Highland Park Way hill rechannelization on hold, and other news from HPAC’s discussion with SDOT

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The proposal to remove one downhill lane of Highland Park Way traffic and add an uphill protected bicycle lane is shelved for now.

That was the big headline from last night’s HPAC discussion with SDOT, a week and a half after that particular detail of the Highland Park Way/Holden safety project update came to light, sparking controversy.

Instead, SDOT will focus on figuring out how to expand the trail along the downhill lanes.

But first, HPAC got a West Seattle Bridge update that segued into traffic issues. SDOT’s Heather Marx recapped where things stand and what’s been done related to traffic effects – all of which we’ve reported on, but if you’re interested in a recap, check out this SDOT post from earlier this week, and our most-recent update. On the bridge itself, they’re preparing for Pier 18 work, and the new Community Task force and Technical Advisory Panel will have their first meetings the week of June 8th.

Traffic-mitigation projects will be focused on what can be done in less than a year and for less than $100,000 because that way SDOT doesn’t have to send them out to bid and can move faster. Plans, she said, will address effects on SODO, South Park, Georgetown, Highland Park, Riverview, South Delridge, Roxhill – in other words, the areas now getting barraged with detour traffic. When the draft traffic-mitigation plans are out, they’ll look for community prioritization. The timeline for the plans is approximately:

June 8th, drafts out
July 2nd, feedback due
July 17th, feedback will be folded into mitigaton plan
August, action plans

One participant suggested the city put the ideas online and have folks vote that way; that’s a possibility, Marx said.

Comments/Q&A then moved on to some specific traffic trouble spots.

What about the 16th/Holden chokepoint? Ideally, Marx says, the whole intersection should be rebuilt, but they don’t have the time or money to do that. HPAC chair Gunner Scott pointed out that it got Your Voice, Your Choice (the now-suspended “participatory budgeting” program) money; Marx says the COVID-19 budget crunch is affecting that.

What about SW Henderson? It’s getting increased traffic and speed. Marx says she’s pretty sure “an intervention” is on the forthcoming list.

What about improving 1st Avenue South Bridge flow? Marx points out there’s a WSDOT bridge-deck replacement project ahead, and also says they’re addressing the bridge-to-I-5 situation with the Georgetown community.

Is SDOT doing real-time traffic counts on various points such as the ramps to 509 and 99? Yes, they have installed a variety of monitoring stations, she says.

Is the traffic data public? Marx says she doesn’t know if it’s available in an understandable-to-layperson format. Any protected left turns under consideration? She says they think about them “all the time” but no specifics.

What about repaving 1st/Olson at the end of the Roxbury corridor? Marx says they’ll look into it.

She says they’ll eventually have a “holstic” plan for the whole peninsula “with some mode-shift targets”; she stresses they’re not telling anyone how to commute, but some people are going to have to make different choices because they had 21 lanes crossing the bridgeand now they have 12. She sounded a familiar theme, one she used as the chief communicator during the “Seattle Squeeze” downtown: “We have to start thinking about our commute, every single one of us, as a community decision.” If you DO have a choice, in other words, use it.

The Highland Park Way hill rechannelization came up during her part of the discussion – removing one downhill lane, installing an uphill bicycle lane. She stressed that it wasn’t a final decision and was the subject of “active conversation within the department.” Following her, though, James Le – project developer for Highland Park Way/Holden improvements – clearly declared that it’s on hold. He noted that removing one downhill lane was considered a possible way to cut down on speeding – before the bridge closure (remember, the HP Way Safety Project plan predates the bridge crisis). But since it’s a detour route now, he said, they’re going to put the rechannelization idea on hold until Highland Park Way is no longer being used as a detour route.

Le also observed that opposition to the proposed change was strong in the results they’ve received to this survey so far – 875 replies as of last night; the survey’s open a few more days, until the month ends. For non-motor vehicle mobility improvements, he added, they’re looking at widening the trail that’s on the downhill side of the Highland Park Way hill to 12-14 feet. He’ll be meeting with crews soon to examine how that could be done. He also said SDOT maintenance will be responsible for keeping the path clear, a recurring problem.

As for other components of the project, he presented a slide deck, as is featured in video on the project website. Construction is fully funded and will start next year. $4.5 million total – $4.1 million of that from the city’s “Mercer Megablock” sale, $400,000 from other SDOT funding. That’s all centered on a permanent replacement for the temporary signal installed within a week of the bridge shutdown – and yes, the previously considered roundabout is totally out of the picture, Le confirmed (he reminded HPAC that its price tag ballooned when the prospect of regrading the intersection was worked in).

Side streets are proposed for “traffic calming” measures such as speed humps; radar speed signs are likely for HP Way. In Q&A, he said some new speed studies are planned for the area in the next few weeks.9 traffic humps/cushions on side street and some radar speed signs on HP Way. The hill’s drainage issues – attendees observed that it “becomes a river” during heavy rain (sometimes swamping the intersection with West Marginal at the bottom of the hill) – will also be investigated.

Other items discussed: Signal timing, including leading pedestrian intervals; how the neighborhood could pursue something signifying that this is now the gateway to West Seattle (maybe an art project? attendees wondered), lighting, whether parking restrictions are needed on Holden, speeding, and other issues.

Also resurfaced: The neighborhood’s request to re-examine whether SW Trenton could be removed from the “Stay Healthy Streets” program, as it’s a minor arterial that’s been needed even more in these detour days. And support was also re-stated for continuing work on safety improvements, including a safe crossing, by the Duwamish Tribe Longhouse on West Marginal.

That led to a reminder that HPAC has formed a “detour subcommittee” working on these issues – if you’re interested in participating, email HPACtraffic@gmail.com.

Watch HPACWS.org for other updates, including a link to the recording of last night’s meeting. HPAC usually meets at 7 pm fourth Wednesdays.

60 Replies to "Highland Park Way hill rechannelization on hold, and other news from HPAC's discussion with SDOT"

  • BBILL May 28, 2020 (1:25 pm)

    “she stresses they’re not telling anyone how to commute, but some people are going to have to make different choices because they had 21 lanes crossing the bridgeand now they have 12.” FACT CHECK: FALSE. The reason the claim is false is because one of the 21 was bus only. Today there are 2 bus (and truck lanes) only lanes, so I’ll accept that there was one additional general purpose lane loss. So that’s the 8 general purpose lanes closed (6 high and 2 low), not 9 as SDOT claims. This is because the eastbound lane of the low bridge was repurposed from general to bus (and truck) only, not lost.

  • chas redmond May 28, 2020 (1:26 pm)

    They need to reopen Trenton and I’m gettin a bit tired of Heather Marx’s standard “that’s safety and we can’t do that.” She’s been acting more like a dictator for the past couple of jobs she’s had at SDOT  – and it’s exactly that dismissive and disdainful attitude which has made SDOT the city’s most hated and despised department – that and their general incompetence.

    • Chris May 28, 2020 (3:11 pm)

      No, they don’t “need” to reopen Trenton. I’m not sure where your’re coming from with that statement. It’s a Greenway east of 17th, not a minor arterial.

      • chas redmond May 28, 2020 (4:17 pm)

        It connects 38th Ave SW with 9th Ave SW -it is a through street east-west – of which West Seattle has scant few. The Greenway is 17th and has been for quite some time. I have used Trenton to get from west of 35th to 9th Avenue SW for the past 17 years. Changing street flow where there are very few through streets is not a good practice – for safety, for reliable travel, and for fuel-economy and CO2 emissions. Trenton was requested to be opened by the Highland Park Action Committee. Your comment is specious and uninformed.

        • KM May 28, 2020 (6:31 pm)

          Henderson is one block south, and an arterial. Some other arterials in the area Holden, Thistle, Morgan, Barton etc. A straight shot on one street from 9th to 36th is not necessary nor is anyone entitled to it. And that section of Trenton that is closed IS a greenway, it was an extension that was added, and hosts an elementary school.

          • Kyle May 28, 2020 (8:29 pm)

            A Greenway does not mean the road must be permanently closed to cars. There are traffic calming measures on the street. Must we close all Greenway to cars? I missed the mailer and public meeting where this permanent change was debated and commented on. Oh wait, SDOT made these permanent changes in a blog post. 

        • 1994 May 28, 2020 (9:50 pm)

          Thank you Chas R. You are so correct that West Seattle has few east west route options. I also use Trenton from 16th to get to Westwood Village. SDOT should suck it up that there is more traffic than ever and go with the flow. Trenton got 2 traffic circles to slow drivers between 16th and Delridge, and did not need a stop sign for the greenway to have the green light so to say.

        • Chris May 29, 2020 (10:18 am)

          Chas R, excuse me? The fact that you have driven Trenton for 17 years mean very little. There’s an arterial one block south called Henderson that perhaps you need to become familiar with. I’ll point out that since you’re in a car it’s pretty easy to make that change.  Great opportunity to get out of your rut! And as KM correctly noted, Trenton is a Greenway so please check your attitude at the door. I respect the HPAC but their opinion is not gospel and frankly I don’t understand their reasoning.

          • chas redmond May 29, 2020 (7:33 pm)

            I’m well ware of Henderson. Westwood Village prevents it from being a through street.  Also, I have walked the entire peninsula – all but the freeways – and I use the 26th Avenue SW Greenway all the time. The condition is that speed limit is 20 miles/hour – I’ve never used Trenton as a speedway but I have used it as a throughway. Car users which are respectful of both pedestrians and bicycles as well as other vehicles are apparently unknown to most of the posters here. Many of us are not your neighborhood speeders, nor do we aim to mow pedestrians. 

  • West Seattle Hipster May 28, 2020 (1:59 pm)

    An uphill bike lane on Highland?  In normal times that would be a poor decision, but without use of the bridge for multiple years, it would be insane.

    • sw May 28, 2020 (4:57 pm)

      If someone had asked me “What would be the dumbest infrastructure “improvement” you could make in WS?” I wouldn’t have even thought of this lane reduction insanity.  That is, without question, one of the most insipid ideas I’ve ever heard regardless of our current situation.  

      • A HP resident May 28, 2020 (6:36 pm)

        Completely agree and said so on the survey.  Putting in a bike lane taking up a lane on a gigantic hill in Seattle is the most ridiculous idea ever! So glad that idea is shelved!  I suggested widening and improving the sidewalk for the 4-5 bikes that travel that hill a day and sounds like that’s what they are going to do!  So happy for some common sense for once!

        • John May 29, 2020 (7:27 am)

          I agree completely. I drive that road all the time and almost never see bike riders! A bike lane is unecessary.

      • Rumbles May 28, 2020 (10:21 pm)

        I’m with sw on this one, removing a lane is lunacy!  Build the bike trail on the sidewalk or in the woods, they can’t afford to get rid of any car lanes for bikes.  

    • Chris May 29, 2020 (5:41 am)

      I also agree. Although I do want to support cyclists. Having coached many softball games at Riverview Playfield I wonder if they could have the maintenance road that goes from marginal up the hill to Highland Park as a bike route. There are no cars so you can ride uphill as slow as you want without breathing in exhaust.

  • Lola May 28, 2020 (2:20 pm)

    Can I tell you how much these bike lanes slow the already bogged down traffic as it is!  Instead of it being an hour commute you are now tacking on sitting behind a bicyclist who is doing maybe 10 to 15 mph.  Thank you for making our commute even more miserable.  Glad to hear that they have shelved the bike lane for now.  Now if we could only get the walkers and joggers to stay off the street!

    • Go gull May 28, 2020 (3:21 pm)


      The point of bike lanes is to separate bikes and cars, so they have their own lanes. You aren’t ‘sitting behind cyclists’ when they are riding in their own lanes.

      Commenters here have recently mentioned that drivers regularly speed on the HWP hill.  Adding infrastructure like bike lanes and reducing to one car lane may actually help people to slow down and drive the speed limit. Reducing the speed limit would likely make the road safer for all and prevent accidents. Accidents will make your commute longer, so again, this would benefit you.

      The bike lanes seem to make sense, for the above reasons, and providing more safe routes for people to bike will encourage more people to bike, which will also help some in relieving the traffic issue. 

      More people on bikes, and in bike lanes, should be a good thing for those of you who have to drive.

    • tsurly May 28, 2020 (4:59 pm)

      Fat chance. In fact, I’m going to run right up the middle of the road from now on. Intentionally hit me, and I will sue you for everything you have.

    • KM May 28, 2020 (5:41 pm)

      If you don’t want to be “stuck” behind a cyclists, why are you upset about separate bike lanes? Without a bike lane, cyclists will take the general purpose lane, because it’s legal and often the safest route, regardless if it’s bumming you out or not. Share the road!

    • Ice May 28, 2020 (6:46 pm)

      Man, what a victim complex you have. You are contributing to traffic as much, if not moreso than anyone on a bike.

    • Stevie J May 28, 2020 (11:02 pm)

      So what’s your proposed cure for traffic? The only places with no traffic have no people. Unfortunately our mid-century leaders  were wooed by automobile interests (“Motordom”) despite research from the time showing that traffic is not solvable and cars are not scalable. Our nation’s leaders many generations ago decided to redesign our built environment around low-density living patterns and separate land uses to accommodate the automobile. To “fix traffic” we need to undo a century of planning mistakes. That includes narrowing roads and excluding drivers/cars from many rights of way. I think this uphill bike lane on Highland Park Way would be a great start.

  • John Smith May 28, 2020 (2:30 pm)

    Removing a downhill lane from Highland Park Way would be unsafe. There would be drivers tailgating all the way down the steep hill, and some of the tailgaters would pass unsafely. I suppose when wrecks result, though, there would be no speeding while the road is closed for the investigation.

  • JL May 28, 2020 (3:07 pm)

    Again Heather Marx’s did understand the question about getting on the 1st Ave S Bridge going northbound.  It was asked if SDOT was working with WSDOT on ways to improve traffic flow getting on the HWY 509 onramp from Olson Way / 1st Ave S. and from West Marginal Way going to SR-99 @ S Holden ST.  Ms Marx’s seemed confused and pointed out they are in touch with WSDOT bridge-deck replacement project .   

  • B. T. May 28, 2020 (3:39 pm)

    As someone that has survived a head on collision on this incredibly dangerous hill, I am glad to see that this has been shelved. What a RIDICULOUS idea! What they DO need to start looking into is putting a barrier to the downhill traffic, so those losing control on the curve won’t hit opposing traffic head on, such as what happened to me. 

    • Jort May 28, 2020 (4:01 pm)

      Or people can slow down, that’s an option too. The speed limit is 25. Go 25 and deal with it.

      • Jeff May 28, 2020 (4:20 pm)

        I agree with you, but absent regular enforcement the speed limit is just wishful thinking.  There and everywhere. 

      • S - in West Seattle May 28, 2020 (4:37 pm)

        And the speed limit should never be 25 mph on a main arterial. These roads are meant to move traffic, its not for a Sunday drive. 

        • WSB May 28, 2020 (5:42 pm)

          25 mph isn’t a Sunday drive. Maybe 10 mph!

          • Drew May 28, 2020 (9:54 pm)

            25 mph is dog slow on an arterial, sorry.  People are doing 50 down W Marginal as it is. Setting unrealistic limits doesn’t enhance safety.  Also, with today’s CDC guidance that use of public transit is unsafe, don’t expect to see a stampede of West Seattleites back to Metro anytime soon.  The roads will be at max capacity. But with the looming budget calamity facing the city and all local government, I don’t expect there will be much traffic enforcement going on anyways. 

        • KBear May 28, 2020 (9:09 pm)

          You can go 25, it won’t kill you. In fact, that’s the whole point. 

        • Jort May 29, 2020 (9:42 am)

          You can move just fine at 25. Slow down, obey the law or stop driving.

      • KM May 28, 2020 (5:45 pm)

        How about a barrier AND the lane reduction AND automated speed enforcement? We don’t need anymore deaths on this road.

    • Craig May 28, 2020 (5:48 pm)

      While I’m not at all suggesting that this should be done before the WS Bridge is sorted out (or if ever)  but I think, given the “normal” not so heavy traffic heading north on 9th that  merges with the heavier (pre bridge/covid disasters) traffic heading east on Holden,  that if the eastbound lanes were brought down to one lane for the upper third of the hill only, especially heading into where the road bends, that traffic on HP Way would be slower and safer, a median and bike lane buffer for an off street multi-use path could be established, and traffic could return to the existing lanes at the bottom of the hill without creating a backup.   Given what is usually being fed into the downhill lane, the idea of lane restriction is not as crazy as it sounds.  I don’t think we “need” two lanes to support typical  traffic coming from these to lanes.  We do need all the existing throughput at the bottom of the hill- two through lanes, and one left turn lane, and we need to provide safe connected cycling facilities that we’ll all benefit from in one way or another, especially during the bridge crisis.   Good idea waiting on the lane restriction,  not on the bike path.

  • AJP May 28, 2020 (4:10 pm)

    I like the idea of a much wider place on the sidewalk for cyclists, much safer than riding with traffic full of people who hate you.

  • dsa May 28, 2020 (4:19 pm)

    “What about improving 1st Avenue South Bridge flow? Marx points out there’s a WSDOT bridge-deck replacement project ahead,…”  Ms Marx, please look at the double wide on ramp that squeezes down to one lane before the bridge.  Your response has to do with just the bridge deck. 

  • Trickycoolj May 28, 2020 (5:09 pm)

    Didn’t make sense to rechannel Hp Way but it does make sense to widen and get some maintenance on the existing path. Better yet, if they could make a shallower switchback path within the green belt that would be even more ideal getting bikes/peds away from the traffic and easing the climb with a shallower grade. I’d love to be able to take a bike to work that way. Avalon is ridiculously out of the way when you’re commuting to Tukwila from southern parts of WS. 

  • The King May 28, 2020 (6:49 pm)

    Less roads, same amount of cars, more traffic……SCIENCE

    • Ice May 29, 2020 (7:18 am)

      That’s actually the opposite of what the last 100 years of traffic data says. Less roads equals less cars on the roads. Your flawed logic isn’t science.

    • heartless May 29, 2020 (8:25 am)

      It don’t work like that though.  So, no, not science at all.  

  • Don Brubeck May 28, 2020 (7:11 pm)

    Upgrading the bumpy, narrow asphalt sidewalk on south side to a 12 to 14 foot wide multi-use path suitable for walking and biking would be a great improvement. It would bring less mis-directed road rage onto people on bikes than an on-street bike lane.  Confident, fast bike riders can still use the traffic lane going downhill and easily keep up with congested vehicle traffic. With less lanes available for cars, trucks and buses to cross the river, getting more people riding bikes is going to be a significant part of mobility for West Seattle while the bridge is out. People are afraid to ride the bus. E-bike sales are going through the roof. I’ve recently met fire fighters  commuting by e-bikes from West Seattle to fire stations around the city with their gear bags. West Seattle Bike Connections has given route maps to new bike commuters to Harborview,  the VA Hospital, Swedish Cherry Hill and UW Medical Center, so that these essential workers will have a reliable way to commute. Now we need a little work from the city to make it safer.  When you are driving and see someone on a bike, please know that he or she is your neighbor, putting one less car in front of you.

  • Jort May 28, 2020 (8:06 pm)

    This must easily be the fastest I’ve ever seen SDOT slink away like cowards from a safety improvement project at the slightest sign of complaining. This surely must be a new record. We didn’t even have a big angry public meeting where people screamed about how the bike lane will destroy their livelihoods. This is a new low.

    • Jerry May 29, 2020 (1:54 pm)

      Le also observed that opposition to the proposed change was strong in the results they’ve received to this survey so far – 875 replies as of last night;

    • Chris May 30, 2020 (7:58 am)

      Jort – It’s not SDOT backing down, they’re listening to feedback from the public.  The political landscape is shifting now that the general public is impacted by the city’s inability to maintain basic infrastructure and public safety.  The politicians catering to every special interest group might finally get voted out and replaced by people who are interested in running an efficient city government.   Or the existing politicians will adapt and learn to run the city better.   

  • mnw May 28, 2020 (8:38 pm)

    Really disappointed to hear they will not be installing a left turn signal at 16th and Holden. That would dramatically improve the flow of traffic. Considering the current bridge crisis they need to find the funds to implement this. I can’t even imagine how much worse it will be at this intersection once more people start commuting.

    Per SDOT re 16th Ave SW and SW Holden St:”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.”

  • John Smith May 28, 2020 (8:47 pm)

    Don Brubeck wrote: “West Seattle Bike Connections has given route maps to new bike commuters
    to [snip] UW Medical
    Center so that these essential workers will have a reliable way to commute.” UW Medical Center is at 1959 NE Pacific St., which is NW of the Montlake Bridge. I would be surprised if even one person ever rode a bicycle regularly between West Seattle and the UW Medical Center.

    • WSB May 28, 2020 (11:07 pm)

      It was a very quick google to find one:

      • Ken S. May 29, 2020 (7:26 am)

        Another data point: I worked in Fremont until recently, and took nearly the same route as this guy on reddit for 3 years, riding 2-3 days a week by bike. And I saw a few others cyclists that rode the same route regularly.

        Yes, my commute was 11 miles each way door-to-door, which is a bit longer than I like. But with a shower available at work – I preferred commuting by bike over the bus (about the same time door-to-door) or driving (faster, but only marginally during rush hour – approx. ~1hr by car vs 1.5hr by bike).

        This is with a non-electric bike. With the high bridge down, and availability of electric bikes – I expect more folks will consider this a viable option for commutes in the 10-15 mile range. Especially if there’s better bikes lanes so they can feel safe).

        And FWIW – I’m not a hard-core bike commuting fanatic. I currently work in SeaTac, a 16 mile each-way commute against traffic, so a car is *much* easier & faster (but I do miss the bike commute sometimes.)

        I haven’t ridden my bike much on the Highland Park Way Hill discussed here – but when I have, cars are driving way too fast (25mph is a joke), and bike lanes without physical barriers on roads like this don’t inspire confidence. I ride on the sidewalk – maybe slower, but easy to avoid the rare pedestrian, not as stressful as riding w/ cars. Just noticed this guy on Google Maps street view doing the same riding up the hill.

      • Go gull May 29, 2020 (9:01 am)

        Heads up, there has thankfully been new bike infrastructure created since this older reddit post! There are bike paths near the waterfront along Westlake Ave N, which is the way I would likely go, when biking out to UW.

        From downtown, I would take 2nd Ave, turn R on Pike St, turn L on 8th Ave, turn R on Bell, continue onto 9th Ave N, connect to the Westlake Ave N bike trail, cross Fremont bridge, connect to Burke Gilman trail…. bike lanes and trails I believe the entire way.

    • bill May 29, 2020 (12:29 am)

      @John Smith:  UW Medical Center is a 10 mile trip from the Junction. Easy peasy on a bike. I can get anywhere in the city in a dependable amount of time on a bike. A few years ago I owned a car that calculated the average speed of a trip. Was driving faster than biking? Yes – but by a pathetically small margin. And that margin could be, and was often, erased by traffic jams and hunting for parking at my destination. One of my favorite experiences is biking north on E Marginal exceeding the speed of cars backed up on 99 headed into downtown. I bike whenever I can. That’s one less car in front of you.

    • Go gull May 29, 2020 (8:39 am)

      It would be good exercise and beautiful this time of year. I might even choose to bike the scenic route, around the west side of Lake Union to Fremont and then east on the Burke Gilman, to get to UW, though east of the lake would be more direct. 

      On an e-bike especially, a ride like this wouldn’t be hard. You will see the city and distances differently, once you adapt to biking.

      People new to bike commuting could start with 1 or 2 days a week. Compare the commute to driving. I would much rather commute by bike in the fresh air and summer sunshine, than sit in a car in a traffic jam.

    • bolo May 29, 2020 (3:45 pm)

      I did regularly, late 90s to early 2000s. Actually, a little farther, to University Village shopping center.

  • Gregory May 29, 2020 (6:06 am)

    I’m surprised — I had more faith in SDOTs ability to come up with measures to increase traffic and commute times. 

  • T Rex May 29, 2020 (7:45 am)

    The fact that this idea even came up should make everyone think “what in the hell were these people thinking?” We just lost our main way out of West Seattle and they actually wanted to make it even worse for those who will use Highland Park Way.   Does that scare any of you? 

  • Don Brubeck May 29, 2020 (7:57 am)

    John Smith, it may surprise you to know that some people have been riding as far as UW Med at Montlake for many years.  My friend Sonia rides to work at UW main campus from Lowman Beach almost every day. She is not alone. That’s at the outside limit of what most people are willing to ride, but is a good example of what people are starting to do in much bigger numbers to have a reliable way to get to work and back home. More will if safety on streets like Highland Park Way is improved. 

  • Leigh May 29, 2020 (11:20 am)

    Has the W Marginal Way/Highland Park Way intersection been discussed at any of these meetings? Heading home in the afternoons traffic gets seriously backed up heading north on W Marginal Way or trying to make a right hand turn onto W Marginal Way (heading north) from Highland Park Way. Everyday we sit through multiple light cycles, 10+ minutes at this one intersection. I can only imagine how much worse it will be once more people are back to work.

    If possible, it would be great to see a second lane added heading north along W Marginal Way in that small section where it’s just one lane by Seafreeze/Subway. Or at a minimum, making the right lane of Highland Park Way (in the Westbound direction) right turn only with a dedicated right turn arrow so people are not stopping and sitting at the light when the W Marginal Way traffic is turning left only. Also, have they done any retiming of the lights? Perhaps that could help traffic flow better as well.

  • TM7302 May 29, 2020 (3:23 pm)

    I’m waiting for the  City to install sidewalk cutouts for the new “Stay Healthy Streets.”  Oh yeah…another project that the City has half-ass started…

  • Aaron May 29, 2020 (4:56 pm)

    Looks like I have to take the hill tonight after work since the low bridge is going to be closed. Does anyone have recommendations about the Michigan/1st ave bridge area? How sketchy is it at the moment? What about how sketchy after midnight? First time for me going that way- not looking forward to Highland pkwy hill…

    • bolo May 29, 2020 (7:43 pm)

      You talking about biking it? Couple of different “sketchy” going on there.

      #1 The signage and directions is not the best so you might find yourself on the wrong road.

      #2 The road surface is pretty chewed up in spots and otherwise copious amounts of broken glass and rocks/gravel/potholes/ruts to deal with.

      #3 Just keep moving with purpose and conviction and you should be ok (guessing this was the “sketchy” you were curious about).

      My advice for ALL cyclists planning a new route: Do a test ride during the daylight (with plenty of time budgeted) to help you get your bearings and learn easier from any mistakes.

      • Aaron May 29, 2020 (8:37 pm)

        Thanks BOLO! Yes I’m on the bicycle tonight. I’ve scoped out the route on Google Streets, and think I’ve got the turns worked out. Do you think the Michigan approach or 1st ave would be better? Either works for my commute…  I totally meant to try out that route sometime in daylight, but never seemed to get around to it! 

  • Don Brubeck May 29, 2020 (8:38 pm)

    Aaron, Biking to the 1st Ave S bridge from East Marginal Way you can use this route : go east on S Spokane to 1st Ave S (or 4th), south over the rail yard viaduct (using sidewalk on the viaduct) to Hudson or Dawson, then jog east  to 6th S; south on 6th to S  River Street, and wind around on S River including crossing the messy intersection at East Marginal Way to continue on S River, which becomes 1st S, to the bridge.  This route is not pretty, and is potholed and roundabout, but much lower stress than more direct routes on 1st S or S Michigan.   See other route options on maps on West Seattle Bike Connections Resources page.

Sorry, comment time is over.