West Seattle Weblog… | FOLLOWUP: Solutions to 2 questions on proposal to tear down Delridge pedestrian bridge
We reported about it last week SDOTs proposal to remove the Delridge / Oregon Pedestrian Bridge rather than strengthening it as long planned. This week, SDOT continues to ask for your thoughts, with an ongoing online survey and two in-person opportunities Friday and Sunday. After this first report, two questions remained open and we have answers to both of them. First: what does the cost comparison look like? The answer to that is in part – SDOT spokesman Ethan Bergerson WSB says, “The seismic retrofit project that would be necessary to keep the bridge safe from earthquakes would cost approximately $ 4-5 million (based on preliminary estimates).” But, he says, they have no estimate of how much the demolition would cost. The other question was related to that sentence in the last paragraph of the SDOT announcement we published: “The removal of the bridge will help support SDOT policy that focuses on pedestrians.” Several commentators noted that this sentence did not Seemed to make sense. So we asked what “guidelines” this was referring to. Bergerson’s answer:
“We’re building a new pedestrian sign and a marked zebra crossing over Delridge Way SW on SW Oregon St so people can safely cross the street without using the pedestrian bridge. Before this project, there was neither a zebra crossing nor a pedestrian signal at this point. The new signal and zebra crossing were a community request submitted to the Your Voice, Your Choice program a few years ago. We took the opportunity to do this work efficiently and added the intersection improvement to the Delridge Way SW – RapidRide H Line construction project.
“The new signal and zebra crossing are safer and accessible to everyone, so we expect it will be a more popular way of crossing the street than the existing pedestrian bridge. People walking and rolling on Delridge Way SW can cross the street at ground level instead of climbing the steep spiraling ramps to the bridge, which are a long stretch, become slippery in the rain and pose challenges for people with disabilities, young children, elderly People and cyclists. Most importantly, the new signal and zebra crossing is fully accessible for people with disabilities and complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), including curb ramps on the sidewalk and a vibrating and noisy push button letting people with vision or hearing impairments know when it is safe to cross the street. The pedestrian bridge is not ADA-compliant due to the steepness of the ramps and other lack of accessibility features. With the new signal and zebra crossing providing an easier way to cross the street, we believe that many community members will eliminate the need for the footbridge and move it out of the way. “
And if mining were cheaper, he added, money not spent on seismic retrofitting could be spent on “other safety or pedestrian improvements”. But he insists there is no decision yet – so if you haven’t given any feedback, here’s the link to the survey again; You can speak to SDOT representatives in person in front of the entrance to the Delridge Community Center (4501 Delridge Way SW) Friday, August 27th 2-4pm and Sunday, August 29th, 1-3pm.