From Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog Editor
The West Seattle Bridge Community Task ForceThe first meeting in 2021 was more of a briefing than a discussion, two hours of information on almost all bridge-related topics.
When the members of the voluntary advisory group agreed to continue meeting after the mayor Jenny Durkan announced their decision to have the closed elevated bridge repaired rather than replaced. This was an important role they agreed upon – community information lines. So as co-chair Greg Nickels described what happened at the Wednesday meeting was the start of their “second phase of work”; Co-chair Paulina Lopez also asked the CTF members to tell them how they “intend to use (their) energy … for the next steps”.
The meeting video is above and the full slide deck is here. Below highlights from what the group heard:
BRIDGE UPDATES: The high bridge has now been closed for almost 10 months. project Manager Heather Marx This stabilization work – a necessary first step, regardless of whether repairs or replacements were chosen – are carried out and now monitor the stability of the bridge. She showed a schedule for high and low bridge work in front of her:
The statement that they were both drafted 30 percent ago (by next month) explains why time and money estimates are both very loose. They are currently developing documents for the selection of contractors, which will be published in March. Why will the same contractor work on both bridges? asked the councilor Lisa Herbold. Said Marx. “It’s a similar job, and it’s kind of specialized,” added, “This could save time and maybe money.” Her talk was more about what to do on the low bridge than on the high bridge. She noticed that some of the work was planned before the high bridge was closed. It is planned to strengthen, control and replace one of the two cylinders so that the bridge can swing open.
All work on low bridges will be completed by the end of the year. (Earlier this week, a ruling on the determination of nondescript related to the work that is part of the approval process was released.)
LOW BRIDGE ACCESS POLICY: Now that the surveillance cameras are in operation (from last Monday), is there any chance of extending the use of Low-Bridge to more people? SDOTs Meghan Shepard directed this presentation. She said the Community Task Force’s subcommittee on low bridges met 11 times. Here’s who’s on it:
On the third day of the enforcement cam’s use, Shepard said it was too early to say how the change will affect traffic, but they hope to have a report in a couple of weeks and will receive updates at every CTF meeting . It showed usage data from the low bridge as recorded on August 2nd and December 10th:
They examined the bridge capacity, including how the traffic recovers if it is stopped during the lake openings. They also look around at what lies ahead, including the opening of the first berth Terminal 5This means more longshore workers are using the low bridge (the first ships are expected in June). You know there is more capacity – the gap between the bars and the dotted line:
Shepard pointed out that there is a “pinch of noon,” the hours when the bars and the dotted line are closest together. So if you are using the low bridge please use it outside of noon! – and they will look carefully. They hope the surveillance will make it clearer how usage can be expanded without overwhelming the low bridge. For example, maybe healthcare workers. Member of the subcommittee Diane Sosne from SEIU Healthcare 1199 stated that they were on-call staff who would need to respond to weekend calls.
Shepard summarized who can now use the low bridge outside of 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. opening hours and what they can use it for:
“When you use the low bridge, you need to use the low bridge in a time-sensitive manner to support your business,” summarized Shepard. You can update the access list monthly. So, if you think you meet the criteria, send an email [email protected]. Lora Radford, the West Seattle Junction Association The executive director, who is on the subcommittee, said the authorized business people were very careful to keep their usage low and only when it was very necessary.
What about people in need of life-saving medical treatments? asked King County Councilmembers Joe McDermott. Along with health care workers, this is high on the list of people they’re looking for next, according to SDOT officials. McDermott said it was “very important” to consider individual needs, not just “trading,” and suggested that someone who provides daily cancer treatments, for example, should have as much priority, if not more, than one Business owner performing a supply. In response, it was determined that it would be difficult to identify these people in advance or to figure out how to quantify / cancel a ticket. Perhaps you can reach out to the health care providers and work with them to enable West Seattle residents to use the low bridge, he suggested.
HIGHLAND PARK WAY / WEST MARGINAL WAY INTERSECTION: SDOTs Trevor Partap checked the canalization carried out last year at this intersection.
The three “yellow flowers” on this map show where devices are located that talk to each other regarding traffic flow. Here are the results:
They get about 45 more vehicles an hour through the intersection and improve travel times, Partap said.
ALSO IN RELATION TO WEST MARGINAL WAY SW: SDOTs Sara Zora said the passing signal from the Duwamish Tribe Longhouse will be installed this year, the permanent one next year. The idea of a cargo-only northbound lane on WMW is dead, but they are still trying to repurpose the outer southbound lane north of the longhouse:
In addition to what’s on the list shown above, there will be another public opportunity for comment on January 28th West Seattle Transportation Coalition Meet, said Zora. CTF members Deb Barker from the Transportation Coalition and Dan Austin | of the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce had been on the spot for a walk and both expressed concerns about the safety of a cycle path next to freight traffic. The WMW schedule is part of the Reconnect West Seattle schedule grid:
ALSO IN RELATION TO RECONNECT WEST SEATTLE: Zora is point person for Reconnect West Seattle, the umbrella name for projects to reduce traffic and improve mobility. She said all 2020 projects were complete. They are planning at least 33 projects for 2021:
These 8 new radar speed signs are planned as a result of a “speed study” carried out by the area. Zora also said she has examined the sidewalk for detour routes and has already filled 29 potholes, with concrete slabs repaired and replaced along the way. There is also a clickable project map for Reconnect West Seattle – see here.
MOBILITY OBJECTIVES: Remember the time when SDOT set out how people hoped to change their travel modes while the bridge was off? This is how it works:
Some capacity will be added for bus drivers on subway routes 50, 60 and 128, and they hope to use the Transportation Benefit District money for further additions:
TRAFFIC STATISTICS: At the start of the meeting, Partap went through the pandemic statistics and showed how traffic on the three bridges changed as circumstances changed.
The traffic “increased” in December. He expects a decline as the adoption of low bridge cameras begins. You can see this and other data on this dashboard. When reviewing transit and bicycle usage data, he pointed out that, for example, the week in September with heavy forest fire smoke worsened bicycle statistics.
NEW MEMBER: Two positions in the Community Task Force have new representatives because the original ones have taken on new jobs. For the King County Executives Office, Rachel Smith replaced by Shannon Braddock;; from the office of the Seattle Mayor, former deputy mayor Shefali Ranganathan was replaced by the deputy mayor Casey Sixkiller (Monitoring SDOT is part of its portfolio).
NEXT MEETING: Instead of meeting every Wednesday at noon, they try to alternate this slot with meetings in the late afternoon on Thursday. Therefore, February 11th at 4pm is the current schedule for the next monthly WSBCTF meeting.