Transportation 2750 results

PARKING: SDOT plans to officially propose RPZ for West Seattle Junction area, two years after community request

(SDOT map of what’s been under consideration, pending January’s official proposal details)

After almost two years of community discussion and more than a year of study, SDOT has decided to officially propose a Restricted Parking Zone (RPZ) for some residential areas in the West Seattle Junction. That announcement was made today – but details of the RPZ proposal won’t be out until January. At that time, the announcement says, SDOT “will be asking for feedback on the RPZ proposal via survey, email, phone, and at an RPZ public hearing.” When the details go public, they’ll be sent via postal mail as well as posted here. The RPZ study stemmed from a community request going back almost two years – not the first one, either; a previous study last decade resulted in SDOT deciding not to propose one.

West Seattle currently has just one RPZ area, near the Fauntleroy ferry terminal. As explained here, RPZs are “residential areas around commuter traffic generators – like hospitals or light rail stations – where on-street parking is restricted for those except residents and short-term visitors.” Here’s how they work:

• Signs are installed on the blocks in an RPZ.

• Residents on the blocks within an RPZ can buy a limited number of permits that allow their vehicles to park on street.

• Since curbspace is public, non-permitted vehicles can still park in the area, but must obey the posted time limits.

Current cost of an RPZ permit is $65 for two years, though the city website also notes there’s a $10 hardship price too. There’s more backstory in our July report from when the city launched its most-recent quest for feedback on the RPZ idea. The results of that feedback are in this slide deck now available via the SDOT website:

As clarified in our summer coverage – in case you are wondering – RPZ signs are not installed adjacent to businesses, so this will NOT change business-district parking, and the city has already again ruled out metered parking in The Junction. According to the slide deck, after the proposal details go public in January, the hearing will be in February, and a final decision will be announced in April.

Another pre-opening milestone for the Highway 99 tunnel

October 30, 2018 3:39 pm
|    Comments Off on Another pre-opening milestone for the Highway 99 tunnel
 |   Alaskan Way Viaduct | Highway 99 tunnel | Transportation | West Seattle news

(This afternoon’s view from construction-site camera looking south over northbound tunnel entrance)

As the planned Alaskan Way Viaduct closure gets ever closer – we’re now 2 1/2 months from January 11th – WSDOT has announced another tunnel project milestone:

Close followers of the project know that our website is home to an archive of contractor Seattle Tunnel Partners’ monthly schedule updates. These updates don’t show all the construction that’s happening on the project, but they do give an indication of critical work activities that must be completed to achieve an important contract milestone – “substantial completion” of the tunnel.

STP reached substantial completion earlier this month. This is the first of three contract milestones in STP’s work on the tunnel. It means the tunnel is far enough along for STP to officially hand the facility over to WSDOT. It doesn’t mean STP’s work is done, but it does mean the tunnel could be technically operated as designed.

What comes next is a variety of wrap-up work elements that, once completed, will result in the tunnel reaching the second milestone, known as “physical completion.” Meanwhile, as STP works toward physical completion, WSDOT will continue to train maintenance and operations staff to ensure the tunnel and those responsible for its operation are ready to go in early 2019.

The final contract milestone, aptly named “final completion,” will be achieved when paperwork and documentation are done. The tunnel will open before this final milestone is reached. You can see the latest schedule update – along with those from previous months – on our schedule page.

P.S. Got questions about the upcoming viaduct-to-tunnel transition? Your next chance to ask them is this Thursday night, when WSDOT reps are among the guests at the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting in White Center (7 pm Nov. 1st, 1243 SW 112th).

Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth ferry notes: One boat late after assistance; one boat down starting Monday

October 27, 2018 7:14 pm
|    Comments Off on Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth ferry notes: One boat late after assistance; one boat down starting Monday
 |   Fauntleroy | Transportation | West Seattle news

Two notes about the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth ferry run:

ONE BOAT LATE AFTER ASSISTANCE: Thanks to M for sending that photo of crew members from the ferry Kitsap helping a boater in distress off Southworth. As a result, the Kitsap is running 20+ minutes late. You can check its status via Vessel Watch.

ONE BOAT OUT STARTING MONDAY: WSF has this alert out for the route:

Beginning on Monday, October 29 until further notice, the Fauntleroy/Vashon Island/Southworth route must operate on a two-boat schedule so that the M/V Sealth can undergo a Coast Guard-required maintenance inspection. WSF is doing everything possible to minimize the duration of this service disruption and will be sending updates as soon as more information is available. Passengers can expect delays on this route during that time, and alternate routes are advised where available. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience and understanding as we work to restore full service on this route.

You can see the two-boat schedule here.

Seattle Public Schools adds second service provider in hopes of lessening late-bus woes

Many families with students who use yellow-bus service to get to and from Seattle Public Schools know it’s been a frustrating fall. The district says its contractor’s been short of drivers and that’s led to late service – for example, one week ago today, the district sent parents an update showing some routes were running up to two hours late. The parent who sent us that list noted that it’s not just a problem for families, but also for schools, as staffers have to be assigned to care for students awaiting their late buses. This afternoon, the district has just sent an update on the situation:

To improve reliable student transportation service for its students, Seattle Public Schools (SPS) has negotiated a supplemental contract to add 15 general education school buses to the fleet.

The additional buses are operated by Durham Bus Service. They will be put into service on Monday, Oct. 29. The buses are in addition to the current fleet operated by First Student. SPS contracts with First Student to provide yellow school bus service. SPS students and families have experienced transportation challenges this fall due to a lack of qualified drivers. Getting students safely to and from school in a predictable, timely manner is top of mind for SPS Superintendent Denise Juneau. “I am frustrated that the start of school hasn’t been smooth for all of our students and families. Our students deserve timely, predictable transportation to and from school,” she stated.

To help mitigate the problems, SPS initially sought as many bus drivers and buses as possible with the supplemental bus contract. Durham was able to supply 15.

Families and schools are being notified today.

The addition of Durham bus service should be seamless, with the same route stops, pick-up and arrival times that were scheduled with First Student.

In preparation for the change, Durham bus drivers have performed practice runs at least three times to ensure familiarity of the routes.

In addition, the following actions have been taken to improve bus service:

• The SPS transportation department continues to prioritize yellow bus service to Title I schools and for special education students.

• SPS has subcontracted with a special education transportation contractor to expand services.

• Additional ORCA cards have been provided to secondary students when requested by schools or families.

• The transportation department convened a Transportation Task Force that includes transportation and school professionals, parents and community members. Final recommendations from the Task Force to the Superintendent will be shared next week.

Background:

Seattle Public Schools contracts with First Student to provide student transportation. In February
2018, First Student and its drivers came to an agreement after an eight-day strike. This agreement
was supposed to ensure sufficient bus drivers. Although First Student had sufficient drivers at the
end of last school year, many drivers did not return this school year, and bus routes have been
inconsistent since the start of school.

Seattle Public Schools is a microcosm of our city. Finding great employees in a city with low
unemployment and competitive wages has been a challenge for First Student. First Student has
found filling the 411 positions they require to serve SPS challenging, and they have been 15 to
35 positions short since the start of school. When this happens, First Student “doubles up” on
routes to make sure every route is run daily, but this means that some routes are significantly
delayed. In September 2018, First Student agreed to provide a salary increase to all drivers.

UPDATE: Crash? Stall? Downed tree? Traffic trouble to be tackled by new ‘SDOT Response Team’

(Photo tweeted by Mayor’s Office)

3:16 PM: Five SDOT vehicles now comprise the fleet of a new “Response Team” aimed at clearing traffic-blocking incidents more quickly, as announced by the mayor today at a media briefing in Lake Union. From the ensuing news release:

As Seattle prepares for a new era of tough traffic beginning with the permanent closure of the SR 99 viaduct on January 11, 2019 and continuing over the next several years, Mayor Jenny A. Durkan today announced the launch of the Seattle Department of Transportation’s (SDOT) new Response Team to help stranded drivers and clear debris and vehicles so people and goods can keep moving.

The SDOT Response Team (SRT) will operate City-wide, 24 hours a day, and seven days a week, with new response trucks equipped with red lights, sirens, and digital messaging signs. The Response Team will work to promptly remove debris in the street; move vehicles out of the traffic lane following a crash; assist stranded motorists; respond to traffic signal issues and fallen critical signs; and provide emergency traffic control during incidents. The SDOT Response Team will focus on Seattle’s busy arterial streets, working with WSDOT Incident Response teams and King County traffic safety crews, who work on state and county roads.

(SDOT photo)

The five-vehicle fleet of response vehicles each come prepared with tow ropes; traffic cones; fluorescent pink incident warning signs; saws to clear tree limbs; absorbent material to clear spills; fire extinguishers; jacks to change flat tires; battery jump starters; and GoJaks – which allow one person to lift a car’s tires off the ground, and push the car out of the way. The SDOT Response Team also leverages smart investments, such as the City’s Intelligent Transportation System technology and the recently expanded Seattle Transportation Operations Center. …

The Federal Highway Administration established bright florescent pink as the color for signs indicating an incident, making them easy to distinguish from the familiar orange construction signs. One way to remember this is that when you see pink, think compassion, because someone is involved in an incident up ahead.

To guide the growth of the SDOT Response Team, the City hired traffic incident management veteran and former police officer Patricia Westsik. The SDOT Response Team has been trained to deal with crashes and other traffic incidents; Washington State Patrol defensive driving training; basic and intermediate chainsaw training; and training to earn certification on managing traffic around incidents. …

We have a couple followup questions out to the city – such as, where will the vehicles be based when waiting for dispatch – and will update when answers are in.

ADDED 8:43 PM: SDOT’s Dawn Schellenberg answered our questions. We wondered about the cost; estimated at “just over $1 million covering staffing, vehicle maintenance/replacement, training and software upgrades. The program is funded through the General Fund.” The five vehicles/crews will be on staggered schedules to cover 24/7. And as for where they’ll be based/dispatched from: “The SDOT Response Team is dispatched out of Charles Street. During peak hours, we typically preposition in the south end near the West Seattle Bridge/Alaskan Way Viaduct, and the north end near Aurora. During non-peak times, responders can be dispatched to specific sites and patrol citywide.”

FOLLOWUP: West Seattle stairway project updates, from Myrtle to Holly to Hill

(Photos courtesy SDOT)

That’s the stairway at SW Hill in North Admiral, complete, with enough funding remaining to replace the stairway on the east side of 42nd SW. SDOT‘s Greg Funk sends that update and others. He says the 42nd project “just started this week and will be opened back up by the end of November.”

Another update goes with this photo:

“SW Holly [at Beveridge] concrete work is complete and are awaiting post fabrication, and the order of recycled plastic for the rail. We are hoping to have the stairway opened before the Thanksgiving weekend.”

And finally, an update on the Myrtle/Sylvan/25th SW project first mentioned here in August. Some community concern led to a delay while SDOT talked with neighbors; a meeting is planned November 7th, per the newest notice:

The plan is expected to move forward after that – here’s the updated construction notice:

Funk adds that the crosswalk-related comments following our August stairway report have been called to the attention of the appropriate team at SDOT.

FERRY ALERT: Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth back to 3 boats

October 20, 2018 11:08 am
|    Comments Off on FERRY ALERT: Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth back to 3 boats
 |   Fauntleroy | Transportation | West Seattle news

M/V Cathlamet went back into service this morning, after mechanical trouble took it out on Friday, so the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route is back to 3 boats.

NOISE ALERT: If you’re taking the Water Taxi this weekend, things might get loud

October 19, 2018 8:07 pm
|    Comments Off on NOISE ALERT: If you’re taking the Water Taxi this weekend, things might get loud
 |   King County Water Taxi | Transportation | West Seattle news

Just in from the West Seattle Water Taxi:

This coming Saturday, Oct. 20 and Sunday, Oct. 21, construction will take place on the south side of Pier 52 between the Water Taxi’s temporary facility and the Colman Dock Terminal. A large construction barge, a.k.a., the “Pacific Lifter,” will be driving new piles into the ground. Riders who are in this vicinity may experience high levels of noise as a result of the work. For Water Taxi riders who need hearing protection while waiting for the West Seattle boat during these periods, our terminal agents can provide ear plugs upon request.

Side note: This is the second-to-last weekend before the Water Taxi goes weekdays-only until spring; that schedule starts Monday, October 29th.

ROAD WORK ALERT: It’s not a roundabout, but it’s a start – Highland Park Way/Holden changes ahead

While Highland Park continues fighting to get the city to build a roundabout at Highland Park Way and Holden, the city has repeatedly mentioned that it can make other, smaller changes to improve safety at the intersection in the meantime. Today, SDOT announced that those changes will be made in the next few weeks. The following letter has been sent to nearby residents, after notification to the Highland Park Action Committee, whose chair Charlie Omana forwarded it to us:

Subject: Highland Park Way and Holden Intersection Improvements

Dear Highland Park residents,

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will be making some enhancements to the
intersection of Highland Park Way SW & SW Holden St (see below and graphic). The purpose of these
enhancements is to increase safety and make the intersection more predictable.

The work that SDOT will be doing includes:

• Enlarging the painted triangles in the northwest and southwest quadrants of the intersection
(gore areas)
• Extending the southbound right-turning lane and installing advance lane configuration signs and
markings
• Installing yield signs and markings
• Repainting the northbound left-turn arrow markings
• Installing a barrier to prevent eastbound left-turning vehicles from turning into the outside curb
lane of northbound Highland Park Way SW
• Converting SW Austin St to right turn in and right turn out only

We expect to make these changes within the next few weeks, when the weather is dry enough for us to apply paint to the road.

Please note, this work will not preclude a potential future roundabout at this intersection. SDOT has
applied for the Washington State Department of Transportation’s (WSDOT) 2018 City Safety Grant for funding the full design and construction of the roundabout. We expect a decision about the grant in
January 2019.

If that grant is not received, Mayor Jenny Durkan promised HPAC last month that the city would come up with a “Plan B” for funding the roundabout.

FERRY/TRAFFIC ALERT: Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth down to 2 boats

4:05 PM: Friday afternoon outbound ferry-rider traffic from Fauntleroy is usually backed up even in the best of times, but we’re getting word it’s worse than usual today, and that the run is down to two boats. The M/V Cathlamet is out of service. Here’s the latest word from Washington State Ferries:

The M/V Cathlamet is out of service for the remainder of the day due to the issues with the ship’s service generator. While technicians continue to troubleshoot and assess for repairs, the Fauntleroy/Vashon/Southworth will being following the weekday two-boat schedule beginning with the Fauntleroy 4:05 pm sailing to Vashon, the Vashon 4:30 pm to Fauntleroy, and the Southworth 5:25 pm to Vashon and Fauntleroy.

4:23 PM: Here’s the Fauntleroy-Vashon 2-boat schedule; here it is for Fauntleroy-Southworth. WSF says the wait is now 2 hours at Fauntleroy.

10:21 PM: Still 2 boats and as of last WSF update, a one-hour wait at Fauntleroy.

Where will West Seattle’s light-rail stations be? Feet First walk-and-talk on Tuesday

As reported here a week and a half ago, the second of three levels of light-rail-route review has concluded and what’s known as the Golf Course/Alaska Junction/Tunnel proposal is under the microscope. A big part of the decisionmaking process involves station siting – and that’s a focus of a walk-and-talk tour you’re invited to join tomorrow. In case you haven’t already seen it on our calendar or heard about it some other way, we’re publishing this reminder tonight. The tour organizers at Feet First describes the plan as follows:

Join King County Council Chair Joe McDermott, Seattle City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, Sound Transit officials, and community leaders for a walking tour of proposed Sound Transit Link light rail station sites in West Seattle.

This event, sponsored by the pedestrian-advocacy group Feet First, will visit Link light rail station site alternatives at West Seattle Junction, Avalon, and Delridge.* Sound Transit is currently evaluating and gathering public input about station siting alternatives at these locations.

Sound Transit’s final selection of where the stations will go has big implications for how West Seattle will evolve over the coming decades, hopefully fostering the development of vibrant and walkable communities. On this walk, we will discuss trade-offs between the various site alternatives and how to ensure good walking access to the Sound Transit light rail system.

* the Delridge portion of the walk is optional.

You can RSVP here – the walk starts at Junction Plaza Park (42nd/Alaska) at 4:30 pm and if you’re along the whole way to Delridge, discussion is planned afterward at Ounces (3809 Delridge Way SW).

Draft schedule revision for Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth ferry route goes public

Above and here (PDF), you can see the proposed new schedule for the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route of Washington State Ferries. WSF has just released the draft for public comment, a week before starting a round of community meetings about the proposal. The accompanying message, via WSF spokesperson Hadley Rodero:

Over the past two years, WSF has engaged in a robust community process and has worked with the Triangle Task Force, local FACs, and the public to develop a draft schedule that considers customers’ needs and priorities. The result of these efforts is a draft sailing schedule that focuses on the afternoon peak commute westbound from Fauntleroy and adjusts eastbound sailing times in the morning from Southworth to better serve commuters. The draft schedule also aims to provide reliability, increase capacity, and regularly fill all sailings when a third 124-car Issaquah Class vessel begins serving the route.

In response to feedback from community members, King County Metro and Kitsap Transit staff, and WSF vessel and terminal employees on the timing of a schedule change, the new schedule will be implemented on March 31, 2019 at the beginning of the spring schedule. This will allow our transit partners to better align their schedules with ours and it will allow us to start the new schedule before the busy summer season.

We hope to hear from you or see you at a public meeting!

The first meeting is at Fauntleroy Church (9140 California SW) one week from tomorrow – 5 to 7 pm Tuesday, October 23rd. You also can comment via e-mail – WSFPlanning@wsdot.wa.gov – deadline November 9th. It’s been two months since the Triangle Task Force got a look at two draft-schedule options (WSB coverage here). That group isn’t scheduled to meet again until next month, and will get a look at the feedback that’s starting now with the release of this proposal.

TRAFFIC: SB 99 closure continues; next weekend, 99 will close in both directions

October 14, 2018 6:53 pm
|    Comments Off on TRAFFIC: SB 99 closure continues; next weekend, 99 will close in both directions
 |   Alaskan Way Viaduct | Highway 99 tunnel | Transportation | West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

So far, this weekend’s Highway 99 closure (SB between the Battery Street Tunnel and West Seattle Bridge) has NOT ended early. But we want to take a moment to remind you about NEXT weekend’s both-ways closure – including the last-ever scheduled inspection of the Alaskan Way Viaduct – planned to start late Friday, October 19th, continuing to early Monday, October 22nd.

Viaduct-to-tunnel transition: Toll decision expected next week

(WSDOT photo)

The Highway 99 tunnel is set to open in early February, after three weeks of road-realignment work following the Alaskan Way Viaduct‘s permanent closure on January 11th. It’ll be toll-free for a trial period at the start. Once that’s over – what will you be charged? That decision is expected to be made by the State Transportation Commission next week, after one last public hearing (11 am Tuesday, October 16th, in Olympia). Here’s the plan, with rates ranging from $1 to $2.25 (provided you sign up for Good To Go):

If you can’t be at that hearing but have something to say, the commission is taking written comment through tomorrow – scroll down this page to find out how.

P.S. Reminder that more prep work brings a closure oF SB 99 this weekend – details here.

From the ‘in case you were wondering too’ file: The 7-11 sidewalk saga

Several readers have asked when the sidewalk in front of the 4312 SW Admiral Way 7-11 – missing for many weeks – will be restored. We took the question to SDOT, whose spokesperson LeAnne Nelson looked into it and replied:

The 7-11 hired contractors to repair the sidewalk, but they removed the sidewalk without any Street Use permits, so they were issued a citation and required to submit a traffic control plan and field review; that’s due to the amount of sidewalk removed. They were not allowed to work until both were approved, which happened last week, I’m told. Our inspector has called the contractor to ask for a completion timeline.

We will check back on that if there’s no work-crew sighting at the site soon.

West Seattle light rail: Elected Leadership Group shoots down ‘Pigeon Ridge’ option

ORIGINAL REPORT, 4:04 PM FRIDAY: Nine days after the Stakeholder Advisory Group for West Seattle/Ballard light rail decided to recommend two options for the third and final stage of review, the next group up the ladder has thrown one of them out. We’ve obtained from Sound Transit the results of this morning’s Elected Leadership Group meeting:

That means the ELG did not accept one of the SAG’s recommendations, keeping the “Pigeon Ridge” alternative – which ST estimated would cost an extra $1.2 billion – in play. (The “Golf Course” etc. option is projected to cost $700 million extra.) Here are discussion points from the meeting:

Here’s the full set of ELG recommendations from todaySeattle Channel website eventually, as SC has recorded the ELG meetings because the group’s membership means the meetings technically also qualify as Seattle City Council Sustainability and Transportation Committee meetings.

WHAT’S NEXT: The third and final level of review now begins, with a “preferred alternative” for environmental study to be arrived at next spring. The next public meeting in the process isn’t until late November, when the Stakeholder Advisory Group is scheduled to meet again.

ADDED SATURDAY: Here’s the video of the meeting.

ROAD WORK ALERT: Harbor/Spokane striping

One of the dormant SDOT projects in West Seattle is about to start up again. Just out of the WSB inbox:

Crews plan to begin striping the intersection of Harbor Ave SW and SW Spokane St tomorrow, Friday, October 5. This work must be completed in dry weather conditions and may be postponed to Monday, October 8. Striping will take approximately 2 days to complete.

Due to a manufacturing delay, crews are unable to activate the bike signal until late October. Initially crews hoped to activate the signal and complete road striping at the same time. However, striping cannot be completed in the rainy months, so it may occur before the bike signal can be activated. Later this month, crews will also install fencing along the bike path and complete plantings.

Traffic impacts during striping and signal activation:

*Westbound SW Spokane St will be reduced to one lane of traffic at Harbor Ave SW, except during peak hours (3 PM to 7 PM, Monday through Friday), when it will remain fully open

*2 uniformed police officers will be direct traffic at the intersection of Harbor Ave SW from SW Spokane St during work hours

*Sidewalks will be maintained for people walking and biking

This project (here’s its official website) started almost four months ago and was initially described as likely to last about six weeks.

Delridge RapidRide H Line: Open house announced

Last time we mentioned the now-set-for-2021 Delridge Route 120/RapidRide H Line transition, an upcoming open house was noted. Today, details were announced – one week from tonight, Wednesday, October 10th, 5:30-7:30 pm. The event announcement from SDOT – which is partnering with Metro on the project going back to when it was under the “Delridge Multimodal Corridor” umbrella, since the transition will also “redesign” much of Delridge – includes:

In the Delridge corridor, we are proposing:

Bus lanes
Landscaped medians
Crosswalk improvements
Protected bike lanes and neighborhood greenway connections
Signal upgrades
Paving
Water and sewer pipe upgrades
Spot parking and bike lane removal
Public art

Learn more and give specific feedback about this early design work at our upcoming open house with King County Metro.

Attend our open house: Wednesday, October 10 – 5:30 to 7:30 PM
Mount View Elementary School
Cafeteria/Multi-Purpose Room
10811 12th Ave SW, Seattle
*Child care provided

For more information about the open house, please click here to see our postcard.

Stay tuned for an online open house with survey questions if you can’t make the event. Check out our website and keep an eye out for additional email updates from us to learn about additional opportunities to review the preferred option and provide feedback.

If you’re not on the e-mail list already, send a note to DelridgeTransit@seattle.gov. We first reported back in July that the H Line launch date had been pushed back to 2021.

Ferries’ future: ‘Citizen team’ organizing as Triangle Route schedule change nears

(WSB photo, Fauntleroy ferry dock, this morning)

As we’ve been reporting in coverage of the Triangle Route Task Force advisory group, Washington State Ferries is preparing for the first major change in years to the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth schedule. The new schedule hasn’t yet been finalized; the task force got a look in August at two possible options, and a proposal will be out soon for public comment. With that as a backdrop, a new community group is organizing, and sent us this announcement:

Everybody has an opinion on how to fix the triangle route ferry schedule — lots of discussion and controversy. It’s not just about the time the boat is moving. It’s total time including the annoying wait in a ferry line while congesting and polluting the dock neighborhoods.

So, how would life be different if you knew a boat would leave at least every 30 minutes from the Fauntleroy dock throughout the day? Ferry waits would be dramatically reduced. On average, ferry users save an hour a day — an hour now mostly spent congesting and polluting the Fauntleroy dock neighborhood.

How could it be possible? The answer is so counter intuitive that you will laugh. Every boat should stop at every dock on every triangle route run, from early morning to evening. A group of Vashon commuters has completed over the last 18 months a professional, thorough process engineering ferry efficiency study. It shows that clearing the Fauntleroy dock of both Vashon and Southworth cars every 30 minutes is feasible and would reduce dock area waiting cars by 50% while creating 20% more departures. That’s a fact-based prediction based on detailed ferry observation, data collection and analysis.

You would be right to say “prove it.” We couldn’t agree more. We need the legislature to approve funds and direct WSF to test the concept with a pilot project. We need to be positive and professional with WSF and Olympia or nothing will happen.

We have put together a citizen team to make this happen. Want to help too? Email us at
ferrycommunities@gmail.com and we can work together for positive change.

WSF is planning public meetings for schedule comment starting later this month, including a 5-7 pm meeting October 23rd at Fauntleroy Church (9140 California SW).

State, city, county team up for Highway 99 briefing @ West Seattle Transportation Coalition

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

A week and a half after the big news that the Alaskan Way Viaduct will close forever on January 11th, with three weeks of Highway 99-less-ness to follow before the new tunnel opens (and other traffic effects beyond that), the West Seattle Transportation Coalition got a high-level briefing.

Leading that briefing last night: WSDOT’s Viaduct/99 project boss Brian Nielsen, SDOT’s downtown-mobility director Heather Marx, and King County’s Chris Arkills.

There were a few new bits of information – but even the not-so-new info bears hearing over and over as the 99-less period approaches.

Marx began with the overview that getting around the city is about to change – “it’s not going to be super-fun, for a few years” – with the promise that after those “few years,” things will be much better.

She showed the five pillars of how “downtown mobility” will be managed.

She made way for Nielsen, who promised specifics on “what’s going on in the Viaduct program now and the next couple years.” The number 5 figured into his early going, too – 5 things that have to be completed before the tunnel can open.

Read More

LANE CLOSURE ALERT: West Seattle Bridge barrier work Saturday

Just in from SDOT:

Saturday morning, we’ll be closing (the inside lanes along) 500 to 1000 feet of the Fauntleroy Expressway portion of the West Seattle Bridge. Approximately 9 Jersey Barriers struck in a recent vehicle collision must be moved back into their protective alignment.

What you can expect:

Our Roadway Structures team will maneuver and realign the jersey barriers, in an area currently coned and taped off.

September 29 | 7 AM – 3 PM

500 to 1000 feet of WB and EB left lanes of Fauntleroy Expressway, just E of 35th Ave SW

West Seattle light rail: Here’s what the Stakeholder Advisory Group wants to send to the next level of review

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Two levels of review down, one to go until the Sound Transit West Seattle to Ballard light-rail-extension project focuses on a “preferred alternative” for environmental study.

At their 3+-hour meeting tonight, members of the project’s Stakeholder Advisory Group made its recommendations for which alternatives its members want to see advance to the third level of study, segment by segment – Ballard/Interbay, Downtown, Chinatown/ID, SODO, and finally, West Seattle – seated in four groups, with the results collected and announced after each segment discussion.

For West Seattle, here’s how it concluded, with two of the three Level 2 tunnel-inclusive options recommended to remain under review in Level 3:

The alternatives that are advancing are from among five under review in Level 2, including the ST “representative project” (the all-elevated plan that was originally outlined before the ST3 ballot measure).

Read More

1st weekday since Metro’s service change, with reminder for riders on Viaduct-using routes

This is the first weekday since Metro‘s latest “service change” kicked in on Saturday. For West Seattle, Routes 56, 57, 120, and RapidRide C Line have added weekday trips. But there’s one more important note: As noted here last Tuesday, timetables were printed with the belief that the Viaduct-to-tunnel Highway 99 change was happening soon – but as you no doubt have heard by now, it’s not happening until January 11th. So Metro wants to be sure you know this:

Transit service will continue to operate on the Alaskan Way Viaduct until early 2019

In a revision to previously published information for Metro’s September 22 service change, routes 21 Express, 37, 55, 56, 57, 113, 120, 121, 122, 123, 125 and the RapidRide C Line will continue to operate on the Alaskan Way Viaduct, and along Seneca and Columbia streets, until early 2019, instead of changing to SODO surface streets as previously planned.

The Alaskan Way Viaduct is now scheduled for closure in early 2019, and until it is closed, the routes that have been operating on it will continue to do so.

Updated schedules are online
While Metro works to update all of its data information systems, use the timetables posted on Metro’s website to plan your trip. During morning peak hours, some buses may arrive in downtown Seattle slightly earlier than scheduled.

When using Metro’s online Trip Planner, watch for the ‘Alert!’ symbol on affected itineraries, and check posted service advisories for routing or stop revisions. Revisions will be fully integrated in the Trip Planner by or before October 20.

New red timetables
Routing and operating times in new red paper timetables for viaduct routes that were distributed prior to September 22 do not reflect this late change to actual operation.

Affected timetables are being revised. Use online timetables or note that, because scheduled running time was added for the expected surface street operation, buses may seem to run earlier or later than the times shown in those timetables.

Downtown routing revisions for some viaduct routes
In the downtown area, some morning peak hour buses have revised routing. After exiting the viaduct, routes 21 Express, 121, 122, 123 and 125 that used to operate a short distance north on 1st Avenue or south on 2nd Avenue are all now operating via Seneca Street to 3rd Avenue, where they will continue north on 3rd, except for Route 125, which will continue south on 3rd.

To get to points south of Seneca St, transfer to applicable service southbound on 2nd or 3rd avenues from posted bus stops just south of Seneca St, or enter the transit tunnel at 3rd Av and Seneca St and transfer to southbound buses or Link light rail.

Onboard announcements
Some onboard stop or landmark information for viaduct buses in the downtown Seattle area may temporarily not be announced or may be announced incorrectly.

Listen for operator announcements or check with your driver if you need assistance with stop information for your route. These systems are also in the process of being updated.

Service change information
Information about all fall service revisions is posted online, and is included in new red timetables.

P.S. If you have questions about January’s Viaduct-to-tunnel transition, bring them to the West Seattle Transportation Coalition meeting this Thursday (September 27), 6:30 pm at Neighborhood House High Point (6400 Sylvan Way).