West Seattle, Washington
As we get ready for the second weekday of the Alaskan Way Viaduct closure, the West Seattle Water Taxi usage numbers so far are just in from the King County Department of Transportation:
West Seattle Water Taxi estimated ridership highlights (seven-day service)
April 29, 2016: 3,018 total riders vs. 963 riders on April 22, 2016.
Fullest trips: 236 and 219 passengers at 5:15 p.m. and 5:45 p.m.
Friday AM Peak (6:15-9:15 a.m.): 922 riders vs. 301 riders on April 22, 2016.
Friday PM Peak (3:45-7 p.m.): 1,471 riders vs. 423 riders on April 22, 2016.
April 30, 2016: 3,075 total riders, including one sold-out trip at 3:30 p.m. after the Sounders game, compared to 871 riders on Saturday, April 23, 2016.
May 1, 2016: 1,656 total riders, compared to 240 riders Sunday, April 24, 2016.
The WS boat Doc Maynard was NOT sold out for any of the Friday commute runs – it holds more than 270 passengers – so there’s room for more people to try it out. If you’re riding your bicycle, the boat’s rack holds 26 bikes:
If you’re parking a motor vehicle the added lot at Pier 2 (across from the 7-11 at Harbor/Florida) was significantly underutilized – park there about 20 minutes before your sailing, and catch a free added shuttle to the dock. Just remember the lot is locked between am and pm commute periods. Get complete info on the West Seattle Water Taxi and its Viaduct-closure-related changes by going here.
(2013 WSB photo)
The path under the west end of the West Seattle Bridge needs some TLC, so Swedish Automotive (WSB sponsor) is organizing another cleanup. Our photo is from one led by Swedish proprietor Dave Winters in fall 2013. They’re hoping you’ll be interested in helping out next Saturday, 9 am-noon, along the path from the bus stop to Chelan Café. This time, the city will provide all the equipment, so all you have to bring is yourself – and please RSVP to say you’re planning to help – call 206-938-8685 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) May 2, 2016
8:24 PM: Thanks for the tips – the May Day protest downtown has made its way toward SODO and police are reported to be taking action to keep protesters off the West Seattle Bridge. We headed toward the bridge to try to see what’s up and we are seeing Guardian One and media helicopters over 4th and Spokane, lots of police beneath it.
There may be some effects on access to the bridge – we are seeing police at intersections on lower Spokane beneath it. More to come.
8:29 PM: We’re in Beacon Hill at the east end of the bridge and turning around to head back westbound from Columbian. We have one texted report that access might be, or was, blocked from I-5. (update) We’re on the westbound bridge now and it looks like all the regular onramps are open now. Still a police presence under the bridge in the 4th/6th Avenue vicinity:
This appears to have been the tail end of what police described as a violent protest downtown. Here’s the latest SPD tweet, as the stragglers made it further south on 4th Avenue S:
— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) May 2, 2016
8:41 PM: SPD just tweeted that the seventh arrest of this protest was made in the Costco parking lot. Also, an update from WSDOT confirms the ramp to the bridge from southbound I-5 is open again. The protest had been unfolding downtown/Capitol Hill and vicinity so we hadn’t been covering it but suddenly texts and tweets started telling us about restricted bridge access as protesters approached SODO, and that’s why we jumped in.
8:48 PM: SPD tweets that the protesters were “contained” outside Costco and are dispersing in small groups.
10:03 PM: Final tally for the pm protest that ended in SODO, nine arrests, five officers hurt. Here’s a statement just issued by the mayor and police chief.
6:07 PM: Big “saltwater rescue” response headed for the Fauntleroy Ferry terminal right now. According to the scanner, the report is a possible kayaker in trouble about 200 yards offshore. More to come.
6:12 PM: Per the scanner, the person is OK – “just needs help coming to shore.”
6:15 PM: “Patient is out of the water.” Another kayaker is being towed to shore.
A rescue boat from a state ferry helped in the rescue.
(Added: Reader video, texted – thank you)
6:25 PM: Shore-side rescuers are at Cove Park north of the ferry dock. They tell our crew at the scene that the kayaker who got into trouble was a man in his 20s, out kayaking with a friend when his kayak took on water. He’s indeed on shore and doing OK, alert and conscious.
6:40 PM: Medics are taking the rescued kayaker to Harborview. According to their communication with the hospital, the kayaker was not underwater at any point, but had been hanging onto the kayak until rescued, so much of what they’re doing right now is getting him warmed up.
Just in from WSDOT, the update for Alaskan Way Viaduct Closure, Day 3, with tunneling-machine progress and traffic-flow changes:
Welcome to day three of the #99closure. After a slow and deliberate departure from the planned maintenance stop near Yesler Way, Seattle Tunnel Partners’ tunneling crews picked up speed in accordance with their plan for tunneling under the viaduct. As of 2 p.m. Sunday, Bertha, the SR 99 tunneling machine, had mined 39 feet of the approximately 385 feet of tunnel that must be completed before the viaduct reopens to traffic. STP determines the appropriate rate to mine safely and mining rates will vary as the machine passes underneath the viaduct.
Visit our tracking page to see a map showing Bertha’s progress.
Expect a more challenging commute Monday since Mondays are a traditionally heavier traffic day than Fridays. Go to our maps and resources page or see our travel alternatives handout to explore options other than driving. WSDOT continues to run a 24-hour-per-day command center with constant, real-time communication taking place with other agencies. And WSDOT’s Transportation Management Center also has extended hours with up to 12 additional Incident Response Teams ready to clear state roads of incidents as quickly as possible.
The Seattle Traffic Operations Center examined Friday’s commute and is adjusting by extending parking restrictions on Fourth Avenue South from peak periods only to all-day restrictions to help transit and traffic flow. In addition, the Seattle Department of Transportation added protected left turn signals at First Avenue South and South Hanford Street as well as First Avenue South and South Holgate Street to improve traffic flow.
SDOT will continue to work with the Seattle Police Department to monitor and adjust signals as necessary to maximize flow.
4th was a major trouble spot on Friday, according to commute reports from commenters during our morning and afternoon/evening coverage. We’ll be starting traffic/transit coverage early again tomorrow, 5 am.
The second and final day of the first-ever Westside Plant and Garden Art Fair is on! We stopped in just as the gate opened at 11 am and were pointed to the sign you see above, celebrating what a huge success Day 1 was. If you get there soon, you’ll still find some plants:
But there’s lots else to see and do, including kids’ activities. This is all happening in the lot outside Westside Unitarian Universalist Congregation at 7141 California SW in Gatewood.
Before you go, browse the official website!
Some of your West Seattle neighbors have been out doing awesome things this weekend. Thanks to Highland Park Action Committee chair Gunner Scott for the photos and report on Saturday’s HP Community Cleanup:
Thanks to the 15 neighbors who came out to pick up trash at Highland Park Playground; on SW Holden from Highland Parkway to 16th Ave SW; down Highland Parkway to Othello and the 3 traffic circles on 12th Ave SW at Thistle, Cloverdale, and Trenton.
A few more areas of West Seattle have cleanups in the works for this month – stand by for news on those!
Lots of West Seattle involvement again this year with the annual fashion show raising money to help breast- and gynecologic-cancer patients via Northwest Hope and Healing. For starters, NWHH’s executive director Kristina Dahl is from WS (as is NWHH’s founder Christine Smith), as is videographer Edgar Riebe, whose Captive Eye Media created the highlight video above. From Kristina:
Style ’16 was a smashing success this year, and we are so grateful to this community! Local boutiques Carmilia’s, Coastal Surf Boutique and West Seattle Runner (as well as other area boutiques) showcased fabulous fashions, and Ola Salon & Spa glammed up our inspirational models. The female models were all cancer survivors (several of whom are from West Seattle), some of whom are currently in treatment, and this year we were joined by the Bellevue Fire Department to model the men’s clothing (and they were a big hit!).
(Photo by Matt Browning)
Thanks to the incredible support of our community, the event raised an astounding, record breaking $205,000 to support women undergoing breast or gynecologic cancer treatment at Swedish Cancer Institute who need help with groceries, rent, utilities, and more, and we couldn’t be happier that NW Hope & Healing is growing so that we can help more women than ever in 2016.
NWHH’s next big fundraiser is the Alki Beach 5K on August 28th. Meantime, Kristina adds, “The need for our grants has risen dramatically, and we are determined to rise up and meet that need. Anyone wanting to get involved is welcome to contact me at email@example.com.” Find out more about NWHH via this video, also produced by Captive Eye Media.
Compared to Saturday … the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar is relatively quiet for this first day of May. With a few exceptions:
BICYCLE PRACTICE RUNS: Viaduct Closure, day 3. Want to try out bicycling from West Seattle before the next weekday commute? West Seattle Bike Connections members are leading rides at 9 am, from the High Point Library (info here), from Lowman Beach (info here), and from Morgan Junction (info here).
WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: 10 am-2 pm in the street, in The Junction. (On California SW between SW Oregon and SW Alaska)
WESTSIDE PLANT AND GARDEN ART FAIR, DAY 2: 11 am-3 pm, second and final day of this brand-new event in the lot at Westside Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Gatewood. See the official website for info on the vendors, kids’ activities, and more, including Jane the Goat from noon-2 pm! (7141 California SW)
WEST SEATTLE 5K REGISTRATION PARTY: Noon-4 pm today at West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor): “Not registered for the West Seattle 5K Run/Walk yet? Join us from 12:00 – 4:00 for an in-store registration party. Special early registration prices will be offered for the last time. Stop by, get yourself and family registered for the race, then take a look at the great products offered at WS Runner.” The WS5K (with WSB among the sponsors) is three weeks from today, on May 22nd. (2743 California SW)
‘DEATH OF A SALESMAN’ MATINEE: 3 pm at ArtsWest Playhouse. (4711 California SW)
MORE FOR TODAY AND BEYOND … on our complete calendar.