FOLLOWUP: Signs up for added ‘Stay Healthy Streets’ in east West Seattle; new suggestion for where to add others

(WSB photo, looking east on Trenton from 17th)

MONDAY REPORT: As announced last week, more east West Seattle streets are now closed to through traffic as part of the city’s “Stay Healthy Streets” program. The first round two weeks ago included streets in High Point and a bit south; the new stretch is primarily in Puget Ridge and Highland Park. (Update – text list was inaccurate so we’ve removed it; please see the SDOT map.)

The SHS-designated streets are closed to all but local motor-vehicle traffic – defined as residents and deliveries – and open to bicycling, walking, running, etc., 24/7, TFN.

The city has said it’s continuing to evaluate potential expansions. This afternoon, the advocacy group Seattle Neighborhood Greenways proposed what it called a “crowdsourced, 130-mile, network of Stay Healthy Streets,” including some potential West Seattle additions such as the entirety of Beach Drive SW. See the SNG proposal mapped here. The group also has an FAQ document here.

TUESDAY NOTE: If you didn’t catch the difference between the green and blue lines on the map, as Don Brubeck of West Seattle Bike Connections (part of the SNG coalition) points out, much of Beach Drive is proposed for parking-lane conversion, not the full width.

42 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Signs up for added 'Stay Healthy Streets' in east West Seattle; new suggestion for where to add others"

  • Ted May 4, 2020 (5:06 pm)

    I don’t mean to be that guy – but I am in bewilderment on the emphasis SDOT is giving to close streets. What does this do? Limit cars driving down your street? It’s open to people walking by so the cars are causing what??I fully support other control to stop the spread – but closing off streets – huh?

    • KM May 4, 2020 (5:59 pm)

      There have been multiple recommendations from government leaders on encouraging people to stay healthy and get fresh air during the pandemic, while social distancing. In order to do both, unfortunately, many people need to cross mid-block, walk in the street, etc. to safely pass others while walking or rolling. For example, on my block, the sidewalks is only 5-ish feed wide, so people would need to step onto private property or the street to safely pass (since the parking strip is often blocked by trees, plantings, and even parked cars), and that’s just the neighborhoods with sidewalks. Seattle’s is following the lead of other cities who have implemented “car-free” or “car-lite” roads. Limiting the amount of cars on the streets being opened to peds helps to lessen potential conflict.

      • Jasmine May 5, 2020 (11:38 am)

        I walk every day, and I find that I’m usually the person taking the initiative to distance — usually forcing me to walk in the street. This actually makes a lot of sense! 

  • Chia pet May 4, 2020 (5:09 pm)

    If we don’t live near one of these streets is the expectation that we pack our kids in the car put bikes on the bike rack and drive to these locations, park on the street, and enjoy the empty streets?

    • Azimuth May 5, 2020 (12:04 am)

      Yes, that is the expectation.

    • ACG May 5, 2020 (8:20 am)

      Do be aware that the cross streets that intersect still will have traffic going through. So you’d need to tell your kids to slow/stop at every corner to be sure that traffic isn’t coming from that direction. 

  • Anonymous May 4, 2020 (5:26 pm)

    Worst idea ever! No one should be playing in the streets.

  • Native May 4, 2020 (5:48 pm)

    Wow .. close beach drive now that is really a bad idea.close bridge .. close all south bound other than California ave….What’s next I see it coming … no vehicular traffic 

  • Craig May 4, 2020 (6:44 pm)

    I’m all for Beach Drive being made a closed street. There are a lot of runners trying to give space on sunny days who swerve into the road while jogging.

    • where May 4, 2020 (9:20 pm)

      Same. I love the idea.

      • onion May 4, 2020 (10:01 pm)

        i’ve walked on Beach Drive between Jacobsen and the north end four or five times since this started and never had a problem with distancing or cars. Traffic is so light these days that I don’t see the need to block through traffic outright. Jacobsen is usually my biggest issue because of its mediocre or nonexistent sidewalks, fast drivers, and curves. But I also know that it’s a critical route for people who need to get to and from Beach.

    • 1994 May 4, 2020 (11:00 pm)

      Maybe Alki or WS residents could petition the city and Parks Department for Bicycle Sundays like they have over on Lake Washington? They happen about 2 Sundays a month….During Bicycle Sundays, a portion of Lake Washington Boulevard is closed to motorized vehicles from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Seattle Parks and Recreation invites everyone in the community to bike, jog or stroll along the boulevard between the Seward Park entrance and Mount Baker Park’s beach during these times.

  • Terri May 4, 2020 (6:45 pm)

    A converted parking lane on Beach Drive should be there permanently for cyclists and runners. It was dangerous before, now it’s deadly.

  • Kyle May 4, 2020 (7:24 pm)

    It might make sense on a crowded street filled with apartments etc., But  they just put these up on our residential street made up of pretty much only single family homes. The street isn’t crowded and the only people that park on the street are residents/visitors. The sign makes no difference in street traffic, and they’re not enforcing it anyways. Our of curiosity, how do they pick which streets to put these signs up on?

  • JC May 4, 2020 (7:46 pm)

    Beach Drive in its entirety? Given the West Seattle Bridge situation I would think we’d carefully consider any WS street closures and how they could further strain side streets and detours traveled to work around that mess. 

  • Anonymous May 4, 2020 (8:25 pm)

    No one should be playing in streets. This movement is not wise of the city.

  • Frank C May 4, 2020 (8:37 pm)

    Maybe it would be more efficient and less costly if the Mayor and Council put up ok to drive signs instead. 

  • chas redmond May 4, 2020 (8:44 pm)

    Highland Park Action Committee has already called out the error and mistake in making Trenton one of the walking streets – from their newsletter – 

    Lastly, but most immediate: Reverse the closing SW Trenton St from 17th Ave SW to 10th Ave SW as part of the ‘Stay Healthy Streets’ initiative.

    • SW Trenton is a minor arterial road with usage of 7,000 vehicles pre-Covid and pre-bridge collapse. The street is used by residents of Highland Park and Riverview to access Westwood Village Shopping Center and buses/ cars to access Highland Park Elementary. This closure has blocked off the entrance and parking lot to the school.

    • Please identify another location to serve our area with this innovative and needed initiative.

    • datamuse May 4, 2020 (10:10 pm)

      That one does strike me as an odd and maybe not great choice, since Holden has become very difficult to access due to being part of the West Seattle Bridge detour. Trenton is pretty much the next closest arterial.

      • KM May 5, 2020 (7:51 am)

        Is this section of Trenton not part of an existing Greenway? I thought that’s why they chose it, because it already has traffic calming in place. I always thought of Henderson as more of an arterial.

        • datamuse May 5, 2020 (8:56 am)

          17th is a Greenway and crosses Trenton, but Trenton itself isn’t to my knowledge. And yeah, Henderson is definitely an arterial! I just have my doubts it can absorb travel within the neighborhood with Holden getting such heavy use now. I guess we’re gonna see one way or the other, though!

    • 1994 May 4, 2020 (10:56 pm)

      Thank you! This minor arterial is used by 7000 cars a day?! Who knew!? Trenton should be open for traffic all the way to WWV.  Instead of fighting traffic SDoT should go with the flow and keep everyone moving. The traffic circles on Trenton keeps traffic slow which is a good thing on this minor arterial, but let it flow.

  • Joe Z May 4, 2020 (10:51 pm)

    These are great, would love to see the whole network connected! And make them permanent—every weekend.

  • CL May 4, 2020 (11:55 pm)

    Is the city going to put up more signage explaining why the streets are closed? They came and put the “street closed” signs up on our street,along with no parking signs on one side of the street. It would help if they added “local access only” or “stay healthy street”. There has already been near misses at the intersections with cars not knowing what to do and delivery trucks not coming down the street. 

    • WSB May 5, 2020 (12:50 am)

      The signage seems to be inconsistent. I noted on Twitter after photographing the 17th/Trenton sign that something explanatory would be helpful
      I’ve seen a pic of a sign elsewhere in the city that DID have an explanatory sign too.
      Meantime, as shown in tonight’s roundup, the 21st/22nd sign has a LOCAL ACCESS ONLY sign….

  • Mark Schletty May 5, 2020 (8:33 am)

    While I haven’t had a big problem with the early implementation of this program, it does worry me the the SDOT might try to make this permanent. Now that I see the bike lobby is pushing to close off Beach Drive I realize where the impetus is coming from. Bike lobbyists, not Safe Streets for coronavirus-time temporary exercise areas, people. There are no alternative roadways to get to the park areas, public water view areas, and a wonderful, much loved restaurant in this area. I would site the ADA as a powerful reason to deny the bike advocates this ridiculous  proposal.  I have never advocated for in the streets aggressive protesting before, but if the bike activists want an open battle, this Beach Drive closure should get them one.

    • Ice May 5, 2020 (10:00 am)

      The fact that you are making a slightly absurd slippery slope argument doesn’t make me think you are being genuine when you write “ While I haven’t had a big problem with the early implementation of this program,” 

    • Stevie J May 5, 2020 (10:11 am)

      Hey, Mark, did you know that moneyed automobile lobbyists and automobile activists in the 1920s are the reason that our streets were surrounded to to automobiles? I would highly recommend the page-turner “Fighting Traffic” by Peter Norton to understand how streets went from being places for all people to being the exclusive domain for “motordom” as it was called at the time: 

  • Um, No! May 5, 2020 (9:23 am)

    So kids and adults are now allowed to walk and play in these streets and we’re just allowing local and delivery traffic.   Does anyone else see the problem with this?  So when a child gets hit by a local driver or delivery driver, can the parents now sue the city in addition to the driver and/or  the  delivery driver and company that owns the vehicle?   I mean the city says go walk in the street now even though there will still be come traffic and the restrictions are not being enforced.  This is a plaintiff lawyer’s dream scenario.  Cha-Ching!  

  • maddad May 5, 2020 (9:26 am)

    This is a joke. there are sidewalks on both sides and a bike lane on Beach drive.  Close that road and no one can get to Alki to support the local business’s.   Give me a break.   Good luck keeping the signs from ending up in the bay.  

    • Don Brubeck May 5, 2020 (2:22 pm)

      Maddad,There’s a bike lane on Beach Drive? When did that happen? Wasn’t there yesterday.  Didn’t see sidewalks both sides, either, down around Atlas.  

    • cwit May 6, 2020 (3:01 pm)

      Mad Dad – the SNG proposal map indicates that the section of Beach Drive from 63rd to Lowman would convert a parking lane – not close the whole road.  As Don states, there isn’t a bike lane on Beach Drive.  You may be confusing the parking lane for the bike lane.   Maybe look into the proposal a little more before getting mad?

  • Chris May 5, 2020 (9:42 am)

    With regards to HPAC’s position, I respectfully disagree. I’d like to see the source of the 7,000 vehicles statement because I live on Trenton and that sounds very high. School is not in session so there shouldn’t be any issues with school buses. Henderson is one block south and is a much better route to Westwood Village.

  • Don Brubeck May 5, 2020 (10:15 am)

    Mark Schletty,  The proposal from Seattle Neighborhood Greenways for the arterial portion of Beach Drive is to temporarily prohibit parking on one side from 63rd to Lowman  Beach.  No traffic lanes would be closed.  The proposal for the non-arterial part of Beach Drive at Constellation Park and Alki Point is to sign it for local access only.  Still open for residents, deliveries, waste collection and emergency response.  West Seattle Bike Connections members (your local “bike lobby”) had mixed opinions on this proposal, with most in favor of the proposal at Alki Point and Constellation Park, but most not seeing a need for parking restrictions on the arterial part of Beach Drive, except maybe at Emma Schmitz Park. Speaking personally, my daughter will need to use Beach Drive to drive to her nursing job in Burien when the alternative routes to 1st Ave S Bridge start getting clogged with cars and trucks.  Our safe streets group is trying to make it possible for people like her with essential jobs and no feasible transit options to drive to them, by making it safe for some drivers to switch to bikes.  More people on bikes means less people in cars  and more space on buses. This will make help  keep traffic moving over the remaining bridges.  We also need safe places for individuals and families to walk, run, skate and bike in their neighborhoods during the COVID-19 restrictions.

    • Mark Schletty May 5, 2020 (12:10 pm)

      Don-  thank you for the more detailed description of what is being requested.  For the most part, it isn’t quite as bad as I feared. However, closing Constellation PARK is horrid. Making this often used public area into an exclusive enclave for the rich residents living there, and , of course, you bikers, is simply unacceptable. It is the best place for those of us with mobility difficulties, who need to use cars, to get close to the water. Again, a clear ADA violation. Please keep your bike advocate hands off of public water access and enjoyment areas. There are plenty of other areas you can target that won’t so adversely affect mobility impaired citizens.

      • Loren May 5, 2020 (8:25 pm)

        Hi Mark. Following up on Don’s comment. I also gave input for this proposal. Just a couple clarifications. Neither Constellation Park or Charles Richey Sr. Viewpoint would be closed under this proposal. I also confirmed with Seattle Greenways that Local Access Only (as proposed for this section of street) would include access for anyone with mobility difficulties or disabilities needing to drive and park on the street by Constellation park to use it.  I hope this helps. 

  • Lura Ercolano May 5, 2020 (10:28 am)

    How about the city just goes ahead with posting the 25 mph speed limit signs on Beach Dr? And implement occasional enforcement. Beach is a street where dog walkers currently amble across the street to maintain 6-foot distances when they approach dog walkers, and stroller-pushers coming the other way. And  runners and bike riders are going to be in the traffic lane anyway, because the sidewalk and parking lane are poorly maintained and somewhat hazardous in sections. The planned slower speed limit will immediately make this street much safer for all transportation modalities. 

  • Sabrina May 5, 2020 (11:43 am)

    Making more space for walkers and runners on Beach Drive would be incredible. I am on this route almost every day and in order to maintain social distancing I often have to run in the street.  There are people who race their cars on beach drive on weekend evenings especially and it’s dangerous.

  • I don’t understand... May 5, 2020 (2:24 pm)

    If the idea is for social distancing, then why are we asking for more people to crowd into the closed streets? 

    • WSB May 5, 2020 (4:29 pm)

      We had this discussion the first time around. This isn’t proposing “crowds” in streets.

  • K to the F May 5, 2020 (3:57 pm)

    This is fantastic and I wish they’d cut off through traffic on our street (a block off 35th). Not only are residential streets not meant for through traffic (that’s what arterials are for) but the majority of “open” space in our communities has been given to cars. I hope these are made permanent and expanded to eliminate especially dangerous neighborhood cut-through/shortcut traffic and make them safer for anyone of any age/ability who wants to cycle.

  • Mark cairns May 7, 2020 (8:59 pm)

    What does “convert a travel lane” mean On the purple roads (I.e. lake Washington Blvd )?

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