Highland Park Way SW and Holden Street get a new temporary traffic light; Bridge closure prompts SDOT action
information from the Highland Park Action Coaltion
With the closure of the West Seattle Bridge due to cracks, motorists have been asked to take alternate routes to get across the Duwamish River. That means already busy roads and intersections like the one at Highland Park Way SW and Holden Street SW are going to get even busier, despite the stay at home order in place.
The Highland Park Action Coalition(HPAC), who have been leading the fight to have a roundabout put at that location said in their newsletter "We reached out to our contacts at SDOT, Jim Curtain, James Le, and Adonis Ducksworth as well as Councilmember Lisa Herbold requesting traffic mitigation for our area, specifically temporary traffic lights.
We asked how SDOT was going to shore up safety for HIghland Park Way / SW Holden and 16th SW and SW Holden with the anticipated shift in traffic – even if it is lighter during the stay at home order, we anticipated it will still mean an increase. We requested a temporary traffic signal and a plan to increase pedestrian and bike safety in the area.
Today, SDOT began installing the traffic signals."
They continued "Once the West Seattle Bridge was closed, traffic did increase so did the cars cutting through 13th Ave SW, 12th Ave SW, 11th Ave SW, SW Portland St. and SW Kenyon St. HPAC has put out the call for drivers not use the Highland Park and Riverview neighborhoods as cut throughs to avoid waiting to turn left on Highland Park Way.
With the West Seattle Bridge is closed, this leaves just 2 ways off the peninsular to Seattle, one being the 1st Ave bridge via Highland Park Way. If this was normal traffic time you would be backed up on SW Holden St from at least 16th SW, but maybe not right now. Whatever the case, do not cut through Highland Park side streets, it is not any faster then waiting to make the left. You are more likely to get T-boned on the side streets, more likely to hit a pedestrian, more likely to hit a parked car… all things those are awful and expensive in so many ways. Now, with the traffic light, you will encounter that from all directions.
Additionally, with folks heeding the stay at home order we have an increase in individuals and families taking neighborhood walks, biking and dog walking on the side streets. It is even more important to stop at four way intersections, even if there is not a stop sign.
As noted back in November 2019, Seattle City Council adopted the budget with the Highland Park intersections improvements project. The budget schedule includes $900,000 for 2020, $1.5 million for 2021 and $1.5 million for 2022. It was SDOT’s intention to hold an open house for the community to review proposed designs and give feedback. HPAC has an ask out to SDOT about other ways to gather this feedback and keep the project on track. We are tentatively still keeping our schedule April meeting on the calendar, although it may be held virtually.
See SDOT’s Project Page for more information and the early design plan.
I checked it out on my way back from Cap Hill.
This signal was much needed.