Dear Montlake Residents,
Over the last several years, the Montlake Community Club and the Montlake Transportation Committee have been working with the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) to address traffic and safety concerns in our neighborhood. The increased traffic on our neighborhood streets (due to the changes with the SR 520 project) has become a safety concern. SDOT takes our concerns and traffic calming requests seriously. Good progress has been made and we are already seeing some of the traffic calming measures being accomplished. Many more changes are to come.
Early next week you will be seeing a flyer from the City describing the traffic calming projects in Montlake. The mailer will outline information on the Montlake School safe route, changes to the neighborhood Greenway, and traffic calming projects in the Neighborhood Traffic Management Plant (NTMP). All these changes will help improve pedestrian and bicycle safety in our neighborhood. In addition, they should limit the cut-through traffic we are now experiencing.
The intersection at Lynn/22nd/23rd has been a topic of discussion in reference to both the NTMP and the Greenways project on 22nd and 23rd. Currently, the intersection at Lynn does not meet Greenways standards. For pedestrians, and bicyclists, the intersection is not safe. Children in particular are not safe walking to and from school. Several drivers have complained about the speed and confusion at this intersection. Others have expressed a need to eliminate, reduce and/or at least slow cross-through traffic.
SDOT is considering a redesign that includes the installation of stop signs as a way to make the intersection safe and to slow the traffic. Last week, SDOT spray painted the outline of some of the potential changes. Because this is a five-legged intersection it can be confusing. To minimize this confusion and to improve safety, SDOT is proposing the intersection would become an all-way stop. To meet SDOT standards, on-street parking is restricted within 30-feet of stop signs. Some of the immediate neighbors have expressed concern over the loss of parking spaces. Most would agree that in Montlake and many other neighborhoods, safety is first. The Montlake Community Club supports the proposed project with the understanding that stop signs will be added to the design. This intersection is still being evaluated and if you have concerns about this proposal, please share your thoughts, concerns, or questions with Montlake.firstname.lastname@example.org . The mailer you will be receiving will also ask the same question. This project will be paid for by Seattle Greenways fund.
We have also requested the installation of a signal at Lynn and 24th Ave E. and it is looking pretty promising. However, it is still being be evaluated by SDOT. Installation would be funded through the 23rd Ave E Vision Zero project separate from the state money for traffic mitigation connected with the SR520 construction. Assuming the signal moves forward, it must be designed (along with the associated curb ramps), equipment procured, and a construction plan/contract developed. Given the scope, we would not expect work to happen at the same time as 23rd Ave E restriping between Boyer and John this summer or fall.
Finally, through the process outlined in the NTMP, SDOT has received additional traffic-calming requests. These are being evaluated through the SDOT’s Operations Department based on traffic patterns, collision history, street geometry, cost and constructibility. SDOT will update us as decisions are made and enhancements planned. A lot of these projects will be funded through a Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) contribution of $250,000 to SDOT as mitigation measures related to the SR 520 Project.
Please plan on attending the upcoming WSDOT meeting April 17, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the Montlake Community Center to better understand the upcoming Montlake Phase of the SR520 project. SDOT will also be available to further explain these projects and answer your questions. Everyone needs to be vigilant to keep our Montlake safe and prevent the neighborhood from becoming a parking lot, a pass-through.
Thank you to everyone who has attended and commented at community meetings, written letters, made telephone calls and advocated for our neighborhood. By making your voice head, we are finally seeing progress.
The Montlake Community Club