As previewed here, a team from Seattle Public Utilities was out at 17th/Holden this afternoon, talking to people in the neighborhood about the SW Holden Natural Drainage Systems project. It’s intended to be both a stormwater-filtering project and also a traffic-calming plan, as the city considers that stretch of Holden wider than it should be for a “neighborhood street.” Dropping in to see what’s new as the plan reaches 30 percent design, we learned they’re now just focusing on the south side of Holden:
That’s for two reasons, the project team said – one, the stormwater from the north side already goes into a system that takes it to the treatment plant, while the south side goes toward Longfellow Creek, so the “natural drainage system” filtering will carry an environmental benefit. Second, the Seattle Fire Department – which has Station 11 just a block away, at 16th/Holden – voiced concerns about narrowing the street too much and making it unusable as a main response route. So at the 17th/Holden intersection, the road will be narrowed to 25 feet from the current 36 feet. Some parking will be lost on the south side, while it’ll be retained on the north side. They’ll also be adding ramps for crossing at 17th/Holden as well as 16th/Holden.
We asked about the ex-substation parcel on the southwest corner of 16th/Holden; the curbcut there will be removed as part of the project, which would have to happen even if/when the site is redeveloped, because the entry would have to be off the alley on its west side.
The plan also will drain more water from the southeast side of the 16th/Holden intersection than originally envisioned, sending it to the “natural drainage” via two “inlets.”
All this is currently under review by SDOT, according to the project team; once that department gives its approval, they’ll move on to the 60 percent design phase, which also will require review and approval. Construction is tentatively expected to start sometime nect year.