By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
This month’s meeting of the community council for Highland Park, Riverview, and South Delridge was mostly an open discussion of what’s been problematic since the West Seattle Bridge closure turned up the volume on traffic along routes to the 1st Avenue South and South Park bridges.
The meeting, led by Kay Kirkpatrick, included guest appearances by two members of the West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force, which had its third meeting earlier in the day: Colleen Desmond of Highland Park and Mark Aytch from the Roxhill area
Aytch wondered if HPAC already had been asked for input to suggest potential mitigation. Kirkpatrick noted that HPAC has sent detailed letters with SOOT (including this exchange) – plus the pre-existing dialogue, years of trying to get something done about Highland Park Way/Holden – but had not formally been asked for suggestions.
SDOT, which did not have a rep at this meeting, has said the draft lists for HPAC’s area and other affected neighborhoods (plus lists of bicycle and freight proposals) have possible projects drawn from all sorts of previous community processes.
Some of what Wednesday’s attendees discussed: West Marginal Way SW, and SDOT’s already-in-design Highland Park Way SW/Holden Safety Improvements project, which also includes some speed humps on side streets. One attendee was concerned about the bottleneck at W. Marginal/Highland Park Way. Another was concerned about people using SW Portland as a cut-through, and wondered about a NB left-turn arrow at Highland Park/Holden. Kirkpatrick said they’ve been waiting for a reply on that from SOOT project point person James Le. Concerns also were raised about cut-through traffic on 12th, with drivers leaving Holden, and potential danger for kids in the area, many of whom are out riding their bicycles in the street (which passes Riverview Playfield). An attendee suggested “local access only” signage might be helpful. Yet another cut-through observation came from Kirkpatrick – she recounted a sighting of a U.S. Coast Guard vehicle towing a boat along 11th SW.
Another trouble spot brought up – 16th/Austin, and how the Holden-bound traffic can cause trouble there. It was subsequently pointed out that arterials around the peninsula are inconsistently signed for speed limit – California is still 30 mph, while 35th is 25 mph.
Until the lists go public, with online and paper surveys, there’s not much else community groups can do aside from knowing what they want to see and hoping to find it on the lists – not a sure thing since all those previous processes would have reflected conditions before the bridge closure turned traffic on its head. Meantime: “A lot of information for everybody, and a lot of decisions that haven’t been made yet,” was how Desmond summarized the WSBCTF process so far. (While the Task Force wasn’t involved in making the forthcoming lists, they’ll be involved in feedback.)
Also mentioned during the HPAC meeting, one official feedback process that has just begun – the Stay Healthy/Keep Moving Streets survey, as noted here. (Several of the closed-to-through-traffic streets are on greenway blocks in HPAC’s areas.)
HPAC usually meets fourth Wednesdays, online until in-person meetings are safe again. Watch hpacws.org for updates.