Although the Seattle Department of Transportation still hasn’t determined the exact day it will close the 15th Avenue bridge over Thornton Creek, Maple Leaf residents already are concerned about an increase in traffic on side streets during the 11-month project.
At the Maple Leaf Community Council Executive Board meeting last night, members and attendees raised concerns about where signs will be placed informing drivers of the detour, which will direct them to Roosevelt Way and Lake City Way via Northeast 80thStreet and Northgate Way.
To keep drivers off of 15th Avenue and its side streets, the department plans to put up flashing signs warning drivers of the detour, but project manager Kit Loo says the SDOT may remove those signs after a couple of week when drivers “become oblivious.”
But if the removal of those signs, or simply the lengthy detour alone, leads to an increase of traffic on side streets, he and SDOT public information officer Maribel Cruz want to hear about it.
“I strongly encourage that if you have anybody that sees increased traffic on residential streets to let us know, and we’ll try to work something out,” Loo said
Considering that the actual bridge is just south of Northgate Way, but that the detour on the opposite end is more than 20 blocks to the south, many drivers may try to make their own way through the residential streets to speed up their commute and avoid traffic on the arterial.
Cruz says the SDOT plans to send out fliers to Maple Leaf residents early next week to notify them of the upcoming changes, and she added that they will post the exact start date of the project as soon as it’s available on their Web site. Current estimates put the start date sometime in March, as the department continues its search for a contractor.Tweet