FOLLOWUP: SDOT’s new information on how Avalon/35th/Alaska repaving and rechannelization will change parking

(WSB file photo)

Back in August, when we last updated the Avalon/35th/Alaska repaving and rechannelization plan, SDOT said it was re-crunching the numbers on current and proposed parking. The assessment – with numbers – is finally ready, and SDOT says:

Our parking update findings show:

*Net loss of 67 parking spaces on SW Avalon Way between 35th Ave SW and SW Spokane St

*Net loss of 9 parking spaces on 35th Ave SW between SW Avalon Way and SW Alaska St

*39 remaining on-street parking spaces in the Luna Park business district between SW Spokane St and SW Yancy St. Today, there are 53 on-street spaces (24 on the west side and 29 on the east side). Our project design removes 14 spaces total (the sum of removing 16 on the west side and adding 2 on the east side). The east side spaces are “no parking” 6-10AM, Monday-Friday, as they mostly are today.

*13 remaining spaces in the off-street public parking area between Luna Park Cafe and The Shack. Today, there are 14 spaces here distinguished by privately-painted line markings. We remove one that’s been marked across the sidewalk/pedestrian area.

*3 remaining spaces in the off-street public parking area next to Luna Park Cafe and Avalon Glassworks. Today, there are 3 spaces here.

*31 parking spaces will be restricted Monday through Friday, 6-10 AM, to create a bus lane on the east side of SW Avalon Way between SW Spokane St and SW Yancy St. Today, there are 18 spaces restricted weekday mornings.

*We’ve kept load zones and a disabled zone to meet high-priority needs like business deliveries, and pick-ups and drop-offs at busy apartment buildings

*We’re planning to implement 2-hour parking time limits on SW Avalon Way in the business district north of SW Yancy St to improve customer and visitor access

Why the new design includes fewer parking spaces than today:

*We’re redesigning SW Avalon Way with a focus on safety. This will result in narrower travel lanes to lower overall speeds, reduce high-end speeding, and reduce crossing distances for people walking and biking to get around the neighborhood and catch the bus.

*We’re separating people biking from moving traffic with protected bike lanes, mostly between the curb and a “floating” parking lane. The floating parking lanes will have buffer areas, so car doors don’t hit people biking and there’s space for people parking to walk to and from their car. This design pulls parking farther back from intersections and driveways than today. Twenty-foot parking setbacks allow people driving to see people walking and biking better – their vision isn’t blocked by a parked car – to make collisions less likely at driveways and cross streets.

*We didn’t count spaces 5 feet from driveways, 15 feet from fire hydrants, 20 feet from crosswalks, and 30 feet from intersections, which are not legal parking areas under state and local laws, but may be considered legal parking today.

*Most street space for the protected bike lanes came from removing the center turn lane, but in narrower areas at the north end of the corridor we had to restrict morning parking on the east side to allow for the bus lane that moves thousands of people a day on RapidRide and other routes

*On 35th Ave SW, we removed parking spaces where we’re adding pedestrian crossing islands to help people get across the street at SW Alaska St to the West Seattle Stadium and transit

Next steps:

*We’ll post the 100% street channelization plans online with parking areas noted. We’ve already done that at 30% Design and 60% Design. Specifically, the community will see the number of spaces in each parking area and notes where we think load zones and a disabled zone will be located.

*We’ll post this information and this parking changes graphic on the website

*We’re scheduling a meeting with the Luna Park Merchants Association to discuss the latest update. Please let us know if you need a phone call or meeting with our project team to discuss this information.

*We want to continue to hear from the people who live, work, travel, and visit the neighborhood with requests for information, questions, and if there are any errors in our maps or analysis that need to be fixed

*We’ll then follow-up with the community this winter to share the final design, and pre-construction information since we’re expecting construction to start in spring 2019 and last 2 years

According to previous conversations with SDOT, that’s not two continuous years, but rather two construction seasons – roughly April through October each year. The project includes repaving of Avalon in its entirety, from the bridge to Fauntleroy Way, as well as about three blocks of 35th SW between Avalon and Alaska, and a block of Alaska west of 35th. The 60 percent design documents are all on the project website; the parking update we received today isn’t there yet.

35 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: SDOT's new information on how Avalon/35th/Alaska repaving and rechannelization will change parking"

  • neighbor November 19, 2018 (4:03 pm)

    They really ought to install a physical lane barrier between the travel lanes at the Avalon/Bradford southbound bus stop. Whenever a bus stops there, southbound cars swerve into the northbound travel lane… directly into oncoming traffic.  I’ve nearly been hit head-on there several times, and it seems to get more dangerous with the passage of time.

  • vanessa November 19, 2018 (5:06 pm)

    Just lost 80 parking spaces? Am I reading this right?

  • Kalo November 19, 2018 (5:20 pm)

    Another W.S. area to avoid! As it is, I take as many backroads as possible to go see local friends, and do my best to avoid the  junction all together. Taking public transportation from the mid-Alki area mid-day is impossible, due to no busses running except during commute times. My home town is becoming less and less welcoming.

  • Mike November 19, 2018 (5:38 pm)

    This is nuts.  The negative effect on these small businesses will be large.  There are alternatives for cyclists.

    • Tsurly November 19, 2018 (5:57 pm)

      Can you give us some examples of the “alternatives” available for cyclists?

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

        It takes some hill climbing westbound but if a cyclist takes SW Yancy st crosses Avalon and continues west on SW Andover st to the pedestrian bridge which spans the West Seattle Bridge then onto Fauntleroy way SW a person on a bicycle can skip Avalon altogether. Eastbound is even easier I rarely ride my bicycle eastbound on Avalon. So yes there are alternatives! 

        • KBear November 19, 2018 (10:32 pm)

          Um, no. That’s not really an alternative for most cyclists, certainly not westbound. 

          • Tsurly November 20, 2018 (5:41 am)

            Agree with Kbear, that is hardly an alternative. Crossing Avalon during rush hour is a nightmare (for cyclists and peds) because drivers often ignore the cross walk. That followed by having to ride on Fauntleroy after the 35th intersection, no thanks.

        • Dan November 20, 2018 (8:02 am)

          Going up that section of Andover is rough even for an experienced rider, especially when capped off with another 30′ climb to get over the bridge (not that westbound Yancy is a snap, either). Avalon is easily the most approachable way to get from the downtown into the junction area. Admiral is tolerable, depending on your attitude toward riding next to 50mph traffic in the dark. But that leaves you rather far from the junction. Good alternatives are far between.

          • KM November 20, 2018 (9:57 am)

            The Andover intersection with Delridge is also a huge deterrent for those coming in and out of West Seattle. It’s current configuration is not safe for cyclists, and same for that stretch of Andover just W of that intersection.

        • CD November 20, 2018 (12:29 pm)

          “It takes some hill climbing westbound….” Uh, yeah–the pitch hits more than fifteen percent on Yancy, on both sides of Avalon. I’m a daily bike commuter through that area and a strong rider, but I only go over Yancy maybe once a week (when I’m feeling energetic). Otherwise it’s Avalon because it’s the only route.

    • Mark47n November 20, 2018 (4:33 am)

      Interesting that there’s always someone to suggest that there are “alternatives” for cyclists. There really aren’t alternatives. There are alternatives for cars, however. As to the alternative proposed by NW. Many cyclists already use Yancy. I see them on it every day. I’ve climbed it when cycle commuting, every day. Avalon already has a bike lane on the WB. Cyclists also have the right to use the road. And the city has the obligation to see that the roads are maintained. Cars benefit from well maintained roads as well as bikes.To use business as the permanent deterrent to the loss of street parking is unsustainable. IF your model relies on such then you may have problems.

    • Peter November 20, 2018 (10:01 am)

      No, Mike, their are no other alternatives for bicycles. Avalon is the only reasonable route to reach any area of West Seattle other than Alki or Delridge. Avalon despreately needs bike lanes and expanded transit lanes. And there will be zero impact on the businesses on Avalon, they all have off street parking, so that’s nothing but a hollow scare tactic.

  • Mike November 19, 2018 (5:42 pm)

    “neighbor” notes the dangerous situation at the Avalon/Bradford bus stop.  Someone is gonna get killed swinging around a stopped bus.  Very poor design for bus stop.  

    • AMD November 19, 2018 (6:18 pm)

      There are lots of other bus stops with the same configuration where people don’t swerve into oncoming traffic.  First and foremost, the bulk of the blame should always be on the drivers breaking the law, but we should also look at why they feel it’s okay to do so in this spot but not the many other places where the road (and bus stop) have the same design.

  • Joe Z November 19, 2018 (6:10 pm)

    It’s an arterial street, it doesn’t need to have any parking at all!

  • Delridger November 19, 2018 (6:14 pm)

    I can’t wait for this to be built. A big thanks to SDOT for making safety a priority. 

    • WTF November 20, 2018 (5:45 pm)

      Even project managers at SDOT think this is a dumb idea.

  • Don Brubeck November 19, 2018 (10:13 pm)

    NW, Avalon is an easier grade by far than Yancy. The angled “ways” like Avalon are the routes of choice on a bike to get up West Seattle’s steep hills. Many people cannot manage the grades on Yancy. Avalon is the obvious preferred route from much of West Seattle to go to SODO, Pioneer Square, and downtown. There are  alternatives for cars . Traffic safety and accomodating buses and bikes are more important than loss of some of the car parking on the public street.

  • Danimal Crackers November 19, 2018 (11:19 pm)

    Please post the address/website where we can provide comments/feedback to SDOT about these changes. Removing the center turn lane between 35the and Genesee in Avalon is going to create massive backups at rush hour, when people who live in these apartments attempt to get into their garages across heavy oncoming traffic. I can’t believe this hasn’t been taken into account – it already creates backup when people don’t fully get into the turn lane. Who thought this was a good idea?!

    • Kristin L November 20, 2018 (4:15 am)

      Delivery and moving trucks also regularly park in the center turn lanes … 

      • sam-c November 20, 2018 (10:15 am)

        That was my concern as well.  EVERY TIME I find myself on Avalon, there is a UPS, AMAZON, etc delivery truck, U-HAUL. … I was thankful to read that there are supposedly ‘load’ zones, so hopefully they are well used by all those trucks.  But yeah, definitely will be back ups behind people taking left turns.  Bring your patience, not your road rage. 

        • sam-c November 20, 2018 (11:39 am)

          (all those delivery / moving trucks parked in the center turn lane) (Left that part out of my post)

  • Fishon November 20, 2018 (8:14 am)

    Mark47n You have data that show’s bicycle rider’s will make up business lost if there’s no parking?

    • mark47n November 20, 2018 (12:56 pm)

      I have zero data and feel confident that cyclists won’t. That’s not the point. Street parking is a convenience for a business and it’s not a service that must be provided by the city. Whatever action is taken there will always be someone that feels it’s unfair.

      • Jon Wright November 20, 2018 (3:12 pm)

        The right-of-way is a public resource that should be used for the public good. Providing storage for private property (i.e. cars) so their owners can patronize private businesses doesn’t  seem nearly as compelling a public good as keeping people safe.

  • Scott November 20, 2018 (9:12 am)

    Its all part of there plan to push people out of West Seattle because its not livable or you cant drive from one place to another without added time to your trip due to traffic or no parking. Welcome to West Seattle – We don’t want you to be able to drive anywhere or park in the area you want to visit. Have a great day. 

    • Jon Wright November 20, 2018 (3:04 pm)

      That must explain the absence of new construction in West Seattle.

    • Jethro Marx November 20, 2018 (3:45 pm)

      Cool plan! Who would it benefit and why would the city humor them in their nefariousness? Is it possible that SDOT sees that traffic will never get better no matter what they do, and figures, hey, let’s make it easier to ride a bike/walk/whatever? Because even if they bumble about doing it in an inefficient way, that motivation makes more sense than a grand scheme to make West Seattle unpleasant for residents. If you want to improve throughput on Avalon, get rid of that Starbucks drive-through, ’cause that place is a (#@&*n zoo.

  • Q November 20, 2018 (4:38 pm)

    I agree that taxpayers and the city have no obligation to subsidize businesses with parking for private vehicles on public property. Need people to drive to your business? Build an adequate parking lot.

    • Beth November 20, 2018 (5:46 pm)

      Are you serious (that’s rhetorical). Businesses in this town support the city. It’s not the other way around. Economics 101.

  • WTF November 20, 2018 (5:40 pm)

    I feel for those WSites who will choose to still do business in the Junction. I live 1.5 mile away and now go south to shop. This city continues to cater to all the apartment dwellers in both Junctions who simply walk out their doors and screw homeowners (who actually pay the taxes for these asinine ideas and helped build WS’s infrastructure). Brilliant. Simple brilliant.

    • Tsurly November 20, 2018 (7:13 pm)

      Many single family homeowners (including myself) support these infrastructure projects, what do you say to that? 

  • T November 20, 2018 (8:03 pm)

    I think enforcement of infractions  might remove the need to make changes in general, putting up signs, etc. i see people using bike lines to make right turns, people impeding traffic wait on Avalon for the Starbucks drive through, driving in the opposite lane of traffic to go around a bus nearly causing a head on collision, blowing red lights, going straight from the right turn only, etc. I have driven through here for 20 years and never saw one person pulled over. Hmmmm. 

  • KBear November 20, 2018 (9:01 pm)

    Your logic is faulty, WTF. EVERYONE pays property taxes, including renters. Perhaps you don’t understand how the business of rent works, but part of the rent collected goes toward the landlord’s property tax. And by the way, those apartment dwellers are citizens of West Seattle and our neighbors. I dare say many of them support our community much better than those who “now go south to shop”.

Sorry, comment time is over.