We’re still waiting for city reps to provide a wrapup of this week’s operation along Spokane Street east of the low bridge (6:50 pm update – here it is), one week after the attack that brought conditions there to wider light – but in the meantime, we have answers to a question a few have asked: What if tents appear again in the area where they were cleared for encroaching on the bicycle path?
We asked city spokesperson Julie Moore, who explained that this is now an “emphasis area”:
People should report encampments/illegal camping by calling the Customer Service Bureau at 206-684-2489 (CITY) or using the Find It, Fix It app. See Encampment Cleanup Process Overview for what happens after an encampment is reported.
The area where tents were removed along the bike trail at Spokane Street and the West Seattle Bridge this week will now be considered an emphasis area (see more on what that means below) and will be posted as such later today. The Navigation Team will do the posting and will work with any folks who have moved back into that area to move them out. As with the cleanup this week, at this time this designation only applies to the area along the bike trail and does not apply to the RVs and tents under the bridge between the two lanes of Spokane Street.
Emphasis Areas – Per our new encampment removal rules (aka MDARs), the City may identify specific areas as emphasis areas, which are places where an encampment has become a consistent problem. The removal of tents and belongings from posted emphasis areas does not require notice as with other encampments, though we will still store personal belongings. The City will post signage at an emphasis area, stating that: camping is prohibited, any material found in that area may be removed without further notice, where personal property is stored and how the owner can retrieve their belongings.
When designating an emphasis area, the City will make a determination based on the totality of the circumstances of the particular location. No more than 10 emphasis areas will be identified as such at any one time, and those locations will be listed on the City’s website (we’re working on that and the map will be posted under the Unauthorized Encampments page no later than Monday).
Meantime, we’ll have a separate update when we hear back about the overall cleanup operation. Seattle City Light also had told us that the long-malfunctioning lights in that area would be working again by tonight; if you ride or run through that area this evening, please let us know what you see.