Madison-Miller Transportation Scoping Session
July 24, 2002, 7-9 p.m.
Miller Community Center
Dan Piecora, Owner, Piecora's New York Pizza
Andrew Taylor, Chair, Miller Park Neighborhood Association
Charles E. Hamilton, President, Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce
Tony Mazzella, Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT)
For the past several years the Miller Park Neighborhood Association and others in the community (see map attached) have expressed concerns over the traffic impacts generated by recent residential developments and the impacts of future expected residential and commercial growth. As of September 2000 the Madison-Miller Residential Urban Village had already fulfilled 50% of the 20-year planning estimate for residential growth (after only six years). As of July 2002 the Association estimates that another 650-700 units under permit and additional commercial development would be built over the next 36 months. Finally, an upzone of certain properties on and adjacent to Madison took place in spring 2002 and raised further concerns over the pace and intensity of growth.
While SDOT has in recent years installed new traffic and pedestrian improvement projects within the community (e.g. curb bulb and signal at E Madison/20th/Olive), the Association believed that a more comprehensive planning strategy was needed, a strategy based upon a more thorough understanding of current and projected traffic patterns.
SDOT is currently undergoing reorganization and one key new objective for the Department is to build greater capacity to undertake comprehensive area-wide planning. While the resources required to include the Madison-Miller community in such a proposed planning process are not now available, SDOT is committed to working with the community to more precisely define key issues and identify the resources needed for follow-up.
Working together, SDOT and Miller Park Neighborhood Association sought to enlist a small group of interested residents, business people, developers and representatives of major institutions to meet to identify critical issues which could be included in a future plan and those concerns that could be addressed by a more focused/narrower scope analysis by SDOT in the near term. Several e-mail responses were also received from residents unable to attend the 7/24 meeting.
What Were the Most Important Things Said Today?
The most important concerns expressed by the citizen group were that
The group was very aware that the City could require developers to provide on-site improvements but felt that the cumulative effects of development upon the entire community was not being given sufficient attention. These impacts could be generally labeled as:
Congestion at major intersections such as 14th Ave./ Madison and 14th/Union
Cut-through traffic such as perceived to be using E John
Spill-over Parking such as near Meany Middle School (see also under RPZ below)
Excessive Traffic Speeds especially on 19th Ave. (see also under traffic calming below)
The ultimate objective of a community transportation plan would be to develop a series of traffic improvement projects that, if implemented, would help mitigate the existing and predicted development impacts. Specifically, to protect residential streets from excessive traffic volumes and speeds; reduce delays at intersections and provide a comfortable pedestrian environment even on the arterial streets.
What Could be Done Now?
The group also identified more immediate concerns which they asked SDOT respond to. (Following preliminary investigation it may be advisable to defer at least some of these issues to later planning process. The Association could provide individual contact persons on all the issues described below.) These issues include:
23rd Ave./E Madison
Revisit left-turn prohibition from NB 23rd to WB Madison to reduce cut-through traffic mainly on Thomas.
E Pike/14th Ave.
Too great a delay for EB traffic on Pike.
E Madison/22nd Ave.
Too great a delay for NB traffic crossing Madison.
15th Ave./E John
Difficult merge turning NB from John onto 15th, in order to continue EB on Thomas.
E John/E Madison/22nd Ave.
Traffic on John has trouble seeing approaching traffic.
RESIDENTIAL PARKING ZONE (RPZ)
Portions of 21st, 22nd Avenues and Thomas were mentioned as needing RPZs. Some concern was expressed about RPZ boundary rules not working well in meeting the community's needs.
Pedestrians need a safe way to cross 15th at north side of intersection.
Pedestrians have difficulty crossing 19th due to fast traffic that won't often yield.
Concern about the safety of the crosswalk.
Install permanent curb bulb at E John/21st Ave.
Excessive speeds on 21st and 22nd Ave.
These notes will posted on the Miller Park Neighborhood Association web page for review, comment and correction, and afterward, posted in final form. They will also be used by SDOT for formulating short and long-term responses by the appropriate Department units.