Medians on West Marginal Way? City requesting feedback

SDOT is looking for feedback on a new proposal for part of West Marginal Way SW: landscaped medians:

We are seeking input on proposed landscaped median islands and a raised crosswalk. We are looking to understand driveway operations that would inform the median island size and feasibility.

Here’s the notice with information on proposed locations and how to comment. The deadline is June 20. SDOT spokesperson Ethan Bergerson also says they’re planning to evaluate the recently installed protected bike lane and “other safety elements” this summer.

44 Replies to "Medians on West Marginal Way? City requesting feedback"

  • Jim M June 8, 2023 (12:10 pm)

    This is another example of the Seattle transportation department looking for a make work plan.  I see the dividers here in the admiral area are only cleaned out once a year. So in an industrial corridor with large semi trucks crossing and the dust that is put into the air I am sure the greenery would take quite a beating. We can do better. Let’s focus on taking care of and maintaining what we have. 

    • Highland Park Dad June 8, 2023 (12:30 pm)

      I see this as taking care of what we have. West Marginal is a rough out of date road design that was made to only consider the needs of people in cars. Its purpose has changed since it was first built and now in addition to industry it has parks, an important bike corridor and a cultural center. Both medians and raised crosswalks are well established as excellent ways to slow aggressive traffic and increase pedestrian safety at road crossings. The raised design would force drivers to slow when approaching the crossing, making them more aware of vulnerable road users and reducing the likleyhood and severity of collisions. The median would allow pedestrians and cyclists to cross one direction of traffic at a timeWest Marginal is an example of one of the most dangerous kinds of roads (often called Stroads) were the majority of pedestrian deaths happen each year. As part of vision zero, retrofitting these outdated pieces of car only infrastructure is key to reduce preventable deaths. The next thing we need is a safe pedestrian and cycling route from highland park to southpark! Mayers way and Highland park are dangerous even when driving…. they need to be re-thought. 

      • M June 8, 2023 (3:30 pm)

        Well said, HP Dad. These types of updates to road design also make it safer for drivers and passengers in cars too. It’s really improved safety across the board, and I hope it happens.

  • CarDriver June 8, 2023 (12:12 pm)

    Just wait until a lost semi tries to turn around and either chews up the median or delays traffic both directions-or both.

  • Anne June 8, 2023 (12:21 pm)

    Totally agree with Jim above

  • Spencer June 8, 2023 (12:27 pm)

    I’ve already delivered my comment! I have been really enjoying the improvements thus far and look forward to an even better Marginal Way route. Thanks to WSB for the heads up and SDOT for their work! :D

  • DelridgeDriver June 8, 2023 (12:38 pm)

    This would be great. The driveway entrance at Front is scary as a pedestrian and cyclist, so a raised crosswalk there would be very helpful. As a driver, I would love to see speeds reduced on this corridor. I suggested in my feedback that, in addition to adding these medians, SDOT should look into reducing the corridor to a single lane in both directions. I drive the speed limit on W Marginal and its insane how much faster just about everyone else drives. Having a second lane just encourages that kind of bad behavior by making the corridor look and function like a highway.

  • DC June 8, 2023 (1:04 pm)

    This is great! We need more trees/greenery lining our polluting and heat radiating streets!

  • AF12 June 8, 2023 (1:10 pm)

    I also agree with Jim too.  The road is mostly a truck rout.  In addition, introducing fixed objects such as median islands will create hazardous situations for trailer trucks.  Bad idea!

  • Kalo June 8, 2023 (1:27 pm)

    I agree with Jim. It seems that most “beautifying” medians in the city are just overgrown grass. I also think adding a median would affect truck traffic, making it more difficult to enter businesses and to cross the road get back onto the road. The turn only, center lane makes more sense for them, IMHO

  • Kyle June 8, 2023 (1:46 pm)

    Never have I thought while traveling West Marginal Way, wouldn’t it be great if we had landscaped medians that take away more travel lanes in this industrial zoned stretch of road.

    • DC June 8, 2023 (2:27 pm)

      I have! And the only portion of ‘travel lanes’ they’d be ‘taking away’ is the portion used for illegally passing cars going the speed limit. 

      • Erik June 8, 2023 (2:38 pm)

        Sounds like someone doesn’t know what a passing lane is…

        • DC June 8, 2023 (3:34 pm)

          A center turning lane, where they’d be putting it, is NOT a passing lane.

          • Erik June 8, 2023 (4:59 pm)

            If you’re going slow enough for people to pass, you should be in the right lane…period.

  • Erik June 8, 2023 (2:23 pm)

    Frustrated at this proposal. For one, I don’t think the speed is a problem on W Marginal Way. It’s an industrial road with no residential. There isn’t meaningful pedestrian or bike traffic so I don’t know why they are so obsessed with slowing things down. Maybe they should consider raising the speed limit to what people are already doing safely. Aside from that I could see the medians creating problems for truckers trying to pull out of driveways a visibility issues for passenger cars trying to do the same. It seems like that would actually increase the risk of accidents as opposed to leaving it as is. 

  • Amy Thomson June 8, 2023 (2:31 pm)

    If they’re going to spend money on West Marginal, sidewalks would be far more useful!

  • snowskier June 8, 2023 (2:50 pm)

    If the raised crosswalk on Front is to better define the bike/walking route across that intersection, it makes sense.  If it’s across W Marginal, it’s a horrible idea seeing as the Highland Park intersection is a block down. The Medians seem to serve no use, it’s a freight corridor, let the freight continue to move from the docks and cement plants.

  • Facepalm June 8, 2023 (2:53 pm)

    It is one of very few “heavy freight corridors” designated by the City of Seattle. It is an industrial area. Why is the city obsessed with mixing bikes and pedestrians in a designated freight corridor. This is asking for more accidents. Absolutely backwards and lazy thinking again from SDOT. 

  • Alki resident June 8, 2023 (2:57 pm)

    It amazes me how much SDOT would love to screw up a great flowing road with plants. Can we have one road in our area that’s easy to get through without extra hassles? 

  • Les June 8, 2023 (3:41 pm)

    If SDOT truly cared about pedestrian and bicyclist safety they would do safety improvements on Marine View Dr. SW. That  arterial would be a very popular walking area if SDOT would prioritize spending money on sidewalks over unneeded median landscaping that will require one lane of traffic to be blocked to maintain.

  • Flora June 8, 2023 (4:15 pm)

    All this does is create more congestion and more enraged drivers. Look at delridge, which now has no way to get around garbage trucks, buses, or delivery vehicles. One bus stops and goes 10 mph and there are 15 cars behind it, until someone gets pissed and pulls around in an intersection going 45. The garbage trucks are even worse. To be clear I want garbage trucks there, just think it’s insane they took out all the middle lane for an ugly cement pile with half dead plants in it. Seriously is this just some job security for people who have nothing better to do?

    • D-Ridge June 9, 2023 (7:46 am)

      As someone who lives on Delridge itself we welcomed the medians that reduced speeding, passing in the center lane, provided safe pedestrian crosswalks, increased tree numbers in our right of way, and improved bus boarding and speeds. We’re all about it.

      • Kyle June 9, 2023 (9:07 pm)

        Okay but no one lives on West Marginal.

  • AN June 8, 2023 (4:18 pm)

    As someone who works on W Marginal Way, I say NO to medians. There are way to many semi trucks that need to go wide to get into businesses. Also just 2 weeks ago a bicycle was hit, or hit a car that was coming off a side street. do bicycle riders not have to pay attention at intersections or do the just get to cruise at whatever speed they want?

    • bill June 8, 2023 (11:32 pm)

      If your description is correct, the “car that was coming off a side street” was required to yield. 

  • AlkiBean June 8, 2023 (4:21 pm)

    Ridiculous waste of our tax dollars. There are plenty of trees on W Marginal…it even borders  a green belt, for heaven’s sake!  Stupid!

  • Facepalm June 8, 2023 (4:36 pm)

    How about doing something about biking on beach drive. That area is super sketchy…

  • Gaslit June 8, 2023 (4:36 pm)

    Sounds like a solution looking for a problem. Government waste at its finest here. 

  • Pdavis June 8, 2023 (5:08 pm)

    Please recall that the environmental impact statement for Terminal five expected for gridlock at the intersection of the Chelan café. West marginal is an extremely important route. It is distressing that they keep shutting lanes down and strangling the traffic in the city.  It increases stress, air, pollution, and wasted gas..  this is a heavy industrial area and not a great area to be breathing in deeply as you bicycle.  Many people refer to. SDOT as: systematically, delaying our traffic.

    • Cars go vroom June 8, 2023 (6:41 pm)

      Traffic moving even slightly slower on west marginal to the big intersection at the cafe will only make that gridlock better. Driving 60 towards a line of trucks sitting at the signal doesn’t get you anywhere faster. The duwamish trail is the only safe bike connection between Burien/South Park and downtown. 99n, 1st,4th, and airport are all dedicated to only cars….so it is important to work with what we have. Grade separate trails like this are the gold standard for bike safety. If this was really just a truck corridor, like east marginal way S where bikes and trucks share the road without issue, there wouldn’t be a bunch of carbrains in here complaining about driving slower between intersections and medians to slow traffic wouldn’t be needed. It’s not the trucks who are speeding. 

      • Kyle June 8, 2023 (8:10 pm)

        The bike trail is there, so keep it and make it safe. But clearly this corridor is about moving people and goods through. Most bikers would agree they are trying to get through the area, not ride it for its beauty. A tree lined median to beautify an industrial area is dumb, going to cost money not only to build but then maintain too. So many better uses for a cash strapped department with deteriorating bridges and residential areas without sidewalks.

        • Cars go vroom June 8, 2023 (8:53 pm)

          A tree lined median is not for beautification. It is a traffic calming measure that narrows , or makes a road appear to be narrower which causes drivers to naturally slow down…. Hopefully to the speed limit. 

          • Kyle June 10, 2023 (1:53 pm)

            It is a poor traffic calming measure then that costs a lot more money than other measures, plus creates ongoing maintenance. There are better uses of money here.

  • Dereck June 8, 2023 (8:26 pm)

    From what I’ve seen in that area n al over west seattle is that bike commuters have been on the rise. So I would love to see something similar or better then the jersey barriers. Maybe some signals to let us know a truck is coming onto the road from their place of business.  Now I do love what nyc has done on some of their bike lanes. Not just parked cars. But they do have some kind big tal metal piece at each end of the block. No cars or trucks getting into bike lane.  Originally from NYC area. Here since 2008

  • Tim June 8, 2023 (8:35 pm)

     Safer for the drag racers on Friday and Saturday nights. It will keep their two cars separated.  But, harder for industrial trucks to conduct their business, of course.

  • MJ June 8, 2023 (10:26 pm)

    SDOT is so illogical. Have a colleague that sued and won over an unsafe road design they implemented. Less efficient, more frustrating, huge wasted cost. There’s a bike path on the east side of w marginal right? Been a year since I was on it. Path was good but needs a lot of cracks filled. Why not just improve existing bike path? Safer and faster for bikes and trucks/commuter traffic. 

  • Todd June 8, 2023 (11:24 pm)

    As as West Seattle and Highland Park resident I have used West Marginal for the last 46 years. I sure hope they leave it alone and don’t screw it up like they did the rest of West Seattle. It is the only road you could drive on currently that doesn’t take an excruciatingly long to get where you are going. I think everyone that likes speed bumps, 25 miles an hour driving, one lane roads with unsynchronized stop lights, extra stop signs where they’re not needed and make no sense, blockades so you can’t make a right hand turn, no turn on red, traffic calming triangles which make it extremely difficult to turn in and out of your own neighborhood when you’re towing a trailer or anything else, and streets that are closed so you can’t drive on them when it’s the quickest route to your own neighborhood should have to only use those roads and leave the one road they haven’t totally screwed up in WS alone! The new bike lane they put down there was bad enough. There’s already a bike lane. There was already a light to cross the street after that you use the sidewalk for one block and then use the back streets that nobody drives on to go up and over to wherever you’re going. The addition was a waste of tax payers money. I rode my bike from highland Park to Alki for years with no problem without removing a lane of traffic. Also rode up the perfectly good bike path on HPW (without electric assist). Maybe a program could be started soon to pull up all the speed bumps and use the asphalt to fix all the giant holes in the current roads including the ones on the west seattle bridge. Maybe we could go back to designing streets that are meant for passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles where traffic moves as they are intended. 

    • Erik June 9, 2023 (4:02 pm)

      Well said!

    • Alki resident June 9, 2023 (4:50 pm)

      YES, it’s time to remove all of the speed bumps. The bridge is back in use again and traffic is flowing. There’s no excuse for the side street speed bumps to still be in place. 

  • Jort June 9, 2023 (11:13 am)

    There is nothing on the planet more deeply triggering to car drivers than mild, anodyne road changes. Always  the apocalyptic langugage comes out for these microscopic efforts. A roadway median turns into an existential threat to the existance of automobiles, altogether.  There is something deeply psychological at play here, something that supercedes all political alignment and logic. In some comments here we see people fretting that the medians will damage vehicles! The vehicles (and their drivers) are injuring and killing actual human beings! Despite years of psychological conditioning otherwise, nobody actually has the “right” to go as fast as they “feel” like they can go on this road. The medians will go in, drivers will slow down, lives will be saved, and the world will continue going on. If you can’t stand driving the speed limit because it is so deeply, psychologically wounding, then perhaps consider taking up cycling instead. 

  • Eldorado June 10, 2023 (9:00 am)

    All opinions here will become moot when the next ‘West Seattle Bridge Situation’ (aka WSBS) occurs. You got (or are getting) your bike lane. You’ve already got your cross walk for bikes and pedestrians with a signal. So I say, leave as many lanes for cars and trucks that you can. Place an officer on each side of the road every single day to arrest and ticket speeders, plant trees and ornamentals along the sidewalks, but leave the median out… and the raised pedestrian/cyclist bridges… along with their respected senseless price tags. I use this route as an alternate to I-5 every time I go to the airport, Southcenter, Burien, Tacoma and beyond. And if I see more than 5 pedestrians along this stretch on any given day… oh wait, I’ve never seen more than 5 pedestrians on this stretch on any given we really don’t need any more pedestrian infrastructure here. 

    • Bubbleator June 12, 2023 (8:29 am)

      Stop making sense!

  • Bubbleator June 12, 2023 (8:28 am)

    The money would be better spent on adding sidewalks in any number of neighborhoods.  This idiotic proposal basically just lights it on fire instead.

Sorry, comment time is over.