Next HPAC Meeting is Weds. Sept. 25 – Lots of Good News & Discussions

All HPAC meetings are held at the Highland Park Improvement Club, 1116 SW Holden St. Seattle, WA 98106 on the 4th Wednesday of the month (from Jan – June & Sept – October) Doors open at 6:30 – Meeting from 7:00 – 8:30 pm

HPAC: Neighbors Building Community in
Highland Park, Riverview, and South Delridge

Welcome to our newly re-formed Action Coalition! We are keeping our acronym, HPAC, but expanding our engagement to include South Delridge and Riverview, as well as Highland Park. To learn more about our mission and bylaws check out our About page and meet your executive committee. Over the next few months we will be rolling out a new logo, yard signs, and a community survey. We cannot wait for you to get involved!

Agenda

7p – Welcome & Introductions
7:10 – Announcements
7:15 – HPAC Executive Committee Updates
– SDOT at our Oct meeting
– Your Voice Your Choice projects
– Trails & Greenbelt
– Westcrest Park Off Leash Area
– Neighborhood Greenway Program – Highland Park Elementary School neighborhood greenway connection
7:30 – Discussion: Who do you want to hear from? What topics should HPAC be covering?
8:00p – Close

Highland Park Elementary Neighborhood Greenway Expansion Project Survey
Seattle wants to know what you think about expanding neighborhood greenway routes around Highland Park Elementary School. Tell us what destinations you would visit and what would make you feel more comfortable walking and biking around Highland Park Elementary School. Share your feedback through our online survey by October 11, 2019

Elections ahead sign

Interested in getting more involved? Run for an Executive Committee Seat – Elections in Feb 2020!

Your Voice Your Choice HPAC Encourages you to vote for 3 of the 4 Projects in Highland Park & South Delridge

Voting is open until Sept. 30

To Vote for District 1 Projects go here https://pbstanford.org/seattle

1C. Project 19-24: Crossing Improvements on 16th Ave SW & SW Holden St
Neighborhood: Highland Park, 98106

1D. Project 19-10: Crossing Improvements on 9th Ave SW from SW Kenyon St, SW Elmgrove St, and SW Thistle St
Neighborhood: Highland Park, 98106

1F. Project 19-43: Sidewalk/Trail Improvements on SW Barton St between 21st Ave SW and SW Barton Pl
Neighborhood: South Delridge, 98106

1G. Project 19-22: Crossing Improvements on Olson Pl SW & SW Roxbury St
Neighborhood: South Delridge, 98106

Metro Service Revisions
South King County

Metro bus routes 105, 164, 183 and DART 906 increase frequency of service from every 60 minutes to every 30 minutes, including weekends.

Fall service revisions include new green timetables; 1,350 new trips across 35 different routes; expanded frequency of service on 13 routes; and later evening service on 3 major routes. Increased frequency on other routes. These routes increase frequency of service:

  • RapidRide E Line – every 10 minutes
  • Routes 1, 14, 40, 41, 65, 67 & 120 – every 15 minutes, including weekends
  • Routes 40, 101 & 150 – adds later night service
  • Route 346 – every 30 minutes on weekday evenings
  • Des Moines Community Shuttle Route 635 – adds midday & Saturday service

Next Meeting October 23, 2019 with Sam Zimbabwe, Director of SDOT

HPAC requests a feasibility study of a mini-roundabout intersection control solution at Highland Park Way SW / SW Holden St.

Sam Zimbabwe, Director    
Seattle Department of Transportation 
700 5th Ave Suite 3800     
Seattle, WA 98104                                                                      

June 30, 2019

CC: Mayor Jenny Durkin; CM Lisa Herbold; CM Mike O’Brien; Jim Curtain; Adonis Ducksworth; Brian Dougherty; James Le

RE: Request for a feasibility study of a mini-roundabout intersection control solution at Highland Park Way SW / SW Holden St.

Dear Mr. Zimbabwe,

On May 22, 2019, HPAC learned that cost estimate for a compact roundabout at Highland Park Way and SW Holden St. went from approximately 2.5 million to 7.3 million – a 192% increase. Over the last 6 years that HPAC members have been advocating through Neighborhood Street Fund for something to be done at this intersection, the cost estimate has gone from 1.2 million now to 7.3 million, 460% increase. Even at its lowest estimate, it seemed like an impossible amount to raise, particularly after being turned down for WA state grants, twice.

We are concerned that SDOT will now only consider a traffic light as our only option, because of cost. A traffic light will not address one of the main complaints, which is cars cutting through residential streets at a high volume and often over the 20 mph speed limit in order to avoid the backed up intersection. Additionally, this may only increase speeding up the hill, in order to “make the light.”

Therefore, HPAC requests that SDOT conduct or contract a study to determine the feasibility of a mini-roundabout intersection control solution at Highland Park Way SW / SW Holden St., with concept drawing and report findings and conclusions addressing capacity, traffic flow benefits, road engineering and construction aspects, vehicle and pedestrian safety, estimated costs, and project timeline. We also request that SDOT provide ongoing communication with HPAC during the study. 

Essential elements of the mini-roundabout intersection design include:

  1. Retention of the existing southbound Highland Park Way right-turn lane to westbound Holden St. (roundabout bypass lane),
  2. Retention of the existing northbound Highland Park Way through-lane (roundabout bypass lane),
  3. Sizing and locating the mini-roundabout circle to minimize regrading of Highland Park Way while accommodating the design vehicle,
  4. A new east-west crosswalk across Highland Park Way proposed to be located south of the SW Holden Street tee-intersection on the east side of Highland Park Way, crossing just north of the bus stop on the west side of Highland Park Way, south of the alley between Holden and Portland streets,
  5. A new north-south crosswalk across SW Holden Street located west of the roundabout,
  6. Provision for left turns to eastbound Holden St. from southbound Highland Park Way, just north of the alley between Holden and Portland streets, and,
  7. Highland Park neighborhood monumentation on the roundabout center island using thermoplastic markings, colored concrete, or other traversable material.

West Seattle is physically isolated from the rest of the city, and Highland Park Way SW serves as one of only three egresses off the peninsula. As West Seattle continues to densify, there will be greater pressure placed on this intersection which was not built to sustain the wear and tear of a main arterial. Additionally, increasing traffic, lack of adequate crosswalks, and awkward channelization make this intersection extremely perilous for the residents of Highland Park, including the many young children who must cross the dangerous road to catch their bus.

The Highland Park neighborhood has been advocating for over 70 years for infrastructure improvements for the intersection of Highland Park Way and SW Holden, because of consistent accidents that could have been avoided and increasing traffic backups. Since 2015, we have heard that addressing this intersection is a “priority” from SDOT and yet, we are still in the same place we have been since the 1940s, nothing moving forward and no clear timeline for anything to happen.

We would also like to extend an invitation for you to join us at our September 25, 2019 HPAC meeting to present the constituents of Highland Park, Riverview, South Delridge, and the West Seattle Transportation Coalition, your vision and plans for infrastructure improvements in our area as well as an update on the progress of this project.

The Highland Park Way/ SW Holden St intersection is not our neighborhood’s only infrastructural need. For example, we have been asking for a protected southbound left-turn signal at 16th Ave SW and SW Holden Street—our second-most problematic intersection—but have been told by SDOT that there is currently no project that will implement this improvement. Other needed infrastructural improvements include crosswalks and traffic calming measures.

Additionally, there are continuous accidents that occur in the vicinity of 9405 Olson Pl SW. The streetlight (Pole #2496214) is hit at least 2-3x a year, the mailbox at that location has had to be replaced several times a year from also being hit. Many of the accidents witnessed by the neighbor in that area have involved vehicles crossing the center line. A large amount of accidents occur from drivers speeding UP the hill and hitting the curb and up onto the sidewalk and into the rock retaining walls. The last incident of the pole being hit was sent to SDOT in July of 2018 and it was not addressed in February of 2019.

We hope that our neighborhood can continue to work with the City of Seattle to bring needed infrastructural improvements online. Our needs are many, and they will not be fulfilled entirely through a single program or grant fund. It would be helpful, therefore, if the City could work with us to develop a broader neighborhood street infrastructure plan.

We look forward to your speedy reply to our requests. If you have any questions, please reach out to me at hpacchair@gmail.com or at (253) 245-9387

Sincerely,

Gunner Scott
Chair, HPAC

HPAC Meeting: June 26, 2019 CRIME and SAFETY FOCUS GROUP: Neighborhood Micro-Policing Plans

HPAC: Neighbors Building Community in Highland Park, Riverview, and South Delridge

Join us on June 26, 2019 
All HPAC meetings are held at the Highland Park Improvement Club, 1116 SW Holden St. Seattle, WA 98106 on the 4th Wednesday of the month (from Jan – June & Sept – October) Doors open at 6:30 – Meeting from 7:00 – 8:30 pm

Welcome to our newly re-formed Action Committee! We are keeping our acronym, HPAC, but expanding our engagement to include South Delridge and Riverview, as well as Highland Park. To learn more about our mission and bylaws check out our About page and meet your executive committee. Over the next few months we will be rolling out a new logo, yard signs, and a community survey. We cannot wait for you to get involved!

Meeting Agenda

7p Welcome & Micro-Policing Discussion

Southwest Precinct: CRIME & SAFETY FOCUS GROUPS For South Delridge, Highland Park, & Riverview

Seattle University is partnering with the Seattle Police Department to conduct qualitative research on community crime concerns. Qualitative concerns allow SU researchers to collaborate with SPD leadership to improve the city’s community policing initiatives. As a part of the process evaluation of the Seattle Police Department’s Micro-Community Policing Plans (MCPP), Seattle University is looking for community members to participate in an hour-long discussion regarding community perceptions of crime, safety, and police legitimacy, as well as knowledge of and satisfaction with the MCPP.

Information obtained from the focus group will help inform your neighborhood’s MCPP so please come share your concerns and suggestions! Please feel free to email me directly any questions that you have regarding the focus group.

Seattle University– Taylor Lowery, Graduate Research Analyst- Southwest Precinct
Email: taylor.lowery@seattle.gov

SEATTLE POLICE DEPARTMENT OFFICERS WILL NOT BE PRESENT AT THESE FOCUS GROUPS

8p – Dan from SDOT’s Delridge Transit Outreach Team

The focus will be on the impact to 16th Ave SW due to Delridge Way SW Rapid H ride coming soon.

Discussion will be focused intersection improvement and bike lane improvements on 16th Ave SW between SW Kenyon and SW Webster streets.

Coming soon: New marked crosswalks across Delridge Way SW at SW Holden St and SW Findlay St

To learn more go to Rapid Ride H Line online open house and take the online survey

SAVE the DATE: Special Meeting Weds. Aug 28, 2019 with Jesús Aguirre, Superintendent of Seattle Parks and Recreation

A conversation about the future of Seattle Parks and Recreation with Superintendent Jesús Aguirre

In 2019, Seattle Parks will be developing a strategic plan and needs community and partner voices to help guide our priorities, programming, and services over the next decade. Seattle Parks approach is to listen to staff, get together with community and partners to discuss where they’ve been, and where they are going; reflect on their challenges, success, who they are serving, and who they are missing. To learn more see Seattle Parks 2019 Strategic Plan Proposal

  • As we look forward to the next decade, we want to know…
  • How are Seattle parks, centers, and pools serving you, your family, and your neighbors?
  • What park amenities really excite you?
  • What park events and community center programs interest you?
  • Seattle’s got a lot on its plate (population growth, construction, rising prices, homelessness, new jobs and opportunities). How can Seattle Parks & Recreation help?

May 22, 2019 – HPAC: Highland Park Way Update, Neighborhood Groups Merger, & Delridge Rapid Ride

Join us on May 22, 2019
All HPAC meetings are held at the Highland Park Improvement Club, 1116 SW Holden St. Seattle, WA 98106 on the 4th Wednesday of the month (from Jan – June & Sept – October) Doors open at 6:30 – Meeting from 7:00 – 8:30 pm

Agenda

7:00p

  • Welcome
  • Announcements

7:05 – 7:50p  Infrastructure Updates


Highland Park Way Project Update: Adonis Duckworth (SDOT) to give us an update about the Highland Park Way roundabout project/status.  

Delridge Rapid Ride Update:
Dan Anderson (SDOT) to discuss the Delridge Rapid Ride 

7:50 – 8:20p – Neighborhood Groups Merger

SDCG, HPAC, and Riverview Neighbor Community Groups Merger Discussion and Vote
Resolution to combine the neighborhoods of South Delridge, Highland Park and Riverview into one neighborhood council.

A request has been made to merge the neighborhoods groups east of Delridge Way in the southern section of the Delridge Corridor. We are proposing one neighborhood council for Highland Park, Riverview and South Delridge. HPAC has had representation from Riverview neighbors for the last few years and would like to formally include Riverview with this proposed merger. The neighborhood boundaries have been fluid between these three neighborhoods and neighbor leaders from South Delridge, Highland Park, and Riverview have worked together on a number of projects and issues over the last 2+ years.

SDGC to present final position, followed by open discussion of HPAC members, and then formal vote.

8:20p – 8:30p HPAC Committees

An Update on the Highland Park Way/SW Holden Intersection

Neighbors,

This afternoon I received word from the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) that in the coming weeks there will be improvements to the intersection of SW Holden Street and Highland Park Way SW to promote safety and predictability. Residents near the intersection can expect to receive letters in the proceeding days, but the communication can also be found here.

Indeed, this is a positive development that should encourage safer access for commuters!

I have been assured, however, that this work does not preclude the development of a roundabout for which our community has been advocating for the previous 6 years. The Seattle Department of Transportation has applied for a City Safety Program grant with the Washington Department of Transportation and will expect to receive word of whether this project has been funded by January.

In the meantime, we must continue to press for commitments to this project so that our neighborhood can be safer. To that end, I encourage you to express support to the Seattle City council for District 1 Representative Lisa Herbold’s proposal to add the Highland Park Way Roundabout project to the Seattle Department of Transportation Capital Improvement Program for the 2019-2024 period.

If you have time, you are highly encouraged to attend the Public Hearing on the Budget on Tuesday, October 23, 2018 at 5:30 PM. In order to comment, please line up before 5 PM so that you can add your name to the roster!

If you are unable to attend the public hearing, please consider emailing or calling the following council-members by October 23 to let them know that this project is greatly needed in our neighborhood:

Sally Bagshaw

Chair, Select Budget Committee

E: sally.bagshaw@seattle.gov

T: 206-684-8801

Teresa Mosqueda

E: Teresa.Mosqueda@seattle.gov

T: 206-684-8806

Lorena Gonzalez

E: Lorena.Gonzalez@seattle.gov

T: 206-684-8802

Mike O’Brien

Chair, Transportation Committee

E: Mike.OBrien@seattle.gov

T: 206-684-8800

While personalized messages are most helpful (and telephone calls are highly encouraged), we have provided the following template for convenience for you to copy and paste in your communication to the above council-members (please be sure to also copy council-member Lisa Herbold: Lisa.Herbold@seattle.gov):

Dear Councilmember ____,

I am writing in favor of Council-member Lisa Herbold’s proposed addition of the Highland Park Way/Southwest Holden Street Roundabout Project to the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) Proposed Capital Improvement Program (CIP) for 2019-2024 as part of this year’s budget process.

As a resident of West Seattle, I frequently use Highland Park Way to access the peninsula and can attest that the intersection at SW Holden Street is in dire need of significant improvements to increase safety for vehicles and pedestrians alike, as well as improve traffic flow.

Highland Park Way is one of only three access points to West Seattle. Our current infrastructure is not adequate to meet the demands of heavy usage due to increasing density. During daily commute hours, traffic on SW Holden St backs up significantly, sometimes 6 or more blocks deep, as commuters try to access Highland Park Way SW. Southwest Holden St. is the most direct route from several arterial roads in the area and forms a bottleneck on the way to Highland Park Way.

Further, the design of the current intersection does not provide a safe route for pedestrian crossing. Pedestrians are often crossing 3 lanes of traffic just to access the King County Metro bus stop. Young children must navigate treacherous road conditions every morning to catch their bus to school.

The Highland Park Way/SW Holden Roundabout Project would go a long way to increase safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, and commuters while accommodating future growth, development, and density in the area.

Please favorably consider adding this project to the SDOT CIP for 2019-2024.

If you have any questions, please contact me at __________.

Sincerely,

________

We can also expect to continue our conversation with the office of Mayor Jenny Durkan come January.

I look forward to your continued advocacy for our neighborhood. Please let me know if you have questions or concerns about SDOT’s proposed work.

Sincerely,

Charlie Omana – Chair,  Highland Park Action Committe

A Formal Request for Funding for the Highland Park Way Roundabout

Neighbors,

Two weeks ago, the Highland Park Action Committee submitted a letter to Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan requesting funding to complete the Highland Park Way/SW Holden St Roundabout project. Please find the content of the letter below:

July 17, 2018

Mayor Jenny A. Durkan

City of Seattle

600 4th Ave, 7th Floor

Seattle, WA 98104

Dear Mayor Durkan:

The Highland Park Action Committee is pleased to learn that you will be joining us for our next meeting on September 26, 2018 and the community looks forward to your visit. In anticipation of your meeting with us and with the timeliness of the budget process currently underway, we are requesting your support in the solution proposed by the Seattle Department of Transportation to address the safety and infrastructure needs at the Highland Park Way/ SW Holden Street intersection.

On June 13, 2018, we had the pleasure of participating in a neighborhood walk-through with your Director of External Relations and Outreach, Kyla Blair, to highlight our top infrastructure needs. Our key concern is the intersection of Highland Park Way SW and SW Holden Street, which has a problematic history dating back at least 77 years.

In an effort to reduce dangerous collisions and discourage traffic from cutting into adjacent neighborhood streets to bypass the intersection, our organization has been working with SDOT to develop a long-term solution. In 2012, SDOT suggested that a large-scale roundabout (the first in the city, if built) would go a long way in promoting safety and reducing congestion. However, with a total project cost of $2.5 million, we have had little success over the last 6 years in getting this project funded. In the meantime, accidents continue to occur, including the most recent of which happened only a few days after Kyla Blair’s visit.

We have been lucky to have a strong advocate in our District 1 Councilmember, Lisa Herbold, who has been able to allocate $200K of city funding towards design for this project. An additional $300K was also identified by SDOT, for a total of $500K to date. Still, this is only 20% of the total project cost, and other efforts have been unsuccessful, including a failed WSDOT grant application in 2017 with strong support from elected officials.

Mayor, we are asking you today for assistance in closing the funding gap for the Highland Park Way SW Roundabout project. We understand that the budget proposal process is in the late stages, but we hope that you will be sympathetic to our concerns.

We have been encouraged by recent developments like the Duwamish Valley Action Plan and the awarding of $5.5K through the Equitable Development Initiative, which highlight the City of Seattle’s commitment to promoting equity in many of Seattle’s historically underserved communities.

The origins of the Highland Park neighborhood go back over a century, when the development of a private streetcar line spurred residential development in what had previously been farm-, timber-, and wildlands. When streetcar service was interrupted after a particularly nasty landslide just north of Highland Park, ownership of the line was passed to the City of Seattle, who repaired the tracks and resumed service a few years later. What was arguably the city’s first municipally owned and operated streetcar line allowed development to flourish along the service route, including neighborhoods like Highland Park.

The advent of the Great Depression and subsequent cessation of streetcar service interrupted future development in Highland Park for several years. The economic impacts were severe, and most of the Delridge area, including Highland Park, were redlined in the 1930s by the Federal Government. Only with the Second World War did development resume as the area struggled to adequately house the influx of residents who came to work in the industrial Duwamish Valley below. Highland Park became so synonymized with its working-class residents that the geological formation on which the neighborhood sits became known as “Boeing Hill.”

Future development has been punctuated by boom and bust cycles ever since, but our neighborhood has never truly recovered from the adverse effects of redlining and recessions. Data from the American Community Survey (5-year Series, 2009-2013) show that Highland Park (Census Tract 113) has a lower median income ($53,182) than Seattle as a whole ($65,277). Additionally, Highland Park has a higher proportion of residents who identify as a race or ethnicity other than White (49.8% versus Seattle’s 29.4%), and racial disparities in income inequality are well documented. Even with the recent favorable real estate market, homes in greater Delridge are still selling for well below the average price per square foot of other neighborhoods. The City has even recognized through its own analysis that residents of the Westwood-Highland Park urban village face a high risk of displacement with low access to opportunity. Mayor, Highland Park has long been in need of the kinds of improvements and investments that have spurred economic development and social opportunities in wealthier neighborhoods.

West Seattle is physically isolated from the rest of the city, and Highland Park Way SW serves as one of only three egresses off the peninsula. As West Seattle continues to densify, there will be greater pressure placed on this intersection which was not built to sustain the wear and tear of a main arterial. Additionally, increasing traffic, lack of adequate crosswalks, and awkward channelization make this intersection extremely perilous for the residents of Highland Park, including the many young children who must cross the dangerous road to catch their bus.

We understand that the additional $2 million cost needed to fully implement this project represents a significant investment. Relative to other transportation projects, however, this smaller project will have a proportionally greater impact in improving neighborhood safety for Highland Park and West Seattle commuters. With the Fauntleroy Boulevard Project on hold, one consideration might be to re-allocate part of that project’s $15-18 million funding towards the Highland Park Way roundabout.

Of course, the roundabout is not our neighborhood’s only infrastructural need. For example, we have been asking for a protected southbound left-turn signal at 16th Ave SW and SW Holden Street—our second-most problematic intersection—but have been told by SDOT that there is currently no project that will implement this improvement. Other needed infrastructural improvements include crosswalks and traffic calming measures.

We hope that our neighborhood can continue to work with the City of Seattle to bring needed infrastructural improvements online. Our needs are many, and they will not be fulfilled entirely through a single program or grant fund. It would be helpful, therefore, if the City could work with us to develop a broader neighborhood plan. I would like to note that the current Delridge Action Plan does not cover the southerly neighborhoods of greater Delridge.

In the meantime, we hope that you will favorably consider our request for funding to complete the Highland Park Way SW Roundabout project. In anticipation of your visit to Highland Park in late September, I will be following up with you in the coming months to provide more background on our neighborhood needs and concerns related to safety and community development.

Sincerely,

Charlie Omana

Chair, Highland Park Action Committee

(206) 880-1506

hpacchair@gmail.com

Gunner Scott, Vice Chair

CC: Kyla Blair, Director of External Relations and Outreach

Amanda Hohlfeld, Office of the Mayor

Andrés Mantilla, Interim Director, Department of Neighborhoods

Samuel Assefa, Director, Office of Planning and Community Development

Council Member Lisa Herbold, Chair: Civil Rights, Utilities, Economic Development and Arts

Council Member Kshama Sawant, Chair: Human Services, Equitable Development, and Renter Rights

Council Member Mike O’Brien, Chair: Sustainability and Transportation