Transportation 3753 results

How much time and (street) space will the new Fauntleroy ferry dock save? Community Advisory Group reviews traffic-analysis report

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

A matter of time and space dominated the latest meeting of the Community Advisory Group that Washington State Ferries convenes when there’s something new to discuss about planning the Fauntleroy dock expansion/replacement.

In this case, the main agenda item for last night’s online meeting was the analysis of how the various alternative dock size/shapes under consideration (see them here) would affect the time needed for loading/unloading and the space taken up by vehicles queueing along Fauntleroy Way.

From the meeting presentation, here’s where the project planning is now:

WSF has not yet chosen a preferred size/shape alternative. That’s likely to happen next year, and detailed studies will ensue. Still lots to discuss before then – the first five in dark green here are what the group has asked to hear about:

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WEST SEATTLE WEEKEND SCENE: The peninsula’s own STP ride

Thanks to Al for sending the photo and report on West Seattle Bike Connections‘ “Little STP” ride today:

Here’s the photo from the end of today’s WSSTP … 27 people, 26 pedalers, and one fantastic time!

As previewed here, the “little STP” is WS Bike Connections’ annual riff off the Seattle to Portland (STP) ride that’s also happening this weekend – this one goes from SW Seattle Street in North Admiral to SW Portland Street in Gatewood, with the option for riders to then go back to The Junction to visit West Seattle Summer Fest.

TRANSIT: Metro Flex test run starts soon; two bus routes to add trips

SDOT and Metro have made a two-part announcement about transportation for eastern West Seattle and South Park: Metro Flex service is expanding into eastern West Seattle later this month. And two bus routes will add trips in mid-September. Funding for both is from the Seattle Transit Measure, the sales tax increase approved by voters in 2020.

METRO FLEX: On July 22, this on-demand service – costing riders the same as buses – will launch in Delridge and South Park, as a two-year test run.

The announcement says it will “provide an on-demand van ride to a variety of destinations within the service area for the cost of a bus fare” and lists sample destinations including:

Chief Sealth International High School
Delridge neighborhood
Duwamish Longhouse and western Duwamish Valley
Highland Park neighborhood
South Park neighborhood
South Seattle College
Westwood Village

The announcement explains you can book Metro Flex via app or phone:

After downloading the Metro Flex app from an app store on a smartphone, riders choose their desired destination. They’ll receive a nearby pick-up location to meet their driver and may share the ride with other passengers. Riders with mobility needs—such as using a wheelchair—can save this information within their Metro Flex profile. Download Metro Flex in the app store or call 206-258-7739 for a ride.

ADDED BUS SERVICE: On September 14, Routes 60 and 125 will add trips. 125 currently runs six days a week but will add Sundays; the announcement says 125 will in all add “about 50 additional bus trips each week, 26 bus trips on Sundays.” For Route 60, which serves Westwood Village and South Park, trips will be added on both weekdays and weekends, the announcement says, to “increase Route 60 bus service by over 3,000 operational hours a year.” The Route 125 additions were hinted at earlier this year, during a discussion of proposed stop closures/moves; this announcement does not mention the status of those, so we’ll be following up.

VIDEO: West Seattle briefing by group that wants to pause ST3 projects – including this one – not yet under construction

Even if you voted for West Seattle light rail – and the rest of ST3 – eight years ago, it’s OK to change your mind. So said John Niles, co-founder of Smarter Transit, which had a media briefing at Jefferson Square today to call attention to its quest to put the brakes on ST3. The group has launched an online petition seeking to pause planning for Sound Transit projects that aren’t already under construction, and to ask the Legislature to make Sound Transit’s board – currently comprised of various regional elected officials – directly elected. But Niles says they’re not planning a ballot initiative or lawsuit – they’re hoping that people will “rise up” and demand that this be stopped. He was one of the speakers at the briefing this morning – here’s our video, which started with Smarter Transit member Conrad Cipoletti, a West Seattle resident who says he lives car-free but thinks people need to take a second look at the light-rail plan before it’s too late, because of its financial and environmental costs:

Speakers also included people who aren’t Smarter Transit members but did voice various concerns about the project, including business owners whose current locations face demolition if the current proposed routing and station locations are finalized – the group provided aerials of what’s currently in the future stations’ locations:

(Images courtesy Smarter Transit/Guenther Group. Above, Junction station’s proposed location)

(Above, area near Avalon station’s proposed location)

(Delridge station’s proposed location)

Though she has reiterated that her business is not anti-light rail, Laurel Trujillo of Ounces in North Delridge was among the speakers (hers and other area businesses are hosting in a coincidentally timed “Rally for Relocation” 4-7 pm today). Other participants included West Seattle resident Kim Schwarzkopf and Marilyn Kennell of Rethink The Link, a group which thinks – as does Smarter Transit – that more buses would cover area’s transit needs without a multibillion-dollar construction project. Kennell and others held signs declaring themselves BIMBYs – advocating for more “buses in my backyard.”

The Smarter Transit petition is here; the group says the goal is to present it to the Legislature. Meantime, as for the project itself, Sound Transit is expected sometime in the next few months to release the final Environmental Impact Statement, after which its board would vote on final routing and station locations.

VIDEO: Mayor signs transportation levy; Seattle voters will decide what happens next

One day after the City Council finalized it, the transportation-levy renewal/expansion got Mayor Bruce Harrell‘s signature in a City Hall ceremony this morning. With speeches from the mayor, District 1 City Councilmember Rob Saka, business and labor leaders, and others, the levy started its road to the November ballot. It does not have a catchy name (yet), unlike its predecessor Levy to Move Seattle – expiring at the end of this year after its nine-year run – or the one before that, Bridging the Gap, which covered 2006-2015.

You’ve likely already heard that the levy would raise $1.55 billion over eight years. The mayor noted that’s “$21 per month more than the current levy” if you have a median-value house (he didn’t cite a number but it’s supposedly in the $800,000 vicinity). The total is said to represent almost a third of the budget for SDOT, whose director Greg Spotts spoke today too. He declared the levy “balanced and practical … data-driven, community-informed.” Much was made in other speeches of consensus and collaboration; Saka was lauded for leading the full-council committee that reviewed and amended the original slightly-less-costly proposal originally sent by Harrell. Saka declared the levy “a victory for the people of Seattle” and concluded his speech with this quote from President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The website for the levy promises updated documents are in the works, so we don’t have the exact text yet (but here’s the council’s most recent spending-breakdown document). And much of what it will fund will not initially be spelled out location by location, but as we’ve noted in coverage over the past few months, there are several planned West Seattle projects specifically identified – repaving and other changes for 35th SW between Alaska and Morgan, pavement repairs to Fauntleroy Way SW between 35th and Alaska to get it through the years of nearby light-rail construction, safety improvements at the east end of the Roxbury corridor, a sidewalk along part of SW Brandon in North Delridge. Saka also spoke of one of his late additions, a future West Seattle protected-bike-lane project to be named for Steve Hulsman, the rider killed on Marine View Drive last year, whose widow Rita Hulsman was in attendance at the ceremony. The levy projects listed by name in the “spending breakdown” also mention a protected bike lane for Highland Park Way SW, ostensibly a reference to the proposal to replace a downhill driving lane with either a PBL or a multi-use path.

You can read the city’s overview of the levy here. General-election voting will end November 5.

FOLLOWUP: Admiral Way Bridge work under way, Fairmount Avenue closed. Here’s what happens now

Thanks to MJ for the photo – that’s Fairmount Avenue beneath the Admiral Way Bridge, now closed for the start of work to make the bridge more earthquake-resistant. We talked again with project spokesperson Dr. Matthew Howard to get more details of how the work will proceed, especially as crews from contractor Kuney Construction move toward work on the bridge deck itself, which will require lane closures and two full-weekend closures of the entire bridge.

But not yet.

They’ll be working exclusively beneath the bridge until mid-to-late August. The work includes carbon-fiber wrapping – remember that from the West Seattle Bridge project? – and it involves some “very tall ladders,” a big reason why they aren’t allowing anyone beneath the bridge while the work is under way.

Once work moves to the bridge deck, they’ll start on the north (westbound) side first “for a month or two,” then the south (eastbound) side, then the center lanes. The full weekend closures – for which no dates are set yet – will be needed for concrete pours. They’re not repaving the entire bridge deck, Dr. Howard says – here’s the concrete work that the project will include:

*On the bridge deck, we’ll be removing a section of the deck slab on one of the farthest walls (where rainwater drains) which we will refill with concrete after placing the new drain for the bridge

*We’ll also be adding concrete bolsters to the exterior columns

*We’ll be installing a concrete infill wall within the body of a few of the bridge’s columns and body

The timing will be tricky once the fall rains arrive, as concrete needs to cure. They hope to wrap up most of the work by year’s end, though the project isn’t likely to be entirely complete until spring; “cursory work” will be happening after the first of the year, Howard says.

The biggest question remains: When the bridge does close for those two weekends, what will the detour routes be? And it remains unanswered. Dr. Howard told us again that the plan still isn’t finalized – their traffic-control plans are awaiting approval, and that includes any plans for parking restrictions during the detouring. He did say that some closures during the bridge-deck work will affect the pedestrian walkways on the bridge as well, because the rails will be reinforced.

Will the bridge look appreciably different when all the work is done? He said no – there’ll be some painting, but it’ll likely be the same sort of flat earth-tone as it is now.

Most important thing to remember right now: Fairmount Avenue is closed to all, 24/7, until the project is done. Signage at the ends notes that for those whose homes are accessed from the canyon, local access is OK, but otherwise, stay away – California is an alternate route between North Admiral and Harbor Avenue until Fairmount reopens sometime next year. The project webpage has a link you can use to sign up for email updates.

FERRY ALERT: Triangle Route going down to one boat tonight

Another crew shortage has the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth state-ferry route going down to one boat this evening. Here’s the announcement:

Due to a shortage of crew, the M/V Kitsap will go out of service following its 6:15 p.m. sailing from Fauntleroy to Vashon. The route will continue to operate on one-boat service on the #1 schedule for the remainder of the service day.

This cancels the following sailings:

6:40 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. from Vashon to Southworth
7:05 p.m. and 9:35 p.m. from Southworth to Vashon
7:55 p.m. and 8:50 p.m. Fauntleroy to Vashon

And a reminder that next week, starting Wednesday and lasting for up to two days, the route’s unscheduled third boat will be out of service because of the domino effect from another route losing a boat to maintenance – this too is explained on the WSF bulletins page.

FERRY ALERT: Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth ‘ghost boat’ to vanish for a few days

(WSB photo – Fauntleroy dock and ferry at noontime today)

Washington State Ferries has yet another boat in need of repairs, and that’s going to have a domino effect for the Triangle Route and elsewhere – here’s the WSF explanation:

Due to urgent repairs needed, the Walla Walla, the only vessel assigned to the Bremerton/Seattle route, needs to be removed from service for approximately 1-2 days next week. Not doing this work risks a catastrophic failure that could take the vessel out of service for an extended period of time.

To complete these urgent repairs, we need to move vessels around based on capacity and route ridership. We’ll make these moves on Wednesday, July 10 and expect them to last for 1-2 days.

The 144-vehicle Chimacum will move from the Bainbridge route to the Bremerton route, replacing the 188-vehicle Walla Walla.

The 90-vehicle Sealth will move from the Fauntleroy/Southworth/Vashon “Triangle” route to the Bainbridge route. This means we won’t have the third, unscheduled boat on the “Triangle” route during these repairs.

We will return the Chimacum to Bainbridge and the Sealth to the “Triangle” route as soon as we complete the repairs, which we expect to take 1-2 days.

FERRY ALERT: Some evening Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth sailings canceled

If your holiday evening plans include a trip on the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth ferry route, take note of this Washington State Ferries announcement:

Due to lack of crew, the last trip for the #2 M/V Kitsap is the 6:15 p.m. Fauntleroy to Vashon, no Southworth traffic will be loaded.

The 6:40 p.m. and 7:05 p.m. Vashon to Southworth and back to Vashon sailings have been cancelled

The M/V Salish will resume the #2 schedule at 7:25 p.m. out of Vashon.

You can check lines via the WSF terminal cams.

Fauntleroy ferry-dock replacement: Advisory group to get long-awaited info this month

No summer hiatus for the Fauntleroy ferry-dock replacement project. It’s still in the planning stage, working toward a decision on the size and shape of the replacement. The project’s Community Advisory Group has been waiting for results of traffic studies, which could show how technology advances in ticketing could affect the vehicle flow – for example, some group members have asked, could the new dock be smaller if Washington State Ferries used Good To Go! electronic passes to eliminate the need for most vehicles to stop at toll booths. That information is expected at the next meeting, just announced for Tuesday, July 16, 6 pm, online (first meeting since March). You can register here to observe; there’s no public-comment period, but you can send feedback any time to FauntleroyTermProj@wsdot.wa.gov. The project’s Technical Advisory Group will be meeting two days later, 1 pm July 18, also online (register here to watch). Construction of the new dock isn’t expected to start before 2027.

ANNIVERSARY: South Park Bridge opened 10 years ago today

King County Road Services reminds us that today is the 10th anniversary of a momentous day in local transportation history – the opening of the rebuilt South Park Bridge. Our photo above is from the grand-opening party, held on Sunday, June 29, 2014, a day before the full opening to traffic. The bridge opened exactly four years after its predecessor was closed for safety concerns; when its closure was announced, there was no guarantee a new one would be built, as funding hadn’t been finalized, and community tumult resulted. But a few months later, full funding was announced, and construction started half a year after that. Final cost of the bridge, which is a King County structure, was $175 million.

TRANSPORTATION LEVY: Proposed additions before Tuesday vote include a West Seattle memorial

On Tuesday (July 2), city councilmembers are expected to vote on one last round of potential changes to the transportation levy intended to go to voters in November. The council committee reviewing and refining the levy is chaired by District 1 Councilmember Rob Saka, who announced his latest proposed revisions today. Checking the detailed documents for West Seattle specifics, you’ll see one addition: A tribute to Steve Hulsman, the 66-year-old West Seattle man killed in a collision with a driver on Marine View Drive last December. Mr. Hulsman’s brother-in-law John Good had been talking to the city about ceremonially renaming the section of street where he died; instead, he told us this morning, Councilmember Saka decided to propose, as spelled out in the amendment document, a “Protected Bike Lane project in West Seattle to be named in honor of Steve Hulsman.” The document does not specify a location; the only potential PBL project for West Seattle named in the levy is Highland Park Way SW, but the levy calls for many other to-be-identified-later safety projects around the city. Good showed us email from Councilmember Saka offering also to sponsor a proposal for a “secondary street naming” in memory of Mr. Hulsman, while saying that would take more time.

As for the rest of Saka’s latest levy revision, it still contains the West Seattle specifics we’ve previously mentioned – projects for 35th SW between Alaska and Morgan, Fauntleroy Way between 35th and Alaska, Olson/1st/2nd, plus sidewalks for SW Brandon between 26th SW and 30th SW, and transit-corridor work for sections of SW Oregon and SW Alaska in The Junction. Saka says his final proposal would result in a $1.55 billion levy, same as his previous proposal. Here are the categories into which that would break out:

i. $160.5 million for Vision Zero, School and Neighborhood Safety;
ii. $423 million for Street Maintenance and Modernization, including no less than $350 million for Arterial Roadway Maintenance;
iii. $221 million for Bridges and Structures;
iv. $151 million for Transit Corridors and Connections;
v. $193 million for Pedestrian Safety, including no less than $111 million for New Sidewalks and Sidewalk Alternatives and no less than $34 million for Sidewalk Safety Repair;
vi. $100 million for Signals and Operations;
vii. $113.5 million for Bicycle Safety;
viii. $66.5 million for People Streets and Public Spaces;
ix. $69 million for Climate and Resiliency, including no less than $32 million for
electric vehicle charging infrastructure;
x. $45 million for Freight and Goods Movement; and
xi. $7.5 million for Good Governance & Equitable Implementation Initiative

In the first year, council documents say, Saka’s version would cost the owner of a “median assessed value” home $499, compared to $467 for the mayor’s original $1.45 billion version. Other councilmembers’ amendments include a counterproposal from Councilmember Tammy Morales, totaling $1.7 billion, which would equal $546 in the first year for that “median value” homeowner. (The city says that’s an $804,000 assessed value, and that the expiring levy is costing a median-value homeowner $288 this year.) The meeting at which the final amendments will be discussed, and votes taken, is Tuesday at 9:30 am, and includes a public-comment period, as noted on the agenda (where all the proposed amendments are linked, too). Other ways to get comments to the council are listed here.

FOLLOWUP: SDOT explains why the West Seattle low bridge got stuck for 2+ hours

(Monday night image from SDOT camera, via X/Twitter)

Monday evening, after reader tips (thank you!), we reported on the West Seattle low bridge being unusable to all surface traffic for two-plus hours. SDOT promised a followup explanation, and here it is:

The Spokane Street Bridge (also known as the West Seattle Low Bridge) was stuck from approximately 5:30 – 8:00 pm on June 24 due to a technical issue with the bridge’s tail locking mechanism.

The tail lock is the equipment that locks the bridge in place so that cars, bikes, and people can safely travel across it (it is called a “tail lock” because it is located where the two sides of the movable bridge meet in the center of the waterway, referred to as the “tail span” of the bridge). A specialized maintenance crew was called in to help diagnose and fix the problem and determined that the issue was likely caused by the bridge spans drifting slightly during the raising and lowering process, causing sensors to detect a misalignment in the locking mechanism.

We are currently working on a series of projects to maintain and modernize the Spokane Street Bridge. This includes a variety of investments to repair or replace the bridge’s control system, electronics, and mechanical parts. While much of this work has already been completed, there are ongoing plans for more repairs to address the bridge’s tail locking mechanism and other related parts.

Our moveable bridges operate with complex mechanical and electrical equipment. Though they are rare, issues with these systems can happen. When an outage occurs, our roadway structures crew and engineers work as fast as possible to restore service to the traveling public. A detailed explanation of our standard procedures to respond to bridge malfunctions is available on this webpage.

Washington State Ferries has moved from crisis to recovery, new leader declares at systemwide community meeting

(WSB photo: Ferry at Fauntleroy dock, Sunday night)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Shortages again factored into many explanations at today’s Washington State Ferries systemwide community meeting, first of two online sessions (the second is at 6 pm Tuesday), as they did during the winter meetings.

Shortage of boats and shortage of crew were just two of the shortages mentioned this time, but some things are improving, if slowly, insisted new WSF boss (aka assistant secretary of transportation) Steve Nevey:

(Zoom screengrab of new WSF boss Steve Nevey)

“A year ago, we were in crisis … (now) we’re in recovery.” One example: Two weeks ago, Nevey said, the system had an entire week with no sailing cancellations caused by crew shortages. Overall, according to stats he showed from the first five months of the year, compared to the same time last year, the cancellation trend is down:

Nevey suggested the improvement is likely to continue as extra state funding is about to kick in for scheduling extra crew on boats so that they don’t have to cancel a sailing if someone can’t make it to work. And starting today, while the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth officially remains on a two-boat schedule, they are adding a “bonus boat” (or “ghost boat”) on weekdays to make unscheduled sailings, helping the regularly scheduled boats stay on time. This is the plan for the “next several months.”

As for the two regularly scheduled boats – during the Q&A that took up more than two-thirds of the meeting, someone asked when the Triangle Route schedule would finally be rewritten, since it’s expected to take a few more years for the third boat to permanently return. That’s where another shortage came in: WSF executive John Vezina explained that WSF still hasn’t been able to hire a new service planner to work on writing a better two-boat schedule. First they opened a hiring proccess, he said – and they couldn’t find anyone. Then they tried again, found a qualified candidate – who was going to take the job but changed their mind. Now, Vezina said, they’re in the process of finding a “consultant” who can take on the schedule, and they’re supposed to get help from a WSDOT service planner. Even with that, Vezina said, it’ll probably be a year or so before a new two-boat Triangle Route schedule can be in place. He added that they actually have funding now for two service planners, so that if one leaves in the future, they won’t be entirely without one – but they still need to hire the first one before they can hire a second.

Two other personnel challenges affecting the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth run came up: First, the Vashon dock cameras are currently down, because the WSDOT employee who works on cameras is “out on family leave” (and apparently has no backup), and second, traffic-control officers at the Fauntleroy dock aren’t consistently available because they’re generally area law-enforcement officers on overtime, and the short staffing at agencies including the Seattle Police Department leave few available and/or interested for those kinds of assignments.

WSF’s Nicole McIntosh talked about their efforts to recruit for other jobs, including work to increase maritime-career awareness among high-school students, plus a new effort called MITAGS in which they’re taking applications for a class of 12 recruits to start on the path toward becoming licensed deck officers. They’ve been to job fairs around the country, too, she said. In Q&A, someone asked if the system staffing is still hampered by the dismissal of employees who refused to comply with vaccination requirements during the pandemic. McIntosh said that WSF had lost 120 employees but in the past year alone has hired more than 180, so their overall staffing has more than bounced back; plus, it was noted, as of a year ago, those employees are eligible to return if they’re interested.

As for the boat shortage, introductory remarks recapped that WSF is in the process of seeking one or two builders for its new hybrid-electric ferries, two of which will be available in 2028 if the process proceeds as hoped, two more in 2029, and the fifth in 2030.

Meantime, the system keeps running with boats as old as 65, and some boats for which parts aren’t even made any more – sometimes WSF employees make their own parts, Vezina noted. The WSF manager in charge of electrification, Matt von Ruden, fielded questions including how much of an environmental savings the hybrid-electric ferries would really bring. 76 percent less greenhouse-gas emissions, he said. Twice, persistent questions about “wouldn’t it be faster to just build diesel ferries?” No, said WSF execs, because they have a design, funding, and directive to build hybrid-electric boats; even if the directive changed tomorrow, they’d be “a year behind.” Other questions about the future new boats included battery safety – that was explained in minute detail – and capacity (160 cars).

MISCELLANEOUS: If you’re interested in ridership trends, it’s not back to pre-pandemic levels yet (that’s the green line, while the red line is this year so far):

And here’s the by-the-numbers slide with which the meeting opened:

IF YOU’RE WONDERING ABOUT THE FAUNTLEROY TERMINAL PROJECT: It wasn’t mentioned in the presentation (though it got a brief mention in the winter meetings), and we didn’t hear anything about it in the Q&A (although we missed a few minutes in the last half-hour of the meeting).

TO ATTEND TUESDAY’S MEETING: It’s scheduled for 6 pm, online; go here to register for the link.

WEEK AHEAD: City Council to consider transportation-levy changes, including Councilmember Saka’s proposal to restore 35th, Fauntleroy repaving plans

Tuesday morning, the City Council meets again as the Select Committee on the 2024 Transportation Levy, still working to finalize a package to send to voters this November. At this meeting, councilmembers will consider amendments to the mayor’s proposal. District 1 Councilmember Rob Saka, who chairs this committee as well as the regular Transportation Committee, has already announced his “chair’s amendment,” which would increase the levy’s cost by $100 million, to $1.55 billion; how it does that is detailed in this council-staff memo. Saka is now also proposing his own amendment that would restore the 35th SW and Fauntleroy Way repaving projects that were in the mayor’s draft levy proposal (which we reported here in April), then were scaled back or removed in the mayor’s final proposal (as we reported here in May).

Saka’s amendment would restore the full 35th SW Alaska-to-Morgan repaving project (much of 35th south of that was repaved last decade), and Fauntleroy Way repaving between 35th and Alaska “to keep roadway functional during light rail station construction.” We asked Councilmember Saka about this at Saturday’s Morgan Junction Community Festival; he said that while the mayor had made an “executive” decision to scale back 35th, community feedback led Saka to propose “legislatively” restoring it to the levy plan. He’ll need the support of a majority of his council colleagues, as is the case with the other amendments proposed – so far the agenda for Tuesday morning’s meeting also includes links to amendments from Councilmembers Tammy Morales, Sara Nelson, and Dan Strauss, plus a vice-chair’s amendment from Councilmember Joy Hollingsworth. The meeting includes a public-comment period (as do most council meetings); the agenda explains how to participate, either remotely or in-person at City Hall (you can also email the council any time – that info is here). This is the committee’s second-to-last scheduled meeting; they’re due to finalize the levy plan next month.

FERRIES: Three notes for tonight and the next three days

Three Washington State Ferries notes:

TONIGHT: On the Fauntleroy/Vashon/Southworth route, M/V Kitsap is sailing at a reduced capacity for the rest of the night, 300 people maximum, because of a crew shortage.

SUNDAY: The systemwide summer schedule takes effect tomorrow. For the Triangle Route, that means two things, WSF says:

Beginning with our summer schedule, we will operate an unscheduled third ferry weekdays on our Fauntleroy/Vashon/Southworth route when crewing and a vessel are available.

This boat will sail around the other two scheduled vessels to help move more riders and keep the two-boat schedule on time.

(Also) an added roundtrip sailing between Vashon and Fauntleroy midday on Fridays.

MONDAY/TUESDAY: Another reminder that WSF’s systemwide updates/Q&A community meeting will be held in two online sessions, noon Monday and 6 pm Tuesday, with duplicate presentations. Registration to get the link for either (or both) is here.

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.

FERRY ALERT: Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route down to one boat tonight

June 14, 2024 6:14 pm
|    Comments Off on FERRY ALERT: Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route down to one boat tonight
 |   Fauntleroy | Transportation | West Seattle news

Washington State Ferries says that “due to the lack of an Oiler,” it will take M/V Kitsap out of service after the 6:15 pm Fauntleroy to Vashon sailing. After that, all #2 sailings are canceled for the rest of the night; M/V Kittitas will remain in service. (You can use Vessel Watch to check its location while you’re waiting.)

FOLLOWUP: Spokane Street Viaduct resurfacing might not happen until fall

(SDOT camera image, 2023)

It’s been three months since we last asked SDOT about the upcoming resurfacing project for the eastbound side of the east half of the West Seattle Bridge, officially known as the Spokane Street Viaduct. SDOT had told us in March that the project would likely happen this summer – and summer’s about to officially start. As of yesterday morning, the project website hadn’t been updated since we inquired in March, so we asked about the status. Spokesperson Mariam Ali replied, “We’re working with the construction contractor to determine the schedule. We will update you when specific dates are chosen, but at this point it looking like construction may begin in the late summer or fall of 2024.” (Concurrent with that reply to us, the project website was updated.) According to the city’s bidding website, the contractor chosen for the work is Combined Construction, which bid just under $7.5 million. The same company resurfaced part of the rest of the bridge during its 2020-2022 closure, as well as the Andover pedestrian-bridge earthquake-resistance work three years ago. SDOT says the Spokane Street Viaduct work, whenever it starts, will require five weekend closures.

LIGHT RAIL: See West Seattle station-area ‘street concepts’ in new city survey

Though the Sound Transit Board is still at least a few months away from its final decision about a West Seattle light-rail route, the city is moving full speed ahead on its share of the plan – designing how the areas around the likely station locations will change. Latest example: A new survey asks you to take a look at the “street-concept plan” for the three station areas in West Seattle.

The survey link first appeared on X/Twitter; after spotting it there, we asked SDOT for more information. Spokesperson Mariam Ali says SDOT is working on the street-concept plan with the Office of Planning and Community Development, “in consultation with Sound Transit” and incorporating previously received community feedback. Before you start the survey, in which you can give feedback on street concepts for one, two, or all three station areas, she offered a little more context:

What Are Street Concept Plans? Street concept plans illustrate how streets could look in the future with specific improvements, such as trees and landscaping, distinct paving options, relocated curbs, and features like benches or unique lighting. To learn more about how SDOT uses Street Concept Plans, visit Seattle Streets Illustrated.

What’s Happening in West Seattle? SDOT and OPCD are creating a street concept plan for the areas around the future light rail stations in West Seattle. This plan provides a vision and guidance for how streets will look and function when light rail opens. The concepts included in the street concept plan will be used to develop designs for future projects that enhance walking, biking, and transit access around these station areas.

Community Involvement: Community members are encouraged to provide feedback through a survey. This feedback will help refine the vision for these streets. Additionally, more information about the plan, the City’s role in advancing light rail in West Seattle, and the option to sign up for an email listserv can be found on the City’s West Seattle and Ballard Link Extension webpage.

If you don’t have time to answer it now, we recommend saving the link and taking a look when you can spare a bit of time – the concepts have many proposed features, such as a vehicle-free “plaza” section of 42nd SW by the Junction station entrance. What you’ll see aren’t full station designs – just the concepts for key streets/intersections nearby.

ADDED WEDNESDAY: If, like one commenter, you’d like to see the images without answering the survey (yet), we asked SDOT, and they’ve sent this PDF version of the survey, images included, replies not required. Also, there’s now a webpage from which the survey is linked – and there’s word of two opportunities to talk with SDOT in person this weekend, one at Roxhill Park at Saturday, another at the Farmers’ Market on Sunday.

WEST SEATTLE WEEKEND SCENE: Adaptive cycling demonstration on Alki Point Healthy Street

For the second consecutive summer, Outdoors for All has brought adaptive-cycling alternatives to the Alki Point Healthy Street area – Beach Drive along Constellation Park – for free tryouts. They’re there today until 2 pm, with equipment meant to facilitate riding for people with disabilities or other challenges such as balance issues. The organization describes its year-round fleet as follows:

· Handcycles for individuals with limited or no leg movement

· Recumbent and therapy trikes for those who need more stability

· Hand and foot powered cycles for children

· Tandem cycles for individuals who want a guide while riding

· Standard 2-wheeled bicycles and Striders

For today’s event, no RSVP needed – just show up!

Adaptive-cycling test rides Sunday at Alki Point’s newly reconfigured Healthy Street

(Photo courtesy Outdoors for All)

“We can get almost anyone on a bike,” says Outdoors for All, which is coming back to West Seattle this Sunday (June 9) for another adaptive-cycling demonstration, with free test rides. Outdoors for All, which is partnering with SDOT for the free event, says it’s “for people with disabilities or anyone that can’t ride a 2-wheeled bike due to balance issues.” They’ll be there 10 am-2 pm Sunday, with trikes, handcycles, and tandems, free of charge to take for a ride. No need to register in advance: “Riders can complete their liability waiver and registration at the event.” Outdoors for All came to the same location last August for a similar event.

One more chance to hear from, talk with SDOT about Highland Park Way hill lane-change plan at D1CN meeting

SDOT has added another West Seattle community-meeting appearance at which reps will discuss the recently announced plan to replace a downhill driving lane on the Highland Park Way hill with a bike lane, a multi-use path, or both. If you want to hear about the plan and/or ask questions, be at the online meeting of the District 1 Community Network, 7 pm Wednesday (June 5). The Zoom link is in the agenda. Also note that the survey about the proposal remains open until June 15.