Alki Point for All suggests alternative vision for ‘Healthy Street’

(WSB photo, late Tuesday afternoon, Beach Drive alongside Constellation Park)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Members of the Alki Point for All group tried last night to focus on what they propose, in addition to what they oppose.

The latter – the permanent features planned for the Beach Drive stretch of the city-designated Alki Point Healthy Street, particularly the foot/wheels path that will replace some parking spaces.

The former – traffic-calming alternatives such as street art.

Though SDOT has said repeatedly that construction is imminent, they are hopeful they can find a way to stop it. “I know we can do this,” said organizer Donna Sandstrom of The Whale Trail toward the end of the hastily called meeting at C & P Coffee (WSB sponsor), attended by 20+ people.

Another coalition member, longtime West Seattle architect and community advocate Vlad Oustimovitch, said, “I am absolutely certain there is a a way almost everyone can be accommodated in a plan and feel good about it – this (SDOT plan) is (not it) – there is a way to step back and look at it.” He offered examples of street redesign including large-scale pavement art.

Sandstrom added, “We’d like to see the STREET CLOSED sign replaced with WELCOME TO (the park) … GO SLOW … we think there is a version of the Healthy Street that meets the greater (good).”

Other coalition members introduced by Sandstrom included longtime volunteer responders from Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network. They explained that they are the ones whose work is potentially most impacted by the removal of shore-side parking, as they haul equipment such as sandwich boards and tape to beaches where harbor seals, sea lions, and other marine mammals strand.

Sandstrom stressed that they are not just concerned about their own access; she said SDOT offered them their “own private loading zone.” They are worried about all the other people who they say flock to the area for activities such as storm watching and tidepooling as well as whale watching and “seal-sitting.” Retirement homes bring vans full of people to park and enjoy the view, she said. “It’s important to a lot of people for many reasons, for generations.”

For the purposes of her organization – which has interpretive signage at 130 sites along the west coast of North America, where whales – especially Puget Sound’s endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales – might be seen. She estimates having helped thousands of people watch and learn about them from Constellation Park.

Victoria Nelson from Seal Sitters explained that the volunteer-powered organization has a “binding agreement” with the federal agency NOAA to tend to marine mammals that show up on the beach, alive or dead. “We are not just looking at seals – they are an indicator species on the Sound – if they’re ill they could be a danger to the community.” They partner with the organization SR3 to rescue and treat ailing animals.

(File photo of Constellation Park tidepooling, courtesy Alki Point for All)

Then there are the Seattle Aquarium‘s volunteer beach naturalist events at Constellation Park during low-low tides (the Aquarium is not part of its effort but local resident Buzz Shaw, who said he helped launch the program and was long involved with it, is). Those draw hundreds, Sandstrom said: “People are making connections to the Sound that can inspire conservation.”

She then recapped the four-year history of the Alki Point Healthy Street (Beach Drive and Alki Avenue, west of 63rd to where they meet at the point). Though the city touted surveys showing support for banning through traffic on the stretch, Sandstrom and other coalition members contend, the city never asked whether the plan – originally a Keep Moving Street early in the pandemic, now a Healthy Street – should be implemented, only how it should be implemented. Late last year “we were all surprised when they revealed a final design calling for the removal of 62 parking spaces,” she said, explaining that she didn’t feel she could sit back and watch it happen, because the changes already have depressed turnout when whales are present. People see the STREET CLOSED signage and turn around – “how is the impact being measured?”

Nelson said she originally was assured “no legal parking would be removed.” (This was reiterated on the city website, as shown in our February report.) Without the water-side parking on that stretch, she said, volunteers can’t “retreat to our car within line of sight” of the animals they’re watching. And people seeking to pull over and enjoy the view for a moment won’t be able to.

The coalition believes the decision wasn’t made with public comment aside from that early survey, and they’re skeptical about its participation – “58 percent residents, not a representative sample of who uses Alki Point.”

And yet, Oustimovitch said access to Constellation Park is important for people around the region. “It’s an entry drug to environmentalism.” That’s when he showed the example of a street in Asheville, North Carolina, with “illustrated pavement,” saying that immediately signifies it’s “public domain” – and yet the parking remains (added: here’s a safety study of similar projects) . “We have a whole arts community … that I’m sure would be really happy to be involved.” Maybe, he suggested, paint an “oversized octopus” onto the street. But instead, in his view – which includes 45 years of urban design work – “SDOT is erring on the side of brutal engineering options.”

They did get an audience with the city two weeks ago, Sandstrom said, but even after their presentation, like the one they gave last night, the department said it’s “going to proceed with construction as planned … and see what problems arise” (if any). Sandstrom said SDOT liked the “Welcome” sign ideas – “they’re going to put them right next to the ‘Street Closed’ signs.” The mayor’s office also told them they intended to let SDOT go ahead, she said, and evaluate it after a year. Nonetheless, she said, the coalition wants to figure out how to “halt construction, open the discussion, arrive at solutions that meet the needs of the wider community.” But time’s running out, she acknowledged, if they can’t generate “a lot of noise and heat” to convince the city to hit the brakes.

The subsequent Q/A and discussion was wide-ranging. Not everyone present was a supporter; one attendee said the coalition should be concerned about 15 storm drains that carry automotive fluid and debris into the Sound, unfiltered. She and Nelson engaged in a back and forth, with Nelson ultimately suggesting they could and should work together on a “surgical” solution to the road’s problems, not the planned blanket restrictions. (Sandstrom at one point addressed those who’ve said to her “how dare I be a conservationist and promote the use of cars … if there was another way to get (to Alki Point) but we’re not there yet … better thing is to give more people the chance to see (the whales) in their home.”)

Another person said he lives in the Alki Point area and was opposed to the Healthy Street restrictions until he saw how well they were working to calm the area, which had historically been a magnet for driver gatherings, partying, littering, and racing (as we reported in 2020, local police acknowledged the street restrictions were a way to solve that recurring problem). So he spoke repeatedly in favor of proceeding with the city’s plan, including declaring, “We’re talking about the convenience of parking for humans vs, the environment.”

Some suggested alternatives – what about closing the street at night and leaving it open all day? What about making it a one-way street? Sandstrom said they would love the chance to work with local residents on solutions “if we could just convince (the city) to go back to the table.” Another supporter warned that once the parking’s gone, “it’s never coming back – it’s gone forever . the only way to stop this thing, is to stop this thing.”

But how?

There may be legal criteria that would be an argument against restrictions, it was suggested – denying access to the shoreline? Thwarting specific educational uses of the waterfront? Legal action is possible, agreed Sandstrom, “some members of our group might be in favor” – but, she stressed, they strongly prefer to make progress through “persuasion.” But respectful persuasion, no demonstrations, sit-ins, picketing, etc. – “real discussions between real people is what I want to foster.”

Another attendee suggested that the city is “picking the wrong place, the wrong Healthy Street to advance … pitting people who care about good things (against each other).” And one who said she’d been in West Seattle a year after previously living in Fall City and bringing schoolchildren here at low tide noted that she knows people who have been scared away from the park by the “street closed” signage.

After two hours, the meeting ended with Sandstrom reminding attendees about their online petition and other potential action steps, inviting anyone interested in working with them to let them know.

72 Replies to "Alki Point for All suggests alternative vision for 'Healthy Street'"

  • SB May 15, 2024 (9:24 pm)

    SDOT has a great plan to replace the parking on the west side of the street with improvements for pedestrians, bikers, bench-sitters, and everyone else who ever leaves their car. And there is still going to be parking on the east side of the street. Constellation park is going to be an even better place for appreciating marine life, especially if you get out of your damn car.

    • Alki resident May 15, 2024 (10:54 pm)

      It’s perfect now. Nothing has ever been wrong with that road. Don’t fix what’s not broken. Pretty simple. Why do cars need to face the opposite direct? Why can’t they park on the Westside and watch the view like everyone else? 

      • Bbron May 16, 2024 (6:34 am)

        Because cars can’t watch things because they aren’t humans.

      • Ian May 16, 2024 (7:41 am)

        Because cars don’t have eyes? Oh you mean why can’t cars take up literally all of the space besides 6ft of sidewalk so people can sit 20ft closer to the beach in their 2 tons of metal. What’s broken is that there is no dedicated space for people rolling. Why do cars get the vast majority of the space? 2 lanes of car traffic and 1 parking lane isn’t enough for you?Out of touch

      • TG May 16, 2024 (8:02 am)

        It’s not perfect now. I’m constantly having to walk in the middle of the street with my dog to make way for strollers or other dog walkers. I’m not next to the sidewalk when I do this – I’m in the middle of the road because of the cars posted up. 

      • TZ May 16, 2024 (8:41 am)

        Agreed. I question why such resources are being allocated to this project. I’ve never witnessed safety or accessibility issues here and I’m not sure how either would be improved by this. The most obvious outcome of this project is a tax funded property improvement for the few that live on this street. Barricades and CLOSED signs at both ends of the street are not welcoming and make it difficult to perceive this as a public benefit. Of all the real safety focused improvements that could be made all over, they further develop this street and it baffles me.

        • walkerws May 16, 2024 (11:12 am)

          Seems like the only issue is with the signage – all they have to do is change it to “Park Open to All – No Parking Past This Sign”. I think that will make it a clear and inviting message.        

          • TZ May 16, 2024 (2:32 pm)

            The issue, if there were just one, isn’t signage. This is a .25 mile stretch of closed road which the opening photo in this post characterizes very well. It has been prioritized for further development over other streets in the area currently devoid and in need of traffic calming and pedestrian safety measures. The resources for this project could be better spent virtually anywhere else to make a bigger impact if safety improvements really are the goal.

      • D-Ridge May 16, 2024 (9:07 am)

        During the Emerald City Bike Ride a driver literally came down this road heading from Alki while a dozen bikers were on it and gave us almost no space as he passed, it was pretty scary especially with kids in tow. Doesn’t seem “perfect” to me.

      • AK May 16, 2024 (10:02 am)

        Agreed. Has never been a problem the last 40 plus years and still is not a problem. I’m curious as how many people who want this are newbies( 5 years or less) to West Seattle?

    • Claudia Williams May 16, 2024 (6:39 am)

      That damn car is for some folks the only way to get to the beach and getting out of that damn car beyond their capacity. I’m so happy for you to be able-bodied!

    • Kyle May 16, 2024 (6:45 am)

      Did you read the article where the person in opposition is really against people partying ,smoking and hanging out by the beach? This isn’t about the environment it’s about reducing access for people they don’t like. Unfortunately that reduced access means everyone, not just those that are loud.

      • PotKettleBlack May 16, 2024 (11:21 am)

        Yup. This is mainly being done because putting up a “Whites Only” sign isn’t allowed anymore.

      • THOMAS May 17, 2024 (7:16 am)

        i would still like to know why a legal vote wasnt done because according to the city charter a vote by residents must be taken to close any street in this city so the council members are actually breaking the law and the only reason this is happening anyway is because the rich people in the area dont like people parking there since most of the original parking in the area no longer exist and those few people complained about the after hours partying there you knew it was going on before you moved there and all they had to do is put no parking signs after 11pm signs up except for resident and have a tow truck sitting their and start towing but instead they want to close the street down for a few people

        • Walkerws May 17, 2024 (12:58 pm)

          Thomas, what you are saying is false. They are not closing the road to a single person. They are closing it to non-handicap placard cars. Please don’t lie. 

    • FluffyCat May 16, 2024 (9:43 pm)

      The new design is a great idea, and I look forward to enjoying it. Not every single thing SDOT does goes to a vote. Many times you won’t get what you want. 

  • DM May 15, 2024 (10:00 pm)

    Not driving a car near the ocean is one of the best things you can do for marine life. Tailpipe emissions, vibrations, noise, oil leaks, and PFAS from the tires is all terrible for the ocean. I doubt there are many people out there who want less green space in the city, so why should any of these plans change for such a small crowd.

  • West Sider May 15, 2024 (11:13 pm)

    The new “No Parking” signs lining this street now are hideous and ruin one of Seattle’s best views. We need an alternative to these.

    • Slab May 16, 2024 (12:22 am)

      Some tasteful bollards should do the job 

    • Ian May 16, 2024 (7:44 am)

      I agree! They should ban cars entirely from the street so that they can take down those signs and all the other unnecessary crap like speedbumps. They should redo the street into a nice path lined with trees/bushes to make it even nicer. Cars can still use 63rd avenue to get around

    • Mark May 16, 2024 (8:28 am)

      I agree. The lead photo in this article shows how obtrusive those signs are against what was once the unbroken backdrop of the Olympic mountains. Surely there are less impactful ways of indicating no parking on that side of the road.

      • Reed May 17, 2024 (6:52 pm)

        The view is really nice and unobstructed if you get out of your car.

      • Also a West Sider May 18, 2024 (7:03 pm)

        I hope Mark’s comment is sarcasm…I really do. To suggest that these signs detract from a visitor’s experience more than a bumper to bumper line of cars (often with their doors open, blocking the sidewalk, blasting music) is just not credible. 

    • flimflam May 16, 2024 (10:23 am)

      Agreed. Visual clutter in such a lovely spot.

  • David Hutchinson May 15, 2024 (11:51 pm)

    As of 5/15 the Alki for All petition has been signed by 1458 people.

    SDOT before and after illustration from their website if you have not seen it already.
    View along Constellation Park during a pass by the Transient Orcas in March 2024.
    This photo shows the parking configuration that exists now. All parking on the beach side will be eliminated under the SDOT plan.
    This photo shows the location of the 10 foot wide walking/rolling lane on the water side, as marked by SDOT. This will be separated from the 11 foot wide, 2-way vehicle lane by concrete wheel stops. There is also an allowance for a 7 foot wide parking lane on the residential side of the street.

    • Whaley May 16, 2024 (11:00 am)

      David Hitchinson’s photo perfectly illustrates the traffic and incredible carbon footprint of these motor vehicle whale convoys.  

      These car drivers follow social media reports of whales and race to the locations up and down the Salish Sea.  
      I’ve been there when the heavy traffic arrives.
      Whale chasing is neither ecological nor instructional in any positive manner. 

      Mr. Hutchinson has logged many miles and spent tens of thousands on cameras and  lenses to provide incredible photographs.   
      Why can’t they be enough?  
      Why do we insist on rushing around to violate the whales privacy?
      Why do we need to claim a “spotting”?

      At some point this ironically titled group, “Alki Beach for All,” must address the contradictory roots of the promotion of whale watching against their stated goals of environmental stewardship.  

    • walkerws May 16, 2024 (11:14 am)

      Holy moly that final design is awesome!

    • TreeHouse May 16, 2024 (12:08 pm)

      That final design looks amazing! Its a similar road design to the well loved Alki Ave which is so inviting to everyone. I love that the city removed the tiniest fraction of road space from loud oil burning cars and gave it back to pedestrians to enjoy our beautiful coast line. I certainly love seeing families, kids, and cyclists  instead of parked cars. 

      • walkerws May 16, 2024 (12:22 pm)

        100%. It’s a balance that leaves needed car access while reducing the impact of cars on this beautiful space. Can’t believe anyone would be against this huge improvement to a lovely space.        

  • Plf May 16, 2024 (6:03 am)

    Was there a ADA impact study to determine the acess ability for those who are handicapped and need to drive3 parking spots is an insult to those of us who are older and or disabled 

    • AD May 16, 2024 (10:43 am)

      This project adds ADA parking.  It’s taking away overall parking spots, but not limiting ADA access.  Reducing cars in the area makes the beach more enjoyable for those with respiratory issues, sensory concerns, and a variety of other disabilities beyond mobility.  

  • WS May 16, 2024 (6:48 am)

    Let SDOT do their job and stop wasting everyone’s time. 

  • Also a West Sider May 16, 2024 (7:40 am)

    I would much rather look at a no parking sign than walk the narrow sidewalk gauntlet between the railing and the line of cars that people park along the curb most summer nights, blasting music, smoking, and drinking. “Car club” my you-know-what … it’s just people trying to smoke weed and whatever else in an out-of-the-way place where cops won’t make them move. If these changes mean I won’t have to walk through that nonsense with my kids and dog anymore, I will happily look past a no parking sign.  

  • TAnderson May 16, 2024 (7:57 am)

    Thank s to this group for doing their best to try to stop this very bad and elitist idea and for using a common sense approach…….ever wonder where those racing cars and noise makers went after the road was “closed?” They are still there but now stage at Don Armeni boat ramp and tear around at all hours (and sometimes shoot at each other) on Alki and Harbor avenues where thousands of people live. Problem solved? I don’t think so.The rights of school children, the elderly and those unable to travel in anything but a car are being taken away in a beloved area that is perfect the way it is. 

    • Reed May 16, 2024 (2:49 pm)

      My school-aged children LOVE walking and biking down here from miles away, so don’t worry about the children,

  • Tracey May 16, 2024 (8:20 am)

    Thank you Alki Point for All.  The comment about removing the street closed sign with a ” Welcome to the Park” sign is a wonderful idea.  Seattle has a strange way of making people feel unwelcome.  See attachment.

    • walkerws May 16, 2024 (11:15 am)

      A “Welcome to the Park – No Non-handicapped Parking” would be inviting and clear. 

  • reed May 16, 2024 (8:26 am)

    If people put this much effort into real problems (housing crisis/homelessness, education, health and preventative medicine, to name a few), the world we be a much better place. What a waste of energy, this group looks foolish.

  • Carless on Alki May 16, 2024 (8:27 am)

    As a resident of the point, without a car, I frequently have troubles with deliveries and ride share programs. Drivers have called to tell me the street is closed and they don’t know how to get to me. They drive through multiple side streets trying to find a way that does not have a road closed sign, wasting time and fuel, while adding to emissions and traffic in the area. Online order systems tell me my location is unavailable for delivery as the roads are “closed”. When friends and family visit on nicer days, it’s already a pain point to find parking, or navigate. Now, it’s going to be even more difficult. I am sure there are ways to improve the area for all that do not require making it more difficult for everyone who isn’t walking or rolling. I do not have a solution to offer unfortunately, but I believe we could do better than the current plan.

  • AD May 16, 2024 (8:30 am)

    Kudos to Saka for empowering SDOT to move forward with this project and not let a group of parking enthusiasts hijack the project.  If they truly cared about preserving Alki for all, they would be thinking of future generations and advocating for a reduction in automobile traffic and parking in such a beautiful but environmentally sensitive area.

  • Sillygoose May 16, 2024 (9:04 am)

    The residents of this street represent entitlement at its worst!! This is a PUBLIC STREET AND BEACH FOR ALL!!  So many other important issues to work on rather than this. Take the signs down, and move on!

    • walkerws May 16, 2024 (11:16 am)

      The members of “Alki Point For All” represent entitlement at its worst!! This is a PUBLIC STREET AND BEACH FOR ALL TO ENJOY WITHOUT SO MANY CARS!!  So many other important issues to about rather than this. Take the petition down, and move on!

    • Also a West Sider May 16, 2024 (11:37 am)

      It is STILL a public street and park. Limiting parking does not make it less public. Parking limitations exist in all sorts of public spaces, for all sorts of good reasons! Just because you have the right to use a certain public resource doesn’t mean you have the right to use it in any manner you want (in this case, parking your car in a particular spot).Is there a factual basis for your claim that this is the product of entitled residents? Or can you simply not believe that thousands of people would rather prioritize the experience of walkers and bikers over the experience of drivers?

  • admiral admirable May 16, 2024 (10:09 am)

    Seal Sitters has forever lost a supporter over this insane push to preserve a four-lane road on the best beach in Seattle. The arrogance and entitlement of their position is gobsmacking. 

  • Trav May 16, 2024 (10:24 am)

    I’ve lived here almost a year in WS and only realized I could go down that street about a month ago. I had thought it was private because of the street closed sign. One day Google showed me a park there, which surprised me, so I parked over in the neighborhood and walked. Imagine my confusion and surprise to find a lovely park and ample parking spots. The sign was most certainly confusing to me, and if not looking on Google maps I would not have realized there was even a park there.

  • Noah May 16, 2024 (11:18 am)

    The SDOT plan looks modest and reasonable to me. I’m excited it’s going forward and I wish these parking extremists would find productive ways to use their time.

  • Jethro Marx May 16, 2024 (12:09 pm)

    How many of us would ever have guessed that people who busy themselves following, promoting and teaching about marine mammals would say,

    “…once they’re gone, they’re not coming back.”

    but be talking about a handful of street parking spaces instead of something alive with fins. 

    We are absolutely strange, humans.

  • Slab May 16, 2024 (12:19 pm)

    The real question is why isn’t SDOT giving this same treatment to Alki Ave too

    • LivesinWS May 16, 2024 (4:14 pm)

      As a tax paying resident of Seattle I think pandering to an entitled group of home owners that are lucky to live on the water is ridiculous.  They’re chosen to purchase a home on a PUBLIC street in Seattle and now that street is basically being turned into a public driveway for those homes.  I have dogs that I walk down there everyday and don’t have a single issue with the current set up.As for the statement of “giving the same treatment to Alki Ave”, you do realize where Alki Ave begins.  So what you’re suggesting is to basically close ove Alki Ave at Don Armeni and make all of Alki a private street for all those that live there while tax payers pay for the street.   Why don’t we suggest that the only people allowed in West Seattle are people who reside in West Seattle?The same people that are pushing for the new design of Beach Drive are probably the same people that wanted the Pickle Ball courts installed in Lincoln Park.  

      • Also a West Sider May 16, 2024 (5:54 pm)

        What is the basis for the claim that entitled homeowners are driving this project? People keep saying this like it’s a fact. Sure, they’ll benefit – as will thousands of others who don’t live there. That doesn’t mean they bought off SDOT. 

        • Donna, The Whale Trail May 16, 2024 (6:48 pm)

          What the public record shows is that in 2020 a group of Alki residents lobbied for the street to be closed (see the Seattle Greenways webpage here), and then later started a petition for the closure to be permanent (see the petition here.)

          We are interested in learning what the core issues are that made them want to close the street, and if there are less drastic solutions that could work better for all. For example, instead of making a permanent “rolling” lane, what about using time/area closures to address the same needs – like car-free Sundays.

          • Know Your Facts May 16, 2024 (8:58 pm)

            Donna, I only read that a request was made by local residents for the street changes made by SDOT become “permanent,”  not that the street be “closed” as you are stating. Words matter.

        • Alki Local May 16, 2024 (9:49 pm)

          SDOT is driving this project and looked at actual data. Here’s a statement from their website: “Our observations and evaluation showed that the Alki Keep Moving Street had the highest usage among any Keep Moving Street or Stay Healthy Street in the city.”

          • Donna, The Whale Trail May 18, 2024 (11:13 am)

            Of course Alki Point had the highest usage – people were already coming there. Unlike other Healthy Streets, Alki Point was a destination for recreation long before it became part of that program.

            The goal of Healthy Streets is to provide open space and access to recreational opportunities in neighborhoods where that is scarce. That does not describe Alki Point.

            In fact, becoming a Healthy Street has had the opposite impact at Alki Point. The Street Closed signs have been very effective at keeping people away. Fewer people are able to recreate there, and enjoy its public shoreline, city park and marine reserve.

            Instead of comparing usage of Alki Point to other Healthy Streets, SDOT should compare usage of Alki Point before and after the Street Closed signs went in. That would tell a different story.

          • Alki Local May 18, 2024 (12:07 pm)

            The SDOT comparison of usage was after the signs went up, not before.

      • Slab May 16, 2024 (6:51 pm)

        You seem to be under the impression that Alki is an area frequented only by those who live on that very street, and nobody else would benefit. In fact, it’s an area that draws visitors (like myself) from around the city. Expanding the area available for walking, biking, lounging, outdoor dining, etc would benefit everyone.By your logic, in order to avoid unfair benefit to the neighbors, we should turn Lincoln Park’s beachside walk into a street — or maybe just get rid of the park altogether, since incidentally benefitting some neighbors is apparently an unacceptable positive side effect of benefitting the general public.

  • G May 16, 2024 (12:38 pm)

    I live down the street. There will still be parking. Weekdays that a school bus would need to park, they would be able to even with reduced parking because the beach is practically empty on weekdays mid day—their argument is disingenuous. As it is, folks need to walk past cars idling for hours every evening.  That’s not safe for our lungs or for beach health. Safer for marine life, safer for kids and adults walking and rolling. These folks are just change averse—steps like this one is what modern cities do for their shared spaces in nature!

  • Matt May 16, 2024 (12:59 pm)

    Fewer cars are better for whale, seals and people. 

  • LoveWS May 16, 2024 (2:39 pm)

    Photo taken around 6pm on a warm sunny evening the day before the NP signs went up. I live a couple blocks away and this is typical. Not congested – ample space for pedestrians, joggers, rollers! I walk here on a daily basis, year round – weekends and weekdays. Rain or shine. This is certainly not an environmental cause but a NIMBY elitist one that doesn’t want to “deal with” different lifestyles that comes with living in an urban setting – this is SEATTLE, not the suburbs. 

    • SaucySands May 18, 2024 (9:44 am)

      I enjoy sitting in my car when it’s raining or cold outside to enjoy the waterfront. I signed the petition so EVERYONE can continue to have access to do this, year round!  

  • SMH WS May 16, 2024 (5:04 pm)

    I count over 30 posts on this subject in the West Seattle Blog over the last 4 years.  In fact, this blog was one of the main ways SDOT publicized their extensive outreach. How can so-called “wild-life activists” be leading a charge to not only improve a clearly successful experiment but to eliminate it altogether? And @WSB why keep giving oxygen to arguments that have been debunked by data gathered by SDOT over and over and have been published here?

  • tk May 16, 2024 (5:12 pm)

    Will someone please explain the Final design diagram- it appears that this will be a One-lane road only for traffic going both ways? If this is the case, on busy days how will vehicles pass each other, much less multiple vehicles, school busses, delivery vans, etc? If all of the parking spaces are filled, there is not space for 2 vehicles on one single 11 ft. wide lane, which could result in more pollution just for vehicles to get out of a snarled traffic jam, vehicles even needing to back up in reverse to find room to pass each other, etc. Very unsafe situation!  Please explain if this is what is proposed.Thank you!

    • Donna, The Whale Trail May 16, 2024 (6:19 pm)

      Hi TK, you are reading it correctly. The middle lane is for bikes and cars, going both ways. Where the parking spaces on the east side are filled, there will be no room to yield.

      It’s easy to imagine the chaos this will create. It’s harder to understand why SDOT thinks this is safer than the status quo. Even basic questions have not been answered. Like, how will emergency vehicles get through?

      As a reminder, this plan was introduced as a final design, and the public had no chance to comment or review. If you’re concerned about its safety, please contact Mayor Harrell, Councilmember Saka and Director Spotts.

      • TheLiffey May 16, 2024 (8:50 pm)

        The existing design of Beach Dr operates in the same exact way. When cars are parked on both sides of the street, Beach Dr is essentially a one lane street. The difference with the city’s new design is that people walking and biking etc get a lot more space which is far more environmentally friendly than the Whale Trail’s outdated, 1950s ideas. 

      • Hyperbolic May 16, 2024 (9:25 pm)

        Absolutely ridiculous fearmongering, Donna. If it is so dangerous, as you say, and emergency vehicles potentially can’t get through then the parking should be removed anyway to allow for more traffic flow.

        You’ve lost my support for the Whale Trail.

  • David Hutchinson May 16, 2024 (6:45 pm)

    Yes, that is what is proposed. The illustration with measurements was taken directly from the updated SDOT website. The link is below – just scroll down the page to locate it.

  • Babs May 16, 2024 (7:54 pm)

    I support the City’s plan. I walk my dog on that street every day. During COVID days the street closed to vehicles was awesome. Let’s do it. It’s simple and doesn’t cost a lot of money to do this. I don’t want SDOT spending money on street art. They are so far behind in street maintanience that garbage trucks are falling through streets and people are losing tires. Let’s fix our roads and do this one easy little thing on the point.  

  • tk May 16, 2024 (9:43 pm)

    Wow- Thank you for the clarifications. Only one 11-foot lane for BOTH bicycles & vehicles, sharing that lane together with bicycles & vehicles going in the opposite direction also on that SAME lane (i.e. both north traffic & south) is the definition of insanity and a recipe for chaos and gridlock! This is definitely not safe, especially for bicyclists who would be the most vulnerable on this one lane/2 directions dangerous road combo. I have bicycled all over the US & Europe and have never ridden on such an unsafe single lane/2 direction city road. There is no need for 2-way traffic on this road. Please redesign this with a ONE-Way lane for all vehicles, all going the same direction on that one lane.

    • K May 17, 2024 (1:38 pm)

      Do you guys carrying on about the “one lane for both directions” just drive on arterials all the time?  There are tons of streets in Seattle where both directions share a lane and it’s not chaos or insanity, nor does it cause people to get mowed down every day.  Emergency vehicles get through, along with garbage trucks and everyone else.  You have completely lost your heads over a completely imaginary scenario.  Calm down.

  • wetone May 17, 2024 (9:12 am)

    I see absolutely zero improvements towards safety with this roadway redesign from SDOT and city of Seattle government. In fact I see just the opposite, as new roadway design will create road-rage and division issues between drivers, bike riders and people living in area. There is no way to get around delivery vehicles, vehicles that will just stop in roadway intermittently, along with bike riders not going speed limit or driving into traffic. This plan from SDOT is doing the opposite of what the city of Seattle should be working on. They’re creating more division between ALL and less togetherness. Spending tax dollars on bad investments while pushing an unrealistic ideology with their social engineering projects. Over 3yrs working on this project and where are we ? How much money and time has been spent on this project ? What’s the total projected costs ? Where’s some real drawings showing SDOT’s final design ? another one the world roadway design that is a failure even before built. There are so many other real issues in this city needing tax dollars. City budget has $250mil shortfall, you can see why with projects like this and now Highland park roadway redesign……. and city wants more tax dollars….. zero accountability. King county has another big money levy expected next. People wonder why cost of living in this city is so expensive ? Show your feelings and VOTE.

  • Scarlett May 17, 2024 (12:35 pm)

    I won’t discuss the merits, or lack thereof, of this plan but it does illustrate that West Seattle is now an affluent,  upper-middle class neighborhood with the same perplexing concerns that plague all upper middle-class neighborhoods. To the barricades on our expensive e-bikes and electric cars, mes amis!  

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