Video: Mayor’s whirlwind Admiral walking tour – six stops, 1+ hour, many hot topics

March 23, 2013 at 9:07 pm | In Neighborhoods, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 27 Comments

(With the mayor at 47th/Admiral, Alki Mail’s Don Wahl at left, Karl de Jong at center)
From transportation to development to education, Mayor McGinn‘s one-hour-plus visit to Admiral today, organized by the Admiral Neighborhood Association, touched on most of the hottest topics in town. No big promises, but during the finale of the visit, a sitdown conversation with attendees who had followed him to Alki Mail and Dispatch, he promised to take another look at the status of the longstanding request for a signal light right outside, at the 47th/Admiral intersection where Tatsuo Nakata was killed more than six years ago. Jerry Whiting from Jet City Orange video’d the group crossing the road:

The tour started on the California SW side of Admiral Safeway, with initial remarks by both the mayor and ANA president David Whiting as well as development discussions – including concerns about the proposed 400-foot-long apartment building at 3210 California SW, which goes to Design Review next month:

Next stop, the Lafayette Elementary playground, where Sean Reynolds explained the proposal for Phase 3 of playground (and vicinity) improvements that have been years in the making:

As you can hear Reynolds explaining to the mayor, the project has not made the draft cut for the Parks and Green Spaces Levy Opportunity Fund; the mayor suggested the next Parks Levy (being readied for 2014, according to what City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw told the Delridge District Council this week) might be worth aiming for.

The tour proceeded westbound through residential neighborhoods and made two stops – first, to talk about bikeability in the area, with ANA president Whiting yielding the floor to Don Brubeck of West Seattle Bike Connections formed after, as ANA’s Whiting prefaced, it was noted that West Seattleites hadn’t been providing much input for the revision of the city’s Bicycle Master Plan:

Not too far west of there, the group paused for another development topic – the changing face of neighborhoods, with old houses coming down, and big ones, sometimes more than one per lot, going up:

And then it was on to the 47th/Admiral intersection, where ANA has been trying to get a stoplight, but has been told both that it’s very low on the SDOT priority list – and that it should try for an SDOT grant. Toward the end of the subsequent roundtable discussion inside Alki Mail’s coffee-shop area, ANA past president Katy Walum (who helped lead a demonstration/tribute at the site in November 2011) eloquently made the case. You can hear her at 11:41 into this next clip, after other issues – starting with the recent cuts in bus service, and continuing with a question about West Seattle and light rail:

The conversation continued past the scheduled 2 pm cutoff, and as the mayor acknowledged, it could easily have run much longer, but he was past due at his second West Seattle stop of the afternoon, Southwest Pool (WSB coverage here).

Meantime, as the mayor (a former neighborhood-council leader) said more than once during the tour, getting involved with your neighborhood council is the best way to have a say in what’s happening and what’s being planned; if you live or work in the Admiral area, ANA meets the second Tuesday of each month, usually at 7 pm in the lower-level meeting room of Admiral Congregational Church (California/Hill).

27 Comments

  1. This is all nice yet what about the disabled and older people living west of the Alaska jt? There is no longer bus service to the QFC and Jefferson Sq for shopping which we used to have a bus that would get us to and from these places. Now we have to change buses for a 2 block ride or walk from the Alaska jct to these places yet if we lived north of the Alaska jct we would have bus service to these places. We have a little older lady in her mid to late 80′s whom has fell tring to get to these places and has broken a hip. She is just one of many of the older people living in the Morgan jct area that have been cut off from shopping. It to me seems as if nobody really cares about them. It seems as if they are being told deal with not being able to get out on their own anymore.

    Comment by michael ford — 9:22 pm March 23, 2013 #

  2. Nice work all. Thanks to the neighborhood folks who took time away from their families and friends and busy schedules to help our community, and thanks to the Mayor for listening. Great stuff.

    Comment by Mark — 9:24 pm March 23, 2013 #

  3. awww, gee, I missed him…oh, well..

    hope it did some good.

    I would love to see him do a walking tour around the bottom of Highland Park Way and W. Marginal….

    Comment by JanS — 9:42 pm March 23, 2013 #

  4. This guy is an idiot.

    Comment by Q — 10:01 pm March 23, 2013 #

  5. Yawn.

    Meanwhile, crime is getting increasingly worse in our city, particularly in West Seattle.

    What has McSchwinn done to improve our city in his lone term as mayor?

    Comment by West Seattle Hipster — 10:09 pm March 23, 2013 #

  6. Hipster…there has always been crime…you are just hearing about it more now. Before the intarwebs, we had to rely on the newspaper…wasn’t as quick nor as thorough.

    A “hipster”, huh…

    Comment by JanS — 10:17 pm March 23, 2013 #

  7. Yes, the West Seattle Blog has been an invaluable source for what occurs in WS. Unfortunately, it seems the crime stories are all too prevalent these days.

    Seattle needs new leadership.

    Comment by West Seattle Hipster — 10:33 pm March 23, 2013 #

  8. If somebody had a crime concern to bring up, they didn’t show up. They could have – after the prescheduled stops, the roundtable discussion was open floor. Speaking of crime, SW Precinct Capt. Joe Kessler is coming to the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting Tuesday night (6:30, precinct) for the first time since his return to West Seattle. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 10:52 pm March 23, 2013 #

  9. Would have loved to have been there, but family priorities came first.

    I have emailed the mayor on several concerns, and to his credit he responded. Be that as it may, I do not think he is qualified to lead a city the size of Seattle and is in way over his head. He has done many favors for the special interest groups who helped to elect him.

    Comment by West Seattle Hipster — 10:56 pm March 23, 2013 #

  10. Hey Michael, you’re right. That’s not only including West of the jct. RapidRide doesn’t do anyone any favors living South of the Junction either. With only two whole stops –not even stoping in front of 7-11 or Rite-Aid, they practically miss the whole California Avenue corridor heading South. I know there are a ton of Seniors that live South just past of 7-11. That is a hell of a walk up to Easy Street in the Junction for medically challenged people who need to get to downtown using RR. The 128 or 50 doesn’t cut it.

    Comment by Jiggers — 11:11 pm March 23, 2013 #

  11. Agreed with Q and Hipster.

    Comment by T — 2:58 am March 24, 2013 #

  12. “including concerns about the proposed 400-foot-long apartment building at 3210 California SW, which goes to Design Review next Thursday:”
    ~
    this design review was changed to April 11; it is no longer next Thurs
    ~
    http://westseattleblog.com/2013/03/design-review-date-set-and-reset-for-2-south-of-admiral-projects

    Comment by Diane — 3:08 am March 24, 2013 #

  13. He should put a speeding camera there so he can extort more money out of his citizenry. He’s a beast and he has got to go.

    Comment by rbj — 5:04 am March 24, 2013 #

  14. There is more crime since this Mayor came in its not just that you are reading it more. But as much as I don’t favor McGinn in police issues I think that WSB coupled with the community is one of the best crime fighting tools we have. The police are monitored (literally) so heavily now that in lots of cases they need ‘permission’ to do their work now (no thanks to McGinn etc). Proactive policing is gone. So its up to us to get involved and help them do their jobs in a climate where their every move is challenged. This is why repeadetly you here Kessler and the blog say over and over ‘report it’.

    Comment by True — 8:43 am March 24, 2013 #

  15. thanks, Diane, typo. Next Thursday is 4755 Fauntleroy. I meant next month, fixing.

    Comment by WSB — 9:33 am March 24, 2013 #

  16. I’m sure our Mayor has good intentions but his vision is much too narrow to serve Seattle’s varied population. I agree he’s in a position that he doesn’t have good qualifications for but he’s probably a good person so I don’t hate him. I just want someone who cares about those of us who can’t ride bicycles any longer and need a good transportation system serving all of our neighborhoods as well as safe thriving communities to live and raise our families and, yes if we’re so lucky, grow old in. I guess the county officials have more control over the bus system that our mayor does??

    Comment by Norma — 10:50 am March 24, 2013 #

  17. The bus system is a King County operation – but certainly the mayor of the county’s largest city should have a strong interest in advocating for its citizens.

    Comment by WSB — 11:16 am March 24, 2013 #

  18. Fix the WS roads, get rid of the stupid bus pad at northbound california and Fauntleroy It BLOCKS THE STREET more then a minute everytime a bus stops.

    Comment by seriously — 12:23 pm March 24, 2013 #

  19. McGinn is a terrible mayor – I voted against him last time and will again this fall, hopefully with a better outcome … he is incompetent at best, and perhaps a fool.

    But calling him a “beast” is moronic and classless and reveals that you (rbi) aren’t worth taking seriously.

    btw folks … City of Seattle has nothing to do with buses … direct your ire to King County.

    Comment by wscommuter — 5:43 pm March 24, 2013 #

  20. He was voted in only because Nickels was so bad it didn’t matter.

    Comment by toodles — 5:32 am March 25, 2013 #

  21. I have to agree with Jiggers and Michael on transportation issues for seniors and the physically challenged. It’s not just the bus issues, there is no where to park. a friend tried to go out to dinner last week and couldn’t find a spot within 2 blocks. With the increased population density there are parking issues. Many of the new projects do not include adequate parking. The proposed Pod apartments offer no parking. Street spots that were once available are now taken by those having to drive to the Admiral or Alaska Junctions. Police do not enforce parking around neighborhood schools. Parents park in handicap marked spots, block driveways, park in alleys and speed through non-improved alleys.

    If the mayor is set on high density housing In West Seattle, he needs to address these issues and find a way to provide infer structure to support the additional traffic that uses the WS bridge. He has the ability to address these issues. But from the viewpoint of many of us and especially the disabled in the community, he is more concerned with bike lanes and his pet issues than creating an inclusive environment in this city.

    Comment by Rarejem — 8:24 am March 25, 2013 #

  22. Rarejem,
    The point of the Greenways projects and bike lanes is to make it safe for people of all ages and abilities to walk, ride a bike, or use a walker or wheelchair or scooter from their homes to schools, libraries, shopping, community centers, or friends in their neighborhoods, like we used to do before there were so many two car households and so much traffic. If those who are able start walking and riding bikes for these short trips, it will mean less car traffic, better safety, and more parking for those who need to drive. It is not about the bike. It is about creating a more livable community for all of us.

    Comment by Don Brubeck — 8:48 am March 25, 2013 #

  23. Don, obviously you are not disabled. I Have first hand experience. I cannot ride a bike nor can Many who are disabled walk more than a block or two on flat even sidewalks. Many sidewalks are in disrepair and there are far too many hills in WS. Try walking from Genese Hill to the junction with a walker or better yet try using a wheelchair. The bike lanes are not the place for walkers and wheelchairs. many bikers may not be as gracious as you may be, as it stands now, these folks would get run over or have rude remarks thrown at them or even threatened. This has already happened with neighborhood parking issues in the past by a Schmitz Park parent who was illegally parked in an alley when asked to move his BMW SUV so a disabled person could access their garage. He threatens to hit the person. Many of my senior and disabled neighbors who rode the bus to the market and pharmacy are now required to drive, rely on friends, family or neighbors to accomplish these tasks. This effectively denies them access to the community and making it much less live able. The disabled have been adversely affected by the many narrowly focused projects in this community.

    Comment by Rarejem — 9:15 am March 25, 2013 #

  24. Norma and wscommuter. — Oh but the City does influence the Bus System and has spent large sums of money to Metro’s Rapid Ride debacle!!

    Comment by dwar — 1:00 pm March 25, 2013 #

  25. Correction: The 3210 California proposal is 450-feet long. (447-feet to be exact.)

    Thanks.

    Comment by JW — 2:55 pm March 25, 2013 #

  26. Rarejem, I’m sorry. I did not mean to suggest that bike lanes out in the roadway would serve people using wheelchairs or walkers. I meant to say that the Greenways streets will be improved not just for bikes but also will have better sidewalks and stop signs or traffic calming at crossings to make it safer for pedestrians of all ages and abilities, and disabled people using chairs or scooters. I have been temporarily disabled with a broken hip, so I do understand some of the challenges.

    Too many residential streets in WS don’t have any sidewalk at all.

    We are also working to get dangerous arterial intersections like Fauntleroy/36th/Avalon improved for bikes and pedestrians in a way that reduces crossing time and improves vehicle sightlines, while still working for buses, trucks and cars.

    Most bike and pedestrian advocates recognize that better streets for walking and riding are just part of the picture. Better bus service is another critical part, as is para-transit and parking for disabled people. My hope is that if we can accomplish enough of this we will have less rude and raging behavior, and will enjoy traveling around West Seattle.

    Comment by Don Brubeck — 7:14 pm March 25, 2013 #

  27. You’re not going to like this. I heard on channel 5 news this morning that a $1 million bus stop just opens in Arlington. Normal bus stops cost about $30,000, with a seat and weather protection. The “super stop,” which opened March 11, is the first of 24 new bus stops that will also accommodate Arlington’s long-planned streetcars. It has 10-inch high curbs and 90 feet of concrete, large enough for two buses to pull up at once. It will shelter 15 people at a time, an important benefit for the 16,000 people who each day take the Columbia Pike buses to work, school, shopping and entertainment spots.

    “You’d think for $1 million they’d have a heated bench and a restroom,” Jon Fisher said. “Where we’re from, they built a whole highway rest stop for $1.5 million.”

    They are planning on building 20 more.

    Comment by Felicia Forrest — 10:20 am March 28, 2013 #

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