Construction blockage: 8100 Greenwood Ave. N. Fwd: Another Greenwood-Phinney DR 2015-10 SDOT Abdication

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Douglas MacDonald

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Sep 15, 2021, 6:54:54 PMSep 15
to Christoph...@seattle.gov, Diana.H...@seattle.gov, Greenwood-Phinney Greenways Google Group, Robin Randels, Byers, Susan
Dear Mr. Luedke:

I’ve just caught up with youyr repy, and thanks for it.

While awaiting any further information you might develop, may I ask theis simple question: 

Is SDOT still committed to adhering to one enforcing the standards for protection of pedestrian accessibility adjacent to construction projects by following DR 10-2015?

When the rule was issued, SDOT was eager to create a public expectation that DRS 10 - 2015 would bring a new day and put the end to a long-standing serious problem  

The public was told

"Look for more specifics with the January implementation, including a Standard Operating Procedure document that will help address questions raised during outreach."

I looked recently for such a document and couldn’t located it. Could you plee help me find it? And:

"The updated rule, which is legally binding, is supported by a new progressive enforcement procedure that focuses on providing clear direction to reduce infractions, and heightened attention on those with cumulative violations."

So where are we now? For openers, whose portfolio in the SDOT Table of Organization actually responsible that the letter and the spirit of DR 10-2015 is today being furthered at SDOT?  In particular, today where stands (location, people, resources and results) SDOT’s capability or delivering on the DR 10-2015 promise? 

I’m sure you remember SDOT’s self-congratulation at  the programs national reception on rollout. Is SDOT still able to pat itself on the back, given the results we see on the  sidewalks and streets?

I asume in addition to the email to which you responded, you also saw an earlier email concerning two other sites I’ll forward it to you to make  sure you have its

Begin forwarded message:

From: "Luedke, Christopher" <>
Subject: RE: Another Greenwood-Phinney DR 2015-10 SDOT Abdication
Date: September 13, 2021 at 5:57:07 PM PDT
Cc: "Holloway, Diana" <Diana.H...@seattle.gov>

Mr. MacDonald,
 
I wanted to follow up with you about your message that included City of Seattle Street Use Staff in expressing concerns about pedestrian access concerns in the 8000-8300blocks of Greenwood Ave N.  I’m not sure that I can speak to every concern and comment raised but want to assure you that we take your input seriously. 
 
Street Use personnel were dispatched to the site following your request to ensure that no unpermitted work impacts were continuing to take place and verify that existing impacts were permitted and operating under approved plans.  We will do our best to make sure that those provisions under which projects in the area are permitted to operate are abided by.
 
As to the suitability of pedestrian routes and SDOT Traffic policy in terms of use of marked or unmarked cross-walks I can reach out and see if we can connect you with more information if you wish, but pedestrian detours may generally use state-defined legal crossing points, which is a different criteria from whether or not the crossing is formally marked or signalized.
 
Christopher Luedke
Inspections Manager, Street Use
*He/Him/His
 
 
From: Douglas MacDonald <dbmac...@earthlink.net> 
Sent: Tuesday, September 7, 2021 12:07 PM
To: Greenwood-Phinney Greenways Google Group <greenwood-phi...@googlegroups.com>
Cc: Byers, Susan <Susan...@seattle.gov>; Burgesser, David <David.B...@seattle.gov>; Dougherty, Brian <Brian.D...@seattle.gov>; Nelson, Alyse <Alyse....@seattle.gov>
Subject: Another Greenwood-Phinney DR 2015-10 SDOT Abdication
 
CAUTION: External Email
In the Phinny-Grseenwood area here’s another example of SDOT’s seemingly complete abandonment of DR 2015-10 to protect pedestrian accessibility at construction sites that block sidewalks  This is apartment building construction site is at 8103 Greenwood Avenue North.  
 
No pedestrian protection whatsoever!  This is how the site was left for Saturday morning of a three-day holiday weekend.  
 
Of course, this is a heavily used urban village sidewalk, even on a Saturday morning. so walkers just use the roadway with not even a shadow of protection from live vehicle traffic (view from the south).
 
 
Viewed from the north, this is what you see.
 
 
The suggested “detour” would take you across Greenwood at a busy intersection with no marked crosswalk.
 
 
 
This lack of pedestrian markings on Greenwood has seemingly led exasperated anonymous citizen sidewalk painters to paint a crosswalk themselves at 83rd.
 
 
The lack of pedestrian protection at the construction site in the 8100 block isn’t because SDOT thought the curb lane couldn’t safely be sacrificed for pedestrian protection (as indicated by DR 2015-10). One block to the south in the 8000 block, SDOT has been perfectly happy with, and permitted, the curb lane to be re-purposed for a beer garden.  
 
 
 
Does anybody think it’s strange that during the pandemic as SDOT landed on “walkability” as an important response that would put streeteries in curb lanes and “Safe Healthy Streets” around the city as the focus for its dollars and staff, SDOT couldn’t stay on top of enforcing DR 2015 -10 rules for the basic proposition of protecting everyday sidewalk accessibility on everyday sidewalks around everywhere construction sites?  

Luedke, Christopher

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Sep 17, 2021, 5:59:48 PMSep 17
to Douglas MacDonald, Holloway, Diana, Greenwood-Phinney Greenways Google Group, Robin Randels, Byers, Susan

Mr. MacDonald,

 

In reference to your response here and the additional attached:

 

Street Use is charged with and does enforce the Director’s Rule – starting with applying it to approved conditions for work (including traffic control requirements, hours of operation for impacts, etc.) during the permitting process.  In the case of unpermitted work, we are unfortunately left in the undesirable situation of reacting to it as we encounter it.  Response can also be complicated by conditions at time of Inspection – which do not always match conditions that may be encountered at all times.

 

Inspections staff was dispatched to evaluate the conditions described in this area.  Unpermitted work was addressed and cleared at that time, and to the best of the Inspector’s ability to determine at the time, remaining impacts were compliant with permit conditions. 

 

Daily inspection of specific sites in not typical given our resource limitations and workload.  However, given the issues in play here I certainly agree that elevated attention is needed, and will work with my staff to ensure both an added level of auditing and review of area traffic control/pedestrian provisions, and elevated monitoring of potential unpermitted work that may be popping up here at this time.

 

 

Christopher Luedke

This is the earlier email about two other sites Fwd: Has Director's Rule 2015-10 been repealed or suspended? Or, if still in force, what about enforcement?.eml

Douglas MacDonald

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Sep 22, 2021, 2:47:47 PMSep 22
to Robin Randels, Greenwood-Phinney Greenways Google Group
This response is in reference to the conditions I complained of on Greenwood across from the library one block to the north.

To judge it, I think I’ll have to take a walk up there this afternoon.

I’ve heard nothing about the site further south on Greenwood or the really ridiculous situation (which may be changing anyway) on 85th at Phinney,  

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Douglas MacDonald

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Sep 22, 2021, 10:54:10 PMSep 22
to Christopher Luedke, Robin Randels, Greenwood-Phinney Greenways Google Group, Holloway, Diana, Byers, Susan, DeNys, Rachel (DOT)
I had a chance today in the 8100 block of Greenwood to ground truth Mr. Luedtke’s report, which is below.

Based apparently on SDOT’s welcome intervention, the situation is much improved.  Good on SDOT. It is still not exactly a DR 2015-10 poster child. However, the sidewalk is now open. The “Sidewalk Closed” signs have been put away. It looks as though construction equipment that was being parked on the “closed sidewalk” has been appropriately re-positioned in a parking place round the corner. Kudos to Mr. Leudtke for what hs been done. Photo documentation providing more detail of the current improved situation follows the next section:

On the other hand: Big construction project on north side of 85th at Phinney. Truly abominable,. 

This is a big project. It should be strictly held to the requirements of DR 2015-10. The sidewalk is ostensibly “open” but the condition of the walking surface - uneven crushed stone adorned with dirt piles here and there with all kinds of trip and fall hazards — would never meet the standards of the DR 2015-10 protections for pedestrian safety and accessibility. This contractor needs to fix this situation, and keep it fixed, as this project moves to completion  

View across 85th o the project. The “sidewalk" on 85th is hidden behind the bus. 
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