FOLLOWUP: SDOT tries ‘low-cost revision’ to address safety by Duwamish Longhouse

Thanks to Andy for the tip. As our video shows, SDOT has blocked off part of the outside southbound lane of West Marginal Way SW by the Duwamish Tribe Longhouse and Cultural Center, in an attempt to address some of the tribe’s ongoing safety concerns. We’ve been reporting all year on the tribe’s efforts to get help with improving safe access to the longhouse and between it and the Duwamish River shore, including cultural/natural sites, across the busy street. The possibility of lane removal was mentioned to the West Seattle Transportation Coalition two weeks ago by SDOT director Sam Zimbabwe; he mentioned a signal was a possibility too, but that isn’t in the current plan, SDOT spokesperson Ethan Bergerson tells WSB:

While SDOT did not have the funding for a larger signal project to connect the longhouse to the river and park, we were able to use existing funding to implement this low-cost revision to address safety concerns and provide some parking on the western side of the street in front of the Duwamish Tribe Longhouse.

We don’t have plans for further changes. Of course, like every project, we will observe traffic performance and could potentially make some minor revisions if we see any issues that need to be addressed.

Though the city has previously rejected the tribe’s grant application for pedestrian-safety work, it has granted $575,000 that will cover part of the cost of expanding longhouse parking, as we reported last month.

12 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: SDOT tries 'low-cost revision' to address safety by Duwamish Longhouse"

  • LJ October 9, 2019 (4:13 pm)

    What was the total cost of the low cost revision ?

  • T October 9, 2019 (4:41 pm)

    Drove through this today. With sun in eyes, there’s no heads up to the change and it’s not easy to see until your right up on it. Those white poles are going to be run over and gone in a few weeks if other locations are any indication.

  • Tamsen Spengler October 9, 2019 (4:46 pm)

    This is a start but doesn’t begin to address crossing the street from the park to the longhouse. 

  • justme October 9, 2019 (6:16 pm)

    I unexpectedly experienced it yesterday and even though I was driving safely and paying attention, with a large truck near me and making my view short, I had to react very quickly in order to get over. There isn’t enough warning or proper signage leading up to it. Low budget is right.

  • John Smith October 9, 2019 (9:55 pm)

    Now there’s no lane for the speeders to pass someone driving the speed limit (40mph) and there’s no enforcement, so welcome to the tailgaters /race car drivers on your rear bumper.

  • Chris dyer October 9, 2019 (11:37 pm)

    Without the sun it’s fine, who cares how much it costs, it’s a safe way to get in and out of the Longhouse. Slow down and you’ll be ok.

  • Mike October 10, 2019 (7:10 am)

    Or they could have made that into a right turn only Lane there to allow drivers to slow down, not blocking any other traffic flow, before the turn.  The way it is now, impatient drivers will use the middle Lane to bypass cars turning right.  None of this helps pedestrians.

  • melissa October 10, 2019 (7:36 am)

    Why is it that BIPoc always draw the short straw? This is a non-fix that may well cause more, rather than less, danger. 

  • Don Brubeck October 10, 2019 (9:35 pm)

    This is a  start on making it safe to get to and from the Longhouse and the parking lots, Duwamish trail, parks and river across West Marginal Way.  The Duwamish Tribe is asking City Council to add funding in the 2020-21 budget for a real crosswalk with pedestrian activated signal, and a stretch of sidewalk to get to a safe crossing place, with ADA access across the railroad track.  The tribe shares the Longhouse generously with the community for many events and school visits. Please consider supporting the Duwamish Tribe’s request at the City Council budget hearing on October 22. Or, email Councilmembers. 

    • John Smith October 10, 2019 (10:28 pm)

      Don Brubeck, I can’t imagine an ADA-compliant at-grade wheelchair crossing for railroad tracks, so that would mean an ADA-compliant pedestrian overpass. At the ADA required 1:12 slope and an apparent (after an Internet search) minimum height for railroad cars of 15 ft. 1 inch, that would mean ramps on both sides of the tracks at least 180 feet long (15 feet multiplied by 12). The ramps could have (for example) 30 ft. sections with 180 degree turns, so six interconnected ramps on both sides of the tracks. That’s got to be pretty expensive, for a presumably relatively low number of wheelchair users who would be going to the lodge.

  • Spendit October 15, 2019 (1:55 pm)

    @Don B. This traffic revision is extremely unsafe, and this will become more apparent in the dusky winter months during peak times. The Duwamish Tribe, and their facility are not going anywhere. The city needs to design and pay for a pedestrian overpass. This current fix, or any new crosswalk is an accident waiting to happen, and the city needs to stop going on the cheap when it comes to safety, especially when it comes to accommodating people whose land we are standing on.  Adjacent parking will not be enough, as we can only assume that use of the building will only increase with time.

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