New concepts for three corridors chosen for repaving in Southeast Seattle have been released. The first draft for corridor concepts were released by the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) in October. Through that process, SDOT heard clearly that bicyclist safety should be a high priority in the designs. The revised concepts reflect that in addition to other identified priorities like new crosswalks and traffic safety. Most of the repaving work will involve resurfacing asphalt and concrete repair that is planned for construction in 2018. Revised concepts for the 2018 Northeast Seattle repaving projects should be released soon.

The three Southeast Seattle corridors planned for repaving work in 2018. (City of Seattle)
The three Southeast Seattle corridors planned for repaving work in 2018. (City of Seattle)

S Columbian Way and S Alaska St

Proposed repaving area for S Columbian Way and S Alaska St. (City of Seattle)
Proposed repaving area for S Columbian Way and S Alaska St. (City of Seattle)

In the autumn, SDOT proposed three separate cross-sections for the S Columbian Way and S Alaska St corridor. One of the options would have retained on-street shoulder parking, but that has been dropped. Instead, SDOT is putting for a concept that would create nine-foot wide planter strips plus five-foot wide protected bike lanes. Travel lanes would be 11 feet wide separated from the bike lane by three-foot wide buffers with flexible posts. This means that on-street parking will be entirely removed on both sides of the road.

Two intersections would get special attention, including the Mountain View Dr S intersection which would get a new pedestrian refuge island and S Alaska Pl which would be tightened up for shorter pedestrian crossings and visibility. Other improvements would include sidewalk repairs, curb ramp and bus zone upgrades, and new visible markings.

Revised S Columbian Way and S Alaska St cross-section looking west. (City of Seattle)
Revised S Columbian Way and S Alaska St cross-section looking west. (City of Seattle)
Cross-sections proposed in the autumn looking west. (City of Seattle)
Cross-sections proposed in the autumn looking west. (City of Seattle)

Swift Ave S, S Myrtle St, S Myrtle Pl, and S Othello St

Proposed repaving area for Swift Ave S, S Myrtle St, S Myrtle Pl, and S Othello St. (City of Seattle)
Proposed repaving area for Swift Ave S, S Myrtle St, S Myrtle Pl, and S Othello St. (City of Seattle)

For this corridor, SDOT is sticking with their original draft concepts, which would include protected bike lanes from Othello Station through New Holly to 15th Ave S. The protected bike lanes would range from five- to six-foot wide lanes with two- to three-foot wide buffers separating them from motorized traffic. The project would also upgrade bus zones, repair sidewalks, and make curb ramp improvements. For about a three-block stretch of S Myrtle St between Beacon Ave S and 32nd Ave S, on-street parking would be removed.

Proposed cross-section for Swift Ave S looking west. (City of Seattle)
Proposed cross-section for Swift Ave S looking west. (City of Seattle)
Proposed cross-section for S Myrtle St and S Myrtle Pl looking west. (City of Seattle)
Proposed cross-section for S Myrtle St and S Myrtle Pl looking west. (City of Seattle)
Proposed cross-section for S Othello St looking west. (City of Seattle)
Proposed cross-section for S Othello St looking west. (City of Seattle)

Wilson Ave S: S Dawson St to Seward Park Ave S

Proposed repaving area for Wilson Ave S. (City of Seattle)
Proposed repaving area for Wilson Ave S. (City of Seattle)

The concept for Wilson Ave S has changed since the autumn. SDOT’s revised concept now places on-street parking on the outside of a new protected bike instead of to the inside. This should provide extra safety to bicyclists. Both bike lanes would be five feet wide, but only the bike lane on the east side of the street would have a buffer which is planned to be three wide. The road repaving work would also involve some sidewalk repairs, curb ramp upgrades, and consolidating on-street parking to the east side of the street.

Revised Wilson Ave S cross-section looking north. (City of Seattle)
Revised Wilson Ave S cross-section looking north. (City of Seattle)
Cross-section proposed in the autumn looking south. (City of Seattle)
Cross-section proposed in the autumn looking south. (City of Seattle)

If you have comments on the concept designs, you can contact project coordinator Dan Anderson.

Related Articles

Draft Street Design Concepts for Southeast Seattle 2018 Paving Projects

Northeast Seattle Street Concepts Presented

“Repaving” Projects Coming To Southeast And Northeast Seattle In 2018

6 COMMENTS

  1. What’s up with the 9′ planting strips? I’m all for reducing GP lanes to make streets safers, but that seems like overkill – if there is that much excess ROW, why not either widen the sidewalk to 10′ or simply include some street parking?

    • More importantly, why don’t they put the bike lane behind the planting strip? This seems like the perfect opportunity to create a world-class cycling facility. It also leaves 6ft of room as it negates the need for buffers.

      • See my link in the article to the previous article on the SE Seattle repaving draft concepts. You’ll get a better idea of the street conditions. My guess is costs for new asphalt, concrete, and drainage facilities to delete the planter strip (it’s at-grade). The strip is already used for on-street parking as motorists park on gravel debris in it. So that’s mostly the dilemma, I suspect.

      • Timonthy is right – for both A and B, the bike lane should be adjacent to the sidewalk, with either parking/shoulder or planter strip acting as the buffer.

        (unless someone can correct us that that is bad bike lane design?)

      • I see, and there may be some additional costs to creating parking verses simply converting that gravel to planters. I think my preference is still to include some parking, at least closer to MLK, unless it makes the project materially more expensive.

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