Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Your Kid Going to Roosevelt in the Next 3-5 Years?

It's going to be a very tough time in the neighborhood.  There is no way it will not possibly affect Roosevelt and its community.

I just attended a community meeting at Roosevelt High School about the building of the light rail station that will be directly west of the school.

First, as a resident, it is definitely NOT going to be fun.  In fact, despite promises about mitigation, I (and many at the meeting) believe it is going to be a traffic nightmare.  Despite, several good suggestions about trying to help the traffic situation, we were told "we'll see how it goes" and "Ask SDOT."  Not so reassuring.

The real down and dirty work starts in late spring/early summer 2014.  It will continue until the station finally opens in 2021.


But, to the current and future students and parents at Roosevelt, I think that you, too, are in for unpleasant times.  There were a few current RHS parents at the meeting who wondered about the ability for dropping off and picking up students.

More important came the news about the rate of trucks hauling "spoils" (waste) from the drilling.  They will be diesel trucks - big ones - at a rate of about 10 an hour.  They will pull out of the middle of the site on 12th NE (and probably have to swing wide into both lanes before they straighten out).

Those trucks will be traveling up 12th NE, right past the RHS sports field, as they go to the freeway.  My husband asked about filtration on those trucks to mitigate those diesel fumes and it was pretty much shrugs all around.  (They say they will not have any more particulate matter than is legally allowed.)

Early on (probably fall/winter of 2015), at 65th and 12th (a major thruway for RHS students to get to Roosevelt Square to eat (and many of them leave campus), that corner will narrow to two lanes with no parking on either side so heavy, heavy traffic.

Apparently Sound Transit has talked with RHS administration but I don't know how much has been transmitted to parents.  That said, I'm not sure FUTURE parents know this is coming.

There will be NO parking around the school and the one small parking lot?  Good luck using that.  I'm sure the school will  help parents form carpools and send out regular updates on the progress of the construction.

Also to understand, there will also be several buildings going up right around RHS all during those years.  More traffic, more construction.  It will be challenging.

I offer this as a big heads-up to parents, both current and near-future.  Roosevelt is a great school and I'm sure they will think of creative ways to manage traffic and, most importantly, keep student pedestrian traffic safe.  That is truly my biggest worry for Roosevelt (well, that and the fumes from all those trucks).


13 comments:

Anonymous said...

I will have a kid/s at RHS from 2015 - 2024. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

NE Mom of 3

mirmac1 said...

Might be helpful to find out how truck traffic and noise was controlled at the Capital Hill site for U-Link. The streets are narrow and there is more pedestrian and car traffic.

Review the tunnel contract documents and see the limitations placed on the contractor. There are strictly controlled truck routes, noise and site constraints.

In the end, the station and transit-oriented development will be an asset.

Josh Hayes said...

Thanks for the info, Melissa. I'm student-teaching at RHS now, and the recent changes have played havoc with my bike commute. I'm hoping I'll be able to swing north of it and go around, but we'll see what barriers go up where.

On the whole, though, I think the benefit of having the light rail there will be tremendous. It'll be a huge pain getting it done, but once done -- it's like a big dental project, right? Unpleasant during, but well worth it.

Anonymous said...

We have major construction going on down the street from my house, with a week during which there were at least six dumptrucks/hour hauling away soil (one of those three-story-hole-in-the-ground projects). The trucks would idle right in front of my house while waiting for the previous truck to leave the site. I did not notice diesel fumes, and even the noise wasn't too awful. If it had been summer, when we leave doors/windows open, it probably would have been a much bigger bother. I hope that it won't be a huge problem at Roosevelt. I tend to agree that it will suck for a long time during, but will be worth it.
~Garfield Mom

ben said...

Several bad pun/allusions about rough rides come to mind reading this entry.

What also might have an impact is the city's intention to add a bike track on 65th. I'm not sure how they plan to channel traffic during rush hour with all the bus stops along the way.

Ben

Bruce Gray said...

To add a few quick things regarding North Link station and tunnel construction:

- The most intense trucking will be over the course of about 14 months to support mining the tunnels from Roosevelt to UW. The trucks are needed to haul out the "muck" as the tunnel boring machines dig the tunnels. That work is scheduled to start in mid to late 2014, although there will be truck traffic associated with digging the station pit before then.

- We've worked closely with SDOT on the truck haul routes and will be constantly monitoring traffic impacts throughout construction and will address issues as they unfold. We've got a lot of experience coming out of the Capitol Hill mining and station construction and will put that to work in the Roosevelt neighborhood.

A great way to stay informed about the project is to get on our project mailing list or feel free to email northlink@soundtransit.org for more information. We have dedicated construction outreach staff who will be with the project from start to finish. Last night's presentation should be online shortly at: www.soundtransit.org/northlink

Thanks,
Bruce Gray
Sound Transit

Anonymous said...

Given the SPS' track record and the ongoing issues discussed here every day, how does anyone know there kid will attend Roosevelt in 3-5 years????

Confused

Eric B said...

Bruce, thanks for showing up. Do you know if the trucks doing the hauling will be newer/cleaner models? EPA has been continually updating diesel emissions requirements, and trucks from the last few years are much cleaner than those from a decade ago.

Bruce Gray said...

Eric,

Your best bet will be emailing the northlink@soundtransit.org address regarding the trucks. To my untrained eye, the trucks we had hauling from Capitol Hill were all newer models. Given the volumes we're dealing with, the contractors can't cut corners on equipment.

Bruce Gray
Sound Transit

Melissa Westbrook said...

Really, Mr. Gray, I'm sure all that monitoring with SDOT will come to nothing if the answers to questions last night that involved SDOT are any example.

Nearly every single one was answered either "we don't know" or "ask SDOT" or "we have to see." For example, everyone who lives in the Roosevelt/Ravenna/Maple Leaf area knows about Banner Way and 75th and we have for years. It's overcrowded and a massive mess on Fridays. It needs a light and has for decades and the trucks will only make it worse. As people who know this, we then tell you and there's a shrug and "we'll see."

My husband asked about the trucks and didn't hear this answer you just gave about the trucks.

Don't come here and wave off the concerns.

Bruce Gray said...

Without an SDOT representative at the meeting, there really wasn't much more we could say when answering questions about traffic concerns. Next time we'll be sure to have someone from that side of the job on hand.

Meanwhile, if you email our outreach folks they can put you in touch with the right people at SDOT to register your concerns, which we will also do as part of our coordination.

Until the work starts, all we can really say is that we had a good experience on Capitol Hill dealing with these issues in a very similarly constrained environment. We'll put that to good use in Roosevelt.

Bruce Gray

Melissa Westbrook said...

With all due respect, Capitol Hill is not Roosevelt and the two work areas are not going to be the same at all. And, just like I told the Kirsten at the meeting, none of us like being patronized.

NE Mom of 2 said...

Hi Melissa! With all due respect, I don't think we should be attacking Mr. Gray. As a Sound Transit representative, he was simply providing the information he had and giving us a way to contact Sound Transit for more information. I appreciate his willingness to both read and respond to these posts and don't think he should be criticized.

As a *near future RHS parent, I plan to use the email address he provided to voice my concerns.

Thanks.