Transportation – West Seattle Blog… West Seattle news, 24/7 Wed, 15 Aug 2018 01:30:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Another new stairway on the way for West Seattle, plus an update on others Tue, 07 Aug 2018 23:49:26 +0000

Thanks to Scott Amick for spotting the posted notice that work is about to start on a new stairway at SW Myrtle between Sylvan and 25th. This wasn’t on the list of scheduled West Seattle stairway projects that we published earlier this year, nor could we find it on the city website, so we checked in with SDOT‘s Greg Funk. He explained that funding found to replace a 50-foot-long dirt path here is coming from the Safe Routes to School program. Grading work is scheduled to start “as soon as” this week; then the stairway itself will be built in October. He also provided an update on other projects, following up on our March check-in:

*SW Director (between upper and lower Fauntleroy Way across from the ferry terminal) is complete

*SW Willow and pathway (at California) are complete

*SW Hill (between 42nd and California) is under construction, 1 more month or sooner

(SDOT photo)

*SW Hill (another one across from that one), added because of savings on “a couple projects”

*SW Holly (at Beveridge) is under construction, closed for 2 months. Funk adds: “This will be a stairway we are going to reset and will be one of our historic streetcar slab stairways – one of 5 we will be doing in the future.”

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FOLLOWUP: What’s next for SDOT’s Arbor Heights sidewalk project Fri, 03 Aug 2018 20:03:37 +0000 (SDOT photo)

SDOT‘s Arbor Heights sidewalk project has veered off its original schedule, as neighbors are well aware. Brand-new info is just in regarding what SDOT says will happen next:

The water shut off by Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) has been postponed from last week to next Monday, August 6. Water will be shut off from 9 AM – 6 PM. Impacted areas include: 35th Ave SW and 36th Ave SW (between SW 100th and SW 104th St) and SW 102nd St (between 35th Ave SW and 36th Ave SW). SPU notified impacted households.

Due to delay and shortage of concrete, we are slightly behind on schedule – our crews are finishing pouring concrete for the curbs between SW 100th St and SW 102nd St today (all curbs are complete after today).

Next Monday, we will pour concrete on all of the driveways – come Tuesday, residents will be able to park on their driveways again.

We will also be paving asphalt on the roadway against the curb (where the gravel used to be).

35th Ave SW will remain open this weekend.

We are scheduled to pour concrete for all sidewalks on Wednesday, August 15.

The main goal of the project is to add sidewalks to the west side of 35th SW from SW 100th to SW 106th.

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LIGHT RAIL: Your next two chances to talk with Sound Transit in West Seattle, plus video of the most-recent briefing Thu, 02 Aug 2018 22:32:31 +0000 Next month is a big one in the journey to a “preferred alternative” for Sound Transit‘s West Seattle and Ballard light-rail extensions. But you have opportunities to catch up this month, too.

First: ST reps will be in West Seattle twice next week.

‘DRINK AND LINK’: Ounces (3809 Delridge Way SW) is hosting a briefing (Link is the official name of ST’s light-rail service) at 7 pm next Wednesday, August 8th. All welcome.

DELRIDGE DAY: ST will have a booth at the Delridge Day festival, 11 am-3 pm Saturday, August 11th, at Delridge Community Center park (Delridge Way SW/SW Genesee).

WATCH JuNO BRIEFING: Before then, you can catch up by watching the briefing Sound Transit’s Andrea Barnett and Stephen Mak presented to the Junction Neighborhood Organization‘s quarterly meeting:

We recorded the briefing during JuNO’s meeting one week ago.

WHAT’S NEXT: At its next meeting September 5th, the Stakeholder Advisory Group is scheduled to get evaluation information – such as technical points, cost, visualizations, etc. – on the proposed alignments, which include five options in the West Seattle area. That information is supposed to be available for community members at the next Neighborhood Forum in West Seattle (9 am September 8th, Seattle Lutheran High School gym, 4100 SW Genesee). Then the SAG makes its next round of recommendations September 26th regarding which alignment(s) should advance to the final level of review before the “preferred alignment” is chosen for environmental study.

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West Seattle Water Taxi plans for August’s major music events: Pearl Jam, SPF30 Tue, 31 Jul 2018 16:36:30 +0000 (WSB photo, March 2018)

A question from Kirsten led us to ask the King County Water Taxi team about plans for the upcoming Pearl Jam concerts at Safeco Field, and while we were asking, we inquired about the reported plans to add service for SPF30, the Sub Pop Records 30th anniversary extravaganza at Alki. Here’s what we found out from Water Taxi spokesperson Brent Champaco:

PEARL JAM AT SAFECO FIELD, AUGUST 8 & 10: “We are not planning to operate extended evening service for the Pearl Jam concert Wednesday, Aug. 8; however, on Aug. 10 we will be operating on our regular Friday schedule for West Seattle, which already has extended sailings. We typically do not run extended service for special events other than evening home Mariners, Seahawks and Sounders FC games.”

SPF30 AT ALKI, AUGUST 11: “We have been working directly with Sub Pop Records … On Saturday, Aug. 11, in addition to the MV Doc Maynard running its regular Saturday service, we plan on running an extra boat (the MV Sally Fox) on the West Seattle route from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and again from 7:30 p.m. 11:30 p.m. These times are when we expect most people to be traveling to, and returning from, the event.” (Sub Pop has promised full transportation details soon.)

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Councilmembers talk SDOT and everybody talks light rail @ West Seattle Transportation Coalition Mon, 30 Jul 2018 06:56:52 +0000

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Plenty of questions for City Councilmembers Lisa Herbold and Teresa Mosqueda at this month’s West Seattle Transportation Coalition meeting.

In introductory remarks at Thursday night’s meeting, both described themselves as Metro bus riders at least part of the time; Mosqueda said she also rides a bicycle sometimes. “I show up at work after I get off my bike with a smile on my face,” she said.

First question for the two: What’s the biggest issue that they see affecting West Seattle commuters?

Herbold: “The upcoming ‘period of maximum constraint’ (downtown projects converging) … there’s a lot we have to do to get the buses ready for that … in that vein, the council passed out of Transportation Committee last week a Downtown Bus Network plan.” She said she plans to be sure that key steps are put into place to help with the “maximum constraint” time. She added that her “vision for SDOT funding” is that District 1 funding will flow here in a way that recognizes the “special position” West Seattle has regarding getting to and from the peninsula. Herbold also mentioned the quest for a roundabout in Highland Park and that gateway to West Seattle’s increasing use and importance. She said there’s high hope the state will grant money to the project on the next try.

She also mentioned the added Route 56 bus service that’s ahead this September (as mentioned again in Metro‘s announcement Wednesday). She’s hoping the Water Taxi shuttle might be in line for some improvements too.

Mosqueda, elected last year to one of two citywide positions on the council, first worked to establish some West Seattle cred by explaining that she lived on Alki in the early ’00s and then The Junction for a few years before moving to lower Queen Anne, “so I know how amazing this neighborhood is.” She added that she’s concerned with the federal government “scaling back funding for multi-modal transportation options.” Another area of interest: She said she has amendments planned regarding the bicycle-infrastructure bill coming before the council this week to be sure that it will address all abilities, genders, ages, etc. She said she had recently visited Minneapolis and went on a bicycle tour that was aimed at encouraging more members of communities of color “to see themselves biking.”

WSTC chair Michael Taylor-Judd voiced concern regarding “rushing” the start of construction for the Convention Center and wondered about the city’s “lack of commitment” toward the One Center City plan. Herbold said, “It’s hard to make a commitment to particular ideas if you’re still in an exploratory phase and I feel that’s what’s going on … but … we’re running out of time.”

WSTC baord member Chas Redmond noted that SDOT leadership is in transition, “so what are you people doing to make (the department) work?”

Herbold admitted that SDOT is “in a world of hurt.” She said interim director Goran Sparrman “seemed to get it” and she’s “disappointed that he’s leaving.” She’s also concerned that there’s no chance SDOT will have a permanent director any sooner than October. She mentioned she’ll be proposing on Monday that there be a proviso requiring SDOT to come back to council when they reach the 30 percent design mark on the Delridge Multimodal Corridor (RapidRide H Line conversion) plan, even as the council lifts one that required SDOT to check in with them when it got to the 10 percent point.

Taylor-Judd asked about conflicting reports from various transportation agencies, such as with the recent “streetcars too big for the tracks?” controversy. Mosqueda acknowledged that and voiced overall concern about various city departments in leadership transition – “we not only have a gap at SDOT, we have a gap at the Human Services Department that oversees homelessness, we have a gap at City Light … we had four mayors last year.” She is hopeful for an end to “fingerpointing” and an increase in “accountability,” which the council should keep pressing.

Then the Alaskan Way Viaduct-to-tunnel transition came up. Chris Arkills from King County said October is still the timeframe getting the most buzz but “if that date slips,” it’s likely to be postponed until after the first of the year, “because no one wants to ruin Christmas.” Buses will take different routes for a while and eventually wind up on 1st for up to a year, until the new Alaskan Way is built. They “worked really hard” to get 24/7 bus lanes on the new Alaskan Way, at least until West Seattle light rail opens, Arkills said.

Speaking of light rail, Taylor-Judd asked Mosqueda and Herbold, how are you staying informed?

Herbold noted that she’s a member of the project’s Elected Leadership Group, which is advisory in nature, so she’s “keeping in touch with the efforts of the Stakeholder Advisory Group” and having staff members attending events if she can’t, such as the recent walking tours and charrettes. She is hoping a “peninsula-wide consensus” will emerge around as much as possible regarding the route/station-determining process. Maybe the D-1 members on the Stakeholder Advisory Group can assist with that, she suggested, evoking the Ballard area coalescing around a route dubbed “West Is Best.”

Mosqueda said she would like to hear more about what people here would like to see. She mentioned that she’d “popped into” the Delridge charrette at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center last week. She heard that people in the area want more access to housing and grocery stores, so she hopes station-related development would include those kinds of businesses, as well as services such as child care. Mosqueda said that she had “stolen” a Sound Transit policy regarding unused land being used for affordable housing and is pursuing that kind of policy for the city.

Herbold also noted that West Seattle is fairly low down the list of future neighborhood-plan updates but the West Seattle Junction area might move up a bit.

WSTC board member Mark Jacobs voiced concern about the city’s stance that it can’t afford a new Magnolia Bridge. Herbold said she shares the concern and recalls concerns being voiced years ago.

Regarding the Move Seattle levy-spending reboot, Herbold noted that the Fauntleroy Boulevard project – now on hold – was the major peninsula component – situation has yet to be clarified. She was at the “near-term improvements” roundtable last Wednesday (WSB coverage here) and described it as “frustrating.”

And with that, both councilmembers had to leave the meeting due to other commitments.

SOUND TRANSIT LIGHT RAIL: Taylor-Judd mentioned the charrettes and noted (as we have) that ST had kept them fairly hush-hush (we were able to mention them thanks to community advocates who tipped us; ST confirmed when we asked). He got a last-minute opportunity to participate in the Delridge charrette. “They were really getting way down in details a lot more than I would have expected at this point,” including rough sketches of the station, how high in the air it might be, would it take property, would it take park space. They were drawing a “box in the air” that could posit which buildings might be affected. “I was pleasantly surprised that two groups were working (and) came to very similar conclusions.” Such as – how would Youngstown, Delridge Skatepark, and the Community Center Park be affected by a station right in the Delridge/Genesee area? “Maybe we’d rather take out houses than (those beloved) assets.”

Taylor-Judd said he was surprised to see one option that could wipe out “several blocks” of a neighborhood – “I think we need to have a lot more community discussion” about that.

WSTC board member Deb Barker then talked about the charrette for the Junction/Avalon stations. She said she was “pretty darn disappointed” in the low number of community participants – as we mentioned in our report, there were about half a dozen community participants, four times as many ST/agency reps. Barker said she had only two days’ notice “of a full-day weekday meeting.”

She said her table “pretty much refused to even look at anything elevated in The Junction.” But, she said they did say they would be willing to discuss an elevated station at Fauntleroy (Way). As a result, “some interesting alternatives” came up such as Fauntleroy/Alaska. Regarding Avalon, her group rejected the Avalon/Genesee idea but 35th/Fauntleroy was promising and could factor into “a gateway … a much more logical place to put a station.” One thing that was “news to (her),” what would be involved in a tunnel portal – for example, a permanent closure of 37th at Genesee, and “big walls” surrounding the portal – so “around the portal area, depending on where the portal is,” there’s a more sizable acquisition area than you might have realized. She said the idea of taking Jefferson Square too, and “utilizing the slope for …the tunnel and bus turnaround areas.”

Should WSTC have another workshop? Taylor-Judd wondered. He pointed out that WSTC publicized the “representative alignment” (original draft route) info long before ST itself actually did.

NEXT MEETING: Like most community groups, WSTC will not have its regular meeting in August. So set your calendar for September 27, 6:30 pm at Neighborhood House High Point (6400 Sylvan Way SW), when WSTC expects to focus on the Viaduct-to-tunnel transition. Watch for updates in the meantime.

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2 more West Seattle alerts, both for Saturday Fri, 27 Jul 2018 22:24:53 +0000 In addition to the film-crew alert in effect in the Don Armeni Boat Ramp/Duwamish Head area right now, two for Saturday:

ADMIRAL WAY RAMP CLOSED: As announced by SDOT, the Admiral Way ramp from the bridge is to be closed during the day Saturday for landscaping-related work. Two documents – here and here – show exactly where.

HARBOR AVE PARKING RESTRICTIONS: Much of Harbor Avenue’s southernmost stretch has “No Parking” signs up for 2-10 am Saturday. Notices attached to some of the signage indicate this is because of the annual pre-Torchlight Parade float storage (usually at Terminal 5).

P.S. And remember the NB Viaduct will be closed for Saturday night’s Torchlight Run, 4:30-7:30 pm.

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Will ‘near-term improvements’ be made while Fauntleroy Boulevard project’s fate awaits light-rail decision? Fri, 27 Jul 2018 06:00:04 +0000

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

“Frustrating” was the word City Councilmember Lisa Herbold used tonight to describe an SDOT-led meeting in which she participated last night.

Last night’s meeting was a “roundtable” during which SDOT unveiled proposed “near-term improvements” in the area of the on-hold Fauntleroy Boulevard project, to be funded by a fraction of the Move Seattle levy money earmarked for the full project. Herbold’s comment was made at tonight’s West Seattle Transportation Coalition meeting (separate story on that later).

One of the aspects with which others also indicated frustration is a lack of clarity about what will happen with the possible improvements when Sound Transit finalizes which West Seattle light-rail route will be the “preferred alternative.”

Since that decision is still more than half a year away, roundtable invitees “were not being asked to make any choices,” facilitator Susan Hayman clarified at the start of the discussion.

Here’s who was invited:

The meeting was not widely publicized; we mentioned it but originally only heard about it because two invitees told us. SDOT eventually said the public was welcome to observe but not participate. A few community activists did show up to do that.

Adonis Ducksworth, SDOT’s outreach lead for the project, gave a presentation. He listed the project’s goals as “respond(ing) to community needs identified in the West Seattle Triangle Plan and the Bicycle Master Plan.” The timeline noted “community-led planning” starting in 1999, the Bicycle Master Plan designating Fauntleroy Way for a protected bicycle lane in 2014, and the construction going on hold back in January after repeated community concerns. He said SDOT kept hearing “you’re going to spend all this money and then Sound Transit’s going to rip it all out” since the project zone is along a possible light-rail route. He revisited the final design from pre-idling.

He stressed that the project overall has not been scrapped – if the ST route doesn’t impact Fauntleroy, it’ll be buiLt as designed. If it does, they’l work with ST to implement streetscape improvements and “reallocate remaining project funds to other West Seattle mobility goals.”

Dan Enrico, the new project manager, said the near-term improvements have about a $1 million budget (the full project was estimated at ~$15 million) and would be intended to “improve safety for all users,” with “lower-cost” construction methods (he later repeatedly referred to “paint and post”). They would be refined this fall “based on roundtable feedback and technical analysis” and then would be shared with “community and stakeholder groups.” Work would start “as early as next spring.”

Then: SDOT went through what’s being considered so far. First, “general notes” would include refreshing all the markings on Fauntleroy Way from 35th to Alaska, adding bike crossings, look at adding a new pedestrian crosswalk.

*At Fauntleroy/Alaska, formalize the traffic island – painted, not raised – to “tighten intersection and provide guidance for traffic turning right.” Also, a new bicycle crossing across Alaska, with a left-turn “bike box.”

*Between 38th and 37th – where there’s currently a fire signal – a new signalized (push-button-activated) pedestrian crossing, new curb ramps on both sides of Fauntleroy, widen and realign the crosswalk at Oregon “to improve visibility.” The signal still needs to be designed and priced before they would know whether it can be included.

*36th/Avalon – add four off-peak parking spaces to reduce acceleration for traffic using right-turn slip lane. Also realign pedestrian crosswalk to shorten crossing distance (West Seattle Brewing southward), new bike crossing, close right-turn slip lane from Avalon to Fauntleroy, provide new curb bulb for people who walk and bike. New markings on the west side of the intersection (outbound side) to better define it.

*35th/Fauntleroy – update signage to current standards

Lora Swift from the West Seattle Junction Association wondered if repainting crosswalks will also address some of the cracks and other problems in the road. Enrico said, “We would certainly use our Pothole Rangers and fix those up.” Pete Spalding from the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce brought up the bike turn lane on Delridge and wondered whether one on Fauntleroy might be more liability than safety if just painted. He also wondered about lighting; Enrico said they’ll be looking at that.

Katie Trent from Rudy’s Barbershop wondered if near-term improvements would still happen if ST3 was NOT going down Fauntleroy. Enrico: “Depends on how fast we could dust off the design.”

Julie Mierzwiak from Realfine Coffee wondered about completion timeframe for the near-term work. If they started in April, by the end of summer, said Enrico. “We would phase the work so our crews could take care of it, we wouldn’t want to impact the community for a long duration.”

Ducksworth pointed out the Avalon repaving/rechannelization project – for which he’s also doing outreach – would start “sometime in the spring of 2019.” Enrico said they’re coordinating with that project and in fact this might be bundled with it.

Herbold said she hoped they would be ID’ing things that are already part of larger Fauntleroy project so that they wouldn’t have to stop down – this would be like phasing and then adding other pieces if feasible.”I wouldn’t want Sound Transit’s decisionmaking process to result in endless delay” for this, she stressed.

Enrico pointed out “(the full project) involves rebuilding the entire right of way” but some things are simple “pin and post installations” that would be removed if they do the full project.

Don Brubeck of West Seattle Bike Connections pointed out more bicycle safety features are imperative, including at 36th “where drivers are just whipping around the corner.” Doing these as mockups – seeing how they work – is an opportunity. “If these mockups can represent the final design in a mockup form …” Enrico said that indeed some of this is a chance to see how the changes would work. Maybe for example at 36th/Avalon they could shorten the light cycle and improve traffic flow.

Ducksworth noted that ST construction would start around 2025 so these features if built now could be in place for 5+ years. Enrico promised they’d continue collecting data and see how this all affects all modes. He added that five years is about the lifespan of these types of improvements anyway.

Area resident/community advocate Sharonn Meeks wondered if $1 million is really the budget for everything on the list. Enrico called it “an educated guess” from SDOT having done many “paint and post improvements … all over the city.” Actual costs would be identified in design over the next few months. Meeks also pointed out the city-owned triangle of land by Wardrobe Cleaners had possibilities.

Former City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen mentioned past walking tours in the area with community members and the need to improve pedestrian-activated crossings.

West Seattle Transportation Coalition chair Michael Taylor-Judd said WSTC has raised “a number of concerns with the final project design” – so “why not use this opportunity to test some aspects of the project ..” to see how traffic is affected, since that gives SDOT a chance to see if “it’s disastrous” or not.

The timeline came up for question again: “If by April of 2019 (Sound Transit) tells us they’re going to put in a tunnel and miss Fauntleroy, it would take six to nine months to get the project out to bid” – so that would mean construction (of the full project) maybe in 2020. And that would mean there’d be no point in installing the near-term improvements, just to have them torn out a year later.

So how much time would be wasted on this planning in general? is one question.

Enrico said there’s a group that’s “very efficient” in working on this kind of thing so .. his inference was … not much. They’re looking at another meeting like this in September or October when the near-term improvements would be at about 60 percent design.

Ducksworth said, though, “we are committed regardless of Sound Transit’s decision to make some of the near-term improvements.”

Pedestrian advocate Gordon Padelford wondered about dealing with sidewalk damage. Enrico mentioned planters.

Then the timeline, again:

Herbold said her expectation is that “even if Sound Transit decided to … not impact Fauntleroy, we would move forward with these near-term improvements.” She said she’s still seeing a conflict over these improvements occurring or not. “Are these the improvements we should be talking about now or is there a different set we would want to make regardless of Sound Transit’s decision?”

SDOT promised to figure out how to clarify it.

Triangle business owner Kandie Jennings said this all seemed premature given that in April it might turn out to be all for naught.

But West Seattle resident Peg Staeheli observed, “It’s actually been several years that we’ve been waiting for this” – and safety improvements are badly needed, so: “Whatever’s a no-brainer, we should go for it.”

The roundtable concluded shortly after that. Exactly what happens next, given all the concerns that were raised, isn’t clear, except that the full project’s fate will be known next spring, and that SDOT will continue design work on the “near-term improvements” for now.

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More C Line service on the way, thanks to Amazon, city $ Wed, 25 Jul 2018 20:00:38 +0000 (WSB photo: C Line bus along westbound SW Spokane this morning)

“Amazon will fund 12,000 hours of increased bus service over two years on six of King County’s most traveled routes to downtown and South Lake Union,” according to a county announcement today that says the C Line is one of those routes:

… Amazon’s investment will provide 22 additional weekday trips for two years across some of Metro’s busiest routes serving West Seattle, Shoreline, Ballard, and Capitol Hill. The additional service provides room for roughly 1,700 weekday boardings, and includes the RapidRide E Line and C Line, and Routes 8, 40, 62, and 63. …

Amazon is paying Metro $1.5 million for those extra trips, which will start with the September Metro “service change” (on September 22nd), according to the announcement, which also says:

This September, the Seattle Transportation Benefit District will pay for about 20,000 hours of increased Metro service on 12 routes. This includes improving the Routes 41 and 70 to 10-minute service, adding peak period capacity on Routes 8, 17, 18, 40, 56, and RapidRide C, D, and E Lines, and adding late evening trips on Routes 7 and 106. In total, this will add more than 50 weekday trips to some of the busiest routes in Metro’s system, providing capacity for more than 4,000 additional weekday boardings.

The added service on Route 56 was announced by City Councilmember Lisa Herbold two months ago. Meantime, you can see Metro’s full announcement about these (and non-West Seattle) additions by going here.

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ROAD-WORK ALERT: New timeline for Harbor/Spokane project, as work resumes Wed, 25 Jul 2018 04:28:22 +0000

After several questions about when work would resume on the weeks-idle Harbor/Spokane Neighborhood Street Fund project, we asked SDOT about it today – and found out that work in fact had JUST resumed. Here’s the update we received as a reply to our inquiry, including a new timeline for completion:

Crews began paving today and plan to continue paving this week. Paving has been scheduled in coordination with equipment needs for other Neighborhood Street Fund projects under construction right now, which is why it has appeared that the site has had limited construction activity. Crews currently anticipate completing work for this project in mid-August.

Crews plan to complete paving at the corner of Harbor Ave SW and SW Spokane St over the course of 3 days.

Work will be completed in sections, allowing a pathway to the Alki Trail to be maintained for people walking and biking. People biking will be asked to dismount and proceed through the work area with caution. A flagger or uniformed police officer will be present to escort people through the work zone. Please take note of wet concrete in the area.

Crews have made great progress on this project to date. Once paving and installation of new sidewalks and ramps is complete, crews will:

-Install striping on the road
-Turn on the bike-only signal

Crews will need to wait approximately 3 weeks after paving before they can stripe the road. This is to ensure that the asphalt has properly cured. Once striping is complete, crews will be able to turn on the bike-only signal.

As soon as October, crews will begin replanting the area. The timing of this work is restricted by the City of Seattle’s planting season.

When work on the project started last month, SDOT had estimated it would take about six weeks – which would have had it wrapping up about now.

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FOLLOWUP: SDOT distributing 35th SW Phase 2 notices in SW Juneau area today Tue, 24 Jul 2018 22:43:50 +0000

SDOT‘s updated plan for the 35th SW/SW Juneau intersection, as part of the 35th SW Safety Project‘s Phase 2, was featured in our Morgan Community Association quarterly-meeting report last week – including the draft version of a notice for businesses/residents in the area. Today, SDOT’s Dawn Schellenberg tells us, that notice is being circulated. Here’s the final version (PDF). As the notice says, the work at 35th/Juneau will start soon, and will include turn restrictions as well as parking removal; while the notice doesn’t list a number, we asked SDOT’s Jim Curtin at the MoCA meeting, and he replied it would be at least 20 spaces, described as little-used. As for the rest of 35th SW Phase 2, here’s what we first reported back in April.

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LIGHT RAIL: Taking a walk to consider possible West Seattle Junction station sites Tue, 24 Jul 2018 05:34:11 +0000

That group walking through the West Seattle Junction/Triangle today was tasked with looking 12 years into the future.

The task: Help evaluate potential Junction and Avalon station locations for the future Sound Transit West Seattle light-rail line. The section of the tour for which we went along was looking at five possible Junction sites, three of which would be “cut and cover” underground, two elevated. This is from one of the brochures provided to the participants:

As reported here last night, the year-plus process of deciding on a “preferred alternative” for the West Seattle (2030) and Ballard (2035) extensions – so it can go through environmental study – is at the midpoint. The working groups that will decide this fall what goes to the next level were promised “evaluation” information about the options on the table in the current second level of the three-level review, and while much of that will come from Sound Transit, some will come from community members such as those who gathered for today’s walking tour, a prelude to a design charrette tomorrow. (There was one last Friday for the Delridge station area; we were unable to cover that.)

Along with Sound Transit staffers and consultants, the walking tour included representatives of neighborhood and transportation/mobility advocacy groups – the Junction Neighborhood Organization, West Seattle Bike Connections, Feet First, and the West Seattle Junction Association – plus Metro reps and a legislative assistant from City Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s staff. The mission was to walk to each potential station location for The Junction and Avalon, and consider both challenges and opportunities. We went along for the first hour of the tour.

It began at Junction Plaza Park, near the possible elevated SW Alaska station site. If an elevated station were located there, ST reps said, the track would be about 50 feet above the street – other station features would be higher up – and would have to straddle SW Alaska, which would mean supports on both sides of the street. How would that affect the sidewalk, the park, buildings? These are all questions factoring into the evaluations.

Or – that area could have an underground station beneath the 42nd/Alaska intersection. If so, where would the entrances be?

Sloan Dawson, whose planning work with ST focuses on station areas, noted also that the same section of 42nd is planned as part of the West Seattle Neighborhood Greenway – so how would that factor in?

The tour went north on 42nd to Oregon, a street that factors into two routing alternatives that are being considered – elevated and tunnel. If elevated, the tour leaders said, at that point the track would be about 45 feet above the roadway, and instead of a “straddling” support, it might be on columns down the middle of the road

After walking west on Oregon, the group turned down 44th and proceeded to the Junction parking lot behind KeyBank to consider the options there – possible elevated and tunnel options “east of 44th.” Among the points brought up there – less density on that side of the heart of The Junction, and the community’s concern about the parking provided in that lot.

We had to move on after that. The goal of the tour was to prime the pump for tomorrow’s charrette, rather than to reach conclusions, but it also shone some light into how ST is conducting evaluation. We’re told the information from the charrettes will be included in what’s presented not only to the next Stakeholder Advisory Group meeting September 5th, but also at the West Seattle neighborhood forum three days later (9 am September 8th, Seattle Lutheran High School gym, 4100 SW Genesee, open to all). All the resulting feedback will be available for the SAG and Elected Leadership Group to mull in recommending in late September/early October what moves to the last level of review before that “preferred alternative” is finalized for study.

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LIGHT RAIL: New developments as planning process gets halfway to ‘preferred alternative’ for West Seattle/Ballard Mon, 23 Jul 2018 05:28:21 +0000 By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

No midsummer slowdown for the West Seattle (and Ballard) light-rail planning process.

We have several things to report. First – the date is set for the next West Seattle “neighborhood forum” – Saturday, September 8th, 9-11:30 am, Seattle Lutheran High School gym (4100 SW Genesee). That’s open to everyone.

ST has been conducting some by-invitation events in the meantime, all-day design charrettes for the future station areas, including one last Friday in Delridge and another coming up this Tuesday in The Junction.

And soil sampling continues in Pigeon Point.

We reported last week on that site at 19th/Genesee; ST tells WSB that the crew will continue work there through Tuesday, and then move to a site described by ST as “20th Ave SW and the end of the cul-de-sac north of SW Charlestown Street” for work on Wednesday and Thursday.

Also this past week, both working groups for the project met. We covered the Elected Leadership Group meeting at the ST board room downtown on Thursday. Here’s how that went:

“This week marks the halfway point of the alternative development phase .. a lot of work went into getting us to this point, and we have a lot more work to do.” So declared County Councilmember and ST board member Joe McDermott in opening the ELG meeting prior to the one where the group will make its Level 2 recommendations.

His co-chair City Councilmember Mike O’Brien acknowledged that “can we get it sooner?” remains the top question. They’re trying as hard as they can, he said.

Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff noted that while it’s good news to get to the halfway mark, the second half is the “harder” half. Next steps include developing a “lot of data” regarding both cost information for the options, plus “visual depictions” for many of the options.

QUICK REVIEW OF ALTERNATIVES: Before spending the bulk of the meeting on new SODO and Chinatown ID alternatives, ST exec Cathal Ridge reviewed the West Seattle routing alternatives that remain in play – see pages 15-22 in the meeting slide deck below (which is also on the ST website here):

*Representative (ST’s original draft, all elevated)
*Pigeon Ridge/West Seattle Tunnel (with two tunnels)
*Oregon Street/Alaska Junction Elevated – it goes up Oregon and 44th instead of Fauntleroy/Alaska
*Oregon Street/Alaska Junction Tunnel – this would tunnel between the Avalon and Junction stations
*Golf Course/Alaska Junction/Tunnel (modified) – would go along north end of golf course and then into tunnel

Ridge again stressed that “mix-and-match” is possible – elements of one could be combined with another to create an alternative.

SODO/CHINATOWN ALTERNATIVES ADOPTED: You can review these in the slide deck as well. The ELG went with the recommendations the stakeholder group had made earlier in the week.

EQUITY: A West Seattle discovery was included in this presentation (which starts on page 113 in the meeting slide deck above).Overall, many stations are in “areas of high opportunity.” They are trying to make sure it’s an equitable process, and the Delridge station area has been chosen for focus. Last Friday’s charrette was intended to help with that. It was also noted that “Densely populated communities of color lie within the bike and transit sheds of the Delridge and Avalon stations, but are outside of those stations’ immediate walksheds.”

McDermott raised concerns about languages, hoping that outreach is being done in more than English, and that communities’ diverse communication styles were being addressed as well. He was assured that they are.

NEXT STEPS: Along with the events mentioned atop this story, your next chance to talk with ST in West Seattle will be at the Delridge Day festival on August 11th, 11 am-3 pm at Delridge Community Center Park. After that, but before the WS neighborhood forum, the stakeholders’ group will meet September 5th to get “evaluation results.”

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TRANSIT ALERT: Smaller vessel on West Seattle Water Taxi run Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday Sun, 22 Jul 2018 19:25:45 +0000 Just in case you hadn’t heard – this starts tomorrow, as announced by the King County Water Taxi:

The King County Water Taxi will operate the West Seattle route next Monday through Wednesday, July 23 – 25, using its smaller backup vessel, the Spirit of Kingston. The Doc Maynard will undergo preventative maintenance during this time. Riders are advised to arrive early for their evening commute as some sailings may sell out.

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West Seattle Neighborhood Greenway: Speed humps today, drop-in meeting tomorrow Wed, 18 Jul 2018 01:57:20 +0000

Yet more transportation-related news: West Seattle’s newest speed humps are in place on 30th SW as part of the WS Neighborhood Greenway project. We took the photo this afternoon, after a note from area resident Debbie earlier today:

A few months ago I called SDOT to see if speed humps were going to be built but they said that was not in the plan … but sure enough, they are right now putting in speed humps – one just north of Cambridge and the other closer to Barton. I think there are plans for more further north on 30th. Our block is very happy about this, because, as you know, cars tend to use it as a bypass from Roxbury to Barton.

And remember that you can get an update on/share comments about the greenway project at a drop-in event tomorrow (Wednesday, July 18th) – 5:30-7 pm at Neighborhood House High Point (6400 Sylvan Way SW)

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See what’s now being considered for Delridge Way SW in RapidRide H Line conversion – with a new date Tue, 17 Jul 2018 23:56:12 +0000 (See full-size version as PDF by going here)

Six months after last we checked in on the design for Delridge Way SW as part of the RapidRide H Line conversion (WSB coverage here), the City Council’s Transportation Committee just got a briefing. Shown above is the 10 percent design concept for the Delridge section of the route.

One major change since what we saw/heard in January – the launch date for the Route 120 conversion is now described as 2021; it had been 2020.

Today’s briefing was related to a requirement that the council see the project at 10 percent design before spending goes beyond $1.4 million (the full project will cost at least $42 million, SDOT reps said at today’s meeting). This is still a very “early” stage of design, it was stressed, and District 1 Councilmember Lisa Herbold expressed interest in seeing south-end elements including improvements to the neighborhood greenway on 17th SW as well as connections to White Center. She was assured that those will be ready to review when the project gets to the 30 percent phase. That’s also when they’ll know more about how much repaving will be included as well as how and where sidewalk improvements will be addressed.

The final vote on allowing the project to proceed to the next phase of design is due at the full City Council meeting one week from next Monday – that’s July 30th. We’ll add video from today’s discussion – the committee meeting is still under way, on other topics, and about to enter its fourth hour – when it’s available.

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