West Seattle, Washington
Quick reminder that this Saturday is the next Drug Take-Back Day, coast to coast, with the Southwest Precinct accepting your expired and/or no-longer-needed prescription drugs, 10 am-2 pm. Free, anonymous, no questions asked, an easy way to remove the possibility of abuse, poisoning, etc. – drop yours off at 2300 SW Webster [map].
Story by Tracy Record
Photos by Patrick Sand
West Seattle Blog co-publishers
Metro Transit Police promise to “put together a problem-solving project” for the transit hub in the heart of the West Seattle Junction.
That was one result of a meeting/walking tour this morning that also included reps from Metro Transit itself, Seattle Police, the city Department of Human Services (HSD), the West Seattle Junction Association (WSJA) and some of its merchants, the West Seattle Farmers’ Market, and the WS Chamber of Commerce.
The gathering was intended to seek solutions to concerns including safety and sanitation issues surrounding the bus shelters on both sides of SW Alaska between California SW and 44th SW. Recent police responses to the area even included a death investigation in late August (not a criminal case; the police report indicated witnesses had seen the victim become ill after drinking heavily earlier that morning). Read More
(UPDATED WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON with message to Denny/Sealth families)
ORIGINAL TUESDAY NIGHT REPORT: Seattle Public Schools says it’s working with police to investigate social-media posts related to a nationwide wave of school threats that accompany photos of clowns. The district sent this message late today (thanks to the parents who forwarded it to us):
The Seattle School District has been contacted by a number of individuals concerned about an ongoing national social media trend related to “Scary Clowns.” There have been a few local news stories related to this and some of our students have received pictures of clowns. We are communicating to families to remind you and your student that if they see suspicious individuals while at school, please have them inform their teacher or principal immediately. We also ask you to report any threatening social media activity that involves Seattle Public Schools or our students to your school or the district’s Safety and Security Office at (206) 252-0707. This office is open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
We take safety seriously, and the security of our students is a top priority. We are working closely with Seattle Police Department to investigate all concerns related to this social media trend.
West Seattle High School is among the schools dealing with this – its families got this message from principal Ruth Medsker:
You may be hearing from your students and or the media about threats to West Seattle High School involving “creepy clowns.” This is part of a national social media trend that has impacted schools and districts nationwide. Within the last 48 hours it has come to the Pacific Northwest. Many schools, including West Seattle, are named in various Instagram and Facebook posts. It was brought to our attention this morning by district security and our students.
West Seattle High School administration notified police and currently there is an open investigation. Police have increased patrols in the community.
Please talk with your student about media safety and encourage them to report anything that makes them feel unsafe.
On the national level, this all goes back at least a month, according to one East Coast news publication.
ADDED 2:34 PM WEDNESDAY: The district message above has been sent today to Denny International Middle School and Chief Sealth International High School families, according to Denny principal Jeff Clark, and prefaced with this:
Good Afternoon Denny and Sealth Scholars and Families,
Below is a message that was sent out to all families in Seattle Public Schools last night to address the concern of “Scary Clowns” that is happening across the country through social media. Here at Denny and Sealth, we have also been checking into these social media rumors about clowns. To ease any anxiety, we wanted to let you know that we are not aware of any threatening posts related to either of our schools at this time.
Jeff Clark, Principal
Denny International Middle School
Aida Fraser-Hammer, Principal
Chief Sealth International High School
If there are one or more preschool-age children in your family, next month brings two chances for them to learn life-saving lessons: The Seattle Public Library has just announced its next round of Firefighter Story Times, when crews from local stations come read a special book that helps the little ones learn what to do in case of fire. The two set for local libraries are 11:15 am Wednesday, October 19th, at South Park Library (8604 8th Ave. S.) and Wednesday, October 26th, at Delridge Library (5423 Delridge Way SW). All are welcome and ASL interpretation will be available.
Three days after two workers were seriously hurt when a portable crane touched power wires at a Junction construction site (WSB coverage here), they’re both improving. That’s what we’ve heard both from a co-worker and from Harborview Medical Center, which says that both men “continue to improve” – one man is out of intensive care and listed in satisfactory condition, while the other remains in intensive care but has been upgraded to serious condition, from critical. We don’t have any information about possible community contribution drives to help them and their families but the co-worker promised to let me know if there was anything to be made public. Both were on the ground near the crane, whose operator was apparently unhurt, when it touched the wires, according to early word from investigators at the scene on Monday.
Meanwhile, the state Department of Labor and Industries tells WSB that they are investigating two companies because of what happened at the 4505 42nd SW mixed-use-building project site. According to L&I spokesperson Tim Church, the companies are Spartan Concrete, a subcontractor that he says is the employer of the two injured workers, and MarPac Construction, the general contractor. Spartan’s record shows a power-line/crane-safety violation at a jobsite in 2012, marked as “corrected.”
L&I has up to six months to finish its investigation.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Concerned about what can seem to be a “revolving door” for crime suspects? The guest at last night’s West Seattle Block Watch Captains’ Network offered some frank insight into it.
FROM THE PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE: Alex Voorhees, a senior prosecutor with the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, was invited to offer insight into how the justice system works, and doesn’t work. She opened by explaining she’s worked in various units during her 14 years in the office. “One of the things I’m most proud about …is a program called CTI.” That dates back about a decade, when the late Norm Maleng, then KC Prosecutor, came up with a plan to tackle the fact that the county was among the nation’s top hotspots for vehicle theft. “We started working with a number of proactive law-enforcement groups around the county,” including Seattle Police. Participants had quarterly meetings and targeted suspects and cut the auto-theft rate in half. But, she said, a lot has changed since then.
The KCPAO handles felonies throughout the county as well as misdemeanors from the unincorporated area. It includes these units:
Special Assault Unit
Domestic Violence Unit
Homicide and Violent Crimes Unit
Property Crimes Unit
When someone is arrested for a felony property crime, they appear in front of a District Court judge within 24 hours, and “an initial bond is set.” That calendar has dozens of suspects on it some days. “We send a prosecutor to that hearing, and in cases involving burglary and auto theft, we ask that people be held. I hear this frustration about revolving doors …” Read More
3:05 PM: Almost 24 hours to the moment after the 3-alarm Lam Bow Apartments fire broke out in Delridge, more than a dozen people from the Seattle Police and Fire Departments and Seattle Housing Authority stood behind Mayor Ed Murray, Fire Chief Harold Scoggins, and Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole at City Hall, as they announced honors for heroes.
“These public servants saved a lot of lives,” said the mayor. At the top of the story is our phone video of what he and the chiefs said; we have more to add, including photos, names, and our conversation afterward with SHA’s Thaddeus Perry, who was working on a project in the main office when a tenant came running in yelling, “Fire, fire, fire” – he rushed into the building to get people out.
4:23 PM: Here’s SHA employee Perry, at center:
He told us he just started working for SHA in the West Seattle area – assigned to several buildings/complexes including Lam Bow – as of about two weeks ago. After he ran into the building and discovered a “barrage” of smoke on the 3rd floor, he was soon joined by SPD Sgt. Britt and they went up and down the hallway, “banging on doors,” to tell people to get out. They all did, and as SFD said yesterday, everyone escaped without injury.
4:55 PM: Here are the names of the SPD personnel who were honored:
Sgt. Jim Britt
Officer Aaron Briggs
Officer Nick Meyst
Officer Garth Lindelef
Officer Nick Burk
Officer German Barreto
Officer Sandro Fleming
Officer Ryan Levens
Officer Jack Johns
Thanks to “Diver Laura” James for the tip – the Beach Drive/Constellation Park speed bumps are in, a week and a half after we spotted the SDOT markings, which in turn was shortly after City Councilmember Lisa Herbold announced they were in the works. Neighbors had long been seeking traffic calming along this stretch, because of problems like this:
(May 2016 racing video)
The three bumps are installed on Beach Drive between the stormwater-treatment plant and 63rd SW.
More than 50 goats from Rent-A-Ruminant have been busy clearing one of the Westwood-area trouble spots highlighted during the Find It, Fix It Community Walk two months ago – a tangle of stairway-side brush, the removal of which has revealed numerous cans, bottles, and other litter.
We got word of their work at 22nd SW/SW Henderson late today from Ami, who had spoken to the mayor and dozens of other walkers during the July 26th event, playing a video clip from a former neighbor who said crime and disorder in the area had forced her to move (it’s in our July 26th report).
Ami explained in her note today, “After the Find it Fix it walk, we applied for a grant to mulch the area adjacent to the 22nd Ave SW and Henderson stairs. SDOT assigned an arborist to the project who brought in goats and is donating mulch for our neighborhood work party on 10/1 from noon to 2 pm.” We went over for a look at the goats, whose “head wrangler,” RAR proprietor Tammy, told us they’ve been working since Thursday and will likely leave around midmorning Sunday. (Her herd also did work for SDOT along the Delridge/Holden stairway a year and a half ago.)
(Seattle Channel video from Tuesday’s Transportation and Sustainability Committee meeting)
Next Monday, the full Seattle City Council is scheduled to consider the SDOT speed-limit-reduction proposal, primarily proposing that all non-arterial roads to have a speed limit of 20 mph. First word of the proposal a week and a half ago sparked much discussion; it was one of three major topics at this week’s meeting of the council’s Sustainability and Transportation Committee.
SPEED LIMITS: As you can see in the video above (starting one hour, 29 minutes in), the SDOT presenters stressed that they believe lower speed limits will reduce pedestrian deaths and injuries; they presented this slide deck to underscore that.
As for what’s planned for other arterials, SDOT reps said this specific bill does not include any speed-limit changes for arterials outside downtown, but noted that others remain under review, especially the ones with the most crashes. They also pointed out that the city has reduced speed limits relatively recently on four arterials around the city, two of them in West Seattle (Fauntleroy Way SW last February, and 35th Avenue SW). And they said they’re reviewing some areas – many in West Seattle (though specific roads weren’t mentioned) – where they need to add signage reminding people of current speed limits.
The speed-limit proposal needs a majority vote at Monday afternoon’s full-council meeting. No one opposed it at the committee meeting.
PARKING BENEFIT DISTRICTS: While this item did not directly involve West Seattle, some information of interest emerged – particularly, the revelation that SDOT expects to review West Seattle Junction on-street parking again in 2018. That would be nine years after the last full review in 2009, which included SDOT‘s announcement that paid on-street parking did NOT seem to be warranted in The Junction. The review did result in some mostly minor changes, including time limits.
The committee briefing was about a proposal to look at Parking Benefit Districts – in which revenue from paid on-street parking would go back into the geographic districts where the parking was located, theoretically to give community members an incentive to support the paid parking. Specifically, there was a proposal for a pilot PBD in Capitol Hill. SDOT recommended against it, saying it prefers to stick with what it’s been doing, including “time-of-day” variable pricing in some areas and potentially extending paid parking later into the night in some parts of the city. The latest online update from our area’s Councilmember Lisa Herbold (who was not at Tuesday’s meeting of the committee, for which she is an alternate member) has more details on SDOT’s rationale for opposing PBDs.
Back to the meeting – Councilmembers Rob Johnson and Mike O’Brien had a notable exchange involving constituents’ concerns about parking. O’Brien said he hears most often about new development projects without offstreet parking and said he wasn’t sure that PBDs would have any effect on those concerns. And separate from that, West Seattle’s “remarkable growth and increase in density” was mentioned in passing a few times during the discussion.
CUTTING UP STREETS: This briefing got a little technical but here’s what you really need to know: The city is tightening up the rules for when and why streets can be cut into, and how long the cutters get before they have to restore the pavement. With the Move Seattle Levy funding new pavement, SDOT reps explained, “One of the things we wanted to avoid were a bunch of asphalt cuts turning (newly repaved) streets into Swiss cheese.” You can read here what they are working on, in addition to listening to the discussion in the meeting video (1 hour, 9 minutes in).
(September 10th photo contributed by Mark)
Remember that crash two weeks ago? It’s just one of several in recent months that have damaged jersey barriers on the West Seattle Bridge. Now, SDOT has announced an overnight closure, eight days away, for replacements:
The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) advises travelers that maintenance crews need to replace damaged jersey barriers in the median of the West Seattle Bridge, requiring a full closure of the bridge on Saturday, October 1, during the overnight and morning hours. Damage to these barriers has been caused by several recent vehicle collisions that have struck the median. An SDOT inspection of all of the jersey barriers on the West Seattle Bridge identified 18 that are in need of replacement.
From 11:59 p.m. on Friday night, September 30 to 9 a.m. on Saturday morning, October 1, travelers can expect the following:
· The West Seattle Bridge (WSB) will be closed to through traffic in both directions between 35th Ave SW and the Harbor Avenue/Avalon Way exit.
· Crews will begin closing lanes at 11:30 p.m. Friday with full closure by midnight.
· A detour will be in place for eastbound and westbound travelers on the WSB.
· The detour for eastbound traffic is via SW Avalon Way, SW Spokane St and back onto the WSB.
· The detour for westbound traffic is via the Harbor Avenue/Avalon Way exit to SW Avalon Way to Fauntleroy Way SW.
· Crews will remove and replace 18 damaged jersey barriers.
· Crews will check and adjust any existing barriers that may have moved, but do not need immediate replacement.
· The West Seattle Bridge will be reopened by 9 a.m. on Saturday morning, October 1.
After the recent attack on a woman running in our area, West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor) decided to organize a free self-defense class. In case you haven’t already seen it in our calendar, here’s the announcement of the class at 7 pm Wednesday, October 12th:
West Seattle Runner and P3Running are hosting a self defense class for runners. We are pleased to announce that Seattle Integrated Martial Arts (SIMA) will be presenting the class. It will last approximately 1-1.5 hours. … Our hope is that this workshop will help you feel empowered and safe while out doing what you love. Additionally, we hope to create a network of runners that night who will connect to run together during the dark hours. Please invite friends who will benefit, and have everyone RSVP. Either RSVP on the Facebook event page OR email firstname.lastname@example.org
West Seattle Runner is at 2743 California SW.
If you missed it in our coverage of City Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s update at this week’s 34th District Democrats meeting – three speed bumps are going in on Beach Drive along Constellation Park, in hopes of deterring late-night racing and other speeding. Herbold also wrote about it in her newest online update (which addresses other topics of interest, too). Then while out checking on the wind and waves just before tonight’s sunset, we noticed the three spots marked up on the street along the straightaway between the stormwater-treatment plant and the intersection with 63rd SW.
Neighbors have been working a long time for this – back in March, we reported on their visit to the Southwest District Council seeking support for a grant application to fund the speed bumps, which are already in place on another straightaway stretch of Beach Drive, south of Jacobsen.
(WSB file photo: Stack of donated car seats from past WS Baby drive)
Tomorrow is the first day of Child Passenger Safety Awareness Week. Even if you don’t have a young child in your family – it’s important because of how you can help someone who does. Local nonprofit WestSide Baby, which helps families in need with essentials such as car seats and diapers, explains how:
To mark Child Passenger Safety Awareness Week (September 18-24), local nonprofit WestSide Baby is asking the public to help keep more kids safe by helping to purchase child car seats for families who cannot afford them.
The leading cause of death for children aged 0-13 is car accidents, and many car injuries and even death can be prevented with a correctly sized and fitted car seat for a child. Car seats, however, can cost upward of $100 and be yet another unmanageable amount for low-income families. Last year WestSide Baby was only able to fill 47% of requests for car seats received from families in need.
There are several actions that you can take in order to help raise funds or collect car seats which WestSide Baby will distribute via more than 120 social service partners and agencies to families who need them.
First, you can attend the WestSide Baby Cocktail Benefit: Fall Masquerade, on September 23rd (next Friday) at Emerald City Trapeze. This fundraiser is shaping up to be a fun filled night with cocktail from local bars The Bridge, The Point, and West 5, music from DJ Kevin Olsen, magic, entertainment, and philanthropic inspiration. Tickets are available online – $45 for an individual. The event is 21+.
If cocktails aren’t your thing, then how about hosting a “virtual car-seat drive”? WestSide Baby are providing template posts and graphics for anyone who would like to spend the week gathering their online networks to purchase car seats through WestSide Baby’s Amazon wishlist. More information is available here.
It is also possible to donate lightly used car seats directly. Seats must be less than 6 years old and not have been previously recalled. For more information and donation sites, please go here.
One more thing you can do – if you do have one or more kids under 12 in your family, make sure you’re following the safety recommendations.
More West Seattle Crime Watch notes this afternoon:
STOLEN CAR: Morgan‘s car was stolen last night or early today – “My car was stolen from my driveway (corner of 108th and 37th Ave SW [map]): 2016 Honda Fit, Cobra Drivers seat (says COBRA on the headrest) and license-frame bracket that says Seahawks Season ticket holder. WA plates — AYZ9219.” Call 911 if you see it.
STOLEN PACKAGE: In a comment following today’s first Crime Watch report, Chelsea reported a package theft near California and Dakota [map] and included this link to images from a security camera.
CRIME-PREVENTION ADVICE: The Southwest Precinct e-mailed two “bulletins” today with general advice on what you can do to prevent/reduce burglaries and car prowls – read them as PDFs here (burglaries) and here (car prowls).
NEXT WEST SEATTLE CRIME PREVENTION COUNCIL MEETING: WSCPC meetings resume this month – they are your chance to come hear about crime trends from, bring neighborhood concerns to, and ask questions of, Southwest Precinct reps, as well as special guests. WSCPC president Richard Miller tells WSB that the 7 pm meeting next Tuesday (September 20th) will feature “Lisa Love, manager, Health Education, Seattle Public Schools, to discuss the topic of harassment, intimidation, and bullying in our schools.” The meeting is at the precinct (2300 SW Webster).
When Mayor Murray announced the “Vision Zero” plan more than a year and a half ago, the plan (p. 14) promised to start reducing speed limits on “residential streets” to 20 mph. By last summer, the change was made on a few streets in north West Seattle. Now, it’s going citywide. One week from today, the City Council’s Transportation and Sustainability Committee will consider the proposal that was announced this afternoon:
Mayor Ed Murray and Councilmembers Tim Burgess and Mike O’Brien today unveiled a proposal to enhance safety on Seattle’s streets by changing the speed limit on all residential streets from 25 to 20 MPH and streets in the center city from 30 to 25 MPH. The proposal is part of Seattle’s Vision Zero plan to end traffic deaths and serious injuries on city streets by 2030.
“Having helped pass the Neighborhood Safe Streets Bill during my time in the legislature, I’m proud that Seattle will be the first city in the state of Washington to implement lower speeds on all residential streets,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “When combined with other elements of our ongoing Vision Zero work, such as redesigned roadways and data driven enforcement, lower speed limits will help make Seattle’s roads safer for all.”
Speed contributes to 25 percent of collisions citywide and 42 percent of downtown traffic fatalities every year. It is the critical factor in survivability for a crash. Pedestrians struck by vehicles traveling at 25 MPH are half as likely to die as those struck at 30 MPH.
“Studies show that lowering speed limits is one of the best ways to improve safety in our neighborhoods,” said Councilmember Tim Burgess. “Reducing speeds will not only reduce accidents and fatalities but it also brings peace of mind for those who use our sidewalks, including children and our elderly neighbors. The reduction we are proposing will not restrict mobility.”
In residential areas, going down to 20 MPH brings the entire neighborhood to existing school zone speed limits, making safer routes of travel for all. Vehicle safety in Seattle has improved significantly, but not for people walking and biking. Pedestrian and bicycle collisions make up seven percent of total crashes, but nearly half of fatalities. The new speed limit will apply to 2,400 miles of non-arterial streets and help enhance safe routes to schools, transit, parks and other destinations.
“The proposal presents the opportunity that exists to balance the need for safe passage with thoughtful engineering,” said Councilmember Mike O’Brien. “Reducing speed limits has a direct impact on safety and helps the City implement better design standards that will allow drivers, bikers, pedestrians and parents alike to breathe a little easier as we head back to school by bus, bike or single passenger vehicle.”
Downtown there has been a 20 percent increase in speed-related fatal collisions over the last four years. Signal timing has already been adjusted to the new 25 MPH speed limit and drivers are moving more efficiently through the center city. A 25 MPH speed limit fits the typical operating speed of vehicles in the downtown core today.
This change would mainly impact the off-peak hours when there are more high-end speeders and more severe collisions.
“Speed is the critical factor in crashes, and lowering speeds is essential if we want to end traffic deaths and serious injuries on our streets,” said Seattle Department of Transportation Director Scott Kubly. “You can save a life for only an extra minute more per trip.”
This speed limit is consistent with the Washington State speed limit for city streets and Seattle is the only city in King County with an arterial speed limit over 25 MPH. Also, 25 MPH is the speed limit in the overwhelming majority of city centers nationwide including cities like New York, Portland, Phoenix, Denver and Houston.
The City Council’s Sustainability and Transportation Committee will discuss and vote on the proposal at its September 20 meeting. The legislation will then go before the full council for a vote later this month. If passed into law, the City expects to begin rolling out speed limit changes in November.
If you’re not sure whether a street near you is “residential” – check this map. If it’s not an arterial or freeway, it’s residential.
Tomorrow will be the start of the fourth week of work on SDOT’s lower Spokane Street project – happening mostly east of the “low bridge” – which the city says will “repave, reconstruct sidewalks and curb ramps, and make other improvements along SW Spokane Street from SW Klickitat Way to East Marginal Way S to improve safety for all users.” Below are key points from the overview of what’s planned this week, including continued detours for people on bikes and on foot:
• SW Klickitat Way and Manning Street
– Forming and pouring new curb ramps and replacement portions of sidewalk.
– Roadway asphalt patching.
• SW Spokane St and Manning St
– Reconstructing curb ramps and sidewalk on south side of Spokane St.
– Constructing a raised crosswalk in the West Seattle Bridge Trail across the driveway on the north side of Spokane St at Manning St
WHAT TO EXPECT DURING CONSTRUCTION FOR THE WEEK OF AUGUST 29, 2016
• Weekday work hours from 9 AM to 4 PM
• Single lane closures and/or lane width reductions during work hours
• Noise, dust and vibration typical of construction
• Access to the port and businesses will be maintained
• Temporary pedestrian/bike pathway around work zone at SW corner of Spokane St and 11th Ave SW
• Temporary pedestrian/bike pathway around work zone on north side of Spokane St at Manning Street
The project summary is on this SDOT webpage.
10:25 AM: We are at 49th and Admiral with about 20 residents and SDOT reps Dawn Schellenberg and Sam Woods for this morning’s first of two ‘Walk & Talk’ gatherings to talk about the upcoming Admiral Way Safety Project changes. No walking yet – all talking. (Added: Here’s our video of the first 14 minutes:)
The second session is supposed to start at the entrance to Schmitz Park on Admiral at 11:15. Main focus here: Pedestrian safety and what can be done to enhance it.
In general, those here are concerned about speeding. “This intersection is critical,” one person said.
10:42 AM: One group has gone on to Schmitz Park, while one that trailed, with Woods taking notes, is now at 53rd and Admiral, where Lander cuts off to Alki.
Woods is explaining that all three lanes here will narrow to 10 feet.
We are breaking off to move on with other events. SDOT says comments will be taken until September 2nd (contact info is at the end of their project webpage); restriping on Admiral will start a few weeks later.
Six months after we first reported on a long-requested traffic-calming plan for Fauntleroy’s Endolyne district, it’s about to become reality. We’ve confirmed with SDOT that installation work starts next week, likely on Wednesday – what you see in the photo above is part of the layout that’s been marked in the area to get ready for the work. As explained in the just-mailed flyer:
This project will change SW Brace Point Drive to a one-way, eastbound street, provide 7 new back-in angle parking spaces, enhance pedestrian crossings with three paint-and-post curb bulbs with plantings, and install on-street bicycle parking. This project will also restrict parking on a short segment of SW Wildwood Place to increase safety.
Construction is scheduled to last approximately one week with minimal impacts to residents, businesses, and travelers. Later this year, we will return to install 12 planter boxes in the new paint-and-post curb bulbs to help clearly define the pedestrian space.
For an even-more-detailed look at the plan, here’s the final design.
(Photo from Night Out 2015, shared by Michael in Westwood)
Show and celebrate your block/building/etc. next Tuesday! August 2nd is Night Out – the annual night to spend with your neighbors, fighting crime and strengthening your community. Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Mark Solomon sends this reminder:
We are one week away from National Night Out Against Crime. Many of you have registered your events with us; we very much appreciate that, and the invitations you have extended to us to stop by your events.
If you haven’t yet registered your event, it’s not too late. Our registration link is active until 5pm, Monday, August 1st. This event is always fun and a great way to reconnect with neighbors and meet new ones.
Use (this) link to register your event; registration will allow you to block off your (non-arterial) street.
Printable invitations and street closure signs can be found (here).
We hope to see you at your Night Out Event!
And we hope to see you too – as we do every year, we’re inviting you to let us know about your Night Out party, if you wouldn’t mind us potentially stopping by for a photo to include in our as-it-happens coverage – send the location and time to email@example.com – we also welcome your photos during Night Out, too, via any of our channels.
We counted at least 130 people at the start of West Seattle’s second Find It, Fix It Community Walk. It wrapped up in Roxhill Park just after 8 pm. While it was certainly planned, it wasn’t staged, and there were some raw moments, including resident Ami standing at the bottom of a problem-plagued stairway at 22nd and Henderson, playing a video by a former neighbor (see it here) who moved away, saying she couldn’t take the threats and trouble any more but begging the mayor to help those still there.
Lots of photos and video – and the commitments we heard – to come, in our second report.
After more than a year, SDOT has just gone public with what it’s decided to do on SW Admiral Way, between Admiral Junction and Alki. Here’s the full text of the e-mailed announcement, including plans for “walk-and-talk” meetings on August 20th:
We’ve spent the last few months incorporating feedback into a street design that will reduce speeding and crashes and preserve parking where it’s in high demand.
We heard during public engagement that people are driving too fast along SW Admiral Way, crashing into parked cars, and residents are afraid to cross the street. In fact, one mother choked up at our first public meeting at the thought of walking her children across SW Admiral Way.
When we started the project data showed there had been 71 vehicle crashes, two bike crashes and one pedestrian crash between 2011 and 2014. From January 2015 through May 2016 an additional 34 crashes have occurred. This statistic shows that crashes along Admiral Way SW have increased by nearly 28% in the past 1 ½ years. The neighborhood has people who’ve lived here for decades, new families, and visitors enjoying Alki Beach. Each person deserves safe travel whether walking, biking or driving.
After sharing a few designs with the neighborhood, studying on-street parking occupancy during the summer, and talking with community members, (the map above shows) what will be installed.
You may be wondering how the new design improves safety. We have proven success throughout the city that narrower travel lanes reduce the speeds people drive and the number of crashes.
We are also adding buffered bike lanes. Adding buffered bike lanes makes the street operate more predictably by giving everyone a space; and makes biking more comfortable, which can encourage more people to give it a try.
Here is how your input was included:
· Parking study. We conducted an on-street parking study during the month of August. Study times were 5-7AM, 1-3PM and 5-7PM on a sunny Saturday and Tuesday. The study confirmed what you told us. Parking spaces on the west end of the street with convenient access to Alki Beach are in high demand.
· Center turn lane. At our first public (meeting) you suggested we remove the center turn lane rather than impact on-street parking, so we did in the high-demand parking area.
· Left turn access at 57th and 59th Avenues SW. At the second public meeting, you requested left turn access to help reduce the risk of being rear-ended. We’ve included the access. To make room for them, about nine on-street parking spaces will be removed on the south side.
· Crosswalk at 61st Ave SW. We asked if you would like a new crosswalk in this location and one is included in the project.
Here is what we were not able to include and why:
· All-way stop at 59th Ave SW. You suggested we change the pedestrian activated signal at this location to an all-way stop. Unfortunately, studies showed that an all-way stop at this location did not meet guidelines. However, we have agreed to look at it again in the future.
Finally, we heard you want improved pedestrian crossings and supplied information on where. We’ll conduct a second round of outreach on August 20 in the form of “Walk and Talks” to gather site-specific input and talk about low-cost opportunities (visit web site for more details). The Walk and Talks will build off of comments collected through the first phase of outreach. Any improvements identified would be installed as a second phase of construction.
Our project web site at seattle.gov/transportation/swadmiralwaysafetyproject.htm has information on the walk and talk; and a flier with similar information will be mailed early August. Construction information will be shared as soon as available. However, work to restripe the street is expected to be completed before October 2016.
BACKSTORY: The first version of the plan was unveiled in April 2015 at an Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting. Ten months have passed since the second and final community meeting held by SDOT – which wasn’t planned until community members demanded it.
Datapoint regarding one assertion in the city news release: The “mother who choked up at (the) first public meeting at the thought of walking her children across Admiral Way” was reacting to what the city was proposing at the time, removing parking on the side of the street where her family lives, as noted in our coverage of that meeting.