Busy agenda at last night’s Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council (WWRHAH) meeting – police, transit, and more.
TRANSIT HUB UPDATE/WESTWOOD SAFETY: More progress in a longrunning major issue for WWRHAH – chair Amanda Kay Helmick says Metro is going to make small adjustments to the “wall of buses” stop along the south side of Barton (WSB photo, above, from coverage of December WWRHAH walking tour). First, the 21: Instead of being outbound from 26th/Barton, they’re going to move up to layover and leave from 35th/Roxbury. Helmick said 3-6 pm was the prime time for the “wall.” Helmick said she toured Westwood Village with an SDOT rep who said the 30th/Barton crosswalks would be reinstalled/repainted, as will those at 35th/Henderson, by the library, and 25th/Henderson on the east side of Westwood Village. They also plan crosswalk studies at 25th/Trenton and 29th/Barton. The 26th/Barton RapidRide stop will not get a 3-way stop, she added, but some sort of visibility signage is being evaluated. The bus zone was pushed back as promised, Helmick said, but she thinks it would benefit from a little more distance. Meantime, what if a transit hub were created IN Westwood Village – on the northwest side by the post office? WWRHAH wondered. One attendee brought up the problematic area near McDonald’s on the south side; Helmick said she’s heard that the McDonald’s is going to be remodeled and that will address some of the challenges. She said later that WWRHAH is also wondering if maybe Westwood Village should be included in the pedestrian-retail zone review that is under way at the city level right now.
SOUTHWEST PRECINCT CAPTAIN STEVE WILSKE: As he’s done at other community meetings, he began with details on his 27-year background with Seattle Police. He’s “been in this job for about six weeks now,” but just started a full-time focus on it after an “extended transition” from his previous roles. He said he now has two weeks to come up with his “summer plan,” and he hopes to incorporate the Mounted Patrol – with which he used to work – because its officers and horses can “go places nobody else can.” Another initiative: He says everyone he’s met has expressed an interest in getting more crime information, so the Southwest Precinct will likely have a pilot program to allow you access to crime info beyond what’s available now.
Helmick brought up the concerns about Roxhill Park. “We’ve been working really closely with SPD; a lot of the stuff we’re seeing is petty – smoking marijuana, drinking, graffiti – but we’ve also seen beatings, stabbings, rapes, so we’re very concerned about that.” Historically, they haven’t seen much foot patrolling in the area, Helmick said, but a walking path could take officers through the park and Westwood Village and all the way to schools – in either direction – especially 2 to 4 pm.
Wilske said he would like to reinvigorate bike patrols. But that would be an occasional visit. Right now, he said, they’re using the Anti-Crime Team “to try to get out ahead” of property crime. He also will be putting in a request for special emphasis officers on Alki. Carol Baker from Seattle Parks asked about the Community Police Team; Capt. Wilske said he’d like to add one more person to the team, since they can focus on issues such as “there’s a problem house out there somewhere.”
Asked if they are short officers, Wilske said as far as he knows the department is not too far behind its authorized total of sworn officers.
Helmick asked what kind of partnership SPD and KCSO could have because of the shared issues, considering that “criminals don’t care what side of the line they’re on – or maybe they do” if there’s an enforcement difference. (She also pointed two members of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council board who were on hand, president Barbara Dobkin and board member Liz Giba.)
Capt. Wilske says the crime analysts do talk, and they look for similar cases – they determined the recent 26th/Roxbury rape/attack was not related to a 2013 case here on the city side of the line.
An attendee said he doesn’t see police cars around much, but if he had a “ticket book, I could write tickets all day long.”
ROXHILL BOG: Following up on WWRHAH’s recent discussion kickoff, Helmick said they’re interested in looking at how Thornton Creek up north was daylighted, linking the Longfellow Creek situation to rehydrating the bog. Next month’s WWRHAH meeting will take a closer look. (See the bog page on the WWRHAH website.)
SEATTLE PARKS UPDATE: Robert Stowers, who noted he grew up in West Seattle and attended Chief Sealth, is accountable for the South Region outdoor parks – “from Montlake Cut (southward) to the city limits.” He was here to pitch the Parks Legacy Plan, which might lead to a vote this summer (possibly on creating a Metropolitan Park District). A public hearing is coming up, 6 pm April 7th. Read more about the plan here; about the hearing, here. A new taxing district isn’t the only option for Parks funding; several others were presented to the City Council in a Monday afternoon meeting – read about them here.
SOLARIZE WASHINGTON: Mia came to speak about Solarize Seattle, whose next campaign will happen in West Seattle, she said. They’ve had five “campaigns” to try to organize a community campaign to buy solar power systems. “The prices are definitely coming down, and we’re getting better at doing outreach,” she said. It’s a project of Northwest SEED, and you can read more about it here. Mia was asked how much a system might cost – $20,000-$40,000 for a home, but then you get a big tax credit. And there are low-interest “zero money down” loans available, she said.
NPSF GRANT APPLICATIONS MOVING AHEAD: Here’s first word on what’s advanced from the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council review of community-proposed projects seeking Neighborhood Park and Street Fund money:
*Roxhill Park improvements
*More features for the crosswalk coming to Delridge outside Boren
*Highland Park pedestrian beacons, 11th/Holden
The proposal docs are linked in our coverage of last month’s DNDC meeting. More reviews are ahead before a decision is in on whether any or all will get city money.
WEST SEATTLE TRANSPORTATION COALITION: Joe Szilagyi said guests for the WSTC meeting next Tuesday are close to “half the engineering staff of SDOT.” More details at westseattletc.org.
NEIGHBORHOOD SUMMIT: As noted on WSB earlier in the day, the agenda is out for the summit at Seattle Center this Saturday, April 5th, 9 am-2 pm.
30TH/ROXBURY SIDEWALK FINISHED: An attendee pointed out that this work has just been completed, and everyone should go take a look.
WWRHAH meets on first Tuesdays, 6:15 pm, Southwest Branch Library (35th/Henderson).