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January Transportation Report

The Transportation Committee met online Jan. 4 and Jan. 18. with an on-site meeting at 38th and Hilyard on Jan. 26 regarding the sidewalk infrastructure.
Due to driver recruitment and retention issues, LTD has cut back on a total of 5 scheduled trips in our neighborhood involving routes 24 and 28: Be sure to check the schedule before heading out. The Transportation Committee supports the drivers’ union, who previously reported to us about forced overtime and lack of days off due to the lack of drivers. We will advocate for the full schedules to be re-established once staffing issues have been resolved.
A meeting with our new LTD Director, Heather Murphy, has been scheduled for Zoom on Monday, March 20th at 7:00 pm. The meeting will be open for all from SEN who wish to meet Ms. Murphy and will have a Q and A component.
Dennis called the on-site with Reed Dunbar Senior Transportation Planner, with specific concerns about the bump-out planned for the right northbound turn at the intersection at 38th and Hilyard St., which is planned as part of the new sidewalk infrastructure grant project there. Below is the sketch and explanation provided by Reed:

“There are a few reasons that the curb extension on the northeast corner of 38th/Hilyard was designed for construction.  I’ve attached an annotated drawing and some notes below.

    1. The EWEB power pole at this corner is an immovable object.  In designing the sidewalks along the east side of Hilyard Street we’ve tried to keep trees and power poles (and fences) where they are and weave the sidewalks around them.  In order to weave the sidewalk and provide ADA compliant sidewalk access ramps in this location, extending the curb was necessary.
    2. There are not sidewalk access ramps shown across Hilyard on the north side of E 38th Avenue because the cross slope of the street did not allow the ramps to meet ADA requirements.  However, when the street is repaved, sidewalk access ramps will be added.
    3. Another reason sidewalk access ramps were not included on the north side of E 38th Avenue across Hilyard Street is the upcoming EWEB project.  That project will dig up the west side of Hilyard Street so we are not sure that the curb extension on the west side of Hilyard will be added as part of the sidewalk project in 2023 or as part of the future paving project since the project schedules for 2023 conflict.  So, with the status of the western sidewalk access ramp unknown, adding one to the east side is not considered good practice.
    4. The northeast curb extension bumps out into E 38th Avenue because it was necessary to achieve ADA slopes for the sidewalk access ramp.  Again, see comment a. above, we could not move the power pole and there wasn’t room to add a ramp within the existing curb line.

Thanks for taking the time to voice your concerns.  It gave staff a lot to talk about and I understand your point of view – that adding the curb extension to the northeast corner of 38th/Hilyard will make right turns from E 38th Avenue to northbound Hilyard Street more difficult for large vehicles or when towing a trailer.  However, for the design reasons listed above the curb extension is deemed necessary to meet ADA requirements for the new sidewalk on the east side of Hilyard Street and will be included in the construction project.”

Leo continues to work with city planners about the 33rd Ave. throughway and requests for increased attention to pedestrian and bike path safety measures there. He points out that the number of speeders indicated from the speed study did qualify the stretch for speed calming, and that this is a metric that needs to be looked at city-wide. 

Jess followed up about the Spring Boulevard Bridge seismic evaluation but has not heard back yet on whether the promised evaluation was completed.

The Transportation Committee will work in the coming months on developing a comprehensive yearly plan so that threads of work do not get lost as new issues arise.

Our next meeting is Wednesday, February 15th at 1:00-2:00 via zoom.

Jess Roshak

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