FOLLOWUP: The plan for SW Andover, post-sweep/eco-blocks

(WSB photo: Looking east on SW Andover late this afternoon)

We reported Monday on the removal of dozens of eco-blocks that had been placed along SW Andover and 28th SW after the city swept the longrunning RV encampment there in June. This afternoon, we finally have the full SDOT explanation of what happened and what’s planned for the area:

The eco-blocks were removed by the business that placed them. Following protocol, SDOT sent a warning notice after the concrete blocks were placed due to the lack of an approved street permit. The correspondence led to a productive conversation in which the business took responsibility for setting them and agreed to remove the eco-blocks at their own expense. During discussions, we shared plans for paving the street and discussed how the curb space and right of way currently work for businesses in the area.

New pavement being added on the north side of SW Andover Street creates space for a westbound protected bike lane, the option to leverage the paving project, and fill a gap in our bicycle network. This concept resonated with those with whom we spoke. Crews are also making drainage and landscaping improvements, which is why you noticed dirt removal. The paving of SW Andover St between 26th Ave SW and 28th Ave SW is currently scheduled for August 8-11. The paving repairs damage that may have occurred due to increased traffic during the West Seattle Bridge closure.

The bike lanes will be on both sides of SW Andover St, between 26th Ave SW and 28th Ave SW, and bike enhancements could be potentially added to SW Yancy St. The design is at about 50%, and we expect installation to be this fall. There will be no impacts to travel lanes. However, some parking and loading zones will be impacted and removed. The Bike Master Plan recommends a Neighborhood Greenway treatment. Due to the industrial nature of the area and for the comfort and enhanced safety of those biking, we are installing a protected bike lane (PBL). The Levy to Move Seattle is funding the bike lane design.

SDOT says the paving will be complete this week; the schedule for building the bike lane is not yet finalized.

30 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: The plan for SW Andover, post-sweep/eco-blocks"

  • pirate August 9, 2022 (6:18 pm)

    Interesting that SDOT is swift to move eco-blocks because they do not have a proper street use permit but they allow RV encampments to be in squalor for over six-years. Hmm…

  • on board August 9, 2022 (6:26 pm)

    It’s amazing how quickly the city can move on producing a bike lane when they have alternate motives.  They would have never built this if actual bicyclists had been demanding it, regardless of how long. Look for a remarkable uptick in non-motorized investments near homeless encampments in the coming months.

    • Jort August 9, 2022 (7:44 pm)

      These lanes can be added to Seattle’s best-in-the-nation attempt at building the world’s largest un-connected, piecemeal cycling network! Who among us is not convinced to embrace cycling when we see an isolated, two-block stretch of a door-zone “flex-post” “protected” bike lane half a mile and 18 lanes of speeding traffic away from the next two-block stretch?! Best of all is that the city will gladly and proudly tout this in their presentations about all the great, good work they’re doing to build bike infrastructure. Look at the good they do! So brave and courageous. What a green city! hashtag green city

      • Roms August 9, 2022 (8:13 pm)

        😂 You forgot to mention that it will also probably count as one of the Reconnect WS projects.

        • bill August 9, 2022 (8:56 pm)

          This has got to be one of the least necessary places in the city to install a bike lane. Taking out half the parking on Yancy needlessly creates new bike lane opponents. Bravo SDOT. 

        • 1994 August 9, 2022 (9:11 pm)

          That is part of the article above. The laugh so hard until you cry face is perfect for the Reconnect WS projects…. “The paving repairs damage that may have occurred due to increased traffic during the West Seattle Bridge closure.”

    • Joe Z August 10, 2022 (12:16 am)

      The bike lanes will be much appreciated by those of us who use this route rather than crossing the 5-way intersection. It does fill an important gap.

      • bill August 10, 2022 (7:59 am)

        I’d rather see the money spent widening the path alongside the ramp to the high bridge and rebuilding that decrepit retaining wall by the abandoned house. When that slope eventually slumps the five-way intersection will be your best friend.

        • Bryan August 10, 2022 (10:19 pm)

          For anyone wondering why the bike lane was built on Andover, here is the Strava heatmap for the region.  The darker the line the more bikes are using the street.  Andover/Yancy is the number one route for bikers to reach the bridge. The route was in the bike masterplan but never built, leaving a huge hole for bikers getting to and from the bridge to the protected bike lanes all over WS. So this route was badly needed for the thousands of bike trips (just stand out there for 20 minutes and you will count a bike a minute during commute hours). So why now?  Because the encampment site needed bioremediation, and the ground was going to be dug up regardless. It just made sense to add the bike lane since no infrastructure money was needed. This bike lane will not take any money away from any other projects. It’s happening because the site was a biohazard mess, and this was a great opportunity for the city to be flexible and strategic about how it spends funds. This entire Andover cleanup and bike lane situation is a great example of a city and a community coming together for a shared vision of a neighborhood.  Many people worked very hard to make it happen.

    • Nolan August 10, 2022 (1:43 am)

      As though we needed more evidence that Seattle’s current administration will prioritize inflicting misery over possibly helping someone that didn’t sufficiently “deserve” it.

      On the other hand, this could be a powerful tool. Perhaps we can organize an encampment along 35th Ave SW so SDOT will put it on a road diet and install real bike lanes/proper walkways.

  • Delridge Neighbor August 9, 2022 (7:06 pm)

    Proof that we can remove parking for bike lanes. Next do Delridge.

    • B August 9, 2022 (8:56 pm)

      Ya’ll wanting food deliveries on Delridge to your new $600,000 townhouse need to realize you’re not getting your food if you remove Delridge parking for bike clearance, as has been done. All bike lanes need to be shifted off bus and car arterial streets to the next residential street possible. Make them park on one side only or in their garage…

      • Bike delivery boy August 14, 2022 (11:53 pm)

        I’ve delivered food to Del Ridge without parking. There are other ways to deliver food than with a car. 

  • Jay August 9, 2022 (7:18 pm)

    The best way to get from Delridge to California Ave via bike is up Yancy and over the Andover St bridge. This would be nice.

  • Duffy August 9, 2022 (8:56 pm)

    But wait, what’s the plan to keep an encampment from popping up again? Ecoblocks accomplished that; do people really think that RVs and tents won’t appear one day on some bike lanes? Or am I not understanding the plan here?

    • WSB August 9, 2022 (10:55 pm)

      Protected bike lanes include raised features such as posts or even concrete curbs (the former much more often).

  • Bikes August 9, 2022 (9:01 pm)

    It’s a popular bike route, great to have it protected.

  • aRF August 9, 2022 (9:41 pm)

    Start dropping those ecoblocks wherever you want a bike lane.

    • Jort August 10, 2022 (7:03 am)

      Seattle folks might then have to confront who they hate more: visibly homeless people or *shudder* CYCLISTS. Frankly, given my experience being told I’m worthy of death nearly every time I’m on the road, my guess is most folks would actually prefer homeless RVs to even having to look at those cyclists and their bike lanes.

  • Ben M August 10, 2022 (1:38 am)

    I am very happy about the addition of the bike lane there!! That blind corner is dangerous when bad drivers go too fast or cross the median line. So I, for one, will definitely use the new lane.

  • spooled August 10, 2022 (7:36 am)

    There already is a bike lane on 16th and guess where the Andover campers have been since the sweep?  Reported to find-it-fix-it repeatedly as blocking the bike lane and sidewalk.  The only reply?  “We’ll work with the HOPE team to get the campers set up with garbage service.”  Gotta love this city.

  • snowskier August 10, 2022 (8:22 am)

    Here’s the SDOT logic at work that will keep the RV out of the area.  RVs beat neighborhood parking spaces and vehicle movement laws.  Bike lanes beat neighborhood parking but Bike lanes also beat RVs.  Therefore by putting in the bike lanes, you can remove the RVs from the areas quickly in the name of the uncontested holy grail of street use, the bike lane.  

  • Compassionate solutions August 10, 2022 (9:59 am)

    What kind of solution is one which creates less places for people to be, who already have no place to be? Can agree rv and other encampments are not ideal for neighborhoods, but putting effort into deterrents and shuffling people around, rather than on housing and services that will help these people, does this seem the right prioritization?

  • Compassionate solutions August 10, 2022 (10:07 am)

    Some thoughts regarding homelessness and trash issues this morning….

    What about shipping containers for more rapid homeless housing? Was reading about some efforts in both LA, and locally in Tacoma for this.

    Also, how about more job program creation for homeless individuals, such as trash pick up? Would really like to see more of this.

    Regarding trash, just read an article which included this perspective and concern, written by a black woman:

    ‘I’m starting to believe the City’s lack of commitment to rid Seattle of homeless-related trash and garbage is political. ʼCause if homeless people are associated with filth and vermin, people will have less empathy for them. The person is then seen to be the problem instead of the lack of adequate systems in place for a city that has raised rents so much that can’t nobody afford to keep no apartment no way. So then you can just hate on the homeless for bringing their garbage to your street…. Why ain’t it the responsibility of the City to take care of homeless-related garbage pickup regularly? Couldn’t there be a tax incentive or something if Waste Management picked up garbage at unpaid locations?’

    On another recent post thread here, someone mentioned the homeless human waste issue, saying it shouldn’t end up in the trash for garbage workers to have to deal with. Actually, believe human waste is permitted in the trash, when handled correctly, have read about this learning about compostable toilets. As gross as it is for garbage workers, this is already permitted. Compostable toilet systems may actually be better for the environment, but that’s another conversation…

    So, had a thought, what if there were outreach teams that brought the appropriate bags and compost materials to homeless encampments and a dumpster was set up for garbage and waste collection? Yes, would agree with those who say we shouldn’t be allowing encampments for the long term, but could this be a short term solution while care teams are assessing the needs of the encampment, and working on helping these people relocate to better and more appropriate situations?

    And, one personal anecedote regarding trash to share.Recently went to a thrift store to donate some furniture, which they were unable to take, and it was suggested that we could bring these items to the local encampment down the street, that they would  be happy to take it. Drove over and found this encampment, which by the way, was so rough, it felt other-wordly… Heaps of furniture trash, a scant clothed Vietnamese man squaring tending a fire, ash everywhere.

    When I saw this, I realized, these people haven’t been ‘accepting donations,’ they have been getting dumped on and try to make use of what they can and burning the rest.

    Thanks for reading and for respectful conversations.

  • Rico August 10, 2022 (11:15 am)

    I often bike to work from WS to Ballard and bike to various other parts of the city and WS.I also need to drive the same routes.I believe most bike lanes are more about creating a road diet than meeting the needs of bicyclists.  If the city wanted to address the most significant roadway in the city for pedestrians and bikes, they would address the Ballard Bridge situation.     

  • WS Guy August 10, 2022 (2:27 pm)

    This is a good solution.  Back when I bike commuted I’d ride this street all the time. 

  • tim August 10, 2022 (5:41 pm)

    I like

  • bolo August 10, 2022 (7:45 pm)

    That scraped out part now has a nice new coating of asphalt all the way to 28th. This is on track to be the fastest implemented bike lane segment ever, from inception to completion!

    Hope it can avoid standing pools of water during the rains.

  • Bike safety matters August 10, 2022 (9:54 pm)

    It’s about time city extends/completes the bike lane linkage from Delridge to Avalon via Andover/28/Yancy. This is one of the most popular bike routes in West Seattle, providing access from low bridge to Alaska Junction corridor. Even with dozens of RVs/tents/structures, disoriented people in road, rats, debris and other hazards in the former encampment zone, dozens of cyclists utilized this area daily. With a dedicated lane and improved safety, we’ll see a large spike of cyclists accessing these lanes. Thanks SDOT for completing this critical linkage, as defined in city master bike plan!

  • Avalon Neighbor August 10, 2022 (10:58 pm)

    Yes, this is a major bike route, but seems like a waste considering it will most likely get torn up in the next 4 years and turn into a major construction zone to build light rail 

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