LAST CALL: Final day for SDOT survey on Highland Park Way hill lane-change proposal

SDOT wants to replace the outside downhill lane of the Highland Park Way hill with a protected bicycle lane (1st rendering above), an expanded multi-use path (2nd rendering above), or both (bike lane first, expanded path later). Today’s the final day for this survey asking what you think. SDOT says it’s received almost 2,000 responses as of Thursday. We first reported on the proposal a month ago; back in 2020, SDOT proposed an uphill bicycle lane on the hill, then tabled that. Funding for a protected bike lane on HP Way is mentioned in one of the project lists in the proposed transportation levy currently under City Council review.

47 Replies to "LAST CALL: Final day for SDOT survey on Highland Park Way hill lane-change proposal"

  • Olive June 15, 2024 (5:10 pm)

    Please just stop.

  • FY SDOT June 15, 2024 (5:14 pm)

    Please use the survey to express your thoughts about this absurd proposal.

    • Reed June 15, 2024 (6:18 pm)

      I responded to the survey with my support for it.

      • Kyle June 15, 2024 (9:11 pm)

        I don’t understand this. Do any of you live in the neighborhood? The hill leads to an industrial area. The main purpose is to transport most people through it. Reducing traffic lane throughput makes no sense. Please give us more frequent 131 buses. There is no traffic jam for them. Please let people drive there cars through here. It is a major economic engine for people to be able to leave West Seattle efficiently. Please increase the safety of the bike path by building it smoother, maybe even wider outside the traffic lanes. Please increase the safety of all users by hiring more cops to patrol speeds and putting in a middle barrier. Please stop this nonsense of decreasing car throughput and using traffic jams as a blunt measure that makes no sense when West Seattle is slated for more growth as part of the one Seattle plan.

        • Foop June 16, 2024 (9:46 am)

          Many of us who live here understand that at the bottom of that hill is the only protected cyclist path to South Park, Georgetown, and the green river trail. It also provides a smooth connection for people who live on the south end to get to the bridge via the new WMW bike path / the old existing path their, versus riding on Delridge or or the 21st Ave “greenway”

          • Kyle June 17, 2024 (7:10 am)

            You sound like a bike network advocate more than someone who’s daily commute would be impacted by this poor design.

        • Karl June 17, 2024 (9:57 am)

          I agree with Kyle’s remarks. The nickname for Highland Park way is Boeing hill. It carries a lot of people to work over the Duwamish but also to highways 509 and 599.    Also, the band of property next to the roadway is quite wide, containing a parking strip, and a wide section of unused land, crossed by only one street, this more than wide enough to have a fully developed and protected (2-way!) bike lane including a barrier. Especially if a pedestrian sidewalk was built on the north side of the street! This would separate pedestrians from bicyclists. 

    • K June 15, 2024 (6:24 pm)

      Thank you.  I used the survey to convey my support and excitement for the proposal.

    • walkerws June 17, 2024 (8:44 am)

      I responded to the survey to express my support for the change.

  • Build it June 15, 2024 (6:07 pm)

    It’s a poorly designed street and should have a bike lane or shared use path. Like nobody is riding up that, it’s a terrible street for walking and biking, but no one needs to be driving 50 mph down a hill from one traffic light to another. Drivers can chill out and let people barrel down the hill and suffer going back up it.

    • sam June 15, 2024 (7:30 pm)

      I would go up that hill every single day and I know many bikers would do. I tried once a while back and entitled cars kept honking and getting dangerously close. Drivers don’t like bikes sharing the streets with them and don’t like having bike lanes …..

      • Kyle June 15, 2024 (9:13 pm)

        Use the bike path for going uphill, which is what they propose. I do hope they improve it, and that can be done leaving the traffic lanes alone too.

        • Reed June 16, 2024 (2:29 pm)

          It’s not a bike path; it’s a poorly maintained sidewalk that gets slimy when wet. Drivers need to realize this is a result of poor/dangerous behavior. Mitigating high speeds and dangerous driving through a road diet is what this street needs.

          • Kyle June 17, 2024 (7:11 am)

            Then fix the bike path. Although I doubt you are a regular user, or will be even if it is fixed.

          • Reed June 17, 2024 (12:54 pm)

            That hill is on one of my regular bike routes, which I ride 2 days per week. Nice tantrum.

    • CW June 15, 2024 (8:17 pm)

      I ride down it on my e-bike M-F going to work. I ride back on West Marginal. Love it!!!!!!!

      • Kyle June 15, 2024 (9:15 pm)

        That is great. I hope we can modify this proposal to give you a smoother uphill ride.

    • Bees June 15, 2024 (9:09 pm)

      I ride it regularly on my ebike. I’d do it more often if it was improved, since it’s the best way to get from my area to the Green River Trail

      • Danimal June 17, 2024 (5:11 am)

        Yup. Improve and widen the current path, and increase the road speed back to 30-35 mph to decrease dangerous road rage driving and speed differential. Put a center divider in if they wish. But no lane reductions; that’s an utterly stupid idea.

    • Kyle June 15, 2024 (9:14 pm)

      It does have a bike path…let’s improve it.

      • Danimal June 17, 2024 (5:13 am)

        Yup. And leave the road alone except maybe put in a center divider and increase the speed limits back to intelligent reasonable speeds.

  • Alki resident June 15, 2024 (6:55 pm)

    I’m tired of fixing what isn’t broken. I do not want to be on the inside lane going downhill . I’ve always used the right lane ALWAYS. This is completely asking for accidents. Use the sidewalk as a bike lane. Plain and simple. I’ve gone up and down that hill for many many years and still never see enough bikes to warrant a bike lane in the street. 

    • Platypus June 16, 2024 (9:07 pm)

      The broken part is the speed of cars. Speed kills and since a single lane at a time feeds two downhill lanes everyone, even me, feels the ability to drive too fast. The project is to align the design of the road with the appropriate downhill speed. One lane will do that, the extra room is a wonderful opportunity to increase the bike network. It’s a win win.

      • Danimal June 17, 2024 (5:14 am)

        The appropriate downhill speed is and always will be 30-35 mph, for safety, reducing road rage, reducing speed differential, and to reduce pollution and excessive vehicle wear.

        • Sam June 17, 2024 (2:20 pm)

          reducing road rage

          The way to stop entitled, psychotic drivers is not to legalize their recklessness. The speed limit is 25mph. This new design reflects that reality. I hope you can learn to follow the law.

      • Kyle June 17, 2024 (7:13 am)

        I think you have an incorrect assumption that the light at Holden and the light at the bottom of the hill have the same timing. They do not, and so it is possible for more traffic to reach the bottom of the hill. Let’s put speed humps on the hill then but keep the throughput the same. Instead of 10 cars making a light single file, 20 cars queued can than get through.

  • Seattlite June 15, 2024 (7:32 pm)

    I completed the survey.  Some of the questions at the end were strange.   Today, 6/15/24, I drove down and up Highland Park Way at different times between noon and 3 pm.  There were zero walkers, bikers, runners, skaters, etc., going up and down the path during the timeframe of noon and 3 pm.  When I use Highland Park Way during the week, I also never see anyone on the path.  Has SDOT done a comparison graph of the percentage of path use compared to the number of drivers?  It was a nightmare using Highland Park Way during peak hours when the WS Bridge was closed for 2 1/2 years.

  • tim June 15, 2024 (11:11 pm)

    the city is flush with tax dollars.  Money to burn.

  • Donna June 16, 2024 (5:00 am)

    Bike and pedestrian safety are very important and if improved I will take people’s word that more bicyclists would use it. And yes, the speed of drivers is ridiculous. But taking away a lane doesn’t meet the needs of both groups. Improve the sidewalk on that side for both uphill and down hill riders and walkers (I’ve noticed the lanes across the I-90 bridge accommodates all and you could make it even wider than that) and traffic calming such as speed bumps do a great job around the city with the added benefit of working at all times rather than intermittent enforcement by police who are already stretched thin. And just wondering where a car could pull over and stop to get a speeding ticket.

  • Canton June 16, 2024 (7:41 am)

    Before we decide, how about we have a community race up the hill? Manual bikes only. Let’s include all SDOT employees working on this project. First one up the hill without stopping, makes the decision. 

    • Bbron June 16, 2024 (2:21 pm)

      first let’s see if a set of drivers can prove that a second lane is needed if they’re all going the speed limit

      • Danimal June 17, 2024 (5:17 am)

        Ever been stuck behind a semi or his or garbage truck or overloaded work truck with trailer going up that hill? I have. Numerous times. Keep the 4 lanes and improve and widen the bike path. Stop trying to police a growing city with idiotic road diets.

        • Bbron June 17, 2024 (2:40 pm)

          so your only counter was an example about something that happens on the side of the road that isn’t being redesigned. okay. no one is taking away the uphill passing lane.

  • Amy June 16, 2024 (8:06 am)

    Even if this was a good idea to reduce traffic here, having a BIKE lane that buses pull into is dangerous and madness. First if a bus has to wait it will block traffic, next it is difficult to navigate as a bike around buses. They aren’t compatible and buses shouldn’t get an exception to be able to ride in a bike lane! The city once again displays its utter disregard for bikes; this is just a blatant attempt to cause more congestion and traffic issues in the city. And what happens when there’s a pothole, branch falling or other debris in the road which happens frequently on that road, and drivers often have to choose a different safer lane–traffic just grinds to a halt or  you have more damaged vehicles.Just a terribly conceived design all around. 

  • Aaron G June 16, 2024 (8:28 am)

    I support the install of a bike/ped path. I had to run an errand on my bike on Marginal the other day. Instead of going all the way up to Spokane/Avalon, I considered going up Highland Park way but, even as an experienced cyclist, I just don’t feel safe using it – even the sidewalk – as people drive so fast down it. I opted to ride the trail through the Greenbelt instead. It’s a pretty challenging option but cuts miles off. People in that corner of West Seattle are poorly served for bike connections to the rest of Seattle. I’ll add that I hate driving down Highland Park Way because I get tailgated just trying to drive a safe speed. SDOT cited the number of crashes as the reason they’re redesigning the road to calm traffic. It never would have shown up on their radar if people could drive responsibly through there. 

    • Tony June 16, 2024 (10:40 am)

      Perfectly stated.

  • Oh Seattle June 16, 2024 (8:35 am)

    The graphic of an elderly person using a cane hiking up the hill… 

  • AT June 16, 2024 (9:06 am)

    Anyone else find it funny that they just mowed the uphill side but not the downhill side?  Is the tall grass supposed to be a safety barrier, or is not maintaining the existing path showing how much they actually care about bikes & pedestrians?  It seems like there’s no master plan & they just keep making up projects to keep themselves busy and spend their budget. 

  • Derek June 16, 2024 (10:32 am)

    I filled this out in support of the bike path. Cars always need a road diet. Stop being so entitled. You SHARE the road.

    • Lala June 16, 2024 (11:02 pm)

      Okay, now add peak hour, buses, and first responder. One lane is NOT benefiting anyone that drives. We do share the road but it’s ridiculously to take it down to one lane downhill without the  added congestion. It was a nightmare when the ws bridge closed. It’s not a realistic plan. It’s a wasteful proposal by the city to no regards of the people that live here. They should focus on fixing pot holes and uneven sidewalks before they go straight for lane deduction on a highly busy hill. Adding a left turn signal on the hill where Safeway is more beneficial than this. 

  • KayK June 16, 2024 (10:47 am)

    One side of the street is mowed by Parks – the other by SDOT.

    • AT June 16, 2024 (3:05 pm)

      Ahh, thanks for clarifying.

  • Bbron June 16, 2024 (2:34 pm)

    it’s a sign of how bad drivers have gotten at driving. having all y’all talking about how dangerous only having a single lane will be in the case of an emergency occuring in that lane… you realize that when there are exceptional circumstances on your drive you need to slow down and make predictable choices while coordinating with fellow drivers. if you were a prepared driver you’d carry around tools to make this even easier. drivers have become so unable to navigate abnormal conditions that they need the government to ensure the presence of redundant infrastructure so they can avoid needing to have the ability or patience to get true a situation that will happen less than 1% of the time they are driving. truly a skill issue. you won’t see a competent, safe driver complaining about a single lane.

  • West Seattlle Resident June 17, 2024 (12:37 am)

    Were there any feedback from first responders on this issue?

    • Look Both Ways June 17, 2024 (2:06 pm)

      Yes. The Station 11 fire dept team (@ Holden & 16th Ave SW) is against it. Not that SDOT asked them; because they likely know the Dept’s answer doesn’t fit into its conjured up narrative. But we asked and they were happy to state they are not in favor.

  • AK June 17, 2024 (11:21 am)

    Thanks for the survey. Not in support of this at all!!!!!

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