West Seattle, Washington
Maybe it was traffic, maybe it was the clouds gathering to the west … took a while for the crowd to build at tonight’s season kickoff for Summer Concerts at Hiawatha, but eventually, they were there. Along with Smokey Brights, the first of this year’s six acts:
Smokey Brights is a Seattle quintet, together since 2011.
Summer Concerts at Hiawatha go back even further, now in their 8th year, presented by the Admiral Neighborhood Association, with sponsors including WSB. Next Thursday (July 28th) at 6:30 on Hiawatha’s east lawn, bring your chair/blanket to see and hear The Banner Days. Full season lineup is here.
ORIGINAL REPORT, 8:50 PM THURSDAY: We often publish photos of bicycles found around West Seattle, likely stolen and dumped. Most of the time, those photos are from readers. Tonight, the photos are from Seattle Police. Detective Scotty Bach says, “On Monday, we arrested a couple of criminals in a stolen vehicle. They had these two bicycles which were likely stolen near the Morgan Junction.” He’s hoping to find the owner(s): “To claim, email firstname.lastname@example.org – I will need the owner to provide a police report number, serial number or receipt of purchase.”
UPDATE, 10:26 AM FRIDAY: Det. Bach says this report has led police to “the owner of the red Cervelo. The bicycle was stolen from a vehicle in the 7400 block of California Ave SW. We are still looking for the owner of the white Pinarello.”
We’re at the Sisson Building in The Junction, where the Southwest Design Review Board – meeting for the first time in more than a month – has just recommended final approval for a proposed 4-story apartment building in South Delridge, “The Edric,” at 9021 17th SW [map]: 32 units, 32 underground vehicle-parking spaces, and 15 bicycle-parking spaces. Here’s the design “packet” with the renderings that were shown; this was the third review for the project.
“The project has come a long way,” observed SWDRB chair Todd Bronk, who had criticized the original early design last October as a “mini-fortress.” Presenters from Blue Architecture pointed out changes made in response to previous feedback include removal of some “articulation” on the building’s sides, addition of blue accents, “softening” the appearance of the retaining wall, as well as enlarging its “amenity space,” adding seating area and changing the landscaping to add some lawn area nearby. They’ve also improved visibility for the parking-garage entrance/exit. Each floor is expected to have four 1-bedroom units and four 2-bedroom units.
Without public comment or major new criticisms, this project review ended early, after barely an hour. Up next at 8 pm, the board’s first look at 2749 California SW, the mixed-use project with 112 apartments and a new PCC Natural Markets (WSB sponsor) store on the site of the current one.
P.S. Regarding 9021 17th SW – you can still comment until the permit’s issued; contact assigned city planner Tami Garrett (who was at tonight’s meeting), email@example.com.
After more than a year, SDOT has just gone public with what it’s decided to do on SW Admiral Way, between Admiral Junction and Alki. Here’s the full text of the e-mailed announcement, including plans for “walk-and-talk” meetings on August 20th:
We’ve spent the last few months incorporating feedback into a street design that will reduce speeding and crashes and preserve parking where it’s in high demand.
We heard during public engagement that people are driving too fast along SW Admiral Way, crashing into parked cars, and residents are afraid to cross the street. In fact, one mother choked up at our first public meeting at the thought of walking her children across SW Admiral Way.
When we started the project data showed there had been 71 vehicle crashes, two bike crashes and one pedestrian crash between 2011 and 2014. From January 2015 through May 2016 an additional 34 crashes have occurred. This statistic shows that crashes along Admiral Way SW have increased by nearly 28% in the past 1 ½ years. The neighborhood has people who’ve lived here for decades, new families, and visitors enjoying Alki Beach. Each person deserves safe travel whether walking, biking or driving.
After sharing a few designs with the neighborhood, studying on-street parking occupancy during the summer, and talking with community members, (the map above shows) what will be installed.
You may be wondering how the new design improves safety. We have proven success throughout the city that narrower travel lanes reduce the speeds people drive and the number of crashes.
We are also adding buffered bike lanes. Adding buffered bike lanes makes the street operate more predictably by giving everyone a space; and makes biking more comfortable, which can encourage more people to give it a try.
Here is how your input was included:
· Parking study. We conducted an on-street parking study during the month of August. Study times were 5-7AM, 1-3PM and 5-7PM on a sunny Saturday and Tuesday. The study confirmed what you told us. Parking spaces on the west end of the street with convenient access to Alki Beach are in high demand.
· Center turn lane. At our first public (meeting) you suggested we remove the center turn lane rather than impact on-street parking, so we did in the high-demand parking area.
· Left turn access at 57th and 59th Avenues SW. At the second public meeting, you requested left turn access to help reduce the risk of being rear-ended. We’ve included the access. To make room for them, about nine on-street parking spaces will be removed on the south side.
· Crosswalk at 61st Ave SW. We asked if you would like a new crosswalk in this location and one is included in the project.
Here is what we were not able to include and why:
· All-way stop at 59th Ave SW. You suggested we change the pedestrian activated signal at this location to an all-way stop. Unfortunately, studies showed that an all-way stop at this location did not meet guidelines. However, we have agreed to look at it again in the future.
Finally, we heard you want improved pedestrian crossings and supplied information on where. We’ll conduct a second round of outreach on August 20 in the form of “Walk and Talks” to gather site-specific input and talk about low-cost opportunities (visit web site for more details). The Walk and Talks will build off of comments collected through the first phase of outreach. Any improvements identified would be installed as a second phase of construction.
Our project web site at seattle.gov/transportation/swadmiralwaysafetyproject.htm has information on the walk and talk; and a flier with similar information will be mailed early August. Construction information will be shared as soon as available. However, work to restripe the street is expected to be completed before October 2016.
BACKSTORY: The first version of the plan was unveiled in April 2015 at an Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting. Ten months have passed since the second and final community meeting held by SDOT – which wasn’t planned until community members demanded it.
Datapoint regarding one assertion in the city news release: The “mother who choked up at (the) first public meeting at the thought of walking her children across Admiral Way” was reacting to what the city was proposing at the time, removing parking on the side of the street where her family lives, as noted in our coverage of that meeting.
Following up on Wednesday’s arrests in High Point in connection with a fight on the shoulder of the east end of the West Seattle Bridge:
Hearings were held for three of the suspects today. Bail was set at $225,000 each for two men, 18 and 20; a juvenile-court judge ruled that a 17-year-old boy should remain in detention. The fourth person taken into custody yesterday, 19, was not booked into jail. Probable-cause documents include more information on what police found out:
(At 2:19 pm Wednesday), officers were dispatched to an accident scene where the parties involved were fighting. This was happening westbound on the West Seattle Bridge just off the exit ramp from southbound I-5. Witnesses said 4 guys (were) beating up another and trying to throw him off the bridge. Vehicles involved were a silver car and a red car. …
(At 2:22 pm), complainant advised that the red car sped past him onto Fauntleroy SW from the bridge. The victim tried to follow the suspects throughout West Seattle but lost them at 36 SW and SW Snoqualmie. The victim gave the suspect-vehicle plate … The victim advised he was standing by at that location.
Police say the victim had a bloody face, possible broken nose, and badly chipped front tooth.
Just in case you see either of these and wonder – thanks to tips, we’ve already checked them out:
RAPIDRIDE SHELTER AT FAUNTLEROY/ALASKA: Christine Deppe from West Seattle Office Junction (WSB sponsor) sent the photo and wondered about the removal of the shelter next to Les Schwab:
Metro’s Jeff Switzer responded to our inquiry: “The small shelter was removed today and will be upgraded to a larger shelter, to be installed tomorrow (Friday, July 22nd).
BROKEN GLASS AT 45TH/ADMIRAL: Al sent the photo:
Since we were already asking about the Triangle shelter mentioned above, we asked about this too. Switzer says, “Thanks for the heads-up. Staff are submitting a work order to repair the glass at that shelter.”
Saturday, August 27th, 10 am-4 pm, South Seattle College (WSB sponsor)
First 200 vehicle registrations get dash plaques
What’s planned so far:
*Live music and a DJ
*Seattle Fire Department
*Drawing for a donated drone
SSC will have its Northwest Wine Academy open on West Seattle Car Show day for tours and purchases, as well as beer sales. You’ll also be able to tour the SSC Automotive Technology and Auto Body programs. If you’d like to join the list of Car Show sponsors or vendors, find the applications here.
We happened to be driving 35th SW less than an hour ago when we noticed Engine 37 heading to a “brush fire” call a block away, so we followed. A patch of tall, dry grass was burning on the vacant, to-be-developed lot on the north side of Graham at 34th SW. As we tweeted while standing there, it was out literally within two minutes of the Seattle Fire crew’s arrival.
Seemed too small to mention here, but we heard High Point management just put out a notice about it, so in case you were worried, this is what happened.
Thanks for the tips about the construction-office trailer arriving on the west side of the site of the future Aegis Living West Seattle project, at 4700 SW Admiral Way, wondering if that means demolition is finally near. Last time we checked in with Aegis, they expected to get their demolition permit in June. They do have the permit now, spokesperson John Yeager tells WSB, and: “We will mobilize the first week of August. We’ll start demolition on August 8th, give or take a few days.”
The former Life Care Center building has been empty for more than three years; Aegis bought the site in late 2013 and got Design Review approval last February for a three-story center with 80 assisted-living and memory-care units.
The state has formally asked the federal government to declare Puget Sound – and some contingent waters including Lakes Union and Washington – a “no-discharge zone.” Right now, vessels can discharge sewage into the Sound in some situations; this proposal – which would be phased in over several years – would ban that. The Department of Ecology‘s news release has details; this DOE page explains the process, now that the state has officially petitioned the EPA.
(Spotted towhee, photographed by Mark Wangerin)
Our calendar has A LOT going on today/tonight, so please check it out in addition to considering these five highlights:
SUMMER CONCERTS AT HIAWATHA: First show of the season! 6:30 pm on the east lawn at Hiawatha Community Center, a free concert with Smokey Brights. Bring your own blanket/chair, everyone welcome. Here’s our report with the full season lineup. (Walnut/Lander)
DESIGN REVIEW DOUBLEHEADER: Two projects will be reviewed by the Southwest Design Review Board at the Sisson Building/Senior Center tonight, meeting for the first time in a while – 6:30 pm, 9021 17th SW apartments (design packet here); 8 pm, 2749 California SW, the new mixed-use proposal (design packet here) for the PCC Natural Markets-West Seattle (WSB sponsor) site. Both reviews will include time for public comments. (California SW/SW Oregon)
SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK: Greenstage presents “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” 7 pm in Lincoln Park, free. Our calendar listing includes information on the exact location in the park. (8011 Fauntleroy Way SW)
Story by Tracy Record
Video/photos by Patrick Sand
West Seattle Blog co-publishers
“Let’s not throw out the whole system – let’s make it better.”
That was the theme last night for a gathering of longtime community volunteers who were, at times, furious:
“We are owed an apology. In a city known internationally for volunteerism, we have a mayor who has vilified volunteers … it’s inexcusable.”
At times, gracious:
“What resonates in this room is the hope and optimism you all bring to the table.”
And at times, incredulous:
“The news last week was a surprise.”
That last declaration is how Mat McBride, chair of the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council, began last night’s gathering, a dramatic expansion of what was supposed to be a routine, “sleepy” monthly edition of the DNDC’s meeting, and instead, because of a mayoral decree a week earlier, became a rally of reps from the city’s 13 NDCs. Here’s our video of the entire gathering, in two parts:
The objective, as McBride described it, was to show that the “13 District Councils … are representative of more than the narrative we are currently being cast by … that a bad decision has been made, and that bad decisions can and should be reversed.”
That “narrative” was the July 13th mayoral declaration that the groups should be thrown on the scrap heap (WSB coverage here), replaced to a yet-to-be-outlined “engagement” system with an appointed “Community Involvement Commission,” because members are allegedly mostly older white homeowners. (The survey that made the proclamation has been called into question, as has the inference that the volunteers should be cut loose because of their age, race, and economic status.)
“Right now if you read the [regional] press, you’ll see a story that district councils have 15 people … tend to be white, tend to be old, tend to own houses. (But) when a district council gathers, hundreds, thousands of people are represented at the table … we are a representative democracy. It is not true, the story that’s currently being told.”
We counted at least 60 people in the room at Highland Park Improvement Club; McBride greeted them all in DNDC style – cheering and hand-waving – calling out the names of each Neighborhood District Council that was here, and then asking for a show of hands from those representing other groups, such as the community councils that feed into the ND councils.
He acknowledged that some of what’s in the report – the need to expand the groups’ means of outreach – are things that district council members agree with, things they’ve been suggesting, requesting, for years.
So what is it these groups DO do?
(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
6:57 AM: Good morning! SDOT reported a collision in the 3100 block of Harbor SW this past half hour; the medic response was canceled quickly, so we don’t know if there’s any aftermath. Nothing else in the area so far this morning. Otherwise:
NO BRIDGE CLOSURE: SDOT canceled the plan for Fauntleroy Expressway closures last night and tonight; no new dates yet.
SATURDAY REMINDERS: We’ve been reminding you about Saturday (July 23rd) road closures and parking restrictions (the signs are out now) for the West Seattle Grand Parade, Kiddie Parade, and Float Dodger 5K; California SW south of SW Admiral Way, to The Junction, will be closed from early morning into early afternoon, and some side streets along the way have parking restrictions, too, posted for 7 am-3 pm. (added) … The bus reroutes for Saturday are now published – see them here.
8:35 AM: Trouble on the westbound bridge:
There is a stalled vehicle blocking the WB right lane Mid Span on the West Seattle Bridge. Use caution. pic.twitter.com/MnYTPBDBLi
— seattledot (@seattledot) July 21, 2016
10:24 AM: Some sort of incident east of the low bridge is causing some truck backup on the westbound side but eastbound is going OK with SPD help.