West Seattle, Washington
Outside Fauntleroy Church (9140 California SW), the spring Recycle Roundup is in its second hour, with a steady stream of people dropping off items to be recycled through nonprofit 1 Green Planet. You’re invited to do the same – no charge – until 3 pm today. The friendly folks at the church Green Committee, who coordinate this twice a year, are hoping you can go sooner rather than later, so everyone can be processed as quickly as possible and there’s no last-hour backup.
P.S. Here again is the list of what you can and can’t recycle there today.
Another Friday afternoon/evening backup for drivers headed to the Fauntleroy ferry terminal. (One texter told us the line was past the Lincoln Park gas station by quarter past 3.) This time, though, it had official observers:
Washington State Ferries sent this explanatory announcement earlier in the afternoon:
Beginning at 3:00 pm (today), a team of WSF staff members will be at Fauntleroy terminal to observe traffic conditions and collect baseline data. Today’s traffic and data observation is the beginning of WSF’s internal process to help implement a series of “quick win” recommendations created by the Triangle Improvement Task Force citizen advisory group. The task force’s recommendations aim to speed up vehicle processing through the tollbooth. WSF and the task force aim to launch a pilot program this spring and roll out final changes in time for start of the summer schedule (June 25, 2017).
Since the meeting we covered, WSF has published the official report on how it plans to make the “quick wins” happen – see it here (PDF) and embedded below:
None of those changes have been made yet – today’s “observation” was a preparatory step, so the hours-long backup this afternoon/evening was the result of current procedures that have yet to be changed. We’ll continue to cover this, including updates when WSF decides how and when to start the “pilot” program.
Are you ready for the Recycle Roundup? The twice-yearly free dropoff event presented by Fauntleroy Church‘s Green Committee is this Sunday (April 23rd), 9 am-3 pm. So we’re reminding you again, in case you still have sorting to do. Here’s the list of what they will and won’t be accepting this time; here’s a map to the dropoff spot (9140 California SW).
(UPDATED 3:06 PM with SDOT response on details of parking-change notification and sign installation)
Parking restrictions along a mile of southbound Fauntleroy Way, mostly alongside Lincoln Park, are expanding. We found out about that at last night’s Fauntleroy Community Association board meeting – but NOT because of any official briefing or other involvement; members, in fact, voiced displeasure with the idea.
Instead, the notification arrived as it had for some other area residents – via an SDOT-sent postal-mail postcard. (We asked SDOT this morning for a digital version – [added] see the PDF version here.) The postcard says that what is currently a 3-7 pm weekday prohibition on parking in the ferry-waiting zone, between SW Fontanelle and the terminal, will expand to 2-7 pm, and new signs will be installed soon.
(ADDED 3:06 PM: SDOT spokesperson Sue Romero tells WSB, “These mailers went out last Thursday and Friday (4/6 and 4/7) and were mailed to residents along Fauntleroy Way SW from SW Fontanelle to SW Barton St, and 1-2 blocks west. Sign installation is scheduled to begin tomorrow.”)
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) August 18, 2016
(August 2016 video showing one example of the problem the task force is hoping to fix)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
In hopes of averting another summer of ferry-traffic-related misery from Morgan Junction to the Fauntleroy ferry dock, the Triangle Improvement Task Force has finished its first phase of work with two potential “quick wins,” finalized at the volunteers’ fifth meeting last night:
#1 – Speed up the average Fauntleroy tollbooth processing rate during pm peak hours, from three vehicles a minute to four vehicles a minute.
#2 – Make sure as many ferry customers as possible know what’s being done and how they can help.
As they reviewed the plans, the task-force members got a surprise visit from Washington State Ferries’ new leader, assistant WSDOT secretary Amy Scarton, who took over last month after the retirement of Lynne Griffith, who was in charge when the task-force idea was hatched.
More on her visit later. First: Read More
Electing a board for the year ahead is part of what happens at the Fauntleroy Community Association‘s annual meeting. So the board gathered for our photo last night (the list is at our story’s end). The event had a triple-digit turnout, in part because of its other identity – the annual Food Fest, with samples from local providers. Ahead, photos from the night: Read More
On the first day of spring, if you’re thinking “spring cleaning” … we have some information that might help. Just in, the list of what will and won’t be accepted at the spring edition of the always-popular Fauntleroy Church Recycle Roundup – see it here (PDF). The free-dropoff event is set for 9 am-3 pm Sunday, April 23rd (9140 California SW).
The Fauntleroy Community Association‘s annual membership meeting – known as the Food Fest because of samples from local businesses – is Tuesday, and this week’s FCA board meeting brought lots of news ahead of it.
WHO’LL BE AT THE FOOD FEST: First, an update tonight from FCA president Mike Dey – Mayor Ed Murray and City Councilmember Lisa Herbold have confirmed they’ll attend. It starts at 6 pm Tuesday (March 21st) at The Hall at Fauntleroy (9131 California SW); free, but FCA invites members old and new to be ready to renew/join ($25/year).
DAYTIME RPZ REJECTED: Last fall, FCA asked SDOT to study parking in the existing Residential Parking Zone east of the Fauntleroy ferry terminal, where parking is currently restricted to permit holders between 2-5 am. The group’s concerns included Washington State Ferries employees parking in residential neighborhoods during the day and car-share vehicles. One week ago, SDOT replied to say its study found “not enough blocks meet the minimum threshold to make the requested changes to the existing RPZ.” Its letter said that they needed to find at least 10 blocks/20 blockfaces where parking was 75 percent occupied during their study; they found “approximately 6 blocks (7 blockfaces) that met the 75% threshold.” Read More
Thanks to Judy Pickens for the photo and report:
Some 140 members of Fauntleroy Church, United Church of Christ, left the sanctuary shortly after arriving Sunday morning for the congregation’s first “worship without walls” event.
Adults, children, and youth headed to four service projects: Packaging at Food Lifeline for area food banks, creating art kits for the parent-child home program at Southwest Youth & Family Services, assembling education supplies for distribution by Church World Service to refugee camps [photo], and training for Friend to Friend America’s program linking West Seattle volunteers with lonely elders.
According to education director and event coordinator Karyn Frazier, the morning was “a way to act out our love all at once by engaging in worshipful service in the wider community.”
P.S. In case you’ve been wondering, the church’s next Recycle Roundup is April 23rd – when it’s closer, we’ll publish the list of what will and won’t be accepted.
Seattle City Light has just gone public with its next round of locations for utility-pole replacements, in Gatewood, Upper Fauntleroy, Highland Park, and Burien. Embedded above (and also available on the SCL website) are five 2-page flyers for different areas, each one with its own map(s) – note that what you see above is the first of FOUR map pages, one every other page, so be sure to scroll through or check the SCL website directly; below, the announcement from SCL:
Starting in mid-to-late March 2017, Seattle City Light’s contractor, Magnum Power LLC, will be replacing aging utility poles in parts of its service territory. This project will enhance electrical reliability by replacing older poles in the system. The installation of new poles, wire and equipment relocation is an important investment in infrastructure.
Crews will be working in the following areas:
· SW Elmgrove St to SW Sullivan St (east of California Ave SW)
· SW Holden St to SW Southern St (west of 35th Ave SW)
· SW Thistle Street to SW Henderson St (west of 35th Ave SW)
· SW Kenyon St to SW Trenton St (east of Delridge Way SW)
· SW 122nd St to SW 126th St (west of 1st Ave S)
Highlights from the project:
· The entire project is anticipated for completion by the end of 2017. Daily work hours are from Monday through Thursday, 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Crews may be working in other areas before transitioning to these construction areas.
· The new poles will be placed alongside pre-existing poles. They will meet standard heights and widths required for overhead power line construction. This may mean that poles in your area will be slightly taller and approximately two inches wider than existing poles.
· Once the electrical equipment is relocated, it may take several months before the other companies with utilities on the existing poles make their transfer(s). We will continue to monitor/coordinate these efforts as needed to facilitate the removal of old poles.
For more information, customers can contact:
· Percy Schlimm, Sr. Electrical Service Representative at email@example.com or (206) 386-1735.
· Kevin Knutz, Magnum Power Project Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or (360) 904-8318.
SCL says that if you’re affected, you’ll be getting all this information directly, too. (This round includes our area of Upper Fauntleroy, we notice, so we’ll be watching to see when the direct customer communication arrives.)
ADDED NOON WEDNESDAY: For the record, our notice arrived via postal mail this morning.
By Dennis Hinton
Special to West Seattle Blog
Volunteers turned out Saturday morning for state-approved emergency work to check bank erosion in lower Fauntleroy Creek. Over the past four years, erosion had chewed away a section of path used by hundreds of schoolchildren in the spring and salmon watchers in the fall.
The Fauntleroy Watershed Council spent nearly a third of its bank account on supplies and called on creek lovers to pull ivy and anchor coir logs to force flow away from the eroded bank. The council unsuccessfully sought grant funding two years ago, before the problem became severe, and plans to try again this spring to fund what has become an even larger scope of work.
“Starting in the late 1990s, the City of Seattle got behind restoration of its urban creeks and, in partnership with residents, accomplished a lot,” said longtime Fauntleroy Creek advocate Judy Pickens. “Over the past few years, the city has pulled back, making maintaining natural drainage systems a challenge borne to a great extent at the neighborhood level.”
As the mile-long Fauntleroy system illustrates, urban creeks convey more than a lot of water. “They’re also rich outdoor classrooms, science labs, urban respites, and close-at-hand examples of the value of protecting habitat,” Pickens said. “We’re doing all we can to avoid losing this urban creek to the impact of development and shifting city priorities.”
Last May, volunteers with the watershed council hosted a record 764 students, who released 1,795 coho fry as part of the Salmon in the Schools program. In October and November, volunteer salmon watchers documented seven coho spawners in the reach just repaired.
Love chili? Here’s where you’ll want to be on Saturday night:
(Video courtesy Klem Daniels Productions)
Thanks to Judy Pickens for the reminder:
The sixth annual Fauntleroy Chili Cook-Off gets under way Saturday evening at 6:00 in the Fellowship Hall at Fauntleroy Church (9140 California Ave. SW). Chili lovers of all ages will be out in force to sample the favorite meat and vegetarian recipes of competitors. $10/person or $25/family at the door will get you sampling and voting, cornbread, condiments, beverage, and a root beer float to settle your stomach.
Kristin is asking you to be on the lookout for a car stolen from family members who were already in tough-enough circumstances:
My mother-in-law has been staying with us for the past week while father-in-law is in hospital recovering from surgery. Their 1998 red Honda CRV, plate AVX4234, was stolen from in front of our house near 46th and Trenton [map] sometime Monday night. If anyone sees it parked/abandoned in their neighborhood, we sure would appreciate being notified. Incident #17-72308. My daughter’s car door was also jimmied and gone through, but nothing of value to take.
Here’s a stock photo resembling the stolen vehicle. If you see it, after you call 911, you can notify the family at 206-327-2071 or 206-595-6434.
(WSF dock cam – refresh page for newest view)
12:16 PM: As if regional transportation could not get more snarled – the Fauntleroy ferry dock is out of service until further notice “due to (a) mechanical issue with (the) transfer span connecting boat to land,” per Washington State Ferries, which adds:
Terminal maintenance crews are assessing the situation, and initial estimated time of repair is a minimum of two hours. Updates will be provided as more information becomes available. Service between Southworth and Vashon will continue. For travel to and from Vashon, the Point Defiance/Tahlequah and Southworth/Vashon routes are advised as alternatives at this time.
We’re headed down the hill to the dock for a closer look.
12:42 PM: Just confirmed at the dock what WSF has announced – the repairs are done and the dock is open again.
5:31 PM: Thanks to Annie for the photos/tip: Traffic is alternating on one lane along SW Barton at 40th because of that crash. We just went by; SPD and SFD are there now.
5:40 PM: There’s no place on that side of the street to stop safely, so we weren’t able to ask anyone about injuries. But SFD has closed its part of the call now, and no medic unit was dispatched, which indicates that if anyone was hurt, it wasn’t serious.
8:21 PM: We weren’t able to check back but Annie tells us the scene is clear now, as of about an hour ago.
(Photo by Ben Ackers, from 2015 cookoff)
Do you make chili that draws raves from family and/or friends? You’re invited to enter the sixth annual Fauntleroy Chili Cook-Off. It’s coming up on Saturday, March 4th, and both vegetarian and meat recipes are welcome. Prospective entrants can contact the Fauntleroy Church office (206-932-5600 or email@example.com) for all the details.
4:10 PM: The Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route of Washington State Ferries is back to reduced capacity again because of a boat breakdown. M/V Sealth is having steering troubles and is out of service for repairs TFN. Updates and schedule alerts are here; you can monitor boat status via Vessel Watch here.
4:50 PM: Via e-mail, WSF says there’s now a two-hour wait at Fauntleroy.
6:46 PM: WSF says the Sealth is now back in service.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
At one point during last night’s inaugural meeting of the new Washington State Ferries Triangle Improvement Task Force, its nine volunteer members were reminded why they were there:
One of the WSF staffers painted a verbal picture of the longrunning frustration with trouble on the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth (aka Triangle) route peaked on hot summer days, in idling cars, backed-up traffic, with people furious over delays in getting home to their families, even as part-empty boats departed in an effort to catch up to the schedule.
In contrast, the new citizens advisory committee convened in the quiet, comfortable confines of the Fauntleroy Church Fellowship Hall, with four WSF employees and a handful of onlookers.
The pressure was palpable, though – they have two months to come up with “quick wins” along the road to fixing the route. Read More
2:56 PM: Just announced by Washington State Ferries: Its new Triangle Improvement Task Force will have its first meeting in Fauntleroy, 7 pm next Monday (January 30th). The public’s welcome, according to the WSF announcement about the debut of this nine-member citizen advisory committee, the next step in a process of trying to fix problems on the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route. Monday’s meeting is at the Fauntleroy Church Fellowship Hall (9140 California SW).
5:22 PM: We asked WSF who’s on the task force. While the list isn’t online yet, spokesperson Brian Mannion provided the roster:
Gary Dawson, FAC
Tim O’Mahony, FAC (Alternate FAC representative: Andrew Hamilton)
Greg Beardsley, FAC (Alternate FAC representative: Jan Stephens)
11:58 AM: Work continues today in the Fauntleroy neighborhood hit by a slide late Thursday night, which crews at the scene said had resulted from a water break, a 2-inch-line break that Seattle Public Utilities was still investigating when last we checked. Meantime, they’re the lead agency on the cleanup; the view above is looking east at the dead end of SW Cambridge, toward California SW (this vicinity).
Among the city departments with which we checked for our Friday followup was the Department of Construction and Inspections. They had sent inspectors to the area to check on houses by the slide, but the results weren’t in until this morning. Spokesperson Wendy Shark says they checked two houses; one in the 4300 block of SW Cambridge was found to have some structural damage, according to the “green tag” city posted to advise “limited access,” while the other, in the 9300 block of California SW, had “no structural damage found.” The specific condition placed on the Cambridge house is “entry limited in garage until slide has been removed.”
ADDED 2:43 PM: We have a cleanup update from SPU’s Andy Ryan: “SPU crews are currently vactoring excess mud from around people’s homes. A contractor is stabilizing the slide area. This should be done by end of the day tomorrow. The length and scope of full cleanup area is still unknown.” Asked about the latest on the investigation, he also says, “The cause of the slide is not known at this time, and may never be known. We know that when the slide was over, there was a broken main. We just don’t know which came first — slide or break.” What does someone with property damage do? “People who have had property damage should contact our Claims Office. … Visit our Claims website, http://www.seattle.gov/filing-a-damage-claim, or call our claims advisor Allison Micheli directly, 206-684-3124.”
Just mentioning in case you saw the Seattle Fire units and/or heard the sirens: What was briefly a “full response” dispatch to the 4500 block of SW Director in Fauntleroy has been scaled back to one engine. Instead of a house fire, it turned out to be a problem with a food smoker.
As the day came to a close, Seattle Public Utilities crews were on both sides of the Fauntleroy slide – up on the dead-end section of California SW where part of the road itself washed away late last night (WSB coverage here), and down on the SW Cambridge street end, which is what you see in the next two photos, sent by Jeff VanGilder:
SPU spokesperson Katie McVicker told WSB they still don’t know why the 2-inch water line broke. Two customers were without water this afternoon, with others on California SW likely experiencing lower-than-normal water pressure, but SPU expected service to be fully restored tonight. As for the road, we asked SDOT’s Sue Romero:
SPU is taking the lead on the cleanup efforts. Currently, the west side of the street is impassable due to damage, however, there is enough room to keep one lane open to allow local access to residents. SDOT is continuing to support SPU efforts. We are working to add sand bags to divert any surface water from the undermined/washed out area.
We will continue to monitor the anticipated weekend rain. There is a possibility that we may need to close the road to vehicle access if the road is further undermined. If that occurs, we would assess and determine if it would be possible to provide pedestrian access to homes. Any final restoration and mitigation measures proposed by SPU’s team will be reviewed and approved by SDOT.
And then there’s the question about safety of structures in the area.
Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections spokesperson Wendy Shark said inspectors had been sent to check out “buildings” in the slide area, but by day’s end she hadn’t heard back on whether they had needed to take safety action, so that’s information we might not get before Monday.