Here are 6 changes SDOT wants to make on West Marginal Way SW

(WSB photo, Thursday, SB on West Marginal, north of Highland Park Way)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Since the West Seattle Bridge’s sudden closure almost half a year ago, West Marginal Way SW has become one of the most-traveled, and most-griped-about, streets in West Seattle: SDOT‘s latest stats show its volume has tripled, from 9,000+ vehicles a day to 27,000+. It’s the major route to the main alternate bridge, the state-operated 1st Avenue South Bridge, and beset with backups.

While the entirety of West Marginal was not part of the Reconnect West Seattle traffic-mitigation plan, it made an appearance in parts of that newly released plan, and SDOT has been promising a standalone package of West Marginal changes; we’ve been asking about it for weeks.

Today, it’s going public. We got a first look at the 6-point plan in an online meeting with SDOT’s West Seattle Bridge project leader Heather Marx and communications director Michael Harold.

Here’s what’s in the plan. First, SDOT is committing to fully funding the Duwamish Longhouse Safety Project, involving pedestrian improvements by the tribe’s longhouse at 4705 West Marginal – including a crossing signal to get to and from the parkland across the street that has cultural and historical importance for the tribe.

While the spotlight on this need is recent (some background is on the tribe’s website), SDOT notes it’s been brewing for the entire decade-plus that the longhouse has been open:

A stretch of asphalt sidewalk on the west side of the street is planned too.

In addition to adding a short stretch of street parking one year ago, the city had previously committed to funding design of the project, but now will fully fund it at a TBA amount from the “interfund loan” the City Council has authorized for a down payment on bridge work and traffic mitigation. But most of it isn’t likely to happen before next year; Marx notes that they have to talk with BNSF Railway, which operates tracks on the east side of West Marginal, and that is not expected to be a fast and easy process.

Now, on toward the south end of West Marginal, the city plans to make some changes at the chokepoint intersection with Highland Park Way, as shown here – particularly some changes on the east side of the intersection, for the west/southbound HP Way lanes:

If you’re wondering whether the city could also make more room at the intersection by removing the islands, Marx says that’s a possibility under further discussion, but drainage and utilities are tied into them, so it’s more complicated than it looks. Also regarding the West Marginal/Highland Park Way intersection, we asked about adding a camera for the network used to check in on traffic conditions; we’ve been told before that one was not under consideration, but this time Marx says it’s a possibility and they’ll look into it.

For freight, they’re still considering a northbound freight-only lane north of Highland Park Way, but it’s not as much a nearly done deal as it seemed during the last West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force meeting (WSB coverage here). The presentation at that meeting included a Reconnect WS project list specifically calling out that planned change; revisions made before the plan document was released days later changed the same line item to “Implement freight treatments.” We’ve been asking for clarification on that all week and got it during this conversation.

The decision between a freight-only lane and street markings to indicate business entrances – where trucks are often stuck waiting a long time to.turn out onto West Marginal – is pending more community discussion, SDOT says, adding that the lane addition would add only seconds to general-purpose NB trips.

Another rechannelization in the new package that is not yet “set in stone,” as Marx described it: Creating a 2-way protected bicycle lane in place of part of the outside southbound general-purpose lane.

That would finally address the so-called “missing link” in the Duwamish Trail on the east side of West Marginal, Marx said. And she stressed that it covers a stretch sandwiched between what are already two one-lane sections of SB West Marginal, as shown below, so the result would be uniformity for drivers on that section:

Here is how SDOT says that would affect southbound travel:

One more change: Mingled with the concerns about traffic has been a lot of talk about drivers ignoring the recently reduced speed limit. SDOT’s plan to address that is by installing six signs with radar showing the speed as drivers approach:

No, those are not ticket-issuing radar setups, just “here’s how fast you’re going,” but Marx says this type of sign is shown to work in slowing drivers down.

Overall, elements of this package, Marx says, have been in development for years, since West Marginal has always been “a corridor.” As shown on the slides above (here’s the full deck as presented to us), some of these items will be installed in the next few months, some will take much longer. A discussion is planned during the next Community Task Force meeting at noon Wednesday (September 23rd); you can provide feedback at any time via

56 Replies to "Here are 6 changes SDOT wants to make on West Marginal Way SW"

  • markinthedark September 18, 2020 (1:56 pm)

    Nice start on the HPW right turn only lane, but I suspect it might need to start earlier to be effective at high volume times. Now if we could get SB left turners off WMW to EB HPW to not block the box for the WMW NB thru traffic, that would be great.

  • smittytheclown September 18, 2020 (1:58 pm)

    Love the re-striping of Highland/W Marginal.  That westbound right turn only onto W Marginal will be HUGE.You’d think it would be cheaper/more efficient to just build an overpass near the longhouse and make W Marginal 2-lanes the entire way, but otherwise good stuff! 

  • WestDuwamishDriver September 18, 2020 (2:03 pm)

    These are some nice changes. The pedestrian crossing and ‘missing link’ bike route fix are especially welcome. This is a harrowing stretch for cyclists and pedestrians, and the unpredictability makes it scary as a driver too. I’m terrified of hitting someone there. My main concern with these plans is the timeline. Why do we have to wait another year for an interim pedestrian crossing? 

    • WSB September 18, 2020 (2:19 pm)

      It’s the same reason attributed above – working with BNSF. They say of course they will get it done sooner if for some reason that DOESN’T become a logjam…

      • Kathy September 18, 2020 (3:38 pm)

        Why does creating a walking path on the west side of West Marginal Way have to wait? What do the railroad tracks on the east side of West Marginal Way and the need for coordination with BNSF have to do with this part of the project?  I think the adjacent landowners should be involved, it is their lack of vegetation control that makes it impossible to walk safely there. I even wrote to the landowners requesting they clean up the area but got no response.

        • WSB September 18, 2020 (4:10 pm)

          Asphalt is warm-weather-dependent so, Marx said, that’s why the asphalt sidewalk is waiting until spring.

      • Emsea September 18, 2020 (11:21 pm)

        Do you know what happened to the radar speed signs on fauntleroy by the school? The signs helped to keep the speeds down. Folks whip through that area.

        • Answer September 20, 2020 (3:49 am)

          The footing cracked and allowed it to fall over onto my neighbor s car

        • Alex October 7, 2020 (8:20 am)

          They were moved to Sylvan Way because people can’t figure out how to keep their car on the road. 

  • Al King September 18, 2020 (2:03 pm)

     City needs to add barriers on northbound W Marginal just before(south of) Highland Park. There is an island there but car’s(and trucks)are using the HP left turn lanes then cutting in just before the island cutting ahead of a LOT of us waiting. City could go south at least 100 yards with barriers without impacting business access. Would not stop all the line cutters but would help.   

    • Jen September 20, 2020 (3:22 am)

      Yes I agree this has been a huge problem causing large back ups for people following the rules why a lot of people feel they can cut to the front causing huge back ups for those of using the proper right lane. They need a traffic contro police officer there. Not to mention blocking the lane from the people coming through that section legitimately.  So aggravating on my daily commute adding 20 minutes because On W marginal because of selfish cutters. And why should freight get their own lane on W marginal. Only way we can get pressure to get this Repair moving if we all are inconvenienced equally.  Those businesses can put pressure on getting this expedited. Finally why do people who work on harbor ave non freight Travelers get to use lower bridge. I live on very north end by the bridge. I work in Queen Anne  and have to drive around they  come In north and work blocks from me. It’s the same commute they also should have to do the same drive. I don’t see the reasoning of their privileges status over residents. 

    • David Witcraft September 24, 2020 (3:44 am)

      They should take this further. W Marg SW, south of Highland should be local access only. Intersection at north end right turn(east) only. No traffic from EB Highland park. Then all the through traffic could be moved over to 2nd Ave S. Lots of room over there to park cars waiting to turn left and go West/North. Calibrate the light(I know it’s a big ask, apparently the folks who did that retired or were repurposed to camp cleanup) to move the volumes of traffic Necessary(it allows about 2 cars/cycle now). The EB 599 lane feeding the NB right turn lane for W Marg SW could be extended back through the 2nd Ave S intersection to move more cars into the Marginal cooridor. More cars on Marginal means fewer cars in the Highland park residential area. I can’t believe it took SDOT 6 months to get around to this, SMH! I guess they realized 20k veh/day couldn’t just switch to bikes?

  • DeadEnder September 18, 2020 (2:04 pm)

    I am surprised there isn’t commentary on better signage near SW Marginal Placeand the bridge overhead alerting drivers that the left lane is to the Low bridge andDelridge Way, the right lane is to the Terminal or under the lowest portion of theWest Seattle Bridge (Avalon/ Admiral).Maybe the cost and time is minor enough that it doesn’t require such notificationbut drivers jumping lanes at the last minute DUE TO LACK OF SIGNAGE is quitefrustrating for some, and I have witnesses several minor road rage issues play out.Not talking about scoff-laws but those who just don’t realize they are in the wronglane, like South of Highland Park Way. Signs there could help those who KNOW which way they want to go get into theirproper lanes. Some folks seem to ‘change their minds’ at the last moment beforebeing blocked by the island, and that causes some back up in the lane behind them.Just saying.

    • Minimama September 18, 2020 (2:43 pm)

      Amen. I’ve experienced this issue and felt the embarrassment of realizing that my 17ft minivan was in the wrong lane. Thankfully, two moms in two lanes next to me all coordinated with hand signals to allow me to switch lanes safely. No road rage, but still inconvenient to all. We need signage for those NB WMW  lanes far ahead of the intersection.

    • HowAboutNow? September 18, 2020 (3:45 pm)

      You’re being generous with your characterization.  Yes there is a random person who’s confused by doing this for the first time and Waze isn’t much help, but the vast majority are people who fully don’t expect to wait in line on the right hand side.  But even if we were all conform, the couple of times where I’ve seen people generally confused, there were almost serious accidents as they stop suddenly when they realize the problem and it’s pretty close to the light.        

      • CAM September 18, 2020 (9:19 pm)

        So honestly, why do people who end up in the wrong lane (by accident or on purpose) think they should stop traffic for long stretches so they can merge into the correct lane? Have we all forgotten how to reroute or turn around when we make a wrong turn? Most everyone has some kind of gps operating in their car (particularly those that are new to the route) which would redirect them back to their route as well. 

    • JVP September 18, 2020 (3:53 pm)

      Yep. Most confusing bunch of roads in the state, that’s for sure.

  • Olivist September 18, 2020 (2:23 pm)

    Interesting that at least half the changes seem to have little if any connection to traffic mitigation.I agree with a right turn lane to NB WSW, but why would they propose anything that REDUCES capacity on SB WMW when use of the road has TRIPLED?  I have seen extensive use of both SB lanes principally because there are THREE times the number of cars now. And what about the backup when trying to head east from WMW at highland park? I’ve waited almost 10 minutes to get through the left turn lights.  Nothing proposed for that?Also interested that they are focused on pushing through now items from years ago. priorities have clearly shifted as a result of the sudden bridge closure so this seems like poor decision making. But I guess that’s par for the course for this SDOT. 

    • HowAboutNow? September 18, 2020 (3:49 pm)

      My reaction as well.  Thought, hmm, the solution to increase flow is to reduce the volume of the pipe.  Fluid dynamics would say that then increases velocity, which appears to be the opposite of what’s hoped for with all those fancy radar signs.  With the exception of the RH turn lane, this seems to be all about the pedestrians, bikes and the longhouse.  Are 27k bike riders flowing through here also?

    • Zipper merge please September 18, 2020 (6:15 pm)

      It is intended to be a zipper merge. There should be merging at this intersection from the left lane to the right lane until the dotted white line becomes a solid white line for the left turn only.  Prior SDOT slides for this intersection outlined that this was purposeful.  It just seems that drivers across Washington state don’t use a tried and true technique for reducing backups.  Prior discussion of this intersection is located here:  Here is a helpful video from Kansas

  • Mr steven ball September 18, 2020 (2:23 pm)

    Do you really think people don’t know and don’t care how fast they are going? It does not make a difference on 35th so why would it make a difference here? It would only add to the cost.  Use the money else where instead of use less signage. Your needless 25mph only creates more speeding, and are creating a traffic jams.f you want to stop accidents, just enforce the No cell phone laws. I see police drive by and do nothing to enforce these driving vehicles. These are the main reasons for accidents. Texting and talking while driving are the main cause of accidents and deaths.  The existing laws is toothless and unenforced! But you already know this and do Nothing!

    • Action Satisfaction October 1, 2020 (12:41 am)

      You’ve been missing SDOTs way of thinking these past few years…1) Reduce speed limit to 25 everywhere in the city2) Point fingers “ZOMG LOOK HOW MUCH EVERYONE’S SPEEDING”3) ???4) PROFIT (aka political points with the safety culture)Not many politicians seem to score points with stricter distracted driving enforcement or better driver licensing testing or other root causes which lead to arguably worse drivers (and accidents). Road diets are a safe and easy option to score political points meanwhile slowly adding to gridlock throughout the city.

  • Midi September 18, 2020 (2:55 pm)

    There are a whole slew of new Radar Feedback signs along Sylvan Way SW. Along with regular speed limit signs, I think I saw a total of 5 signs within a couple blocks telling me the speed limit was 25. I admit I ignored every single one of them, as did everyone around me. Including the cop.

    • Kathy September 18, 2020 (3:20 pm)


      • JVP September 18, 2020 (3:56 pm)

        Because the speed limits are too low. As they are on WMW. When literally everyone is going 15+ over, that might be a clue.SDOT hates efficiency. If they’re serious about vision zero, just making all driving illegal right now. What a joke, nothing has zero risk, nor should it.

        • Vic September 18, 2020 (5:42 pm)

          FYI Vision Zero hopes for zero traffic-related deaths. No one said zero risks.

          • alki_2008 September 19, 2020 (8:22 pm)

            If they cared about traffic-related deaths, then they would allow scooters (like Vespas) to use the low bridge. 

        • Kathy September 18, 2020 (11:54 pm)

          The speed limit is the legal limit. Your anecdotal observation that it is too low is irrelevant. What is the evidence that a higher speed limit would be more efficient? It certainly would not be more efficient from the standpoint of fuel efficiency, heat and emissions control, rubber dust pollution reduction, prevention of wear and tear on vehicles, and avoidance of serious collisions. We can act together for the good of society to achieve these efficiencies by observing the speed limit or we can individually thumb our noses at the law to suit our peceived personal efficiency (time, I am assuming, since planning for adequate travel time is somehow deemed too difficult?) SDOT should set the speeds based on the good of society as whole and take many factors into account.  

  • Mj September 18, 2020 (3:39 pm)

    It’s about time SDoT finally proposes to enhance capacity at WMW at HPW.  The plan they depict is consistent to the one I presented to them in June, with one minor refinement moving the bus stop to the west side of WMW.  Why the delay to make the change?  They banged out fixes at the 5 way Chelan intersection to the north in one weekend.

  • Lola September 18, 2020 (4:02 pm)

    If I am on WMW and nearing Highland park, if one of you turns on your turn signal to try to get over to the left just before the light I BLOW MY HORN AT YOU as you did not want to wait your turn in the long line of cars trying to get to the 1st Ave So Bridge.  I am in the right lane trying to get to Cloverdale and you are holding up that right lane that goes straight thru the light.   I rarely use WMW just because of the way everyone likes to cheat. 

    • Boop September 18, 2020 (4:24 pm)

      Be careful about BLOWING YOUR HORN.  I saw someone do that a little over a week ago and the guy that got the horn blown at him actually got out of his car.  Fortunately, the light turned, he got back in and drove off — but is it worth it?  Remember:  “When times get tough, the crazy go PRO!”

  • Jordan September 18, 2020 (4:15 pm)

    Why not finish Puget Way SW around pathfinder school and tie it in to both SW Genesee and SW Dawson?  It would give that entire community access to the longhouse, terminal 107 park and the new bike lane they are creating. As well as an additional east/west access point into and out of West Seattle. And any mention of what SDOT or SPD plans to do when the business, Airclean technologies, parks a semi in the center turn lane and illegally stops SB traffic with a homemade stop sign on West Marginal to offload it?

  • nadmercury September 18, 2020 (5:11 pm)

    I agree with the right turn only lane west bound on Highland Park Way.  Most of the rest of the proposals will primarily have the effect of slowing traffic.  SDOT is a very slow learner to recognize that the 30 MPH speed limit is too low.  The traffic is flowing nicely at the higher rates that 95% of traffic is using.    IVP above is right on Vision Zero is a completely unrealistic and a joke; as long as we have cars and traffic some risk is inevitable and we will have some fatalities and serious injuries, mostly attributable to persons  who will ignore any speed limit or other traffic ordinance.  Vision Zero is a misguided program and a thinly veiled movement to harass drivers.  I can’t believe that SDOT can not get the message that drivers are voting with their accelerators against the ridiculous 30MPH speed limit.  

  • Don't forget the AM traffic too September 18, 2020 (6:23 pm)

    I appreciate the changes finally be made public and implemented in the current calendar year.  I was surprised to see in the slides only discussion of the PM times going north not the AM times going south on West Marginal Way.  I still think a camera is needed at the Highland Park Way and West Marginal Way intersection to provide insight into frequent backups at this intersection in the AM hours.  A large contributing factor is the combination of the three stops lights from the intersection of Highland Park Way and West Marginal Way east and south towards the 1st Ave Bridge exit.  Too frequently this combination is poorly timed and prevents this section of the continuation of Highland Park Way to 599 to clog up.

  • Seabruce September 18, 2020 (6:53 pm)

    Can they synchronize the two lights at 2ND AVE SW for southbound traffic on West Marginal Way SW so they are green or red at the same time?

    • Olivist September 19, 2020 (7:57 pm)

      YES PLEASE! These lights @2nd SW still seem timed to allow the most traffic thru from eastbound HPW, but should be staggered to also allow better flow from the left turn from SB WMW to mitigate the giant back up that forms at almost all times of day. Many times I’ve been stuck at the left turn light for 4-5 cycles only to find there is no backup at the 509 on-ramp. Solely at the SB WMW left turn lanes. 

  • Craig September 18, 2020 (7:14 pm)

    I would think that there would have to be a new sidewalk, curb cuts and pedestrian signal build if a bus stop will be established  at the NE base of HP Way.(?)  There is currently no sidewalk at the corner and no crosswalk  crossing the southbound slip lane(walking east) which would be nearly a blind crossing as it is drawn on the plans-not safe when traffic is flowing unless the slip lane is stopped.    I like that these improvements would provide access from the Duwamish Trail to the trail heading up to SSC and Riverview- another bike option, at least for those on mountain bikes but it will be a bummer when uphill traffic is reduced to one lane when buses are present.   

    • KM September 18, 2020 (8:35 pm)

      I do worry about how the right turn lane to NB WMW will be signaled. With the way people blow through crosswalks and lights to take their “right on red” around this city has caused too many near misses in my experience. I don’t mind the right turn only lane at all in theory. I just know how people roll through these red lights and to hell with any pedestrians with the signal. Even for those pedestrians who like to make eye contact With drivers cannot, drivers are looking to the left for auto traffic only. Cyclists need to cross this intersection to get to the multi use path on HPW. Drivers, even if you don’t give a crap about vulnerable road users, think about all those drivers taking their rights on red that have cut you off in the past. Oof. Time to ban the right on red statewide.

    • bill September 18, 2020 (11:08 pm)

      Craig – I think you mean the NW base of HP Way. There is a concrete sidewalk there already. Some volunteers spent several weekends excavating the dirt and weeds covering it, to improve the connection to the trails up to SSC. The city’s maps don’t show it as a paved sidewalk, which probably explains the lack of a pedestrian crossing from the island. You’re right, a curb ramp is needed plus a signal.

      • Craig September 19, 2020 (12:00 pm)

        Go WS volunteers!  That was a cool project.   Maybe more in kind   collaboration between  SDOT and community stakeholders would be good for everyone’s morale, lower costs, and optimize public infrastructure?  SDOT is making an effort but we need more genuine engagement/collaboration imo. The  excavated sidewalk ends about 60 feet shy of the corner.  The existing uphill sidewalk will need significant repairs and alterations as well. Moving the bus stop wont (or shouldn’t) be as simple or inexpensive as moving some signs. 

  • dsa September 18, 2020 (8:25 pm)

    Noooooo!  Get WMW back to a full 4 lanes.  The planned light at the longhouse will enable  safe pedestrian crossings.   Then after we have a high level bridge restoration, reducing the capacity of WMW could be considered.  Until then we are either trapped on the peninsula or off of it and need all other lanes available for use.

  • Scott September 18, 2020 (8:38 pm)

    What, why are thy not removing the long house parking?  To purposely make a chock point and then say it does not matter is just not correct.  This has to be the dumbest thing ever!!!

  • Don Brubeck September 18, 2020 (10:17 pm)

    Good news for the HP/WMW intersection and for safety and access at the north end to the Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center.  Vehicle speeds from the north and past the Longhouse are still well over 40 mph.  A safe, accessible crossing from the Longhouse to the park, parking, and river is needed, with space for school buses to park at the Longhouse. Safety and pavement for biking to the Spokane St Bridge and First Avenue Bridge are needed, too, to get more people biking and freeing up capacity for vehicles on those bridges.

  • skyfishfeeder September 18, 2020 (10:56 pm)

    The speed limit should be based on the line of sight and stopping distance, for 80% of WMW those factors support a limit of 45mph – wasn’t this orginally designed as an industrial highway/access road ? Open up all 4 lanes, do an intersection at the loghouse that is at the bend to allow for a longer line of sight and stopping distance, time the lights properly so that one can slow down for the duration of the light to avoid a full stop. Do the bike lane on the sidewalk – having a 2 way bike lane in the right lane puts the north-bound bicyclist facing on-coming traffic, if they swerve right there in on-coming traffic from the sb traffic lane. Addionally the sidewalk is a more appealing ride – can stop as needed and not be inches from traffic – noise, dirt, exhaust. As far as the timing 150 days to come up with a right turn lane to NB WMW – not funny but sad, when aliens fly by the earth – they roll up the windows.The other thing this whole bridge thing illustrates is that there are no contigency plans for the “big” earthquake. If there were plans there would be implementation – not 150 days of nothing.

    • Don Brubeck September 19, 2020 (8:25 am)

      Skyfishfeeder,  locating the crosswalk where sightlines are best is certainly important. But what is the point of going 45-55 mph for one mile on WMW? It just gets you to the back of the traffic jam faster to sit in traffic longer. The choke points are at Highland Park Way and the First Avenue South Bridge, not on the north half of West Marginal Way. If it was eight lanes with 60 mph limit  it would not make the trip any faster.  There is no capacity problem on the north half of WMW.  Southbound traffic is coming from an existing stretch of single lane road from the 5-way intersection and is not congested. Higher speeds lead to more crashes and more severe consequences for those crashes. For the industries on WMW, higher traffic speeds make it harder and more dangerous to get trucks in and out of their yards.  It is also incredibly dangerous to walk across a five lane highway with traffic going so fast at the Longhouse.  Lowering speeds, reducing crossing distance, and eliminating the danger of cars passing a stopped car in another lane while a pedestrian is crossing are needed, as well as good sight lines.  The sidewalk along there, where it exists, is too narrow for bike traffic and walking to meet the target for increasing bike use to free up capacity on the remaining bridges while the high span is repaired or replaced.  The existing traffic light at the trail crossing and the new one near the Longhouse cannot be “timed”. They are only half-signals, activated by pedestrian push button. They are normally green for vehicle traffic. 

    • Don Brubeck September 19, 2020 (8:31 am)

      Skyfishfeeder,  locating the crosswalk where sightlines are best is certainly important. But what is the point of going 45-55 mph for one mile on WMW? It just gets you to the back of the traffic jam faster to sit in stuck traffic longer. The choke points are at Highland Park Way and the First Avenue South Bridge, not on the north half of West Marginal Way. If it was eight lanes with 60 mph limit  it would not make the trip across the bridge any faster.  There is no capacity problem on the north half of WMW.  Southbound traffic is coming from an existing stretch of single lane road from the 5-way intersection and is not congested. Higher speeds lead to more crashes and more severe consequences for those crashes. For the industries on WMW, higher speeds make it harder and more dangerous to get trucks in and out of their yards.  It is also incredibly dangerous to walk across a five lane highway with traffic going so fast at the Longhouse.  Lowering speeds, reducing crossing distance, and eliminating the danger of cars passing a stopped car in another lane while a pedestrian is crossing are needed, as well as good sight lines.  The sidewalk along there, where it exists, is too narrow for bike traffic and walking to meet the target for increasing bike use to free up capacity on the remaining bridges while the high span is repaired or replaced.  The existing traffic light at the trail crossing and the new one near the Longhouse cannot be “timed”. They are only half-signals, activated by  pedestrian push buttons. They are normally green for vehicle traffic. 

  • Azimuth September 19, 2020 (12:02 am)

    I am unclear, was SDOT planning on that WMW freight mobility lane prior to the bridge closure? Once the bridge is open again, maybe within 2 years, will the impetus for this lane disappear? I’m not opposed to the lane if it has a greater purpose but it seems wasteful if it is only to address a short term issue.

  • RS September 19, 2020 (8:01 am)

    Is it legal to spend City of Seattle monies on a sovereign nation like the Duwamish?

    • WSB September 19, 2020 (7:35 pm)

      (a) This is not spending city money “on” anyone. It’s spending city money “on” a city street and other right-of-way.

      (b) The Duwamish do not have “sovereign nation” status – the federal government has denied them their treaty-given rights/recognition, repeatedly.

  • Al September 19, 2020 (8:36 am)

    As more traffic is forced into this arterial, improvements are appropriate. And to nobody’s surprise, SDOT’s visionary idea to improve traffic flow is: lane reductions! Shocker!.The real message seems to be, if you have a job off peninsula that requires you to drive to work, then you’re not welcome to live here anymore. 

  • Clay S September 19, 2020 (10:51 am)

    The right turn lane onto NB W Marginal is a nice touch, but as someone who drives that direction each morning, drivers going up Highland Park Way from the right lane isn’t really an issue causing backups.  I think the biggest issue is that semi trucks cannot make a free right hand turn since they have to turn into the path of the two left-turn lanes from SB W Marginal in order to avoid the curb.

  • Chris September 19, 2020 (1:09 pm)

    Freight should have to pay tolls for any improvements. Better yet, force all of the industries to move due to environmental hazards.Those industries are responsible for poisoning the river. 

  • Alan Ford September 19, 2020 (4:21 pm)

    So, as usual, the traffic problems in Seattle are being solved by converting car lanes to bicycle only and reducing speed. Hey, it worked wonders so far.

  • AN September 21, 2020 (7:31 am)

    Does anyone else see the issue with moving the existing bus stop from the west side of WMW to the east side, similar to the California and Fauntleroy issue, it will back traffic up into the intersection on HPW EB. I have never figured out why they put bus stops just after intersections! 

  • Amy Thomson September 21, 2020 (4:58 pm)

    I live in a small neighborhood just above the Duwamish Longhouse, our only access to the rest of the world is West Marginal Way SW.  So, I have Opinions about all of this.  I think the sidewalks are LOOOONG overdue.  West Marginal has to be one of the most pedestrian-unfriendly streets in the city.   Reducing West Marginal southbound to one lane between Spokane street and the Longhouse to add a bike lane will probably work about as well as the last attempt to accommodate bikes on the street.  That one reduced traffic to one lane heading north near Spokane Street.  It was a mess and everyone hated it.  Really, this is not going to be solved without condemning some property and running the bike lane on the east side of the road between where it ends now and Spokane street.  Reducing the traffic to one lane southbound is going to make getting out of Puget Way SW just plain hell, as there’s going to be a steady stream of cars heading south with no breaks at all.  Perhaps the committee in their infinite wisdom might consider a sensor operated light at Puget Way SW so that people in our neighborhood can actually go somewhere.I also really like the idea of the right turn only lane onto W. Marginal.  I second whoever suggested restricting lane changes on the portion of SB West Marginal approaching the Highland Park Way intersection.  Right now, that’s quite a mess.

  • JT September 24, 2020 (12:58 pm)

    I’ve been commuting on WMW from Burien for the past ten years. Of course, those of us who live south and work on that street are not considered.  Our industrial area has been treated as second-class–until all the West Seattlites were forced our way. So many simple ways to improve traffic flow exist. How about making sure the storm drains on the west side of WMW actually work so the lane doesn’t flood? How about SDOT keeping the brush along both sides of the road trimmed? How about insisting that .001% who ride bikes use the bike trail we’ve already paid millions for? Taking the left turn from west bound Highland onto WMW is stupid as that’s not the problem. It’s the left turners from northbound WMW up the hill. How about just fixing the streets so we’re not all dodging pot holes? New crosswalks? Silly right now. SDOT needs to stop thinking of ways to impede traffic and work on opening it up for better flow. Inconveniencing drivers further will not force them into buses or onto bikes. In fact, SDOT should not even be considering foisting alternative forms of transportation on WMW. You want more accidents? Add to the chaos already stressed drivers are facing.

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