FOLLOWUP: Alki Point Healthy Street is still a go, but with changes, including school-bus load zones

(WSB photo from last week, Beach Drive alongside Constellation Park)

1:57 PM: Another update in the longrunning saga of the Alki Point Healthy Street (both Alki Avenue and Beach Drive west of 63rd SW) – just in from SDOT, a few more changes to the plan:

We’re moving forward with Alki Point Healthy Street upgrades, based on robust community input over the past several years.

We paused the installation briefly to meet with marine mammal and environmental stewardship stakeholders and listen to their concerns. Construction is now expected to begin as soon as June.

This Healthy Street offers a unique space for community members to walk, bike, and roll while taking in views of Elliott Bay and West Seattle’s Alki Beach and marine reserve.

Newest features in response to community feedback include:

*Welcome signs
*Additional load zones that can be used by school buses
*Inviting community artwork celebrating nature
*Adding parking time restrictions and guidelines on more nearby streets to make it easier for visitors to find a space.

Previously announced additions based on community requests:

(One of the ‘nearby locations’ for public parking. Photo by David Hutchinson)

*A 10-foot path along the beachfront separated from people driving,
*Three new ADA-accessible parking spaces,
*New public parking signs and guidelines at two nearby locations

Toward the end of the year, we’ll share an evaluation with vehicle speeds, foot traffic, and parking use, and include a user experience survey.

We’re following up with SDOT to ask exactly where the loading zones and parking-time restrictions are planned to go.

6 PM: Here’s what SDOT sent in response to our questions:

*We will explore adding loading or other special event zones large enough for school buses on Beach Dr SW near 63rd Ave SW.

*We will add parking signs and paint parking guidelines in the parking lot near the Alki Point Lighthouse to make it clear that this is a free public parking lot. There will be a 4-hour parking time limit except for one ADA parking space.

*We will be adding 4-hour parking signs on the east side of SW Benton Pl, and adding parking guidelines to clearly define the parking spaces as separate from the roadway.

The last two seem to refer more to the “previously announced additions” than the “newest features,” so we’ll be looking to clarify further with SDOT after the holiday weekend.

55 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Alki Point Healthy Street is still a go, but with changes, including school-bus load zones"

  • AlkiRenter May 24, 2024 (2:03 pm)

    So excited to see all of these changes taking place and the additions based on community feedback! The increased ease of two-way foot traffic there is going to be awesome!

  • DelridgeDriver May 24, 2024 (2:06 pm)

    That sounds like a fantastic compromise. Great to hear that SDOT listened to constituent concerns and was willing to modify plans. I’m really looking forward to seeing this project completed. It’ll make visits for me and my family from Delridge to Alki much more pleasant.

  • DC May 24, 2024 (2:15 pm)

    So excited to have fewer cars and more space for people on this stretch. SDOT really went out of their way to accommodate any and all good faith opposition. Of course, you’ll still hear people who care more about cars than the environment or people complaining. But given SDOTs incredible work, we know that’s the only reason they oppose. 

  • GreenLakesLover May 24, 2024 (2:18 pm)

    Wonderful,  it’s going to be even better!  Thank you SDOT for your due diligence.  Not specifically mentioned but also important to be aware of is added signage for existing public parking on Benton Place at the North end of Beach Drive. 

    • WSB May 24, 2024 (2:38 pm)

      That’s one of the “two locations” mentioned in SDOT’s announcement, I believe as shown in the photo we added.

      • greenLakesLover May 24, 2024 (2:53 pm)

        Apologies for missing that, perhaps  because the picture doesn’t specify Benton Place  . . . 

  • walkerws May 24, 2024 (2:19 pm)

    Thank goodness the reactionaries didn’t get their way. A school bus load zone is a great idea, and a welcome change. But glad to see this project moving forward with few other changes despite the outcry of a loud minority trapped in a car-worshiping past.

    • Alki resident May 24, 2024 (2:37 pm)

      It’s always the “ loud minority “ for you. Can you think up something else? 

    • Rhonda May 24, 2024 (6:39 pm)

      walkerws, the VAST MAJORITY of Washington State residents own cars/DUVs/vans/trucks. The loud, in-your-face, anti-car MINORITY and the privileged owners of waterfront view homes got their way… screaming kids in the toy section at Target 

      • Bbron May 25, 2024 (3:24 am)

        of course the number of folks going against cars is going to be less; that’s what happens when you’ve government subsidized people’s private vehicles for closing in on 100 years and forced it as a cultural necessity. fortunately times are changing and people are getting sick of sprawl, pollution, and needless death. who cares about measuring all of WA? we live in a metropolitan city which is the best contender to reduce car usage. if anyone is assuming the role of entitled child it’s drivers, and if you can’t see that in the 100 comment posts about parking spaces being removed, you’re too far gone.

      • Walkerws May 25, 2024 (11:35 am)

        Yes the vast majority own a car. I own a car. That doesn’t mean we don’t want to enjoy beautiful places without cars. Wanting a few places without cars isn’t being anti-car. calm down And I honestly don’t care if a few dozen homeowners benefit. It’s nothing compared to the benefit tens of thousands of users of Constellation Park are getting. 

  • Kalo May 24, 2024 (2:20 pm)

    Was there ever discussion of making this a one way street, with wider walking paths, a separate wheeled lane. Seems like that would still allow a little more access and parking for all concerned.  

  • Jennie May 24, 2024 (2:21 pm)

    Are they going to get rid of the ugly and potentially very dangerous round concrete slab in the middle of the road that currently has a sign on it?

  • Darius May 24, 2024 (2:21 pm)

    Sounds like a good compromise, well done SDOT! I’m glad no residents were making bad-faith arguments about concerns for visitor parking, or their complaints may have actually backfired with the additional nearby restrictions…

  • Jenna S May 24, 2024 (2:26 pm)

    Great news! Can’t wait for the next phase of this awesome project. Thanks SDOT!

  • M3 May 24, 2024 (2:27 pm)

    GREAT!  Can’t wait for the improvements to go in – people and bike friendly, marine mammal friendly, and a nice opportunity to educate people about the marine environment.  What a neat thing for the community! 

  • Cycling Mom May 24, 2024 (2:27 pm)

    The Alki Healthy Street cannot come soon enough.  We need a safe place for all of us to enjoy this area on bikes!

  • Alki 4 ALL May 24, 2024 (2:36 pm)

    Excellent! The Healthy Street designation was a huge and necessary win for safety, access and the environment. This over 100 year old 30’ foot wide residential street on Alki Point is barely half the width curb-to-curb as other W. Sea waterfront streets (which are ALL arterials). The street was never designed for the levels of traffic and parking it experienced in the last decade. Thank you SDOT for working to iterate and improve.

  • Mark Schletty May 24, 2024 (2:39 pm)

    Pickelball/Constellation Ave.  The opponents of each proposal have the strongest arguments. Pickleball is stopped, Constellation Ave. is not.  Why the difference? Pickleball supporters were not millionaires, Constellation Ave. opponents are millionaires. Seattle proves once again that big money  is what they serve. 

    • walkerws May 24, 2024 (3:34 pm)

      Many of us are far from millionaires and support the Stay Healthy Street. Turns out Seattle just isn’t consistent. They made a bad decision to cancel the pickleball courts and a good decision to keep the Stay Healthy Street.

    • Puget sound perspective May 24, 2024 (3:34 pm)

      Pickleball and parking spaces – the defining issues of our times.  Fight change!

      • Change May 24, 2024 (4:12 pm)

        “The Only Constant in Life Is Change.”- Heraclitus.

        “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”Albert Einstein

    • Anne May 24, 2024 (4:04 pm)

      How do you know that  opponents for those issues are  or aren’t millionaires? Don’t believe that for a second.

    • Get a Grip May 25, 2024 (8:27 am)

      What is the basis for the claim that millionaire homeowners bought off SDOT to push this project through? I will keep asking this because people throw it around like it’s fact, but the actual data shows this was the most-used Healthy Street during the pandemic, and hundreds and hundreds of people liked it. You don’t have to live on that street to enjoy the absence of a line of cars parked along the water. I love the changes, but last I checked am definitely not a millionaire. 

      • Gary Richardson May 28, 2024 (7:07 am)

        I am pro parking but don’t necessarily believe there is some conspiracy to buy off DOT officials.Instead, it seems like the pro-sidewalk are either lacking information or are very creative in persuading others.On the last posting, some comments were misleading. As if drafted by someone with debate skills.I just decided to ask others to see for themselves and do their best to weigh the value of the proposal.I’m glad to see some improvements but feel it’s not quite there yet.One thing I’d consider is exactly how much parking will be available along that east strip on Benton place.While growing up nearby, I used to frequently pass through there when access to Bar-S field was available. That strip is not very big unless they decide to give up some of the property belonging to the sewage treatment facility for extra parking and maybe some covered picnic tables like you see on the Alki strip from 62nd to 64th street.

      • Donna, The Whale Trail May 28, 2024 (9:24 am)

        Alki Point was the most used compared to other Healthy Streets because people were already coming there. Unlike other Healthy Street llocations, Alki Point was a destination for recreation long before it became a Heathy Street.

        The more apt comparison would be to count the number of visitors to Alki Point before and after the Street Closed signs went in. That would tell a different story.

        Becoming a Healthy Street has made Alki Point less accessible, and cut people off from open space and recreational opportunities. The opposite of what Healthy Streets are supposed to do.

        • walkerws May 29, 2024 (4:00 pm)

          Becoming a Healthy Street has made Alki Point more accessible, and enhanced open space and recreational opportunities. The exact thing Healthy Streets are supposed to do. 

  • MustangSally65 May 24, 2024 (2:46 pm)

    Awesome! Can’t wait to ride my new recumbent bike down the walking rolling path!

  • Fan of Kelp Forests May 24, 2024 (3:31 pm)

    Artwork to celebrate nature at the sea?  Why not simply look at the sea and mountains while standing at the water?   And when is Avalon finally going to be a Healthy Street?  Much too loud for me.

  • Nitro May 24, 2024 (4:01 pm)

    Bummer. Disappointed in this. Wish they’d spend the resources elsewhere. This stretch already has sidewalks and good infrastructure. Spend the money on the WS neighborhoods that do not have any sidewalks at all- those neighborhoods would also like to be safe and healthy. 

    • New Deal May 25, 2024 (6:54 am)

      You share my sentiments.   Absolute shame.  3/4 of my friends live in Seattle neighborhoods without sidewalks.  The reason given for not improving them is cost.  

  • Alki Flats neighbor May 24, 2024 (4:05 pm)

    I live a couple blocks away. I’m looking forward to more room for walking and biking this stretch and the improved safety. Let’s gooooo!! 

    • Gatewoody May 25, 2024 (3:19 pm)

      I look forward to parking on your street now because I still will use a car to get down to the water. 

      • Reed May 26, 2024 (9:59 am)

        And I look forward to watching you go through the headache of trying to find parking for your car while my family breezes by on our bicycles.

  • Scarlett May 24, 2024 (4:30 pm)

    You’re all incredibly fortunate to have these “problems.”  Good god. 

  • Orca man May 24, 2024 (4:42 pm)

    That’s so great! It would be nice to see local artists’ artwork on the street. Looking forward to that! 

  • Rhonda May 24, 2024 (7:54 pm)

    We killed the Lincoln Park pickle ball fiasco, so let’s kill this BS, too.

    • PBChris May 25, 2024 (6:41 am)

      You didn’t kill pickleball in Lincoln Park. Parks won’t convert that slab into a court, but people will still use it to play pickleball!

  • Darren May 24, 2024 (8:24 pm)

    Since the creation of Healthy Streets, I have seen more people walking (illegally) in traditional streets when there’s a sidewalk a few feet away. I wonder if these people think they are on a healthy street or if it’s just a conditioning (physiological) thing? It’s just one of the many reasons I don’t support this program. If anyone can still drive on a healthy street then it’s no different than a regular street.

  • 1994 May 24, 2024 (9:47 pm)

    A 1 way street would have been a better option. This stretch is what, about 1/4 mile long? Enjoy your brief healthy street bike ride or walk…..even Bicycle Sunday would make more sense.

    • Foop May 25, 2024 (8:35 am)

      Now let’s apply your comment to cars and driving on it.any reprieve I get from having to be on high alert while cycling is a welcome one. This is such a nice stretch to be able to relax on and take in the views on my bike with less worry about some road edging jerk behind or ahead of me.

  • Gaslit May 24, 2024 (10:00 pm)

    Enjoy driving on this street now and will continue to do so in the future. 

  • Infavor!! May 24, 2024 (10:15 pm)

    Thanks to SDOT, Rob Saka, and Bruce Harrell for sticking to the original proposal. This is a big improvement over the status quo! 

  • Get a Grip May 25, 2024 (8:15 am)

    These comments read like Onion headlines. “Evil millionaires prevail in plot to ensure no schoolchild ever sees starfish again!”  “Entitled homeowners prevent car owners from gazing at Olympic Mountains!” “One-Percenters condemn local sea lions to death; sitters must now park on OTHER side of street!” The boring truth? Most people would just rather have space to walk/bike instead of a line of parked cars along the water. 

    • Jenna S May 26, 2024 (2:48 pm)

      Excellent post! Really illustrates the absurdity of these tropes and the outrage behind them.  Well done!

    • Gary Richardson May 28, 2024 (9:44 am)

      Imagine if the city just capped the King County Alki Wet Weather Treatment Facility the same way that I-90 capped over the freeway at Mercer Island or get rid of it altogether.In the mid 90’s planners considered retiring this site to make way for a large treatment site over on the Duamish waterway.Alki deserves valuable park space added to keep up with the growing population. And for everyone in this high density community, they deserve nothing less than more accessible space to freely roam and play.

  • Born Here May 25, 2024 (8:45 am)

    Kudos to the city for these final improvements. Mayor Harrell, SDOT Director Spotts and Councilman Saka deserve credit for following thru on a plan that took over 2 years to design and develop and included extensive citywide outreach. This is a win for all the runners, bicyclists, parents with strollers, and others who enjoy the area on foot. They’ll be safer because of it.

  • Kolea May 25, 2024 (9:35 am)

    “*We will be adding 4-hour parking signs on the east side of SW Benton Pl,”—- This screws over everyone living in the apartment complex right there. Where are they supposed to park now?I’ve been mildly against these changes since the start but now I’m 100% against this, and feel that government has started over reaching and making things worse for people.

    • Zippy May 25, 2024 (11:26 am)

      The city should issue parking passes for them.  Of course, that’s no help if the spots are all taken.  

  • Canton May 25, 2024 (9:38 am)

    This is great, since the Burien beach community is more welcoming anyway! I’d rather hang with regular residents instead of uppity, entitled folks.

  • Gary Richardson May 28, 2024 (7:20 am)

    I’d rather see the same concrete pour you see on the Alki Avenue side (from Spuds all the way down past 64th). I would include the bulkheads jetting out with steep boat ramps on each side.The added beach access and picnic space without compromise would be worth more.

  • Gary Richardson May 28, 2024 (8:02 am)

    As an avid bike rider who grew up on Alki and biked all over Seattle for many decades, I have concerns over this pro bike and pedestrian access.Too often, the kind of investment made is superficial and the newcomers and naive don’t readily see.To take a hard look, pretend you own property right there and you want to dump ownership before the public demands significantly taxed infrastructure to address growth needs.In my humble opinion, moving the curb, repainting the road, and adding a few signs is not a true investment for the public.

  • Gary Richardson May 28, 2024 (10:17 am)

    If the Healthy Street is amended with retirement of the Alki Wet Weather Treatment Plant, what kind of theme  would you like to see with expanded space including Bar-S Playfield?

  • Gary Richardson May 28, 2024 (12:15 pm)

    There is still a pinch point from 64th to the lighthouse that is being overlooked.Many pedestrian and bicycle riders enjoying the Alki side bike/pedestrian path usually just make a u-turn despite indications of a continued route.

    Look on Google maps street view to see how uninviting it is to continue down this roadway.How would the city fix this in the most amenable way?Perhaps the power lines could be buried underground in order to shift the roadway 3 feet over and introduce angle-in parking on both sides?

    Worth considering?

    Eventually, the entire south side might be converted to Condos with underground parking to free up even more foot traffic friendly access along this narrow section.It seems unlikely that an elevated trail high enough for continued views (similar to the 606 trail in Chicago) would be considered for this narrow section but one can hope!

    Chicago likes it so much, the public is eager to see the Bloomingdale line expanded.

    If the views from the south side residents are already blocked there might be a slight chance to make an elevated trail just above the rooftops on the north side with parking available underneath the raised path without much opposition.

    If by chance, plans were made to expand the scenic views along this area then lessons learned with this prototype here may open up other neighborhoods that could benefit from the same kind of build.

    Zoning laws across the region have similar parameters that could encourage construction companies create more competitive modular builds off-site and hauled to location for a dig-drop-connect method and reinforce the pillars with crash resistant reinforcement similar to columns seen in parking garages and underground parking.

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