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2009 Arterial Asphalt & Concrete Program

This project has reached “physical completion.” Thank you for your patience during the construction.

Fauntleroy Way SW Paving Project
May October 2009

Revised August 27, 2009

Final Paving Starts Today Thursday August 27th!

SDOTs paving project on Fauntleroy is nearing completion. The final overlay begins today (Thursday, August 27) and is expected to be finished by Friday night. Traffic will be shifted several times throughout the day but uniformed police officers will be on site to assist traffic. Crews expect to continue into the evening, working long days in an attempt to complete all the paving before the weekend.

Shortly after the final overlay is completed, the contractor will begin striping the roadway with the new channelization (lane configuration). Barrels and caution tape will remain in place until all of the striping is completed. During the same time, incidental work will also be finished.

Work is expected to wrap up in mid-September. SDOT thanks West Seattle travelers for their patience.

Construction Phasing
The work will be completed in several phases:

- - Phase one will start at SW Alaska St and Fauntleroy Way SW and work its way south to California Ave SW on the west side (southbound lanes).
- - Phase two will start at California Ave SW and Fauntleroy Way SW and work its way north to SW Alaska St on the east side (northbound lanes).
- - Phase three of the project will require the contractor to work on the center portion of the roadway beginning in the north from SW Alaska St to California Ave SW.
- - Phase four between California Ave SW and SW Holly St will be done concurrent to other work and will be scheduled independently.

Each phase is expected to last approximately 6 weeks in duration.

Traffic Restrictions
- - During construction, traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction between SW Edmunds and SW Morgan Streets.
- - Parking will be prohibited on one side to accommodate the work zone. Crews will place “no-parking” signs in advance of their work and will remove them when parking can safely be restored.

What to Expect During Construction
• Lane closures
• Pedestrian detours
• Parking restrictions
• Moderate construction noise and dust
• Normal work hours will be 7 a.m. - 4 p.m., with occasional night time and weekend work
• Regular notices with more location specific information during construction

The lanes on this segment of Fauntleroy Way SW will also be re-striped. The travel lanes will be reconfigured to provide one lane in each direction with a center turn lane. A bike lane will be added for the uphill side of the street and “sharows” (lane markings that indicate that cars and bikes share the same lane) will be added to the downhill side This configuration will improve safety, pedestrian access, and bicycle usage. Existing parking will remain.

For more information about this project, contact, or call 206.684-7583.

click on image to view larger

Bridging the GapThe Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is planning to repair major portions of Fauntleroy Way SW in 2009. This project is part of the “Bridging the Gap” transportation levy approved by Seattle voters in November 2006.

Project Description

This project will reconstruct the worst portions of the roadway between SW Alaska Street and California Avenue SW. It will also include new curb ramps built in phases this winter and next spring before the road work begins; drainage improvements; and some concrete pavement replacement.

This segment of Fauntleroy Way SW is also being considered for lane re-striping. The proposal would reconfigure the travel lanes to provide one lane in each direction with a center turn lane and add bicycle facilities. This configuration would improve safety, pedestrian access, and bicycle usage. Existing parking would remain. To provide input and gather more information, contact or 206-684-7583.


What to Expect During Construction

  • Lane closures
  • Pedestrian detours
  • Parking restrictions
  • Moderate construction noise and dust
  • Normal work hours will be 7 a.m. – 4 p.m., with occasional night time and weekend work
  • Regular notices with more location specific information during construction


Fauntleroy Way SW
Community Questions

How will rechannelizing Fauntleroy impact congestion?
Currently it takes just about three minutes to travel from California to Alaska, a 1.3 mile distance, during both morning and evening commute. With the rechannelization in place, it will take roughly three and a half minutes. Looking 15 years ahead, the longest travel time is projected be four minutes with the rechannelization.

The chief cause of delay on arterial corridors is signalized intersections. Currently all three signalized intersections on this corridor operate with less than 30 seconds of vehicle delay. Since we are keeping the current configuration at all three signalized intersections, except a modest modification at California westbound, you could experience an average of an additional 13 seconds of delay once the rechannelization is complete. In 15 years, the delay due to the rechannelization could be 17 seconds of delay. After the rechannelization is in place, we will re-optimize the signals to account for any changes in traffic flow.

Further, we will monitor volume, speed, intersection delay and traffic flow after 3 months and 12 months to ensure that all is well.

Isn’t SDOT reducing the capacity of the roadway by half?
No. The turns motorists make onto Fauntleroy’s many side streets and driveways reduce the flow of traffic to only one effective through lane today. Rechannelization creates more consistent traffic flow by removing conflicting movements from the travel lane.

Will rechannelizing Fauntleroy increase speeding and reckless driving?
No. In fact, creating a single through lane has been shown in national studies to calm traffic. We expect to see speeds closer to the posted speed limit of 35 mph.

Did SDOT consider population growth and development for the future?
Yes. Development in West Seattle has been increasing for the past few years, yet traffic volumes on Fauntleroy have been steadily decreasing since 2004. Washington State Ferries data support our findings. Nevertheless, we have increased traffic by one percent per year in our analysis, which is an accepted growth factor in urban areas.

Did SDOT consider traffic calming for Fauntleroy and the side streets?
Rechannelizing Fauntleroy will calm traffic throughout the corridor. We do not anticipate adding traffic calming to the side streets, but we will monitor side street traffic and respond to feedback from the community.

The Morgan Junction has voted on an idea for rechannelizing Fauntleroy ten years ago and it didn’t pass. Why is SDOT considering the same idea now?
Ten years ago, the Morgan Junction Community Association considered proposal to create a boulevard with a planted median along the full length of the corridor. This proposal was generated by the neighborhood planning process. This proposal was about place-making and improving the urban design of Fauntleroy.

The current SDOT proposal is significantly different in that it allows a center turn lane throughout the corridor, adds bicycle lanes and sharrows, improves pedestrian crossings and provides a safety benefit in likely reducing certain kinds of collisions. SDOT’s proposal is about moving people and goods through and around West Seattle.

Why did SDOT choose an Open House format for the community meeting?
Because this is a decision driven by data and engineering, SDOT wanted to inform the public, receive feedback, and gather thoughts about how to improve the proposed design.

How will this project impact emergency vehicles traveling from Vashon Island?
Rechannelizing Fauntleroy will not negatively impact emergency vehicles. In fact, the center turn lane will provide space for emergency vehicles to pass.


Ferry Traffic

What allowances are being made for ferry traffic?
Since ferry traffic is already accounted for in the average daily traffic (ADT) numbers and analysis, as well as the rush hour volumes, additional allowances are not needed.

Can SDOT reroute the ferry traffic?
No. Once cars are on the city’s roads, they may select their own route.

Can SDOT use part of Lincoln Park for a ferry parking lot?
No. Lincoln Park is a treasured community resource for recreation and beauty. Using this space for parking would be met with significant community opposition.



Why does the city use sharrows?
Shared lane pavement markings (or “sharrows”) are bicycle symbols placed in the travel lane indicating that motorists should expect to see and share the lane with bicycles. Unlike bicycle lanes, they do not designate a particular part of the roadway for the use of bicyclists. SDOT installs sharrows primarily based upon the recommendations as found in the Seattle Bicycle Master Plan. In general, sharrows are installed on streets where there is not enough room for bicycle lanes with all other road uses.

Why add bike lanes?
The Seattle Bicycle Master Plan, a citywide plan for increasing bicycle use and safety, recommended Fauntleroy as a possible location for bike lanes. Because of the repaving project and the plan to add bike lanes to the west of California, now is a good time to study and add bike lanes to Fauntleroy. Bicycle lane markings can increase a bicyclist’s confidence that motorists will not stray into a bike’s path of travel. Likewise, motorists are less likely to swerve out of their lane to the left to avoid bicyclists in the lane.

Why is there a bike lane on one side and a sharrow on the other?
When two bike lanes won’t fit, SDOT generally installs a bike on the up-hill direction with sharrows on the down-hill direction. Sharrows may be the first choice on some down-hill sections.

How do the bike facilities on Fauntleroy connect with the rest of the bicycle route system?
SDOT will install bicycle lanes on Fauntleroy west of California, and has already installed sharrows on California. In addition, Alaska, 39 th Ave SW and 36 th Ave SW all have sharrows and Avalon Way SW has bicycle lanes.

For detailed maps on existing and proposed bicycle facilities please see the SDOT Bicycle Program website at:

Why not have a single bike lane with two-way traffic?
Bicycle lanes should be one-way facilities and carry bicycle traffic in the same direction as adjacent motor vehicle traffic. Two-way bicycle lanes on the side of the roadway are not a good idea when they result in bicycles riding against the flow of motor vehicle traffic.

Why not use a parallel street for bicycles?
Seattle’s arterial roads are critical for bicycle access. The arterial streets are public rights-of-way that typically provide continuous connections between neighborhoods and key destinations in all parts of Seattle. They are often the most direct routes available for many trips. Further, bicyclists are legally allowed on the road with motor vehicles.

Has SDOT taken the “door zone” into consideration?
Yes. Bicycle lanes placed adjacent to parking lanes are five feet wide to provide bicycles with space between parked cars, opening doors, and the motor vehicle travel lane.


Freight and Transit

Did SDOT consider impacts to school buses, truck traffic and deliveries?
Yes. Our current design includes wider lanes to accommodate larger vehicles. We are also working with King County Metro Transit to meet their transit stop needs. In addition, SDOT has spoken with freight users on the corridor to ensure we are addressing their concerns.

Has SDOT considered the interaction between bicycles and buses?
Yes. Where there is a bike lane or a sharrow, bikes will be able to pass the bus because the buses should pull into the parking lane to make their stop. SDOT works closely with Metro Transit to coordinate curb space uses.

When can West Seattle expect more buses and even light rail?
Bus Rapid Transit is coming to West Seattle. The route begins at Westwood Villages, goes to the ferry terminal, through West Seattle (mostly on California) on to downtown. Light rail for West Seattle is not included in the recently passed Sound Transit II ballot measure.

Will the city build a park and ride in West Seattle to cut down on car trips to downtown and beyond?
Metro Transit is in charge of locating and building bus facilities, including park and rides. In general, it is not Seattle’s policy to allow park and ride facilities in neighborhoods. A notable exception is the urban center of Northgate.

How will SDOT make sure buses pull all the way into their zone to not block traffic?
SDOT is working with King County Metro driver training to ensure that buses pull completely into the bus zone, and designing bus zones so that buses have sufficient room to do so.



What pedestrian improvements will SDOT make?
Aided by input received during the open house, we will add marked crosswalks at several locations. In addition, the paving project will retrofit pedestrian curb ramps that cross Fauntleroy.

How are “blind spots” being addressed?
SDOT will locate the additional marked crosswalks at locations where the sight distance is good and will add any necessary traffic control measures. We want to encourage people to cross where there are marked crosswalks. We will review sight distance for motorists entering and leaving Fauntleroy Way SW from the side streets.

Why can’t SDOT build pedestrian overpasses on Fauntleroy?
People need to cross along the corridor, not in one place. Pedestrian overpasses remove pedestrian activity from the street where it contributes to the overall vitality of the streetscape, they block views along the corridor, and create shade and shadow under the structure that can make pedestrians feel unsecure--especially at the landings of the bridge and the sidewalk. Additionally, they are not effective at attracting pedestrian use.



Why is SDOT leaving parking in place?
Because this corridor is primarily residential, we are leaving the parking in place to accommodate residents, as well as Fairmount Park visitors. In addition, leaving parking on the street has an traffic calming effect. Depending on where we locate marked crosswalks we may restrict certain parking spots.

Why not allow cars to park on the planting strip?
The planting strip will not be wide enough to accommodate cars. In addition, the planting strip functions as a buffer between vehicles and pedestrians.


Trees and Vegetation

Is SDOT going to add planted medians to Fauntleroy?
In general no, although we will likely add pedestrian crossing islands, which may allow for some spot planting.

Is SDOT going to plant more trees on Fauntleroy?
The paving project will work with SDOT’s Urban Forestry group to determine if and where trees may be added. If you have a location where you would like to see trees added, please contact Shane DeWald at 684-5041.


Traffic Control

Is SDOT going to add more traffic lights on Fauntleroy?
Not at this time. However if you have a suggestion, please contact Valerie Lee at 684-5246.

Will SDOT close off side streets to guard against cut through traffic and improve traffic flow on Fauntleroy?
No. Based on previous experience we do not anticipate an increase in cut through traffic. Closing access to streets is an extreme measure, undertaken only in highly specific instances.

Why is SDOT adding a center turn lane?
Adding a center turn lane facilitates left turns and pedestrian crossings. In addition, reconfiguring the lane lines allows us to install bike lanes/sharrows. Center turn lanes have also been shown to reduce the occurrence of certain types of collisions.

Why can’t SDOT have two lanes in one direction and one lane in the other?
There is a balanced volume of traffic on both sides of the street so the design must also be balanced. The side that would only have one lane would then frequently be stopped as cars tried to make left turns across two lanes of traffic. The only other solution would be to ban all left turns. In addition, this approach would not benefit pedestrians as the current rechannelization proposal does.

How is SDOT going to improve the intersections of California and Fauntleroy and Alaska and Fauntleroy?
SDOT will adjust the signal timing to facilitate better traffic flow.

Could SDOT maintain the existing configuration from Alaska to Edmunds?
Yes. The configuration will stay the same starting north of Edmunds, with the possible addition of sharrows in this block.

Can SDOT widen the road?
No, not without significant right-of-way acquisition and major capital investment that is not supported by Fauntleroy’s traffic volumes.

Will SDOT lower the speed limit?
No. Based on past experience we expect see speeds more in line with the posted speed limit of 35 mph.

Will the Seattle Police Department (SPD) enforce the existing speed limit?
Yes. We will request addition SPD enforcement once the rechannelization is complete.

Can SDOT increase the speed limit?
The city traffic engineer and Seattle City Council have the authority to set speed limits. Traffic volumes, the road configuration, and the needs of the neighborhood do not warrant increasing the speed limit.

Paving Project

What material will SDOT use to pave Fauntleroy?
A combination of asphalt and concrete. The middle 18 feet of the road will likely be asphalt at 10 inches thick. The outer lanes will be constructed with concrete or concrete with an asphalt overlay.

Is SDOT going to address drainage?
SDOT will review drain grates that need to be replaced to meet bicycle standards. When the road is repaved it will be re-graded to minimize “ponding” and facilitate runoff.

Maribel Cruz, Project Communications,, (206) 684-1963
Jessica Murphy, Project Manager,, (206) 684-0178

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