West Seattle Blog... » Safety http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Sat, 30 Aug 2014 07:17:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 47th/Admiral signal: Design’s done; construction set for this fall http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/47thadmiral-signal-designs-done-construction-set-for-this-fall/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/47thadmiral-signal-designs-done-construction-set-for-this-fall/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 19:21:17 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=282994

SDOT has announced that design is done and construction will start this fall – possibly as soon as October – on the long-sought signal at 47th SW and Admiral Way, and that it will be accompanied by four striped crosswalks, as seen in the new design graphic above. This fall will mark three years since the Admiral Neighborhood Association ramped up its campaign for the signal with a rally in memory of 26-year-old Tatsuo Nakata, killed at the intersection in fall 2006. It took a lot of pushing to get funding committed – in early 2012, SDOT was still saying 47th/Admiral wasn’t high on the list. Then last year, the City Council made changes in then-Mayor McGinn’s spending plan in order to find full funding for the signal.

Here are key parts of the finalized plan, according to SDOT:

*Installing a new traffic signal
*Adding four additional striped crosswalks
*Upgrading six curb ramps at key corners of the intersection to be compliant with current American Disability Act (ADA) standards
*Replacing the existing center-turn lane with left-turn-only pockets on SW Admiral Way
*Removing minimal parking up to 50 feet from the intersection approaches on the north and south sides of 47th Avenue SW and SW Waite Street
*Removing the existing pedestrian signal

According to SDOT’s Maribel Cruz, “We anticipate construction will begin late this fall and will last for approximately three months, depending on weather conditions. The project team plans to host a community drop-in session at a nearby café in October, prior to the start of construction, and will continue to keep the community informed as the project progresses.” More information is online at this newly updated project page.

P.S. We should note that this intersection will be a lot busier soon, with Aegis Living planning to build a new retirement center on the 4700 SW Admiral Way site of the former Life Care Center, proposed to include 48 assisted-living apartments and 33 memory-care apartments..

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PHOTO GALLERY: Night Out 2014 parties in neighborhoods around West Seattle http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/happening-now-night-out-2014-in-neighborhoods-around-west-seattle/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/happening-now-night-out-2014-in-neighborhoods-around-west-seattle/#comments Wed, 06 Aug 2014 01:03:51 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=281634 FIRST REPORT, 6:03 PM: Night Out is on! We’re visiting block parties around West Seattle again this year and will add updates here. Since we can’t get to them all, we’d love one from yours if you care to share – editor@westseattleblog.com (or Twitter/Instagram, where the hashtag is #SeattleNightOut and we are at @westseattleblog) – thanks; updates ahead!

FIRST STOP, ARBOR HEIGHTS – in the block where we attended a Seattle Police Living-Room Conversation at Block Watch Captain JoDean Edelheit‘s home two years ago. (That’s JoDean in the back row, third from right.) This block is getting busier, as it’s near the undergoing-renovations future home of Westside School (WSB sponsor) at 34th/104th.

SECOND STOP, SUNRISE HEIGHTS: Carole invited us to stop by; her husband Michael is Block Watch Captain and has also recently gone through a round of preparedness training, so he’s leading the neighborhood in getting everybody organized to start working on a neighborhood plan. That’s why there’s preparedness info at their party:

They’re hoping not only to be, well, more prepared as a result, but also to inspire other neighborhoods. (Have we mentioned lately – lots of preparedness info at westseattlebeprepared.org, including the location of your nearest Emergency Communication Hub.)

7:20 PM UPDATE: Thanks to Marcia for tweeting this photo from her neighborhood’s party:

Via text, more preparedness, at 23rd and Cambridge, including this photo:

The texter (206-293-6302 any time!) says neighbor Patty Doty got a grant to “put together emergency kits to distribute tonight to our neighbors!” Meantime, back onto our travels:

OUR THIRD STOP, GATEWOOD: Sue‘s neighborhood has an annual “flags of all nations” display:

The biggest flag there in the middle synergizes with the sign – the flag is for Hawaii, the sign says No Ka Oi (Hawaiian for “is the best”) Party. We also discovered while visiting that Jeff is an award-winning amateur winemaker:

As we continue our travels, we’re noting MANY side streets closed off for block parties – way to go! And closing streets takes some logistics – and signage:

OUR FOURTH STOP, HANSEN VIEW: The sign above is from Hansen View just south of The Mount, where Night Out always means a big party. Including bluegrass band The Mighty Fallen.

We just missed visiting firefighters. Lots of neighbors having a great time!

Hansen View is home neighborhood to West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network leaders Deb Greer and Karen Berge, who we’ll see again – and you should come too! – at Delridge Day this Saturday. Meantime, a photo texted from Gatewood:

The band is Woodland, playing near 35th and Rose – thanks for the photo!

OUR FIFTH STOP, FAIRMOUNT: We were leaving Hansen View, headed to Junction Plaza Park (stop #6), when we noticed two Seattle Fire vehicles at a block party, so we pulled over, and got a group shot including the visiting firefighters:

This is Fairmount, south of The Triangle, not to be confused with Fairmount Park or Fairmount Springs. Then it was north to …

OUR SIXTH STOP, JUNCTION PLAZA PARK: The re-activated Junction Neighborhood Organization threw a party in the park … we didn’t arrive until it was almost over, but caught the small spirited group that remained:

West Seattle Bike Connections joined JuNO for the party. Police and fire had visited earlier too, as had City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, who was making West Seattle rounds. JuNO had water balloons, too … now THAT is a party. JuNO’s director René Commons says they hope next Night Out will bring their SECOND annual party in the park.

ADDED 9:23 PM – OUR SEVENTH AND FINAL STOP, SEAVIEW: 5900 block of 44th and vicinity – thanks to Kelli for inviting us. A 1970 El Camino was a canvas for chalk art:

Heather from Sparklez Face and Body Art was creating art too:

And the group:

(added) WE STOPPED HERE TOO: Thanks to Sarah for kindly pointing out in comments that we had neglected to publish anything from one of our stops, 6000 block of 37th – and this was actually the first invite we’ve received, from Aaron. Found the pic!

(back to Tuesday night in-progress report) Next: Photos from the inbox – thanks for sharing! First:

That’s from Steve at 16th and Trenton. One block over, at 15th and Trenton, a party photo from Chris:

Next, from Leslie on Canada Drive SW:

Tweeted by Jason in Admiral:

Lots of kid activities at tonight’s parties. Even a bouncy house in Belvidere, on 36th SW – thanks for this e-mailed photo:

Further south on 36th SW, here’s the group photo from Jenny‘s neighborhood (“between Findlay and Brandon, best block EVER!” she declared):

Also very proud of their block:

We love our neighborhood and thought you might like a glimpse of our amazing gathering. 61st Ave SW – between Hinds and Spokane St.

Mary Pyper and Janinne Brunyee, Block Watch Co-Captains

Pigeon Point always has a big bash, and Pete Spalding shared photos – here he is with Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Steve Wilske:

Deputy Chief Mike Washburn also stopped by, as did a Seattle Fire engine:

But neighborhood mingling remained the big draw, as it was with parties from north to south, east to west:

Next, we head all the way to the other end of West Seattle – Jim Edwards of West Seattle Big Band and West Seattle Grand Parade fame shares a photo from North Shorewood:

A first-time event in North Shorewood on 102nd SW. The west end of the block is the City of Seattle. The east end of the block, unincorporated King County. From 28th SW to 30th SW. We are also participating in an informal radio net with the West Seattle Radio Club.

Next year … maybe a band appearance? If you live out that way, keep watch for flyers next summer! Heading back north, to Gatewood again, Long B. Nguyen photographed his SW Portland neighbors:

From the 6300 block of 41st SW, Fairmount Springs vicinity, Jenny explains the next photo as “not everyone at our block party, but still a picture of neighbors enjoying each other.”

From the 3400 block of Belvidere Avenue, Erika shares a photo of the youngest neighbors, noting, “We had another fantastic night of community gathering with our neighbors and the gang of kiddos had so much fun riding bikes and scooters, as well as jumping in a bouncy house! We love National Night Out and look forward to it all year!”

From 46th SW between Walker and Hill in North Admiral, a photo texted earlier in the night:

And from Rutan Place SW, John shares a photo of his well-attended block party:

ADDED WEDNESDAY MORNING: Two more – first, from Diane, the late crowd on 45th SW between Alaska and Edmunds:

The block party had double this amount in attendance earlier, with games, bubbles, a balloon artist, & sidewalk chalk for the kids. Most had headed home by this late hour to get little ones to bed and missed the photo. The block party also had 2 musicians who sang for them through the evening, accompanied with a guitar and double bass cello. A great block party for 45th Street!

And Don‘s neighborhood in Fairmount Springs had visitors who brought goodies – the Ben & Jerry‘s truck that’s making Seattle rounds this month:

Thanks again for sharing glimpses of awesome West Seattle neighborhoods.

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SW Roxbury Safety Project meeting, the sequel: What was asked last night http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/sw-roxbury-safety-project-meeting-the-sequel-what-was-asked-last-night/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/sw-roxbury-safety-project-meeting-the-sequel-what-was-asked-last-night/#comments Tue, 05 Aug 2014 23:51:57 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=281532 By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The proposal for rechannelization – aka “road diet” – for Southwest Roxbury’s westernmost arterial mile was no longer a surprise when it was explained last night for the second time in five nights. At least some of the ~30 people at the second meeting about the design proposals for SDOT’s SW Roxbury Safety Project had clearly checked out news of the plan that circulated after the first meeting last Thursday.

Road diets have their critics, but this proposal did not draw an angry crowd to last night’s meeting at the Greenbridge YWCA in White Center, led by SDOT’s Jim Curtin, who also presented last Thursday’s briefing. One person voiced open concern about possible traffic congestion as a result. Several others, though, asked why the rechannelization couldn’t cover the entire arterial stretch of Roxbury, all the way east to Olson. And the general mood of questions/comments was in favor of something even more restrictive than SDOT is suggesting.

But before we get to that: In case you missed it, rechannelization – one lane each way, with a center two-way turn lane, west from 17th to 35th – is part of what SDOT is proposing. We detailed the entire plan in our coverage of last week’s meeting – please read that for full details; we went to last night’s meeting mostly to check out the questions/comments the second time around – it was scheduled as a rerun rather than a followup. Here’s the SDOT slide deck, same thing last night that was shown last Thursday:

Again, the reason why a safety project is on the table: 223 collisions in last ~3 years, with 112 injuries. That’s about double the injury rate for collisions citywide, said SDOT’s Jim Curtin, who led this presentation/discussion as he had done in West Seattle last Thursday. “These are not just minor fender-benders.”

Along Roxbury, SDOT operates the signals and “we maintain the road curb-to-curb,” Curtin clarified in response to a question, even though for most of the stretch, the city-county line goes “right down the middle of Roxbury” until 30th – west of there, “it’s all city,” he noted.

With this meeting held off the east side of the corridor, there was some extra attention on the proposals for that side. Curtin pointed out that the Roxbury/Olson/4th area has had five spinout crashes. “Curve warning and advisory speed-limit signs” went in earlier this year, and none of those crashes have happened since. There will be “left turn yield on green” signage. Roxbury repaving 24th-27th will start right after the curb-ramp work that’s under way on that stretch now is complete. Left-turn pockets are also planned for 26th/Roxbury – there might be left-turn signals too, not yet determined.

Could the school-zone speed cams on the way to Holy Family and Roxhill Elementary zones be used outside school hours? State law would have to be changed, Curtin replied.

He reiterated that the work would start on the western segment – with rechannelization proposed just west of White Center, which would have “a massively incredible effect on speeds,” Curtin said. He reiterated that streets with 25,000 vehicles on weekdays, or fewer, are candidates – and this segment carries 13,000 to 16,000 a day, making it an “ideal” candidate. There will be a bus lane through Roxhill’s area because its bus-load area is on Roxbury. There might be a RapidRide layover zone there, to get rid of the “wall of buses” on Barton. No curb bulbs or median planned, Curtin said, reassuring someone who said those types of features were causing trouble at spots in West Seattle.

Asked about bicycle facilities, Curtin mentioned what he had at last week’s meeting – that Roxbury in the rechannelization zone will have a five-foot buffer on each side but the pavement is too rough right now for a bike lane, so that needs to be fixed before a bike lane could be considered. A future protected bike lane is part of the Bicycle Master Plan, Curtin confirmed. (By the way, he drives Roxbury east of 35th every day, he said.)

36 streets around Seattle have been rechannelized to date, in recent decades. Asked why it couldn’t go along the entire stretch, he said SDOT wished they could, since there’s “less risk when there’s fewer lanes of traffic” – but, “The model kicked out some travel times we considered unacceptable” – a 5-minute end to end trip during peak times could have become 15 minutes.

One person asked if signal changes were planned at 16th/Roxbury/Delridge. They are certainly “possible,” said Curtin, but not necessarily part of the plan right now – “it’s such a complicated intersection already,” he said. What about a walk-all-ways setup there? Curtin said “This intersection COULD get one of those, but certainly not right now.” You would need to have at least 100 pedestrian crossings per hour, he said, and White Center is “on the borderline” of that,

By this point, the meeting went into full Q/A mode. Somebody complained about unmowed planting strips. “The city could take action against them, which I think is pretty rare,” CUrtin said.

A 12th Avenue SW neighbor said she’s excited about the prospective pedestrian signal there, mentioned as a “long-term” project – right now, she just marches right out, puts up her hand to stop traffic, “gives (drivers) the stink-eye” until they stop.

What’s next for the project? Starting today, they’ll talk with local business owners, through October. You can also talk with SDOT at the Delridge Day festival next Saturday (August 9), 11 am-3 pm in Delridge Community Center Park (Delridge/Genesee). While some parts of the project are ongoing, the major elements – once the plan is finalized – will be done next spring/summer.

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From the ‘yes, they’re working on it’ file: 35th SW kickoff date http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/from-the-yes-theyre-working-on-it-file-35th-sw-kickoff-date/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/from-the-yes-theyre-working-on-it-file-35th-sw-kickoff-date/#comments Fri, 01 Aug 2014 18:20:12 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=281279 One more note from last night’s meeting about SW Roxbury – a stack of cards casually announced the launch date for the other major “road-safety corridor project” in the works: 35th SW. You have almost three months’ warning for this one – 6:30 pm October 22nd at Neighborhood House‘s High Point Center. Meantime, browse the background links on the left side of the project page.

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Rechannelization proposed for 1 mile of SW Roxbury, and other safety-improvement proposals unveiled at 1st of 2 meetings http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/rechannelization-proposed-for-1-mile-of-sw-roxbury-and-other-safety-improvement-proposals-unveiled-at-design-review-meeting-tonight/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/rechannelization-proposed-for-1-mile-of-sw-roxbury-and-other-safety-improvement-proposals-unveiled-at-design-review-meeting-tonight/#comments Fri, 01 Aug 2014 02:32:21 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=281196

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Rechannelization (aka a “road diet”) for the mile of SW Roxbury between 17th and 35th SW (map) is a big part of what SDOT is proposing to do, to fix what it acknowledges are “horrible” conditions for everyone from drivers to pedestrians:

Other proposals and plans for the road, between Olson and 35th, have just been revealed too – a mix of paving, painting, signage, and signals.

It was all unveiled by SDOT’s neighborhood traffic liaison Jim Curtin (who also happens to live in the area) in a meeting tonight at Southwest Library, with more than 20 neighbors in attendance, including leaders of neighborhood groups that campaigned for the city to finally get something done. (See the full slide deck here.)

As Curtin prefaced, SW Roxbury from Olson to 35th is a very busy road, a “principal arterial,” with 13,000 cars a day on average at 35th, almost twice that (25,000) at Olson Place SW. Speed studies show that most drivers are going at least five mph over the speed limit, Curtin said, adding that alongside Roxhill Elementary, 85 percent of vehicles are going more than 11 mph over the 30 mph limit, and, as he pointed out, speed is the number one factor in crashes – of which there have been 223 in the past three years, with 112 people hurt. The eastern section is more crash-prone than the western section. 11 crashes involved vehicles and pedestrians; two involved vehicles and bicycles.

Long-term proposals unveiled, under design right now into early 2015, with the “final determination” to be made before year’s end, and work to be done next year:

They’ll look at the corridor in three sections, he said, western, then White Center, then eastern. For the western segment, the most dramatic proposal:

*Rechannelization between 17th SW and 35th SW, one lane each way, middle lane for turns, shared bus lane with a potential new bus-layover zone near Roxhill Elementary, signage improvements, spot pavement repairs, but no “bike facilities” yet. He says that stats show that rechannelization works well on streets carrying fewer than 25,000 vehicles per day – and as noted above, that defines this stretch (16,000 at the most along the rechannelization-proposed segment). As if on cue, an attendee said, “This is the same thing that was successful on Fauntleroy, right?” and Curtin had a slide ready for that:

It showed 31 percent fewer collisions on Fauntleroy Way after that change five years ago, while it carries a bit more than the 17,600 vehicles a day that it did before the rechannelization. Travel times are unchanged, from four more seconds to 1.2 minutes; “top-end speeders” are down 13 percent.

Curtin says this will make for a better pedestrian situation, eliminates the “multiple threat” collision danger, so more crosswalks might result. Right and left turns will be safer too, he says. He also points out a five-foot buffer planned for each side of the road – and acknowledges that could be the future bike-lane space, after a question from an attendee.

Why can’t this stretch through the White Center area at 15th-17th? he was asked. Travel times there would go up “to unacceptable levels,” Curtin says they found out, through an analysis. But they do plan pavement repair between 17th and 18th, plus “new curb ramps and accessible pedestrian signals at 17th,” as well as signage improvements (like the ones now up at Fauntleroy/California, warning that turning vehicles need to stop for pedestrians and bicycles). “We’re going to go out there and take care of business,” Curtin declared. And yes, he told an attendee who asked, they are in communication with the county (SDOT is actually responsible for Roxbury up until the curb on the county side of the road, even though the boundary technically goes through the middle). A “crosswalk design” might be possible at that spot, Curtin suggests – not part of the formal plan but “if anyone’s interested in talking about it … we can partner up and make it happen.”

The parking alongside Roxbury right by downtown White Center will not be affected by this – business owners “fought really hard to keep it,” Curtin notes. In addition, the parking has NOT been a factor in any crashes, he said.

Now, for the eastern section of Roxbury:

*”Engineering education” is what they want to use to address the main problem, speeding, with two radar speed signs that will likely be in by year’s end, plus “channelization improvements” at Olson/4th – the latter, “to address some of the sideswipe issues.” That will include some “subtle tweaks” to the paint on the roadway to address that.

*To address concerns about a long stretch with no pedestrian crossing, they would seek, “long term,” a signal at 12th SW, in the “neighborhood pond transit stop” area, said Curtin. Grant money would likely help with this, he explained.

But that’s not all the city’s proposing, and not all it’s been doing. Some work’s already been done. But first, the new short-term projects announced by Curtin:

Work is beginning now to pave Roxbury between 24th and 27th; left-turn pockets will be installed at 26th, for both north and south approaches; and grant-funded sidewalks are in the works between 28th and 30th SW – that’s just been announced, Curtin said. If more grant money comes in, they will head south on the east side of 30th, he said.

And he listed the “short-term projects” (as in, completed now or completed soon) that are already in place:

The school-zone speed-enforcement cameras at Roxhill Elementary and Holy Family School will start issuing warnings September 2nd, the first day of school, continuing for a month – if you’re caught speeding, you will get that warning in the mail. “You’re not going to get a ticket for going 22 mph in a 20 mph zone,” said Curtin, “but if you go much faster, you’re asking for it.” They’ve also put up curve warnings and advisory speed-limit signs at the Roxbury/Olson curve, and signs will be put up soon warning that “left turn yield(s) on (green light)” at Roxbury/Olson/4th. (Curtin said that since the signs have gone up in that spot – the most crash-prone intersection in West Seattle – nothing major has happened.)

Meantime, other stats Curtin listed about Roxbury:

*153 parcels abut Roxbury
*more than half are single-family homes
*almost a fifth are retail, office, industrial
*3 schools, parks, open space
*Westwood/White Center urban village in the heart of the area
*Served by 10 transit routes, including West Seattle’s most-popular route, 120

As Curtin recapped, the speed/collision problems on Roxbury were an impetus for this, as well as Safe Routes to School funding availability, and local community councils’ request for help – Westwood Roxhill Arbor Heights, Highland Park Action Committee, and North Highline Unincorporated Area Council.

This was preceded by meetings back in February (WSB coverage here), as well as other “outreach” events that Curtin also recapped, including the White Center Summit, WC Chamber of Commerce, and more, including a WC Community Development Association outreach project making contact, he said, with more than 200 households for whom English is not the primary language.

In addition to the second “design review” meeting next Monday in Greenbridge (6 pm at the YWCA, 9720 8th SW), you’ll also be able to check out the proposed designs at Delridge Day on August 9th (11 am-3 pm at Delridge Community Center park). And if you’re in the area, look for information in the mail.

OTHER ‘NEXT STEPS’: SDOT is talking to businesses August through October, planning a “final” determination and community meeting late this fall, and then would do the work in spring-summer next year.

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One more nudge: 1st look at Roxbury possibilities Thursday night http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/one-more-nudge-1st-look-at-roxbury-possibilities-tomorrow-night/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/one-more-nudge-1st-look-at-roxbury-possibilities-tomorrow-night/#comments Thu, 31 Jul 2014 04:47:16 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=281074 It’s the road with two of West Seattle’s three most-crash-plagued intersections – and after two neighborhood councils said, “Enough!”, the city committed to making changes on SW Roxbury. As announced a week and a half ago, tomorrow’s the night you can get the first look, and offer some first comments, at the first round of possibilities. 6 pm, Southwest Library (35th/Henderson), upstairs meeting room – early enough you can still get out in time for a sunset walk/ride/drive.

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Is your party signed up? One week from tonight: Night Out 2014 http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/is-your-party-signed-up-one-week-from-tonight-night-out-2014/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/is-your-party-signed-up-one-week-from-tonight-night-out-2014/#comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 02:35:40 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=280901 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 – editor@westseattleblog.com.

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How can SW Roxbury change to become safer? Find out July 31st http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/how-can-roxbury-change-find-out-on-july-31st/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/how-can-roxbury-change-find-out-on-july-31st/#comments Mon, 21 Jul 2014 05:55:12 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=280100 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.

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Engine 29 visits West Seattle Library for Firefighter Storytime http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/engine-29-visits-west-seattle-library-for-firefighter-storytime/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/engine-29-visits-west-seattle-library-for-firefighter-storytime/#comments Thu, 17 Jul 2014 00:01:26 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=279594

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.

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Admiral Way bike-lane widening: City finally unveils new plan http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/admiral-way-bike-lane-widening-city-finally-unveils-new-plan/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/admiral-way-bike-lane-widening-city-finally-unveils-new-plan/#comments Wed, 02 Jul 2014 16:04:36 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=278074

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:

See all of the above in one PDF with the configurations next to the map here. And if you want to compare it to what SDOT originally proposed in May 2013, you can see that map here.

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.

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West Seattle 4th of July: Security, lights at 3 local fields http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/west-seattle-4th-of-july-security-lights-at-3-local-fields/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/west-seattle-4th-of-july-security-lights-at-3-local-fields/#comments Tue, 01 Jul 2014 17:17:28 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=278024 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 – editor@westseattleblog.com – thanks!

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Mayor Murray declares ‘Summer of Safety’ in speech to council http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/mayor-murray-promises-summer-of-safety-in-speech-to-council/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/mayor-murray-promises-summer-of-safety-in-speech-to-council/#comments Wed, 25 Jun 2014 22:43:24 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=277480

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.”

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4-mile closure, 5-hour backup: Followup #2 with Councilmember Rasmussen’s questions for SDOT and SPD; crash-investigation status http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/4-mile-closure-5-hour-backup-followup-2-with-councilmember-rasmussens-questions-for-sdot-and-spd-crash-investigation-status/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/4-mile-closure-5-hour-backup-followup-2-with-councilmember-rasmussens-questions-for-sdot-and-spd-crash-investigation-status/#comments Fri, 13 Jun 2014 19:08:13 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=276390

(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:

· Please tell us or forward to us the current protocol and procedures or multi-jurisdictional emergency plans that exists between SPD and the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and any other entity such as the Washington Department of Transportation (WDSOT) or Metro for emergency incidents on SR-99.

· What contingency plans exist for closure of the Viaduct including detour routes when a closure is required or when there is an emergency on various points of SR-99 including the Viaduct?

· Who at SPD ordered the closure of SR-99? Who subsequently reviewed and concurred with the order to close the Viaduct?

· How often during the incident was the closure evaluated to determine if the entire length needed to remain closed? Who conducted that review and concurred with the continued closure?

· When was the closure decision shared with SDOT, METRO and other transportation agencies? What was there response?

· When was the Mayor informed of the closure? Who informed the Mayor?

· Please summarize and provide a timeline regarding communications between SDOT, METRO, WSDOT and SPD regarding incident and the closure of the Viaduct. Please identify the individuals who were communicating with each other regarding the closure.

· Why did the closure from Battery Street continue until approximately 7:00 PM?

· What consideration was given to allowing the use of the Viaduct up to the following exits:

o Atlantic Street for people choosing to exit near the stadiums

o The West Seattle Bridge – allowing people to go to West Seattle or to use the following alternative detour routes out of Seattle:

§ West Marginal Way SW
§ Delridge Way SW
§ 35th Ave SW

If it was decided that those exits would not be allowed to be opened please explain the reasoning.

This is the most recent of a number of incidents when the Viaduct had to be closed completely or in-part. Closure affects traffic throughout Seattle not just those who would use the viaduct. Closure nearly shuts down the City.

I am concerned that there does not appear to be a coordinated plan that allows an appropriate response to an emergency that also minimizes the significant disruption of transportation in the Seattle for many hours.

I look forward to receiving your response.

Thank you.

Tom Rasmussen
Chair, Transportation Committee
Seattle City Council

Shortly before receiving this, we had contacted SPD in hopes of getting more followup details about Tuesday’s crash. Officer Patrick Michaud in media relations replied that it is a criminal investigation but that they can’t release any new information:

While this remains an active investigation, I can tell you a few things. Having been through most of the Traffic collision classes offered by the state, these things take a long time to be finalized. The amount of math that is involved with a collision of this magnitude is mindboggling when it is finally laid out to see. Then there is the recreation of the scene in a computer, and even with the assistance of some fancy equipment, it still isn’t a quick process. Then there is the measuring of damage to the vehicles.

As you can see with just these three things there is a lot of work to do then you add into the mix that we have three injured people. Then we have to work with the hospitals to get all of the final information on extent of injuries which can take an extended period of time. We have all had that time when we sat in a waiting room waiting to be seen by a doctor, well, this is no different. They will triage the most important things (people) and the paperwork requests fall towards the bottom.

So to answer your questions, yes, work into this case continues. No the TCIS unit doesn’t do a preliminary report. Because as the evidence is evaluated, often their initial thoughts on scene evolve as we view the evidence. As this investigation had continued it is now a criminal case for vehicular assault. … (Editor’s note: The text of state law for vehicular assault was included at this point in the reply. You can read it here.)

…In all serious injury collision cases, we request blood to find out if any drugs or alcohol were used prior to the collision.

Also, because this is a criminal investigation and no one having been charged yet, we can’t release the names of the parties involved.

Because this was such a high profile incident I will be keeping in close contact with the case detective and getting updates out as I get them.

Initial reports were that one person, who had to be cut out of his vehicle by SFD, was in critical condition, one in serious condition, one in stable condition.

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35th Avenue SW safety: No more left turns from Graham, soon http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/35th-avenue-sw-safety-no-more-left-turns-from-graham/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/35th-avenue-sw-safety-no-more-left-turns-from-graham/#comments Wed, 11 Jun 2014 17:32:31 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=276194

(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.

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This explains the new signs: Roxbury speed-camera installation starts tomorrow http://westseattleblog.com/2014/05/this-explains-the-signs-roxbury-speed-cam-installation-about-to-start/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/05/this-explains-the-signs-roxbury-speed-cam-installation-about-to-start/#comments Tue, 27 May 2014 22:35:59 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=274626

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.

P.S. The city first announced almost a year ago that these two cameras were on the way. The Gatewood Elementary zone on Fauntleroy Way already has speed enforcement, in place for a year and a half.

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