Demolition, bike lane, park concerns @ quarterly Morgan meeting

July 25, 2013 at 2:12 am | In Neighborhoods, West Seattle news | 10 Comments

(2012 photo of Lowman Beach Park and CSO project site to its east, by Long Bach Nguyen)
Almost a year after King County fenced off the vacant homes/apartments on the Lowman Beach site of the future Murray Combined Sewer Overflow Control Project storage tank, demolition will begin soon. That’s what the Morgan Community Association heard at its July meeting, in an e-mail from county project rep Doug Marsano, read by MoCA president Deb Barker. Since the meeting, we have asked Marsano for more timetable specifics; his reply:

King County’s contractor Tiger Construction & Excavation is finalizing its safety and traffic control plans, so initial work will begin in early August. The contractor will start with hazardous-material abatement inside the buildings, which will last about two and a half weeks. After that, salvageable materials will be removed from the buildings and then demolition will occur. After the buildings are down, the contractor will fill in the foundations with soil to ensure the site remains stable and safe until facility construction begins later this year. The deconstruction work will be complete by the end of September.

The million-gallon tank is to be built on what were six residential lots in the 7000 block of Beach Drive, bought by the county – which had said it would acquire them via the “eminent domain” law if it had to – for a total of more than $4.3 million, according to public records. It is part of a project meant to reduce sewage/stormwater overflows into Puget Sound from the nearby Murray Pump Station. According to Marsano’s letter to MoCA, the facility contractor is Shimmick Construction of Oakland, California.

Ahead, other notes from MoCA’s meeting – including the city Bicycle Master Plan Update and safety/beautification concerns for Morgan Junction Park:

With days left to comment on the city’s Bicycle Master Plan Update, SDOT’s Sara Zora came to the MoCA meeting, and got an earful about specific area concerns. MoCA vice president Chas Redmond said SDOT needs to be more accountable for maintaining lane striping, and said he suspects deteriorated paint is to blame for mishaps involving bicyclists.

As for future bicycle facilities in the area, the proposed SW Morgan hill bicycle lane resurfaced. You might recall that almost a year ago, the city seemed on the brink of creating the lane with no neighborhood discussion, with 45 parking spaces to be removed; MoCA’s Cindi Barker brought the issue up at a mayoral town hall in West Seattle, and shortly thereafter, SDOT put the lane “on hold.”

Concerns re-voiced at the MoCA meeting last week included the hill’s steep grade and how its residents would be able to use the curbside if parking were removed – could they stop to unload their vehicles? – as well as how Sylvan Way, which is what Morgan becomes east of 35th, would need improvement to become a bicycle connector to Delridge. Zora promised to take concerns back to her co-workers, and noted that the public-input process continues until the end of this week (e-mail bmpupdate@seattle.gov). The proposed updated plan, she said, is expected to go to the City Council in September.

The night’s other big topic: Morgan Junction Park. Barry White from Friends of Morgan Junction Parks (anticipating the future park next door, though the city says it probably won’t complete the purchase until next year) says the group is moving to a more formal schedule of work parties, after months of work that has filled in bare spots and cleaned out weeds in overgrown areas. Seattle Parks has given the group access to water, so they have watering and maintenance schedules outside their Saturday work parties. See some of their progress at their Facebook page, here.

Tod Rodman talked about park safety and locals’ perception that MJP does not look safe because of the people who hang out there. He said he has engaged with some of the regulars, talking to them about their use of the park and how some of what they’re doing is illegal. Police have been of some help, he said; VP Redmond suggested signage reminding people of what’s illegal in parks. Increasing awareness will be the major focus going forward.

FESTIVAL POSTMORTEM: There was a review of last month’s Morgan Junction Community Festival; MoCA estimates about 750 people passed through over the course of the day, and announced at the meeting that it had just received a grant covering the cost of the festival stage and the day’s premier children’s entertainer, Bubbleman.

TREE REPLACEMENTS: Cindi Barker is working on trees for some local areas in need of them – including replacements for some that died or were uprooted for pavement, utility work, etc. She’s working with business owners before determining the final locations; a city grant will pay for the trees.

Morgan Community Association meets quarterly; check in on what’s happening via morganjunction.org.

10 Comments

  1. Parking, parking, parking. Our city is LITTERED with cars. Have you ever really stopped to imagine how beautiful it would be without those ugly heaps of metal strewn in EVERY possible nook? They’re like so many used soda cans left all over the streets. Once again, screw anyone who is trying to live within their means and do something good for the environment and their own health. Who needs room for bicycles? We’ve got CARS to park.

    These stupid neighborhood associations talk incessantly about “beautification.” The cars are the ugliest thing we have and no one is willing to give up a parking space.

    Comment by Lynne — 6:23 am July 25, 2013 #

  2. Makes perfect sense, remove 45 parking spaces for the 20 people a day that would ride their bike there. What a waste.

    Comment by West seattleite — 6:56 am July 25, 2013 #

  3. I don’t think that the park looks unsafe, but it definitely looks uninviting when you have people passed out on the benches all summer. I see them as early as 7:00am on my way to work. I’m not sure that a larger park will make it any different, either.

    Comment by Gatewood Guy — 8:01 am July 25, 2013 #

  4. Makes sense, removing private property storage on public property so people can safely TRAVEL on the roadway.

    Comment by JN — 8:54 am July 25, 2013 #

  5. To clarify, although Shimmick Construction is the apparent low-bidder for King County’s Murray CSO Control Facility construction contract, the contract has not yet been awarded.

    Comment by Doug Marsano — 11:49 am July 25, 2013 #

  6. Private property storage? It’s public property either way no matter the use. And more people care about having a place to park their car than the 20 people who want a bike lane. So the common good for the public Would be better served with the parking. Or hey why don’t you volunteer to give up the parking in front of your house for a bike lane.

    Comment by West seattleite — 2:25 pm July 25, 2013 #

  7. Seems like perfect sense to get people out of their cars and onto bicycles. It’s very healthy, by the way.

    Comment by modern city dweller — 3:33 pm July 25, 2013 #

  8. Sure, let’s let the majority decide whether or not the minority should have something. Because that has worked out SO WELL throughout history.

    Comment by JN — 6:09 pm July 25, 2013 #

  9. There are no where near 45 parking spaces down there. They must be inclding the off street parking spaces used by the six lots to be removed. So we can deduct that number from the 45….and I’m talking at lease two of those structures are apartments.

    Comment by Cowpie — 7:37 am July 26, 2013 #

  10. Cowpie, you’re confusing two parts of this story. The 45 parking spaces are on Morgan where a bike lane is planned/proposed, between Morgan Junction and High Point, NOT the Lowman Beach project site.

    Comment by WSB — 8:13 am July 26, 2013 #

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