One more nudge: One week from tonight, thousands of people all around the city will be out having block parties, as part of Night Out 2014 – the official time slot is 6-9 pm Tuesday, August 5th. Provided you’re not on a major arterial, if you’d like to close your street for the occasion, you need to sign up – here’s the place to start. As we do every year, we’ll be out covering West Seattle’s Night Out, and we’re always happy to hear where you’re having your party, so we can stop by for a photo and add your neighborhood to our coverage – email@example.com.
After a campaign launched by community advocates one year ago, the city promised to make SW Roxbury safer. Wondering how? SDOT is almost ready to unveil options. It’s announced two meetings at which it plans to show “several different engineering options to improve safety for all modes.” The first one is on the West Seattle side, Thursday, July 31st, 6 pm at Southwest Branch Library. Second one is on the White Center side, Monday, August 4th, 6 pm at the Greenbridge YWCA. These meetings were promised during a round of community meetings last winter (WSB coverage here). The project’s official page is here; check out the maps linked from the left side, including this one showing speeds, volumes, and intersections with the most crashes.
Big turnout for this summer’s second Firefighter Storytime in West Seattle, this morning at the Seattle Public Library branch in Admiral. The mission is to teach fire safety, but of course the lesson is folded up in a fun story:
“No Dragons for Tea,” which Lt. Joe Clegg is holding in the photo, is the classic Firefighter Storytime book. A little girl makes friends with a fire-breathing dragon; he accidentally starts a fire. What matters is how she and her family react. Afterward, everybody headed outside, where Engine 29 from North Admiral’s Station 29 was parked in front of the library.
The engine and its crew couldn’t stay too long – they were summoned to check out a fire alarm.
It’s been almost ten months since SDOT announced it was shelving and redesigning a plan to widen the bike lane and buffer on the Admiral Way hill north of the West Seattle Bridge – here’s the last thing we published, back in September. The city said residents had voiced concerns about loss of parking spaces and time restrictions on what remained. At the time, they said a new version would be out “early” this year. It’s just arrived today:
As you know, SDOT has been studying how to make the uphill bicycle lane on SW Admiral Way safer and more inviting by widening the bike lane and buffer from SW City View Street to 80 feet south of 3508 SW Admiral Way. We originally proposed to restrict on-street parking on the east side of SW Admiral Way within this section to allow for the improvement. After receiving concerns about the impacts, we delayed implementation of the project to work on an alternative that would preserve some on-street parking.
The attached revised design preserves on-street parking in front of the residences, while restricting parking in the green belt area. Time restrictions will not be installed. The work is expected to be completed this summer.
Here’s a closer look at each of the color-coded configurations:
P.S. Speaking of SDOT, Mayor Murray is set to announce at 11 am today who he’s chosen to be the department’s next director.
Seattle Parks is again planning to keep the lights on at synthetic-turf fields to discourage fireworks, and says security will monitor for extended hours, too. This time, it’s planned for both Thursday and Friday (July 3-4). Three West Seattle fields are on the list for security monitoring 9 pm-4 am and lights 8:45-11 pm: Delridge, Hiawatha, and Walt Hundley, all of which have been renovated in recent years. We’re adding this to the WSB West Seattle 4th of July page, still open for other holiday info if you have something to share – firstname.lastname@example.org – thanks!
As promised, Mayor Murray convened the City Council this afternoon for a speech about public safety, and declared his intent for this to be a “Summer of Safety.” You can see video of his speech above, and read the full text (as prepared) here. The mayor acknowledged, “After years of fragmentation and disorganization, our city today faces a crisis of confidence in public safety,” while also asserting that “public safety is not something provided to the community by the government.” Among the action steps he promised were “creation of a joint enforcement team to ensure that across City departments we have a coordinated response to chronic nuisance businesses and property owners who create hotspots for crime and disorderly behavior – and who disrupt the quality of life in our neighborhoods.” He also announced plans for community walks to identify specific problems in such hotspots and get them fixed, starting in Central/Southeast Seattle. This document lists other points of the “Community Safety Strategy” he outlined, such as directing new Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole “to deliver a Community Safety Plan for every neighborhood.”
4-mile closure, 5-hour backup: Followup #2 with Councilmember Rasmussen’s questions for SDOT and SPD; crash-investigation statusJune 13, 2014 at 12:08 pm | In Safety, West Seattle news | 32 Comments
(SDOT screengrab from Tuesday, tweeted about 20 minutes after the crash)
Questions remain regarding Tuesday’s 5-hour closure of 4 miles of the southbound Alaskan Way Viaduct/Highway 99 while Seattle Police investigated a head-on crash south of the West Seattle Bridge. Our first followup on Wednesday on some early answers – such as, that SPD is solely responsible for making road-closure decisions in cases like this, and believed this was the safest, fastest way to keep traffic away from the crash scene. Also in that first followup, Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, the West Seattleite who chairs the council’s Transportation Committee, told us he would be following up. He has just sent this to acting SDOT Director Goran Sparrman and acting SPD Chief Harry Bailey. Following the letter, you’ll also see the results of our latest inquiry with SPD. First, Rasmussen’s letter:
Many questions have been raised regarding Tuesday’s decision by the Seattle Police Department (SPD) to close all southbound lanes and access to the Highway 99 Viaduct, from the northern end of the Battery Street Tunnel to the West Seattle Bridge. The closure was to investigate a car accident that occurred in the southbound lane at the intersection of East Marginal Way and S. Nevada Street at approximately 1:45 p.m. South of the Spokane Street Viaduct. The entire route was closed until about 7:00 PM.
I understand the importance of creating a safe site and undisturbed conditions to allow officers to conduct a thorough investigation of the automobile crash. However, there are lingering questions as to why this length of SR-99 remained close for so many hours when the accident occurred south of Spokane Street and there are exits from SR-99 at the West Seattle Bridge and at Atlantic Street.
Please provide the following information:
(December 2013 WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli)
After James St. Clair was hit and killed walking across 35th at Graham in the High Point area last December, longstanding concerns about 35th were aired again – and in February, the city announced a road-safety project. Today, SDOT sends word of a change ahead even before the safety project officially begins this fall:
SDOT is moving forward with operational changes at the intersection of 35th Avenue Southwest and Southwest Graham Street [map] this month. Residents living nearby will receive the attached postcard later this week in regard to this work.
SDOT will be installing “right turn only” signs on Graham Street at the junction with 35th. This operational change will improve safety for pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers. Once the signs are installed, drivers going from Graham to 35th will be limited to right turns only.
The signs will be installed before the end of June and additional changes to this
intersection will be considered through the 35th Avenue Southwest Road Safety Project which will kick off in October.
35th/Graham also was the site of the collision that killed Susanne Scaringi in fall 2006.
We took that photo this morning after WSB’er Kevin McClintic pointed out new “photo-enforced” signage on Roxbury, though SDOT had been saying the new school-zone speed cams by Roxhill Elementary and Holy Family School were not going in until fall. Turns out, they’re going in now – but won’t be activated until September, with warnings being issued for a month before ticketing begins in October. Here’s the announcement just in from SDOT:
To improve pedestrian safety, contractors working for the City of Seattle will be installing photo enforcement cameras at five locations during May and June. They will be located near the following schools: Roxhill Elementary and Holy Family School in West Seattle, Dearborn Park Elementary in Southeast Seattle, Bailey Gatzert Elementary in Central Seattle, and Eckstein Middle School in Northeast Seattle.
The cameras will issue citations to drivers that exceed the school zone speed limit of 20 mph. The school zone speed limit is in effect for typically one hour in the morning as students arrive at school, and one hour in the afternoon when the school day ends. Flashing beacons have been installed to emphasize the times when the school zone speed limit is in effect. The cameras will issue warnings for 30 days beginning September 2 and will start issuing citations in early October.
According to SDOT’s construction flyer (see it here), work on the Roxhill and Holy Family cameras starts tomorrow. Revenue from the cameras goes to safety improvements in school areas, by city law.
Two Level 3 sex offenders have moved to West Seattle, and Southwest Precinct crime-prevention coordinator Mark Solomon has sent an advisory to let you know about them:
In an effort to keep you informed, and in our constant attempts to reduce future victimization, we want to let you know about level 3 sex offenders that have moved into Southwest Precinct neighborhoods in recent weeks.
· Micheal Barron, a 25-year-old white male, is a level 3 sex offender who has recently moved to the 5600 Block of 21st Avenue SW. Mr. Barron is currently under Department of Corrections supervision. [Editor's note: You can see his photo & other info here]
· Nikolai Greff, a 52-year-old white male, is a level 3 sex offender who has recently moved to the 2600 Block of 49th Avenue SW. Mr. Greff is no longer under Department of Corrections supervision. [Editor's note: See his photo & other info here]
Detective Fields from the Seattle Police Department’s Sex Offender Detail is assigned to check on these offenders and verify their information. To learn more about these offenders, please visit the King County Sheriff’s Office Sex Offender website and search by their names. You will also find personal safety tips and resources on this site.
If you have further questions about these offenders, contact Michelle McRae of the Seattle Police Sex Offender Detail at 206-684-5581 or e-mail at email@example.com.
To register to receive an email alert whenever a published offender registers within one mile of your desired addresses, go to (this) link.
Click ahead to read general safety information that Solomon has shared with similar advisories in the past:
Tuesday night at Southwest Branch Library, a handful of community members met with SDOT reps and consultants to brainstorm the city’s in-the-works School Road Safety Plan for next year and beyond. Whatever emerges in the future plan will get funding from the city’s increasing arsenal of school-zone speed cameras, noted SDOT’s Jim Curtin, who recapped the pre-existing plan to add two more in West Seattle this fall, both on Roxbury, near Roxhill Elementary and Holy Family School. The plan remains to have them in place by September, with a monthlong grace period and ticketing starting in October. Those are two of five to be added at schools around the city this year, joining 4 in place, 1 of those in West Seattle, on Fauntleroy by Gatewood Elementary (existing cameras are in black on the SDOT map below, with the next round of additions in blue):
More than a dozen additional ones are expected around the city next year, Curtin said, with 60 schools being studied right now. The camera revenue has to go to school-safety improvements by order of the City Council.
The consultants at the meeting were from Toole Design Group, which is working with SDOT on the plan. They explained that this is in the opinion-gathering stage, and collected reaction to some possible plan components including traffic calming and different types of crosswalk signals. They promised more meetings in West Seattle; tonight’s attendees suggested one of those meetings be held on a weekend so that people with school-age children might be more likely to attend.
What’s in the works to improve safety along the roads and sidewalks leading to local schools – and what isn’t, but should be? Join a discussion this Tuesday night (May 20th) in West Seattle to help design the city’s School Road Safety Plan. Thanks to Cathy Tuttle from Seattle Neighborhood Greenways for sharing news of the meeting, which she calls “simply the most important road-safety meeting you can attend this year.” It’s one of three meetings around the city, and it’s set for 6-7:30 pm Tuesday at Southwest Branch Library (35th/Henderson); more details in this Facebook event invite.
The p-word – preparedness – is big around here. We know it’s tough to take time to plan or learn something you hope to never have to use – but this Sunday, if you can spare *half an hour*, it’ll be well worth it. A free city-presented mini-workshop at Southwest Branch Library will teach you what you need to know about handling household utilities in case of disaster, 1:40-2 pm:
In just 30 minutes, find out how to safely power down your household electric panel and how and when to turn off your natural gas at the meter. Join us for hands-on practice using real equipment and pick up other tips on how to secure your household water supply. Class is free, no RSVP. Come one and all.
The SW Library is at 35th/Henderson.
P.S. Also in the preparedness vein – remember that local volunteers are having a drill at Ercolini Park tomorrow morning (9-noon), so don’t be startled if you happen onto it!
Looks like nobody was hurt, and the wrecked car is about to be towed away, but we’re making note of another crash we just passed at what statistics show as the intersection with the most crashes in West Seattle – Roxbury/Olson, at the east end of Roxbury, a car went off the road, into/by the rail. Police have the northbound/eastbound turn lane blocked on Olson, but probably not for much longer. SDOT’s Roxbury safety project remains a work in progress, with improvements promised by summer’s end – and in fact, though we don’t know if traction had anything to do with this, this is the area where pavement work to improve it is scheduled for this weekend.
Video: Denny IMS Marching Band leads Roxhill Elementary walkers for safety celebration with Feet FirstMay 16, 2014 at 1:19 pm | In Safety, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 3 Comments
A bit of a parade this morning to Roxhill Elementary School, with the Denny International Middle School Marching Band and director Marcus Pimpleton leading the way, and local elected officials walking alongside:
(That’s State Rep. Eileen Cody, right, and Seattle School Board director Marty McLaren, both West Seattleites, with Roxhill principal Sahnica Washington at left.) The occasion? As noted here earlier in the week, Feet First organized the walk-to-school event as a celebration of Safe Routes to School improvements near Roxhill, funded by a state grant. They even brought along their safety mascot, the chicken:
Safe Routes for School improvements are in the works for other West Seattle schools, as SDOT‘s Brian Dougherty told the Southwest District Council earlier this month – our report on that meeting, including his briefing and the list of projects, is here.
On the heels – and toes! – of last week’s Walk-To-School Day events at two West Seattle schools, there’s another celebration coming up this week. Feet First shares news of an all-school Walk To School Day for Roxhill Elementary this Friday. The 9 am festivities will include Walking School Buses, a special dropoff on the northwest side of Roxhill Park so kids who usually take the bus can join in the last few blocks, local leaders including 34th District State Rep. Eileen Cody and School Board Director Marty McLaren, and even the marching band from nearby Denny International Middle School. Routes to Roxhill have seen recent safety improvements (such as these) as the result of a Safe Routes to School grant, and that’s part of the reason for the celebration.
Across the street and up the embankment from the Fauntleroy ferry dock is a semi-hidden gem – the Fauntleroy Creek fish-ladder viewpoint. It’s been there since the restoration project 15+ years ago, and right now it’s getting a little bit of TLC – Judy Pickens shares the photo and the following description of what’s happening in it:
Al Zurowski prepares the promontory at the viewpoint above Fauntleroy Creek for new decking. He and fellow carpenter Bill Miller with Seattle Public Utilities are replacing deteriorating decking installed when the viewpoint and fish ladder below it opened in 1998. The viewpoint will be busy starting Thursday as 600+ students come to the creek during May to release coho fry.
Judy is a watershed steward and devoted volunteer who will be busy during salmon-release season too, and she says the viewpoint work – expected to last all week – should “give everyone a much-safer platform for viewing the fish ladder.”
12:41 PM: Seattle Police have just reopened Walnut Avenue between Stevens and Forest after debris and wreckage was cleaned up from that crash on the east side of West Seattle High School/Hiawatha park. The driver hit a tree, according to Antonio, who sent the photo. We are checking with Seattle Fire, which had a two-unit medic response, regarding the age/condition of the driver; we don’t believe this involved major injuries, since the unit that investigates that type of crash was not called out. We’ll update with whatever we find out from SFD.
2:56 PM UPDATE: SFD spokesperson Kyle Moore tells us that the person driving the car was a man in his 60s “who suffered a head injury after his SUV hit a tree. The air bags did not deploy.” He was taken to Harborview Medical Center.
Still space in Sunday’s free ‘Warrior Woman Self-Defense Seminar’ at West Seattle’s Straight Blast GymApril 26, 2014 at 9:08 pm | In Safety, West Seattle news | Comments Off
Also coming up tomorrow: The free “Warrior Woman Self-Defense Seminar” at Straight Blast Gym of Seattle (5050 Delridge Way SW; WSB sponsor). Gym proprietor Sonia Sillan explains, “Life is unpredictable, and you never know what’s going to happen. This is why we’ve been planning this event – we believe that every woman should have access to proper life-saving awareness and self-defense strategies to protect themselves, and their families. As women, we have to learn that we are worth fighting for. We are worth every bit of effort that we can put into being strong, smart, and skilled in self-defense.” The seminar will run noon-3 pm, and you’re asked to e-mail to register – firstname.lastname@example.org. Sonia says more than 40 women are already signed up, but there’s room for more. And they’ll be collecting donations for New Beginnings, a Seattle-based organization serving those whose lives have been affected by domestic violence.
Two months after our first report on Steps at Stevens, a community-proposed plan including a safer walking route into West Seattle High School from California/Stevens, it’s design time, and one of the project organizers, Janet Jones, shares the invitation for you to join in:
Steps at Stevens: A neighborhood connectivity project located at SW Stevens and California Ave SW.
You’re invited to join us for the planning and design of the Admiral District’s Steps at Stevens Project at West Seattle High School.
Help us create a …
*Safe and useful pedestrian route
*Public place of interest and comfort
Help us to …
*Incorporate art and historic architecture
*Reflect the character of the neighborhood
Mark your calendar!
Community Design Workshop #1
Tues April 29th 2014 7-9 pm
West Seattle HS Commons
Participate in the Design Game!
Community Design Workshop #2
Wed May 21st 2014 5-7 pm
West Seattle HS Commons
Review and Critique 3 conceptual designs!
Community Design Workshop #3
Mon June 9th 2014 7-9 pm
West Seattle HS Commons
Review and Critique Final Preferred Design!
A grant is funding the design process; fundraising is planned to get it built.
Refreshments will be provided.
(SPD Mounted Patrol officers photographed by Faith on Barton by Westwood/Roxhill last week)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Roxhill Park/Westwood Village, a more-troubled area than ever lately, is getting beefed-up SPD attention, Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Steve Wilske told the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network last night.
In his briefing at the start of their monthly meeting, he addressed both current problems and concerns about the approaching summer.
Regarding the latter, the area is one of three at the heart of the summertime emphasis plan he has drafted, along with Alki (for the usual reasons) and Lincoln Park (primarily for its car-prowling problems). “Exactly how much (of the requested resources) I’m going to get in terms of what I’m asking for, because it’s fairly significant, I haven’t heard that yet,” he said. He’s said before that he is hoping for Mounted Patrol resources and added on Tuesday night that he hopes some officers will be able to patrol the area on bicycles.
As for the current situation at Westwood Village, where incidents have ranged from recurring shoplifting to an assault on an officer, Capt. Wilske says officers are assigned to be in the area more regularly so that if a call comes in, they can get to it quicker than ever. Community Police Team Officer Jonathan Kiehn added that right now there’s a strategy of working on a big-picture fix for a “lot of little things” that require increased communications, security, and procedures on businesses’ part at Westwood, as well as help from police.
ALSO COMING UP THIS SUMMER: “We’re going to be doing traffic emphasis along 35th SW for the summer,” looking for “speed and distracted driving,” said Capt. Wilske. “If you are driving on 35th SW you probably want to be driving the speed limit and you want to be using your hands-free devices.”
Ahead (if you’re reading this from the home page), updates on notable incidents, plus the night’s featured guest:
If you have medicine around the house that’s expired or no longer needed, this Saturday (April 26) is the next Drug Take-Back Day, and you’ll be able to drop it off, anonymously, at the Southwest Precinct (Delridge/Webster), 10 am-2 pm. That’s the only dropoff spot listed in West Seattle; here’s a regional list.
Ever wonder ‘who’s on those committees, anyway?’ Could be you! Seattle School Traffic Safety Committee looking for new membersApril 16, 2014 at 1:17 pm | In Safety, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 1 Comment
Lots of work in recent years on making the streets and sidewalks safer around West Seattle schools. Maybe you’d like to formalize that by being part of the Seattle School Traffic Safety Committee? The search is on for new members – read on for the announcement:
10:15 AM: We’ve just received two reports of a hazard on the eastbound Spokane Street Viaduct – near the I-5 ramps on the east end of the West Seattle Bridge: It’s described as a protruding “metal plate,” in the left lane between the 1st and 4th Avenue exits, and one texter reports seeing people pulled over with flat tires. We’ve advised people to call 911 to report it since it sounds like it needs urgent repair work; on weekdays, the SDOT hotline 206-684-ROAD would be the place to call.
10:22 AM: The texting tipster says 911 promised to get someone out to fix it.
2 schools, 1 campus, 1 busy road: Safety improvements sought before Arbor Heights moves in with STEMMarch 15, 2014 at 5:32 pm | In Safety, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 20 Comments
(School-zone beacon near Boren, now fully operational; photo courtesy Robin Graham)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Next school year, the former Louisa May Boren Junior High School on Delridge will be home to two schools – ongoing permanent home to K-5 (future K-8) STEM, and starting its two-year status as temporary home to Arbor Heights Elementary while AH is rebuilt.
That’s 800 or so students filling the campus, plus their teachers and other staffers.
Space in the building is not much at issue. Safety is – specifically, safely getting all those students to and from school, which fronts one of West Seattle’s main arterials, Delridge Way, a much-used route to and from the two bridges across the Duwamish River connecting the peninsula with downtown.
Though this is the second year K-5 STEM has occupied the building, it is only now getting something as simple as flashing beacons to catch drivers’ attention in the 20-mph zone. The beacons just began operation, and SDOT’s Brian Dougherty says that when Arbor Heights moves in this fall, the lights will be programmed to reflect the staggered times both schools will be in session on the campus.
The lights are welcome, but nowhere near a full solution.
It was canceled fairly quickly, but it was so big that it caught a lot of attention, so here’s what emergency-radio traffic said about that big callout at Avalon/Bradford this past hour, in the Luna Park business district near the West Seattle Bridge: Someone reported that people were coughing inside a Metro bus because of some substance someone released – possibly mace or something like it. A “hazmat multiple casualty incident” response, with many units, ensued, but didn’t last long. Apparently the person who did it got off the bus, and the substance dissipated, and the bus continued on to 35th SW; no contamination was found. Seattle Police were reported to be looking for the person responsible.
Chris McCall is rounding up some help for a neighborhood problem – and that broken glass is one of the symptoms:
We are starting a block watch because of vandalism and theft that has resulted from teens hanging out on the Hanford St. Stairs one block north of Madison Middle School.
Teens meet there to buy or sell pot, smoke pot, and drink liquor (that is probably stolen from parents, such as the smashed bottle of dragon fruit-infused SKY vodka currently there).
Some neighbors are scared to use the stairs at any time, and little children have to be careful of broken glass.
If you would like to help make these stairs safer and cleaner, please join us for a block watch meeting.
When: Tuesday, March 11th at 7 pm
Where: At the top of the stairs – 4516 SW Hanford St. (map)
Who: Mark Solomon from the Seattle Police Department will meet with us to discuss issues and how to solve them.
After Chris sent the announcement, we asked about a photo – and received the top photo showing broken glass, with the explanation, “Over the weekend, a mother and her young kids cleaned much of the litter as an act of kindness. I also put a broom on the stairs for people to use to clear broken glass.”
Later this afternoon – before we published this – Chris had a new photo to share, and an epilogue:
Walking home from school just now, I see that somebody broke the broom that I put out.
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