3-way stop at Harbor/California + two hot housing topics @ Alki Community Council

Right now, Harbor Avenue SW is a street without a stop sign or stoplight, from its south end at the bridge, all the way until its end where the street becomes Alki SW (which continues stop-less until 63rd).

The Alki Community Council wonders if a three-way stop might enhance safety at the intersection with California Way. That was one topic at the ACC’s November meeting.

The proposal is from ACC president Tony Fragada, for the next Neighborhood Street Fund cycle (with ideas due by tomorrow, November 19th). He pointed out that pedestrian traffic there is on the rise as well as vehicle traffic. The ACC supported the idea. Fragada also suggested that a year-long traffic study of Alki could be helpful, to generate data on peaks and valleys of the road usage.

Also discussed at Thursday night’s meeting, two ongoing citywide issues regarding housing and development.

One was the pending Hearing Examiner ruling – expected before month’s end – on the citywide coalition appeal of the Environmental Impact Statement for HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability. ACC is one of five West Seattle neighborhood groups on record as supporting the appeal. They agreed to contribute another $100 to the coalition’s legal expenses.

An even-more-extensive discussion ensued regarding the Queen Anne Community Council‘s appeal of another Final Environmental Impact Statement, the one for a proposal to loosen the rules regarding Accessory Dwelling Units – the official name for residential units added to single-family houses, such as “mother-in-law apartments” and ‘backyard cottages.” The city summarizes the changes as follows:

Allowing two ADUs on one lot

Removing the off-street parking requirement

Removing the owner-occupancy requirement and requiring one year of ownership when creating a second ADU

Modifying development standards that regulate the size, height, and location of DADUs

Increasing the household size limit for a lot with two ADUs

Establishing a new limit on the maximum size of single-family dwellings

Members wondered who would be living in the thousands of units the rule changes could enable, if the reports of an apartment glut in the city are real, and whether the ADUs would be big enough for families to inhabit. They ultimately voted to contribute $250 to support the Queen Anne group’s appeal. You can read about the appeal here; you can find the FEIS here. As with HALA MHA, the ADU proposal requires City Council approval, but the appeal has to be heard first. The hearing is set for March, according to the Hearing Examiner’s online calendar.

The Alki Community Council meets third Thursdays most months, 7 pm at Alki UCC (6115 SW Hinds)

26 Replies to "3-way stop at Harbor/California + two hot housing topics @ Alki Community Council"

  • Onion November 19, 2018 (6:15 am)

    I use the Harbor and California intersection mostly as a pedestrian and feel perfectly comfortable and respected by vehicles stopping to allow me to cross. It can be more challenging for drivers  to make a left from California onto Harbor. This may become more of an issue when the new condos come online near that intersection. I’d prefer to see a pedestrian activated crosswalk signal and perhaps a vehicle activated stoplight that would make it easier to turn left onto Harbor.

    • Kalo November 19, 2018 (11:06 am)

      If the condos you’re referring are the ones being built at 1307 Harbor, none of those units (9, I believe) being built will be sold or rented out. They are for out of town visitors from coming from Korea to use while they are here to check out business opportunities.There will be “light manufacturing” and a restaurant (not immediately, will be used for an event hall in the beginning). I hear a coffee shop is also a possibility.

  • Kalo November 19, 2018 (7:06 am)

    The Seacrest parking lot  kerffule (especially in summer) would be a more worthy study. With the water taxi shuttle, folks vying for a coveted spot and summer traffic on Harbor, that’s when things get really dangerous!Try out speed bumps before stop signs.

  • Todd November 19, 2018 (7:15 am)

    No, not another stop sign or stop light in WS.  Anyway, there’s already a crosswalk at that intersection. 

    • Q November 19, 2018 (10:28 am)

      Yeah, as long as not a single automobile operator breaks a single rule in west seattle and there are no more injuries or deaths caused by automobile operators, ever again, sure. No additional stop signs or lights.

  • Tom Gallacher November 19, 2018 (8:02 am)

    I agree with the sentiment so far. NO need for a three way stop. It will just back traffic up more than it already is. A flashing sign at the cross walk is a better idea

  • Mickymse November 19, 2018 (8:48 am)

    Members wondered who would be living in the thousands of units the rule changes could enable, if the reports of an apartment glut in the city are real, and whether the ADUs would be big enough for families to inhabit. They ultimately voted to contribute $250 to support the Queen Anne group’s appeal. 

    Seriously? If you are concerned about homelessness in our community, then you shouldn’t be supporting this appeal… NO ONE is predicting this would result in thousands of units. (I wish.) It will create more units for people to live in — which we are desperately in need of. Probably NOT families, since they would most likely be ~800 square feet. But they could help current owners stay in their homes by providing a rental income source. Or perhaps it will provide some place for seniors to move to when their apartment building gets bought out or they want to move out of their huge home — that would accommodate a family — but don’t want to be forced to move out of Alki or other West Seattle neighborhoods.   

    • Diane November 19, 2018 (12:36 pm)

      thank you; agree 100%; so many seniors have been displaced from longtime apartments due to demolition to build “luxury” apts and/or from insane rent increases, with no where affordable to go; these mother-in-law (ADU) & backyard cottages (DADU) would be perfect alternative for elders to live; wth are people so afraid of? our seniors/elders need safe affordable places to live

  • Mike November 19, 2018 (9:46 am)

    I agree with Onion.  I’m also a walker.

  • pdid November 19, 2018 (10:00 am)

    Agree, stop sign not necessary. Probably don’t even need the flashing crosswalk frankly. I run alki to admiral, and often jut down california there. Cars usually stop for you, even in busy summer months. 

  • pip November 19, 2018 (10:40 am)

    I agree that it doesn’t need to be a three way stop but crosswalk needs flashers for these dark nights.  As a regular Walker/runner I’ve experienced cars rushing through the crosswalk even once you’ve started crossing, esp. from Seacrest side where its so dark. 

  • heartless November 19, 2018 (11:53 am)

    Shame on the Alki Community Council.  Absolute shame on them for supporting those Queen Anne toads and their “environmental” (environmental my foot!) concerns.  Backyard cottages are great — both for renters and for helping homeowners stay in their homes.  That backyard cottages are currently bogged down by ridiculous regulations that other forward-thinking cities have already done away with is too bad, and I am glad Seattle is trying to loosen these restrictions.  The Alki Community Council’s move is depressing, short-sighted, and an absolute embarrassment.  They should be ashamed of that decision.

  • alki_2008 November 19, 2018 (12:00 pm)

    Count me as another Alki resident that doesn’t think a 3-way stop at Harbor/California is needed or worthwhile.   Onion’s idea of a pedestrian-activated crosswalk signal seems like a much better solution.   It would be better to let traffic flow, instead of stopping, when there are no pedestrians around that intersection.  Would be better than having a line of cars backed up, especially during busy beach days, with each one spewing exhaust fumes while they wait for their turn at the stop sign.

  • SeaSpade November 19, 2018 (1:40 pm)

    Not to pile on, but also use that intersection both as pedestrian and driver and this isn’t necessary.  Solution looking for a problem.  I’m still tweaked by the parking ticket I got from Mariner’s opening day a couple of years ago on what I thought was legit parking on Ferry.  More parking for the water ferry needs to be paramount on concerns if we’re serious about getting traffic off the bridge and out of downtown.

  • T November 19, 2018 (2:27 pm)

    I feel like the city tries to improve safety and the result is often unintended consequences. The old saying comes to mind, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

    • WSB November 19, 2018 (2:34 pm)

      This is not a city proposal. This is a community proposal.

  • Jethro Marx November 19, 2018 (4:40 pm)

    The reason residents might suggest a stop sign on Harbor Ave SW is to create a huge line of cars when lots of non-residents are heading to the beach, thereby encouraging drivers to take Admiral Way SW instead. I don’t really care if that’s their motivation, but I’m not too chuffed about people pretending it’ll improve traffic flow. The push-button activated crosswalk lights are great and I think if Seattle was serious about Vision Zero they would install them everywhere. They’re not as expensive as one might think.

  • zark00 November 19, 2018 (4:48 pm)

    Very disappointed with the Alki Council on this decision to back Queen Anne’s nimby appeal.  They don’t care at all about the ‘environmental impact’ they just don’t want to “poor people” to move into Queen Anne.  Pretty shameful move on Queen Anne’s part, and embarrassing lock step with the nimby QA jerks behavior from Alki.  QA council grossly misrepresents the ‘studies’ they cite in their appeal.  For example, in Portland, where ADU’s are being built faster than anywhere else, there has been NO noticeable impact to parking.  They are just too few and far between.  QA acts like one will spring up in everyone’s backyard overnight – that is not the case, never has been, and never will be.  QA needs to get off it’s stupid agenda and stop being obstructionist ahats.

    • flimflam November 19, 2018 (7:02 pm)

      oh give me a break, “poor people” haven’t been able to afford QA in a long time. or middle class either, for that matter. supply and demand – where’s my penthouse apartment on Central Park, NYC? i want to live there, so gimmie!

      • heartless November 19, 2018 (8:22 pm)

        Um, yeah, and they want to keep it that way.  What’s so hard to understand?

      • heartless November 21, 2018 (8:39 pm)

        Let me just add one more comment– Flimflam writes “supply and demand – where’s my penthouse apartment on Central Park, NYC? i want to live there, so gimmie!” in response to a comment that is SPECIFICALLY TALKING ABOUT INCREASING SUPPLY.   Good heavens, we all understand supply and demand, WHICH IS WHY THE COMMENT YOU RESPONDED TO IS ARGUING FOR INCREASING SUPPLY!  Come on, man.  You don’t need to be that internet forum guy.  You can be better than that.  Probably.  

  • K November 19, 2018 (5:51 pm)

    Kalo where did you get your info…..I was told 27 Apts and light Industrial and commerical

  • matt hutchins November 21, 2018 (10:20 am)

    Here is another perspective from a Queen Anne resident who doesn’t support what their community council is doing, and has some excellent points about the policy.  https://queenannenews.com/Content/Opinion/Opinion/Article/Embracing-zoning-changes-to-welcome-more-family-sized-accessory-residences/9/540/39951?fbclid=IwAR1fi5z3qZYyw5rC4dck3FCt-4Wp8QSA91Og-wuea55by-LkoN1M3DoHOMU

    • heartless November 21, 2018 (3:08 pm)

      Thanks for the link.  Well-written article, and it’s nice to know there are others who feel the same way (there must be dozens of us!).

      • Matt Hutchins November 23, 2018 (8:42 pm)

        You can find a nice community of like minded pro-ADU folks at MOAR (More Options for Accessory Residences) on Facebook or @MOARSeattle on twitter.  

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