Fauntleroy Way Southwest to get road diet

The Seattle Department of Transportation announced today (Jan. 23) its decision to change Fauntleroy Way Southwest to one travel lane in each direction, including a center turn-lane and bike lanes, often called a "road diet."
Between California Avenue Southwest and Southwest Edmunds Street, Fauntleroy Way will be converted from two travel lanes in each direction to one lane in each direction, a center two-way left turn lane, a bicycle lane northbound and shared lane pavement markings, for motor vehicles and bicycles, traveling southbound.
“It’s the right thing to do,” said Aaron Goss, owner of Aaron’s Bicycle just a block from Fauntleroy. “It’s the flatest bike route through West Seattle and a lot of people already use it.”
Marked crosswalks will be added at Southwest Brandon Street and 40th Avenue Southwest. Most on-street parking will remain with a few spaces replaced by bus zones.
The restriping has been designed to make Fauntleroy Way safer for both pedestrians and bicyclists by reducing vehicle speeds and collisions while still supporting the road’s capacity, accoridng to the city, which cites national studies that have revealed that single-lanes in each direction calm traffic and create a safer environment for all road users.
Goss says the average driver goes much faster than Fauntleroy’s 35 mile an hour speed limit. According to the city, the average speed is 41 miles-per-hour.
Eric Widstrand also explained that similar “road diets,” where lanes are limited to improve safety, have been successful on Rainier Avenue South, Stone Way and 24th Avenue Northwest in Ballard.
Travel times for motorists will not increase, even for those traveling to and from the Fauntleroy Ferry docks, the city expects. As Widstrand explained, Fauntleroy will experience less turning conflict with a shared center lane.
Steve Sindiong, president of the Morgan Junction Community Association, said the association is pleased with the possibility of new bicycle lanes and decreased speeds on Fauntleroy Way, but hopes the city has considered the possibility of additional services being added to the Fauntleroy Ferry terminal.
The department's decision was guided by an analysis of current and future traffic conditions, Bicycle Master Plan recommendations, and input from the community.
The 1.3 mile stretch of Fauntleroy will be repaved and restriped between May and November 2009. The road will not be completely closed in either direction during construction.
Once construction is complete, the road will be analyzed and adjustments, including additional crosswalks, could be made as needed.
“We want to take a look and see if there are any change in traffic volumes and make sure its working as we anticipated,” says Widstrand.
A similar project, called a "boulevard concept" was rejected by the local community in 1998 as a part of the Morgan Junction’s original neighborhood plan.

For more information please contact Reiner Blanco, Arterial Operations supervisor, at 206-615-1911 or at reiner.blanco@seattle.gov or Jessica Murphy, Arterial Asphalt and Concrete Paving program manager, at 206-684-0178 or jessica.murphy@seattle.gov.

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