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FOLLOWUP: Signs are up, speed limit’s down

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(WSB photos)

That sign along southbound Fauntleroy Way just south of Edmunds is one of the new signs SDOT has put up in the past few hours between SW Alaska and SW Morgan, along with radar-equipped speed-checking trailers like this one:

fauntspeed

And with that, the speed limit on Fauntleroy between The Triangle and Morgan Junction is now uniformly 30 mph, down from 35. SDOT had announced yesterday that the signage changes were planned for today; the trailers were in place this morning, the signs followed this afternoon. It’s been almost exactly a year since the city announced speed-limit reductions for arterials including this stretch of Fauntleroy; some are still pending.

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FOLLOWUP: 30-mph speed limit starts Saturday for more of Fauntleroy Way

Four weeks ago, SDOT told us that Fauntleroy Way was likely less than a month away from the speed-limit cut first announced a year ago. And today, it’s official: SDOT crews will be out tomorrow placing signage to change the speed limit to 30 mph “for a 1.25 mile stretch of Fauntleroy Way SW between SW Alaska Street and California Avenue SW. The speed limit currently increases to 35 mph in this segment despite the presence of parks and schools adjacent to the corridor. This change will create a consistent 30 mph speed limit for the entire Fauntleroy corridor.”

As SDOT told us last month, today’s announcement reiterates that most drivers already travel “slower than existing 35 mph speed limit on this section of Fauntleroy so this should not be a significant change for people that drive this roadway often. However, the speed limit change will help reduce the likelihood and severity of collisions. This is especially true for vulnerable users like pedestrians since lower speeds significantly reduce the survivability of crashes.” In addition to new 30-mph signage, SDOT says it will deploy its Speed Watch Trailer along this stretch of Fauntleroy, which was repaved and rechannelized back in 2009.

Other West Seattle arterials, as announced last year, are in line for the 30-mph limit; SDOT told us last month that Delridge also would get a “fog line” when its turn comes up.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Denny, Sealth send letter home after 8th graders report being ‘grabbed’

2:37 PM: Two eighth-grader girls from Denny International Middle School say older boys/men “grabbed and pushed” them on Monday. That’s according to this letter just sent to Denny and Chief Sealth International High School families by Denny principal Jeff Clark (who shared it with WSB) and Sealth principal Aida Fraser-Hammer:

Dear Denny and Chief Sealth Scholars and Families,

This morning, two of our 8th grade female scholars reported to us that they were approached by two males on their walk home yesterday near SW Trenton St. and 22nd Ave SW. They reported that the males followed them and then grabbed and pushed them towards a yard.

Our scholars did a great job by screaming, getting away, and running off. Our scholars believed that the males were in their late teens and approximately 5’7”. Both of the males had their jackets zipped up partially blocking their faces and had hoods on, so we have a limited description.

Our scholars did the right thing by screaming, getting away, and telling an adult at home and at school. The families reported the incident to the Seattle Police Department last night and they are investigating today. The Seattle Police and Seattle Public Schools staff will both be providing extra presence in that area.

As a pre-caution, we are reminding our scholars this afternoon about safety tips for walking to and from school. We would appreciate your help by having a similar conversation at home. The walking safety advice includes:

GENERAL SAFETY TIPS
• Pay close attention to your surroundings, avoid “automatic pilot.”
• Walk with a purpose; project an assertive, business-like image.
• Use common sense; plan your route to avoid uninhabited parks, parking lots, garages and alleyways.
• Stick to well-lit areas.
• Develop a plan before you see trouble. Crossing a street or entering a store may get you out of a potentially bad situation.
• If a car follows you or beckons you while you are walking, do not approach it. Instead, turn and quickly walk the opposite direction.
• Consider wearing clothing and shoes that you can move freely and quickly in, especially when walking or waiting for the bus.
• Carry minimal items; overloading yourself can make you appear vulnerable.
• Always plan your route and stay alert to your surroundings. Avoid shortcuts. Walk confidently. Scan your surroundings and make eye contact with people.
• Avoid walking alone at night. As much as possible, walk or travel with a friend, even during the daytime.

As always, thank you for your help and partnership!

P.S. If you didn’t see it in the comments earlier – here’s the SPD Blotter writeup about the incident – same basic information.

Meet new Community Police Team officers @ West Seattle Block Watch Captains’ Network

They’re the police officers you go to about neighborhood nuisances and other persistent problems – not the “happening NOW” emergencies, though their work can mean less of the latter: The Community Police Team, or CPT. The Southwest Precinct has two new CPT officers, John O’Neil and Clayton Powell, after losing two to reassignments and promotions; you can meet them at tomorrow night’s West Seattle Block Watch Captains’ Network meeting. You don’t have to be a captain, or even part of a block watch, to be there – WSBWCN welcomes everybody. The meeting also will include a crime-trend update from precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis. It starts at 6:30 pm Tuesday at the precinct, 2300 SW Webster.

Bumpy Beach Drive: Resident starts petition to plead for repaving

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That section of Beach Drive by Weather Watch Park and La Rustica is one of the inspirations behind a petition that’s being circulated by Jim Unland. He’s seeking signatures to ask the city to repave the half-mile stretch between 61st SW and SW Genesee (map). He explains, “This section of roadway has received numerous ‘pothole repairs’ but the condition of this stretch of Beach Dr. SW has deteriorated to the point that spot repairs are no longer sufficient. This roadway is frequently used by bicycle riders and the condition of the road poses many hazards to the them and liability to the City of Seattle.”

Unland says that petition signatures are set up to cc District 1 Councilmember Lisa Herbold and at-large Councilmembers Lorena González and Tim Burgess as well as SDOT’s paving manager Sue Byers. You can sign electronically by going here.

From the ‘in case you wondered too’ file: What if you find a needle in a park?

Besides what we publish here on WSB, we also receive and answer questions via various contact channels that don’t always lead to stories – but we resolved recently to share more of the resulting info in case it could help someone else.

That brings us to the question e-mailed by Doug this morning. He found a discarded needle in North Delridge’s Greg Davis Park and wondered what to do about it. We found this page on the city website. Doug’s followup note to us: “The police non-emergency dispatcher sent me to SDOT, which is only open M-F. After contacting the number at your link, I got a call back within 5 minutes. And the guy who called back said he’d just been doing maintenance at Greg Davis, so I had an opportunity to thank him for his beautiful work too.”

UPDATE: Seattle Public Schools, Seattle Police say threat rumors at Chief Sealth IHS ‘non-credible’

January 14, 2016 8:09 am
|       Comments Off on UPDATE: Seattle Public Schools, Seattle Police say threat rumors at Chief Sealth IHS ‘non-credible’
 |   Safety | West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

FIRST REPORT, 8:09 AM: After numerous texts and other messages overnight and early today asking what we knew about a rumored threat of violence at Chief Sealth International High School, we have just talked with Seattle Public Schools. District spokesperson Stacy Howard says it appears to have originated with some angry words overheard after a fight; a student told a parent who posted about the rumor on Facebook, and screen grabs started circulating widely among students, spreading to their parents (and to us), and on it went. Of course the district is taking it seriously, Howard said, and is working with Seattle Police, as well as talking with the students who were reported to have been involved in the fight that preceded the threat/rumor. There is extra security at the Sealth/Denny shared campus as a result, she says, and if they feel there is any reason to put the schools into shelter-in-place, they will. So far, though, she says, they have found no concrete evidence – no written threats, for example. We asked if the district and/or schools will be sending a message directly to families; how that will be handled, she said, is still under discussion.

8:52 AM: Sealth principal Aida Fraser-Hammer has just sent families this message, forwarded to us by a parent:

Good Morning Chief Sealth Families and Staff

This is to let you know that school will continue as normal today. We are aware of the rumors on social media about the possibility of violence on campus. We have investigated the facts and will continue to do so. As a precaution, Seattle Police and SPS security will be in the area and on campus. School will proceed in a shelter in place format until we know that it is safe to resume normal operations. This means that all educational programs continue as normal internally but all external doors will be locked and monitored.

Thank you for your cooperation.
Aida Fraser-Hammer, Principal

ADDED 9:03 AM: SPS says Denny will follow the shelter-in-place policy as well TFN.

10:34 AM UPDATE: The schools no longer are sheltering in place. SPS tweeted this, saying Seattle Police determined the threat to be “non-credible.”

10:41 AM UPDATE: Per district spokesperson Howard, this message will go out to families:

Update: School staff in partnership with the Seattle Police Department have thoroughly investigated the rumor posted on social media about potential violence on campus. As an update, we have not found any evidence of any actual threat of violence happening at school. We have determined how we believe these rumors started on Social Media and will respond accordingly to that. The Police Department confirmed that we should lift the Shelter-in-Place, which we did at 10:05am, and continue with a normal school day. We would like to express our thanks to many scholars and families who made us aware of these rumors so that we could address with right away.

Fauntleroy Expressway closures ahead, as project to re-replace pads gets ready to start, one year later than planned

January 13, 2016 12:31 pm
|       Comments Off on Fauntleroy Expressway closures ahead, as project to re-replace pads gets ready to start, one year later than planned
 |   Safety | West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

(2012 WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli, from original pad-replacement work beneath the bridge)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Another big road project is on the way. This one isn’t new – but it’s a year later than first planned. It’s the re-replacement of earthquake-safety cushioning under the Fauntleroy Expressway of the West Seattle Bridge, expected to happen last year, delayed until this year, now set to start in a few months.

If you don’t recall the backstory: Back in 2014, we reported on the revelation that 600 “bearing pad” cushions had been installed two years earlier on the Fauntleroy Expressway end of the West Seattle Bridge with a design flaw that made them too soft. The city caught the flaw; the design consultant didn’t fix it, and they paid almost $2 million for that error. In the meantime, the city decided that since the pads were going to be re-replaced anyway, they should be built to a newer standard of toughness.

The city insists the too-soft pads are not a safety risk; it’s just a matter of how long they will last.

We lost track of the project until it came up at the Southwest District Council meeting earlier this month, with a mention that SDOT was about to start community outreach about the work. The brief discussion that ensued involved some confusion – others at the meeting thought the re-replacement had already happened, and wondered if this were a round of re-re-replacement.

So we went to SDOT, which confirmed this is the work that was expected to start in April 2015. “City crews were on site for several weeks around that time doing some early preparation work for the installation,” acknowledged SDOT spokesperson Marybeth Turner. But – “We didn’t begin the installation when we had first planned because it took longer than anticipated to reach agreement on the design for the new and improved replacement pads, to work through the related design implications, and to reach agreement on the construction cost with the contractor.”

674 pads are to be re-replaced, and that will require up to 50 nighttime closures of the Fauntleroy Expressway – toward the west end of the bridge. Turner says they’ll probably be 9 pm-5 am weeknight closures, and more information will be available when scheduling is finalized. The work involves – as shown in the 2012 photo atop this story, from the original replacement work – jacking up sections of the bridge to remove the existing pads and place the new ones.

We have asked a followup about how – or whether – these closures will be coordinated with the eventual expected two-week Alaskan Way Viaduct shutdown, when the Highway 99 tunneling machine goes under the AWV. No reply yet.

ADDED: That reply is in now. SDOT’s Turner says, “We are aware the construction schedules for SR99 closures (for tunneling under the viaduct) and work on the Fauntleroy Expressway may coincide. We are now assessing the traffic impacts of the Fauntleroy Expressway project.”

FOLLOWUP: Speed-limit cuts still on the way, but Delridge will get an extra line, too

(WSB photo looking north on Delridge near Myrtle – existing ‘fog line’ is toward the left)
Though SDOT reaffirmed two months ago that its planned speed-limit cuts for three more West Seattle arterials would happen before the end of 2015 as planned, they didn’t happen. They’re still on the way, says SDOT’s Jim Curtin, but one of them – Delridge Way north of Orchard – will come with something extra: Fog lines. This news came in another round of correspondence with the concerned citizen whose questions sparked our November followup, “A Dad On Dangerous Delridge.” Curtin’s first reply to ADODD this week:

In an effort to achieve the lower speeds we seek on Delridge, we will be adding a fog line (aka edge line) to narrow the existing travel lanes on the street. The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) has a good website dedicated to lane widths here. Some sections of Delridge already have an edge line but most areas do not. Several locations, including the area just south of the Boren Building (home to two schools), have wide swaths of roadway with little to no organization or structure. The edge line will change that and help us reduce vehicle speeds on the corridor. This work is weather-dependent so we’ll need some dry weather before we can install the new pavement markings. We are hoping to make this change in the first quarter of 2016 during a dry stretch. A public communications effort will accompany these changes to help raise awareness of the speed limit change.

After seeing that via a CC in ADODD’s correspondence, we followed up with Curtin, first to ask if there’s a specified width for the resulting, narrowed traffic lanes: “Travel lanes will be 11 to 12 feet wide depending on the location to match the existing edge lines on the corridor. The roadway channelization will look very similar to the existing conditions on Delridge between Croft Pl SW and SW Myrtle Street.” (That’s where we took the photo atop this story.) He added that “the edge line will be applied to both sides of the street. Bike lanes are not planned through this low cost effort.” No existing markings will be changed, according to Curtin, just “essentially filling in the gaps in the channelization so we will not make changes to existing pavement markings.”

Our last question: What about the other arterials set for speed-limit reduction? Curtin replied: “Fauntleroy between Alaska and California will occur first – likely within the next month or so. The speed limit is already 30 mph along most of Fauntleroy but the speed limit jumps up to 35 in this section (which contains mainly residential land uses, Fairmount Park Elementary, and a park). Speed studies show that drivers are already traveling well below the existing 35 mph speed limit on this section of Fauntleroy. We intend to recalibrate the radar speed sign at SW Brandon Street and change the existing speed limit signs. As you know, the design of the roadway was significantly changed in 2009.” The 30 mph speed limit for more arterials was first announced last February.

SAFETY: Icy bicycle path near the low bridge, despite above-freezing temps

A reader e-mailed tonight to share this safety alert for bicycle commuters:

This morning at 9:00 a.m., there was black ice on the bike path just north of the Spokane St. Bridge on Harbor Island. It was 40 degrees, but this area is probably in shade all day this time of year. A group of cyclists spread bark to improve traction. We could see skid marks where it appeared other cyclists had spilled.

Consider walking your bike through this section. It is only 50 feet or so.

Earlier, we had received one report that a bicycle rider was injured just before 9 am at a location logged by Seattle Fire as 1002 SW Spokane. We didn’t get word until long after the call closed, and could only confirm with SFD that one person suffered “minor injuries.”

Read the ruling: Judge says city has the right to tax guns/bullets

The two documents above (and here) comprise a county judge’s ruling today that the city is within its rights to tax guns and ammunition, despite what opponents argued three months ago. Here’s how the city announced today’s court decision:

The City of Seattle has the legal authority to enact a $25 per firearm tax on retailers to mitigate the costs of gun violence, King County Superior Court Judge Palmer Robinson ruled Tuesday.

“The tax imposed by the Ordinance under the City’s constitutional and legislative authority to impose taxes, which is separate from its regulatory authority under its police power, is not preempted by RCW 9.41.290,” Judge Robinson ruled, dashing the NRA’s attempt to overturn the law.

Her ruling aligns with the position argued by the City that “The Ordinance does not limit any person’s right to purchase, sell, acquire, transfer, discharge, or transport firearms or ammunition.”

“I’m gratified by Judge Robinson’s thorough analysis, and congratulate our team of attorneys who argued the case before her last Friday,” City Attorney Pete Holmes said Tuesday. “The NRA needs to butt out of Seattle’s efforts to enact sensible gun safety legislation.”

“The Court got the law absolutely right,” said William Abrams of Steptoe & Johnson, who led the litigation team and appeared for the City pro bono. “Seattle’s right to fund research and education on gun violence was upheld. This time the NRA was unsuccessful in trying to block research on gun violence. The real winners are the citizens of Seattle, whose government can move forward to fund important research on this public health epidemic that affects everyone.”

In a Seattle summer marred by random gunfire, the City Council unanimously approved, and Mayor Ed Murray signed, the ordinance that, come January, will levy a $25 tax on businesses for each firearm sold at retail within City limits to provide a sustained local revenue source for research and prevention programs. In addition, the City will impose a 2-cent tax for every round of .22 caliber ammunition sold and a 5-cent tax for every other round of ammunition sold. A companion ordinance mandates that lost or stolen firearms be reported to the Seattle Police Department.

Of the ruling, the ordinance’s sponsor, Councilmember Tim Burgess, said, “We established the gun violence tax as a legitimate and appropriate way to raise revenue for gun safety research and prevention programs. The NRA and its allies always oppose these common sense steps to shine light on the gun violence epidemic. They have blocked funding for basic gun safety research at the federal level for decades. But in Seattle it is different. Judge Robinson saw through the NRA’s distorted efforts to put gun industry profits ahead of public safety.”

Welcoming the ruling, Mayor Murray said, “Guns now kill more people in the United States than automobiles. Our community will not stand by as so many in our city, particularly young people of color, continue to pay the highest price for inaction on gun violence at the national and state level. For too long, we have had insufficient research and data on gun violence in Seattle to help guide our response. We will now have critical funding to advance our work on gun violence research and prevention.”

Go here to read what the city passed.

FOLLOWUP: Questions and some answers, the day after Sealth student’s arrest following bullets, gun found at school

One day after Chief Sealth International High School told families a student had been arrested in connection with the discovery of bullets and a stolen gun at school, we asked more followup questions, and here’s what we’ve received in response, via Seattle Public Schools spokesperson Stacy Howard:

*The district can’t comment as to why the notification went out at the end of the day, and says there is no policy about how soon such notifications should be made.

*They can’t comment on what discipline the student might face separate from potential prosecution, as that is “private” information.

*We asked how many guns were found on SPS campuses so far this year; reply – this was the only one so far.

Meantime, principal Jeff Clark from neighboring Denny International Middle School sent us this letter he sent to families today; it includes a followup letter that Sealth principal Aida Fraser-Hammer sent to families at her school (we received a copy of her followup letter from the district earlier today).

Dear Denny Families,

Yesterday, there was an incident at Chief Sealth.  The principal of Chief Sealth, Ms. Fraser-Hammer, wrote the letter below which is being sent home and shared with the calling machine.  We want you to be aware as well.  Safety continues to our top priority—we are prioritizing this with our collaboration with Chief Sealth.

Sincerely,

Jeff Clark, Principal
Denny International Middle School

(Sealth followup letter)

December 17, 2015

Dear Chief Sealth families,
 
I want to follow up on the incident at our school yesterday. I understand you might have some questions or concerns, so I would like to give you some clarity on the situation.

Prior to the start of school yesterday morning, a gun magazine was discovered in a classroom. I notified SPS security and began an investigation to determine its origin and whether a student was involved. SPS security and administration interviewed several students, and identified a potential student of concern. The student was immediately escorted to the office where SPD and school security secured the incident. The student took responsibility for bringing a weapon and said he did not intend to harm anyone. Seattle Police arrested the student.

Please know that we take safety in our buildings very seriously; the well-being of our students is our top concern. I am proud of how our staff responded to this incident.

We will continue to coordinate with SPD and are committed to doing everything we can to keep our students safe. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

Aida Fraser-Hammer
Chief Sealth International High School

Seattle Fire Station 29 moving back to its permanent location

That letter is being distributed to neighbors of temporary Seattle Fire Station 29, announcing that after nine months, FS 29 is moving back to its permanent North Admiral location a short distance south. The city’s Finance and Administrative Services Department says the upgrade work at Station 29’s 2139 Ferry SW site has reached “substantial completion,” so the crews who have been in temporary structures since last March can re-occupy the permanent facility, and are expected to move next Tuesday. The choice of temporary sites drew controversy early this year because the triangle of city land at Ferry/Hill/44th was a sudden change from the longstanding original plan to house the temporary station on a much-larger site off Harbor Avenue SW. The temporary site is set for restoration work next month, the city says, including “removal of asphalt and gravel, top soil/seeding, planting of street trees, and completion of the missing section of sidewalk along Southwest Hill Street.”

West Seattle Crime Watch: Where burglars have hit this week; plus, the suspected package thieves who weren’t

Four West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports in this roundup – including one case of suspicious activity that wasn’t what it seemed to be. First, two burglaries (plus where police reports say others have happened) and a car prowl:

HIGHLAND PARK BURGLARY: From Cam:

7700 block of 17th Ave SW. Wednesday, Dec. 9, i came home to find back door ajar and the power turned off. the house was ransacked and discovered a number of apple electronic items and camera equipment missing. keep your eyes peeled and report any clues.

GATEWOOD BURGLARY: Vanessa says this is the getaway car used by burglars who hit a home near 39th SW & SW Kenyon in Gatewood on Sunday afternoon.

She says the red SUV was parked in her neighbors’ driveway and that a man ran from the side of the house “with the TV in hand.” Police were called and arrived quickly; a door and window were damaged, she says.

OTHER BURGLARY REPORTS: Though we’ve only found one since Monday on the SPD Police Reports map – – early Wednesday morning, a nonresidential break-in in the 4400 block of Fauntleroy – Tweets by Beat, collected on our Crime Watch page, reveal 11 others reported since Sunday (no details available in SPD’s online records, just times/locations, which is why reader reports are so helpful – editor@westseattleblog.com):

-Tonight, 7300 block 16th SW
-Tonight, 4800 block 21st SW
-This morning, 39th SW/SW Elmgrove
-Wednesday night, 7700 block 17th SW
-Wednesday night, 3000 block 52nd SW
-Early Wednesday, 37th SW/SW Oregon (commercial)
-Early Tuesday, 2500 block SW Trenton (commercial)
-Monday night, 4700 block 41st SW
-Monday night, 1700 block California SW
-Monday afternoon, 8500 block 14th SW
-Early Monday, 7200 block Detroit SW

CAR PROWL: From Kristiana:

Our car was rifled through last night at Spokane and 48th SW. Nothing of value to steal and no damage, but stuff was strewn on the seats and a door was left cracked open.

Yes, it’s been reported to police – even if nothing (or “nothing of value”) is taken, it’s important to file a report, and you can even do that online.

WHAT LOOKS SUSPICIOUS MIGHT NOT ALWAYS BE: From a reader:

A package was delivered to our front door just after dark, and I wasn’t able to get to the door for a couple of minutes. When I went outside to retrieve the package, a young couple was walking down the sidewalk, shined a flashlight down the front walkway to my house, got into a Budget rental truck parked nearby and drove away relatively rapidly without saying anything.

Having received a recent SPD SW Precinct report concerning car prowls and package theft, which stated “Thieves will often follow or watch for FedEx, UPS, US Mail and other delivery trucks and then target a home after a delivery is made,” I was suspicious so I stood there watching what they were doing.

I started to call the SW Precinct’s non-emergency line (feeling like I was maybe be overly cautious) and then saw the same Budget truck drive by under a streetlight on the next block behind our home and heard them stop. So I called 911, thinking this was now too suspicious to not report immediately. The 911 operator took all of the information and said an officer would be sent to the area. I opted to not have an officer follow up, however, I had a call back from an officer within about 15 minutes.

They had stopped the truck, and it was a Budget rental truck being used by UPS as they had run out of vehicles for delivery. The officer verified their info and left a message for me per this.

It was such a relief to know how this ended, but it was also a good wakeup call on being careful with deliveries and reporting suspicious activity if something doesn’t seem right.

I’m also extremely impressed and very thankful with how quickly the SW Precinct followed up on this and reported back. Kudos to them!

ADDED: After reading this, @SudsyMaggie shared this photo of a UPS-deployed Budget truck she’d seen recently:


STUDENT SAFETY ALERT: Denny students report luring attempt

Thanks to the Denny International Middle School parent who shared this e-mail sent to the school community tonight:

This afternoon, two of our 8th-grade scholars reported to us that they were approached by a man in a red Sports Utility Vehicle who called to them to get in the back of the vehicle as they walked home from school yesterday. The scholars did the right thing by running away and telling an adult at home and at school. Seattle Police have been informed.

As a precaution, we reminded our scholars this afternoon about safety tips for walking to and from school. We would appreciate your help by having a similar conversation at home. The walking-safety advice includes:

GENERAL SAFETY TIPS

Pay close attention to your surroundings, avoid “automatic pilot.”

Walk with a purpose; project an assertive, business-like image.

Use common sense; plan your route to avoid uninhabited parks, parking lots, garages and alleyways.

Stick to well-lit areas.

Develop a plan before you see trouble. Crossing a street or entering a store may get you out of a potentially bad situation.

If a car follows you or beckons you while you are walking, do not approach it. Instead, turn and quickly walk the opposite direction.

Consider wearing clothing and shoes that you can move freely and quickly in, especially when walking or waiting for the bus.

Carry minimal items; overloading yourself can make you appear vulnerable.

Always plan your route and stay alert to your surroundings. Avoid shortcuts. Walk confidently. Scan your surroundings and make eye contact with people.

Avoid walking alone at night. As much as possible, walk or travel with a friend, even during the daytime.

As always, thank you for your help and partnership!

Sincerely,
Jeff Clark, Principal

That’s the e-mail in its entirety, with no location-specific information regarding where the incident happened; Tweets by Beat notes a “lewd conduct” call not far from the school, at 28th SW and SW Elmgrove, but we likely won’t be able to check that directly with police until tomorrow morning.

Alaskan Way Viaduct still sinking and cracking, inspection finds

Almost two weeks after the last Alaskan Way Viaduct inspection closures, the results are in. From this WSDOT webpage summarizing years of inspection results:

Survey crews detect between 1/4 and 1/2 inch of additional settlement between University Street and south of Seneca Street since the last inspection. The settlement is uniform in nature. Inspectors also note some additional cracking on columns and girders in the same general area, along with up to 1/2 millimeter widening of a few existing cracks. No additional repair work is necessary.

We know what you’re going to ask – here’s how WSDOT answers it: “It’s important to note that not all settlement is significant. In the case of the viaduct, no single number represents an acceptable level of settlement.” Bottom line, WSDOT says: “The viaduct remains vulnerable to earthquakes but remains safe for everyday use.” (In case you missed it, here’s the latest tunnel-machine update, published here Thursday.)

Westwood ‘transit center’ lighting, sidewalk improvements delayed until next year, Metro says

(WSB file photo: ‘Wall of buses’ along Roxhill Park, across from Westwood Village)
It’s been two years since the Westwood-Roxhill Community Council started seeking safety improvements along the Roxhill Park section of the Westwood-area “transit center” – particularly lighting. We’ve covered walking tours of the area going back to the end of 2013, where WWRHAH leaders including co-chair Amanda Kay Helmick pointed out the safety issues. In January of this year, Metro told WWRHAH that they had procured a $170,000 county grant for lighting and ADA sidewalk upgrades to the area – but it hasn’t happened yet, so Helmick just followed up again, with various people in the loop, including King County Executive Dow Constantine‘s transportation adviser Chris Arkills, who investigated and then forwarded this update from Metro’s Paul Roybal:

Thank you for your inquiry about the status of King County Metro’s project to construct sidewalk and lighting improvements at the Westwood Village C Line Terminal. Over the past several months, Metro’s preliminary design work has included:

· coordination with the City of Seattle to address technical design issues,
· completion of federal environmental review requirements, and
· identification of City of Seattle permitting requirements.

Certain project elements, including the lighting improvements, trigger requirements of the City of Seattle Street Improvement Permit process. This process requires additional coordination with various City departments, and is typically completed in a three- to six-month time frame. Concurrently, Metro is actively working with the City of Seattle to identify options to reduce the construction duration once permitting is complete. Metro’s design team now estimates that construction will be complete in mid-2016.

Some of the other problems pointed out by WWRHAH in the 2013 walking tour have already been addressed.

FOLLOWUP: 30 mph still on the way for Delridge, Fauntleroy, Harbor, Olson/Roxbury

Four West Seattle roads are still in line for a five-mph speed-limit reduction. That’s what we’ve learned since a reader calling himself “A Dad on Dangerous Delridgee-mailed us Thursday to wonder what happened to SDOT‘s plan to reduce the speed limit on 5 West Seattle arterials by year’s end. We wrote about it in mid-February, when SDOT released details of its Vision Zero plan. “Dad” CC’d various city officials, including Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, who asked SDOT to respond, even before we started inquiring. SDOT’s Jim Curtin responded: “We will be reducing the speed limit from 35 mph to 30 mph (on Delridge Way) north of SW Orchard Street in December.” We then asked about the other roads on the list. Curtin’s reply: “35th was reduced to 30 between Roxbury and Holly in September. … Fauntleroy, Delridge, and Harbor will be reduced to 30 before the end of 2015. We’re designing additional countermeasures for the Olson Pl SW/Roxbury reduction to 30 mph. This will include radar speed signs for both Roxbury and Olson Place along with flashing beacons to add additional emphasis to our curve-warning signs (where we’ve had some trouble over the years as you know). Still aiming to implement in 2015.”

HAPPENING NOW: Morgan Junction sidewalk work begins

Crews are in Morgan Junction right now, starting work on the sidewalk-repair project along the west side of California south of Fauntleroy. As previewed here last month, here are the key points you need to know:

Work hours will be 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Parking will initially be restricted 24 hours a day up to the driveway to the Subway parking lot driveway approach. After we complete the northerly section, we will then restrict parking 24 hours a day south of the Subway parking lot driveway approach. To maintain business access during construction, we will install ADA-compliant ramp “bridges” into each affected business until the new sidewalk is ready.

The sidewalk work is a community-requested project funded by the Neighborhood Park and Street Fund.

VIDEO: Arson investigation, holiday-season crime prevention, and more @ West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network

October 27, 2015 9:45 pm
|       Comments Off on VIDEO: Arson investigation, holiday-season crime prevention, and more @ West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network
 |   Crime | Safety | West Seattle news

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

No arrest yet in the West Seattle arsons.

That’s what Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis told the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network tonight, almost one full week since the last fire in the string of half a dozen arsons that have been under investigation for more than two weeks. Here’s video of his update:

That most-recent fire was early last Wednesday, set in a recycling bin outside a house at 40th SW and SW Morgan, half a mile from the October 12th firesetting shown on surveillance video made public last Thursday:

Capt. Davis told the more than 30 attendees that the investigation remains open and active, with multiple agencies working on it. Call 911 or 800-55-ARSON if you have information.

He was asked about last Saturday’s double shooting, in which a 24-year-old man was killed and a 34-year-old man seriously wounded, with a 25-year-old suspect arrested hours later. Capt. Davis had no additional information on that beyond pointing out that – as we reported after the suspect’s bail hearing – the victims and suspect were known to each other.

Also brought up by attendees:

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West Seattle Crime Watch: FOUND Stolen SUV to watch for; Block Watch Captains’ Network briefings Tuesday

8:50 PM: In West Seattle Crime Watch tonight:

STOLEN SUV: Have you seen Matt‘s stolen dark blue Chevy Tahoe? It was taken from his driveway in the 6000 block of California SW sometime midday last Friday (October 23rd). License plate 899-ZBW. If you see it – call 911.

9:51 PM UPDATE: See comments – SPD found Matt’s SUV and are reported to have made an arrest, too.

(back to original report) CRIME UPDATES AT BLOCK WATCH CAPTAINS’ NETWORK: Want to hear firsthand updates about the recent arsons and Saturday’s shootings? And/or ask questions? The West Seattle Block Watch Captains’ Network meets tomorrow (Tuesday, October 27th) for the last time this year, and has announced that Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis will be there with updates, as well as Crime Prevention Coordinator Mark Solomon, who, WSBWCN says, “will focus on prevention and things you can do to make your property less of a target for arson or property theft. Come learn about things you and your neighbors can do to be vigilant.” 6:30 pm, SW Precinct (2300 SW Webster), all welcome – you don’t have to be a BW captain or even a BW member.

FOLLOWUP: November 5th announced as new start date for Morgan Junction sidewalk work; bus stop might move

(WSB photo from October 14th)
Just in – the new start date for the sidewalk work coming up along the west side of California SW, south of Fauntleroy Way SW, in a community-requested Neighborhood Park and Street Fund project:

SDOT crews plan to start work on Thursday, November 5th. We will start near Starbucks and work our way south. To minimize disruptions, we will only remove as much sidewalk as we can fully replace within four business days.

The announcement continues ahead: Read More

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