On Wednesday, July 24, from approximately 6:30-9 PM, Ravenna Blog will be attending the NE 75th St Design Alternatives Review meeting being held at the Wedgwood Presbyterian Church (8008 35th Ave NE), and will provide live coverage below.
The agenda for the meeting, released by SDOT’s Jim Curtin via the NE 75th St listserv on Monday, looks like this:
7:00 Welcome and Announcements
7:05 Recap of Spring Meetings
7:15 SDOT Presentation
7:45 Questions and Answers
8:15 Speak Directly with SDOT
If you have not yet done your NE 75th St homework, please look over the four SDOT proposed designs for the arterial here.
UPDATE (Thursday, July 25): SDOT has made the presentation available online, with a few updates made for the Thursday afternoon presentation (as requested with more visuals!). You can download the PowerPoint presentation itself here (5.7 MB), or just the slides in PDF format here (2 MB).
Here’s an example of some of the added graphics (this one of what NE 75th St might look like under Proposal 4 with increased pedestrian crosswalk features):
Back home now.
Thanks for following along. If you would like to see the presentation in person, you’ve got one more chance: Tomorrow, Thursday, July 25th, from 1-3PM in the Fellowship Hall (downstairs) at Messiah Lutheran Church (7050 35th Ave NE).
SDOT facetime time!
Another woman earlier talked about how folks on 75th have increasing started renting their homes to college students, who each bring a car into the area, turning a 1-2 car house into a 4-5 car house. That sucks for neighbors in surrounding streets.
Woman just said thank you, followed by much applause.
Resident on 75th: If we lose our parking, how do we get our trees trimmed? Big deliveries? I don’t want four lanes! But we’re going to lose something here.
Jacob: Orange flags? Sidewalk bollards? Additional pedestrian enhancements?
Curtin: By going to the two lanes, we should see more pedestrian activity along 75th, and then those things can be added. Or added now by groups that will maintain them. [Looking at you, RBCA.]
46 folks in the room, plus community folks like moi and the SDOT folks.
Education and enforcement increases. Transportation forums with community councils, if requested. And school-specific instruction. (Already working with Eckstein.)
Some help for 35th: more left turn pockets at 75th/35th, and bicycle facilities east of 35th.
And some work on Banner Way, near I-5.
Pedestrian countdown signals.
Spot parking restrictions (STARBUCKS AND 73RD) and commercial access improvements (around Safeway).
Encroachment and overgrown vegetation remediation so EVERYBODY can see around those corners.
Curtin now, with additional improvements.
Photo enforcement cameras coming.
Traffic calming around Eckstein. Will work with adjacent residents on this. Get them your info!
Improved crossing for pedestrians: New, marked crosswalk at 28th with a rapid flashing beacon to warn drivers. And enhancements at 9th Ave NE crosswalk in Roosevelt.
Chang: Plan now stops at 35th, but extending to the 39th Greenway will be looked at, and is desired. Next year.
Concern about the turn lane, that will turn 75th into 50th [did not elaborate on this issue, but told her concerns to Curtin prior to the meeting].
Seattle Children’s nurse: The bike lane creates an additional buffer for pedestrians that also increases safetly.
Q: Commitment to an after study?
Chang: YES. Curtin nodding. Also, a few other, more specific fixes that will be discussed shortly. More work to be done around Eckstein. “We’ve heard that some parent behaviors are very, very poor.”
Q: As a traffic professional, which do you recommend?
Chang: I work for everyone, and work to exclude no one. Complete Street ordinance: HAVE to accommodate everybody. Proposal 4 does this (left turn lane, marked bike lanes).
Many streets like your that have this same need. This experience/process here, for 75th, will be used into the future. Limited resources (the Jim and Dongho show). But this is just paint, and doable. And we will come back and check in.
You’ve told us that what you have does not work. This (Proposal 4) is what I am recommending.
Audience guy: Car driver, pedestrian, cyclist himself. Side streets are not necessarily safer for people. Unregulated intersections, poor lighting…putting facilities where everyone can see everyone else is safer.
Picture on the screen of street/buffer with trees/bike lane/sidewalk option used elsewhere in the US, and is an idea for 15th Ave NE, down by the UW Main Campus.
Q: Buses crawling behind cyclists. What to do?
Chang: Just talked this topic in regards to 15th Avenue NE. Either you have bikes in their own lane, or they’re going to be on the road anyway. Nothing solved.
UW wants to work on transforming some of their green space on the side of campus, and help get bikes out of the stream of traffic and safer.
Woman not a fan of the heavy cement barrier at NE 65th St/Sand Point Way. And right hand turns. Everyone gets the green.
Chang: Early design. Doing now elsewhere: Signal for bikes and pedestrians, THEN green for cars.
Q: Side streets for cyclist zone? Why just a line on an arterial?
Chang: Yes, residents want that too (feedback). In front of Eckstein? Kids need to get to school. More riders help make things safer. Cars watch out for them more. So this infrastructure (the painted bike lanes) will help. A” street system that accommodates ALL users.”
Question about 65th and the Bicycle Master Plan. Not looked at yet. 65th will be looked at when Council tells SDOT to. Studies, input, data, all that. (Similar to the process we’ve experienced here for 75th.)
Question about intersections. Left turn pockets at all the rest, like 35th. Most collisions along 75th are related to left turns.
[One of Karina Schulte's coworkers from Seattle Children's is here. Jacob Struiksma of the Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board also. Alex Pedersen, legistlative aid to CM Tim Burgess, too.]
Woman saying, basically, how big a fan she is of the left turn lane option. Can’t imagine any other option for 75th.
School speed zone camera question: Won’t the guaranteed 21 mph ticket solve this problem? SDOT: That camera is only in operation two hours a day, on schools days. (And the threshold is not that low!)
Chang just told a story about how he was out on 75th getting data, and *felt* a car side mirror brush by. Holy…
Woman asking about a model with a left turn lane, two-way traffic lanes, without separate bicycle facilities. Not popular with a number of people.
“But I never see cyclists on the street!”
“Because it’s not safe!”
Chang: Extra delay of 2 seconds at 15th/75th, 20th/75th, and 25th/75th signaled intersections with Proposal 4. Chaos also lessened greatly.
Chang going over the various options now. I’ll just do a quick review here.
Proposal 1: Mark all the lanes, nothing else changes.
Proposal 2: Parking full time, lanes marked.
Proposal 3: Parking one side, separate bicycle lanes, two travel lanes, all marked.
Proposal 4: Left turn lane down the center, bicycle lanes down the sides, two travel lanes, all marked.
Woman now talking about hills and speed, and seemingly excusing the speeding (hills and trying to catch green lights).
Chang: Speed data taken at the top of the hill, right in front of Eckstein.
That 37 mph number? That’s the 85th percentile speed. 15% of speeders are going faster.
Mayor’s Office to SDOT: What can be done to improve safety in a short time frame and without much cost?
Chang now up.
Q about new signals at 35th affecting collision numbers. Curtin: Not enough data yet, since installation.
Shocker: Speeds are high (34 eastbound, 37 westbound). Posted speed is 30.
114 collisions in last 3 years, 50+ injuries. Collisions marked on map, spread equally down the length of NE 75th. That’s a collision every 9 days.
Traffic volume numbers now. 20,100 average weekday at 12th Ave NE. 14,700 same time at 30th Ave NE. Roadways can be narrowed to two lanes on roadways with <25,000, Curtin says.
Video now of a car waiting to make a left turn, and being passed on the RIGHT by all the cars behind it. Difficult situation especially for pedestrians, Curtin says.
A group of women saying that one of the data points on weekend parking is screwed too high – there was a swim meet that weekend.
Speaking now to current conditions along NE 75th between 15th and 35th Avenues NE. Lots of schools. Street is 40 feet wide. Peak hour lanes open at varying hours.
Parking is VERY underutilized, which means the parking lanes are used by moving vehicles instead, turning the street into a four lane road at most times.
Toddler in the house! Good job, youth.
The agenda above ^^^^ up on the screen. And now a review of the process so far: Improvements requested, issues named.
Overwhelmingly heard that channelization is greatly requested. “Wild West” was used to describe the lane issues. Speeding an issue. Lack of a buffer between traffic and pedestrians an issue. Intersections, where everyone comes together, a problem. Congestion at peak times around the school. More enforcement desired.
Up to 33 folks now. And the average age has dropped, too.
Per Johnson of the Wedgwood Community Council is introducing Curtin and Chang.
Jorgen Bader of the Ravenna-Bryant Community Association is here. As is Andres Salomon of NE Seattle Greenways.
SDOT staff present include the previously-mentioned Traffic Safety Coordinator Jim Curtin, Chief Traffic Engineer Dongho Chang, and Safe Routes to School Coordinator Brian Dougherty.
All three were also present at the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center community meeting where input from neighbors was taken about NE 75th St.
Just talked to SDOT’s Jim Curtin: The presentation (slides and video) will be made available, either here on the Ravenna Blog or on SDOT’s site, or both.
Two posterboards up, on either side of the presentation screen. Both have all 5 designs represented (existing condition and the four proposals).
Audience now up to 16. Average age, maybe 50?
Community meetings, in my experience, always skew old. They have more spare time? Cultural thing? Not sitting at home with all the fancy technology like you guys?
And I’m here! Looking at the email addresses of the two people here before me, Assumption-St. Bridget is here, too.
The basement of the Wedgwood Presbyterian Church is cool and comfortable. Come on by.