Many of you know that the 35th Ave NE repaving project is about to change how 35th Ave NE flows. What is certain in the Seattle Department of Transportation’s design is the addition of a protected bike lane(s). The channelization of 35th Ave NE will move parking to the east side of the street and remove the alternating rush hour parking restrictions currently in place on the east and west sides between NE 65th St and NE 85th St.
The WCC had a preliminary meeting with the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) yesterday to discuss what the channelization means to our community and the goal of the 10/21 public meeting.
So here is what we know.
The SDOT Public Meeting and Walking Tour will be held Saturday October 21st, 10 a.m. at the Messiah Lutheran Church, 7050 35th Ave NE. The meeting will begin with a brief open house where attendees will be able to review project boards and ask some 1-on-1 questions. There will also be a presentation with greater detail on the project, including what the flow will look like for improving safety of our pedestrians and cyclists. After the presentation there will be a public Q&A session with SDOT, Environmental lead, and potentially our D4 Councilmember Rob Johnson. We would hope that the decorum of the meeting can be productive and not a shouting match of competing personalities.
From 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. those who would like to go on the walking tour will break up into groups and visit either NE 75th St & 35th Ave NE or NE 65th St & 35th Ave NE.
Leading up to this meeting SDOT will be sending out targeted postal mail regarding the meeting. The boundaries of this mailer are NE 95th St to the north, NE 45th ST to the south, 40th Ave NE to the east, and 25th Ave NE to the west. So Keep an eye on your mailbox.
There are victories (albeit smaller) to celebrate regarding this project. There will be crosswalk improvements at NE 89th St which will include more painted crosswalks and an additional light to help those crossing.
Your Voice Your Choice results will bring a marked crossing at NE 80th St, with Rapid Flashing Beacons similar to the crossing at the Northeast Branch Library at 6801 35th Ave NE.
After multiple years of asking, we are getting dedicated turn pockets at the intersection of NE 75th St and 35th Ave NE, in both northbound and southbound directions.
Other takeaways include:
- There will be no curb bulbs added in this project.
- There will be better protection added to the trestle where the Burke Gilman Trail crosses over NE 45th Place.
- The project design phase is at 90% completion so there is little that can be done to drastically alter the design.
- There will be 3 Speed and Volume studies done after the completion of the project.
- They will review the timing on the light cycles at NE 75th.
- We did ask for them to consider adjusting the signal timing for all of the signals in the boundaries of this project.
We know that there are some who are not in favor of the way SDOT is improving the way 35th Ave NE functions, but the sad reality of this project is that if no safety improvements are done it will only be a matter of time when a speeding car passes on the right and takes out a pedestrian. Slowing the speeds is a help and even though we advocated for better pedestrian improvements this project will help to streamline a very dangerous street at rush hour.
The WCC is going to stay focused on working through the changes and continue to provide SDOT with our community’s concerns regarding dump out traffic and other changes to our side streets.