FOLLOWUP: SDOT’s options for future of Alki Point ‘Keep Moving Street’

(WSB photo, Beach Drive “Keep Moving Street” in May)

Also from West Seattle/South Park City Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s weekly update, new information on options SDOT is considering for the future of what’s currently a “Keep Moving Street” on both sides of Alki Point. Three weeks ago, SDOT announced those sections of Beach Drive and Alki Avenue would keep their no-through-traffic status at least until King County moved to Stage 3 of COVID-19 recovery. Nearby residents have been collecting petition signatures in support of making it permanent, as Herbold notes in her update, saying she “support(s) the continued efforts of constituents advocating for a permanent Stay Healthy Street.” She says she contacted SDOT with questions about the status and in reply, the department told her five options are under consideration:

1. Return to previous street operation

2. Convert to a neighborhood greenway, changes would include:
-Stop signs at intersecting streets will be added where they currently operate as neighborhood yield intersections (64th Ave SW, Point Pl SW, 64th Pl SW, 64th Ave SW)
-Additional traffic calming so that spacing of speed humps and raised crosswalks is approximately every 300 feet
-Approximately 3-4 speed humps or speed cushions would be added.
-Connectivity to the citywide bicycle network would be enhanced through the addition of sharrow pavement markings and wayfinding signs.

3. Upgrade to a permanent Stay Healthy Street, changes would include:
-All of the neighborhood greenway enhancements listed above
-Street Closed and Stay Healthy Street signs at every intersection with durable materials

4. Upgrade neighborhood greenway with additional space for walking adjacent to beachside curb.
-All of the neighborhood greenway enhancements listed above
-Removal of parking and delineation (tuff curb and post) of additional space for walking adjacent to the existing sidewalk adjacent to the beach
-Increased space for walking would be adjacent to park beach only, not continuous where buildings are between roadway and beach.

5. Convert street to operate as one-way northbound for vehicles, providing shared walking and biking space adjacent to beachside sidewalk
-Delineation of a continuous shared walking and biking space adjacent to the existing beachside curb (8’ to 15’ wide)
-Continuous shared walking and biking space would connect from the existing Alki Trail to the end of the Alki Point Keep Moving Street.
-Adjustment of the roadway to operate as one way northbound for vehicles, preserving parking primarily adjacent to east/south curbs.

Herbold says SDOT assured her the street’s status wouldn’t change “until the community engagement process concludes and there is a final determination regarding a permanent configuration.” There’s no elaboration on exactly what the “community engagement process” entails, but the Stay Healthy/Keep Moving Streets project webpage has a contact email:

37 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: SDOT's options for future of Alki Point 'Keep Moving Street'"

  • Beanie September 25, 2020 (7:48 pm)

    A reminder, this does NOT have anything to do with making these streets “private” or preventing people from parking and enjoying the area. It’s intended to redirect through-traffic to streets like 63rd so the street can be enjoyed safer FOR EVERYONE.

    Anyone can park on Beach Drive.

    There has has been a lot of confusion about this in the past with people being both for and against the “keep moving” street for the same reasons.

    • Kyle September 25, 2020 (9:12 pm)

      If that’s true, the confusion is driven by the large “street closed” sign at 63rd and Beach Drive whch is quite intimidating. The last time I drove by I assumed the street was closed, according to the signage, and didn’t drive past the sign to park. Reading through the options, #4 or #5 seem the most reasonable. Slow down cars, but leave it open to them. Ceate improvements so the sidewalks can accommodate more people.

    • psps September 25, 2020 (11:22 pm)

      So, in other words, it’s the same as a gated community just without the gate, but with a big “street closed” sign and upkeep provided by city taxpayers.  It’s still a “taking” of a public street.

      • Lbalm September 26, 2020 (12:29 am)

        People have been driving and parking on Beach Drive and Alki Ave SW all summer. They bring their kayaks and waterboards, check out the tide pools when the tide is out, park and enjoy the sunset, go scuba diving, and eat out in the park. Plus three ADA parking spots were added. Nothing has been “taken” from anyone.  It’s just safer for bicycles and pedestrians because people in cars drive slower because they’re looking for a place to park rather than just screaming through there showing off their cars. The residents in that area did not write what’s on the signs nor put them up.

        • Frog September 26, 2020 (10:15 am)

          Parking at constellation park has been down 90% since the street was closed.  You can love it or hate it, but be honest about it.  Lots of people who used to park there don’t anymore.  Maybe it’s just a play on the ambiguity of “Street Closed,” but in effect parking has definitely been taken away.

    • Wsguy123 September 26, 2020 (12:54 am)

      I agree with others. This street is either open or closed. You can’t be a little bit pregnant.

      • Michael September 26, 2020 (8:27 am)

        The street isn’t pregnant.

        • YES2WS September 26, 2020 (9:34 am)

          No, but it seems to be a little bit closed. 🤷🏻‍♀️Makes more sense to have signage indicating street closed to through traffic. 

  • Julia September 25, 2020 (8:08 pm)

    Two points: The “petition” presented was offered to those actively using the space this summer and perhaps neighborhood residents — hardly representative of the community. And the number of visitors in the summer doesn’t reflect the year-round usage. Closing it off to cars the other 9 months of the year is effectively giving local residents a private park.

    • Alki Local September 25, 2020 (8:28 pm)

      Please refer to the first comment by Beanie, “Anyone can park on Beach Drive.” It’s not a private park, it hasn’t been closed all summer and won’t be closed off the other 9 months of the year.

      • Lisa September 25, 2020 (9:01 pm)

        Then, honestly, what’s the point? If anyone can still drive down the street and park, how is that safer for pedestrians, runners and bikers not expecting traffic coming through?

        • Kyle September 25, 2020 (9:46 pm)

          Agree with Lisa. Right now, the only point seems to be confusing signage, that discourages people from parking on the street.

        • seaweed September 25, 2020 (9:50 pm)

          …little boy racers *be gone!

        • Alki Local September 25, 2020 (10:11 pm)

          With the signagd that was up this summer people used 63rd as the arterial instead of Beach Drive. Even without the proposed improvements people who did drive into the area did so more slowly and were respectful of kids on bikes and pedestrians in the road. Extra speed humps, stop signs, and permanent signage will additionally help slow traffic and add safety.

        • Elton September 25, 2020 (11:05 pm)

          The point is that with any signs, confusing or not, people are going to either avoid the street or be more cautious. I think a sign saying “street closed to thru traffic” would be much clearer as that’s really what it is, but I’ll take any sign versus the previous danger. Anyone who says the signs are unnecessary didn’t frequently walk small children up/down that street very often before the closure. The park access should be easy for all and having reckless drivers speed up and down it doesn’t facilitate that during a time when we’re supposed to stay 6 feet away from each other and the sidewalk is quite narrow.

          • Paul Hage September 26, 2020 (5:57 pm)

            Alternatively, post the entry “Stay Safe Street” and “speed limit 15 MPH”.  Posting “closed” if is not – is dishonest  and surely explains less observed vehicle use.  I quit using it when I saw police stopping cars.  I gradually began using the ADA spot as the logic of closed and open to ADA was classic double-speak.  I will take the rejection of closure to heart.  Two points – one, any restriction has to reflect the seasonal and diurnal aspects of this (mentioned above) and I agree.  Second – I have been letter writing about re-opening the 18 spaces at Don Armeni in partial compensation for the loss of 100 along Harbor ( sea wall now extended til Oct)  Parks reply “thinking about ADA spots” and “will tell enforcement that ADA plaque bearing cars may park there”.  Gee thanks.  I’m 76 and use my car as an extension of my safe harbor.  I’m feeling pretty pushed around lately – hoping for some slack.

        • Paul September 26, 2020 (6:08 pm)

          I also agree with Lisa. This entire plan is nonsensical. I used to park on that street in order to enjoy the beach. I now see the street closed sign and avoid the entire area. And that ends up hurting local businesses. This seems to be an effort by neighbors to get taxpayers to provide them with a private street for their waterfront view. 

          • ~Hockeywitch~ September 26, 2020 (9:31 pm)

            Same,  I haven’t been down that part of Alki since they put the signs up, because it said street closed and in the beginning it was always said that only people living on said closed street can use it, except for delivery drivers.. My understanding was that if we wanted to go to the beach there, or walk the seawall we had to park somewhere else and walk to Beach Dr… Being disabled, that wasn’t even an option for me since I can’t walk long distances.. so I just stopped going..

  • Julia September 25, 2020 (11:06 pm)

    63rd has always been the arterial used by people heading directly to and from Alki beach. Anyone going around Beach Dr. past the lighthouse is doing it deliberately to access that area. Some say the Street Closed signs don’t stop people from entering, but just watch the cars turning around when confronted with them. If it’s still legal to drive in there and park, they’ve certainly not conveyed that.

    • Alki resident September 25, 2020 (11:57 pm)

      Last week I saw a car drive past the street closed sign, park their car, inflate their paddleboard,  take it down to the water, and paddle away.

      • Rumbles September 26, 2020 (9:40 am)

        So, potentially worse yet, it’s teaching some people that a “Street Closed” sign actually means that a street isn’t closed?  So what sign do we use now when a street is closed?

        • Gable September 26, 2020 (11:24 am)

          If Option 5 is chosen, which includes making the street one way, it seems the signs would be replaced (by Parks/SDOT?) indicating it is one way which may eliminate the confusion. 

      • Don Brubeck September 26, 2020 (10:46 am)

        It is perfectly OK to drive, ride, roll or walk past the street closed sign, park a car,
        inflate a paddleboard,  take it down to the water, and paddle away.
        The street is the access to Constellation park beach. “Local access” including
        parking and using the beach is allowed for everyone. 

  • Mary September 26, 2020 (10:18 am)

          How about extending this privilege to all of Alki Ave.?  We would love to have a nice quiet safe street from crime,noise,street racing and endless summer traffic.

    • Anne September 26, 2020 (11:01 am)


    • ~Hockeywitch~ September 26, 2020 (9:35 pm)


  • OhSeattle September 26, 2020 (10:37 am)

    This is a Very Seattle Thing.  The street is CLOSED.  Unless you want to drive down it to park.  Or just drive through.  Or street race.  Really, whatever you want to do is fine.  We’d prefer you didn’t, but we’ll just look irritated and do nothing if you do.  

  • Alki Resident September 26, 2020 (11:04 am)

    What no one actually saying outright is that the problem is illegal activity, street racing, substance use mixed with driving. The law is not being enforced (there is all sorts of blame to go around for this) and this is a roundabout way to make sure the streets remain safe. We can all complain about it and blame each other but the reality is that enforcement is not working short of closing the street to through traffic.

    The street is open to anyone who wants to use the park responsibly. There are divers, paddle boarders, roller bladers, skate boarders, people with walkers, young, old, differently abled people, enjoying the park.

    Before the signs went up it was not safe for families to walk around. Almost got taken out by a racer myself when crossing the street at the crosswalk, have seen close calls with people peeling off and almost hitting someone. The sidewalk was basically unusable to people when the car clubs would congregate and shut it down. That is the problem. To anyone who wants to use the street in a responsible way, come on over, Alki is for everyone.

  • JVP September 26, 2020 (11:11 am)

    I’m all for keeping it pedestrian-focused as it is right now. I live right near the Junction, so a couple miles away, but bike through there a couple times a week on my local workout ride loop.  I see a lot more people walking there, kids running and biking, seniors taking a stroll. It’s great! We need more stuff like this in the city.  Limited-driving zones only for residents and deliveries like they do in a lot of Asian and European cities. Awesome to walk in these places.

  • Michael Ostrogorsky September 26, 2020 (1:40 pm)

    I don’t live on Alki Beach but I still think closing Beach Drive and Alki  Avenue to traffic is one of the best things Seattle has ever done. And I vote for keeping the ban permanent. And NO, that does NOT mean you can’t park there. I park there all the time I’m down there. It doesn’t mean you can’t drive through there. Lots of cars still do.  Simply makes for a calmer, SAFER, and more relaxed experience.

  • Mrsb September 26, 2020 (1:51 pm)

    The signs clearly state Street Closed and Road Closed. If in fact that section of Beach Drive is open to vehicles, the current signage is undeniably misleading. 

  • Gable September 26, 2020 (2:39 pm)

    Hmm. The Stay Healthy Streets website mentions in the next few weeks they will be looking at what treatments they could use to replace the current “Street Closed” signs.

  • Reality Chick September 26, 2020 (6:48 pm)

    There’s no elaboration on exactly what the ‘community engagement process’ entails…” Well we, for one, will be paying attention to that to give our input as one of the adjacent streets to Alki Point.  Please put my street on the closure list for the same reasons Alki Point was. The closure was a classic “leaf blower” solution–adjacent streets, already hard hit by traffic, etc., were even harder hit this summer. The only closed street near Alki was where the real estate prices are among the highest. How does that sync with equity and social justice goals the city has? Handle the issues at a comprehensive level. 

  • Millie September 26, 2020 (10:39 pm)

      I agree with Lisa.  I’m not sure why one would need to close a street for people to walk if there are already sidewalks there.  It would make more sense to close a busy or fairly busy section of street where there are no safe means of taking a walk (i.e. no sidewalks).   Yet another “not so well thought out” idea by the  City and SDOT.

  • Colonel Mustard's Wrench September 27, 2020 (10:19 am)

    This is such a great idea. 

    Let’s also convert Harbor Ave, Alki Ave, and Beach Drive to pedestrian only walking boulevards. Fauntleroy Way in front of Lincoln Park could also become a walking boulevard.  And West Marginal Way could become a giant walking boulevard. 

    All of the aforementioned boulevards would prohibit bicycles in order to keep pedestrians safer. 

    The trails in Schmitz Park could be reserved only for the residents that have a property that borders the park. 
    Camp Long could be for High Point residents only. 
    Hiawatha can be reserved for residents of the Admiral District. 

    In all seriousness, the designated walking area at Alki is frequented by a majority of unmasked people that don’t social distance.  I have personally seen this problem first hand.  Consequently, I consider it an unsafe place to take a walk during the pandemic.  It is failing as a safe place to walk.  

    Restore it to an arterial, put in more traffic calming, and patrol it for illegal activity.

  • Tom September 27, 2020 (2:34 pm)

    I would also like My street closed, does anybody know who to call.

  • winniegirl September 27, 2020 (5:46 pm)

    I’ve been saying exactly this that street closed just means no thru traffic.  That being said, maps and ride shares detour you around so it acts like a closed street.  And, if anyone can really go and park and use the beach.  That means that exactly the people that you are trying to keep out  (and let’s be clear that’s where most of the advocacy is coming from – keeping certain people out not bike riding) should be able to come back and enjoy the space just as they were before without out anyone reporting them or complaining, right?

Sorry, comment time is over.