By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
One month after its first public mention of Reconnect West Seattle as an umbrella label for dealing with post-bridge-closure mobility issues, SDOT has just gone public with the tools for you to help shape it.
RWS has two goals – “to restore travel across the Duwamish to similar levels seen before the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge closure and reduce the impact of detour traffic in Duwamish Valley neighborhoods such as Highland Park and South Park.”
Toward the first goal, there’s a survey for everyone on the peninsula – more than 30 questions, from your commute/travel habits pre-bridge/pre-pandemic, to what you would need to try a different mode of travel – as shown in the graphics above (displayed at recent briefings), something they hope thousands of people will do.
The information will help SDOT and its partners – other transportation agencies such as Metro, primarily – figure out what they’re going to have to do to avoid total gridlock once people get back to cross-Duwamish commuting in much larger numbers. The questions all have opportunities for you to explain your answers if you want to, so give yourself some time – it’s not one of those quick one-pager types.
The other Reconnect West Seattle component that’s going public today: The Neighborhood Prioritization Process. Potential-project lists have been created for four areas that have been hit the hardest by bridge-detour traffic – Highland Park/Riverview/South Delridge/Roxhill, South Park, Georgetown, and SODO. People who live, work, and/or study in any or all of those areas are asked to review the lists – compiled from a slew of suggestions already made – and pick up to ten they think would help. (If you have a suggestion that’s not on the list, there’s a chance to suggest it.) Note that these aren’t all traffic-moving suggestions – the idea is to address the effects of the detour traffic.
Direct links to the survey-format prioritization lists:
Both the all-WS survey and the neighborhood prioritization process are open until the end of the month. SDOT says it’s trying hard to be sure as many people as possible. If you know someone who would rather have a paper “ballot” for prioritization, here are PDF versions you can print: Highland Park/Riverview/South Delridge/Roxhill, South Park, Georgetown, SODO. (Each has instructions nn how to send it in.) Also, you can request paper ballots by calling 206-400-7511 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other languages? The ballots are available in seven languages – Chinese Traditional, Somali, Spanish, Vietnamese, Khmer, Korean, Oromo; the links will be available via a Reconnect West Seattle webpage that should be live soon. (11:48 AM: Here it is.) The city also is sending a postcard about all this via postal mail to every household in West Seattle – look for that in about a week.
So what happens after you’ve sent in your answers? The West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force will be involved in reviewing the results in August, at its August 5th and 19th meetings. A plan will be shaped from there, with action to follow. All the while, SDOT is also in discussions with those partner agencies – and your feedback can shape the path of those discussions too.