UPDATE: West Seattle commuter cyclist escapes attacker on path; what the city says it will do about area problems

(UPDATED 5:34 PM with additional SCL information, 6:07 PM with city plan for camps in the area)


(Added 1:30 pm – photo looking northwest toward general area where this was reported)

ORIGINAL REPORT, 12:49 AM: For years, Jackie has commuted by bicycle between her job in West Seattle and home in Georgetown, using the trail under the West Seattle Bridge.

What happened to her Thursday night has never happened before. And she wants to get the word out. Via e-mail, she told us it happened around 8:30 pm:

I was jumped by a guy at Spokane and Marginal on the bike trail. It was that super dark patch (the city hasn’t fixed the lights, they’ve been out since last year). A guy jumped out from the bushes in front of my bike. I had to slam on my brakes to avoid hitting him. He then came around my left side and grabbed at my shoulder, I’m guessing to drag me from my bike. I was so scared. I ducked (luckily I was wearing a close-fitting nylon jacket, so he couldn’t get hold of me), and I rode as fast as I could out of there.

It happened near an area where bicyclists have noticed an increasing number of campers. There is no way to know for sure whether the man who tried to grab Jackie lives there or elsewhere. But in response to some followup questions we asked after her first note, she added:

I don’t know if the individual this evening was associated with the larger encampment or was with the small group of tents on the west side of Marginal Way. He did mutter incoherently at me as he was trying to grab me. I’m assuming he was either under the influence or was in need of psychiatric help. The bushes/vegetated area he seems to have emerged from (but I’m not certain, as it was dark and everything happened quickly) are on the north side of the sidewalk. For what it’s worth I didn’t get a good look at him, but he was African American, maybe in his 40s or 50s. He was of average build, maybe around 5′ 10″. That is all in my police report as well.

She has been “road-riding” for at least a decade. We asked if, given what happened, she has specific advice for other riders:

I guess the one thing I would tell cyclists would be to avoid this part of the trail, as it is dark and you are vulnerable (as you’re removed from the road and easily ambushed). If you do take the trail, try to ride in a group if you can. I’m planning on staying in the road the next time I ride through here, especially in the evening. Usually I avoid the road during the day because of all the truck traffic, but I’m not sure what else to do. I asked the responding officer if it would be better to take West Marginal south and go over the First Avenue Bridge – he said it’s more dangerous down there.

The area where this happened is, we believe, outside Southwest Precinct jurisdiction, but we’ll be asking police later today who’s accountable, and also checking on the lighting situation Jackie mentioned.

10:42 AM: We are following up with City Light for starters regarding why the lighting isn’t fixed after months of reports – the e-mail chain provided to us indicates it’s more complicated than a matter of broken bulbs but not why it’s taken so long. SPD is next on our list.

12:43 PM: Just went back to the scene and caught up with a city team that included the mayor’s public-safety adviser, Scott Lindsay. He said this report hit the radar of the Emergency Operations Center’s daily homelessness-related activation first thing this morning. A trash cleanup was already planned in the area for next week, he said – a Seattle Public Utilities rep was there, too – but now it’ll be expanded, and they’ll be addressing the tents encroaching on the paths. Overall, he said, they’re putting together an “action plan.” We’ll have a separate followup by day’s end with this and more.

1:35 PM: What else we’ve learned so far:
-Seattle City Light spokesperson Scott Thomsen says a fix for the lights requires an “engineering” solution which has not yet been finalized, and permits will be required.
-City Councilmember Lisa Herbold tells us she was saddened to hear about last night’s attack and that she had been “trying to get SPU’s attention to this location for several weeks to address the need for garbage pickup. The Mayor’s office notified me yesterday that garbage pickup will happen next week.” Here is another photo we took today – this is the sidewalk on the south side of Spokane, across from the area where the attack happened.

-SPD spokesperson Det. Mark Jamieson provided us with a copy of the police report on the incident – nothing in it that we hadn’t learned directly from Jackie in our e-mail exchange late last night – and also confirmed that in addition to local officers, the department’s Navigation Team is aware of the situation too. (As we’ve reported in recent community-meeting reports, or as you might have heard from citywide media, this is the departmentwide SPD team tasked as of recently with homelessness-related intervention/enforcement.)

5:34 PM: More information from SCL spokesperson Thomsen about the light-repair status:

After the streetlight outage was reported in December, crews made a determination that the outage did not involve the lamp fixtures, which would have been a quick fix. That shifted the task to our streetlight engineering group, which determined that the outage was caused by damage to the underground power supply, likely from someone who was trying to steal copper wiring from a hand hole access vault.

Engineers started sketching the designs for a restoration, but have been unable to complete that work due to a number of homeless people who have been camping in the area and debris.

Plans are in place for the city to clear that encampment next week, which will allow our engineers to complete their work.

Once the engineers have finished, we have a contractor ready to do the repairs.

6:07 PM: The city has more details on its plan to sweep the tent camp by the bike path next week and to clean trash along Spokane Street – read about it here.

141 Replies to "UPDATE: West Seattle commuter cyclist escapes attacker on path; what the city says it will do about area problems"

  • SafetyFirst March 24, 2017 (2:47 am)

    So glad you’re ok Jackie, I’m sorry this happened to you. So scary. I run that way occasionally to tie into trails going north, and haven’t felt safe in that section for several years. Will probably avoid it altogether now.

  • TheKing March 24, 2017 (4:34 am)

    While this may not have been a homeless person that attacked this commuter, the homeless situation is growing in the city and needs to be addressed before someone DOESN’T get away from an attacker. Walking alone in areas where RV’s are parked or mountains of garbage are piling up is a terrible situation for residents, especially children walking to school. I’m tired of this. Sick and tired. The millions the mayor wants for the homeless needs to be invested our youths education, sounds cold and heartless but developing minds of the young will help prevent a future homeless epidemic we are in. 

  • M March 24, 2017 (5:35 am)

    Thank you Mayor Murray and the Seattle City Council for doing absolutely nothing to protect us. 

    • Steve March 24, 2017 (7:25 am)

      Exactly.  The mayor is too busy gathering signatures as he is just making it up.  And the council is too busy protesting.  Worthless government!  

      • KT March 24, 2017 (10:20 am)

        Agreed.

    • Brenda March 24, 2017 (6:53 pm)

      This is a nitemare !!

      The mayor and his posse are worthless. 

      This is is an absolute disaster 

      • Dietrich March 25, 2017 (8:19 am)

        Your post has about the same value.  Maybe try for something more with details, suggestions or something to move in a constructive direction.

  • Don Brubeck March 24, 2017 (7:34 am)

    Glad you are OK, Jackie. The situation is not OK. It’s time for action by the City of Seattle.  Meet basic safety and public health needs. Repair the lights that have been out for a year.  

    If you want to see what this area looks like right now, see photos posted yesterday on West Seattle Bike Connections page on Facebook.

    • Val March 24, 2017 (9:44 am)

      Glad you are ok Jackie. I second Don’s commment that this is NOT ok. We cannot have this happening and I will call our council members to push for action. Thank you for letting us know. 

  • Mr. B March 24, 2017 (7:39 am)

    Public Safety is a low priority for Mayor Murray, City Council and Seattle Police Dept.  They are focused on writing speeding tickets on the Spokane St. Viaduct, $peed cameras and raising property taxes.  

    • WsEd March 24, 2017 (12:23 pm)

      I think the tally is 9 new taxes between the county and city in the last 3 years. Also the only public safety that is being pushed is their vision zero plan where all commuters will be stuck in gridlock thereby ensuring that no pedestrians or cyclists can be hit at a rate more then 5MPH.

    • Alkistu March 24, 2017 (3:31 pm)

      Speeding is a public safety concern. Did you know more people die in Seattle each year from car violence than gun violence. Too bad adults can’t behave like adults but in the meantime we need to enforce the laws of our city and do a better job of it. People need to either plan their day better or realize their aggressive, speeding driving did not safe enough (if any) time to justify the public risk.

    • Dietrich March 25, 2017 (8:21 am)

      Is that an opinion or do you have some evidence that is their focus?  I know those things are going on yes (and I am glad they do it), but do you have proof that is their focus or is that merely what you hope is true?

  • Sandy March 24, 2017 (7:42 am)

    ISo awful and scary.  I hope you notified Seattle Public Utilities about the lighting…and maybe they could trim back the vegetation.  It’s good that you filed a police report–it might help to contact Mark Solomon,  Crime Prevention Coordinator at Southwest SPD…he has good City contacts on things like lighting and vegetation and I’m sure he could help get at least that part of the problem fixed.  He number is 206 386-9766 or email mark.solomon@seattle.gov.

    So glad you got away unhurt.

    • bolo March 24, 2017 (11:18 am)

      As a frequent cyclist through that exact area, I have reported the faulty lights situation many many times. The call takers get flustered, state they can’t place where the lights are, and apparently give up. They request a “pole number” but there is no pole as the lights are mounted on the underside of the northernmost flyover offramp that heads south, turning west, running over that part of the sidewalk/cycle path. The lights HAVE worked in the past, and I HAVE seen City Light repair crews there in the past. The lights did work for a short time after that, then darkness forever since then, just like the string of streetlamps near the west uphill portion of the West Seattle Bridge.

      I gave up reporting the outages because no results.

      • gh March 25, 2017 (11:53 am)

        Lights might keep the transients awake at night…the mayor wouldn’t want that.

  • abovealki March 24, 2017 (7:42 am)

    I assume you mean Spokane Street near East Marginal Way (not West) — just east of the fishing area on the bridge. You need to make this clear. There are also tents under the bridge on the west side.

    The somewhat surprising thing is that when cycling through I rarely see anyone around the numerous tents in either of these areas.

    • newnative March 24, 2017 (8:49 am)

      Wow, abovealki, she was assaulted and you are complaining because her location was unclear?!  Doesn’t really matter what exact spot it was, she was stopped and grabbed on the bike trail under the WSB.  

    • Jackie March 24, 2017 (9:03 am)

      @abovealki: Yes, you are correct, it was East Marginal Way. Sorry, I was pretty rattled last night and may not have been clear about where exactly this occurred. 

    • bolo March 24, 2017 (11:21 am)

      I saw a guy there right under the non-functioning lights exactly 2 hours after this incident. He was working on his bike, propped up on some kind of a stand, in front of his tent, surrounded by trash blowing in the wind.

    • WsEd March 24, 2017 (12:26 pm)

      Abovealki,
      You don’t see anyone around their tents because they are over in my neighborhood stealing the mail.

    • Mark47n March 24, 2017 (4:30 pm)

      In order to effect a repair, in spite of any engineering and/or permitting issues, a correct location must be noted on the report. If the location is inaccurate a crew can be dispatched to the wrong location resulting in no lights getting fixed. 

      Making that aspect into a big deal as if AboveAlki is saying it’s not a big deal is ridiculous.

  • CM March 24, 2017 (7:42 am)

    Why hasn’t City Light replaced the street lights for a whole year?  In Snohomish county, I called PUD and let them know the street light was out in front of my house, and it was replaced the next week.

    • bolo March 24, 2017 (11:23 am)

      The only answer that makes sense to me is that Seattle City Light saves money by not having to pay for providing the electricity the lights would consume if they were working. Some here, some there, it adds up.

  • Jodi March 24, 2017 (7:58 am)

    Thankful you were not physically injured. I can’t imagine the emotional impact. 

    Which Marginal Way was this? Spokane and East Marginal Way (under the Spokane St. Viaduct) or Spokane and West Marginal Way (under the West Seattle Bridge)? 

    Thank you for reporting this.

  • Seattlite March 24, 2017 (8:06 am)

    Wakeup Seattle voters…There is no responsible, reasonable leadership in Seattle/KingCounty.  What are Seattle/KingCounty leaders doing to protect you? 

    Jackie was very lucky that she was not harmed.  Thankfully, Jackie sounds like a physically strong person who was able to flee from her attacker.  Some of us are not that strong. 

  • misoginger March 24, 2017 (8:14 am)

    I remember when there was only one man living off the trail under the low bridge. The homeless population and  the amount of their trash has exploded everywhere. It’s absolutely deplorable. Our beautiful city is being overrun by tents, trash, and thieves.

    • Steve March 24, 2017 (8:26 am)

      Spend your “democracy” vouchers wisely!  

      • M March 25, 2017 (6:41 am)

        Unfortunately, it looks like we will be forced to spend our democracy vouchers on some form of the same. The problem is we never have any viable candidates. I’m so sick of it. 

        They all run on a platform of income inequality and affordable housing. Then all they do is raise property taxes and make housing even more expensive. 

        We don’t have a homeless problem in Seattle. We have an opiod problem!!! The focus should be on forced treatment first, NOT housing first. 

    • Rick March 24, 2017 (8:39 am)

      The more attractive Seattle makes it be homeless with services,safe clean places to do your drugs (if one has a few to many beers they can be arrested for public intoxication),little actual enforcement of existing laws,etc. the more that population will rise. It’s fairly simple math. 

  • sam-c March 24, 2017 (8:29 am)

    So sorry this happened to you Jackie.  I hadn’t been down that way in a while and was down there yesterday morning and was surprised by the proliferation of campers (and so much trash).    Seems like the mayor is only concerned about protecting cyclists with bike lanes, vs.  a reduction in crime.   What is the solution? should there be a cyclist protest?  All the cyclists who want to see a change gather and block the street, crippling the port/ truck traffic (and the effects would cascade ….) ?

    I don’t know what it would take to make the mayor pay attention.

    • WSB March 24, 2017 (8:44 am)

      Anyone interested in talking to your city councilmember about this or anything else, I’m noting here that she has in-district office hours at the Senior Center noon-7 pm. Just drop in. It’ll be in the daily calendar list shortly.

      http://westseattleblog.com/event/herboldofficehours/?instance_id=569318

    • Andy March 24, 2017 (9:03 am)

      Yeah, right, Sam-C, block the streets with your bicycles! (sarcasm) That’s really going to get your intended reaction with our mayor and council members! (more sarcasm) Instead, it will get an unintended reaction from people trying to commute to and from their job.

      Seattle, like most cities in the USA, is a one party town. I don’t think you are going to get a city government that is more likely to pay attention unless you vote, once in a while, for a politician from the other party (gasp)! Do I dare say it? Yes, I mean a Republican, (gasp!) just to let them know that we do have other choices.

      • Duwamesque March 24, 2017 (10:19 am)

        The only thing you should be sarcastic about is supporting the GOP. Who was it that gutted funding for mental health services? Our state Republicans, who also refuse to even fund basic education. You can thank the GOP for flooding our streets with the mentally disabled. And what are the Republicans up to these days nationally? Stripping health care from millions, cutting taxes for the wealthy and supporting their Russian puppet in the White House. Hard to figure why the GOP has no credibility around here [/sarcasm].

  • McFail March 24, 2017 (8:47 am)

    The vacated encampment under the bridge and duct is disgusting.  You want to get through their quickly, but at the same time have to be aware of all the debris/garbage along the path.  At least with the lights out, I barely see the large rats that scurry across the path…

  • GDD March 24, 2017 (8:51 am)

    I’m so sorry this happened to you. Thank you for getting the word out!

    It has become increasingly unsafe due to the detritus and accompanying tents along the path. I shudder to think what could happen down there.

    Bicyclists are vulnerable enough on that route — now this.

    Meeting with Herbold at her office hours tonight would be helpful. Perhaps she’d consider commuting via bike so she can see the detritus and safety issues first hand.

  • JCW March 24, 2017 (8:53 am)

    Yikes. I commute through this area and have felt nervous going through here as a solo woman after dark. I’ll certainly be taking Jackie’s advice and taking the lane after dark. 

  • skeeter March 24, 2017 (9:02 am)

     

    I just missed you by a couple minutes.

    I was biking home to West Seattle from downtown at right
    about 8:20.  There was a black man just
    as you described at that encampment under the bridge (adjacent to the trail)
    between East Marginal and the fishing pier. 
    When I biked past he was out in the middle of the trail, loudly babbling
    incoherently.  He did not yield to me as
    I approached.  He stayed in the middle of
    the trail and I had to swerve around him. 
    It really spooked me because he made eye contact with me and I had to
    pass very close to him.  He could have
    easily grabbed me – less than an arm length away.  But he didn’t reach out as I sped past him.

    I am so glad you were not hurt.

    Not that it makes it okay – but I am 99.9% sure this
    individual was either very high or severely disturbed or both.  The guy I saw – if it was the same guy – was simply
    blitzed out of his mind.  I don’t think
    he knew what he was doing.     

    I have recently contacted the mayor by both email and
    telephone.  I asked him to *please* do a thorough
    encampment sweep under the West Seattle bridge.  

  • Greg Noel March 24, 2017 (9:19 am)

    if there is an existing streetlight and it is just not functioning properly, has anyone tried contacting Seattle City Light? Perhaps this would be a more direct and simple way to address the issue. While this situation was very scary (I’m glad Jackie is okay!) and it is a very crucial street light for public safety, politicians do not have time to personally deal with every single streetlight that burns out.

     

    Lets start with Seattle City Light and maybe try using the city of Seattle “find it, fix it app” to report the light out. I used that app to report graffiti on a traffic signal box in front of my house and it was repainted within a week. 

    • WSB March 24, 2017 (9:32 am)

      I am in contact with SCL already this morning and we are out trying to photograph the exact area. I am not sure we have the exact area exactly correct especially WRT the nonworking lights so anyone with photos/specifics on those PLEASE email us – editor@westseattleblog.com

      • bolo March 24, 2017 (11:38 am)

        I don’t have photos for you, but here is how to find the non-functioning lights: Starting from the NW corner of E Marginal Way + SW Spokane St. walk due west on the sidewalk/cycle trail that runs along the north side of SW Spokane St. Approx 50-75 yards from the corner there is a curving overhead offramp directly over the sidewalk. Look up, there are 2 square light fixtures mounted on the underside of that offramp, spaced maybe 30-40 feet apart. Those are the ones. PS, at 3:00pm the same day as this incident there was a city maintenance crew doing cleanup work between this area and the part that crosses the Duwamish.

  • Duwamesque March 24, 2017 (9:32 am)

    So sorry for the victim. No one should ever have to face that because they cycle to work. I bike down that way almost every day and it has gotten out of hand. The tents seemed to have arrived right after the City swept encampments elsewhere, and doesn’t offer services so trash, needles, etc. just pile up. This is one of only MANY hazards cyclists face on this route—industrial pollution and massive semi-trucks with ben-hur spiked hub caps barrelling inches away from you being two other major issues.

    • WsEd March 24, 2017 (12:35 pm)

      West Seattle is the redheaded stepchild of the city when it comes to all forms of transportation into the downtown corridor.  It used to be manageable but with Bertha and all of the surface street closures to support Bertha resident’s in our area have shouldered much more of a burden than the folks up North when it comes to any form of commuting. And now dealing with the refuse and unpredictable nature of a mentally unstable portion of the homeless population makes it really hard for me to justify cycling anymore.

      • misoginger March 24, 2017 (3:01 pm)

        Watch it with the name calling. There are good, upstanding redheaded citizens in West Seattle. 

  • flimflam March 24, 2017 (9:33 am)

    I am so sorry to hear about this incident. i’m afraid these incidents will continue and possibly increase as the number of unstable people living in tents increases. the incident at a very busy golden gardens park in ballard a couple of weeks ago was another.

     

    in my opinion, the city has a large role in the current situation under this bridge and the many other “camps”. there is no way that this should be encouraged or tolerated. the answer is not shaking down property owners any further either – there is a lot of money already being thrown around and little to no concern on the effect this has on neighborhoods. accept services or move along.

  • WS Guy March 24, 2017 (9:35 am)

    The Mayor and Council’s affordability and homeless solutions are linked:  Let Seattle become overrun with filth and crime so that people don’t want to live here.  Viola!  Affordability. 

    • WsEd March 24, 2017 (12:40 pm)

      It’s a perfect plan.  Add a bunch of taxes and usurious tenancy rules on top of it and it can’t fail.

      • Boats March 24, 2017 (9:19 pm)

        Off-topic, but WsEd thank you for teaching me a new word!

  • PW March 24, 2017 (9:50 am)

    Well City voters this is just the beginning as the injection sites will be on Airport way another bike route and more encampments off Meyers way. We have no safe zones any longer walking or cycling.

    The City is filthy, no longer beautiful. Mayor Ed and the City council have abused their power and personal agenda causing us to bear the tax burden. I hope we have a candidate who steps in to stop this Mayor of another term . Never been so sad to live  here and looking forward as a life long resident to get out.

    Thanks for nothing Mayor Ed and City Council .

  • flimflam March 24, 2017 (10:02 am)

    @duwamesque, not be negative, but the city has a dumpster set up for the “camp” at the ballard locks (you know, one of the biggest tourist attractions) and the “residents” can’t be bothered to use it. the area is suffering from erosion, trees being hacked at, rats, and piles of garbage.  again, there is way to much money being thrown at this for these situations to be remotely acceptable. I would love to see itemized reports of where the money goes and the salaries of the ‘non profit” directors.

    • Duwamesque March 24, 2017 (10:35 am)

      @flimflam, I can’t speak to Ballard. From what I’ve seen under Spokane St there aren’t any public dumpsters nearby, but I admit I haven’t looked thoroughly. My point was more that this occurred BECAUSE of sweeps the City did elsewhere (in the Jungle, etc.). It’s a whack-a-mole strategy that just pushes the encampments around without ever providing services to manage to situation. I know some folks are morally indignant at homeless tents but where do we expect them to go? Better to have a centralized area with trash pickup and outreach services than to constantly uproot people and chase them around the City IMHO.

      • WsEd March 24, 2017 (12:47 pm)

        It doesn’t matter if they put in dumpsters, they don’t get used.  A colleague of mine who works as a volunteer restoring Seattle wetlands and native plant species on public land has given up.  The homeless tromp everything down almost as soon as they go in and clean up an area.  He showed me a 45 gallon hefty bag that was nearly half full of needles and drug paraphernalia they pulled out of one site.  

        It is a complete losing battle and a sad state of affairs for the City and it’s residents.  But hey Nick Hanauer go ahead and lobby for more tax spending on a complete failure.  Attach your name to it in Big Bold letters so you can bask in failure with our out of touch city leadership.

        • WSB March 24, 2017 (1:07 pm)

          Please don’t generalize. Dumpsters DO get used where provided. Go look at Camp Second Chance, for example. (Not the areas elsewhere on Myers Way, which don’t have trash service and aren’t sanctioned.)

          • flimflam March 24, 2017 (3:03 pm)

             with all due respect, not the one at the ballard locks.  it is not an officially sanctioned camp yet still has a dumpster – the city said they were making it up as they went along and i’ll have to agree with them on that one.

  • Alan March 24, 2017 (10:11 am)

    I bike commute through this area almost daily too.  I reached out to city to repair the non functioning street lights 3 years ago.  Their response was that another contractor doing work in the area had damaged the power supply to these light and they were caught in a battle with the contractor to fix their mistake….  Years later – they still don’t work.  

    Also, I’ve been in touch w/ the city about cleaning up the encampment under the bridges.  They did clear it out late last year… only for it to return a couple of months later.   I finally received contact information to a police officer who is coordinating the cleanups.  I encourage you to write him so that he sees the overwhelming need to have this camp cleaned up. 

    His contact is:

    Officer Greg Fliegel

    South Precinct Community Police Team

    Desk: 206-233-2023

    Fax: 206-386-1810

    gregory.fliegel@seattle.gov

    • Alan March 27, 2017 (12:27 pm)

      I wrote officer Fleigel about the incident.  He is no longer is working on this area.  However he gave me the officer who has permanently been assigned to this area:

      Officer Mark Gallegos

      Mark.Gallegos@seattle.gov

      Email him your concerns about cleaning up this encampment.

      • WSB March 27, 2017 (12:35 pm)

        We will have a followup on this later today – the SPD-led Navigation Team is scheduled to be out there.

  • Lola March 24, 2017 (10:38 am)

    Has the Mayor or other government officials done one of those Walk Through’s in these area’s to see what needs to be done?  We keep hearing more and more people getting mugged, attacked, robbed, raped and panhandled in these areas.  It is horrible how rotten the town of Seattle has become due to our official’s not caring about the American Taxpayer’s of our Once Beautiful City.  

  • Michelle March 24, 2017 (10:42 am)

    I used to love riding my bike in to work. I enjoyed the bike path and pedaling my way around the city. My favorite person was the far more experience biker who gave me a “good get ’em” type cheer as I was huffing up Andover. That sort of genuine encouragement was a good boost   :-)

    However, with the increased campers just off the path, I no longer feel safe. I am working  a lot more from home but even when I do need to get into the city, I don’t ride anymore. It used to be three to five tents but the massive settlement there is unsettling. Not because OF the people but because the City appears to have completely forgot them and thus there is no oversight or sense of management.

    Right now, it looks like a landfill. This grand plan to manage homelessness in our City isn’t working. Oh, but let’s go build a ton more high rent A-pod-ments cause that will totally serve our community and its lack of affordable housing stock.

    • Amy March 24, 2017 (11:38 am)


       I agree Michelle and feel the same way about that
      area. If the City has authorized that encampment, then can they please provide
      trash bin and porta potties. Everyone deserves to feel safe in their city
      regardless of their housing situation.

  • Mark March 24, 2017 (12:01 pm)

    I am glad no one got seriously hurt. This should never happen, it’s failed government that continues to not enforce the law. It is illegal to litter and camp on public property.  Enforce the law PLEASE

  • aa March 24, 2017 (12:08 pm)

    I vote for the folks who run our WS blog to run the city!  They get more questions answered and offer us information to address problems more than our city officials.

    • WSB March 24, 2017 (12:16 pm)

      Thanks for the kind words – it’s the paramount duty of reporters to do their best to get answers. Also getting answers are your community advocates – West Seattle Bike Connections in this case too – they’ve also put out inquiries and we’re hearing of potential action at the scene so we’re going back there yet again. Will be getting out of the car this time now that (a) it’s stopped raining and (b) helpful readers have provided precise directions. Just about to cross the low bridge (don’t worry, co-publisher is driving!) … TR

  • SadAffair March 24, 2017 (12:37 pm)

    You know homelessness is everywhere and it’s a very sad situation. I’m not really sure how we can help all these people…some don’t want to be helped, because of drug addiction or mental health issues??? Sad.

    It’s not only Seattle, you’d think a place called Paradise wouldn’t have homelessness and what’s so sad about Waikiki is that a lot of the homeless are the elderly. 

     Image result for homeless in waikiki

    • WSB March 24, 2017 (12:43 pm)

      Not just in the warm cities; for all the ballyhoo that supposedly Boston has figured it out, we were visiting a relative there in December and saw people sleeping outdoors next to transit stations among other places.

      Anyway, I’ll be updating the story again – Don from West Seattle Bike Connections said he had learned the city was sending a delegation over to the scene of this and we just caught up with them. Including the mayor’s public-safety adviser. They said this story hit their radar first thing this morning for the daily Emergency Operations Center activation related to homelessness. More to come …

    • Seattlite March 24, 2017 (2:18 pm)

       SadAffair — I can only speak about Seattle’s homeless.  Seattle’s homeless crisis is a direct result of unskilled and inept leadership from the governor, mayor, city council.  The governor should make it a priority to separate all of the mentally ill from the homeless and find appropriate facilities for them.  The mayor and city council need to rid Seattle of drugs, heroin pit stops which will directly impact the drug addicted homeless and they will leave.  The families that are in between jobs and could not make their rent need temporary shelter/food and then  immediate resources for finding another job and housing.  End Seattle’s sanctuary city status and watch another section of homeless and crime decrease.   What is wrong with Seattle’s leadership that they cannot follow a straight line to resolution instead of circuitous routes that beg for more tax payer dollars and never ever resolve the homeless problem.

  • Tong March 24, 2017 (12:44 pm)

    Ed Murray you are responsible for this attack, the waste and debri piles and the increase in burglary thanks to your foooooooolish plan to let homeless camp out wherever!!!!

    I really want to vote against you in the next election!

    And believe  it or not, I voted for you! 

    • ANN Schumann March 24, 2017 (4:42 pm)

      I am with you Tong.   We need better solutions for the homeless.  Ed Murray believes taxing home owners to build their housing and drug centers is the solution.  Seniors have a hard enough time making ends meet….we have had more taxes with him as Mayor than ever before.  If the homeless want rehabilitation great but if they don’t move them out of town.   The more you build nice drug stops for them and places to live the more will come.  What is our Mayor thinking!!   Or is he thinking? 

  • Admiral Commuter March 24, 2017 (1:07 pm)

    My bike-riding coworker said this morning he noticed new flood lights under the bridge at Spokane Street as he dodged a deposit of human fecal waste on the bike path. 

  • wetone March 24, 2017 (1:15 pm)

     Glad to hear your OK.      As others have said Seattle has some very big issues going on with crime, drugs and garbage. The garbage and filth we see daily is unacceptable in so many ways. Anytime the wind blows one see’s garbage such as plastic bottles, bags, paper goods blowing across bike paths, sidewalks and roadways causing very dangerous situations. I see this garbage blowing into the Duwamish waterways, I see rat population growing, human waste being dumped onto green areas and into waterway’s. The garbage under the low WS bridge and to the east a few hundred yards is worse than seen in many third world country’s. Mayor Patchwork and much of current city council will never get my vote as their priority’s are elsewhere along with holding most the homeless to zero accountability. Patchwork and Constantine have shown little concern for the working class other than taking our money for their poor spending habits.  As far as city saying crime is down in this city I say BS,  lived here very long time I know better. 

  • Don Schei March 24, 2017 (1:27 pm)

    I walk this practically daily from downtown.  I have learned to constantly have a defensive position to escape to and constantly be aware of who and what is around you.  Just treat this as a war zone and you are on your own.  I have given up complaining as the city does not care.   Too bad about your attack but I could see this coming.

  • sbre March 24, 2017 (1:36 pm)

    With baseball season less than a month away there’ll be an increase in late-night riders after home games.    I attend 20-25 games per season and know a couple other WS’ites who also bike to/from Safeco.

    My tires will be on the street going around that corner (E Marginal @ Spokane), making it possible for me to carry a little more speed and having a wider area in which to possibly avoid a would-be hooligan.

     

     

  • JRR March 24, 2017 (1:39 pm)

    I’m a runner through the same area and have been menaced at by people a number of times in this exact spot.

  • TC March 24, 2017 (1:55 pm)

    one good wack from a collapsible  baton should have set him straight for grabbing her. how much longer until you are fed up with homeless encampments seattle?? 

  • Alan March 24, 2017 (2:06 pm)

    We can build all of the beautiful bicycle trails and lanes that we want but it is going to be hard to get people to ride to/from West Seattle if they are forced through a dangerous area. Encountering threatening people would make a locked car door seem preferable.

    – A different Alan. Not that I disagree with the earlier one.

  • Sarge March 24, 2017 (2:20 pm)

     Pass though Harbor island on my way to work and on my way home every day.

    Every day I see people handing cash out their car windows to panhandlers at the corner of 1st Ave S. and S. Spokane st.

    As long as people give cash to drug addicts they will stay in the same spot regardless of conditions. 

    On a recent trip I noticed panhandling is almost non-existent in Tucson AZ. and the homeless population is quite small. Tucson is a very poor city compared to Seattle with readily available drugs off all types from Mexico just a few miles away.

    Do you know why there is no panhandling in Tucson? People don’t give them cash! Business owners, bartenders and local police even warn tourists NOT to give cash to beggars. It promotes drug activity and crime. Food banks and churches provide outreach for food and shelter. Without daily cash handouts the drug addicts are forced leave town or god forbid find work to support their habit.

    Underside of West Seattle Bridge is a prime example of what happens when you hand cash out your car window to strangers every day.  Until we stop supporting their drug habit they’re here to stay.

    • t March 24, 2017 (11:03 pm)

      That won’t work here in Seattle, land of the virtue-signaler. We pat ourselves on the back, pretending we’re helping, and when the problem gets worse we shrug our shoulders and say “what can we do?”

  • Kathy March 24, 2017 (2:21 pm)

    I am one of many who have submitted Find It Fix It report about the mountains of trash along the trail at this location.  I believe the City owes us an apology for marking these reports “Closed”. When I called to follow up on my report, I was told that it was “referred to the DOC (State or County?) and that is why they consider the report “Closed”. Is the City taking credit for this as a fix? The piles might change in content, but they never seem to go away. And as concerned citizens, we are clearly risking our safety to stop and take a picture for a report. We deserve better.

    I was biking home from the Seattle Neighborhood Greenways meeting through this area at about 7:30 PM the same night as Jackie’s incident. I did not see the individual described in Jackie’s report. However, I had a flat tire on my way home. Thank goodness it happened close to home in Alki, but if it had happened at this location I would have been very vulnerable. 

    Let’s face it, our public transportation options in Alki and most of northern and western West Seattle are pathetic to non existant, especially late at night. This trail is the only reasonable route for walkers and bikers to Downtown, SODO, Georgetown and all other points north and east of our peninsula. I guess the answer is get in your car (if you can afford one) and roll up your windows. Or hunker down at home and not go anywhere. For those of us who want to use active transportation (walking and biking) to promote our general health,  to reduce our impact on the environment, to attend evening public meetings off-peninsula that affect our safe travel options, to avoid having to drive around hunting for parking in town, and because it is the most economical mode, I would like to see a solution that includes ridding the area of trash, monitoring to make sure it remains trash free, and some stepped up security patrols of the area.

    • Duwamesque March 24, 2017 (3:37 pm)

      Well said Kathy. This corridor is so crucial for non-motorized transportation. The City has a responsibility to make it a safe, sanitary place for everyone. At a minimum trash pickup and foot/bike patrols need to be implemented as long as the encampment is there.

  • unknown March 24, 2017 (2:22 pm)

    Yes homelessness is everywhere. On our last trip back to Waikiki we saw this…so sad as sadaffair above said and also most of them are the elderly.

     Image result for homeless in waikiki

  • Pauline March 24, 2017 (2:24 pm)

    I agree with many of these comments. That is terrible what happened. Our city government has really let things get out of hand in this area. I guess it is an area that is easy for them to ignore. Perhaps if we all complain – something will change!

  • flimflam March 24, 2017 (2:39 pm)

    ugh. that pile of garbage is so depressing. propane tank? discarded blankets, heaps of trash. its great that it will be cleaned up, but that is really missing the point – the city’s encouragement and tolerance of these camps is a major problem. when you send city facilities to pick up the trash, that is sanctioning the camp, in essence. not acceptable, humane, safe – none of the above.

     

     

  • BikeyMcBikerson March 24, 2017 (2:50 pm)

    Sorry this happened, I went through this area around 7pm last night.  I stay on the south side bike path.  There are less urban campers.  But last night there was an individual chopping holes in a 50 gallon drum with a hatchet.

     

       

  • George T. March 24, 2017 (2:55 pm)

    I also commute along this path and have had to dodge some people who were staggering along, obviously high. An attack like this was bound to happen. As previously mentioned, we all need to contact the city council and Seattle PD about improving safety along this well-trafficked path. 

  • Jissy March 24, 2017 (3:18 pm)

    Sarge:  I too was just in Tucson visiting family the first of February — our hosts told us the City of Tucson recently passed a law that prohibits panhandling in any intersection or in the medians and the police have been given the authority to actually enforce that new law — what a concept!!!  In 5 days I saw 1 person at a stop light with a sign.  It was astounding and a welcome reprieve from this City, my lifelong home that has been victimized by a Mayor with no backbone to uphold the laws.  It’s sickening and after 45+ years am considering moving away.  

  • AlkiRider March 24, 2017 (3:38 pm)

    I am a 56 year old fit man who has commuted to the Seattle Waterfront from West Seattle for many years…and I too am very scared when traveling that section of the commute particularly at dusk and beyond. On many occasions I have had individual homeless/transient/jerks just step right in front of my path as I am cycling along…I’ve been lucky so far and been able to swerve around them. My guess is they are hoping I crash and get injured so as to be easier to rob. I feel vulnerable & can only imagine the vulnerability felt by women &/or kids…Something must be done as we are being forced out of cars by gridlock and into sitting duck situations by these homeless criminal infested bike/pedestrian trails and the filth is beyond disgusting…

  • Alkistu March 24, 2017 (3:44 pm)

    Good Job Jackie a t evading this person. You must have excellent bike riding skills. There is no proof that this was a homeless camper that tried to attack Jackie. That being said from I5 to Harbor Ave. there is a steady cluster of under the bridge homeless camps. I don’t think it is fair to suggest that all of these people prefer to live in the squalor that I have seen. I don’t know if anyone has ever survey them to find out what their housing preferences would be. The cost of managing these homeless camps must be enough to be able to budget short and long term indoor housing such as  tiny homes that would fit into a public property like Magnuson Park for example, with necessary services nearby.  There are cities that employ the homeless to do the garbage collection work, while they learn knew job skills and supervisor training. I agree with anyone who says Mayor Murray has made a mess of this problem.  He is up for re-election this year. 

  • MG March 24, 2017 (3:47 pm)

    Many people, I see, are saying they will not ride through that area any more. We should do the opposite–the more people who are riding that trail, the safer it will be. I ride that way several times a day, and have noticed the piles of trash growing, the rats proliferating, and the people living in unsanitary and unsafe conditions. City services should include regular trash collection and pickup, and police patrols, preferably on foot or at least on bicycles. The police swarmed the area with scores of patrol cars, motorcycle police, and bicycle police during the protests against the oil rigs, but I have never, not once, seen a police officer down there patrolling the bike lanes or walking the sidewalks, or even driving through in their cars to show an interest in public safety and conditions in that area. Also, to those of you who think this is all because of “Mayor Ed” and Seattle’s city council, I have recently visited cities all over this country, from Hawaii to Maryland, and from here to Tuscon. Every city I have visited had very similar problems. We have an enormous, seething population of homeless people who are priced out of housing, without prospects and without support for basic human services. Don’t imagine this will go away if you change who is in charge. We need solutions, not politicized finger-pointing. 

  • anonyme March 24, 2017 (4:19 pm)

    What we need is massive, mandatory birth control for one thing…the problem is not just local or national – it’s global.   Neither the planet nor modern, technologically-oriented societies with vanishing resources and ever fewer jobs can support the ever growing number of humans swarming over this poisoned hive.

    And Murray is clueless.  And a large number of these people are drug addicted.  There’s no simple solution, but taxing the rest of us into oblivion with non-answers is no answer.  The least that could be done would be to provide trash pickup and porta-potties, and hire more police.  At least something would be accomplished, rather than just wasting hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on “experts”.

     

  • flimflam March 24, 2017 (4:22 pm)

     one solution is to not allow these unsanitary camps to exist. offer a shelter bed and other services, but this whole “let folks camp everywhere or you are mean” is untenable. accept services or move along and/or enforce trespassing laws.

     

    these camps should not be considered the norm or an acceptable lifestyle choice. 

  • Gatormike March 24, 2017 (4:50 pm)

    I agree with AlkiStu regarding a humane approach to an inhumane situation. There is such a growing disparity of wealth in our city and the rest of the country that leads to these problems. Rousting homeless camps simply forces them to relocate to another spot till the cycle begins again. Handouts are not a solution because most don’t want a handout that creates dependency- they want a chance. I believe a realistic solution is to provide  small communities of tiny homes that are built with volunteer labor and materials like the Habitat for Humanity/ Ballard model- give some one the chance to have pride in ownership of their own space- no matter how small by giving something back to their respective communities. Have gardens like the P Patches for the people to put effort into so they can become more independent and self reliant. Create positions within to maintain the grounds and buildings and integrity and cleanliness of the sites. Provide access to job training ,   education, mental health/ substance abuse help through existing channels. And remember- we live in one of the fastest growing areas in the country with a plethora of wealth and luxuries that are a result of a booming Tech based economy created by hard work, inspiration, and forward thinking vision for the future. Take a little time to be humble and help your neighbors before criticizing them. One good economic crash and YOU might be sharing the sidewalk with your Brother or Sister. And Like Stu says- Vote the Bums Out ! Keep America Kind and Great!

    • Eric March 24, 2017 (5:29 pm)

      What if they don’t want your help? What if they just want to be free to do exactly what they’re doing now? What if they’re chronically incapable of following rules? Your thought experiment sounds nice and logical but reality is much different. Do you remeber high point? Creating ghettos where people live for free doesn’t solve anything except herd them all into one place. I agree that’s better then random camps on the street but your idea is nothing new. We’ve done that with the poor for a long time now. Your proposal would soon turn into a nightmare or if you follow a tougher path then they would just be refugee/interment camps. Except we are offering them services and training for the outside world?Problem is I know these people and most of them would spit in the face of your help. Then what? Why hasn’t it happened yet? 

      • Duwamesque March 24, 2017 (7:20 pm)

        Eric, I do think there is a percentage of the homeless population that prefers the homeless lifestyle, but that isn’t representative of the whole. I can remember a time when the worst you saw on the street were the “seasonally homeless” ave rats and the usual junkies. Times have changed since the 2008 economic crash. By last count there were over 3,000 people experiencing homelessness in King County. Many of these folks are genuinely down on their luck. A large percentage are kids from the foster care system. There simply aren’t enough shelter beds or sanctioned encampments to accommodate anywhere near everyone. There is a brand new survey from the Puget Sound Business Journal showing the “vast majority” of Seattle’s homeless would accept safe housing, if offered. Link here (paywall, sorry): http://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/news/2017/03/06/new-survey-vast-majority-of-seattles-homeless.html

    • flimflam March 24, 2017 (5:30 pm)

      huh. a woman is attacked and you are concerned about income disparities and shaming people for criticizing the current approach? this is a law enforcement issue in my opinion.

      • seares March 26, 2017 (11:54 pm)

        It’s hard for Law Enforcement to do anything about it when they have one hand tied behind their backs, due to a few bad apples on both sides.

    • Anonymous Coward March 24, 2017 (6:12 pm)

      Sorry, Mike, even with a good economic crash I won’t be sharing a side walk with these folks. I’ll be down at the shelter, happily following the rules about controlled substances along with the other folks in the shelter…

  • Beacon Hill Pasta Boy March 24, 2017 (5:52 pm)

    This is really good reporting on a very traumatic event that could have been much worse. Glad Jackie was not more severely injured. Those lights have been out forever-City Light needs to fix this-their bureaucratic excuses are unacceptable. Maybe monthly meetings in Council member Herbold’s office for progress reports might move this fix forward.

    • WSB March 24, 2017 (6:05 pm)

      We updated the story with more from City Light and now we have yet another update, this time about plans to sweep the tent camp by the bike path next week, along with cleaning trash by the RV camp nearby. Adding above, pending a wrapup later on everything that has transpired today.

  • Doug March 24, 2017 (6:07 pm)

    What’s happening under the West Seattle Bridge is absolutely disgusting. The mayor and entire city council should be forced to take a group field trip to see what our fair city has become. Lisa Herbold, what are you doing??

    • wetone March 24, 2017 (8:02 pm)

      I vote for above , get mayor patchwork city council including Lisa Herbold and old Dow down under bridges to clean up..  If they go I will gladly help out.

  • Lola March 24, 2017 (7:31 pm)

    The only time they ever do anything is after something disastrous has happened to someone.  I love their comments how Oh we were going to do a clean up next week in this area.  Really only after everyone starts talking about it and it gets into the media do they every do anything.  

    Flimflam,  I am with you we have never had this problem before our Mayor started to let everyone pitch a tent wherever they want and to throw their garbage all over the place.  

  • Mike March 24, 2017 (7:41 pm)

    100% the lack of our city officials having a backbone to take action. They’re all too concerned with their careers and don’t realize this crap will end their careers.  Schools littered with needles, public restrooms used to shoot up and lewd acts for money, sidewalk areas covered in litter and human feces, infants and toddlers left alone in tents near busy roads, meth cook RVs along Alki and under West Seattle Bridge and off Rainier Ave near I5, harassing people who are forced into roadways as they try to avoid tent encampments along sidewalks, drunk/high naked person in wheelchairs at 8am in front of the Pike Place Market entrance, the list goes on and on.  Time for a new team to lead our city.

  • Agrees March 24, 2017 (7:46 pm)

    It is so telling that Lisa Herbold says she is “saddened”.  She should be outraged.

    • Agrees March 26, 2017 (3:22 pm)

      I should elaborate.  “Saddened” is a passive response – as if she is watching but has no control over the situation.  In reality, she has a lot of control.  Actual laws are not being enforced on a daily basis and that is endangering public safety and health.  If we has chronic speeding on our roadways and people were being injured and dying, we would expect the city to take action and enforce the law(s).  It is illegal to camp on any type of land except private land, with the landowner’s explicit permission.  Check that.  Camping in national / state parks at DESIGNATED campgrounds is permitted for a fee and there are strict rules.  If the laws had been enforced Jackie would never have had this extremely frightening encounter.

      Lisa Herbold – you and and our other leaders CANNOT decide which laws to enforce based on whether you like them or not.  ENFORCE THEM ALL, and especially when public safety and health are sacrificed if you do not.  Do not say that you are ‘saddened’ as if you child’s goldfish has died.  THAT IS AN INSULT to Jackie and anyone else that has been harmed by this situation that YOU and other leader have allowed.

      Lastly, and I should have said this first, Jackie, I am so glad you are OK.  You did not deserve to be put in this position.  You have a right to use the public streets and paths for transportation with a reasonable amount of peace of mind.

       

  • Chukkalady March 24, 2017 (7:51 pm)

    And the city of Seattle wants to spend mega dollars on “safe zones” for these folks to shoot up……….Just how do they think these people get their drugs?   Purse snatchings, car prowlings, mail thievery, assaults, etc……….I guess we can all expect more.

  • Alki Resident March 24, 2017 (8:14 pm)

    I’m sorry but I am not believing that garbage pickup was already set for next week. But on a more scarier note, what would that guy have done to Jackie had she not got away? Rape and/or murder? This is so unnerving to me and we need to know what kind of people these homeless individuals are. There are way too many sex offenders that are not accounted for because they don’t have an address. These attacks can and will happen to any one of us in the future and I’m really tired of having my guard up. 

    • flimflam March 24, 2017 (8:37 pm)

       “While the tent encampment at the north side of Spokane Street adjacent to the bike trail will be removed next week, the City is still working on a plan with those living in the unauthorized encampment and RV parking area underneath Spokane Street. Trash around that RV lot will be removed.”

      the city response is pretty lame – so the RV mess is ok, but the tents are not? ok. 

       

      this is the same city leadership that wants even more property taxes out of us – this is after the mayor’s bog “emergency” declaration two years ago, after the 50 MILLION per year spent on about 3-4000 homeless? please, can we get an accurate account of where all this money is going?

  • flimflam March 24, 2017 (8:15 pm)

    so the new official policy is to clean up these messes after enough bad stuff happens?

     the lights were damaged by folks stealing copper wire? the lights couldn’t be fixed (for a long time…) because of homeless camps? debris? so the city knew this was a problem and decided to make a wish and hope it would fix itself? meanwhile, regular ol’ folks are just trying to ride their bike to work or, you know, walk on the path.

    • Rob March 24, 2017 (10:50 pm)

      If you haven’t already, please contact your city representatives and let them know what your feelings are about this situation. 

      Lisa Herbold, our city council rep:

      lisa.herbold@seattle.gov

      Scott Lindsay, mayor Murray’s assistant (referenced in the story above): Scott.Lindsay@seattle.gov

      As taxpayers who fund their salaries, we all deserve a response. 

  • Mahalo March 24, 2017 (8:26 pm)

    I am so disgusted with these homeless encampments. Homeless people from other areas come here since, as a city, we tolerate this lifestyle. If our officials had some guts, they’d make it unpleasant to be homeless here. We have plenty of services to help those who actually want help. Most just want to drink & drug & not follow rules. 

  • Jissy March 24, 2017 (9:42 pm)

    This statement is SO pathetic, SCL should be ashamed of themselves for even putting it out there!  “ but have been unable to complete that work due to a number of homeless people who have been camping in the area and debris.”  

    How about we ENFORCE THE LAWS that govern this City in the first place so that tax-paying, law-abiding citizens don’t have to worry about being assaulted on their way to work to contribute to society as a productive member of society!?!?!?!  This IS UNACCEPTABLE.   I have never written a letter to a government official but I will be this weekend.  We are at critical mass people to either turn this around NOW or continue into entropy.  UNACCEPTABLE!!!  

    For sure what Mike said above, “100% the lack of our city officials having a backbone to take action.”

  • anonymous March 24, 2017 (9:43 pm)

    Why don’t we fence off these areas? Leaves no area to camp. I agree you have to help people and some don’t want it. For those that do I’m fine with free and subsidized housing. For those that don’t; those who don’t want to quit drugs let’s house them somewhere safe, but I’m not paying for them to live in seattle and stay high. There’s relatively cheap land but in rural areas. They don’t need access to jobs if they’re not working so it doesn’t need to be close to cities/burbs. For the mentally ill, it’s tragic the Reagan administration cut the funding for mental wards starting in the 70’s. The mentally ill need to be housed somewhere safe and with proper care. we can’t pay for it as a city, that sort of infrastructure requires federal funding, and with political climate, there’s no hope of that happening soon. Glad we all have this area to vent, thank you WSB!

  • Rob March 24, 2017 (10:13 pm)

    I just wanted to add one more note of praise to the west Seattle blog for your coverage of this issue. You are such a treasure!! Our city officials – Lisa Herbold and Ed Murray especially – have so thoroughly failed us. I, for one, really appreciate your willingness to highlight this problem.

    Sad that it took a near-tragedy to make city officials take notice. But we should all be so thankful it wasn’t worse! Next time, I really hope the city will pay attention when their constituents ask for help addressing a serious problem!

  • Low Bridge March 24, 2017 (10:13 pm)

    Jackie, sorry to hear about your encounter, that must have been a scary deal. I also bike commute through this area daily — on top of all of the rest mentioned here, what amazes me is the number of bicycles (many nicer than mine!) that are laying around. I have never seen or heard any mention from the police or news about the proliferation of what I am guessing are stolen bikes. 

  • Woodsman March 24, 2017 (11:49 pm)

    Happy to pay the homeless tax. Pretty soon I’ll be taxed out of my home then my family can move down by the river too! I’ll be able to actually see my tax dollars at work.

  • Nason March 25, 2017 (7:03 am)

    This is exactly where I was verbally assaulted by a homeless man several weeks ago. I was taking pictures with my cell phone and he apparently did not like me doing that. I was also on my bike and feared for my safety. So as he approached me in an aggressive manner I quickly rode away. That specific area is rife with old beat up mobile homes and RVs which are undoubtedly meth labs and other sources of illegal drugs. The trash is beyond intolerable. Our city looks like a third world nation. I put the responsibility for this squarely on the shoulders of our feckless mayor and the inept Seattle City council. This is not compassionate this is storage of people and is creating a hazardous environment for the citizens of Seattle and in this case West Seattle. Here’s a video montage a made from that day https://youtu.be/q8t1oIClzEs

  • Shoobahn M. March 25, 2017 (8:07 am)

    I was previously “sympathetic” to the homeless crisis that is ballooning in Seattle, but Jackie’s experience has certainly made me adjust my perspective. 

    1. SCL’s response clarifies that it isn’t an issue of finding the broken lights – it’s that the access points are covered in trash and they don’t feel safe working on these lights!! Infuriating!!

    2. SEATTLE, CLEAN UP ALL THE TRASH!!

  • flimflam March 25, 2017 (8:34 am)

    I haven’t heard a peep about this on any of the “major” news sites locally.

     

    shoobahn m. – I think a lot of people feel like you do, running out of compassion in the face of the city’s ineptitude.

    now the signature gatherers are out in force to get the “homeless tax” passed onto property owners, renters. I would really like to see a detailed account of where the 50million + per year being gathered for a population of about 3-4k people is going. I have a terrible feeling that there are some serious careers being built and sustained by “advocates” and “non profits” on the backs of the actual homeless and taxpayers. it has become quite an industry here…. 

     

  • Matt March 25, 2017 (8:36 am)

    Terrible!  I am so glad that Jackie got away unharmed.

    I was biking to west on that section of trail on Tuesday 3/21 at about 6:40 pm and noticed 2 guys  who were staring me down as I rode by.   They were on the south side of the trail adjacent to where the photo added at 1:30 pm was taken.   One of the men were in their 20s or early 30s.  With such a brief pass-by – I couldn’t tell if they were high or hostile.  But it felt like a considerably different encounter than I have generally had over my many years of commuting through this area.   I often say hello or nod when I come across pedestrians on my commute, and most folks either briefly acknowledge me or avoid eye contact altogether.    

    Please be safe out there! If you feel an area is unsafe – ride in pairs, slow down to ride near that person you just passed, or head out into the road and take a lane. 

  • Kelly March 25, 2017 (9:27 am)

    Glad you’re OK, Jackie.  That is definitely the sketchiest part of our Georgetown commute.  

  • rpo March 25, 2017 (10:46 am)

    I drove over the WS bridge late last night and counted the number of street lights that are STILL not functioning between I-5 and the corner going up the hill.  

    27.  Twenty Seven!  

    Obviously these lights do not affect the bike path under the bridge, but it is quite the indication of the incompetence of City Light to make repairs even years after they quit working.  A majority of the non-functioning lights are on the west end.  At one point, there are 7 in a single cluster.  I reported those 7 not working in January of last year.  Nothing has been done.

  • Mad Max March 25, 2017 (12:11 pm)

    I’m glad that you are unhurt Jackie! 

    I ride my bike to work in Belltown from my home on Pigeon Point sometimes. This reminded me of the morning that I rode right through the area that Jackie was attacked and saw a man laying on his side right next to sidewalk. As I rode by him I realized his pants were down and he was peeing as he laid on his side. Yep 👍 7am under the bridge in Seattle! the situation down there is just horrible. 

    Now that area in addition to being some kind of Mad Max Bartertown is also becoming a spontaneous landfill, and the city wants more money. Absolutely not!

    I just listened to a radio show talking about how much money had been wasted on Turkish refugees by the UN. Due to sheer negligence and the fact that there were too many agencies, 70% of the money had been wasted with no results for the refugees. This reminded me of the situation here where over a hundred agencies have contracts with the city to provide services to the homeless. No money until they can reduce that number and show some results! This has gotten completely out of hand. My two cents…

  • SpaceDust March 25, 2017 (12:57 pm)

    @FlimFlam…I saw a brief intro that it was going to be on KOMO last night but didn’t stay up to watch it.

  • CR March 25, 2017 (8:33 pm)

    For those of you not happy with the current state of the city get out and vote in the next election!  Time for a clean sweep.  This administration is more focused on sending “social” messages on our dime than addressing the core issues.  The gun tax was a net loss with no impact.  The decision to drop Well’s Fargo will be an expense to the taxpayers.  ST3 another boondoggle that folks voted for without reading the details. The city is in crisis and there is now a proposed county arts tax.  Although  a conservative with no kids, I’ve supported almost every tax increase…education, Fire Station upgrade (another spending disaster..do your research), and on and on for the city I love.  Until we have new leadership with a clear vision, I can’t support anymore tax increases. It’s time for qualified and passionate candidates to run for office.

    • Canton March 25, 2017 (10:09 pm)

      Agree. Would like to see any public leaders actually vested in the public interest, instead of their own financial gain. Any elected official should be able to talk to their constituents face to face and answer tough issues, unlike the current regime. The mayor only shows up at ribbon cuttings or social issues. Imagine a public debate with polygraphs humming away.

  • Mark March 25, 2017 (10:35 pm)

    Its time for a litter emphasis patrol, you get caught littering you pay a fine or go to jail.  The filth is ridiculous and needs to be addressed.  Those that cause the filth need to be forced to clean it up

  • Wallace Grommet March 25, 2017 (11:06 pm)

    Isn’t it absurdly pathetic that a society of unimaginable wealth, capability, and tremendous resources simply cannot find the will to help the least among us? The most desperate? The most self destructive? 

    • flimflam March 26, 2017 (8:39 am)

      yep, 50 million can’t be enough to assist 3-4k people…sigh.

       

      unfortunately, our leadership is so compassionate that they’ll allow someone to sit in their tent with rats and garbage everywhere and smoke meth or shoot up all day if that is what they choose. 

  • CR March 26, 2017 (3:47 pm)

    To see for myself, this afternoon I drove west from Airport Way under the Spokane St viaduct and took the low bridge back to WS.   Had been awhile since I took that route.  To say that I was shocked by what I saw is an understatement.   The derelict RV’s and tents were too numerous to count.  Graffiti everywhere and the trash is unbelievable.  Take the drive.  You have to see to believe it.  Then contact the city council and mayor.  

    Clearly no longer a safe place for cyclists.  Fixing the lights is a must but won’t change that it remains a dangerous area.

    Again no mention of this by the “big” news networks or I missed.  Thanks again WSB for keeping us informed.

    • flimflam March 26, 2017 (5:04 pm)

      I wonder if you noticed if the RV’s have current tabs? I wonder if they would pass an emissions test? either way, i’m sure they dispose of their human waste in a proper fashion.

       

      there cannot be two sets of laws in any city. 

       

      simple, common sense, everyday law enforcement.  

      • Agrees March 26, 2017 (7:02 pm)

        Absolutely, flimflam!  I got a ticket for parking on the street with expired tabs,and I didn’t break any other rule (two hour parking, etc.).  I had to go to court to prove I had renewed the tabs and everything else was up to snuff (insurance, etc.) and even then I still had to pay half the fee.  As well I should have.  Why is the law not enforced here? Why do the Mayor and Council think they can get away with that?

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizen_suit

        Interesting reading the link above…

  • Tom March 26, 2017 (5:54 pm)

    once again Mayor Worthless and the Council,don’t respond until there is a incident.All the city is concerned with is how much tax revenue they can squeeze of the citizens.When is the Mayor going to provide us with the information on how they spent the first 110 million.It’s obvious we don’t matter to the Mayor and the Council.His impassioned pleas are falling on deaf ears.It’s time to start listening to all of the people of the city.Mayor Murray is like the boy who cried wolf! The Mayor claims he’s following the advice of national experts.Well the experts testified in front of the Council,that it wasn’t about the money .It’s about the will of leadership to act.We need to let the Mayor and the Council were tired of being treated like patsies.When and if the new homeless tax ends up on the ballot.We need to say HELL no!

  • Amy March 27, 2017 (7:32 am)

     There was someone parking in a SUV on the path this morning (Monday) around 6:22a with their running lights on. At the corner of E. Marginal and S Spokane St. facing West. Was not a marked police car.

  • Citizen Sane March 27, 2017 (7:33 am)

    The current city policy just enables the addicts and provides cover for thieves and sexual predators like the man who attacked Jackie. And now they want a quarter-billion dollar property tax levy for more of the same.

    The current system just doesn’t work. Too many outfits hang out shingles calling themselves ‘homeless service providers’ and lobby city hall for our tax dollars (this is what is known as the ‘Homeless-Industrial Complex’). They provide little result, poor accounting for money spent, and no transparency (SHARE/WHEEL and LIHI are among the worst offenders). This was pointed out in an expensive study which the city bought and has assiduously ignored, along with its sensible solutions.

    If you like squalid hobo jungles populated by addicts, thieves, and rapists, you’ll love I-126, otherwise, just say no, and demand a top to bottom overhaul of our homeless policies, and perhaps start electing a mayor and city council that is about getting results first, and not so obsessed with promoting all-inclusive, PC ‘feel-good’ polices that burn money and accomplish little else.

  • John March 27, 2017 (9:23 am)

    I’m just getting around to reading this now.  I didn’t read all the comments.  I’m a daily biker and I’ve notified the police once how dangerous it would be for a female biker to go under the lower west Seattle bridge.  I quick grab, rape and killing.  Throw the body and bike in the river…done.

    They did kick the tents out….or the tent owners finally got tired of their own mess and packed up.  WSB…you should go and look under the bridge.  It looks like the city dump.

     

  • Abdi March 27, 2017 (11:47 am)

     Not so difficult to solve this issue, shut down the governmental and societal machines that create homelessness. We are good at producing homelessness. 

  • RC March 27, 2017 (1:57 pm)

    I’ll try to keep this brief. If I repeat another comment already made, apologies. 

    I would like to rant (to SDOT, mostly) for a moment on Seattle’s current reality for bike commuters. I am a West Seattle resident, female, and mother of a one-year-old. I used to commute by bicycle frequently. Then, two people I knew got hit by cars and seriously injured, a friend got attacked, Seattle got more traffic, my job got more hectic and less predictable, I had a baby, we lost our showers at work, and the brutal Seattle weather intensified. I would like to bike to work again, but I just don’t feel safe or comfortable for various reasons. 

    In my personal opinion, SDOT has put the cart before the horse by investing in cycling infrastructure without understanding community needs. There are multiple barriers to cycling in Seattle – and they are increasing, not decreasing. Before SDOT spends any more $ adding shiny new stuff (think: new bike lanes on Delridge or Admiral and new greenways), it would benefit them to work with other city departments to address what’s already here and how it’s being used. Key safety issues need to be addressed, including other related topics such as homelessness, lighting, increasing traffic, etc. This disturbing story is just one case in point.

    Sincerely, a (former?) Seattle cyclist who just doesn’t feel safe out there anymore.

    • Qbert March 28, 2017 (4:15 pm)

      So because you don’t ride a bike everyone else should be thrown to the wolves? Typical me first attitude prevalent today.

  • Bradley March 28, 2017 (3:21 pm)

    Worst Mayor EVER! I cannot wait to vote for his opponent(s).

  • Brian March 29, 2017 (8:15 pm)

    Jackie, if you’re still reading these comments, did your assailant also have a mustache? On the bike path near where you were attacked there was a man fitting your description (though maybe a bit younger) in a blue jacket holding a book and loudly talking incoherently to no one in particular right in the middle of the bike trail.

Sorry, comment time is over.

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