Neighborhood News Gleams: SDOT Seeking Input on Rainier Ave Safety, City Funds 5 South End Community Projects, and Constantine Proposes Flat Bus Fare

collected by Antonio Foster

SDOT Still Seeking Community Input on Rainier Avenue Safety Project

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is seeking input on the second phase of safety improvements along Rainier Ave S from S Kenny St to S Henderson St, as part of Seattle’s Vision Zero effort to end traffic deaths and serious injuries on city streets by 2030.

“I’m looking forward to continuing the safety improvements we have seen in Columbia City and Hillman City and extending the safer speeds further south along Rainier,” said Seattle City Council President and Council District 2 representative Bruce Harrell. “I encourage the community to take a look at the options and share their feedback for a safer Rainier Avenue.”

With two design options for community consideration, the project goal is to enhance safety for all travelers, primarily by reducing vehicle speeds on the City’s highest crash corridor. How to participate: visit the Rainier Avenue Online Open House at through August 31.

“After the first phase of improvements on Rainier in 2015, we saw speeding drop by 70 to 80 percent. That’s a huge difference,” said SDOT Director Scott Kubly. “If a person walking is hit by a driver going 40 mph, their likelihood of survival is 10 percent. At 20 mph, survival is 90 percent. Speed really does mean the difference between life and death. We want to continue this positive trend on Rainier.”

Design Option 1 includes:

  • A northbound Business Access and Transit (BAT) lane to improve bus reliability
  • Additional on-street parking along parts of the street
  • Accommodating future RapidRide Expansion

Design Option 2 includes:

  • A north-south bike route
  • Transit islands to improve bus efficiency, as well as on-street parking

Both design options aim to reduce serious and fatal crashes, improve bus reliability, and continue improvements made along Rainier Ave S. In 2015, SDOT redesigned Rainier between S Alaska St and S Kenny St. Since those changes, we’ve seen zero fatal collisions, significant speed reductions, and improved transit travel times (read the full report on the Rainier Ave S Safety Corridor for more details).

Phase 2 of the project covers Rainier Ave S from S Kenny St to S Henderson St. We anticipate finalizing design in fall 2017, with construction starting in 2018. See a full description of the options and walk through an online open house at through August 31.

Five South Seattle projects receive financing from Neighborhood Matching Fund

On Thursday Mayor Ed Murray announced an investment of $1,299,520 to support 27 community-initiated projects across the City, including five in South Seattle. The awards are from the Neighborhood Matching Fund’s Community Partnership Fund which offers matching funds of up to $100,000 to community organizations committed to fostering and building our community. These awards range from $12,000 to $100,000 with the 27 organizations pledging a total of $1,282,518 in community match resources of volunteer hours, locally raised money, donated materials, and in-kind professional services.

The Neighborhood Matching Fund consists of two funds: the Community Partnership Fund, which is offered three times a year with cash awards up to $100,000; and the Small Sparks Fund, which is offered on a rolling basis throughout the year with cash awards of up to $5,000. The next Community Partnership Fund application deadline is September 25.

The funds investment in South Seattle projects breaks down as follows:

$23,000 to Friends of Detective Cookie Chess Park to develop 30% construction drawings by early 2018 and complete a site survey for permitting. (Community match: $11,541)

$49,700 to Rainier Beach Link2Lake Open Space Steering Committee to create schematic design for improvements at Be’er Sheva Park. Possible improvements include greater shoreline access, walkways, and art installations. Extensive community involvement will occur. (Community match: $25,315)

$55,800 to Friends of Hawthorne PTA to lead an extensive community engagement process to design a more welcoming and engaging exploration and play-space at Hawthorne Elementary School. (Community match: $47,745)

$17,000 to Xbot Robotics to organize a series of STEM robotic workshops for upper elementary and middle school students in Southeast Seattle. Open to all youth, recruitment for the workshops will target underrepresented students, especially immigrants and refugees, who may lack access to STEM activities and robotic kits. (Community match: $26,960)

$100,000 to El Centro de la Raza for physical improvements to the building which houses community projects, cultural programming, and activities. The improvements consist of replacing the outdated boiler control system, thermostats, and fan motor system. (Community match: $70,000)

Constantine Proposes $2.75 flat Metro fare

King County Executive Dow Constantine announced a proposal  on Thursday to simplify Metro’s fares by changing the regular adult fare to a flat $2.75, with no extra charges for travel during peak periods or across a zone boundary. The proposed legislative package also would take several actions to increase assistance for riders with low-income and to reduce barriers to getting ORCA cards.

No fare changes are being considered for youth, senior, disabled, ORCA LIFT, or Access fares.

The County Council is expected to consider the legislative package over the next few months. If the proposed changes are approved, they could take effect as soon as July 2018.


One thought on “Neighborhood News Gleams: SDOT Seeking Input on Rainier Ave Safety, City Funds 5 South End Community Projects, and Constantine Proposes Flat Bus Fare”

  1. SDOT hold these meeting as they did before giving away two lanes of Rainier AV S through Columbia City. There were 150 citizens in the room only one person spoke for the road diet. everyone else was solidly against. At the end of the meeting they announced the change would take place 3 days later. They had no intent of paying any attention to the people at the meeting. The Mayor was there as was Bruce Harrell.

    This City and SDOT does not pay attention to the citizens. We need to get rid of the Mayor. We need to get rid of the who City Council they are an embarrassment to have such a lame bunch running a city of this size.

    I encourage everyone to vote against the sitting member of the City Council. I have lived and worked here in SE Seattle for 52 years. With leaders like these it is no wonder our traffic is so bad. To mention just one of the areas they have let and lead into complete chaos.