SDOT removing illegally placed concrete blocks, building protected bike lanes

Aug 29, 2022, 6:21 PM

concrete blocks...

(KIRO 7)

(KIRO 7)

The Seattle Department of Transportation will build protected bike lanes in the Delridge district after many streets were recently obstructed by illegal concrete blocks used to deter people living in RVs from parking.

The blocks were initially placed along Southwest Andover Street in June after the city of Seattle removed a long-standing RV encampment.

The concrete blocks, sometimes called “ecology” or “eco” blocks, are approximately one ton in weight, making them nearly impossible to move without specialized equipment.

Nucor Steel, the business neighboring the blocks, took responsibility for the blocks and removed them after the transportation department issued a warning on June 23, according to The Seattle Times.

Seattle does not issue permits for the concrete blocks, and it’s unlawful to use them to block a public place including sidewalks, parking spaces, or public streets. Twenty-five warnings have been issued over the last year as of this reporting.

The issue stems from the paused enforcement of the 72-hour parking law, requiring no vehicle exceeds 72 hours parked in a singular public location. Last October, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and Mayor Harrell stated the city will resume enforcing this law, but they have only removed “obviously abandoned vehicles” as of May.

King County Council is currently working with the King County Regional Homeless Authority (KCRHA) to create safe lots for RVs to park intermediately.

KCRHA recently awarded the Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) $1.9 million to relocate 50 homeless RV-dwellers into permanent housing via the safe lot program. This will serve 50 clients and approximately 35 RVs LIHI works towards transitioning safe lot clients into permanent housing to keep those 50 spaces open to new individuals.

Last year, approximately 40% of Seattle’s homeless population lived out of vehicles.

Seattle business owners and homeless population grapple over concrete barriers

The bike lanes will run on both sides of Southwest Andover Street and down 28th Avenue Northwest to Southwest Yancy Street. The city is also considering an uphill protected bike lane on Southwest Yancy Street.

Until the project is completed this fall, public parking may not be available during construction hours on weekdays and temporary no-parking signs may be placed in advance, the department said in a news release.

The design, estimated to cost $25,000, is funded by the Levy to Move Seattle, according to The Seattle Times.

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SDOT removing illegally placed concrete blocks, building protected bike lanes