HPAC brings concerns regarding the Reconnect West Seattle Community voting process to Seattle Council

HPAC continues to raise issues with SDOT’s process for mitigating the impact on the detour through Highland Park, Riverview and South Delridge

July 20, 2020

Dear Councilperson Pedersen,

This feedback is to express our grave concern and request clarifications regarding the Reconnect West Seattle Community; in particular on the Roxhill, Highland Park, Riverview, S. Delridge Prioritization Ballot.

The very large number of projects offered speaks to the historically ignored infrastructure needs in these neighborhoods, which are now suddenly front and center and being asked to host the tremendous amount of bypass traffic off the peninsula. We commend SDOT for listening to the community input and trying to get as many things onto this list as possible. With the personal safety goal of Vision Zero as a target, ideas for a number of ways that traffic can be addressed and calmed are offered. However, funding is unclear.

  • Assuming that we have 10 projects at 100K each, may we count on the city allocating one million dollars to these neighborhoods? Or, is this a ‘not to exceed’ cap? Who will make the final recommendations?

The process within the agencies and the WSBTF is unclear, and the results uncertain to the neighborhood.

In regards to the balloting itself, the document is difficult to understand. We’ve spent 3+ hours converting the formatting to sort it in a logical way, tracking each project on the accompanying map and noting specifics and relationships between the suggested projects. The map itself is incredibly disconcerting.

  • Please note the (at least) 26 reference point numbers that are not on the voter survey. Please see image.

This confusing presentation could result in scattered and ill-informed input from the public to be misinterpreted by the agencies involved, leading to results that do not reflect what the community is actually asking for.

The process for addition and consideration of ideas that are not on the ballot is also unclear. For example, we have a legacy “cut through” route (20th Ave SW) between SW Holden and Delridge that is nearly untenable now; it doesn’t appear to have much help offered through this process and could be expensive to address. How do we help advocate for these horribly impacted neighbors?

We look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience. We are resolved to assist in outreaching this planning but are dismayed at the form, contents and speed of the action to date.

We eagerly invite you to join us on a socially distanced tour of the neighborhood so that you can observe the serious traffic burdens that our neighborhood is feeling already. 

Sincerely,

Gunner Scott, Chair
Craig Rankin, Vice Chair
Kay Kirpatrick, Executive Member
Donna Burns, Executive Member
HPACchair@gmail.com
www.hpacws.org

Stop By Reconnect West Seattle Virtual Office Hours

Reconnect West Seattle is SDOT’s vision to restore travel across the Duwamish to similar levels seen before the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge closure and to reduce the impact of detour traffic in Duwamish Valley neighborhoods.

 SDOT has a survey and multiple neighborhood ballots currently open to hear community ideas and needs during the West Seattle Bridge closure. 

Do you have questions about the Reconnect West Seattle surveys? Want more information on a proposed improvement? Need help filling out a neighborhood prioritization ballot or survey?

Please stop by SDOT’s virtual office hours to get your questions answered. Technical experts will be available to provide more details about Reconnect West Seattle and the neighborhood prioritization process before the ballots and surveys close on July 31. 

Dates Time How to Access the Office Hours
Wednesday, July 29 12 PM – 1 PM Link to the online meeting.Audio conference information: To receive a call back, provide your phone number when you join the event, or call the number below and enter the access code.+1-408-418-9388 Event number (access code): 146 470 3249
Thursday, July 30 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM Link to the online meeting.Audio conference information: To receive a call back, provide your phone number when you join the event, or call the number below and enter the access code.+1-408-418-9388 Event number (access code): 146 492 4055

The office hours will be hosted through Webex using the links above. Ask your question in the chat function, and we will assign a technical staff member to respond. Questions not asked in the office hours can be sent to westseattlebridge@seattle.gov or 206-400-7511. Recordings of the virtual office hours will be posted on the Reconnect West Seattle webpage

NOTE: These virtual office hours will be limited to answering questions about the Reconnect West Seattle survey and the neighborhood prioritization process. All other questions about the bridge closure, low bridge policy, or other related items should be directed to westseattlebridge@seattle.gov or 206-400-7511. 

Visit our West Seattle High-Rise Bridge website to stay up-to-date on the bridge, see frequently asked questions, view inspection reports, and find links to our West Seattle Bridge blogs. 

1. Reconnect West Seattle Survey
This survey is for everyone who lives or works in West Seattle. The survey is the community’s chance to let SDOT and our partners know what you need to move on and off the West Seattle peninsula at similar rates to before the High-Rise Bridge closure, but with a significant reduction in travel lanes. 
If you live or work in West Seattle, please take the Reconnect West Seattle Survey by July 31st! 
Your participation will help SDOT prioritize the right improvements in a highly resource constrained environment due to COVID-19 impacts. 

2. If you live or work in one of the following neighborhoods, please fill out your Neighborhood Prioritization Process Ballot by July 31.

The Neighborhood Prioritization Process Ballots enables your neighborhood to prioritize which projects you feel, as a community, will best address the impacts of the High-Bridge closure. The ballots include lists of potential projects that were generated from ideas SDOT received from community, along with some of their own ideas, and projects from existing transportation and neighborhood plans. While a much larger mix of projects remain on SDOT’s radar, they recognize the need for immediate action. Therefore, the lists include projects that can be completed quickly and cost less than $100,000.

Please visit www.seattle.gov/reconnectwestseattle for more information and to access all materials in multiple languages. Paper copies of the survey and ballot are available by request at westseattlebridge@seattle.gov or by calling 206-400-7511.

Published by HPAC

Neighbors Building Community: Advocating for Highland Park, Riverview and South Delridge. An all volunteer group made up of neighbors, local business, and community organizations advocating for neighborhood infrastructure, community resources, and livability.

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