Starting soon: Harbor/Spokane intersection safety project

A busy summer ahead for road/trail/sidewalk projects in West Seattle. SDOT has just sent a sheaf of notices about more work that’s about to start. We’ll spotlight each of them, starting with the Harbor/Spokane Intersection Improvements, a community-initiated project via the Neighborhood Street Fund. The official pre-construction notice (see it here) explains:

As soon as Monday, June 11, we’ll start construction of safety improvements for people walking, biking, and driving at the intersection of Harbor Ave SW and SW Spokane St. Work will last approximately 6 weeks. During this work, crews will:

■ Install a bike-only signal at the northeast corner of Harbor Ave SW and SW Spokane St and bike-only crossing across to the southwest corner of the intersection

■ Add a curb bulb at the northeast corner of Harbor Ave SW and SW Spokane St intersection

■ Restripe the crosswalks at the intersection

■ Replace existing jersey barrier and vegetation along the Alki Trail approaching Harbor Ave SW

■ Install a bike ramp on SW Avalon Way at SW Spokane St

There’s some backstory on this project in this WSB report from two years ago. Meantime, the new info above isn’t on the project website yet but we’re told it will be soon.

P.S. According to the city bidding website, the contractor will be C.A. Carey, which submitted the winning bid for a package of five projects in the south section of the city, including this one and the walkway project in Westwood (our next update!).

23 Replies to "Starting soon: Harbor/Spokane intersection safety project"

  • Kalo June 6, 2018 (12:24 pm)

    Wasn’t there an article in the Times about the how expensive and useless the bicycle signals are? Are the bikes now going using the off ramp with vehicles?I would like to see money spent in WS at intersections, changing the way pedestrian crossings are timed. With all this new growth, making a right turn at a light is quite an issue. When folks are crossing, vehicles can’t turn, causing traffic back ups and fewer vehicles getting thru the intersection (such as Calif. & Admiral, 35th & Avalon, 42nd Admiral just to name a few).

    • NW June 6, 2018 (2:12 pm)

      This is an issue throughout the city and the only thing I reflect on is to have patience myself yo have it because population in the city will only increase. 

    • West Sea Neighbor June 6, 2018 (3:06 pm)

      No, bikes are not using the off ramp, but that is right where the Alki Trail, which runs parallel to the ramp, meets Harbor Ave/Avalon. This light is a welcome addition for bike commuters who must pass through this intersection daily. Also, what are you implying by your statement about vehicles trying to turn right? Are you saying that pedestrians shouldn’t be allowed to cross the street? I don’t see this particular intersection as much of a problem at all.

  • Sillygoose June 6, 2018 (12:30 pm)

    All of the tax dollars for bikes yet I pay over $700.00 a year on tabs cant even get a left turn arrow that doesn’t correspond with pedestrian cross walks.  Bike riders need to pay for their own road use, tax and license all bikes.  No helmet fine them! Fed up paying for bus riders, renters bikes!

    • WSB June 6, 2018 (12:40 pm)

      Most bicycle riders and bus riders also own cars. (Not to mention, bicycles take a much lighter toll on roads than cars.) Also, roads are paid for from a variety of other taxes that renters pay as well as homeowners. Please let’s lay off the mode-vs-mode wars … it’s not an either/or. I’ve shared a variety of links in the past and will look them up again when I get a break but there’s a ton of news waiting to be written. – TR

      • West Seattle since 1979 June 6, 2018 (1:35 pm)

        Thank you, WSB! So tired of all this guilt-tripping from people from both sides!

    • KM June 6, 2018 (1:56 pm)

      Excellent screen name.

    • WSEA June 6, 2018 (2:00 pm)

      Your argument against bikers, pedestrians, bus riders, incorrect and has been discussed ad nauseam.    You are correct about the helmet fine but I doubt it will generate any revenue.  You may collect more money with fines from people using phones will driving.   I’ve almost been hit several times (walking and driving by phone users)I’ve included a link for you to start speaking up for change with the signal request.   There may be other links which are better but its all I could find in 5 minutes.

    • West Sea Neighbor June 6, 2018 (3:09 pm)

      Sillygoose, I pay as much or more for car tabs as you, but ride my bike to and from work and put very few miles on my car. I proportionally pay a larger share than you, yet exert far less wear and tear on a bike. This is true for most cyclists that I know. 

  • Ice June 6, 2018 (12:39 pm)

     oh my goodness, this is such a needed connection. Getting from the Alki Trail to Avalon is so unbelievably slow and very confusing.

  • George T. June 6, 2018 (12:51 pm)

    So glad this project is starting now. That intersection is dangerous for pedestrians as well as cyclists. but that bike crossing is particularly welcoming. I finally can feel safe crossing there during the evening commute.

  • markinthedark June 6, 2018 (1:07 pm)

    This is a great traffic improvement for car drivers. Hopefully, it will keep them from potentially hitting a cyclist or pedestrian leading to financial liability and possible loss of insurance and license. Driver’s should be applauding this improvement.

  • neighbor June 6, 2018 (1:29 pm)

    Now if only they could prevent southbound drivers on Avalon from careening into oncoming traffic to pass a bus. I’ve had so many near head-on collisions going north on Avalon that my blood pressure rises every time I have to drive there.

    • T June 6, 2018 (3:24 pm)

      It’s illegal to pass the bus there. I’ve seen cops pull people over for that. Definitely not safe to pass because it requires the southbound Avalon traffic to be in the northbound lane.  People have the audacity to honk at me when they are in my lane!

    • T June 6, 2018 (4:16 pm)

      But to answer our shared concern, this is probably where the next curb will go like the one between lanes by Zeeks.

  • Steve June 6, 2018 (4:03 pm)

    This is a great addition! Anyone upset about this has not ridden from the Spokane Street Bridge to Avalon. This addition will make riding from Alki/Downtown/etc easier and safer for younger, older, and beginner cyclists.My preferred route for going from the bridge to Avalon is going left at the fork after the bridge, and going to Delridge then climbing the steep Yancy St. This isn’t a very comfortable hill since there is no protected lane for cyclists going up the hill. Once at the top of the hill, you have to cross Avalon in order to climb Avalon. There is a button at the crosswalk that flashes lights, but not all drivers stop. Once across the street it is a pretty steady climb to the top. The advantage of the improvements noted in this post is cyclists will be able to avoid the steep Yancy hill, and instead have the steady incline of Avalon at their disposal. I still hope Yancy gets improved. Avalon is scheduled to get a protected bike lane, which should bring many more people using bikes to get around.

  • MJ June 6, 2018 (5:41 pm)

    As a bike rider who uses this intersection frequently I like the changes that enhance visibility, but not on board for the signal revision.  I’ve observed extensive car bus back ups at the intersection already.  As a bicyclist going WB to SB making eye contact, aka enhanced visibility, with the WB motorist and simply going with the existing signal works.

    • Tsurly June 6, 2018 (8:22 pm)

      I’m calling BS. I also use this intersection frequently (every weekday and some weekends) and making eye contact with the drivers turning right on Harbor Ave rarely results in them yielding to my left turn onto Avalon. I’ve had more near misses at this intersection that anywhere else on my commute from downtown.

  • MJ June 6, 2018 (5:42 pm)

    And further this will add delay to bicyclists!

    • Tsurly June 6, 2018 (7:35 pm)

      The extra time is well worth the wait if it significantly reduces my probability of getting ran over by an inattentive driver.

  • GF June 6, 2018 (8:47 pm)

    Will bike riders be rerouted during construction. If so I wonder how. 

    • WSB June 6, 2018 (8:53 pm)

      They’ll provide info on bike/ped detours soon. That’s mentioned on the notice linked in the story.

  • TreeHouse June 6, 2018 (10:34 pm)

    Wow, this is great news! This will really improve this dangerous intersection. 

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