FOLLOWUP: Narrower focus for SW Holden Natural Drainage Systems project

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.

12 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Narrower focus for SW Holden Natural Drainage Systems project"

  • mem March 29, 2023 (7:31 am)

    Funny- city now deems that “section” of Holden  a neighborhood street when a few short months ago it carried the bulk of the traffic off the peninsula? Just because the bridge reopened does not mean that people don’t use that access point out of West Seattle. I’m tired of the city waving its magic wand and deciding one thing when reality and facts show a completely different picture. Holden IS NOT AND HAS NEVER BEEN “a neighborhood street”. God forbid the bridge breaks down again and we’re stuck with this configuration. The fire department has questioned the logic of this plan. Let’s start having a realistic traffic pattern that lets people get where they need to go  throughout West Seattle  and beyond.

    • WSB March 29, 2023 (10:23 am)

      To be clear, this is Holden WEST of 16th only.

    • DC March 29, 2023 (11:14 am)

      There will still be two lanes AND parking on one side. This will not prevent anyone from driving the speed limit on this small stretch. It will better protect pedestrians and prevent excessive speeds and dangerous passing. Which would be even more important should the bridge breakdown again. 

  • dooh March 29, 2023 (9:31 am)

    How about some turn signals going East and West ?

  • Mark Schletty March 29, 2023 (9:46 am)

    Narrowing Holden? That is a major access/egress route for West Seattle, not a little neighborhood street. SDOT is nuts. 

    • KM March 29, 2023 (1:51 pm)

      It’s mostly residential California to HPW, and this stretch in particular is 20 mph.

    • Auntie March 29, 2023 (8:10 pm)

      The Delridge to 16th stretch of Holden (via 20th & 21st with a hairpin turn) was little used until the bridge broke. Then people started using it as a “shortcut” to avoid all the traffic on Orchard/Dumar.  Hopefully, it has returned to being a lesser used residential street again. 

  • DC March 29, 2023 (10:14 am)

    Looks great! And it is nice to have some insight into their analysis of the drainage in the area. Wish they didn’t have to jump through so many hoops to do something they have done repeatedly throughout the city. 

  • Kyle March 29, 2023 (10:24 am)

    The current design will have everyone line up in one line, with no protected left turn signal at the intersection. Will likely lead to backups during rush hour if there is a left turning car, which will encourage folks to cut through the neighborhood around the light. If we are going to design it better, we should leave pavement space for a left turn pocket, or adjust the signal to allow protected time for left turning vehicles at the expense of traffic throughput form the other direction.

    • DC March 29, 2023 (12:11 pm)

      Seems like they could keep the same design and have a left turn pocket by striping it so west going traffic travels along the curb for a few yards. Might get rid of a few more parking spots, but that seems fine. 

      • Kyle March 29, 2023 (12:45 pm)

        I’d agree, that would be the ideal configuration in my opinion.

  • Busrider March 29, 2023 (7:40 pm)

    Seems odd to not try and capture the rainwater that goes into combined sewer since there are combined sewer overflows into the duwamish. Historically prior to development did this area go to Longfellow ?

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