FOLLOWUP: SDOT’s reply to HPAC’s 13 West Seattle Bridge closure-related requests, and more

(WSB photo from April, new signal at Highland Park Way/Holden)

HPAC the community council for Highland Park, Riverview, and South Delridge – got a fast reply from SDOT on its letter centered on 13 requests related to the West Seattle Bridge closure and its effects on those neighborhoods. We spotlighted the letter here on Tuesday; HPAC circulated the response tonight. It’s signed by Heather Marx, who’s leading the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge Safety Project. The letter, which you can see in its entirety on HPAC’s website, also incorporates topics from HPAC’s April meeting (WSB coverage here). From the response, here are HPAC’s points, and SDOT’s replies:

… Below are the specific requests we heard from HPAC – at both your meeting and in your letter – with the status of each request:

Highland Park Way SW and SW Holden St Intersection

*Request for a left-hand turn signal for turning onto SW Holden St from northbound lane on Highland Park Way SW
Status/update: We installed a temporary traffic signal at this intersection and it’s not currently possible to add a left-hand turn signal to it. We are, however, sharing this feedback with the team designing the permanent traffic signal scheduled to be installed in 2021.

*Request for extra traction on uphill southbound lane on Highland Park Way SW
Status/update: The Highland Park Way SW and SW Holden St Safety project team will evaluate high friction surface treatment. This treatment has typically been done where crashes have occurred when roadway conditions were slippery.

*Request for separate green signals for pedestrians and drivers in the northwest corner of the intersection
Status/update: We installed a temporary traffic signal at this intersection and it’s not currently possible to add these features to it. We are, however, sharing this feedback with the team designing the permanent traffic signal scheduled to be installed in 2021.

Turning from arterial streets onto SW Holden St

*Request to see painting and/or signage to prohibit blocking of the intersections
Status/update: Because these treatments have limited effectiveness and high maintenance costs, SDOT is focusing on more effective tools, many of which are below and will also be reflected in the neighborhood traffic plans we are preparing.

Traffic calming in the neighborhood

Status/update: SDOT is developing a neighborhood-specific plan to evaluate concerns like these and should have drafts ready as soon as two weeks.)

Request to add more traffic calming throughout the neighborhood

Status/update: We are responding to cut-through and safety service requests as we receive them from community members and based on observations by our traffic engineers in the field. We are also working to keep the arterial street network moving efficiently to encourage its use instead of the residential system some choose to use for longer trips.

Request to add calming near Sanislo Elementary School

Status/update: In summer 2018, SDOT crews completed improvements for the Sanislo Elementary Safe Routes to School (SRTS) project, making it safer and easier for kids, families, and neighbors to walk and bike to Sanislo Elementary School through the intersections of SW Orchard St and 18th Ave SW and SW Myrtle St and 18th Ave SW.
Question for HPAC: Can you clarify specific locations of additional traffic calming you would like SDOT to focus on?

Requests for dedicated turn signals

*16th Ave SW and SW Holden St
Status/update: SDOT can do a restripe here consistent with the Your Voice, Your Choice project that was selected for construction this year. It does not provide a turn signal, but provides a dedicated place for people to wait for a gap in approaching traffic.

*16th Ave SW and SW Roxbury St
Status/update: This is a complicated request that would require channelization changes with additional impacts. We can get back to you on this idea as we engage the neighborhood on the collaborative neighborhood traffic plan that we are developing. We will bring a draft to your next meeting.

*8th Ave SW and SW Roxbury St
Status/update: We are not currently budgeted to add this signal to the existing mast arm.
Traffic signal adjustments to address traffic backups

*16th Ave SW and SW Holden St
Status/update: In progress. SDOT is planning to make this adjustment by the end of May.

*Delridge Way SW and SW Holden
Status/update: Timing changes were made in the last couple of weeks and we will continue monitoring this intersection.

*SW Orchard St and Delridge Way SW
Question for HPAC: Can you provide more specific information on what signal adjustments you’d like to see at this intersection?

*8th Ave SW and SW Roxbury St
Status/update: We are updating the controller on this signal in the next two weeks.
SW Roxbury St, Olson Pl SW, and 4th Ave SW

Request for additional marked crosswalks
Status/update: We’re making safety improvements for people walking at the SW Roxbury St and Olson Pl SW intersection as part of Seattle’s Vision Zero program. This intersection is in both the City of Seattle and unincorporated King County and requires cross-jurisdictional collaboration. The West Seattle Bridge team is in contact with the Roxbury/Olson intersection project team to share HPAC’s request for expedited implementation. We will update you when we learn more about the timeline.

King County Metro Route 131

*Request for bus-only lane on Highland Park Way SW
Status/update: We will have further details in our next response to HPAC on May 19. We are collecting traffic counts here to see if this is feasible with the changing travel patterns since the bridge closure.

*Request to adjust signal at Highland Park Way SW and SW Holden St for bus priority
Status/update: This request will also be evaluated as part of the Highland Park Way SW and SW Holden St Safety project.

*Request to increase Route 131 service
Status/update: We shared this idea with Metro, and they are engaged in a transit planning exercise for West Seattle.

Pedestrian path on the east side of Highland Park Way SW after the SW Holden St intersection

*Request to consider widening the path to allow for more use
Status/update: The Highland Park Way SW and SW Holden St Safety project team is exploring options on widening the path to make it more attractive for pedestrians and bikes. We will have further details in our next response to HPAC on May 19.

*Request to clean moss off from path
Status/update: SDOT will clean this pathway in the next two weeks.

West Marginal Way S 

*Request for better bike lane marking at the intersection with Highland Park Way SW  
Status/update: We will have further details in our next response to HPAC on May 19. The Highland Park Way SW and SW Holden St Safety project team will be looking at ways to widen the existing path (east side of Highland Park Way SW) and will also look at markings to enhance bike visibility to the widened path. 

*Request to fill potholes and fix road deterioration near the railroad tracks  
Status/update: SDOT has driven and regularly monitors the detour routes, including West Marginal Way S. As part of this process, we identified and prioritized pothole improvements along those routes. The location where West Marginal Way S and the railroad meet is maintained by BNSF Railway. We have notified BNSF of these issues. 

*Request for two lanes northbound at the intersection with Highland Park Way SW  
Status/update: Due to the geometry of the intersection, this would require removing a southbound lane approaching the intersection and would have unintended consequences.  We are not moving forward with this recommendation. 

Cut-through traffic on local streets 

*Request to add signage on local streets to help with cut-throughs  
*Request to add stop signs at unmarked intersections  
*Request for east to west monitoring, specifically at 35th and Delridge 
*Request to make some streets one-way to help with cut-through traffic  
*Request for a stop sign at 11th and Kenyon  

Status/update: Cut-through traffic is a complicated issue. Any attempts to eliminate or discourage cut-through traffic may solve the issue on one street, but most likely will have secondary, unintended impacts on adjacent streets within the neighborhood. As a result, evaluating cut-through traffic requires a comprehensive neighborhood traffic study to quantify the problem, develop neighborhood-wide solutions and build consensus. We can get back to you on this idea as we engage the neighborhood on the collaborative neighborhood traffic plan that we are developing. We will bring a draft to your next meeting.
HPAC Question: Can you send us a list of all the locations where stop signs are requested noting which leg(s) of the intersection the signs you’re requesting would face? We will cross-reference past requests and follow-up with you about next steps. 

For monitoring traffic, we are installing cameras at these intersections for SDOT staff to monitor in real-time: 

35th Ave SW and SW Roxbury St 
35th Ave SW and SW Barton St 
35th Ave SW and SW Holden St 
35th Ave SW and SW Morgan St (installed) 
Delridge Way SW, 16th Ave SW, and SW Roxbury St 

Additional requests and comments 

*Request for Seattle Police Department enforcement in the neighborhood, specifically on 16th Ave SW 
Status/update: Our Vision Zero team will share this request with SPD during its monthly coordination meeting. In addition, I am briefing SPD command staff to discuss traffic enforcement based on new travel patterns created by the West Seattle Bridge closure.  

*Request for SDOT to reconsider requests from previous Your Voice, Your Choice applications and the report from Mayor Murray walkthrough 
Status/update: We are reviewing each and every Your Voice, Your Choice application from the community to see what’s feasible in light of the bridge closure. 

*Request for more information about East Marginal Way S project 
Status/update:Visit the project website for more information. Construction timing of this project is dependent on funding and is not anticipated until 2021 at the earliest. 

*Request for improvements on 20th Ave SW, including a new sidewalk 
Status/update: Sidewalks are prioritized based on several metrics and are a long-term improvement that requires a comprehensive planning process.  

*Request to look at bike network through the neighborhood, specifically the greenway on 11th and improving Webster. 
Status/update: We are working on a comprehensive bike network in West Seattle. 
Implementation of this effort is not funded. We will include these ideas in the collaborative neighborhood traffic plan that we are developing and will bring a draft to your next meeting.   

*Request for additional passenger-only ferries from Fauntleroy and Alki 
Status/update: We are working with King County Metro Transit, Washington State Ferries, and private companies on this idea. Shifting some of the personal vehicle trips to ferry or water taxi trips is a high priority during the closure.  

*A commitment from the City to repair the streets that were damaged during the bridge closure.  
Status/update: We prioritize paving based on street pavement condition, traffic volume, geographic equity, cost, and opportunities for grants or coordination with other projects in the area. We will continue to reassess our paving list based on observed pavement conditions in your community because of new traffic patterns from the bridge closure. In the meantime, we are breaking ground on a major paving project on Delridge Way SW this year. 

*Heavy freight routes clearly designated and enforced.  
Status/update: This has been completed. In addition to revising the detour routes for clarity, we have also modified signing for clarity approaching the Low Bridge and signal operations along the alternate routes. We have freight route maps and are communicating all bridge-related updates with SDOT’s Freight Advisory Board and freight stakeholders. 

*We want an immediate bridge replacement plan without a $33 million expenditure for the current bridge or a two-year evaluation period. SDOT’s current plan will put an undue burden on the daily lives of our West Seattle residents.
Status/update: Along with our partners, we have made the reopening and mitigation of the West Seattle Bridge closing a top priority with teams working tirelessly to safely restore access. At present, however, the bridge will remain closed until further notice. At this time, we cannot give a definitive date for when the High Bridge will reopen, but we anticipate a lengthy closure. In the immediate term, we will take all measures to preserve the integrity of the bridge so a long-term solution can be put in place. We are working tirelessly with our partners to assess what near-repairs need to be made now and in the future, how long they will take, and how to fund them. We will continue to share updates as we have them. 

*Reverse the closing SW Trenton St from 17th Ave SW to 10th Ave SW as part of the ‘Stay Healthy Streets’ initiative. 
Status/update: We are contacting our colleagues who worked to bring Stay Healthy Streets to your community with this feedback. 

Follow-up Questions 

Will there be more shuttles running within West Seattle? Will there be on-demand shuttles similar to when the 99 bridge was closed?  
Status/update: We are working with King County Metro Transit on this idea. They are engaged in a transit planning exercise for West Seattle. 

What is the plan for if the Low Bridge has to be closed? 
Status/update: We do not anticipate the Low Bridge to be closed unless the High-Rise bridge is at risk of failure. If this is the case, our safety plan can be found here. We have implemented more frequent monitoring of the Low Bridge, as well as completed maintenance to ensure it remains open and safe during the High-Rise bridge closure. 

Has King County Metro considered providing free bus service to encourage more people to take transit?  
Status/update: We have shared this idea with King County Metro Transit.  They are engaged in a transit planning exercise for West Seattle. 

Can we get “in neighborhood” buses between Highland Park and Westwood Village to minimize driving within the neighborhood by residents? 
Status/update: We have shared this idea with King County Metro Transit.  They are engaged in a transit planning exercise for West Seattle. 

HPAC’s next meeting – online – will be three weeks tonight, on May 27th, and SDOT is expected back.

54 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: SDOT's reply to HPAC's 13 West Seattle Bridge closure-related requests, and more"

  • Mel May 7, 2020 (1:05 am)

    Wow. SDOT being very patient with a crazy number of requests (many tangential at best to the issue of diverted high-bridge traffic), at a time when their hands are pretty full here in West Seattle (along with the obvious extenuating circumstances). I haven’t been a fan of the way SDOT was “reconfigured” after the overreaction to the once-a-generation snowfall in 2008, but good on them for taking the time.

    • datamuse May 7, 2020 (11:55 am)

      I think the requests from HPAC are by and large very relevant to the situation–almost everything they asked about is either something on the main detour route, or something directly affected by the increased traffic volume along that route. There are a lot of winding streets and dead ends in this neighborhood, and the traffic on Holden alone makes getting around pretty difficult.

  • Cs in HP May 7, 2020 (7:13 am)

    Someone is going to get killed trying to turn left onto Holden from northbound on HP Way- that needs to be addressed immediately, not in 2021… if they can’t put a left turn signal in they should put the yield sign back up for traffic coming up the hill and turning right. I wish SDOT could be proactive on this. 

    • dsa May 7, 2020 (3:00 pm)

      It sounds like they used they used the wrong controller and or signal mast head.  Otherwise it should be an easy to recycle.

  • KayK May 7, 2020 (7:41 am)

    I appreciate the level of detail thinking this represents from SDOT. Also their willingness to consider all suggestions- this level of detail, while granular, can serve as at least some lubricant to the sticky traffic situation ahead. We need to try a lot of ways to help smooth the passage of the huge volume of vehicles passing through residential areas for the next couple of years.

  • AMD May 7, 2020 (7:41 am)

    This response is amazing.  It’s quick, thorough, honest (they said “no” when the answer was “no”), and helpful.  Heather Marx certainly has a lot more patience for community asks than I would.  I’m sure everyone will find at least one response they’re less than excited about but SDoT is clearly taking this seriously and considering feedback.

  • Jort May 7, 2020 (8:30 am)

    It was very generous of SDOT to take time out of their critical, urgent work at dealing with this emergency to address concerns about “potholes.” I will say, to HPAC’s credit, this list of “requests” is somewhat remarkably much more inclusive of alternative transportation (buses, walking, etc.) than the West Seattle Transportation Coalition’s list of “requests,” which centered almost entirely on mitigations for car drivers.

  • Mj May 7, 2020 (8:56 am)

    SDoT has lost its marbles, they are posting 25 MPH speed limits on Principal Arterials that is inconsistent with technical standards and driver expectancy.  One size fits all is stupid and will reduce safety for all users as people using a Principal Arterial street will ignore limits that are not reasonable, further police do not like to enforce unreasonable limits!  It’s time we all contact the Mayor and Council to put a stop to this.  

    • Jort May 7, 2020 (9:34 am)

      You have once again asserted, with zero evidence whatsoever, that a reduction in speed limits will “reduce safety for all users.” This is not borne out in facts or data, it is an opinion

    • tsurly May 7, 2020 (9:47 am)

      Moot point anyway. Before too long, all those arterials will be mega traffic jams with people going nowhere.  

    • KM May 7, 2020 (10:41 am)

      Some agencies are moving away from antiquated level-of-service guidelines, instead focusing on eliminating deaths and serious injuries as well as building multi-modal corridor designs that don’t focus on free-reign for the almighty car. The guidelines from the past decades are losing their relevancy as we focus on people instead. It’s not about moving as many cars a possible across a surface, it’s making sure people don’t die getting around their community.

  • beanie May 7, 2020 (9:06 am)

    I’m glad to hear they are working on a neighborhood-specific plan. Will look forward to reading it!

  • Blbl May 7, 2020 (9:11 am)

    Amazed at all the ways they found to say, “No”.  

  • Josh May 7, 2020 (9:39 am)

    I’m with BLBL – whole lotta “no” in this reply.  How does a Left Turn Signal take until 2021 until it “might” be able to be put in place? As a regular driver who has to work right now, driving in/out or WS is not bad.  It’s going to blow up as we all get back to “business” in the next month.   Morning backups could extend from 35th to Highland Park way on Morgan/Holden.  Roxbury will be similar.  And yes, drivers will cut through Highland Park’s neighborhood streets to try and save a few minutes.HPACs requests were thoughtful and represent an understanding of what’s to come, SDOT needs to move at the pace of what’s coming next, and the city needs to repurpose funds & staff now to get this work done before everyone hits the streets.

  • Mj May 7, 2020 (10:54 am)

    Jort – I have 30+ years of Traffic Engineering experience and am an expert in this subject matter.  IT IS NOT MY OPINION IT IS FACT THAT INAPPROPRIATE SPEED LIMITS REDUCE SAFETY.   Posting the same speed limit on a high volume Principal Arterial street as that used on other streets makes zero technical sense and will not have any respect by the users of the street.  

    • Ice May 7, 2020 (12:00 pm)

      ‘Experience’ doesn’t mean you have any idea what you are talking about. For example, in the 40s there were plenty of ‘experienced’ neurologists who performed lobotomies because in their experience it ’worked’, and was a good thing, despite a mountain of evidence indicating the opposite. Your argument is a poorly thought out fallacy, as usual.

      • Common Sense May 7, 2020 (12:59 pm)

        So why is YOUR “experience” and ZERO expertise superior to an actual traffic engineer’s?!? Oh – that’s right. It isn’t. Further, the notion that an arterial road that is one of two major thoroughfares in a limited area should have traffic moving at 5 mph less than how we are supposed to drive when kids are running in and out of school and being picked by parents and buses is downright laughable.

    • WSJ May 7, 2020 (1:36 pm)

      30years of experience in a field in many cases means you *were* a subject-matter expert, and in this case I trust the people actively working in the field professionally more than someone who learned about traffic safety in the 80s and clearly has a personal bias.

    • Jamie May 7, 2020 (5:17 pm)

      MJ, this study by Penn State backs up your claim.

  • Jon Wright May 7, 2020 (10:59 am)

    What would the fallout be if left turns from northbound Highland Park Way to westbound Holden were prohibited? If SDOT really can’t upgrade the signal until next year, would no left turns until then be a safer option or would the unintended consequences be worse?

    • datamuse May 7, 2020 (12:37 pm)

      I’ve basically already stopped making that turn because it’s become impossible–traffic up the hill is constant. So what it means is either going all the way down to Henderson (I’m pretty sure this is why the request to re-evaluate Trenton as a Safe Street was included, because it’s one of the few other streets that connects 9th and 16th) or going down Highland Park Way and taking Marginal northbound (if your eventual destination is the Junction). If I might be permitted to gripe for a second, both of these are pretty inconvenient for me personally, though I get that exactly none of this is convenient for anybody and if it’s just something I’ve gotta live with, then so be it. I suspect it’s leading to more people cutting through on side streets, though I’m trying to avoid doing that. Is that worse than leaving things as they are until a turn arrow can be added? I honestly don’t know, but I do think a crash there from someone trying to make that turn is only a matter of time.

  • TM7302 May 7, 2020 (11:05 am)

    As a resident on the recently closed to “local access” only 15th Ave SW, I’m seeing vehicles speed on the side streets and blow through the stop signs to bypass the backups on 16th and Holden intersection.  SDOT should have known all that traffic was going to go somewhere, if you impede the arterial roads, that traffic will make it’s way into our neighborhoods regardless of the  “Stay Healthy Seattle” street closures.  It’s called following the path of least resistance. It’s time for SDOT to listen to the people that live here and more importantly, act as if they do!

  • Mj May 7, 2020 (11:10 am)

    Jon – I would not restrict LT’s.  Living a stone’s throw from this intersections for 20 years in the past, people living in the area would re-route using other streets many of which are residential.

  • anonyme May 7, 2020 (11:12 am)

    What is “driver expectancy” and better yet, who the hell cares?  What about pedestrians, cyclists, and residents who live along these speedways?  Are they allowed “expectations” of life, safety, or reasonable noise levels and pollution?  Many drivers act as if their need for speed is the only consideration.  It is not.

    • Common Sense May 7, 2020 (1:05 pm)

      People who MAKE A CHOICE to live on streets like 35th know PRECISELY what they are doing when they make that choice. You know how I know that? Because I lived right on 35th for four years. When I made that choice, I knew what I needed to do to be safe. It meant when I crossed 35th I didn’t run in front of cars. I waited to cross until I had plenty of room to do so and when I could see ALL oncoming cars from both directions. When I backed out of my driveway, I did so with the appropriate amount of distance so I could do so safely for everyone, including the oncoming traffic. When I went out to my car parked on the street, I also waited until traffic was clear for me to do so. I did NOT expect the entire West Seattle population who use 35th to stop driving because I CHOSE to live on a busy arterial street. That’s the way the world works. Everyone doesn’t have to stop living and going about their business because you want to live in bubble wrap.

      • Um, No! May 7, 2020 (3:35 pm)

        Live this!  Not being sarcastic.  Awesome response.  

      • AMD May 7, 2020 (6:18 pm)

        People who live on 34th or 36th (among other streets) are also affected by these choices, and I’m certain they didn’t choose where businesses and bus stops they want to walk to would be located.  It’s not unreasonable to expect safety in multiple modes of transportation.  

      • Ice May 8, 2020 (12:40 am)

        Claiming that lowering the speed limit 5mph-10mph will make “ Everyone… stop living and going(ing) about their business” is completely ludicrous and goes to show how deeply entitled you are.

  • Joe Z May 7, 2020 (11:30 am)

    To summarize for anyone interesting in biking: you’re stuck with the current infrastructure, there isn’t any money. To summarize for anyone interested in driving: we found millions of dollars to add new signals, signage, more traffic cameras, monitoring resurfacing etc., all of which will do absolutely nothing to relieve the main congestion point at the 1st Ave S bridge.

    • Um, No! May 7, 2020 (12:33 pm)

      Because the fact is there are waaaaaaaaaaay more cars than bikes.  There are now and there will continue to be until we invent the Jetson Mobile.  I know that’s hard for the bike community to admit, but it is and always will be true. The bridge issue is not going to change that.   Why would it make sens to spend millions and millions of dollars on a tiny subset of people commuting when we could put it to a far better and more realistic use?   Do you really think putting more money into bikes routes is going to change or help the upcoming traffic apocalypse?  Here is your answer, not to any “meaningful” degree.  That’s  fact.  While the biking community is busy beating their heads against the unmovable wall,  can you also see if you can do something about world peace?  We’d all appreciate it.  (insert sarcastic imaginary thumbs up emoji)

      • tsurly May 7, 2020 (3:27 pm)

         No one in the bike community is beating their head against a wall. Most of us see the REALITY of what is to come when traffic picks back up, and are only trying to offer REALISTIC solutions to those that may have the option not to drive. I personally, living true to my name, am looking forward to watching the chaos that ensues because some people are too stubborn or lazy to even consider changing their habits. 

        • Um, No! May 7, 2020 (3:51 pm)

          Based on the constant party line (bike community) that keeps being stated over and over again,  it sure seems like it. The last sentence of your post pretty much sums up the narrowed mindedness that turns a lot of people off to your cause. For me, I am neither to  stubborn or lazy to consider biking each day for my job.  Actually, far from it.   A nice relaxing bike ride would be amazing. But,  it’s not doable for me.  And it’s the same for a large majority of the WS community.  Constantly brushing people off as lazy or stubborn like a broken record  just minimizes your message. 

      • Joe Z May 7, 2020 (3:41 pm)

        Please explain how the additional cars are going to fit onto the alternative routes.

        • Um, No! May 7, 2020 (4:39 pm)

          Not saying it’s going to be easy. Never had. It’s going to suck. But, that’s the only option for most.  We’ll have to deal with it.  Please explain to me how spending millions and millions on new and improved biking routes will help more than a very small percentage of WS residents? 

          • Joe Z May 7, 2020 (6:15 pm)

            This isn’t really about biking, it’s about how the car improvements are not really solving anything yet costing a ton of money that SDOT supposedly doesn’t have. 

    • tsurly May 7, 2020 (12:48 pm)


    • Common Sense May 7, 2020 (1:06 pm)

      Spot on!

  • Trickycoolj May 7, 2020 (11:49 am)

    I wonder if they could restripe Orchard/Delridge so that there’s a “waiting spot” for left turns similar to their comment for 16th/Holden. That area already jams up in the typical morning and evening commute in the respective out/inbound directions. 

    • KM May 7, 2020 (12:32 pm)

      There are plans to do this in the Rapid Ride H/Delridge Way Corridor project (Slide 21). I’d like to see protected left turns for traffic off of SW Orchard and onto Delridge Way in both directions.

  • Emergency medical provider May 7, 2020 (11:57 am)

    As a resident in the Alaska junction and a doctor required to routinely take emergency call, I fear the current mitigation strategies are grossly inadequate, especially in light of the anticipated ramp up in traffic volumes in the near future.  Emergency responders will be trapped and patients will suffer.  Busses are not a solution for many of us, and I’m not prepared to ride my bike to the hospital for a medical emergency.  I am concerned there has been no discussion of more robust measures to address this crisis, such as re routing Fautleroy ferry traffic to downtown, limiting access to first avenue bridge to only those north of that access point, considering immediate exploration of submergible tunnel if bridge repair will cost 33 million, take two years and be viable for less than 10 years.  How about using vehicle identification technology to limit vehicles to a certain number of trips to the city per week with electronic tickets to violators?  This could also be a method to selectively permit more critical vehicular traffic use of the lower bridge (we have “good to go” as a current example).  If anyone really believes resolution of this crisis is within a two year horizon, look only to the past record of SDOT and construction delays to dispel this fantasy.  

    • tsurly May 7, 2020 (12:35 pm)

      If you are physically able, get prepared to ride a bike. Assuming you work at Harborview, that should be less than a 30 minute ride from the Junction. And, with the exception of the low bridge being open, I’ve found it to be the most consistent way to get downtown even prior to the bridge being out. If anyone really believes that there is a solution that will allow car traffic to flow even at a fraction of a fraction of what is was prior to this happening, I have a bridge to sell you. Also, a submerged tunnel isn’t feasible. 

      • Trickycoolj May 7, 2020 (2:55 pm)

        @Tsurly (I presume you ride a Surly) my job is being consolidated to Everett later this year. I will need to be there at 7am, how do you suggest I ride a bicycle to Everett, and arrive on time and professionally presentable for those daily 7am meetings?  I guess I’ll have to try and find a new job, but you may have noticed the economy is tanking and many places are laying people off right now. I guess my only other choice is to move… except I’m completely priced out of any urban areas effectively putting me somewhere where the commute would be just as long.  Got any ideas?

        • tsurly May 7, 2020 (3:50 pm)

           I’m really sorry for your misfortune, but don’t take it out on me. I suggested that someone who has made ever indication that they work DOWNTOWN consider riding a bike. If your question is serious and you are looking for an answer, I may have one. A buddy of mine rides his bike everyday from Tukwila to downtown, catches a bus (the 510 I believe) to South Everett, then gets back on the bike to Boeing Everett. Somedays he does the ride both ways, but his kids are grown and out of the house.  Again, don’t be pissed at me, be pissed at people who drive downtown and absolutely refuse to consider trying anything different.

          • Skybear May 7, 2020 (5:20 pm)

            It’s too bad the Sounder train isn’t an option that early… would have been doable to bike to the train station and catch that to Everett. I’ve done that going the opposite direction, to commute out to Tacoma. The bike/train combo might work for some commuters with certain destinations and schedules.

            The 510/512 bus actually runs early enough to get someone out to Everett by 7. Good suggestion. It would be an early morning, and might feel like a long commute for someone used to driving, but it’s doable, might even be a nice change, who knows.

    • Common Sense May 7, 2020 (1:09 pm)

      Excellent points! Also, the assumption that the only reason people need to get out of WS is to get downtown is downright laughable. Are we all supposed to bike to Everett? Mt. Vernon? Bellingham? SDOT continues to be a joke as is our City Council who doesn’t care about and is incapable of running a city. Same with our current Mayor (and the last two as well).

      • tsurly May 7, 2020 (3:54 pm)

        Believe it or not, even the Surly family has multiple vehicles and drives them, so we will be impacted like this just like everyone else. I’ve never said that the only reason people leave West Seattle is to go downtown. In fact, my posts are consistently directly at only those who work downtown and have the physical ability to try something other than driving. Like you said above about living on 35th, we all MADE THE CHOICE to live on a peninsula that has always had limited egress. Man, misery loves company on this blog.

  • Sheri S. May 7, 2020 (1:04 pm)

    *16th Ave SW and SW Holden StStatus/update: SDOT can do a restripe here consistent with the Your Voice, Your Choice project that was selected for construction this year. It does not provide a turn signal, but provides a dedicated place for people to wait for a gap in approaching trafficThat is ridiculous. That is a huge bottleneck and nearly all the cars will be turning left there, especially in the morning, and will not only not fit in the new left hand turn lane, but will be waiting a long time for a break in the never-ending traffic coming from the south on 16th to get on Holden…put a left turn lane AND a turn signal, for gawd’s sake!!

  • HP Kat May 7, 2020 (2:19 pm)

    Anyone else notice that she actually didn’t answer the request around a proposal for moving to bridge replacement NOW instead of spending millions to get us a few extra years only to have to shut everything down again (and at greater expense) when the replacement does happen?
    In the discussions I have read, the overwhelming consensus among residents is to go ahead and take the longer shutdown now and replace. Everything SDOT talks about is getting cars moving on the broken bridge again. Other than repairs to make sure it doesn’t fall down when cars are not on it, there is no justifiable reason that replacement NOW isn’t on the table. The longer they wait, the more it will cost. We’ve seen it again and again, on every major project. So, “we don’t have the money now” doesn’t hold up as they aren’t likely to have more money later either.

    • Um, No! May 7, 2020 (2:47 pm)

      What do you consider repairs vs. replacement?   If they replaced the 3 top spans, is the life of the bridge still another 10 years? Or does it extend the life?   Does the replacement of 3 spans takes less or more time that repairing what’s there now?    Are you saying replace the entire bridge?  If so, not sure that’s feasible given how large of a project that would be.  All the off ramps, on ramps, approaches and connections to other roadways would have to be redone.  How long would that take?  5 to 7 years?  if you’ll  notice all my questions above,  I think that’s your answer why they haven’t just jumped into replace mode.  

    • 'ware the bridge too far May 7, 2020 (3:32 pm)

      We need to get rid of the mindset of “repair or replace”. Repairs are inevitable whether as a permanent fix (if that’s found to be possible), or as a temporary measure to allow for some use and/or prevent collapse during the planning of a new bridge. The efforts being done currently are necessary regardless of what that final outcome is. If a new bridge is required, the design and construction of a structure of that height and span will be a monumental effort and take considerable time. Frankly if this were a long span over open water it might be easier. Instead it’s over intermittent waterways used for commercial and private ships, above another existing bridge, functional roads for the Port, a fire station, businesses…At the end of the day I guess what I’m saying is nobody is happy now, and I don’t think many will be happy with the future decision, but I for one do not want to go on a bridge, repaired or new, that has been rushed.

    • AMD May 7, 2020 (6:24 pm)

      If they can repair the bridge soon-ish and give us the option to use that starting in two years WHILE a new bridge is constructed adjacent to it (as opposed to waiting several additional years for the new bridge to be completed before having a more northerly route into town), would you consider that a viable option?  It is definitely a more expensive option, but at this point it seems wise to keep it on the table.  I get the desire to replace it ASAP, but residents here are also begging to have more traffic options ASAP, so I think SDoT is listening to those folks as well.  

  • WSCommuter2 May 7, 2020 (4:32 pm)

    I wonder if SDOT will work with SPD to remove the tents that have been lining the main WS bicycle pathway into downtown?  And to schedule regular SPD bike patrols.  Unlike in a car, you can NOT speed away or reasonably be expected to defensively mace anyone coming at you.  Also, if they throw a brick or bat – there is little a cyclist can do from an ambush attack.  Safety is a real concern for anyone who thinks bicycling from WS is a bucolic daydream – it’s more like the Guns-N-Roses song “Welcome to the Jungle.”  The port section of the pathway close to the stadiums is very unsafe as there is no way to get away with the tall fencing.   

  • 1994 May 7, 2020 (10:45 pm)

    Sdot comment on concern about cut through of side streets. But remember, the city just closed 20 miles of streets….closing side streets so suddenly makes no sense: Status/update: Cut-through traffic is a complicated issue. Any attempts to eliminate or discourage cut-through traffic may solve the issue on one street, but most likely will have secondary, unintended impacts on adjacent streets within the neighborhood. As a result, evaluating cut-through traffic requires a comprehensive neighborhood traffic study to quantify the problem, develop neighborhood-wide solutions and build consensus. We can get back to you on this idea as we engage the neighborhood on the collaborative neighborhood traffic plan that we are developing. We will bring a draft to your next meeting

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