Transportation 2750 results

FOLLOWUP: Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth schedule revision finalized, will take effect next March 31

Eight days after a standing-room-only review of the latest proposed schedule revision for the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route, Washington State Ferries says it’s official. Here it is again, in PDF. It was sent by WSF’s Hadley Rodero, whose e-mail adds:

… During the most recent public comment period that ended on Dec. 18, we heard a wide range of comments on the draft schedule. A major theme was a request for WSF to sit down with the authors of the proposed pendulum schedule. This week our schedule planners did meet with the authors, and while they explained how it does not meet the capacity needs and constraints of the route, our planners committed to monitoring the performance of the schedule going forward and encouraged the pendulum schedule authors and others to continue providing feedback. …

This new schedule will begin on March 31, 2019. Once the new schedule starts, WSF will closely monitor the route’s performance in preparation for the busy summer season and beyond. In 2019, we will also be starting work on the Fauntleroy terminal project and looking at other strategies to improve terminal operations, provide additional travel options, and apply advances in technology or other operational efficiencies. We will share a progress report of the route’s performance and how the schedule is working.

Among other reasons, WSF said the schedule needed an overhaul because it will be adding capacity, expanding to three Issaquah-class vessels.

Mayor announces her choice for SDOT director: Sam Zimbabwe from D.C.

One full year after announcing Scott Kubly‘s departure, Mayor Jenny Durkan has just announced her choice to succeed him: Sam Zimbabwe, from Washington, D.C. Here’s the official announcement:

Mayor Jenny A. Durkan and community leaders announced today that she is nominating transit and transportation project delivery expert Sam Zimbabwe to be the next Director of the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), pending Council confirmation. Zimbabwe currently serves as the Chief Project Delivery Officer for Washington, D.C.’s District Department of Transportation (DDOT), a role that unites planning, traffic engineering, transit, and capital projects.

“Sam is the right person to help build a transportation system of the future, keep people and goods moving in Seattle, and deliver on essential projects for taxpayers. For decades, our region has been playing catch-up on its transportation needs. As more public and private mega projects lead to serious traffic disruptions downtown, the next few years will be critical for creating more safe, efficient, and well-connected transportation choices that make it easier and safer for residents to get around on foot, by bike, and via mass transit for decades to come. With a number of significant projects in the pipeline, I am confident Sam is ready to deliver on investments that will help us create a city of the future,” said Mayor Durkan.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to help keep Seattle moving, build a transit and transportation system for the next generation, and deliver on projects for the people of Seattle,” said Sam Zimbabwe. “Seattle is entering a new era of transit and transportation that will require effective delivery of capital projects along with a focus on giving more people access to safe options for walking, biking, and using transit.”

Zimbabwe’s nomination comes after an extensive public input and national search process that included candidates from across the United States. Following the departure of the previous director, Mayor Durkan oversaw an extensive review and reshaping of SDOT so the department could better deliver on projects. In May, Mayor Durkan announced a search committee that included nearly a dozen business, transportation, labor, and community leaders. The search for a new director of SDOT also included an extensive community outreach process. After conducting interviews with applicants, the Search Committee submitted their recommendations for finalists to Mayor Durkan, who interviewed the finalists earlier this month.

“We are excited about the Mayor’s selection and confident that Sam is the right person to help deliver forward-thinking, accountable leadership for SDOT and to deliver on the crucial Move Seattle projects. Seattle’s transportation decisions have an impact throughout our region, and this is a critical role at a critical time. In less than one month, Seattle will enter years of transportation challenges as the Alaskan Way Viaduct closes and several other transportation and construction projects converge. At the same time, our region is in the midst of expanding light rail, increasing bus service, and building safer bike infrastructure,” said Search Committee Co-Chairs Betty Spieth-Croll, Co-Chair of the Levy to Move Seattle Oversight Committee, and Marilyn Strickland, President and CEO of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. “Through all of this, we will need to provide residents, businesses, and visitors additional options for moving in and through Seattle. We look forward to working with Sam for years to come.”

Before assuming the role of Chief Project Delivery Officer, Zimbabwe served as the Associate Director of DDOT’s Planning and Sustainability Division. Prior to joining DDOT, Zimbabwe was the Director of the Center for Transit-Oriented Development at Reconnecting America. In that role, he led planning and technical assistance projects focused on transit and transit-oriented development with local and national philanthropic foundations and public agencies around the country. He also has experience as an urban designer. He holds a master’s degree in city planning and urban design from the University of California, Berkeley, and a bachelor’s degree in urban and regional studies from Cornell University.

The photo above is from the DDOT website.

Last call for your thoughts on Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth ferry schedule proposal

(WSB photo from August)

Six days after a standing-room-only turnout in Fauntleroy, it’s your last day to comment on the newest proposal for a major change in the Washington State Ferries schedule for the so-called Triangle Route. Here again is the proposal:

Comments can be e-mailed by tonight – Ferries management has the final say, and plans to put a new schedule in place in March.

P.S. Though it’s not about the schedule, the much-anticipated UW study about improving loading at Fauntleroy is now out – you can read about it here.

If you’ve wondered about the West Seattle Bridge lights …

One more story about lights on one of the longest nights of the year: Several people have e-mailed to point out another chronic streetlight outage on the high bridge. Those lights ar the responsibility of Seattle City Light, and they’re certainly on the utility’s radar, spokesperson Scott Thomsen tells WSB. City Light is working with SDOT, he says, to come up with a traffic-control plan for repairs, which he says SDOT usually wants to see done at night or on the weekend to reduce traffic impact: “We are asking for a lane closure with a blinking, moving SDOT truck following our yellow City Light truck as the repairs are made. They whole job should take about 5 hours once we get the crew in place.” As for a timeline, he says that depends on how much longer it takes SDOT to review/approve the plan.

Should the Water Taxi charge extra for bicycles? Survey asks that and more

bikeswatertaxi(Photo courtesy Paul, taken aboard the Water Taxi during 2016 Viaduct closure)

Can’t tell how long it’s been in circulation, but a survey linked from the Water Taxi website has only three days left, and while it’s billed as a survey “to address bicycle capacity issues,” it includes questions of interest to all Water Taxi riders, not just those who bring bikes on board. One question asks whether the Water Taxi should charge extra for bicycles brought on board, and if you think so, how much. The county says the survey is open through Wednesday; you can start it here.

VIDEO: Standing room only as state ferries’ Triangle Route Task Force gets one last say before schedule overhaul

(WSB photos)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Waiting in line is something Vashon Islanders are used to.

It’s an unavoidable part of getting on board ferries to get to and from the island.

Wednesday, more than 200 of them spent time in a different kind of line – one to get a seat in a meeting.

The Washington State Ferries Triangle Route Task Force met to review the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth’s first major schedule overhaul in more than a decade.

It was a workshop, not a decision-making meeting – the task force and the Ferry Advisory Committees whose other members participated are advisory, and WSF management has the final say. But tensions with island residents had long been at a high-water mark, dating back to the task force’s initial task of working with WSF on persistent problems with Fauntleroy backups. Vashon riders suggested solutions that weren’t tried. Some feel the schedule-overhaul process has gone the same way. That led to this sign outside Wednesday’s meeting:

Outside is where some would-be attendees had to stay, once the meeting room was at capacity, which was 179 people, per WSF’s meeting facilitator, Hadley Rodero.

For a standing-room-only meeting, it was mostly civil – with just one real flash of fury, and that wasn’t even instigated by attendees. We’ll get there, but first, here’s how it unfolded.

Read More

Ferry fight: New revised Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth schedule proposal out on eve of big meeting

7:02 PM: As previewed here Monday, the Washington State Ferries Triangle Route Task Force meets tomorrow with one hot topic on the agenda – the first major revision to the route’s schedule in years. And on the eve of that meeting, WSF has released a revised version of the proposed schedule change:

(You can also see that here in PDF.) WSF also has just released this summary of comments previously received, and says it’s taking comments on the new revision for one week, through December 18th. Tomorrow’s meeting is at Fauntleroy Church‘s Fellowship Hall (9140 California SW), 4:30-7 pm.

9:33 PM: We asked WSF spokesperson Hadley Rodero for the quick-take version of what’s different:

WSF has made significant adjustments to the schedule to respond to what we heard. Such as:

o Adding a direct sailing from Vashon to Fauntleroy in the evening to avoid layover sailings that would have sent Vashon customers to Southworth on their way to Fauntleroy.

o Adding another morning sailing from Southworth to Fauntleroy during the morning commute period.

o Adding one 4:10 p.m. direct sailing from Fauntleroy to Southworth during the evening commute.

We’ve also asked Steve Stockett, a leader of the Vashon advocacy for a “pendulum” approach, for his thoughts; he’s analyzing the new version.

ADDED 7:53 AM: Stockett’s analysis of the new revision begins:

In trying to advantage Southworth even more while swatting at some symptoms that Vashon and Southworth folks, including me, have pointed out as absurdities in their previous schedule they have made it even worse.

They honestly just don’t understand the concepts of clearing the dock at Fauntleroy via an all stops (Pendulum Schedule). Your can’t have 16 direct Southworth stops, add 5 boats to Southworth and cut runs to Vashon and then do more dual loading during rush hour too. The reason Pendulum results in more, better spaced runs for everyone at every dock is because you are co-loading every boat and thus they leave fuller and have adequate time between boats at each dock to fully load. You can’t mix the 2 concepts.

They have actually reduced average dwell time by an extra couple of minutes at rush at Fauntleroy and added a direct boat for Southworth. They will average 30 or more empty space on every rush hour boat with people spilling on to Fauntleroy – even worse then now. It is so messed up I cannot coherently explain all the problems.

He wants to see the changes put on hold and “a transparent collaborative workshop (to) fix this.”

Ferry fight: Vashon residents plan to pack task-force meeting Wednesday in West Seattle

(WSB photo, Fauntleroy ferry dock, October)

The Washington State Ferries Triangle Route Task Force has been meeting for more than a year in relative serenity. But its next meeting, this Wednesday (December 12), is expected to draw a crowd.

The all-volunteer committee was originally launched almost two years ago to consider potential solutions to the problems that plague the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth run, particularly during peak pm outbound periods, backing up traffic along Fauntleroy Way some days, while boats leave without full loads.

The task force’s current focus is on the first major change in the route’s schedule in years. WSF says a change is necessary for a variety of reasons, including an upcoming increase in capacity on the route’s assigned vessels, and faster growth on the west end of the route. After several task-force discussions, the ferry system published and sought comment on a draft revised schedule. But a Vashon citizens’ group is unhappy with the proposal – saying it has a better idea that’s been ignored – and it’s calling for a big show of island residents – and anyone else interested – at Wednesday’s meeting, set for 4:30-7 pm at Fauntleroy Church (9140 California SW). The schedule change is currently planned to take effect in March.

VIDEO: Here’s how the Alaskan Way Viaduct will be torn down

With less than a month and a half to go until the Alaskan Way Viaduct is permanently closed (starting the evening of Friday, January 11th), WSDOT went public today with demolition details. The video above shows the sequence and methodology that’s planned (in short – starting in the middle, moving north, then moving south). Starting tonight, primarily for those who work/live downtown (though all are welcome), WSDOT is hosting three downtown info sessions (listed here) about the demolition of the Viaduct and Battery Street Tunnel; here are the info-boards they’ll be using, with specifics about street effects too:

(Go here [PDF] if the embed window above doesn’t work for you.) By the time the Viaduct demolition is done, 10 years will have passed since then-Gov. Christine Gregoire declared, when signing the tunnel bill, that its era was “over.” The southern mile of the elevated structure was taken down two years after that.

How Commute Seattle can ease the squeeze, plus downtown’s ‘big ideas,’ @ West Seattle Transportation Coalition

November 29, 2018 11:18 pm
|    Comments Off on How Commute Seattle can ease the squeeze, plus downtown’s ‘big ideas,’ @ West Seattle Transportation Coalition
 |   Transportation | West Seattle news

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

You’ve heard lots of pitches about making your plan for the Seattle Squeeze, Period of Maximum Constraint, whatever you want to call the looming post-viaduct-and-more transportation crunch.

At tonight’s West Seattle Transportation Coalition meeting, another way to look at it – if you are a Seattle employee or employer, Commute Seattle can help.

The group also got to do a little brainstorming with a group looking far beyond the looming years of transpo-trouble, envisioning the future of downtown.

But first:

Read More

Here are West Seattle-specific dates in SDOT’s new ‘Move Seattle’ levy work plan

More light reading! That’s the updated “work plan” for the Levy to Move Seattle, as just released by SDOT, with the levy’s oversight committee meeting at City Hall tonight (as noted in our daily highlights list). You’ll recall that SDOT said earlier in the year that it would have to revise the plan, and now the revision’s out. Key West Seattle (and vicinity) projects and dates mentioned:

-SW Avalon Way rechannelization/repaving (plus repaving 3 blocks of 35th and one of Alaska) is now listed as a 2020 project. Most recently, SDOT had said this project would have to span two seasons, 2019 and 2020, so we’ll be following up to see if the new work-plan date really means it won’t even start until 2020.

-Repaving Delridge between Avalon and Graham is listed as 2021, which is in line with the RapidRide H Line now scheduled to launch that fall

-East Marginal corridor improvements for freight and bicycles now listed as 2022-2023, pending additional funding

-Andover and Delridge pedestrian bridges are scheduled for work in 2020

-Both Admiral Way bridges are scheduled for work in 2023

-Here are the only “new sidewalk” projects listed for West Seattle between now and 2024:
Myrtle stairway from Sylvan to 25th, 2019
Sylvan Way between Orchard and Delridge, 2019
Sylvan Way, same stretch, other side, 2020
24th from Thistle to Barton, 2020
Kenyon from 24th to “dead end,” 2020
Edmunds stairway from Cottage Place to 23rd, 2023

Also of note, a reminder that the Move Seattle levy was supposed to fund the “Fauntleroy Boulevard” project:

The construction of the Fauntleroy Boulevard Project was put on hold in January 2018. SDOT is exploring the construction of near-term improvements to help improve predictability for people who walk, drive, and bike on Fauntleroy Way while Sound Transit considers the preferred alignment. Based on the final alignment decision, SDOT will seek community feedback on next steps.

The Sound Transit decisionmaking process is still on track to decide next spring on a “preferred alignment” for environmental studies.

Meantime, the new work plan is by no means a complete list of SDOT’s WS plans for the years ahead – there are smaller projects, as well as work funded outside the nine-year levy approved by voters in 2015.

SEATTLE SQUEEZE: Now two Highway 99 ramps will close early for tunnel transition

Another change just announced – new since the briefing we covered Monday night – for the viaduct-to-tunnel transition: Now TWO ramps in the stadium zone will close on January 4th, a week before the mainline closure.

WSDOT had already announced plans to close the SB 99 offramp to Atlantic Street starting January 4th; today, the state says the NB 99 onramp from Royal Brougham will also be closed starting January 4th: “This additional week will allow the contractor more time to perform critical work (including unburying tunnel on- and off-ramps) that has the potential for some unanticipated challenges, giving crews additional flexibility during the mainline closure.” WSDOT’s short time-lapse video above shows the construction of the tunnel ramps that will be “unburied” at that time.

Today’s full update is here, including a note that the NB 99 transit lane in SODO will be shortened by a third of a mile starting December 14th, for repair work.

Highland Park Way/Holden safety changes, pre-roundabout: Talk with SDOT on Wednesday

November 25, 2018 10:30 am
|    Comments Off on Highland Park Way/Holden safety changes, pre-roundabout: Talk with SDOT on Wednesday
 |   Highland Park | Safety | Transportation | West Seattle news

(Original SDOT plan announced in October)

Though the recently approved city budget takes a big step toward the long-sought Highland Park Way/Holden roundabout, it’s still at least a few years off, and the city has planned some interim changes for the increasingly busy intersection. What was announced last month has raised some questions, so SDOT will be in Highland Park this Wednesday for a community discussion/briefing. From Highland Park Action Committee chair Charlie Omana:

In October, the Seattle Department of Transportation informed the Highland Park Action Committee of proposed small changes to the intersection of Highland Park Way SW and SW Holden St to promote safety while we continue to wait for the installation of a roundabout.

Upon further consideration, neighbors determined that some of these small changes would not be beneficial, effectively cutting off access to their homes. In response, SDOT has removed the elements of concern and plans to move forward with the improvements.

Because neither HPAC nor neighbors were consulted in the original development of these plans, SDOT has offered to meet with the community to discuss the changes and listen to neighborhood concerns. This will not be a regular meeting of the Highland Park Action Committee, and will be presided over by HPAC’s Vice-Chair, Mr. Gunner Scott. We hope you will be able to attend, but otherwise look forward to your participation at our next full HPAC meeting in January.

The meeting is set to start at 6:30 pm Wednesday (November 28th) at Highland Park Improvement Club (12th/Holden).

VIDEO: Light-rail displacement questions, plus 99-closure-and-beyond briefing, @ Junction Neighborhood Organization

Our area’s two biggest transportation topics were at centerstage as the Junction Neighborhood Organization met last night. First, light rail:

SOUND TRANSIT UPDATE: Stephen Mak, the project’s West Seattle lead, provided background, including where on the timeline the project is – with planning continuing until 2022. But the most distinctive part of the briefing he led with Andrea Burnett was the Q&A, with a heavy focus on questions from people wondering if they would lose their homes to light-rail construction.

Mak also recapped how the process got to where it stands. We recorded this on video but the house lights weren’t brought down, so the graphics aren’t all that visible, so it’s mostly usable as audio – the slide deck is above.

The presentation included a quick look at the three “end-to-end alternatives” with which the third round of route review has begun (unveiled at the Stakeholder Advisory Group meeting we covered two weeks ago).

There are variables within each of these options, as Mak recapped; for example, the one that would tunnel to The Junction includes three potential tunnel locations.

And there’s the possibility of crossing the Duwamish River north of the West Seattle Bridge instead of south of it; that would include the rail bridge crossing over the West Seattle Bridge’s Delridge ramps, Mak said in response to a question.

The third end-to-end alternative, which would be elevated going into The Junction, envisions an elevated station at 41st. “I think it would be helpful for you to give (people) the elevation,” an attendee said. “Isn’t it true that it would be 140 feet?” Mak said he didn’t have that information. Does an elevated track go over houses? No, the houses would be demolished “to clear a path,” someone else responded. Another person said, “Is there a Ballard tunnel option? If Ballard gets a tunnel, West Seattle is going to want a tunnel.” Other questions included, what does ST mean by “exploring tradeoffs” in certain locations?

Also: Is there any option that would mean no one would lose their homes?

Read More

From the ‘in case you wondered too’ file: New crossing islands at 30th/Trenton

If you travel on SW Trenton between Delridge Way and 35th SW, you have probably noticed those new crossing islands installed at 30th SW. It’s part of the West Seattle Neighborhood Greenway, which is on 30th SW between SW Roxbury and SW Kenyon, before moving to 34th SW as it continues north. We’ve received a few questions about the islands – most recently, a reader wondering how emergency vehicles would get around them. We took that question to SDOT’s project spokesperson Adonis Ducksworth, who explained:

Your observer is correct, they will interfere with the turning movements of large vehicles. We designed them knowing that larger vehicles – specifically commercial vehicles – would have to drive over them.

To accommodate such large vehicles, the islands would have had to be designed in a manner that would not have provided as much refuge for pedestrians. So we decided on a compromise: design and locate them as originally intended for pedestrian safety, while making them mountable for the low volume of larger vehicles turning to/from 30th/Trenton. In other words, large trucks can drive over the islands. The curb is only about 4 inches off the ground versus the standard 6 inches.

The Phase 1 design (see the map here) also includes crossing islands at 30th/Thistle and 34th/Morgan.

We asked Ducksworth what’s next in the greenway project, which is in its first phase and eventually will stretch all the way to north West Seattle. He says that “almost all of the speed humps are in” for Phase 1. “We still have to put up the signs and paint the markings. That work will likely happen in the near future in 2019.”

Haven’t made it to any of the info sessions about the Alaskan Way Viaduct closure? Another one in West Seattle next week

November 20, 2018 4:59 pm
|    Comments Off on Haven’t made it to any of the info sessions about the Alaskan Way Viaduct closure? Another one in West Seattle next week
 |   Alaskan Way Viaduct | Highway 99 tunnel | Transportation | West Seattle news

If you still have questions about the upcoming closure of the Alaskan Way Viaduct – and the other looming traffic-crunch factors – but haven’t made it to any of the meetings where it’s been discussed – here’s your next chance: Monday (November 26th), Delridge Community Center (4523 Delridge Way SW), 6:30-7:30 pm. This one’s a city presentation; the announcement says, “Please join the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods and the Seattle Department of Transportation for an information session on the upcoming permanent closure of the Alaskan Way Viaduct and the other upcoming challenges to our transportation system as we build a better city.” It’s one of five around the city.

P.S. We covered last night’s briefing at the Junction Neighborhood Organization meeting and our report is in the works.

FOLLOWUP: SDOT’s new information on how Avalon/35th/Alaska repaving and rechannelization will change parking

(WSB file photo)

Back in August, when we last updated the Avalon/35th/Alaska repaving and rechannelization plan, SDOT said it was re-crunching the numbers on current and proposed parking. The assessment – with numbers – is finally ready, and SDOT says:

Our parking update findings show:

*Net loss of 67 parking spaces on SW Avalon Way between 35th Ave SW and SW Spokane St

*Net loss of 9 parking spaces on 35th Ave SW between SW Avalon Way and SW Alaska St

*39 remaining on-street parking spaces in the Luna Park business district between SW Spokane St and SW Yancy St. Today, there are 53 on-street spaces (24 on the west side and 29 on the east side). Our project design removes 14 spaces total (the sum of removing 16 on the west side and adding 2 on the east side). The east side spaces are “no parking” 6-10AM, Monday-Friday, as they mostly are today.

*13 remaining spaces in the off-street public parking area between Luna Park Cafe and The Shack. Today, there are 14 spaces here distinguished by privately-painted line markings. We remove one that’s been marked across the sidewalk/pedestrian area.

*3 remaining spaces in the off-street public parking area next to Luna Park Cafe and Avalon Glassworks. Today, there are 3 spaces here.

*31 parking spaces will be restricted Monday through Friday, 6-10 AM, to create a bus lane on the east side of SW Avalon Way between SW Spokane St and SW Yancy St. Today, there are 18 spaces restricted weekday mornings.

*We’ve kept load zones and a disabled zone to meet high-priority needs like business deliveries, and pick-ups and drop-offs at busy apartment buildings

*We’re planning to implement 2-hour parking time limits on SW Avalon Way in the business district north of SW Yancy St to improve customer and visitor access

Why the new design includes fewer parking spaces than today:

*We’re redesigning SW Avalon Way with a focus on safety. This will result in narrower travel lanes to lower overall speeds, reduce high-end speeding, and reduce crossing distances for people walking and biking to get around the neighborhood and catch the bus.

*We’re separating people biking from moving traffic with protected bike lanes, mostly between the curb and a “floating” parking lane. The floating parking lanes will have buffer areas, so car doors don’t hit people biking and there’s space for people parking to walk to and from their car. This design pulls parking farther back from intersections and driveways than today. Twenty-foot parking setbacks allow people driving to see people walking and biking better – their vision isn’t blocked by a parked car – to make collisions less likely at driveways and cross streets.

*We didn’t count spaces 5 feet from driveways, 15 feet from fire hydrants, 20 feet from crosswalks, and 30 feet from intersections, which are not legal parking areas under state and local laws, but may be considered legal parking today.

*Most street space for the protected bike lanes came from removing the center turn lane, but in narrower areas at the north end of the corridor we had to restrict morning parking on the east side to allow for the bus lane that moves thousands of people a day on RapidRide and other routes

*On 35th Ave SW, we removed parking spaces where we’re adding pedestrian crossing islands to help people get across the street at SW Alaska St to the West Seattle Stadium and transit

Next steps:

*We’ll post the 100% street channelization plans online with parking areas noted. We’ve already done that at 30% Design and 60% Design. Specifically, the community will see the number of spaces in each parking area and notes where we think load zones and a disabled zone will be located.

*We’ll post this information and this parking changes graphic on the website

*We’re scheduling a meeting with the Luna Park Merchants Association to discuss the latest update. Please let us know if you need a phone call or meeting with our project team to discuss this information.

*We want to continue to hear from the people who live, work, travel, and visit the neighborhood with requests for information, questions, and if there are any errors in our maps or analysis that need to be fixed

*We’ll then follow-up with the community this winter to share the final design, and pre-construction information since we’re expecting construction to start in spring 2019 and last 2 years

According to previous conversations with SDOT, that’s not two continuous years, but rather two construction seasons – roughly April through October each year. The project includes repaving of Avalon in its entirety, from the bridge to Fauntleroy Way, as well as about three blocks of 35th SW between Avalon and Alaska, and a block of Alaska west of 35th. The 60 percent design documents are all on the project website; the parking update we received today isn’t there yet.

Viaduct-to-tunnel, light rail, parking RPZ: Monday @ Junction Neighborhood Organization

Big topics tomorrow at one of the last community-group meetings before many go on hiatus for the holidays. The official announcement from Junction Neighborhood Organization director Amanda Sawyer:

Do you know how your bus will access downtown Seattle after the January 11, 2019 Alaskan Way Viaduct closure? Or maybe you have questions about the transition from viaduct to tunnel? SDOT, WSDOT & King County Metro will discuss how this transition will affect West Seattle at the next JuNO meeting. In other exciting transit news, Sound Transit will present the latest level 3 Light Rail recommendations that have moved forward in the process! Please join us for JuNO’s next meeting on Monday, November 19th in Hatten Hall at the West Seattle Senior Center (4217 SW Oregon St) from 6:30 – 8:00 pm. We hope you can spare some time before the holidays to learn about these very important issues!


6:30 – 6:40 pm – JuNO Updates about RPZ parking moving forward, HALA/MHA and more
6:40pm – 7:20 pm – Sound Transit will discuss Level 3 Route & Station Alternatives
7:20pm – 8:00 pm – SDOT, WSDOT & King County Metro will discuss January access to downtown during 99 tunnel transition

JuNO meetings are open to the public and all are welcome. Working together to make our West Seattle Junction and Triangle Neighborhoods a better place to work, live, and play!

If you want a refresher first – here’s our most-recent coverage on the three transportation topics:

Viaduct-to-tunnel (8-week countdown briefing at south portal last Thursday)
Light rail (announcement of three “end to end alternatives” for final review phase, two weeks ago)
RPZ (SDOT’s October announcement that they’re moving forward in developing a proposal)

FOLLOWUP: 35th SW crossing improvements postponed

More than a few transportation project delays in our area lately, and here’s another. Almost two weeks ago, SDOT told us that work would start as soon as next week on crossing improvements at three 35th SW intersections, including the new signal at 35th/Dawson, as shown above. Then today, project spokesperson Miguela Marzolf contacted us to say, “Regarding the construction schedule, we have postponed the start date and we are working with the contractor to determine further details, including the phasing of the work.” So – don’t expect to see construction crews show up soon after all. But for details of what’s eventually going to happen – see our previous report. If you have questions (beyond “when?”), SDOT now has a project mailbox at

SDOT, SPD talk with neighbors about future 25th/Myrtle stairway

Most of Seattle’s stairways are actually part of city streets, in spots where the right-of-way can’t quite accommodate anything else. There are more than 500 of them. A new one planned for SW Myrtle between Sylvan and 25th – as announced in August – has stirred up some neighborhood concern, so SDOT and SPD invited neighbors to the Southwest Precinct last night to talk about it.

At the front of the room, SDOT’s Greg Funk and Dan Anderson.

Funk said he works on about 10 to 12 stairway projects per year and this one’s a little different in that
it’s a stairway that needs to be installed from scratch. Most of his projects – all but an average of about 1 each year – are replacements, or major maintenance, for existing stairways.

Most of those in attendance said they use the existing path that’s there now because Sylvan is too dangerous to walk along – too much traffic and poorly defined pedestrian boundaries.

But there’s neighborhood concern about a serious uptick in trash along that existing path over the past year. Two residents who live by the east end of the future stairway say they’ve seen and heard lots of suspicion-sparking people, along with arguments, and they’re worried the stairway will be a magnet for more.

Overall, though, most attendees were in favor of the new stairway, with some noting that improved access to and from Myrtle will be especially helpful when Route 120 becomes the RapidRide H Line and has a station at Delridge/Myrtle.

Various questions related to lighting and, as already mentioned, trash. Funk said lighting is not in the plan; trash trouble can be reported via Find It, Fix It.

The precinct’s crime-prevention coordinator Jennifer Danner said she’d visit the area to talk about Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design. The area’s Community Police Team Officer Ken Mazzuca said calling 911 and using Find It Fix It are both vital so any problems in the area can be not only addressed but also documented (as SPD is very data-driven).

What’s next? Since the project went on hold for a bit to address concerns, the one-to-two-month installation is not expected to happen before the first quarter of next year.

First look at potential ‘end-to-end’ options for Sound Transit light rail from West Seattle to Ballard

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

“You have all officially made it through two levels of screening.”

That was the welcome last night for Sound Transit‘s West Seattle-Ballard light rail Stakeholder Advisory Group members at their last scheduled meeting of the year.

The big headline from this meeting: The first look at three “end-to-end” route possibilities drafted by ST staff. Until now, potential routing/station locations have been discussed segment by segment. The three were crafted from feedback in the first two levels of screening, which are recapped in the meeting’s full slide deck (PDF). ST’s Cathal Ridge went through that recap last night, noting major concerns voiced during that phase – including, for West Seattle, an interest in ensuring the Delridge station is a good transfer point between bus and light rail, that a location south of Andover be considered for it, and also that the Junction station be oriented north-south, possibly on 42nd or 44th. Here’s the list of what the three are being called for now, followed by maps and highlights of each:

Read More

Work at three intersections to start soon as part of SDOT’s 35th SW Phase 2

35th SW and SW Dawson, by Camp Long, is one of three 35th SW intersections where SDOT says work could start before Thanksgiving as part of the arterial’s Phase 2 of safety improvements. We first reported back in April on the SDOT plan for more work on 35th SW – primarily crossing improvements. The department is announcing that work is planned soon at three intersections – Dawson, Juneau, and Kenyon – and circulating this explanatory flyer to area residents either this afternoon or early next week:

35th/Juneau has already had some Phase 2 work done, back in summer. 35th/Dawson is the biggest project of the three that SDOT is tackling next, with a full traffic signal part of the package. (Earlier this year, SDOTs Jim Curtin told WSB that the signal has been a community request for more than a decade.) The other new signal in the Phase 2 package, at Graham, is expected to be installed next year. As for which of the three intersections in today’s announcement will be worked on first, SDOT says it will have a followup announcement soon with “detailed schedule and phasing information from the contractor.”

BACKSTORY: If you’re new – 35th SW Phase 1 involved rechannelization starting a short distance south of Morgan and continuing south to Roxbury. The original 2015 announcement suggested there would be more rechannelization north of Morgan starting in 2016, but that didn’t come to pass, and when Phase 2 details were finally announced earlier this year, rechannelization was ruled out – for now.

Possible West Seattle site for public fast-charging station for electric vehicles discussed @ West Seattle Transportation Coalition

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The city wants to know what you think about locating one of its future public fast-charging stations at Don Armeni Boat Ramp in West Seattle.

That was the bottom line when Victor Couto and Jacob Orenberg from Seattle City Light‘s “Customer Energy Solutions” group visited the West Seattle Transportation Coalition‘s meeting last week.

They noted that the city “has multiple departments working to increase electric-vehicle ridership.” Transportation is responsible for two-thirds of Seattle’s carbon emissions, compared to 26 percent in the rest of the country, so tackling this can make a huge difference. The city hope to own and operate 20 public DC fast-chargers, and install 200 (slower) residential chargers.

For those who aren’t electric-vehicle experts, they explained the difference:

Read More