    This is so disappointing.

    • Jort April 2, 2018 (11:01 pm)

      They are only serious about Vision Zero as long as a project has no effect on automobile traffic. They’ll gladly throw in some sidewalks and curb ramps, though!

  • Wseattleite April 2, 2018 (8:53 pm)

    Uncommon common sense at work. Instead of the unintended consequences of moving traffic from an arterial to a greenway 1 block away, they give pedestrians safer ways to cross 35th, and monitor traffic speeds.  This gives me hope for the future. 

  • Alex April 2, 2018 (8:55 pm)

    Wow,  big news. I’m surprised, I had thought the continuation of the road diet was inevitable. 

    Do you you have any details on the specific location of the greenway spur on 36th? And what that term generally entails?

    • WSB April 2, 2018 (11:31 pm)

      When I got to that part of my notes, I realized I failed to ask for specifics on the streets, which were in tiny print on a draft map on a screen across the room, but they’re working on the official slides for the upcoming web and mail updates. I’ll ask tomorrow and update here. I just remember that it’s a flat stretch of 36th.

  • Alan April 2, 2018 (9:28 pm)

    South of Morgan, a breeze. North of Morgan, white knuckle time.

  • TreeHouse April 2, 2018 (9:45 pm)

    SDOT just can’t figure out how to complete a project. I’m starting to wonder what percentage of their projects actually get finished. 

    Im very frustrated with this decision. 

  • Jort April 2, 2018 (9:48 pm)

    This is utterly unbelievable. The city’s own data shows that their earlier rechannelization has saved lives and made the street safer. So give up now?

    SDOT has systematically backed out of every single traffic safety project in West Seattle in the last few months.

    I will be contacting councilmember Herbold to let her know that I will be working diligently to find a suitable primary challenger for her if she can’t start taking the safety of our streets seriously. This decision is an embarrassment to Seattle and people deserve to lose their jobs for it. 

    • WSB April 2, 2018 (10:29 pm)

      Your second line is not true. The SW Admiral Way Safety Project, to cite one, has been expanded beyond the original scope, with continued additions, as we’ve been chronicling. The Arbor Heights sidewalk project is about to start. Planning continues for Avalon repaving (which is also a rechannelization project, as reported here when it emerged last year) qnd changes to Delridge Way accompanying the RapidRide H conversion. I’m probably forgetting something. And then there’s the Lander Street project in SODO, which many West Seattleites consider an almost-local project due to how many have to travel through there. One other project of note, the Highland Park Way roundabout to calm that intersection, didn’t get that last grant but Jim Curtin told me during my visit downtown today that they’re working on others. – TR

      • Jort April 2, 2018 (10:57 pm)

        There’s a common thread in the projects you’re citing: they carry very low political risk because they have negligible effects on the perceived feelings of car drivers. But when car drives are forced by the design of the road to drive slower and safer, well, that’s just a bridge too far. I mean, if drivers have to drive the speed limit, they might leave some angry internet comments! Better cancel the project, just to avoid hurting feelings.

        35th Phase 2 was a “rechannelization” project last year, too, until it wasn’t, and I have no doubt that cycling infrastructure on Avalon will be sacrificed, just like the proposed Delridge RapidRide changes that pretend as though the street couldn’t possibly prioritize both bikes and buses at the same time.

        SDOT has now canceled major Vision Zero projects like this section of 35th and the Fauntleroy Blvd. project. Why is SDOT intentionally making decisions to keep our streets unsafe and dangerous? Why is SDOT unwilling to stand by the principles of Vision Zero? Why is SDOT taking in millions of voter-approved levy dollars, but not directly confronting the most serious (and statistically proven) threat to safety: car drivers?

        Maybe I missed it in the piece, but did Jim Curtin happen to explain WHY they cancelled the rechannelization? I would love to know why safety is no longer an important goal on 35th. 

        • WSB April 2, 2018 (11:24 pm)

          No, that’s still not true. SW Admiral was a very contentiously challenged project. Trust me, I have to go to all the meetings; in that case, from a living room to a school lunchroom.

          As for the explanation on why they won’t rechannelize the rest of 35th, for now: Rather simply, because the road is working as is, Jim Curtin said.

          (I would note that upcoming changes will address three of the four spots where the five fatalities happened between 2006 and 2013 – 35/Graham where Susanne Scaringi was killed while riding her bicycle and James St. Clair while crossing, 35th/Juneau where Andrew Seffernick was killed while riding his motorcycle, 35th/Dawson where Gregory Hampel was killed while in the street trying to catch his dog. The fifth spot, 35th/Othello, where Oswald Clement was hit and killed while crossing, is in the already rechannelized Phase 1 zone.)

          Also note that the “phase 2 options” as described last year did include SDOT’s warning that if a full signal was chosen for 35th/Dawson, it would have to remain 4 lanes – mentioned in a couple of our stories including the walking tour.

          • Jort April 2, 2018 (11:57 pm)

            Sorry, Tracy. The Admiral changes took place in 2016, back when SDOT was willing to stick its neck out and take hits when it came to prioritizing street safety at the expense of automobile convenience. That’s feeling like ancient history now.

            There’s been a change in the last 6-12 months, perhaps related to the new mayor, in which projects that adversely affect automobiles suddenly find themselves out of luck. It would seem there is little political will to take bold steps to confront our street safety problems. 

            In the meantime, our traffic will only get worse, and more people will continue to die on our roads. SDOT should be deeply, deeply ashamed of taking this cowardly, gutless route. 

        • A April 2, 2018 (11:30 pm)

           Hey Jort would you like a slice of cheese with your wine?

          • Jort April 3, 2018 (12:16 am)

            Maybe you should ask that to the families of people who’ve died on 35th, waiting on SDOT to make the street safer. 

        • Andros April 3, 2018 (5:28 pm)

          Jort is still hating. Please give it up.

          We have a mayor that is finally listening to the majority of people. 

    • Wseattleite April 2, 2018 (11:24 pm)

      Jort, I actually understand your frustration. This certainly does not align with your dream of a world where everyone takes bikes or mass transit or are otherwise monsters trying to destroy the Universe.  The reality is that Seattle is more than a decade away from having meaningful options in transportation for those that do not meet the very narrow parameter of the civilian without young children not working in a nine to five job downtown.  Maybe we can get to a point 35th is hardly ever used by cars and buses.  I would applaud that and be very supportive of that. Until there are options however, citizens need to live.  The effort to make decisions that would push traffic onto my street where we welcome walking and biking, I will vehemently resist. That is not safer for those genuinely trying to bike and walk. Arterials that move many people in a specified route are your friend for now.  Maybe in the future we can change that. I will support that. That is not now. 

  • face April 2, 2018 (10:24 pm)

    barton and 35th turn signals are long overdue so why you even have to consider it is stupid. Just get it done. 

  • Ron Swanson April 2, 2018 (10:27 pm)

    So rare to see a victory for common sense from the City these days.

  • MJ April 2, 2018 (10:43 pm)

    SDoT for once did not ignore the traffic data, the volume on this section of street exceeds the capacity of a 3 lane street.  

    They ignored the data at 59th at Admiral Way and installed unwarranted all way stop control, against professional advice, and a few weeks later pulled the plug realizing their error to heed the data.

    Sorry Jort just maybe some SDoT Engineers are starting to follow the data instead of ignoring it, they drank too much of the cool aid with Kubley, and fortunately he is gone now!

  • A April 2, 2018 (11:51 pm)

    Completely disagree with their “data” that says maximum delay on the road diet section being one minute twenty seconds. When are they gathering this data at midnight? Those of us that travel 35th during rush hour know that the road diet section can add five to ten minutes to your commute easily. The city is just trying to save face. They know the initial road diet was a massive failure and that is the real reason they are not proceeding with the rest of it. This is a minor victory for us but the real victory would be if they would undo their initial mistake and make all of 35th 4 lanes the way it was intended to be. Sorry Jort but your vision for all of Seattle to be this biking/ walking/bussing utopia is just not realistic at this time. Until we have light rail and other alternatives that don’t suck(bussing, biking) we need to move people to and from work in an effective manner. #undoroaddiet #make35thgreatagain 

    • Rider April 3, 2018 (7:40 am)


    • KM April 3, 2018 (8:03 am)

      I travel 35th SW frequently in bus and car and I’m shocked it’s even a minute and 20 seconds. I guess our anecdotal experiences and feelings aren’t as valid as data.

    • Lisa April 3, 2018 (9:48 pm)

      Totally agree with A!!!

    • Sunuva April 4, 2018 (8:33 am)

      This is my experience often as well. Driving north from AH, it can take 10 minutes just to get to Thistle at certain times of the day. The road diet created the congested traffic, and when combined with terrible signal timing this creates travel times that can increase by more than double during busy times.

    • k April 5, 2018 (10:52 am)

      Fully agreed – I have experienced approx 5 minutes in the morning and a minimum of 10 extra minutes in the evening to get from the end of the bridge to 35th & Barton.

  • Richard April 3, 2018 (12:44 am)

    There seems to be a lot of emotion in these comments.  SDOT  has provided us with facts and data  which is the basis for their  decision to revise an earlier plan .  I am thankful that making good decisions based on this  new information  is still possible with our government officials .  I’m a resident on 35th Ave and we collectively should appreciate that nothing is ever cast in stone  especially years later when we see the  results of these traffic / safety  improvements  and now can direct spending our hard-earned tax dollars wisely  towards other critical traffic and safety revisions within our city.

  • Kathy April 3, 2018 (12:57 am)

    I’m sensing a pattern here after the arrival of the new mayor and ouster of Kubly. I know he had problems,  but at least he had the guts to get safe street design projects implemented in the face of vociferous pushback from people who want to be able to drive over the speed limit and preserve maximum free street parking. The street safety projects in the city center  (“One Center City”) have been put on indefinite hold, too. And what about the safety improvements for people walking and biking on a few blocks of Fauntleroy Way that we have been told to wait for for 8 years and now all you hear is crickets? The Admiral Way safety project was low budget and planned and mostly implemented before the current administration.

    • CAM April 3, 2018 (8:11 am)

      There does seem to be some consistency in these decisions and it makes me question Mayor Durkan’s intent to make the unpopular (among the more “traditional” constituents) decisions that are likely to get her some political blowback but are for the good of the city moving forward. The idea that these are only “temporary” setbacks that can be addressed at a later time is a weak argument. Some of these projects and reforms had been fought for by people for many years and Mayor Durkan campaigned on the premise that the current status quo was good. I personally don’t agree with that and did not vote for her but the idea that she’s going to come into office and start to try to appease an angry minority is not going to earn my vote in the next election either. 

      • Jort April 3, 2018 (10:39 am)

        Back in 2015, SDOT told us that 35th Ave SW was the 4th most dangerous road in Seattle, in terms of people killed.

        Now, according to WSB, Jim Curtin has done a 100 percent about face and says that 35th is “working as is.”

        The question now is, was SDOT lying in 2015 or are they lying now?

        I’m hoping WSB can see the issue; that SDOT is (correctly) praising the traffic calming and safety benefits of the southern portion from one side of their mouth, while saying from the other that the northern portion is just A-OK, hunky-dory.

        Again: WHY did SDOT change their mind and suddenly determine there is no longer a need to address the traffic conditions that led to deaths of community members? We were clearly told, earlier, that the existing way the road was built was most definitely not working, “as is.”

        • Rusty April 3, 2018 (7:06 pm)

          Why? No deaths since 2013 (mentioned in the story), as well as possible unintended consequences of people now speeding on residential side streets are possibilities.

  • Ivan April 3, 2018 (6:04 am)

    Jort says:

    I will be contacting councilmember Herbold to let her know that I will be working diligently to find a suitable primary challenger for her if she can’t start taking the safety of our streets seriously. This decision is an embarrassment to Seattle and people deserve to lose their jobs for it. “

    We’re all cowering under our beds in the fetal position, Jort, because by being the sole voice of reason against Seatle’s insane new parking restrictions, Lisa has all but earned herself re-election. You have a nice day, hear?

    • John April 3, 2018 (8:55 am)


      Wrong you are, at least with me. 

      Lisa Herbold’s lone vote  against relaxing parking requirements that address the excess parking created under the existing codes is at odds with her progressive agenda and harmful to livability and housing costs in West Seattle.

      Ask Lisa how continuing the ban of renting excess parking in buildings is better than allowing those vacant parking spaces to be utilized to reduce on-street parking?

      I  will remember her miss-step at election time and vote accordingly.

    • TreeHouse April 3, 2018 (5:12 pm)

      I agree with John. I’m actually blown away by her non-progressive vote (and comments) on parking and livability. She needs to remember the people she is pandering to (neighborhood councils) did not vote for her in the first place. I will also remember this misstep at election time.

  • anonyme April 3, 2018 (6:31 am)

    The elephant in the room remains enforcement.  I know that’s a dirty word in Seattle, but enforcement would be my idea of tax dollars well spent.

    • WSB April 3, 2018 (6:59 am)

      Mentioned in story.

      • Jon Wright April 3, 2018 (2:12 pm)

        Yes, it was mentioned. But is there anybody else out there who really believes “Curtin says SPD has been out on 35th lately and will continue to be” means anything more than “SPD will make an appearance for a couple of weeks coinciding with an SDOT announcement”?

    • Nolan April 3, 2018 (3:34 pm)

      If it’s a “dirty word”, that’s because enforcement is the least effective way to make a transit corridor safer (aside from doing literally nothing). It’s expensive, is frankly a waste of limited police resources, and it doesn’t change aggregate behaviour.

      Safety and traffic flow are inherent to how a road is designed. If the road design did not prioritize them, the only (cost-effective, long-term) solution is to redesign the road. Let’s not kid ourselves that anything else would come close.

  • smittytheclown April 3, 2018 (7:51 am)

    I’d love to see these same statistics for “rush hour” times only.

  • KM April 3, 2018 (8:17 am)

    Excited to hear about the new signals and changes to Barton/35th especially, that’s been long overdue. 

    I really love living/walking/driving near and on the rechanneled part. Disappointed for those who were looking forward to it on the northern stretch.

  • Peter April 3, 2018 (8:41 am)

    This is very disappointing and will do nothing to improve pedestrian safety. One new crosswalk and one new light is not enough. The city has clearly decided to sacrifice pedestrian safety to the crocodile tears of drivers. 

  • chemist April 3, 2018 (10:37 am)

    Based on the earlier preview of Phase 1 results, it sounds like this corridor has almost bounced back in volume after the initial 21.7% reduction at Morgan and 35th.  pg 3

    Average weekday volume before phase 1 2015 – 20,890

    Average weekday volume after phase 1 2016 – 16,360

    This update – 19,000+

    • smittytheclown April 3, 2018 (2:09 pm)

      So wait a minute.  Did traffic volume grow or not since being reduced to one lane?

      Please clarify if traffic grew from 16K to 19K or actually decreased from 21K to 19K.

      • chemist April 3, 2018 (8:02 pm)

        It did both, depending if you’re looking at 1 year periods or longer.  That’s kind of an important denominator when you’re talking about collisions, since it’s generally regarded as less likely to happen with fewer vehicles on the road.

  • Mat April 3, 2018 (11:36 am)

    Hm. Ultimately I would have liked to see rechannelization, though my experience with the southern section seems to be much different than many people that post here (which is to say I’ve found it to improve traffic flow due to left turners having a dedicated lane and thus they get out of the way). 

    But, I’ll take the lights and the left turn barrier at Juneau as reasonable compromises that meet some of my and other desires for safety and steadier flow without going so far in the direction that it’s pretty clear a fair number of residents are strongly against.

    I sort of feel like it should have been easier to come together as a neighborhood to find a compromise rather than provide a continued audience for a small subset yelling at each other, but maybe I’m just unrealistic with that expectation considering it’s far worse at the national stage? 

  • brizone April 3, 2018 (12:01 pm)

    Just one little correction: that rechannelization stopped at Holly, not Willow.

  • Stephen April 3, 2018 (12:48 pm)

    Why not turn the three remaining lanes into a farmers market during rush-hour?  Fatalities and accidents would plummet!  Or we could all stick our thumbs in our eyes until we can’t see any more.  Fewer drivers means fewer accidents.    

  • David Kerlick April 3, 2018 (2:00 pm)

    If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. S of Morgan there are numerous commercial properties and associated traffic, and numerous multifamily apartments. N of Graham until Mt. St. Vincent, there aren’t any,  just single family houses.

    • Jort April 3, 2018 (4:22 pm)

      I would call 5 deaths in 7 years “broken” and in need of fixing.

  • Alkiguy April 3, 2018 (3:26 pm)

    Reading the comment’s from Jort are always fun, considering that in past posts claimed to live in the junction. So how does he know about all these other streets?   Jort has claimed to know all about WS traffic because He has a car and drives it everywhere!!!. Maybe that’s why he wants to get rid of everybody’s car-so he has more room to get around! 

    • Nolan April 3, 2018 (4:58 pm)

      … do you not know about busses or sidewalks? Has no one let you in on those secrets yet?

    • Jon April 4, 2018 (8:02 pm)

      Good theory. It adds up. 👍

  • West Seattle Hipster April 3, 2018 (5:10 pm)

    I am thrilled that common sense prevailed.  

  • WSRes April 3, 2018 (6:17 pm)

    No point in blaming Jim Curtin, or SDOT for that matter. This isn’t their fault. Their own data says that rechannelization improves safety. The about face on this project is the result of our new mayor. New mayor = new priorities, and she has several very expensive initiatives. I’m certain that money dedicated to this project is now being dedicated to those new priorities. Want the rechannelization to be completed? Call the mayors office. 

    • West Seattle Hipster April 3, 2018 (7:29 pm)

      If the credit for this decision goes to our Mayor, she has my vote in the next election.

    • chemist April 3, 2018 (7:43 pm)

      Technically, Jim Curtain and SDOT had given presentations saying Phase 2 would be implemented in Summer 2016, before Mayor Jenny was elected.

      When talking about re-channelization projects elsewhere, it was pitched with 10-50% reductions in collisions (10%-NE125th, 31%-Fauntleroy, to  50%-NE 75th “Rechannelization is a FHWA-recognized proven measure to reduce speeds and collisions“).  It sounds like this project hasn’t reduced collisions, although it may result in fewer fatalities – it’ll take a few more years to know if that’s a statistically valid statement.

      • Jon Wright April 4, 2018 (12:06 am)

        Could be a reduction in the severity of collisions. I would imagine that left turn collisions tend to be nasty. 

  • don'tgetit April 3, 2018 (10:20 pm)

    “We rechannelized the South, it worked, so we don’t have to finish, we are done.”

    Does that mean that if someone had died then they would have had to finish?  Or would they have said: “we rechannelized the South, it didn’t work so we are done.”?

    I’m just having a hard time following the logic of not finishing something which seemed to save lives because it seemed to save lives.

  • DKM April 4, 2018 (9:09 am)

    Thank you Sdot for not taking north 35th down to 3 lanes. The traffic is much too heavy for that. I can’t imagine how far traffic would back up on the West Seattle Bridge if they did this. I travel south of Morgan every day and yes it is slower, not to mention the obvious frustration of some drivers.  In addition, I  live on 36th,  which traffic has increased significantly…Why? Because people take side streets to avoid 35th because they can’t get anywhere. I am sorry to say, as well, that our neighbors who live on 35th made a choice. They knew they were moving on a busy street, I do believe this does require some personable responsibility for choice. This will be ok friends and thank you that some of us get a small little victory not to loose any more streets for now. 

  • Paul Hage April 4, 2018 (1:46 pm)

    Adding two signals to an eight block stretch of four lane 35th for a total of six signals seems a bit much.  Hopefully the Dawson signal will be triggered by cars and not go red when no one is there.  I live on 34th and have a few observations.  A lot of traffic currently traveling west from Delridge come up  Juneau and either cross 35th to go west or turn left to go south.  The new restriction to right turn only will eliminate some dangerous crossings and will redirect westbound traffic north on 35th to the light at Findlay for a left turn onto Findlay and left again on 37th to access Juneau again and then Fauntleroy and points west.  The neighbors on Findlay and on 37th will not be pleased by the increase in traffic.  Juneau traffic going south will have to go through High Point to the light at Raymond, or the new one at Graham.  The High Point roads, and 34th, are narrow one car at a time roads.

    The future “calming” project on 34th between Juneau and Raymond definitely needs further review.  From Raymond to Juneau 34th fills up completely with bus riders parked cars  It is impassable for two cars going opposite directions.  Findlay to Juneau is a split street – and further narrowed by parked cars.  North bound traffic from the east on Juneau turns right on 34th to avoid the Juneau backup at 35th and blasts through the tight split street then onto the significantly wider block of 34th to Brandon in order to miss the light at Findlay.  Findlay to Brandon needs calming more than Raymond to Findlay, yet ity is not currently included in “calming”.  Similarly, eastbound traffic on 35th turns left at Findlay then right on split-street 34th to avoid the difficulty of turning left onto Juneau where a traffic light would service a major east-west corridor.  That would make more sense than Dawson.  Camp long could be accessed through the gate 34th and Brandon and exited (right only) onto 35th.

  • Oversimplified April 4, 2018 (4:27 pm)

    5 deaths in 7 years was before rechannelization. Zero since rechannelization 

    seems like the problem was fixed

    • chemist April 6, 2018 (12:38 pm)

      Considering the picture WSB included lists dates of those deaths in 9/2006, 10/2007, 8/2008, then a 2.5 year gap to 4/2011, and then a 2.7 year gap to 12/2013 and then about 2 years without a death before rechannelization in very late 2015 and only 2.5 years since, I’m not sure we have enough data to say this gap is attributable to the re-channelization.  We’ve had  2.5 year gaps in deaths in the decade prior to it.  One can hope the road becomes safer though.

  • anonymous April 4, 2018 (10:50 pm)

    Hope SDOT reads Paul Hage’s note, good points.  And it’s a 10 minute car ride down 35th at the most, doing the speed limit even, and is way faster than Delridge, just try it;)  Esp. since there are two lanes ea way, one to allow buses nearly the full length of the street – see how you on 35th have nothing to complain about! (again compare to Delridge;)  

    So dear 35th Av neighbors, just watch those crazy cars!  They do zip fast, faster even than cars on Delridge!  A pedestrian stands a better chance perhaps on the big D – 35th is so smooth it doesn’t slow you down (try Delridge’s pockmarked road sometime, Ha:) But People really, keep it at 35 mph, would ya?!

    ps- whoever said those people who moved to 35th knew what they were getting – I just say wow, have you ever had to make your pennies stretch? Have a heart, I think everyone deserves a nice livable ‘hood! One where you don’t have to fear for your life as you run across the street.

  • Homeowner on 35th April 5, 2018 (11:01 am)

    @ Oversimplified:

    Perhaps I missed this in my quick search, so forgive me if this is repetitious.

    Did any of the referenced pedestrian/bicyclist deaths on 35th occur on the portion that is South of Morgan?  If memory serves, most were at or North of 35th and Graham, where there have been no improvements so far.

    So, if there weren’t any deaths or severe injuries South of Morgan, then I don’t see how SDOT can claim the safety improvement is a result of the road diet/re-channelization.

    • WSB April 5, 2018 (11:15 am)

      Yes, there have been fatal/serious incidents on the south stretch. As noted above, one person was killed at 35th/Othello. While we have thorough archives of every fatality incident in West Seattle since we started doing this 10+ years ago, I can’t vouch for the comprehensiveness of serious-injury crash coverage – we cover them when we hear about them and might have missed some along the way – also I have no way to sort our archives for north vs. south; pulling a back-end search for “35th crash hospital” brings up more than five dozen results. Among them:

      P.S. Note that the stated mission of Vision Zero isn’t just to eliminate pedestrian/bicyclist deaths/serious injuries, but also to reduce those in drivers too – anyone using the roads.

  • Jason April 5, 2018 (12:12 pm)

    I’m super happy they’re not going forward with this project.  I travel norhtbound in the mornings each weekday and traffic only starts to move once we get north of Morgan.  Before there, the lack of lanes, buses and poorly timed lights make it nearly impossible to travel more than three blocks at a time without stopping, while going the speed limit.  This all changes after Morgan.

    I applaud the extra lights for pedestrian and bicycle crossing.  I also look forward to more Greenway projects to  be completed to pull bikes off of our major arterials and onto safer side streets.

    • Paul Hage April 6, 2018 (4:59 pm)

      To Jason – “traffic starts to move once north of Morgan”.

      The addition of two more traffic lights should slow traffic down.  Again, the light for Camp Long is unnecessary given the vehicle access on a paved road at 34th and Brandon and a light at Findlay.

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