RAPIDRIDE H LINE: ‘Online open house’ starts today

January 5th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Metro, Transportation, White Center news No Comments »

Your next feedback opportunity for the planned conversion of Metro Route 120 into the RapidRide H Line starts now. Metro’s “online open house” is live, through January 15th. It starts here. (And remember that next Thursday brings an in-person meeting in White Center – 5-8 pm, Mount View Elementary School, 10811 12th Avenue SW.)

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WHITE CENTER SNOW: Christmas Eve notes

December 24th, 2017 Tracy Posted in Transportation, Weather, White Center news Comments Off on WHITE CENTER SNOW: Christmas Eve notes

Though it hasn’t been a blizzard, the snow has been steady since mid-afternoon. So a few notes: Metro is on snow routes for its south and southwest areas – that includes White Center, the rest of the unincorporated area, and points south. If you need to ride a bus, check for more details here. … The National Weather Service’s advisory for “winter weather” runs through 10 am Christmas Day, and after that, it’s supposed to warm up, with rain entering the mix.

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About those temporary cameras in downtown White Center: Traffic studies for RapidRide H Line

October 31st, 2017 Tracy Posted in Transportation, White Center news Comments Off on About those temporary cameras in downtown White Center: Traffic studies for RapidRide H Line

Several people have asked us about those temporary cameras installed in downtown White Center – the photo above is from Jesse. We recognized them as the type used for traffic-data collection, but the question was – who is collecting the data? So we started with the King County Department of Transportation, and it turns out we guessed correctly. The studies are for the upcoming conversion of Metro Route 120 into the RapidRide H Line:

It is vital to thoroughly assess any routes as Metro plans for service. Street cameras in the vicinity of 98th and 16th in White Center are there to assess traffic data for the upcoming expansion of the Rapid Ride H Line. King County Metro will alert the public to participate in surveys on the new line, most likely by mid-November.

We should get word of that survey sometime after Veterans Day. Meantime, KCDOT explains that the cameras are being used “for a variety of assessments: Speed and reliability, difficult turns, traffic flow, etc.” The H Line conversion is currently expected to happen in 2020.

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ROAD WORK: SW 106th/107th reconfiguration project next week

September 8th, 2017 Tracy Posted in Traffic, Transportation, White Center news 2 Comments »

(Also published on partner site West Seattle Blog)

If you use SW 106th/107th between White Center, North Shorewood, and West Seattle, you might have seen the signboard for road work coming up next week. We did, so we asked King County Roads for details; here’s what we just received from spokesperson Brent Champaco:

We are taking the road from two lanes to a three-lane configuration that will feature:

· Left –turn lanes at 26th Avenue SW
· Two-way, left-turn lanes around 25th Avenue SW
· Striped median in the S-curves between 22nd and 25th Avenues SW
· Two-way, left-turn lane between 17th and 22nd Avenues SW

The restriping work is scheduled to last 3-5 days, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. All lanes of traffic will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m., and from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. At other times, at least one lane will remain open with flaggers directing traffic. No parking will be allowed along this part of the road during the project.

If you live/work near that stretch, you’ve probably already seen this flyer (or a similar door-hanger card) as part of the county’s outreach work.

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ROAD WORK ALERT: Resurfacing on SW 107th next Saturday

August 7th, 2017 Tracy Posted in safety, Traffic, Transportation, White Center news 1 Comment »

King County Roads has issued an alert for four blocks of SW 107th next Saturday night, in the White Center/North Shorewood area – it’ll be closed between 22nd and 26th SW because “epoxy and anti-skid material (High Friction Surface Treatment) will be applied to increase traction for vehicles. Data shows that this treatment helps dramatically decrease the numbers of crashes.” It’s one of 23 areas around the county where this is being done this summer. It means the road will be fully closed for several hours at a time between 6 pm and 6 am Saturday, August 12th, and: “During this time, there will be no access to driveways and side streets within the project limits.” More here.

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ROAD-WORK ALERT: SW 104th closure starts next week

July 18th, 2017 Tracy Posted in Transportation, White Center news Comments Off on ROAD-WORK ALERT: SW 104th closure starts next week

Just announced by King County Road Services, a closure of one block of SW 104th, from 15th to 16th, starting next Monday, July 24th. “Crews will be replacing a deep, deteriorated underground drainage system,” says the alert. The work is expected to be done by August 11th.

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ROAD-WORK ALERT: Roxbury sidewalk project now set to start July 10th

June 30th, 2017 Tracy Posted in Transportation, White Center news Comments Off on ROAD-WORK ALERT: Roxbury sidewalk project now set to start July 10th

A new start date for the Roxbury sidewalk-building project between 28th and 30th SW – July 10th. That’s the latest from King County Roads. The work will close a lane on the south side of SW Roxbury – eastbound – on weekdays, as there will be concrete replacement work on the road as well as sidewalk construction in the area where the walkway is now just painted. The work is expected to take less than two months.

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ROAD WORK ALERT: Major repaving project starts soon on Highway 509

May 25th, 2017 Tracy Posted in Traffic, Transportation, White Center news Comments Off on ROAD WORK ALERT: Major repaving project starts soon on Highway 509

If you use Highway 509 – you’ll want to know about this. From WSDOT:

Construction season is in full swing and in Burien, a project to repave northbound State Route 509 will soon join the mix.

Contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation will repave more than 3.5 miles of the highway between South 168th and South 112th streets to create a smoother driving surface. They will also repair and replace portions of guardrail. The $4.6 million project begins Sunday, June 4.

“Driving this section of SR 509 is no picnic. The pavement is worn and rough,” said WSDOT Project Engineer Aleta Borschowa. “Some of the guardrail is also in need of repair, so we will actually replace it with concrete barrier, which is easier to push back into place following a collision.”

Also known as the Burien Freeway, this section of northbound SR 509 is cracked and rutted from years of vehicle traffic. Approximately 28,000 vehicles use this section of roadway each day, which was last repaved in the mid-1990s.

Plan for travel delays during construction

· Drivers should expect single lane, ramp and shoulder closures on northbound SR 509 during daytime and nighttime hours for paving work.

· Crews will need to close the left lane of northbound and southbound SR 509 for a total of three weekends and occasional weeknights to repair and replace the guardrail in the median.

Know before you go

· For more information on scheduled lane reductions and detours, visit the King County construction page.

WSDOT contractor, Tucci & Sons, Inc., expects work on the $4.6 million project to wrap up in fall 2017.

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Roxbury sidewalk project update: Due to start ‘late May’

May 15th, 2017 Tracy Posted in Transportation, White Center news Comments Off on Roxbury sidewalk project update: Due to start ‘late May’

That’s the mailer sent out by King County Road Services Division with an update on the upcoming sidewalk construction on the south side of SW Roxbury between 28th SW and 30th SW. Here are the key points:

Work scheduled from late May-July, if weather cooperates

· Area is SW Roxbury Street between 28th Avenue SW and 30th Avenue SW

· One lane of road will be closed from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., each day

· Flaggers will direct two-way vehicle traffic

· Pedestrians will be detoured

· Roxhill Elementary bus loading areas will be moved to west edge of the school property

· Businesses along this section of SW Roxbury Street will remain open and access provided at all times. Access points will be provided for the gas station, the auto parts store/latte stand and auto repair shop.

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Spoke & Food: Bicycle to participant Proletariat Pizza tonight!

July 26th, 2016 Tracy Posted in Food, How to Help, Transportation, White Center news Comments Off on Spoke & Food: Bicycle to participant Proletariat Pizza tonight!

The annual Spoke & Food bicycle-to-dinner benefit is tonight – and Proletariat Pizza in White Center (9622 16th SW) is participating. 5-9 pm, Proletariat and other participants around the region are donating 20 percent of their proceeds; this year, the beneficiary is the Hunger Intervention Project. The first 20 bike riders at each Spoke & Food location get backpacks!

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‘Bike Everywhere Day’ station today at Dubsea Coffee

May 20th, 2016 Tracy Posted in Transportation, White Center news Comments Off on ‘Bike Everywhere Day’ station today at Dubsea Coffee

It’s “Bike Everywhere Day” – formerly “Bike to Work Day” – and if you’re biking, you have a “celebration station” to visit in White Center: Dubsea Coffee in Greenbridge, SW 99th/8th SW. It’s co-sponsored by the YES! Foundation and the Major Taylor Bike Club, and bicycle riders are invited to stop for free coffee, bananas, treats, bike checkups, and info about bicycling in WC. 6 am-9 am.

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What to do about crumbling unincorporated-area roads? County task force’s recommendations

January 20th, 2016 Tracy Posted in Transportation, White Center news 2 Comments »

It’s been years since the county warned North Highline residents that the roads were in sad shape and bound to get sadder due to money trouble. Late today, the county announced the results of work by its Bridges and Roads Task Force to try to figure out how to fix that. The package is a big one, with reports and recommendations – read about it here. Short version – it suggests regional, even statewide solutions, that range from new taxes to trying to cut road-repair costs via prison labor; the full final report is here. The task force members are listed here (no NH names jump out at us, but let us know if we missed someone).

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SW Roxbury Safety Project walking tour tonight

May 20th, 2015 Tracy Posted in Transportation, White Center news Comments Off on SW Roxbury Safety Project walking tour tonight

Interested in the changes planned for SW Roxbury – all the way from 4th Avenue to 35th? The Seattle Department of Transportation plans a public “walking tour” along the entire length tonight, and all are welcome to join at any point along the way – walking the full distance or just meeting up at a certain point with comments and/or questions. Here are the times/places listed by SDOT:

5:30 pm – 4th/Roxbury
5:50 pm – 8th/Roxbury
6:15 pm – Delridge/16th/Roxbury
6:45 pm – 26th/Roxbury
7:15 pm – 30th/Roxbury
7:45 pm – 35th/Roxbury

Just look for team members in brightly colored safety vests!

If you haven’t been following the plan for safety improvements, here’s one of our reports from West Seattle Blog on the unveiling of the plan last month.

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Update: Bike To Work Day on Friday

May 13th, 2015 Tracy Posted in Transportation, White Center news Comments Off on Update: Bike To Work Day on Friday

ORIGINAL 6:24 PM REPORT: According to the Cascade Bike Club‘s map for Bike To Work Day events on Friday, local businesses are presenting a “commute station” in downtown White Center again, 6-9 am.

10:26 PM UPDATE: Apparently not – Caffe Delia indicates the map info is inaccurate. We HAVE direct confirmation of the West Seattle Bridge station, at least, if you’re headed that way.

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Changes ahead for SW Roxbury

April 8th, 2015 Tracy Posted in safety, Transportation, White Center news Comments Off on Changes ahead for SW Roxbury

The Seattle Department of Transportation‘s final plan for SW Roxbury – for which it has curb-to-curb responsibility – went public last night at a meeting in West Seattle. Here’s the presentation:

SDOT's SW Roxbury plan

The biggest changes are rechannelization – one lane each way plus a center turn lane – west of 17th, a speed-limit drop to 30 mph from 15th SW east, and 300 feet of sidewalk where none exists, east of 30th SW. Read details of the meeting on our partner site West Seattle Blog.

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SAFETY: Road resurfacing in the works for SW 107th west of White Center

April 6th, 2015 Tracy Posted in safety, Transportation, White Center news 3 Comments »

West of White Center, SW 107th east of 26th SW is in for special treatment – the only North Highline-area road on the list referenced in this King County announcement:

More than two dozen of King County’s busiest roads will get a surface treatment that provides tires with better grip and reduces the likelihood of skidding, thanks to a $3.2 million federal grant.

The surface treatment and additional guardrails will be installed on roads that King County’s Department of Transportation identified as high-crash locations outside of cities – in Highline/North Shorewood, on Vashon Island, outside Woodinville, in the Snoqualmie Valley, south of Issaquah, near North Bend, north of Covington, and between Auburn and Black Diamond.

“Drivers throughout unincorporated King County will be safer thanks to additional guardrails and an innovative solution to slippery roads,” said Executive Dow Constantine. “By focusing federal funds on the busiest roads with the most accidents, we will make the most of this investment in our region’s safety.”

So-called high-friction surface treatments bond aggregate materials to the top layer of a roadway, channeling away water and providing tires with more grip to reduce the likelihood of skidding and loss of control. The county has identified 24 locations for this treatment and four locations for guardrail and other improvements based largely on crash history and average daily traffic. Sites throughout unincorporated King County were chosen where the risks of running off the road are greatest.

“My district includes hundreds of miles of winding rural roadways where curves or hills create greater risks for skidding off the road,” said King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert. “These new roadway treatments help tires grip the road in dangerous areas. I am encouraged to hear that other transportation departments are also saying that this is an economical way to measurably improve safety.”

“Those that rely on the King County road system will be happy to know that with the help of federal funding we’re going to deliver targeted safety improvements to make our roads safer,” said Councilmember Reagan Dunn. “We’re looking forward to having these improvements on Kent-Kangley Road, south of Issaquah, near Shadow Lake and near May Valley road.”

The county’s Road Services Division is scheduled to install the high friction surface treatments and guardrail in 2016. The agency has had to reduce service for roads and bridges in the unincorporated areas of the county significantly as revenues declined during the recession, and as a result, there is a growing backlog of county road needs. Recent strategic planning deemed safety as the most important consideration for allocating precious road dollars. With this federal safety grant, driving will be safer at these 28 locations.

The funds are provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation and administered by the Washington State Department of Transportation.

We obtained the information about SW 107th by checking with King County Transportation Department spokesperson Jeff Switzer.

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Reminder: Highway 99 closures this weekend

March 28th, 2015 Tracy Posted in alaskan way viaduct, Traffic, Transportation, White Center news Comments Off on Reminder: Highway 99 closures this weekend

Traffic/transit/travel alert!

North of here, Highway 99 is closed from the West Seattle Bridge to the Battery Street Tunnel until 6 pm today and then again 6 am-6 pm tomorrow for its twice-yearly inspection, and from the BSTunnel north to lower Queen Anne, it’s closed all weekend, until very early Monday. So plan your travel accordingly! Find details on the closures here. If you use Metro, here’s the reroute info for the routes from WC/West Seattle that use Highway 99.

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White Center traffic alert: Fiber installation at 15th/Roxbury next week, and ongoing elsewhere

February 27th, 2015 Tracy Posted in Traffic, Transportation, utilities, White Center news 1 Comment »

Maybe you’ve seen the sign warning about lane closures at 15th/Roxbury next week; we heard about it through a reader tip. That led us to chase down details, and the King County Department of Transportation tells us it’s part of a more-extensive project:

King County has issued a permit for fiber optic installation on 15th Avenue Southwest between Roxbury Street and 107th Avenue Southwest, moving east on 107th Avenue Southwest and then south along 12th Avenue Southwest to Southwest 114th Street in the White Center area. Most of this work will involve attaching fiber to existing utility poles, so traffic disruptions should be minimal with possible intermittent lane closures.

There is more extensive work being planned at the intersection of 15th Avenue Southwest and Roxbury that will involve 200 feet of underground installation taking up to five days, half in the city, half in King County. That more intensive work will require the closure of one southbound through lane on 15th Avenue Southwest north of Roxbury and a northbound left turn lane on 15th Avenue Southwest at Roxbury. Work is planned 9 am to 3 pm weekdays March 2 through March 6. Traffic control will be in place around the work zone.

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Followup: White Center bike corral meeting

August 26th, 2014 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Transportation, White Center news 1 Comment »

Bikes parked outside the King County Sheriff’s Office White Center Storefront tonight hinted at what was happening inside – the community meeting about more bicycle parking in downtown WC.

Katie Meyer was there for WCN. She reports that it was a full house, at least 40 people.

She reports that bike parking stations in several locations were proposed as an alternative to the “bike corral” planned on the street in front of Proletariat Pizza and Caffé Delia, both of which support it. This alternative could result in even more bike parking than the corral, and it apparently still would qualify for the King County grant money that was planned for the corral. So a new plan will be crafted and discussed.

It also was noted during the meeting that concerns about the bike corral seemed tied to other local issues, so Elizabeth Gordon, co-proprietor of Uncle Mike’s Barbecue and a North Highline Unincorporated Area Council member, urged everyone to attend NHUAC’s next meeting on September 4th (7 pm, North Highline Fire District HQ), so those issues can be raised and addressed there.

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Wheels spinning on downtown White Center bike-parking increase? Meeting Tuesday

August 22nd, 2014 Tracy Posted in Transportation, White Center news 4 Comments »

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

It’s been five months since County Councilmember Joe McDermott‘s newsletter touted a county grant for “bike corral” parking in downtown White Center – but the corral’s not in place yet. One more community conversation is planned for next week.

The corral would triple bicycle parking in downtown White Center, which has an increasing population to serve, especially with more development on the drawing boards right across the city/county line in the South Delridge area. Immediately north of the business area, the city of Seattle is working on a project that is expected to make the busy Roxbury arterial friendlier and safer for bicycle riders and pedestrians.

The corral is proposed for 16th SW in front of Proletariat Pizza and Caffé Delia, both of which are excited about it. The space is currently used for two diagonal motorized-vehicle spaces. If converted to bike-corral space, it would park up to 20 bikes.

Proletariat’s proprietors are hoping to clear up misconceptions and concerns they say are being voiced by nearby businesses who don’t like the idea. They contacted WCN to let us know about the meeting next week. It’s being hosted by the White Center Community Development Association, which was involved in seeking the grant to fund the bike corral, at 6:30 pm Tuesday (August 26th) in the King County Sheriff’s Office storefront space in downtown White Center.

The $3,000 grant is to come from the Community Service Areas‘ grant funds, set up when King County changed its relationship with unincorporated areas a few years ago. The rationale voiced in the grant document:

The White Center Community Development Association (WCCDA) along with local White Center residents are requesting funding for the “Bike, Shop, Eat White Center” project; the primary goal of this project is to grow bicycling in White Center as an alternative method of transportation for local families and residents. Funding to purchase the bicycle corrals will increase bicycle parking in the White Center business district, which will encourage residents to ride their bikes to local shopping and dining destinations. Part of our project proposal includes a bike ride led by experienced volunteer bicyclists; open to all in the White Center community to learn about safe riding techniques as well as bike and route safety. The ride would include stops at Greenbridge Library, the new bike corrals, and other neighborhood stops.

There are several benefits for the proposed project; increased physical activity for local residents, greater knowledge of bicycle and route safety, building community, and boosting the local economy.

As part of the grant application, proposers had to explain how certain goals would be met – here’s how they replied:

Promote the engagement of local residents in community or civic activities: by promoting bicycling as a healthy, local activity in White Center, we are helping to build community around alternative methods of transportation. Some local residents have expressed interest in hosting safety rides to teach others on riding safely and selecting safe routes; as White Center continues to grow into a family friendly neighborhood this is a way to engage with multiple generations while encouraging healthier habits.

Educate local residents about issues impacting them: One of the assets we have in White Center is its small-town feel; with shopping and dining destinations just a few blocks from home, many people still drive the few minutes rather than use it as an opportunity to walk or bike. The White Center/Boulevard Park neighborhoods have some of the starkest health statistics compared to the rest of King County. Data from Seattle King County Public Health indicates that access to exercise and obesity is a challenge for residents of the White Center/Boulevard Park areas for residents of all ages. Our project would be one of the ways to address this issue in White Center.

Implement a community enhancement project: A majority of the funding request for this project would be to purchase bike corrals for the neighborhood’s business district to more than TRIPLE existing bicycle parking. With the addition of bike corrals to the downtown core along with resident-led bike rides around White Center to educate those new to bicycling, we hope that this will begin a positive cultural shift that will support the local businesses and promote healthier habits.

North of White Center, West Seattle’s first official bike corral was installed in The Junction just last month. Seattle now has 26 bike corrals, according to the city website. Portland has four times that, according to its website.

Looking back at downtown White Center’s history, the angled parking dates to 1992. Branching out into a multimodal transportation system was foreseen in the 2007 “We Create White Center” report, which includes the goal (on page 15) “Create a community that supports and encourages bicycling as a mode of transportation,” and recommends “increased bicycle racks” (on page 95). That was years before County Executive Dow Constantine made “confronting climate change” one of his signature goals.

The storefront, site of next Tuesday’s 6:30 pm meeting, is at 9609 16th SW.

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