Driveway improvements, more parallel parking considered for Sunset Avenue


What’s next for much-debated improvements on Sunset Avenue in Edmonds? Possibly some additional parallel parking spaces, improvements for residents’ driveways and better signage, City of Edmonds Public Works Director Phil Williams told the council’s Parks, Planning and Public Works Committee Tuesday night.

The city has “some unfinished business” regarding the scenic downtown roadway, Williams said — in particular, deciding how many additional parallel parking stalls could be added now that the controversial angle parking has been removed. As a result, parking on the street was reduced from 21 spaces to approximately 11, and the city is thinking about adding more parallel spaces.

During his presentation Tuesday, Williams told the council committee — which consists of Chair Neil Tibbott and Councilmember Kristiana Johnson — that staff conducted a turning radius study on Sunset to determine where to place additional parallel parking spaces so that residents could comfortably enter and leave their driveways.

The trial spaces painted in June 2017. (File photo by Larry Vogel)

The city in late June then used spray paint to lightly mark several addition “potential” spaces along the northern section of Sunset Avenue. Following that effort, staff had conversations with nearby residents about the trial spaces, and Williams noted that many were concerned that the additional spaces as placed would make it hard to come and go from their driveways.

The main reason for this, he explained, is substandard driveway widths and driveway aprons (the area between the sidewalk and the curb) –– “and that’s where we can help,” Williams said. To address the issue, he proposed that the city spend $46,000 to improve the areas where these problem Sunset Avenue driveways meet the street. The funding would come from savings in the budget for other Sunset-related tasks that have already been completed.

Other proposed Sunset improvements would include restriping of existing parallel parking spaces, plus efforts to discourage wrong-way driving at the Caspers Street/Second Avenue North interchange, which contributes to the between 12 and 24 people who drive the wrong way on Sunset Avenue each week.

A satellite view of the area near Caspers Street and 2nd Avenue North.

“We now technically don’t let people turn left onto 2nd Avenue when they are westbound on Caspers (Street),” Williams said. “That’s not an approved movement.” The only legal travel is to proceed north on 2nd and then turn right on Caspers to exit.

The entrance to 2nd Avenue North is a “one-way in” street — which was approved 20-plus years ago to prevent young people from cruising the area, Williams said. In addition to adding signage that flashes “Wrong Way” as people begin to drive along Caspers toward Sunset, Williams recommended the city consider allowing people to legally turn left onto 2nd Avenue North.

Now, in order to exit, drivers headed the wrong way on Caspers are forced to “back up onto a busy state highway” or turn around in someone’s residential driveway, he added.

Williams also proposed adding better signage overall along Sunset in an effort to prevent illegal parking there.

The city is planning to eventually place a raised curb along the walkway’s edge to separate pedestrian and vehicle traffic. But since Sunset will be impacted by a series of utility construction projects over the next several years, Williams is recommending that the pedestrian curb work be postponed until the final Sunset improvements are made.

Further discussion on these issues will occur at a future council business meeting, and residents will be notified in advance when the item will appear on the agenda, Williams said.

— By Teresa Wippel


12 Replies to “Driveway improvements, more parallel parking considered for Sunset Avenue”

  1. After all is said and done, one might wonder what the total cost of Sunset ‘improvements’ will be?

    ‘An elephant is a mouse designed to government specifications’


  2. Personally, I don’t understand why any “improvements” were ever made or are still under consideration. Edmonds has beach access and parks along the water that are accessible to anyone that wants to enjoy the view. If a person wants to sit in their car and look at the view then they can try to find a spot, but if one is not available, oh well. Park the car in an existing space and walk to a spot instead. So much money and time have been spent on this project. The residents on Sunset Ave. must be frustrated as well.


    1. I think the City should tell the taxpayers exactly how much money has been wasted on Sunset , thru all the studies, City staff time and alterations to the roadway.
      They could have used that money to fix some of the crumbling sidewalks in downtown.


      1. Absolutely agree Brent! What a boondoggle. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the way Sunset was originally. I do not know whose bright idea it was to ‘improve’ the street but it is an epic FAIL. What a waste of tax dollars. They need to stop this ridiculous folly and direct those funds to more important matters. I feel this is just another example of the City leaders doing what they want opposed to what the Citizens of Edmonds want.


  3. Can’t they just leave Sunset alone?
    what happened to the street quietness and less cars. In the future the street will be congested parking and all anyone will see are cars from top to bottom. Looking at cars for walkers and looking at cars for the residents. Has someone got a bee in their bonnet to really mess Sunset up??


  4. The two angled handicapped parking spaces (with stripes in between) have been removed, and not replaced. There is no way to safely exit from a wheelchair ramp anymore, unless you are brave (or crazy) enough to exit directly into a lane of traffic. It was perfect the way it originally was. I wish ADA access had been considered in the changes.


  5. What a mess! Construction every 50 feet, old parking marks, new parking marks, “potential” parking spaces, new lane lines… Did someone on Sunset offend someone on the council? It’s not even pleasant to walk there anymore – I can’t imagine what it’s like for those living there!



  6. Sunset used to be a great place to walk and drive. Friendly folks with lovely homes and spectacular gardens. Now it is just ugly, construction trucks everywhere and a street with markings that defy logic ( or any standardized meaning). All for a “test” because one citizen asked for it. Unfortunately there is at this point no turning back. Not a showcase any longer. And the friendly folks who live down there are sadly the victims of that test no one wanted in the first place.


    1. As I’ve said in earlier comments, the city should have already ceased reacting to every suggested change. While city staff have been working on Sunset too many times, their disruption has been for short periods of time as the repeated changes have been quickly completed. The “construction trucks everywhere” is more a result of at least one home each year being demolished and the long process of constructing the replacement home. My wife and I still enjoy walking there several times a week.


  7. I beg the citizens of Edmonds to hold our city council, specifically Adrienne
    Fraley-Monillas responsible at the ballot box. She’s the leader of all of this non-sense, she bully’s council members into keeping quiet or vote her way (the list is long and on record), makes excuses for discriminating against volunteers for city commissions. While not utilizing the diversity commission in place, to resolve her issues with a salary commission.

    Please don’t be fooled people. This is right from the script of Marxism. The people are too stupid and it takes people like me to make life right.

    Columbus Day vs. Indigenous People day. If people really cared about the indigenous people (American Indians), why not create an individual holiday to celebrate them and there contributions to our life today?

    She claims to be the champion of diversity, but didn’t refer the decision to our diversity counsel to address why the only 5 applicants for the salary commission were white males. Hmm. sounds like a community outreach opportunity, but nothing but blame from her.

    I could go on and on about her performance as our council president, but it doesn’t matter until election time.

    Instead of complaining and wasting brain energy, make your voice heard at the ballot box.


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