Mayor McGinn proposes safety improvements for West Seattle bike commute

May 1 was a tragic reminder of the dangers West Seattle bicyclists face in their daily trek downtown as a 54-year-old cyclist from Federal Way lost his life in a tangle with a semi-truck along E. Marginal Way S. in SoDo.

The incident rallied cyclists across the city together in calling for improvements to bike safety on the West Seattle route and elsewhere.

On May 14, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn announced a proposal to commit $3.25 million in transportation investments (saved from the Spokane Street Viaduct project) to be used to improve rider experience and safety along E. Marginal Way and Lower Spokane Street, along with other projects throughout the city.

City Council approval will be needed to make these improvements a reality.

“We have heard from the public that they want safety improvements on our roads,” McGinn said in a statement. “These improvements will help protect safety for people on these busy corridors whether they’re in their cars and trucks, on foot, or on a bicycle.”

From the Mayor's Office:

The $3.25 million in funding will be used for the following projects:
·
Improvements to East Marginal Way in SoDo

o $700,000 for pavement maintenance, restriping, and exploring interim cycle track options to provide further separation of bicycles and auto traffic.

o $200,000 will be included for conceptual planning and pre-design for a permanent reconstruction to the road, which will also include a long-term design of separated bicycle facilities such as a cycle track.

$500,000 for Lower Spokane Street Safety Improvements. Project elements will be developed with input from the community, the Port, and other stakeholders and may include:

o Improving pavement conditions along the pathway.

o Improving crossing at Port driveways

o Improving crossing for bicyclists at Chelan (5-way) intersection.

o Improving crossing for bicyclists from the path to SW Avalon Way/SW Admiral Way.

o Increase separation for bicyclists on SW Admiral Way.

o Improving Delridge to Andover connection to the bicycle path.

Westlake Avenue Cycle Track

o $1.2 million for final design and construction of this project to improve separation between bicycles and vehicles and link the Ship Canal trail to South Lake Union. When combined with previous funding from the City and Puget Sound Regional Council, this project will have $2.3 million of funding which may be enough to build the facility depending on final design.

$400,000 for implementation of the Pedestrian Master Plan

$250,000 for transit-oriented design in multiple neighborhoods:

o Study at Rainier Avenue South and Martin Luther King Jr. Way South to identify alternatives, conduct a traffic analysis, conceptual design, develop conceptual cost estimates and conduct public outreach

o New transportation analysis near Roosevelt light rail station, assessing station area access issues including evaluation of the Roosevelt/11th one-way couplet

o Station access and transit-oriented design near Othello Station

This is in addition to the previously announced $11.75 million in transportation investments from Spokane Street Viaduct savings. That funding was included in the First Quarter Supplemental Budget, and includes:

· $4.5 million for major road improvements on Northgate Way, closing the funding gap for this approximately $14 million project. This project includes paving, sidewalks and curb ramps, traffic signals, and lighting.

· $1 million in new funding for Pedestrian Master Plan implementation

· Design work on pedestrian projects currently being identified through the Lake City Way Traffic Safety Corridor Project and other community processes, and additional pedestrian mobility improvements along the length of the corridor and intersecting streets.

· Planning for intersection improvements at Rainier Avenue South and Martin Luther King Jr. Way South, which was identified as a high priority in the Southeast Transportation Study.

· Installation of a special pedestrian flashing beacon at 47th Avenue Southwest and Southwest Admiral Way. We will also work with the community to begin the technical design process for a permanent traffic signal at that location, and are working to identify funding sources for its construction.

· Installation of safety improvements on Northeast 75th Street near Nathan Eckstein Middle School. In April we described these improvements in greater detail. They include a flashing school zone beacon, evaluation of this site for a school zone speed camera, remarking of crosswalks, evaluation of Northeast 68th Street and 25th Avenue Northeast for a traffic signal, and new pedestrian countdown heads at existing traffic signals in the area. We have also been working with the community to examine possible physical changes to the roadway to reduce speeds. SDOT is currently analyzing this feedback and will develop a proposal in the coming weeks.

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