Calming detour traffic isn’t just a side-street issue, HPAC tells SDOT

SDOT reps voiced surprise by some of what they heard at last night’s conversation with HPAC about Reconnect West Seattle and other bridge-detour traffic issues.

They expected to hear mostly about side streets, but heard a lot about arterials too – including another one that, like Sylvan Way previously, had been overlooked in earlier traffic-mitigation plans: Dumar Way. It’s a busier-than-ever route taking people from Delridge/Orchard to 16th/Austin, just north of SW Holden on the path to the 1st Avenue South Bridge.

HPAC is the community council for Highland Park, Riverview, and South Delridge, so the focus was on that part of the Reconnect West Seattle plan, which already has these prioritized projects:

The SDOT reps noted that another arterial that was asked about, Roxbury, is addressed in the plan, to some degree. But that street and Dumar are not getting enough attention, residents countered. “They’re underrepresented,” noted Donna Burns.

Also discussed, the Home Zone program, SDOT’s relatively new umbrella name for side-street traffic calming, explained here. SDOT hopes to gather small groups of residents to walk some of the cut-through-plagued streets to get up to speed on where this help is needed. They promised two groups – one north of Henderson, one south.

SDOT’s Sara Zora, who is now the mobility manager for the Reconnect West Seattle program, stressed that RWS is not the be-all end-all of mitigation plans, but just a first installment of sorts, as they continue learning about neighborhood priorities.

Kay Kirkpatrick coordinated the HPAC meeting; community participants included two members of the West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force, which met earlier in the day – Colleen Desmond, who represents the area, and Deb Barker from the Morgan Community Association and WS Transportation Coalition. Kirkpatrick also noted the recent announcement of Stay Healthy Blocks and said that if anyone is interested in HPAC support – since the application is limited to community groups and nonprofits for starters – let them know. And if you are interested in one of the Home Zone walks, contact HPAC via its website.

HPAC meets at 7 pm fourth Wednesdays most months – watch for updates.

14 Replies to "Calming detour traffic isn't just a side-street issue, HPAC tells SDOT"

  • Wendell September 24, 2020 (4:35 pm)

    The no-bridge traffic problem starts all the way back at the Fauntleroy Ferry Dock. As soon as the boat unloads, drivers jockey for position to get into the right hand lane.

    I’ve witnessed more than a few close-call fender-benders while waiting to board the westbound ferry.

    This also results in those that weave and cut off other drivers impact loading times of the westbound boat.

  • 1994 September 24, 2020 (4:47 pm)

    The street parking should be removed on Roxbury westbound, at 17th,  just  after the bus stop.

    • KM September 24, 2020 (7:58 pm)

      The road design here baffles me. People using the WB right lane east of the parking have to move over to the left lane to accommodate the 2-3 cars that *can* fit there in a very short and busy block, yet the lane merge isn’t until west of the intersection at 17th, and is extremely short for those moving west off of a red light (assuming people zipper merge.) And since many don’t seem to want to zipper merge or allow others to do so, it combines with the parking on Roxbury issue to create a bottle neck through these busy intersections. Moving the merge/lane restriction east of the 16th/Delridge intersection would be a hell of a lot safer and avoid the incessant intersection blocking. SDOT could make the WB right lane a “right turn only” onto Delridge or 16th. The right lane section between 16th and 17th could be busses only, and they get a light jump WB @17th if need be. The all-purpose second lane has to end at some point, and east of that 5-way intersection could be better than what we have now. I am curious what SDOT will come up with.

  • Craig Rankin September 24, 2020 (7:57 pm)

    Thanks to SDOT and DON reps for joining last nights meeting and especially for sharing the news about the Highland Park Home Zone Plan.   If you live in Highland Park or Riverview and are observing high levels of cut through traffic on residential streets caused by the WS Bridge closure, please email detailed observations to within the next week. 

  • KayK September 24, 2020 (8:13 pm)

    Is your neighborhood experiencing elevated traffic levels?HPAC wants to hear about it!!SDOT & department of neighborhoods as well!Email us at

  • John September 24, 2020 (8:39 pm)

    Lane restrictions on West Marginal, speed bumps, closing the lower bridge, lowering speed limits.

    SDOT thinks all of those changes will help get rush hour vehicles out of West Seattle?


    • KM September 24, 2020 (9:25 pm)

      No, SDOT doesn’t think that. This is an article primarily about traffic calming and safety. 

      • Chuck Jacobs September 24, 2020 (11:54 pm)

        Wouldn’t it be safer if there were no cars at all?

  • Trickycoolj September 25, 2020 (12:04 am)

    How the hell is SDOT not aware of Dumar and Sylvan??? Many of us have been commuting that route daily for years before the bridge was a problem and our reports of disrepair have fallen on deaf ears and clearly they still don’t understand what a critical East-West corridor it is. Hey SDOT? A lot of us *don’t* work downtown and need critical East-West infrastructure you can’t focus everything on Delridge/35th/California/Admiral and think you’ve got West Seattle covered. 

    • hj September 25, 2020 (1:10 pm)

      I was wondering the same thing. Dumar is literally the most direct route to/from the Highland Park/Marginal Way intersection for Gatewood, High Point, Fairmount Park, Seaview, etc.

      • Kathy September 26, 2020 (2:33 pm)

        If I understand the article, I think what they are saying they were not aware of is the difficulty vulnerable street users like pedestrians and cyclists have crossing or walking on Dumar and Sylvan Way. But maybe there’s no excuse for that, either. This appears to be about safety, not how fast you can travel in your car. Or maybe I misunderstood you, trickycoolj?

  • anonyme September 25, 2020 (6:07 am)

    35th south of Roxbury has also been impacted by Roxbury overflow.  A lot of vehicles bypass the wait at Roxbury and go speeding down 35th to 106th.  The pattern is obvious: there will be a minute or two of pause (normal traffic) followed by a burst of speeding, bumper to bumper vehicles.  I live on a corner and am now seeing constant u-turns and pullovers.

    • 1994 September 26, 2020 (2:05 pm)

      Have you seen the orange WSB detour sign on 35th & Roxbury southbound? It is about 6 feet off the ground so the traffic driving south on 35th probably can’t even see that sign. I though there will be many people continuing south down 35th wondering where the heck the detour is. The orange detour sign needs to be up high light where the traffic lights are located.

  • nadmercury September 26, 2020 (5:42 pm)

    The proposal to add six radar controlled signs intended to encourage drivers to obey the change in speed limit from 40mph to 30mph is a very expensive solution that is in search of a problem.  The fact that 90 % of the drivers are going 40mph or greater with no significant serious accident history is a vivid indication that the posted 30mph speed limit is too low and should be changed back to 40mph to be in accord with reality.  The proposal should be to change the speed limit back to 40mph; not expensive radar controlled signs.   It’s time to reign in Mr. Zimbabwe and the SDOT from making expensive nonsensical changes!  

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