West Seattle, Washington
It started in 2014 with the West Seattle Transportation Coalition‘s list of priorities. In January 2015, when then-City Councilmember (and West Seattle resident) Tom Rasmussen chaired the council’s Transportation Committee, he announced a West Seattle Bridge Corridor Management Task Force; in September 2015, he presented a “whitepaper” with recommendations.
Some have been put into place.
Last year, the council got a progress report, and asked SDOT to study four possibilities for addressing congestion factors, as noted in the last paragraph of District 1 City Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s update here.
Now, the results of that request are out, in the form of SDOT’s “West Seattle Bridge Corridor Congestion Management Study,” made public by Councilmember Herbold. (If you can’t read it in the embedded version above, here it is in PDF.)
It addresses goals for the upper bridge and lower roadway – not just the low bridge, but the entirety of lower Spokane Street all the way east to Airport Way.
For the upper bridge, the goal is to reduce crashes, improve responding times when they do occur, and “improve operations capability on alternate routes.” The report says 50 crashes happen each year, on average, on the upper bridge.
For the lower corridor, the goal is to “manage a roadway that experiences frequent and unpredictable disruptions as the ‘normal’ operating condition,” and managing truck queues on Spokane St. The report notes averages of five 12-minute low-bridge openings each day. The report notes the “federal mandate” for maritime traffic to maintain priority and does not recommend “restricted opening hours” for the bridge. (However, the recommended Duwamish Waterway User Group might discuss voluntary limits, the report says.)
Also noted: A daily average of 67 train crossings between 1st and 4th on Spokane. And it acknowledges the low bridge/roadway as “the only pedestrian and bicycle train connection” between West Seattle and SODO, with connections to downtown.
The recommendations, in descending order of their estimated costs:
*Enhance alternative routes (to change traffic flow during incidents) via ITS – $6.6 million
*Smart traffic signals and ITS for Spokane St. – $6 million
*Active Traffic Management System on the high bridge – $5.4 million
*Construct Refuge Pullouts – $2.5 million for one, $5 million for two
*Swing Bridge Delay Information System – $950,000
*24/7 traffic-operations center for SDOT to get information out – $875,000
*Rail Crossing Delay Information System – $600,000
*Raised pavement/striping – $250,000
*Establish Duwamish Waterway User Group ($0)
*Terminal 5 Queue Management System and Port/City agreement to ban truck backups on Spokane St. ($0)
The Active Traffic Management System would include “overhead signs capable of posting advisory speeds, variable speed limits, and warning messages approaching backups or queues at targeted locations. … This would be similar to the system installed on I-5.”
Refuge Pullouts would be spots where responders could “push disabled vehicles or vehicles involved in collisions … to restore traffic in the corridor.”
The Swing Bridge Delay Information System and Rail Crossing Delay Information System would involve adding cameras and messaging signs that would include countdowns for how much longer conditions might last.
Not recommended: “Median gates” that could be used to facilitate U-turns on the high bridge if a serious incident led to a blockage. They wouldn’t improve response times or safety. Also not recommended, striping a “fire lane” on the high bridge; this is a longrunning practice in New York City but those researching for the West Seattle Bridge Corridor Report were told they weren’t a good idea for various reasons.
The study includes an extensive discussion of what might happen when “modernized” Terminal 5 reopens, regarding truck backups. We’ll take a look at that in a separate report. Meantime, Councilmember Herbold says that regarding the suggested actions, “I’ll be looking for ways to work with SDOT to implement these recommendations.”
Volunteering is often described as “lending a hand.” A multigenerational group of women did just that today at WestSide Baby in honor of National Volunteer Week. Among them: centenarian and “knitter extraordinaire” Virginia Carmichael, a volunteer visiting from The Kenney:
She and others from The Kenney visited to drop off hand-knit items for babies in need. WestSide Baby says she “has been knitting as much as one baby sweater per week for 5 years for WestSide Baby.” Several other residents from The Kenney “regularly create garments and quilts to keep their littlest neighbors safe, warm and dry,” explains Jess Sweetman of WS Baby.
The knitters’ creations were exhibited at The Kenney recently before being taken to WS Baby. Virginia says she’s volunteered all her life, going back to her days as a Girl Scout. She told WS Baby that she likes to keep busy and “benefits as much from making the sweaters as the children who receive them.”
The announcement of today’s donation visit also quotes WestSide Baby executive director Nancy Woodland (at right in the second photo above) as saying, “We are so excited to celebrate these very dedicated and talented volunteers and everything that they do to support kids in our community. We are privileged to be a part of an incredible community of support made up of over 1,800 volunteers who dedicated over 18,000 hours of service last year. Volunteering benefits our entire community.”
Thinking about volunteering for WestSide Baby? Here’s how.
This month’s West Seattle Chamber of Commerce After Hours event brought local business reps to HomeStreet Bank (WSB sponsor) in The Junction – above, from left, are Chamber CEO Lynn Dennis, branch manager Nam Le, and Chamber board president Paul Prentice. The Chamber honored HomeStreet as Emerging Business of the Year in 2016, and is days away from celebrating this year’s winners of the Westside Awards. We checked today and some tickets remain for the awards breakfast next Thursday (May 4th), 7:30 am at Salty’s on Alki (1936 Harbor SW; WSB sponsor) – here’s where to register.
Three biznotes tonight:
JUNCTION DAY OF GIVING TOMORROW: One more reminder that most West Seattle Junction businesses are donating part of their proceeds to local nonprofits tomorrow, 10 am-6 pm, during the annual Junction Day of Giving. Each nonprofit has chosen a beneficiary – right now, the list is at 30 participating businesses, 20 beneficiaries, and you can see it all here. Look for balloons marking participants!
THUNDER ROAD GUITARS GIVING FROM THE ROAD: While Thunder Road Guitars (WSB sponsor) is listed as a participant, their storefront at 4736 California SW will be closed tomorrow because TRG is attending the Tacoma Guitar Festival at the Tacoma Dome. But they’re still giving, “from the road” – proprietor Frank Gross says, “We DO still plan on participating in the West Seattle Junction Day of Giving and will be donating 10% of our sales Saturday the 29th to the Southwest Seattle Historical Society. Be sure to stop by and see us at the show this weekend!” (It’s open 9:30 am-5 pm tomorrow, 10 am-4 pm Sunday.)
DRUNKY’S TWO-SHOE BBQ OPENS IN WHITE CENTER: It’s opening night for the second location of Drunky’s Two-Shoe BBQ, in White Center. We stopped by less than an hour ago and the wait was already an hour. Photos are on our partner site White Center Now.
From Tara: “A white work van with a blue and orange CM Heating logo on the side was stolen from 40th and SW Thistle. License plate # B70402C. Last seen at 8:30 pm Thursday.” If you see it, call 911.
Just tweeted by Seattle Police: 44-year-old Paul D. Story, charged in last month’s boathouse-burglary case along the Duwamish River, is back in custody. It’s been two weeks since SPD circulated his photo, asking for help finding him; that in turn was one week after we reported he had been charged in connection with a break-in at a marina on the Duwamish River. That March 22nd incident drew more attention than most burglaries after Story jumped into the river and swam under the boathouse to try to evade police. He was taken to the hospital, then to jail, but released five days later because charges hadn’t been filed. SPD says they arrested him today in SODO after a tip; the arrest warrant that’s been out for him carries a bail amount of $100,000.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
First, Delridge in 2015 …
Then, Roxhill/Westwood in 2016 …
Next, Highland Park in 2017.
Though it was semi-announced in early February, the date wasn’t set until very recently: Thursday, May 25th. The start time and route are not set yet. Those will be discussed at a series of meetings starting next week, according to two city/AmeriCorps reps who coordinate the Find It, Fix It Walks. Lemmis Stephens and Paige Madden came to HPAC’s meeting to talk about preparations for the event, starting with a public planning meeting next week. And they got an earful of skepticism and concerns, much along the lines of – “so, we find it, AND we then have to fix it?” from people who already spend much of their time volunteering for community-improvement projectsRead More
A safety alert has been sent to Chief Sealth International High School and Denny International Middle School families. It’s signed by principals Aida Fraser-Hammer of CSIHS and Jeff Clark of Denny IMS, who just sent it to us:
We want to share with you information regarding an incident that was reported this morning involving one of our scholars on her way to school.
At approximately 8:35 am, a 12th grade female scholar reported that she had been followed by an older-model blue van from Delridge and Trenton as she walked toward school today. She reported the incident to Chief Sealth staff right away, who notified the police. The Seattle Police Department is investigating the incident.
The safety of our scholars is our top priority. We will continue to collaborate with the Seattle Police Department and Seattle Public Schools Safety and Security to help monitor the surrounding area before and after school.
You can help your children stay safe by talking to them about personal safety. Tips to discuss are:
Walking in pairs or groups and being aware of their surroundings at all times.
Leaving for school at times where there are high levels of pedestrian traffic.
Immediately reporting anything suspicious to trusted adults (school staff and family members).
Keep earbuds off and expensive phones out of sight.
We’ll add PDF copies of the letter in English and Spanish momentarily.
When the city announced that Camp Second Chance in southeast West Seattle would become a “sanctioned” encampment, part of the agreement was to set up a Community Advisory Committee. It’s now in place, and Polly Trout from CSC operator Patacara Community Services has sent this public invitation to its upcoming meeting:
Our next Community Advisory Committee Meeting for Camp Second Chance on Myers Way will be Sunday, May 7, 2-4 pm. We will meet at camp at 9701 Myers Way S. This will give everyone a chance to see recent improvements to the camp, like our potable water cistern and electricity! If the weather is fine and we have enough chairs, we will hold the meeting at the camp. If the weather is foul or we are short on chairs, then after the camp tour we will move to an indoor location.
That location is TBA, she says; the meeting is open to all. See the full announcement here (as Trout mentions in it, this is separate from the May 15th city-convened meeting announced earlier this week, which is also intended to address Myers Way issues outside CSC).
Thanks to everyone who has written to let us know about this. A woman hit and killed by a driver downtown this week was a West Seattleite, a mom of two, beloved by many. Adriana Brown was only 36 years old, and described as “a fierce friend, an amazing coach, a brilliant trainer, a supportive co-worker, and a truly authentic person.” That description, and the photo at right, are from the GoFundMe page set up to help her family with immediate needs and to help meet a family goal Ms. Brown had set, a college fund for her daughters. In just a few days, the fund already has received a tremendous response. We have a request out to the fund’s organizer for any more information that can be shared.
Been wondering about the status of the Murray Combined Sewer Overflow Control facility across from Lowman Beach, with construction crews gone but fences still up? We requested an update yesterday, and received this today:
With restoration work complete, King County’s contractor will remove fencing around the facility site during the first week of May. The public staircase will be open once the fencing is removed. The fencing around Lowman Beach Park will remain in place through the spring until the grass is established.
King County will raise the height of some sections of railing on the facility roof to enhance site security and safety. You may see temporary barriers in place until this update is complete. The staircase will remain open to the public during this work.
SAVE THE DATE!
Community celebration & facility tours
Saturday, June 10
10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Murray Wet Weather Facility
The County will host a community event on Saturday, June 10 to celebrate the completion of the project and to thank you for your continued patience during construction. Please stop by to:
· Take a tour of the facility (tours inside the facility building are limited to those ages nine and up)
· Learn about how the facility and underground storage tank protect water quality and public health
· Share your feedback about the project and construction process
The heart of the facility is a million-gallon underground-storage tank to hold overflows during storms, which previously would have spilled into Puget Sound. It’s been operational since last November. Construction began more than three years earlier, with the demolition of residential buildings that were previously on the site.
(Boeing photo: KC-46A’s first flight, September 2015)
Just got the heads-up on this from King County Department of Transportation spokesperson Brent Champaco, who says you might hear/see these aircraft tonight, since Boeing Field is just east of West Seattle:
The Boeing Company is scheduled to conduct a flight test of its new KC-46 Pegasus refueling aircraft Friday night at King County International Airport/Boeing Field.
The KC-46, accompanied by a Navy F-18 jet, is scheduled to depart at 6 p.m. Both aircraft are scheduled to return at approximately 11 p.m.
This flight test is weather-dependent and is subject to change.
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
WHITE CENTER LIBRARY GUILD PLANT SALE: Gearing up for gardening? Noon-4 pm, the White Center Library Guild‘s fundraising sale offers plant starts and gardening books, at the library. (1409 SW 107th)
LOW-LOW-TIDE SEASON: First minus-two-foot-plus daytime low-low tide of the year, 1:03 pm, -2.3 feet. Even lower tomorrow!
LIVE MUSIC AT SALTY’S ON ALKI: New Orleans jazz with the Dave Holo Trio, 5-8 pm. (1936 Harbor SW)
RECEPTION FOR STUDENT ARTISTS: 5:30-7:30 pm at ArtsWest, come meet the high-school student artists whose work is on display in “Exploration and Manipulation.” (4711 California SW)
LIVE MUSIC AT C & P COFFEE: Siggie the Vintage Man, solo acoustic Americana, 7-9 pm. (5612 California SW)
‘FIRST DATE’: Opening night for Twelfth Night Productions‘ new play, 7:30 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center: “When blind date newbie Aaron is set up with serial-dater Casey, a casual drink at a busy New York restaurant turns into a hilarious high-stakes dinner.” (4408 Delridge Way SW)
‘FROZEN’: This “Tony Award-nominated play about a serial killer and two women who track him down” continues at ArtsWest, 7:30 pm. (4711 California SW)
LIVE MUSIC AT PARLIAMENT TAVERN: Four bands play hard rock, metal, punk, 9 pm. $5 cover. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
LIVE MUSIC AT THE SKYLARK: The spotlight is on Seattle women musicians tonight, 9 pm. $7 cover. 21+. (3803 Delridge Way SW)
6:59 AM: Good morning. No incidents reported in/from West Seattle right now.
LOOKING AHEAD: Two SDOT reminders for Monday – first, they want to be sure you know about May Day demonstrations; second, remember that Fauntleroy Expressway overnight closures (west end of West Seattle Bridge) for streetlight work are set to start Monday night.