@ Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council: End of an era; candidate visit

The big news from last night’s Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council meeting goes with the notebook pictured above: It’s full of contacts, cards, agendas, and other documents gathered by Amanda Kay Helmick, who has stepped down after four years of leadership with the group. Mat McBride is with her in our next photo – the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council chair who helped shepherd WWRHAH into existence:

(Here’s our report on WWRHAH’s first meeting in February 2013.) Eric Iwamoto has co-chaired WWRHAH with Helmick recently, and Kim Barnes has taken on a major role, especially regarding the Westwood-Highland Park Urban Village’s destiny with HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability upzoning, and other land-use issues, but the group hasn’t yet decided its leadership path forward. They’ll talk about it next month – when the major topic is expected to be the HALA MHA draft Environmental Impact Statement, due out soon – and they’re also planning a door-to-door campaign to reach people who might not have heard about WWRHAH.

Along with HALA, another major issue is how – whether – the future Delridge RapidRide H (Route 120 is converting in 2020) will relate to/engage with the area. Helmick said she had been trying to reach Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s office and SDOT to get some key questions answered and so far had nothing but what she called “radio silence.” Here’s what she had sent:

At the WWRHAH meeting on Tuesday, our group made it very clear to SDOT that they needed to clarify their role in upgrading the 120. Specifically, SDOT needs to clarify whether it is planning the route, ie; removing / consolidating stops, or working on the pavement, roadway and pedestrian improvements.

Therese Casper from SDOT acknowledged the need for collaboration between SDOT and Metro on the routing issue. Metro has a known process for surveying their riders to find out where they are going, how far they have to walk, etc. Doug Johnson of Metro, who was at the meeting, acknowledged that is has been several years since a 120 survey was taken. We would like see SDOT start the collaboration by requesting Metro have the survey done before the design phase begins.

We also cannot stress enough the need for SDOT to consider the HALA/MHA upzone proposals in the Westwood Highland Park Urban Village. Currently, the 120 does not run through the heart of the Westwood Highland Park Urban Village. The folks in the Highland Park are cut off from bus service because of this, and the upgrade does nothing to rectify that. Comparably, the C Line, runs along California Ave SW specifically because of the Urban Village instead of taking the faster route along Fauntleroy Way.

Lastly, without significant attention paid to improving the ingress/egress to the peninsula, it doesn’t matter how fast you can get from Roxbury to the bridge. The City must find a way to improve this situation.

WWRHAH has been working on issues surrounding Metro and the impacts of bus service to the community for 4 years. We have seen very little in the way of solutions for our area, but we see the Move Seattle Levy as an opportunity to do something amazing that will improve mobility, connectivity and livability for an area that is under served.

Also at last night’s WWRHAH meeting:

CRIME UPDATE: Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Ron Smith said Westwood Village is still having shoplifting issues, and the precinct continues to work with management to get some structure in place that will allow police and businesses to work more efficiently in tackling the project.

COUNCIL CANDIDATE: City Council Position 8 candidate Dr. Hisam Goueli came to the WWRHAH meeting, mostly to listen to and learn about the area’s issues.

Transportation was front and center. Among other topics – Dr. Goueli mentioned he’s a doctor, and promptly was informed that West Seattle is without a hospital. He’s one of 10 candidates currently in the running for the citywide position that Councilmember Tim Burgess currently holds but is not seeking to keep.

WWRHAH needs you more than ever – and you’ll find them at 6:15 pm first Tuesdays in the upstairs meeting room at Southwest Library, 35th SW/SW Henderson.

2 Replies to "@ Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council: End of an era; candidate visit"

  • JRR May 3, 2017 (5:29 pm)

    This group is ours, neighbors, and can be what we make of it. Join us! 

  • McBride May 4, 2017 (11:19 am)

    Amanda,

    I have observed that when community volunteers move on to other pursuits, it’s usually a quiet affair. In a way, that’s understandable – the focus was/is always on tackling the next issue. In a way, it’s a bit of a shame – altruism shouldn’t go unrecognized as often as it does.

    Thanks for doing the good work. Thanks for not minding that most of the beneficiaries were not aware of it. Thanks for having an opinion, making the effort to inform it,  and letting it translate into action. Thanks for enduring criticism for that willingness. Thanks for all the effort you put in. Thanks for taking leaving it better than you found it as your only payment.

    I know you share these sentiments with everyone past, present, and future who has, is, and will share this work. We all do, even if we don’t say it often enough. Good luck on your future pursuits, may the road rise to meet you.

    Mat

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