By Tracy Report
West Seattle Weblog editor
The West Seattle Bridge Group Activity Power‘s first assembly of 2021 was way more of a briefing than a dialogue, two hours full of info tidbits on virtually each bridge-related subject.
When the volunteer advisory group’s members agreed to maintain assembly even after Mayor Jenny Durkan announced her decision to have the closed excessive bridge repaired somewhat than changed, that was one main position they agreed to maintain – group info conduits. In order co-chair Greg Nickels described it, what occurred at Wednesday’s assembly was the beginning of their “second part of labor”; co-chair Paulina López additionally urged CTF members to allow them to understand how they’d prefer to “commit (their) power … to subsequent steps.”
The assembly video is above, and the total slide deck is here; under, highlights of what the group heard:
BRIDGE UPDATES: The excessive bridge has now been closed for nearly 10 months. Mission chief Heather Marx mentioned stabilization work – a needed first step regardless of whether or not repairs or alternative had been chosen – is completed and now they’re monitoring the bridge’s stability. She confirmed a schedule for each high- and low-bridge work forward:
The purpose of claiming that each are pre-30-percent design (till subsequent month) is an evidence for why money and time estimates are each very unfastened. They’re at present creating paperwork for the contractor choice that’ll be out in March. Why will the identical contractor deal with each bridges? requested Metropolis Councilmember Lisa Herbold. Marx mentioned. “It’s comparable work, and it’s type of specialised,” including “this might save time and possibly cash.” Her presentation dwelled extra on what must be finished on the low bridge than the excessive bridge; she famous that among the work was deliberate earlier than the excessive bridge was closed. It’s deliberate for strengthening, control-systems work, and alternative of one of many two cylinders that allow the bridge to swing open.
All of the low-bridge work will likely be finished by the top of the yr. (A “dedication of non significance” choice associated to the work, a part of the allow course of, was published earlier this week.)
LOW-BRIDGE ACCESS POLICY: Now that enforcement cameras are up and operating (as of this previous Monday), is there an opportunity to broaden low-bridge use to extra individuals? SDOT’s Meghan Shepard led this presentation. She mentioned the Group Activity Power’s low-bridge subcommittee has met 11 occasions. Right here’s who’s on it:
On day 3 of enforcement-camera use, Shepard mentioned it was too quickly to say how the change is affecting visitors, however they hope to have a report in just a few weeks, and could have updates at every CTF assembly. She confirmed utilization knowledge from the low bridge as chronicled on August 2nd and December tenth:
They’ve been finding out bridge capability, together with how visitors recovers from being stopped throughout maritime openings. They’re additionally what’s forward, together with the primary berth opening at Terminal 5, which implies extra longshore employees utilizing the low bridge (the primary ships are anticipated in June). There may be extra capability, they know – the hole between the bars and the dotted line:
Shepard pointed on the market’s a “noon pinch,” the hours when the bars and dotted line are closest collectively – so when you use the low bridge, please use it exterior noon hours! – they usually’ll be watching rigorously. They hope monitoring will make it clearer how utilization will be expanded with out overwhelming the low bridge. Perhaps health-care employees, for instance. Subcommittee member Diane Sosne from SEIU Healthcare 1199 defined these are on-call personnel who must reply to weekend calls.
Shepard recapped who can use the low bridge now, exterior the 9 pm-5 am “open to all” hours, and what they’re allowed to make use of it for:
“Utilizing the low bridge is whenever you’ve GOT to make use of the low bridge, time delicate, to help your enterprise,” Shepard summarized. They will replace the entry record month-to-month, so when you suppose you meet the standards, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Lora Radford, the West Seattle Junction Association govt director who’s on the subcommittee, mentioned the approved businesspeople are being very cautious to maintain their utilization low and solely when very needed.
What about individuals in want of life-saving medical remedies? requested King County Councilmember Joe McDermott. Together with health-care employees, that’s excessive on the record of who they’re subsequent, SDOT reps mentioned. McDermott mentioned it’s “essential” to contemplate particular person wants, not simply “commerce,” suggesting that somebody stepping into for every day most cancers remedies, for instance, ought to have simply as a lot precedence, if no more, as a enterprise proprietor making a provide run. It was famous in response that figuring out these individuals prematurely, or determining quantify/nullify a ticket, could be difficult. Perhaps contact the health-care suppliers and work with them to supply West Seattle-residing sufferers the choice of utilizing the low bridge, he advised.
HIGHLAND PARK WAY/WEST MARGINAL WAY INTERSECTION: SDOT’s Trevor Partap reviewed the rechannelization at this intersection, finished final yr.
The three “yellow flowers” in that map present the place there’s gear that ‘talks to one another’ relating to visitors circulation. Listed here are the outcomes:
They’re getting about 45 extra autos an hour by way of the intersection in addition to bettering journey occasions, Partap mentioned.
ALSO REGARDING WEST MARGINAL WAY SW: SDOT’s Sara Zora mentioned the short-term sign by the Duwamish Tribe Longhouse will likely be put in this yr, the everlasting one subsequent yr. The concept of a northbound freight-only lane on WMW is useless, however they’re nonetheless repurposing the surface southbound lane north of the Longhouse:
Along with what’s on the record proven above, one other public approach to remark will likely be on the January twenty eighth West Seattle Transportation Coalition assembly, Zora mentioned. CTF members Deb Barker from the Transportation Coalition and Dan Austin from the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce had been on a web site stroll and each expressed considerations concerning the security of a bicycle lane alongside freight. The schedule for WMW is a part of the Reconnect West Seattle schedule grid:
ALSO REGARDING RECONNECT WEST SEATTLE: Zora is level particular person for Reconnect West Seattle, the umbrella title for traffic-mitigation and mobility-improvement initiatives. She mentioned all of the 2020 initiatives have been accomplished. For 2021, they’re planning at the very least 33 initiatives:
These 8 new radar pace indicators are deliberate as the results of a “pace research” finished by way of the realm; Zora additionally mentioned they studied the pavement on detour routes and have already crammed 29 potholes, with repaving and concrete-panel alternative on the way in which. There may be additionally a clickable mission map for Reconnect West Seattle – see it here.
MOBILITY GOALS: Keep in mind again when SDOT laid out the way it hoped individuals would shift their modes of journey whereas the bridge is out? Right here’s how that’s going:
For bus riders, some capability will likely be added on Metro Routes 50, 60, and 128, they usually’re hoping to make use of Transportation Profit District cash for extra additions:
TRAFFIC STATS: At first of the assembly, Partap went over stats from the pandemic, exhibiting how visitors modified on the three bridges when circumstances modified.
Visitors “bumped up” in December. He expects a drop with the beginning of low-bridge digicam enforcement. You may see this and different knowledge on this dashboard. Reviewing transit and bicycle utilization knowledge, he identified that for instance the week in September with heavy forest-fire smoke took the bike stats down.
NEW MEMBERS: Two spots on the Group Activity Power have new representatives as a result of the unique ones have moved on to new jobs. For the King County Executives Workplace, Rachel Smith changed by Shannon Braddock; from the Seattle Mayor’s Workplace, former Deputy Mayor Shefali Ranganathan has been changed by Deputy Mayor Casey Sixkiller (overseeing SDOT is a part of his portfolio).
NEXT MEETING: Slightly than at all times assembly at midday Wednesdays, they’re alternating that slot with Thursday late-afternoon conferences, so 4 pm February eleventh is the present plan for the subsequent month-to-month WSBCTF assembly.