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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Let's Not Build Something in the Middle of West Seattle Because TRAFFIC!

Posted by on Thu, Mar 6, 2014 at 2:49 PM

I'm not sure this makes a very convincing argument:

West Seattle is going to absorb more population density, one way or another, and if that creates traffic congestion along the neighborhood's main feeder arterial, which is inevitable as the population grows, then the solution is increasing mobility. It's more transit, it's street improvements, it's better transportation infrastructure. Its also requiring the development to make the streetscape better for pedestrians and access better for trucks. But I don't think that the threat of more traffic makes the case to stop dense, mixed-use development. But go to Getting It Right For West Seattle and decide for yourself.

 

Comments (38) RSS

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Baconcat 1
This, $15now, Goldy, Taxis...

It's a new day at Slog.

Bye!
Posted by Baconcat on March 6, 2014 at 2:55 PM · Report this
nedludd2 2
This is about truck traffic to serve a completely unnecessary 8th supermarket in the neighborhood, and an unsafe design to accommodate those trucks that puts pedestrians at risk.
Posted by nedludd2 on March 6, 2014 at 3:05 PM · Report this
3
Basically, what we get now is Dominic sitting around foaming at the mouth and writing it all down. At least Goldy actually went outside sometimes.
Posted by wagawaga on March 6, 2014 at 3:05 PM · Report this
espato 4
The traffic is pretty bad in West Seattle already. Getting out of West Seattle, specifically, is a choreā€¦it's no fun sitting in stopped traffic in a packed-full bus! Lucky for me, I can ride my bike some of the time. Fuck the west seattle urban village until there is an alternative to surface street transportation.
Posted by espato on March 6, 2014 at 3:07 PM · Report this
MacCrocodile 5
Sure, this comes across as a little alarmist at the end (West Seattle should remain a perfect suburban paradise with pedestrian walkways and white picket fences, not big box chain stores! Call your congressman!), but it seems like a legitimate concern when someone wants to build a very large building at an already strained hub of traffic.

If such a thing is still possible at this stage of approval, perhaps it would be better to demand that the building's design be revisited (like where delivery trucks will be blocking all of West Seattle's traffic) or that the traffic in and out of Seattle be supplemented with additional infrastructure.
Posted by MacCrocodile http://maccrocodile.com/ on March 6, 2014 at 3:10 PM · Report this
6
The block of Fauntleroy that's S of Alaska is pretty low traffic, enough so that there's street parking and RVs plenty of nights. The grocery stores tend to send their restock semis during non-rush hour anyways and considering there's a (non-union) Trader Joe's and the QFC only a few blocks away on Alaska, it's hard to say that the Safeway must continue to use their rather old building with far more limited access. Seems like a good plan for that block.
Posted by ChefJoe on March 6, 2014 at 3:24 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 7
Its also requiring the development to make the streetscape better for pedestrians and access better for trucks.


A huge project like this is the very antithesis of a good streetscape for pedestrians. See also: that QFC building farther up Alaska, which, I feel obligated to point out, also has a laughably unworkable parking lot entrance on the QFC side. The only way you make this project decent for pedestrians is to cut down its footprint by 75 percent.
Posted by keshmeshi on March 6, 2014 at 3:25 PM · Report this
8
Density is coming to the west side, one way or another, as you say, but we often seem to get the biggest fuck over when it comes to transit solutions.

If Metro doesn't find the money, we're slated for a 27% reduction in Metro service, 10% more than the rest of the county. To pour a little more salt on, the route cuts will hit the High Point neighborhood (with its large lower income population) the hardest. We're last in line (read decades away) from any light rail service. And, nastily, we're taking the biggest hit from the tunnel/Hwy 99 clusterfuck.

So I don't think it's just NIMBYism that has people alarmed, it's the fact that transportation alternatives for the neighborhood aren't high on the city or county's priority list.
Posted by Westside forever on March 6, 2014 at 3:27 PM · Report this
9
That corner is a wasteland and the first thing you see coming off the WS Bridge. Something needs to be built there that will attract people and enable transit, not run over peds and bikes with semis and cars. This design looks ridiculous -- why put trucks and cars on the main street? And since there's residential in the building, then trucks can't come late at night.

Didn't the West Seattle Triangle endless process come up with something? Who is in charge of this? Is Rasmussen the point person? Does anyone know how he's going to vote?
Posted by Larkshead42 on March 6, 2014 at 3:42 PM · Report this
10

Highways. We need highways, Interstate class ones.

From Seattle across to West Seattle and down around the Sound.

We need a highway to take us right to Long Beach.

We need China to build a bridge across Elliot Bay.

We need a Cascades Tunnel to get us under the snow all year round.

We need Super Dooper .... Highways.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on March 6, 2014 at 3:49 PM · Report this
bitchslap 11
Development is good! Suck it up bitches!
Posted by bitchslap on March 6, 2014 at 3:57 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 12
West Seattle has never wanted to be a city. This is why we should ignore their pleas to join Seattle. They want the city to do things for them, like buy them a tunnel so they can pretend downtown doesn't exist, yet they offer nothing to Seattle in return.

Nothing except bitching that there's not enough golf courses or ranch houses with backyard swimming pools or whatever it is those West Seattle types want out of life. Want more parking for your SUVs and RVs? Dynamite the West Seattle Freeway and you'll have Mayberry, just like you always wanted.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn http://youtu.be/zu-akdyxpUc on March 6, 2014 at 3:58 PM · Report this
loopback 13
uh, you know that West Seattle IS part of seattle, right? The line for where Seattle ends is Roxbury, which is the separator between Highland Park and White Center. Neither of which are, you will notice, West Seattle.
Posted by loopback on March 6, 2014 at 4:07 PM · Report this
14
@11, If we knew for sure that light rail was coming our way with the extra development and density, I could agree with your comment; but as @8 was saying, the political establishment couldn't give two sh*ts about our transportation infrastructure needs and hasn't prioritized us for LR; It isn't all nimbyism but wanting to get in and out of the peninsula to other parts of the region as easily as possible just like everybody else.
Posted by neo-realist on March 6, 2014 at 4:13 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 15
@13

"West Seattle IS part of seattle,"!?

That right there, what you just said, is what I'm talking about. I call it the "West Seattle attitude".
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn http://youtu.be/zu-akdyxpUc on March 6, 2014 at 4:18 PM · Report this
Joe Szilagyi 16
Very, very few people in West Seattle believe things can be "stopped". They're unquestionably a minority.

THIS development is going to happen in some form. It's absolutely prime real estate. But this comment here from @2 sums it up:

This is about truck traffic to serve a completely unnecessary 8th supermarket in the neighborhood, and an unsafe design to accommodate those trucks that puts pedestrians at risk.


Something Very Big and Very Tall is going to go there, but we don't need another grocery store there. There are already two within less than a quarter mile, and if you extend the radius out a little further there's even more than that. In easy bus or car distance you've got: Safeway, QFC, Trader Joe's, PCC, several fruit vendors, and the entire West Seattle Farmer's Market on the weekends. Something else beside a grocery store would be more useful in that location.

The bigger problem is the stupid design of the alley vacation, that the developer wants to buy for permanent access from the city.

From @8:
Density is coming to the west side, one way or another, as you say, but we often seem to get the biggest fuck over when it comes to transit solutions.


Pretty much this. Also, it's no longer a 27% cut in Metro. West Seattle raised hell to extend the mitigation money that WSDOT owed us over Viaduct/Bertha delays and Inslee, Ron Judd, Lynn Thompson and others in Olympia twisted arms to get it done for the next two years, eliminating the extra 10% West Seattle penalty for another two years. We're still in the same boat as everyone else for 17% cuts.

@12
West Seattle has never wanted to be a city. This is why we should ignore their pleas to join Seattle. They want the city to do things for them, like buy them a tunnel so they can pretend downtown doesn't exist, yet they offer nothing to Seattle in return.


You say this every single time West Seattle comes up (or someone else does, I forget who) and it's still as dumb. Here's some history for you:

The founding of Seattle is usually dated from the arrival of the Denny Party scouts in September 25, 1851. However, Luther Collins, Henry Van Asselt, and the Maple family founded a farming settlement on what is currently the Seattle neighborhood of Georgetown in September 27, 1851. The Denny party's original site was an unfinished cabin, without roof, and a camp site, located at Alki Point, in West Seattle.


West Seattle came first, then Georgetown. All of the rest of you liked Seattle after it was already cool, you bandwagon jumpers.

As for Dominic, I love you on Slog, but your weird hate-boner on Slog against West Seattle doesn't really make any sense. Our vocal minority isn't even that vocal compared to some of the people on the east of Broadway side of Seattle! We're the quiet kids that just want to be able to get in and out of neighborhoods to our jobs downtown with the least amount of headache, and then we hide on our peninsula most weekends. You all are still welcome to our two awesome beaches at Alki and Lincoln Park, though.
More...
Posted by Joe Szilagyi http://twitter.com/joeszi on March 6, 2014 at 4:28 PM · Report this
Joe Szilagyi 17
As for the West Seattle locals worried about transport/transit, stuff, FYI:

West Seattle Transportation Coalition

Next meeting Tuesday, 630pm, High Point Neighborhood House, 6400 Sylvan Way SW, off of SW Morgan & 35th SW. For you mainland foreigners, those weird street names and "SW" means that it's smack dab in the middle of our peninsula.
Posted by Joe Szilagyi http://twitter.com/joeszi on March 6, 2014 at 4:30 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 18
@16

Your proof that the people in West Seattle want to be part of a real city is some shit that happened in 1851? Regardless of what did or didn't happen 160 years ago, people there today have their own attitudes, based on today's reality, not ancient history. They want pools and RV parking, not a city. They avoid the actual city like it was radioactive.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn http://youtu.be/zu-akdyxpUc on March 6, 2014 at 4:45 PM · Report this
Joe Szilagyi 19
And for reference, if you all pay attention to the West Seattle Blog and West Seattle Herald, there is a ton of in-progress, slated, and recently completed development in West Seattle. I saw someone mention numbers in February that there is going to be another +3,000 housing units in West Seattle in the next 0-3 years from all planned work, and since the end of the recession we've already picked up another +1,000 in backlog delayed because of the recession, circa 2008-2009.

Come drive over our bridge on a clear day, take the Avalon Way SW exit, and take a right toward Harbor Ave SW and Beach Drive SW. Go take a look at the gorgeous city views from Jack Block Park, the north tip of Alki, and Alki beach. There's some awesome food down on Alki, along with absolutely massive walls of super-dense apartment buildings and condos everywhere. Then go backwards toward the West Seattle Bridge and keep driving north on Avalon Way SW, through the canyon of density (that I personally like and makes this old East Coaster feel at home). That street at least, for it's long stretch, is Capitol Hill density.

Once you reach that Taco Time? Keep going straight. Start looking around. Drive toward the main West Seattle Junction. Turn north, or south, on California Ave SW. You'll see half of everything is under construction and there are cranes everywhere. Some people in our hood freak out because it's all happening so fast, to make up for lost time from the Great Recession. But y'all need to understand that West Seattle is a Big Place with 1/6th plus or so of the entire population of the city.

I also have seen and heard interesting trivia that we are also phenomenally cheap when per capita when it comes to political campaign contributions, compared to all the 1%ers east of the Duwamish River and north of us. If we ever gave as much money as everyone else, we'd be a force to be reckoned with in City Hall. But, as many old timers have told me, we don't give because no one does anything for us to motivate the giving. It's a horrible cycle.

Long story short, we just want more buses, Light Rail, an easier way to reach our jobs (seriously, like 80%+ of West Seattle residents work in or go through downtown to get to their jobs), and that's it.

We're an easy date.
More...
Posted by Joe Szilagyi http://twitter.com/joeszi on March 6, 2014 at 4:45 PM · Report this
Joe Szilagyi 20
@18 I'd keep responding but you're not a particularly effective troll today. You should read some of my history, Fnarfs, 520's, etc for proper usage of extreme and over-the-top absurdist hyperbole to confuse and confound your opponents. Even more appropriately, study from the zen approach of Will In Seattle, who currently is about 17 3/8" above your game. He can also explain to you why through the use of interpretive dance via the iPads of the 1850s, or something.
Posted by Joe Szilagyi http://twitter.com/joeszi on March 6, 2014 at 4:51 PM · Report this
fletc3her 21
I'm always a bit bemused by the idea that commercial interests should be swayed by whether an eight store is necessary or not. Sure, you don't need it, but that doesn't mean it won't be built. Similarly, my little community is in desperate need of a little store, but nobody will build one here because there aren't enough people to justify it.

With some city planning maybe we'd have grocery stores spaced out evenly throughout town, but more likely they'd all be a convenient distance from the mayor's house and nowhere else.
Posted by fletc3her on March 6, 2014 at 4:55 PM · Report this
22
@#4, personal rapid transit can replace our surface transit transportation. Running on elevated guideways at least 20ft off the ground and traffic, they can be raised on compressed air and moved with linear motors. They would be dispatched on demand by computers and share their road with vehicle to vehicle transportation carrying up to 6 riders who could share the cost or just the ride. The technology isn't widely deployed although a wheeled version has served Heathrow terminal #5 for three years replacing remote parking lot buses.
See http://www.cityam.com/blog/1393846827/vi…
Posted by RayK on March 6, 2014 at 4:58 PM · Report this
seattlestew 23
I'm sorry, is there something happening outside of Capitol Hill?
Posted by seattlestew on March 6, 2014 at 4:59 PM · Report this
fletc3her 24
Eighth! It didn't feel right but for some reason I convinced myself the cardinal and ordinal versions of the word were the same.
Posted by fletc3her on March 6, 2014 at 4:59 PM · Report this
25
Is the grocery store being planned for that location a new Safeway store ? The old one in Jefferson Square is such a pain to get in and out of, I really hope so.
Posted by ChefJoe on March 6, 2014 at 5:03 PM · Report this
Joe Szilagyi 26
@13
The line for where Seattle ends is Roxbury, which is the separator between Highland Park and White Center. Neither of which are, you will notice, West Seattle.


Just to be pedantic, Highland Park IS Seattle. In West Seattle and South Park (which exists with like 4000~ peopke in it, but hell if you'd hear about it on Slog, Publicola, or even the PI and Times 99% of the time unless there's a horrible murder every 5-10 years), the southern borders are from east to west:

(Google maps to help out)

Everything south in the far southwest to the Arroyos/Marine View Drive
Then 35th Ave SW
Then everything north and west of 106th & 30th
Then everything north of Roxbury
Then everything in South Park north of 96th (IIRC)

These maps here probably will help too.

The city is actually getting ready to annex a little south of 96th, too. Sooner or later the County and State are also probably going to force White Center and North Highline and Skyway to also choose between their neighbors in votes to get out of the county.

White Center and North Highline to Seattle or Burien.
Skyway to Seattle or Renton I think.
Posted by Joe Szilagyi http://twitter.com/joeszi on March 6, 2014 at 5:05 PM · Report this
Joe Szilagyi 27
@25 the new one will be a Whole Foods.
Posted by Joe Szilagyi http://twitter.com/joeszi on March 6, 2014 at 5:06 PM · Report this
Joe Szilagyi 28
Here, for everyone: http://wwrhah.files.wordpress.com/2013/0…

I knew I had an old neighborhood city map squirreled away.
Posted by Joe Szilagyi http://twitter.com/joeszi on March 6, 2014 at 5:08 PM · Report this
Looking For a Better Read 29
@27 - I thought the Whole Foods was going to be across Alaska in what was, until the past six months, the giant unfinished Pit.
Posted by Looking For a Better Read on March 6, 2014 at 5:21 PM · Report this
Looking For a Better Read 30
Never mind, just looked at the Weingarten proposal.
Posted by Looking For a Better Read on March 6, 2014 at 5:23 PM · Report this
31
@20 hahaha...you're a hoot

Yes we West Mayberry-ites may be fighting a losing battle to preserve a slice of suburbia in a city that has limited real estate. I just wish the city would give us more public transportation (or even bike!) options with all our tax dollars.
Posted by oh_poop on March 6, 2014 at 6:09 PM · Report this
32
Maybe the West Seattle Chamber will weigh in and Dan will fire Holden too.
Posted by hmmmmm on March 6, 2014 at 6:47 PM · Report this
rob! 33
Re: (too many?) grocery stores, Cerberus Capital is buying Safeway and smerging them with Albertsons, but they're not the sort to keep small, underperforming stores around (despite disclaimers), so... you might be losing West Seattle's two, and who knows how many others.

Before being acquired, Safeway killed all its Dominick's markets in Chicagoland by the end of 2013. Weirdly, some of those vacant Dominick's are now being acquired by Jewel-Osco, previously bought by Cerberus.
Posted by rob! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZBdUceCL5U on March 6, 2014 at 7:52 PM · Report this
meanie 34
@17 your one of the principals for west Seattle transportation whichever right? The problem I see is we have like half a dozen groups: keeping it real for West Seattle, West Seattle growths, just because its L3 doesn't mean you can build on it, etc. And of course the pearl clutching cat ladys in the West Seattle blog.

I can't make heads or tails of which nimby hates what, or what meeting at the senior center is going to be the largest waste of time.

If we shut down the vashon ferry, traffic would be fine for years.
Posted by meanie http://www.spicealley.net on March 6, 2014 at 8:34 PM · Report this
Joe Szilagyi 35
@34 we're a big enough sub-region that we have lots and lots of groups, yeah. The WSTC's entire thing is pretty straightforward: fix our screwed up transportation scenario, with the end goals being something that you can boil down to, "Even the most far-flung neighborhood in West Seattle can get to or from downtown at rush hour in 30 minutes or less."

I.e., pushing for more light rail, more buses, fixing our screwed up roads and routes, dealing with the port's boats shutting down two of our bridges at rush hours, more water taxis, street cars, getting a dedicated transit bridge, getting another on-ramp to the West Seattle Freeway/Viaduct from 4th or the 6th ave busway, a zip line from our hill down to the waterfront, whatever it takes.
Posted by Joe Szilagyi http://twitter.com/joeszi on March 7, 2014 at 8:14 AM · Report this
Nieuw Hollander 36
I lived in West Seattle for 2 years without a car. It was just barely bearable because of reasonably frequent bus service and California being pretty walkable. Then came the Crapid Ride and the loss of most bus service north of Alaska, and wave after wave of SDOT/WSDOT dumbshittery around the spokane street/viaduct/WS bridge clusterfuck that made getting anywhere intolerable.

I am extremely pro-density but West Seattle sorely needs grade-separated transit to downtown before any new projects north of Morgan Junction are built. Unfortunately nobody with the power to do anything about this gives a shit. Metro couldn't even be bothered to turn the Water Taxi into a real alternative option by connecting it to the 128 when it would cost them approximately nothing - apparently they prefer to operate a subsidized cruise tour operation instead of an actual transit system.

I feel bad for West Seattle.
Posted by Nieuw Hollander on March 7, 2014 at 8:38 AM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 37
"Our" bridge? Our bridge, Joe!?

The nerve. The cheek! West Seattle didn't build "your" bridge. Seattle built you a bridge (motivated purely by liberal guilt) and you've been ungrateful ever since.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn http://youtu.be/zu-akdyxpUc on March 7, 2014 at 1:13 PM · Report this
Joe Szilagyi 38
@37 Don't make us annex Seattle.
Posted by Joe Szilagyi http://twitter.com/joeszi on March 7, 2014 at 3:44 PM · Report this

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