Petition: Emerson Street mess

Posted on November 6th, 2017 by Sara

By guest contributor Valarie Cooper

This is the text of the petition to be sent to the City of Seattle for reconsideration of the traffic changes to the Emerson Street/Gilman lane reductions. These lane changes have created huge backups entering the neighborhood without much input from Magnolia residents. Please go to the link below and sign.


Magnolia has 3 entrance/ exit points for this neighborhood, and until recently, a total of 6 functional lanes entering and 5 lanes exiting the Magnolia peninsula. With very little public announcement, SDOT implemented a traffic revision on the Emerson Street Bridge extending east to the intersection of Commodore Way, eliminating a full lane of entrance into the neighborhood.

The goal of this project was to connect bike pathways into Magnolia, but failed to consider that this is one of three entrance/exit points for the entirety of Magnolia and is an essential daily pathway for tens of thousands of Magnolia Residents.  

The city did outreach to the residences on the arterial feeding this route, but they also failed to extend their outreach beyond their standard adjacent roads, again lacking consideration how this is not a standard intersection in the city of Seattle. SDOT states that they are moving forward with this project, despite requests of local residents to meet and to re-consider the project.  

In light of the exceptional traffic back-ups caused by this revision, and the fact that Magnolia’s other entrance points – the Magnolia Bridge which has been deemed limited for long-term use, especially if there is an earthquake, and Dravus street which is experiencing exceptional up-zoning,  densification and congestion at the intersection at 15th Ave. W – residents of Magnolia and all visitors to this neighborhood need our city to duly consider how to allow appropriate traffic flow into and out of this neighborhood.  
There is no other community in Seattle with such limited road access. Magnolia also has many residents under the age of 18 and over the age of 60, which precludes a large majority of our community from being bike commuters.  

We wish the City of Seattle and SDOT to engage our community and to develop adequate and proactive plans for traffic routes as the financial security of the 20,000 residents of Magnolia depend on reliable and efficient roads in and out of our community.  

Many Magnolia residents have excellent and creative solutions for bridging the needs of the biking and driving residents of this community. If proper community engagement had occurred, we could have had this project roll-out with much greater success. We are hoping to re-evaluate this project with our city leaders and SDOT to find a more tenable solution.

Go HERE to sign the petition.

4 responses to “Petition: Emerson Street mess”

  1. Keith S. says:

    I would have preferred that the petition include some suggested remedies. I had been planning to write SDOT asking if they can fund a study on whether a regular traffic light at Emerson/Gilman would improve traffic flow. It could be timed to accelerate arrivals in the evenings (where traffic is now backing up to the Fisherman Terminal entrance) as well as departures in the mornings (maybe even reduce the number of people ducking onto 24th/Thurman to cut in front of the long lines of people turning left).

  2. Keith S. says:

    Also, I hate to nitpick, but there are still six lanes entering into Magnolia: I think you forgot about the fourth Street bridge connecting 27th Ave., West with Gilman. It is not intended for large amounts of traffic, but I have noticed more cars peeling off onto Commodore Way to take this road. Is at least worth including in your count, in the name of accuracy.

  3. Keith S. says:

    Sorry, typo: Fort Street, not fourth Street

  4. Miller Myers says:

    I both bike and drive along Government Way. I believe that the new bike lanes are dangerous for bike riders. I was perfectly happy with the previous bike lanes along Government Way. They made rational sense for both riders and drivers.

    The new lane configuration is going to make it hard for drivers to see bike riders. Its an accident situation waiting to happen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.