Transportation 3477 results

REPAVING: What’s ahead for north stretch of California SW

Thanks to Chris for the tip (via this comment). SDOT has spot-repaving plans for California SW north of Admiral Way. No-parking signs are already up for the blocks just south of Hamilton Viewpoint Park. Here’s how SDOT spokesperson Mariam Ali summarizes the plan: “Crews will be performing spot mill and overlays on California Ave SW/California Way SW between SW Admiral Way and Ferry Ave SW for the next 4-8 weeks. We will not be resurfacing the entire stretch, but will be addressing portions of several blocks. The first project is tentatively scheduled to start next week. There will be lane closures and traffic shifts.” (Here’s what “milling” a road refers to.)

FAUNTLEROY FERRY-DOCK PROJECT: Community Advisory Group to reconvene

Three months after the last meeting of the Community Advisory Group for Washington State Ferries‘ Fauntleroy terminal-replacement project, the next one is scheduled. If you’re interested in the project, set your calendar for 6 pm Wednesday, September 21st. The meeting will be online, and you can register to attend by going here. The project is still at least three years away from construction, and many decisions remain to be made. At the May meeting, WSF said it had ruled out building the new terminal/dock at a different location, so that’s settled. Here are the basic options they’re studying:

If you need to catch up on other points of discussion, here’s our coverage of an online community meeting held in June.

FOLLOWUP: The plan for SW Andover, post-sweep/eco-blocks

(WSB photo: Looking east on SW Andover late this afternoon)

We reported Monday on the removal of dozens of eco-blocks that had been placed along SW Andover and 28th SW after the city swept the longrunning RV encampment there in June. This afternoon, we finally have the full SDOT explanation of what happened and what’s planned for the area:

The eco-blocks were removed by the business that placed them. Following protocol, SDOT sent a warning notice after the concrete blocks were placed due to the lack of an approved street permit. The correspondence led to a productive conversation in which the business took responsibility for setting them and agreed to remove the eco-blocks at their own expense. During discussions, we shared plans for paving the street and discussed how the curb space and right of way currently work for businesses in the area.

New pavement being added on the north side of SW Andover Street creates space for a westbound protected bike lane, the option to leverage the paving project, and fill a gap in our bicycle network. This concept resonated with those with whom we spoke. Crews are also making drainage and landscaping improvements, which is why you noticed dirt removal. The paving of SW Andover St between 26th Ave SW and 28th Ave SW is currently scheduled for August 8-11. The paving repairs damage that may have occurred due to increased traffic during the West Seattle Bridge closure.

The bike lanes will be on both sides of SW Andover St, between 26th Ave SW and 28th Ave SW, and bike enhancements could be potentially added to SW Yancy St. The design is at about 50%, and we expect installation to be this fall. There will be no impacts to travel lanes. However, some parking and loading zones will be impacted and removed. The Bike Master Plan recommends a Neighborhood Greenway treatment. Due to the industrial nature of the area and for the comfort and enhanced safety of those biking, we are installing a protected bike lane (PBL). The Levy to Move Seattle is funding the bike lane design.

SDOT says the paving will be complete this week; the schedule for building the bike lane is not yet finalized.

NEW FERRY: What you’ll see off West Seattle starting tomorrow

Joining Washington State Ferries, the King County Water Taxi, and Kitsap Transit Fast Ferries on the waters of central Puget Sound tomorrow, the city of Des Moines will be testing a foot ferry.

(Photo from City of Des Moines website)

Wednesday (August 10) will be the first day for a two-month pilot, running a passenger-only ferry between the Des Moines Marina and the Bell Harbor Marina on the downtown Seattle waterfront. They’ll be using the Chilkat Express, chartered from and operated by Puget Sound Express. For starters, they’re planning four roundtrips daily, Wednesdays through Sundays (see the schedule here). It’s expected to take about 40 minutes each way. For the first week, they’re offering free rides, but starting Wednesday, August 17th, it’ll be $10 each way (see other fares here). The city of Des Moines announcement of the service includes some interesting side notes – such as a plan to use Highline Public Schools students as paid intern deckhands

FERRY ALERT: Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth down to one boat later this evening

This time it’s not a boat shortage but a crew shortage that has Washington State Ferries canceling runs on the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route. WSF says the #1 boat will tie up after the 7:35 pm Fauntleroy-Vashon run and will remain out of service for the rest of the night, which means: “This will cancel the 8:50 p.m. from Fauntleroy to Vashon, 9:15 p.m. Vashon to Southworth and the 9:35 p.m. from Southworth to Vashon on the #2 schedule.”

FOLLOWUP: Many questions remain in Fauntleroy ferry crash

(WSB photo, Thursday afternoon)

In the wake of Thursday morning’s ferry crash (WSB all-day coverage here), the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth run is back to two boats, but the damaged M/V Cathlamet remains out of service, likely for months. We asked WSF some followup questions Friday afternoon. Little new information was made available, but here’s what we have learned.

The U.S. Coast Guard continues leading the investigation into whether the ferry hit an offshore structure because of mechanical problems or human error, but there’s “no new news” on that, said WSF spokesperson Dana Warr. They weren’t able to tell us whether any of the crew on duty at the time have been cleared to return to work – but the captain who was at the helm of Cathlamet was definitely not back to work yet because, Warr said, the incident happened on “his ‘Friday’.” Still no additional information available regarding the captain’s background or years of service.

Cathlamet remains at WSF’s Eagle Harbor maintenance facility on Bainbridge Island “for further inspections and we’re working to make a claim with our insurance company to begin repair in the future. It looks like the work can be done dockside but that could change based on more inspections.” WSF’s supply of backup boats was already tight with M/V Kitsap being summoned to replace Cathlamet, but another boat will be completing repairs and resuming service soon – the M/V Tacoma, according to what WSF’s John Vezina told the West Seattle Transportation Coalition‘s Thursday night meeting.

As for the damaged dolphin – the offshore structure the Cathlamet hit – Warr said, “Evaluations continue but could be a week or more before removal of damaged pilings begin.” At the WSTC meeting, Vezina explained that the dolphins are helpful for guiding the ferry into the dock and keeping it there even in rough weather, but not essential, and there’s even new magnetic technology in development that could change the need for them.

Finally, we wondered about the car that was caught in the crumpled section of the ferry. “It is likely the car won’t be able to be removed until it is taken to a shipyard.”

ROAD WORK: SDOT repaving 35th SW here and there

(Repaved section completed today, between Findlay and Juneau)

A full repaving of 35th Avenue SW has long been postponed – last major mention in our archives was five years and two SDOT directors ago, suggesting it wouldn’t happen any sooner than 2023. Not on the schedule through 2024 right now, but SDOT’s lately been repaving a block here and a block there. Most of it has been without wide advance announcement – aside from last weekend’s traffic alerts including the plan for repaving 35th between Holly and Morgan. After happening onto another stretch of work today between Juneau and Findlay, we asked SDOT for a list of what’s been done and what’s yet to come. Spokesperson Ethan Bergerson replied:

This is part of our Reconnect West Seattle work. We are working to repair rough spots in the pavement on roads like 35th Ave SW that saw a decrease in traffic when the West Seattle Bridge closed and will likely become more heavily used once the bridge reopens.

Over the last two weeks, we have paved several blocks on 35th Ave SW including:

SW Barton St to SW Trenton St (two blocks)
SW Kenyon St to SW Holden St
SW Myrtle St to SW Willow St
SW Holly St to SW Morgan St
SW Graham St to SW Raymond St
SW Juneau St to SW Findlay St (we are finishing work on this today).

In the near future, we also plan to pave one more block of 35th Ave SW from SW Edmunds St to SW Alaska St.

VIDEO: New SDOT director announced – Greg Spotts from Los Angeles

(WSB photo)

11:51 AM: We’re on Beacon Hill, where Mayor Bruce Harrell has just announced his choice for the new director of SDOT: Greg Spotts, the Executive Officer and Chief Sustainability Officer at the Los Angeles Bureau of Street Services. You can watch live on Seattle Channel. From the news release:

Spotts currently serves as the Executive Officer and Chief Sustainability Officer at the Los Angeles Bureau of Street Services, which oversees 1,500 staff positions, an annual budget of $230 million, and a capital program of more than $350 million. He has led the delivery of over $600 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act projects as well as efforts to make Los Angeles more walkable, bikeable, transit-friendly and sustainable.

Spotts will begin at the department in early September as acting director until Council confirmation. Later today, he will join SDOT crews to tour current bridge infrastructure and see maintenance efforts in action. As he settles in at SDOT, Spotts will tour Seattle’s vibrant neighborhoods by riding transit, cycling, and walking with neighbors and community groups.

The mayor says his choice “fits the bill,” saying Potts is the “transformational leader” he was looking for. He says Spotts has the ability to “consider the academic approach first,” with data and research. Spotts’ online profile quotes him: “I get a thrill from delivering innovative mobility and sustainability projects that revitalize the Los Angeles streetscape.”

12:01 PM: Spotts is now speaking. He says he’s used to working with neighborhoods – L.A., he says, has 99 of them. He says he’ll launch a “listening tour” in September. He says, among other things, he’s “thrilled” to be joining as the Sound Transit light-rail project revs up, and says he worked on light rail in L.A. He says his first day will be September 7th. After his remarks, the mayor goes into some backstory about the search process, which involved an advisory committee.

12:25 PM: The event is over. During Q&A, we asked Spotts what experience he has with bridges. While he’s not a civil engineer, he noted, in short, plenty. We’ll take a closer look at that when back at HQ. The event was held on the Roberto Maestas Festival Street near the Beacon Hill light-rail station to stress themes of equity and multimodality, noted the mayor. Also of note, the choice of someone from L.A. is a coastal change from the past two SDOT directors, both of whom came here by way of Washington, D.C.

1:39 PM: We’re back at HQ and uploading video from the event (update: added above). Here’s Spotts’s biography on the L.A. Bureau of Street Services website. Here’s the city news release; the position requires City Council confirmation, and according to the job listing posted through early July, pays up to a quarter-million dollars a year.

Mayor to announce new SDOT director Wednesday

Just out of the inbox – Mayor Bruce Harrell has chosen a new SDOT director “after an extensive national search” and will make the announcement Wednesday. When previous director Sam Zimbabwe‘s departure was announced and chief of staff Kristen Simpson was appointed interim director, the mayor said she didn’t intend to apply for the permanent job. No finalists have been announced, just a search committee appointed in April. The new director will arrive not only as the West Seattle Bridge prepares to reopen, but also as SDOT works on a longterm prioritization plan, which in turn will shape the next funding package, successor to the Levy to Move Seattle. (During our conversation on Tuesday, West Seattle Bridge project director Heather Marx, a West Seattle resident, told us the funding project will be in her portfolio post-bridge.) Meantime, you can watch the announcement of the new SDOT director at 11:45 am Wednesday via Seattle Channel. The job pays up to $254,000, according to the online listing.

Save Fauntleroy Cove Park group leaps into lull for ferry-dock project

The public phase of the Fauntleroy ferry terminal replacement project is in a summer lull – next milestone, Washington State Ferries spokesperson Hadley Rodero tells WSB, is that in “September, we will share the results of the next round of screening for the remaining project alternatives. Community advocacy efforts are active, however, including a new group focused on saving Cove Park to the north of the existing dock. The group has launched a website spelling out its concerns. First, some background on Cove Park:

(WSB photo, July 18, 2015)

Exactly seven years ago – on July 18, 2015 – the small beachfront park reopened to the public after a three-year closure for a pump-station upgrade. It’s officially a city street-end, not a Seattle Parks property, transformed by community members in the ’90s. The new group is worried about possible options for the ferry terminal/dock rebuild that could expand its footprint. One of the volunteers involved in the Save Cove Park effort, Diana Spence, explains, “We are trying to bring awareness to the community that they can get involved to protect Fauntleroy Cove. We don’t support any option that would include expanding the ferry terminal footprint to the north.” Spence says they’re awaiting more public involvement before taking a position on any particular alternative that’s currently into play. Right now, they’re working on awareness and are distributing yard signs – more than 50 so far – as well as supporting a letter-writing campaign – more info is on the group’s website.

FOLLOWUP: Terminal 5 ‘quiet zone’ not expected to be ready before next year

With windows open on warm summer nights, more people are noticing train horns. Several recent reader notes led us to check on the status of the “quiet zone” that’s part of the Terminal 5 modernization project – and while we were working on it, a mini-briefing turned up as part of a T-5 update at the District 1 Community Network‘s July meeting (WSB coverage here). The “quiet zone” is a package of crossing-safety improvements aimed at making it less likely that train operators will have to sound their horns at crossings along a six-tenths-of-a-mile stretch of track between T-5 and Riverside Mill.

The port’s project manager Curtis Stahlecker talked about it at D1CN’s meeting last week, and brought the rendering shown above. The track will have fencing on both sides, and two of the five current crossings in the “quiet zone” will be permanently closed, he said. Changes to the three remaining crossings include that #1 will be gated, and only pedestrians will be allowed to cross it; #5 will be a private, one-way-only crossing. Stahlecker was careful to remind everyone that train horns won’t be prohibited in the “quiet zone”; it’s hoped the changes will render them unnecessary, but if operators think they need to sund horns, they will still be able to.

Now the question is – how soon will the “quiet zone” be ready? At one point, it was expected to be ready before T-5’s first berth opened. That didn’t happen. Then back in February, SDOT told the West Seattle Transportation Coalition that the project would start after the West Seattle Bridge reopened. Just a few months before that, a port contingent had told HPAC it was expected to be ready in early 2023. But now it’s looking like construction will have barely begun by then, according to SDOT spokesperson Mariam Ali‘s reply when we asked for a status report (SDOT is responsible for getting the “quiet zone” built):

The project is currently at 95 percent design and expected to reach 100 percent this summer. The project team is finalizing design comments related to the rail crossing, which requires communication and approval from partner agencies, including the Port and BNSF. The project is estimated to advertise early this fall and issue notice to proceed for construction before the end of the year.

One more important reminder, the “quiet zone” won’t address all local train noise – it’s aimed at Terminal 5 rail traffic; trains you hear in our area may also be serving other facilities, such as industrial businesses along the Duwamish River. But this is the most progress that has been made in efforts related to reducing train noise, which date back many years (we first wrote about one community effort in 2008).

Seven people hurt in RapidRide C Line bus collision

A reader asked us about an incident involving a RapidRide C Line bus around 6:40 this morning on northbound Highway 99 just south of the tunnel, saying they were in a nearby car when they saw the bus appear to “go out of control and slam into the far right barrier on the off-ramp and skid along hard enough to create sparks/fire and crack the doors/window.” The bus came to stop in a traffic lane on the Dearborn offramp, as shown in this camera image from an @SDOTTraffic tweet:

We contacted both Metro and SFD to ask about it. Metro spokesperson Al Sanders says their Traffic Control Center reported that “the northbound coach made contact with the Jersey Barrier at Colorado St. There was damage to the right side, with the right side mirror breaking off from the impact. Seven passengers were treated at the scene for minor injuries. Operator was relieved, and a new coach was dispatched to continue the service.” SFD said their crews only needed to treat one person, a 61-year-old woman. Metro’s report did not indicate a cause; SFD said it was initially reported to them as a collision involving the bus and another vehicle.

WEST SEATTLE LIGHT RAIL: City changes plan for Delridge station recommendation

One month after a City Council committee got its first look at which West Seattle/Ballard light-rail routing/station alternatives were proposed for official city support – as covered here – there’s been a big change. At its meeting this morning, the Transportation and Utilities Committee voted unanimously for amended city-supported recommendations – including no preference for the Delridge station location.

(Light-rail discussion starts 33 minutes in)

As we reported last month, the draft recommendations included support for the alternative known as DEL-6, which was a late addition to what Sound Transit decided to study in the draft Environmental Impact Statement. Much recent concern centered on two specific facilities that DEL-6 could take out – the Alki Beach Academy child-care center in the business park off SW Andover, and Transitional Resources supportive housing for people living with mental illness, most of whom had previously been homeless. The amended resolution passed today says the city can’t support a “preferred alternative” for the Delridge station because of inadequate study of those effects. Bottom line, there’s “no clear community consensus” for a Delridge option, West Seattle/South Park Councilmember Lisa Herbold said during this morning’s meeting. Here’s the Delridge-related language in the amendment:

The resolution did not change the other two alternatives recommended for city support in this leg of ST light rail (currently expected to open in 2032) – the WSJ-5 “medium tunnel” option for The Junction, with an underground 41st SW station and a “retained cut” Avalon station, and a south Duwamish River crossing (DUW-1a). However, as pointed out during the meeting, the city recommendations are just recommendations – the decision on which alternatives to pursue for the final EIS and then the construction decision are wholly up to the Sound Transit Board. Its next vote is expected on July 28th, and board committees will talk about it before then, including the ST Executive Committee this Thursday (July 7th), 10:30 am. It’s a hybrid meeting; the agenda explains how to sign up for public comment, either online or in-person.

FOLLOWUP: SDOT plans ‘half-signal’ at California/Findlay, 2 months after deadly crash nearby

After a driver hit and killed 30-year-old Nicholas Wolf on California Avenue SW just north of SW Findlay, much discussion ensued about pedestrian safety in the area. But neighbors have been working on it for a long time.

Today, neighbors received word that SDOT plans to upgrade the California/Findlay intersection to a pedestrian-activated half-signal. Here’s the letter they got from interim SDOT director Kristen Simpson:

… I am following up on my previous email to let you know that we recently completed our engineering evaluation of this location, and to share with you our plan for making improvements.

In our study, we considered several factors including traffic volumes along both California Avenue SW and SW Findlay Street, turning movement counts, numbers of people walking and biking, transit ridership, travel speeds, roadway geometry, adjacent land uses, proximity of neighborhood greenway connections, potential school crossings, nearby signalized crossing opportunities, existing intersection traffic control, and the collision history of the intersection. Based on our analysis, we plan to upgrade the existing yellow flashing beacons at the intersection to a pedestrian half signal. The pedestrian half signal can be activated by push buttons and will stop traffic on California Avenue SW with a red signal indication. This pedestrian half signal design and operation will be similar to that of the traffic control at the nearby Fauntleroy Way SW and SW Findlay Street intersection. We will be funding this upgrade through our existing programs – including the Levy to Move Seattle – and intend to deliver this improvement by the end of this year, barring unforeseen issues.

In addition, we will be implementing a painted curb bulb in the southeast and northwest quadrants to improve sightlines for pedestrians crossing at the intersection, and installing a median island on the south leg of California Ave SW, in close proximity to the intersection to reduce the open feel of California Avenue SW, prevent the use of the center turn lane as a through lane, and potentially reduce vehicle speeds. We anticipate implementing these improvements by the end of this year as well.

The intersection has two RapidRide C Line stations, southbound just south of the crosswalk, northbound just to the north.

As for the deadly crash – the investigation continues but the initial police narrative was obtained by independent journalist Ryan Packer and provided to WSB. In it, police say the 16-year-old driver who hit Mr. Wolf returned to the scene, with his father, about an hour after the crash. The narrative says he told officers that he was driving “50 to 55 miles per hour” northbound at the time of the crash. Mr. Wolf and his wife had just been dropped off by a friend on the west side of the street and were crossing to get to their residence on the east side of the street.

FERRIES: No third boat for Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth this holiday weekend, or anytime soon

(WSB file photo)

It’s been more than eight months since the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth ferry route was again reduced to two boats. Even for a busy holiday weekend, it’s not getting a third boat – and it’s not likely to see three-boat service restored until next spring, which could mean almost one full year from now. That’s according to both WSF’s latest Service Restoration Plan Progress Report and the updates given at WSF’s online community meetings earlier this month.

At the meetings – we watched the recording of the daytime session on June 14th – WSF managers went into exhaustive detail about the systemwide shortages of both staff and vessels that have put their service-restoration plan on “pause” right now. Regarding staff, they said the most critical shortage is of licensed captains and deck officers – they have 26 fewer than they need, and it’s not an easy position to fill, because the WSF captains and mates also have to be trained pilots, something that other large ships handle in Puget Sound by bringing a pilot on board. Meantime, they have five fewer vessels than needed. And new fleet additions are now even further in the future than before, as the state’s talks with Vigor to build the new hybrid ferries broke down (as first reported by the Kitsap Sun) and they’ll be going out to bid, which means no new ferry before 2027. The first one was supposed to be under construction by now, per the plan originally announced at a Vigor event we covered in 2019.

Back to service restoration in the shorter term – WSF reps were asked at the June 14th meeting why Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth is toward the bottom of the priority list for restoration, considering it includes a ferry-dependent community. System managers noted that Vashon has an alternative – the one-boat Tahlequah-Point Defiance run. They’re also not expecting to restore regular service levels to Seattle/Bremerton or Port Townsend/Coupeville until next spring, either.

UPDATE: Mayor cancels West Seattle Transportation Coalition appearance

7:40 PM MONDAY: Three weeks after he answered questions at the District 1 Community Network’s meeting, Mayor Bruce Harrell is expected to do the same when the West Seattle Transportation Coalition meets online this Thursday night (June 23rd). While much of the attention during his first half-year has been on public safety and homelessness, transportation is a spotlight too, as the mayor has announced a public process for helping him hire a new SDOT director. And of course the West Seattle Bridge repairs have another three months to go. Also on the mayor’s transportation plate – as a Sound Transit Board member, he’ll be helping decide this summer which “preferred alternative” will be pursued for West Seattle light rail.Thursday night’s meeting is set to start at 6:30 pm; we expect to get the viewing/participation link in the next day or two, and it’ll be in the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar when we do.

11:12 AM MONDAY: The mayor’s staff has sent WSTC word this morning that “something … came up” for Thursday night, so he won’t be in attendance after all.

SURVEY: Researchers want to know how you get around and how you shop

The UW Urban Freight Lab has some questions for you, if you can spare a few minutes for a survey. Here’s how they explained it in their note asking if we’d consider publishing the survey link:

In collaboration with the Seattle Department of Transportation, we are currently running a survey of consumer shopping behaviors in West Seattle. Our goal is to understand how people shop, travel to stores, and make online purchases in 2022 and relate this information back to the transportation system. The survey should take about 5 minutes to complete and participants can enter into a drawing for a $50 gift card.

We went through the survey before publishing this; the questions we saw included ones about shopping and dining as well as how/whether the bridge closure has changed your transportation habits. It’s an anonymous survey and starts here.

Ferry questions? WSF plans systemwide community meetings this month

June 3, 2022 1:30 pm
|    Comments Off on Ferry questions? WSF plans systemwide community meetings this month
 |   Fauntleroy | Transportation | West Seattle news

(Ferry in Elliott Bay, photographed by Jerry Simmons)

Most of the Washington State Ferries news here lately has been related to ongoing planning for the Fauntleroy terminal/dock rebuild. But the ferry system is still in a reduced mode of operation on some routes, including Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth, and has announced online community meetings to provide updates on where things stand. The meetings are set for 1 pm Tuesday, June 14th, and 6 pm Wednesday, June 15th. From the announcement, here’s the plan:

WSF staff will give a brief presentation on upcoming summer service, hiring challenges and the agency’s process to restore service to pre-pandemic levels. Participants will be able to ask questions and provide comments during the meeting. Both meetings will cover the same material and are designed to give participants the option to join the meeting that best fits their schedule.

You can register for the June 14th meeting here, and/or the June 15th meeting here, to get attendance info.

FOLLOWUP: Fauntleroy/Fontanelle chestnut tree gets a reprieve; its champion is ‘beyond thrilled’

1:32 PM: Back in mid-April, we were first to report on a neighborhood campaign to save the chestnut tree shown above, on private property but in the path of a public project – a curb ramp to help people crossing SW Fontanelle on the east side of Fauntleroy Way, just north of Solstice Park. Its roots had grown under the sidewalk. In late April, as reported here, the city arborist came out for a look, and said they would determine within a few weeks whether the tree could be saved. Today, we have word from SDOT that they’ve found a way. From spokesperson Ethan Bergerson:

We are pleased to share that we have found a solution which will allow us to repair the sidewalk and build an accessible curb ramp at the corner of Fauntleroy Way SW and SW Fontanelle St without removing any trees.

We have heard from many community members who were concerned about the possibility that this tree might have to be removed as a part of our curb ramp project to improve accessibility in this neighborhood. While SDOT had never determined that it would be necessary to remove the tree, we are glad that we were able to find a solution which maintains the health of this tree and resolves the community’s concerns.

Our updated curb ramp design will allow us to build a new parallel/corner curb ramp with minimal tree root trimming that should not harm the tree. SDOT worked closely with Seattle Public Utilities, which will relocate the fire hydrant near the chestnut tree at the northeast corner of Fauntleroy Way SW and SW Fontanelle St. The new location for the fire hydrant will continue to provide the same level of fire protection for the neighborhood, and allow us to build a new curb bulb to make room for a curb ramp that meets ADA standards without harming the tree.

We anticipate completing this curb ramp work in the next two to three weeks, depending on weather conditions. Our contractor is scheduled to begin excavation work to decommission the existing fire hydrant and install a new fire hydrant as soon as Friday June 3.

Relocating the fire hydrant requires a temporary water outage, which is scheduled for 8 a.m. to noon on Monday, June 6. Impacted customers have been notified by SPU, and more information about the planned water outage can be found on SPU’s Water Outage Map.

We will continue with sidewalk demolition work followed by concrete pouring throughout next week. We will perform some minimal tree root trimming as we remove existing sidewalks to prepare for the concrete pour. We will have our urban forestry team on site to help monitor this work and ensure the health of the tree.

We’re checking with the resident who led the fight to save the tree and will add her comment when we have it.

1:59 PM: That resident, Sara Macko, says, “I am incredibly overjoyed that we could all come together and keep this corner of the world beautiful and sustainable for our environment!” She’s grateful to everyone who joined in the effort, and to the city reps who worked with her, and adds, “We taught a 9 year old girl, Piper, that if you believe in something, work hard at it, and bring your peers and neighbors together, you can make your dream a reality! I am beyond thrilled.” She hopes to host a celebration, soon, with her band playing, next door at Solstice Park, “an opportunity to bring our West Seattle community together to thank them all for their support, and to rejoice near our infamous tree.”

ADDED FRIDAY AFTERNOON: Regarding the cost, SDOT’s Bergerson says, “A preliminary rough estimate is that this may add as much as $35,000 – $45,000 to the project, including both SDOT’s and SPU’s costs.”

You might be owed a refund: City canceling hundreds of thousands of parking tickets (updated Thursday)

ORIGINAL WEDNESDAY REPORT: If you got a city-issued parking ticket between September 1, 2021 and April 5, 2022, the city is canceling it – and if you already paid it, you’l get a refund. According to an announcement from the mayor’s office late today, this is because a mistake was made when Parking Enforcement Officers were transferred to SDOT last year. Long story short, as explained in the announcements, once they were no longer in SPD, the PEOs were supposed to get “special commissions issued by the Chief of Police” so they could keep enforcing the law. That didn’t happen – until the new administration noticed it and fixed it. But that meant uncommissioned officers had issued tickets to about 200,000 people, and those are being voided. To check if you got a ticket that’s involved, go here. The city says if you’re entitled to a refund, that’ll happen automatically, starting next week. If you’ve gotten a city-issued parking ticket since April 5th, you’re out of luck – that’s valid. The city’s announcement says they estimate refunds are due to 100,000 ticket recipients who had already paid, while 100,000 others have not-yet-paid tickets that will simply be voided.

ADDED THURSDAY EVENING: We asked mayoral spokesperson Jamie Housen two followup questions: First, how much this will cost; second, what kind of investigation is under way into who was accountable for the mistake? First answer: Just over $5 million including the cost of a third-party administrator. Second, “The mayor has requested additional information from the involved departments about the transition of the PEOs and the issuance of special commissions and will use this information to determine next steps and how to improve coordination between departments.:

Vision Zero 7+ years later, connecting local bicycle riders, more @ May’s West Seattle Transportation Coalition meeting

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Though the “zero” in Vision Zero is not yet in sight, the program’s coordinator remains hopeful.

Her presentation led off this month’s meeting of the West Seattle Transportation Coalition, which also spotlighted a local bicycling group, and ended with some decisions about WSTC’s future.

VISION ZERO: Seven and a half years have passed since Vision Zero, envisioning an elimination of traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030, was announced. The program’s coordinator for SDOT, Allison Schwartz, was the meeting’s first guest, accompanied by SDOT’s mobility manager Sara Zora. Schwartz noted that this presentation is similar to the update she gave to the Pedestrian Advisory Board two weeks earlier. Again here, she somberly noted the 10 people killed in traffic incidents – on foot (including two West Seattle deaths), on bikes, in cars – in Seattle so far this year.

But they’re undaunted in efforts to reverse the trend: “Vision Zero is more than a slogan … it requires a paradigm shift … prioritizing the movement of human beings” rather than prioritizing vehicles, she said. To do that would take “decades of undoing” what led to this point, she said. Here’s how the program hopes to get to a safer place:

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Here’s what was asked and answered at Fauntleroy ferry-dock-replacement meeting

(WSB file photo)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The Fauntleroy ferry-dock/terminal-replacement project is “where the Viaduct was in 2005,” suggested Washington State FerriesDavid Sowers at last night’s online community meeting – lots of alternatives, early stages of planning.

He should know, having led the Viaduct-replacing tunnel project in its late stages.

Sowers now oversees terminal projects (among other things) for WSF, and he did much of the talking at the meeting. Attendance wasn’t shown or announced but when doing an early attendee poll, facilitator Lauren Foster showed a result with a 6%, which she described as “one of you,” so that would suggest fewer than 20 in attendance at the start. This was the second of two meetings meant to recap where the project is now – still a relatively early stage of planning. No new information was presented, but 45 minutes were spent on Q&A, which might be of interest even to those who’ve been following the project closely. First:

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New traffic cameras for West Marginal/Highland Park Way area

As discussed in comments following this morning’s traffic watch, the traffic camera that’s long shown West Marginal and Highland Park Way suddenly moved to another part of the city. Responding to our inquiry, SDOT explained that the move is part of an upgrade – that was a long-in-place portable camera, but now the permanent ones are activated, explains spokesperson Ethan Bergerson:

We have installed four new permanent traffic cameras in this general area (two intersections, each with two camera viewing angles). All of these cameras will now have the option for live video streams. We’re in the process of updating the Traveler’s Map (at this moment the view from the University District is still appearing in addition to the correct camera feeds, and you can use the “prev” and “next” buttons to switch to the correct cameras.).

Here are the locations:

W Marginal Way SW & Highland Pk Way SW (two camera angles):

2nd Ave SW & Highland Pk Way SW (two camera angles):

(To get the video feeds, you have to access the cameras via the SDOT map; the cameras and where they point are controlled by SDOT’s traffic center.) We’ll be adding these cameras to the WSB Traffic Cameras page too.