West Seattle, Washington
The future looks as bright as the weather that graced today’s celebration of the newest 13th Year Promise class at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor). That’s the program offering a free year at SSC for graduates of certain Seattle Public Schools high schools, including Chief Sealth International High School, and starting in a year, West Seattle High School. Today marked the end of orientation for the students, as they look ahead to fall-quarter classes a week from Monday. Their guest speaker in Olympic Hall was City Councilmember M. Lorena González, who found herself suddenly acting City Council President as of yesterday, and had a few words about the city leadership changes at the start of her speech:
But she spent much more of her time explaining how she fought to prove wrong those who had told her “people like me don’t go to college”:
The students also got inspiration from the 13th Year program’s leader Julius Moss:
And they heard from the college’s new interim president Peter Lortz:
(If you missed it – here’s our report on our conversation with the new president.) This year’s class is the largest in the 10-year history of the 13th Year Promise program – 150 students.
Parking seems to be today’s theme – this is the third story involving it. Tomorrow is PARK(ing) Day, the day each September when temporary “parklets” pop up in parking spaces around the city. Above is this year’s map from SDOT, which put out the call for participation over the summer. Of the 47 one-day parklets planned around the city, three will be in West Seattle – outside Wyatt’s Jewelers (WSB sponsor) in Westwood Village, which participates every year, and outside Fleurt in The Junction (4536 California SW). Fleurt proprietor Sam Crowley says, “We are installing a 12-foot floral tepee out front. We will be set up by 10:30 am and plan to have it up until 6:30 tomorrow night.” They’re also planning cupcakes and deals. Plus, we see via the map that Red Cup Espresso in The Junction (4451 California SW) is participating too.
6:27 PM: Beautiful night for the West Seattle Art Walk! Above, that’s this month’s Makers’ Market at Junction Plaza Park (42nd SW/SW Alaska). Below, one of the booths you’ll find there – Flowers to the 2nd Power, glass art by Mary Kay Anderson:
Right around the corner at 4540 California SW, you’ll find Click! Design That Fits (WSB sponsor), tonight featuring two West Seattle artists, Stephanie Hargrave and Click! co-proprietor Frances Smersh:
6:35 PM: If you like wine, Art Walk is a great night to go out. Both of our winery sponsors have art/artists until about 8 pm tonight. At Viscon Cellars (5910 California SW), artist Pamela Resnick is painting live:
And at Welcome Road Winery (3804 California SW), you’ll find art by Deborah McCarroll and Brooke Belman:
Find tonight’s full Art Walk map/venue list in our West Seattle Thursday preview.
5:26 PM: Seattle Fire is arriving at a “heavy rescue” call at Admiral and Lander [map] and is reporting that it’s an overturned vehicle. Avoid the area. More to come.
5:34 PM: Our crew has just arrived. Photo added.
5:38 PM: Our crew reports no one is hurt. Seattle Fire just left. A tow truck is awaited.
5:46 PM: Our crew confirms what commenter Kristine reports, that a second vehicle is involved. That one was some distance down the hill, so it’s not in the photo, and does not appear seriously damaged, our crew says. Traffic is getting through.
Late last night, several people messaged us with links to a Facebook post in which a person identifying himself as an employee of private-ambulance company AMR said his employer had been banned from parking ambulances at West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor) while crews awaited their next call.
As we often mention in breaking-news coverage, AMR is called in when people are not injured seriously enough to need transport by city-owned-and-operated medic units (those units are based at fire stations – West Seattle has one medic unit, Medic 32, based at Fire Station 32 in The Triangle). AMR doesn’t have a headquarters facility in our area, so you will often see a between-calls ambulance crew parked somewhere – we’ve seen them on the street and in supermarket and restaurant parking lots.
We told the people who messaged us last night that we’d look into this today. (Online comments suggested it had been circulated to TV stations hours earlier, and this story ensued late last night.) Today, Thriftway – a locally owned independent store – published this message on its own Facebook page:
AMR is a privately owned for profit company held by Clayton, Dubilier and Rice, a private investment firm worth approximately $17 Billion. In an effort to lower costs and increase profits AMR’s management has instructed their employees to operate their business out of West Seattle Thriftway’s facility.
This action consisted of parking for several hours at a time and taking up several parking stalls due to the size of the vehicles limiting spaces for our customers at peak business hours. Over the last two years several requests have been made by West Seattle Thriftway to not use prime parking during peak business hours and has been met with little compliance from AMR staff.
Contrary to what has been posted, West Seattle Thriftway HAS NOT banned anyone from shopping with us and we fully support all of the fine EMT’s, Nurses, and Emergency Professionals.
What we cannot support is an outside company’s desire to increase their bottom line profit by impacting our ability to operate our facility efficiently and provide our customers with parking during peak hours.
We are open to discussing use with AMR during non-peak hours if compliance could be assured.”
If you have any questions, we welcome your email: http://westseattlethriftway.com/contactus.html
We also spoke by phone with Thriftway’s owner Paul Kapioski, who reiterated to WSB that he has been trying to work with AMR on this for two years “and getting very little response for them. … We simply wanted to ask them to not impact customers during our prime times … I hate to tell anybody they can’t park here, but it’s a private business, running their business out of our lot.” Meantime, we have a message out to the media-relations department at AMR (whose website says the company’s in the process of being sold) asking if they have encountered similar situations elsewhere
ADDED: Here’s the response we received from AMR spokesperson Jason Sorrick:
In the 10 years I have been with the company, I cannot recall ever dealing with such a request. We post vehicles and move locations similar to police officers, and select locations based on easy access to freeways and main roads. We also tend to choose areas that are well lit at night and visible to the public to help keep our emergency crews safe while they are waiting for their next call.
Businesses are generally welcoming to our crews, and appreciate the patronage of our employees. Places like Starbucks understand our role in the community and are very accommodating to emergency personnel. If a business owner has an issue, they can simply contact us and we will be more than willing to change our posting.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
This year’s keynoter was port commmissioner John Creighton, speaking solo before taking questions. He is running for re-election in November after 12 years on the commission.
Sound Transit 3, approved by voters last November, was the topic that started his speech, as he noted that the commission unanimously approved a resolution to support it. “The more people you get out of cars and into transit, the better for freight mobility,” he explained. (But, he joked, his enthusiasm was a bit dampened when he got his car-tab bill last week “and it went up $500.”) He noted that since “part of the alignment goes through port property,” they’ll be “watching it closely.”
He also mentioned the port’s recent $10 million contribution to the Lander Street Bridge project, and what it’s given to other parts of the corridor. “We’re trying to be more comprehensive in our dealings with the city and planning with the city.” He believes the relationship “will help the region going forward.”
Then on to Terminal 5, the still-shuttered-and-awaiting-modernization West Seattle port property next to the park:
The West Seattle Art Walk is the major highlight for the rest of your Thursday:
That’s the map/venue list for the Art Walk, which runs “5 pm to late.” Note the venues offering drink/food specials, and also note that there’s a Makers’ Market in Junction Plaza Park (42nd/Alaska) again this month! Other highlights include:
CLICK! DESIGN THAT FITS (WSB sponsor): “Our featured artists are our own Frances Smersh in collaboration with Stephanie Hargrave, both West Seattle artists. Stephanie is known for her encaustic (wax) paintings (she teaches workshops in encaustic in her West Seattle studio), Frances has primarily been known as a jewelry artist but has expanded into 2-D in the last several years. They’ve created a large body of work including many very small paintings.” (4540 California SW)
VISCON CELLARS (WSB sponsor): Pamela Resnick will be painting live in the Viscon Cellars Winery Tasting Room from 5-9 pm. (5910 California SW)
WELCOME ROAD WINERY (WSB sponsor): Works by Deborah McCarroll and Brooke Belman, who will both be on hand at the tasting room. (3804 California SW)
WALLFLOWER CUSTOM FRAMING: “Identity Works,” photography of dancers, by Michelle Smith-Lewis, open until 8 pm. (4735 42nd SW)
More venue/artist highlights for tonight are on the official Art Walk website!
Also of note today:
COMMUNITY CENTERS CLOSED: As noted here earlier this week, Seattle Parks’ community centers are closed citywide today for an employee event. That includes, in our area, Delridge Community Center, High Point Community Center, Hiawatha Community Center, and Southwest Teen Life Center. (SW Pool is open.) They will reopen tomorrow.
TRIANGLE TASK FORCE & PROTEST: The community-member task force appointed to work with Washington State Ferries on trying to improve Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route procedures meets 4:30-7 pm at Fauntleroy Church. A group of Vashon residents say they will protest at the ferry terminal afterward to call attention to the problems they say have been worsened by the procedure changes. (9140 California SW)
HORSE AND TIGER: “Funky instrumental improv” at Parliament Tavern, 9 pm. No cover. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
PELLEGRINI AND TAMBO: Live music at The Skylark, 9 pm. $8 cover. 21+. (3803 Delridge Way SW)
AS ALWAYS, THERE’S MORE … on our complete-calendar page.
Back in 2012, some were surprised by the city rule change that enabled some development projects to be built without off-street parking, provided they were close to what the city considered “frequent transit service” (FTS). In recent months, the city’s been reviewing that policy and others related to parking – for example, the topic was included in the famously overcrowded HALA-and-more “open house” in The Junction last December and other versions of that event. Today, the city has just announced the results – proposed parking-policy changes. This notice in today’s Land Use Information Bulletin has the documents with all the fine print linked at the top, and then these toplines in the notice itself:
The City of Seattle is proposing to modify parking requirements by amending the Land Use Code (Title 23 SMC), and parking-related environmental policies in Chapter 25.05 of the Environmental Protection and Historic Preservation Code (Title 25 SMC).
The legislation would:
EXPAND ACCESS TO OFF-STREET PARKING
-Create a new use category, “flexible-use parking,” to allow for greater sharing of parking in certain zones, including in: Lowrise 3, Midrise, Highrise, most commercial, and industrial zones; and in mixed-use development garages in light rail station areas.
-Allow park-and-ride facilities within garages as a permitted use in certain zones, including in Lowrise 3, Midrise, Highrise, most commercial, and industrial zones.
-Clarify and update parking provisions by allowing off-site parking to be within one-quarter mile (1,320 feet) of the uses served, up from 800 feet.
OTHER CHANGES IN PARKING REQUIREMENTS
-Clarify and reduce the parking requirements for income-restricted housing, including for the disabled.
-Add a new maximum parking limit for flexible-use parking.
-Delete a special exception allowing more parking than the maximum parking limit in Downtown zones.
-Change the Northgate overlay zone parking provisions to be consistent with the city-wide approach.
-Provide for reduced parking minimum requirements for public uses/institutions (non-Major) in frequent transit service areas.
-Allow required parking amounts to be reduced in any zone, except Downtown zones, to a level needed to serve the parking demand for proposed uses as demonstrated by a parking demand study performed by a licensed professional engineer.
-Apply parking stall size requirements to parking for residential and live-work uses whether parking is required or not.
CLARIFY HOW FREQUENT TRANSIT SERVICE IS MEASURED
Allow for more flexibility in route timing and total length of daily service by updating transit measurement criteria to be more consistent with King County Metro’s and the City’s transit planning, and by simplifying provisions. The proposal includes Land Use Code amendments and a Director’s Rule that describes scheduled transit service measurement criteria and other details about physical measurement and mapping.
-Update bicycle parking requirements and performance standards, and consolidate the Downtown bicycle parking requirements with requirements for the rest of the city.
CHANGES TO PARKING-RELATED ENVIRONMENTAL POLICIES IN CHAPTER 25.05
-Update SEPA parking policies to better align with Comprehensive Plan and City transportation policies.
OTHER SUPPORTING CHANGES
-Require unbundling of parking space rental from multi-family dwelling unit rental and lease agreements in new structures 10 dwelling units or greater in size, new commercial lease agreements in existing structures 10,000 square feet or greater in size, and leases in new structures 10,000 square feet or greater in size.
-Allow surface parking for up to three car share vehicles in building setbacks in commercial, Midrise, and Highrise zones.
-For new structures with a garage in zones where flexible-use parking may occur, require a pedestrian access door and route between the garage and a public right-of-way to accommodate non-resident garage access and use.
The document that elaborates on the rationale for the proposed changes is this one. We found a specific West Seattle reference of how the proposed changes would affect one particular area:
With increased FTS there are also areas outside Urban Villages where the proposed FTS frequency measure would newly allow for a 50% reduction in the required minimum parking level. These
include multifamily and non-residential zoned areas in the following locations:
• In West Seattle, near the 21 bus route, portions of land along 35th Avenue SW between approximately SW Edmunds Street and SW Kenyon Street
HOW TO COMMENT: The publication of all this today opens a comment period until October 5th. Comments go to:
City of Seattle, SDCI
Attn: Gordon Clowers
P.O. Box 94788
Seattle, WA 98124-7088
Jake reports he was running in Schmitz Park this morning when what he believes was a barred owl divebombed him twice:
Happened approximately here, around 7am. pic.twitter.com/63i8e0ZI30
— Jake VanderPlas (@jakevdp) September 14, 2017
It’s been months since our last “divebombing owl” report. This particular behavior is addressed in this infosheet from the state – usually related to nesting/staking out territory for it.
7:03 AM: Good morning. No incidents in or from West Seattle so far. Some alerts and reminders:
ROAD-WORK ALERT TODAY: Continuing today, lane closures for SW 106th/107th reconfiguration work between 16th and 27th.
TRIANGLE TASK FORCE TODAY: The task force that’s been working with Washington State Ferries on the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route meets today, 4:30-7 pm, at Fauntleroy Church (9140 California SW), all welcome.
ROAD-WORK ALERT FOR THIS WEEKEND: Another reminder that WSDOT is resuming repaving work on Highway 509 south of West Seattle and lane closures are planned all weekend.
METRO SERVICE CHANGE: Here’s what will change on routes in our area September 23rd.
9:04 AM: Though the heart of the commute is over, we do report on incidents with significant traffic effects 24/7, so if you see/hear about one – and are not behind the wheel – please text or call our hotline, 206-293-6302 – thank you!
9:38 AM: Thanks to Sue for the heads-up via Twitter – crash blocking multiple lanes on the Alaskan Way Viaduct:
Collision on SR99 NB at Seneca St blocking two right NB lanes. Use caution and expect delays. pic.twitter.com/rcwJESpwnU
— seattledot (@seattledot) September 14, 2017