UPDATE: This post has been updated since it was first published. Details about the project and an open house have been added.
A major reconstruction of the intersection of Fairview Avenue N. and Fairview Avenue E. came one step closer to realilzation Wednesday with the announcement of city funding for the project.
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn announced that the Eastlake project will be among 11 city-wide constructed through the Neighborhood Street Fund Large Project program. The Fairview intersection will receive $500,000 in voter-approved funds from the Bridging the Gap transportation levy. Total cost of the project is estimated at $750,000.
The intersection in question is at the point where Fairview North turns into Fairview East by the ZymoGenetics building (see map). According to the Seattle Department of Transportation web page on the project, Fairview East peels off of Fairview North at a 130 degree angle, causing traffic heading north to “take fast, sweeping right turns onto Fairview Ave. E. across a huge paved area. Motorists heading south on Fairview Ave N from Eastlake Ave also take fast, sweeping right turns onto Fairview Ave E across a huge paved area. Both turns endanger pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists alike.”
According to the SDOT website, the idea behind the intersection project is to somehow “square off” the corner so cars will be less inclined to make a high-speed exit to Fairview Avenue E. (See attached drawing for one idea of how the intersection might look after the project is completed.)
The SDOT site says that, as part of the project, the department would like to install a pathway that would connect the intersection with a pathway that goes past Lake Union Drydock and NOAA. The idea would be to provide sidewalks at the intersection and give pedestrians shorter crossing distances as well as fill a gap in the bike/pedestrian link between downtown and the University of Washington.
Tim Ahlers, Eastlake Community Council president, is on the advisory committee for the intersection. He says in an e-mail that the drawing on the SDOT site is only an idea at this point, not a formal plan. The committe had its first meeting last week and talked about goals and brainstormed about how to meet those goals, he says. SDOT plans for the intersection may be presented at the committee’s next meeting.
A public open house on the project is planned for Wednesday, Oct. 27, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Seward School, 2500 Franklin Ave. E.
More about the project can be found on SDOT’s website.