In 2016 the FCA was receiving many complaints about speeders along Fauntleroy heading to the West Seattle bridge. Reports cited motorcycles heading northbound passing cars on both the left and the right side of the cars. There were also complaints of the noise coming from the motorcycles as they came off the ferry early (before 6 AM) and heading north.
On Jan 4, 5, 6 of 2017 two members of the FCA signed out a radar gun from the Seattle Department of Transportation to try and better determine the extent of the morning speeding and traffic noise. While not the peak of motorcycle traffic season efforts were made to record traffic speeds (cars and motorcycles) going both north and southbound along Fauntleroy beginning at 4:20 AM.
The permissible speed limit along Fauntleroy at that time was 30 mph. On Jan 4 observation began at 5:40 AM and continued thru 6:00 AM. On Jan 5, the observation began at 4:20 AM and continued thru 6:00 AM while on Jan 6 observation began at 4:20 AM and continued thru 6:40 AM. All observations were done from the 8200 block of Fauntleroy across from Lincoln Park.
On Jan 4 at 5:40 AM motorcycles were traveling northbound from 47 to 58 mph. Cars at that same time were traveling in excess of 40 mph. Southbound traffic which was exclusively cars were traveling generally in excess of 40 mph.
On Jan 5 at 4:20 AM cars were traveling northbound between 38 and 40 mph. The only motorcycle at that time was traveling at 42 mph. At 5 AM cars were traveling northbound at 38 to 43 mph while motorcycles were going 40 to 47 mph. At 5:40 AM motorcycles were traveling northbound at speeds ranging from 41 to 64 mph and two motorcycles were observed passing cars. At 6 AM a police car was part of the line of traffic heading north and everyone was traveling under 40 mph.
On Jan 6 the automobile speeds heading northbound at 4:20 AM ranged from 33 to 39 mph. At 5 AM two motorcycles were traveling 47 and 53 mph while automobiles were traveling from 36 to 43 mph. At 5:40 AM motorcycles were traveling northbound from 49 to 63 mph passing all other traffic. Average speed for the remaining traffic was 35 mph. At 6:00 AM there were no motorcycles and all automobiles were traveling between 30 and 35 mph. At 6;27 4 motorcycles were heading northbound at speeds ranging from 34 to 43 mph. At 6:37 there was heavy traffic from the ferry. The first 4 vehicles were motorcycles traveling from 46 to 50 mph. Traffic after that was all slowed due to the presence of a bus. Southbound traffic was generally traveling from 36 to 46 mph.
These data were shared with City Council and SPD. SPD placed an empty police car along Fauntleroy and that slowed some of the traffic for a couple days until the car and motorcycle traffic figured out that the police car was empty. Because SPD’s Traffic Department, who is responsible for setting up radar speed traps around the City, does not start until 8 AM from the downtown office they did not provide any requested assistance to ticket the speeders. The SW Precinct did have a police car issue speeding tickets for one day but they didn’t start until about 8:00 AM with the day shift which had no impact of the early traffic.
In 2020 with the West Seattle bridge being closed, traffic coming off the ferry mainly heads south on Fauntleroy and then either east on Barton or south on Marine View Drive. In the survey conducted by FCA beginning in Nov 2020 the most frequent complaint was traffic speeding. It was both on the arterials as well as thru neighborhoods as cars tried to avoid the long back-up lines from the ferry by cutting thru the side streets to get around the off loading ferry traffic lineup.