Seattle has found it a major challenge to create much of its planned bike infrastructure but one important new feature for riders headed for Capitol Hill via Interlaken Blvd will be celebrated with a ribbon cutting Saturday.
The celebration for the newly completed Interlaken Park Path and Stair Upgrade will begin this Saturday at 9:30 AM (PDF) at the corner of Boyer and Howe. Continue reading
The Washington Department of Transportation has selected the contractor and says construction is set to begin in early 2019 on its Montlake Project, the next phase in completing the replacement of SR 520.
WSDOT announced Wednesday that Graham Contracting Ltd. submitted the top proposal, a $455.3 million contract for construction of an improved Montlake Boulevard interchange, a landscaped lid over SR 520, a bicycle and pedestrian “land bridge” east of the lid, and a three-lane West Approach Bridge South over Union Bay for eastbound traffic. Continue reading
Seattle ARCH (Activists Remembered, Celebrated, and Honored) has plans for a “Ramps to Nowhere” memorial (Image: Seattle ARCH)
(Image: Seattle ARCH)
Priscilla Arsove remembers sitting in her family’s living room as her father called hundreds of volunteers and city officials throughout the evening on their house’s single landline telephone to stop freeway projects that he saw as troubling throughout Seattle. Now, she’s working to maintain that legacy as the work of her father and hundreds of others celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.
On Sunday September 23, a 50th anniversary celebration of their work will be held at the Central Area Senior Center.
Maynard Arsove was pushed to action by the construction of I-5 which effectively separated Capitol Hill and First Hill from downtown.
The “Freeway Revolt” began in 1960 when voters approved the Bay Freeway, which was set to be a link between I-5 and Seattle Center, and bonds to fund the R.H. Thomson Expressway, a 15-mile roadway that would have stretched from Duwamish to Bothell, thus setting in motion the creation of a transportation system that would have a greater freeway density than Los Angeles.
The R.H. Thomson Expressway would have destroyed up to 3,000 homes and displaced as many as 8,000 people. The Bay Freeway would have walled off South Lake Union from the rest of the city. These possibilities fostered a public outcry that resulted in a public outcry from affected residents which saw the citizens suing the city two years later. Widely-attended public hearings on the future of transportation in Seattle ensued before Citizens Against the RH Thomson (CARHT) and Citizens Against Freeways (CAF) formed in 1968.
“An arrogant disregard for the needs and the interests of the people that lived in the area,” Anna Rudd, a former anti-freeway activist, said of the city’s plan. Continue reading
The Washington Department of Ecology is taking public comment on the plan to clean up contaminated soil and groundwater below the site of a former Montlake gas station.
The Circle K cleanup plan would include a two-phase process starting in the summer of 2019 including “injections of oxygen-releasing chemicals to oxidize contaminated groundwater and “ground water and soil vapor extraction,” the announcement from the state reads. Continue reading
23rd Ave south of Jackson
The process to overhaul 23rd Ave from one end to the other between 520 and I-90 is preparing for the next stages as construction is prepared to begin next month in the southern stretch of the corridor while a big change is being made to the plans in the north.
Wednesday night, the Seattle Department of Transportation will hold a “pre-construction open house” for the southern Phase 2 of the 23rd Ave Vision Zero project:
Phase 2 construction will happen along 23rd Ave S between S Jackson St to Rainier Ave S. While we don’t yet know an exact start date, we anticipate Phase 2 construction beginning as soon as May 2018 and lasting approximately one year. We will share more details about the construction schedule and phasing once the contractor is on board.
Wednesday’s meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 18 from 6:30 to 8:30 PM at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School, 2401 S Irving.
This summer, SDOT will also dig in for a few weeks on slimming down the 24th Ave E end of the corridor through Montlake. But a big component of the plan has been dropped:
In another unfortunate setback for Vision Zero and the Move Seattle Levy, SDOT has elected to remove the dedicated bus lane planned for 24th Avenue to give more space to cars. 23rd/24th Avenue, home to the 43 and 48 routes and used by over 6,000 bus riders daily, is one of Seattle’s supposed “transit priority corridors” (a phrase that grows ever more meaningless), slated for RapidRide buses in 2024.
“The 2015 Transit Master Plan called for bus lanes from Thomas St. to Roanoke St., almost all the way to the Montlake bridge,” the Seattle Transit Blog reports. “As the plan has evolved, neighborhood opposition has increased and the bus lanes have been walked back, until this month, when they were scrapped entirely.” Continue reading
A new Montlake lid and interchange… A new pedestrian and bicycle land bridge over SR 520… A new West Approach Bridge South to carry eastbound traffic from Montlake to the floating bridge… New transit/HOV ramps to and from the Montlake lid… WSDOT will visit Montlake Tuesday night for an open house before construction begins later this year on the first phase of the “Rest of the West” final portion of the 520 replacement project.
“SR 520 staff and partner agencies will be available during the open house to discuss what’s coming up and answer your questions,” WDOT promises. Continue reading
The Washington Park Arboretum is said to be home to the largest botanical collection west of the Mississippi, with some 20,000 trees and plants across its 230 acres, and countless birds and rocks and things. Sunday, officials and neighbors gathered along the new Arboretum Loop Trail to celebrate the route’s grand opening with a “vine-cutting,” speeches, and lots of good dogs.
“That is the cutest dog I have seen yet today,” Sally Clark, former Seattle City Council member and the University of Washington’s director of regional and community relations, quipped as a canine in attendance for the grand opening event barked during her address. “And I have seen a lot of dogs this morning.”
The 1.2-mile trail has created a new 12-foot-wide paved path through the leafy area along Lake Washington for walkers, wheelchairs, slow bikes, and strollers and to connect to the park’s meandering trails. $7.8 million in 520 construction mitigation funds from WSDOT powered the project. Continue reading
Good news Capitol Hill commuters headed to the Eastside: You can get to work without a car or a bus. Wednesday, the SR 520 Trail finally opened to pedestrians and cyclists and everything in between along the northside rail of the Lake Washington floating bridge:
The full length of the State Route 520 bicycle and pedestrian trail across Lake Washington is now open. Part of the West Approach Bridge North Project that built new westbound SR 520 lanes and off-ramps, the new 14-foot-wide trail is the final piece that connects about a dozen miles of trail along SR 520 between Redmond and the Montlake neighborhood in Seattle. The new path connects users to over 60 miles of regional trails.
Officials expect around 1,000 people a day to use the path. We’ll know for sure. Federal grants paid for a new bicycle and pedestrian counter at the trailhead in Montlake. “The counter will track bicyclist and pedestrian use in the 520 corridor, allowing WSDOT to better support these communities,” the agency said.
Wednesday’s grand opening gave the counter plenty of work to do.
Neighbors in Montlake are putting more community money into the legal fight to save a neighborhood market. The Montlake Community Club has announced it will pony up another $29,000 to launch an appeal after a September ruling against a lawsuit seeking to save the Montlake Boulevard Market and gas station from condemnation to make way for construction of an expanded 520 through the neighborhood.
“The MCC and our attorney, Dave Bricklin, argued that WSDOT did not consider the environmental impacts associated with closing the Montlake Market,” the club’s update on the lawsuit reads. “By intervening in the case, the MCC hoped to strengthen the argument for saving the market and force WSDOT to consider alternatives.”
A King County Superior Court judge ruled against the lawsuit in September, according to the club. The community club expects the appeal to be heard in January. Continue reading
A new round of changes is coming to 23rd Ave corridor between John and Roanoke streets starting next year. Yes, technically, it’s 24th Ave between Helen and Roanoke. Phase 3 construction of the 23rd Avenue Vision Zero project is likely to start in the spring or summer of 2018, but it won’t be nearly as disruptive as the first phase of the project, between John and Jackson streets, which took 21 months to complete, city officials say.
Phase 3 will continue the Seattle road diet strategy in an effort to reduce accidents and make roads safer for pedestrians. The biggest change in this phase will be between John and Boyer streets. Currently the road is two lanes in each direction. The redesigned road will have one lane going northbound (downhill), a center turn lane, and two lanes going southbound (uphill) the lane closest to the curb, however, will be bus only. SDOT hopes the new design will help address speeding in the corridor.
The bus only lane is designed to help keep bus travel time reliable, in advance of potentially placing a rapid ride bus on the road, though that’s not likely to happen until 2024. The bus only lane will continue to 23rd and Madison, where it will transition into the single lane southbound lane there now.
The stretch between Boyer and Roanoke will continue to be two lanes in each direction, a nod to the traffic volumes in that area around state 520. That area will get some improvements, along with the rest of the corridor. Continue reading