As soon as HPAC leadership learned that the West Seattle Bridge would be closing, we reached out to our contacts at SDOT, Jim Curtain, James Le, and Adonis Ducksworth as well as Councilmember Lisa Herbold requesting traffic mitigation for our area, specifically temporary traffic lights.
We asked how SDOT was going to shore up safety for HIghland Park Way / SW Holden and 16th SW and SW Holden with the anticipated shift in traffic – even if it is lighter during the stay at home order, we anticipated it will still mean an increase. We requested a temporary traffic signal and a plan to increase pedestrian and bike safety in the area.
Today, SDOT began installing the traffic signals.
Please practice social distancing and repress the urge to cut through any of the streets off SW Holden.
Once the West Seattle Bridge was closed, traffic did increase so did the cars cutting through 13th Ave SW, 12th Ave SW, 11th Ave SW, SW Portland St. and SW Kenyon St. HPAC has put out the call for drivers not use the Highland Park and Riverview neighborhoods as cut throughs to avoid waiting to turn left on Highland Park Way.
With the West Seattle Bridge is closed, this leaves just 2 ways off the peninsular to Seattle, one being the 1st Ave bridge via Highland Park Way. If this was normal traffic time you would be backed up on SW Holden St from at least 16th SW, but maybe not right now. Whatever the case, do not cut through Highland Park side streets, it is not any faster then waiting to make the left. You are more likely to get T-boned on the side streets, more likely to hit a pedestrian, more likely to hit a parked car… all things those are awful and expensive in so many ways. Now, with the traffic light, you will encounter that from all directions.
Additionally, with folks heeding the stay at home order we have an increase in individuals and families taking neighborhood walks, biking and dog walking on the side streets. It is even more important to stop at four way intersections, even if there is not a stop sign.
Long-Term Plan: The Highland Park Intersections Improvements Project
As noted back in November 2019, Seattle City Council adopted the budget with the Highland Park intersections improvements project. The budget schedule includes $900,000 for 2020, $1.5 million for 2021 and $1.5 million for 2022. It was SDOT’s intention to hold an open house for the community to review proposed designs and give feedback. HPAC has an ask out to SDOT about other ways to gather this feedback and keep the project on track. We are tentatively still keeping our schedule April meeting on the calendar, although it may be held virtually.
See SDOT’s Project Page for more information and the early design plan.
Taking a Walk? It’s a great time (and great exercise) to pick up trash.
Interested in doing some spring cleaning of our sidewalks and streets? HPAC can provide trash grabbers and bags, you supply your gloves and walking shoes. If you would like to partake in the HPAC spring clean-up on your own schedule, email firstname.lastname@example.org and we provide you with the pick up location of the trash grabbers and bags.