West Seattle Blog... » Safety http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Tue, 30 Sep 2014 18:49:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 Update: Why Sealth, Denny, Roxhill were briefly ‘sheltering in place’ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/why-sealth-denny-roxhill-were-briefly-sheltering-in-place/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/why-sealth-denny-roxhill-were-briefly-sheltering-in-place/#comments Tue, 23 Sep 2014 21:18:17 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=286665 ORIGINAL REPORT, 2:18 PM: Several parents messaged us about Chief Sealth International High Schoolsheltering in place” for a while this afternoon. It was related to a report that a teenager had been seen in the Westwood Village area with what looked like a gun. Seattle Public Schools spokesperson Stacy Howard says police found the teen, who turned out to have an Airsoft gun, but was not threatening anyone. She says Sealth, Denny International Middle School, and Roxhill Elementary sheltered in place for less than half an hour, and it’s over now.

ADDED 8:50 PM: Denny assistant principal Patricia Rangel has forwarded the letter that Denny and Sealth parents will get explaining the situation:

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Unneeded/expired prescription drugs? Take-Back Day this Saturday http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/unwantedunneeded-prescription-drugs-take-back-day-this-saturday/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/unwantedunneeded-prescription-drugs-take-back-day-this-saturday/#comments Tue, 23 Sep 2014 16:31:37 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=286619 Keeping unneeded, unwanted, and/or expired prescription medicine around the house is a bad idea for a variety of reasons. Tossing it in the trash or emptying it down the drain is a bad idea, too. So what to do? Get rid of it this Saturday (September 27th), 10 am-2 pm, during the next Take-Back Day. The official local drop-off spot will once again be the Seattle Police Southwest Precinct at Webster/Delridge.

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West Seattle schools: K-5 STEM, Arbor Heights volunteers work to make things ‘a lot’ safer http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/west-seattle-schools-k-5-stem-arbor-heights-volunteers-work-to-make-things-a-lot-safer/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/west-seattle-schools-k-5-stem-arbor-heights-volunteers-work-to-make-things-a-lot-safer/#comments Sat, 20 Sep 2014 23:14:53 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=286379

(WSB photos)
Way back in January, when the Seattle Schools Traffic Safety Committee convened at the Boren Building, they heard K-5 STEM parents and staffers warn that existing safety challenges in and around the parking lot would only intensify when Arbor Heights Elementary moved in starting this fall. And it’s indeed been busy, to say the least – so this morning, volunteers gathered for a “parking-lot party” to fix what they could – a lot of painting, for example (top photo), and weeding/de-mossing.

Bigger issues remain to be solved, beyond the scope of a weekend work party – see our report on this past week’s Delridge District Council meeting for more on that – but progress is progress, one step (or paintbrush) at a time.

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West Seattle traffic alert: Crash on 35th near Camp Long http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/west-seattle-traffic-alert-crash-on-35th-near-camp-long/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/west-seattle-traffic-alert-crash-on-35th-near-camp-long/#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 23:50:32 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=285055

Thanks to Clark for the photo from a reported car/motorcycle collision near Camp Long, in the 5000 block of 35th SW, northbound side. He says traffic is getting through, with only the outside northbound lane blocked. The SFD dispatch was for an “aid response,” lowest level of medic callout, so that likely means no major injuries; we’re checking.

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Got gas (service)? Puget Sound Energy’s sending smell-mail http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/got-gas-service-puget-sound-energys-sending-smell-mail/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/got-gas-service-puget-sound-energys-sending-smell-mail/#comments Wed, 03 Sep 2014 20:28:25 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=284482

That quick video clip’s all about something Puget Sound Energy is sending out to more than a million customers via postal mail (in this case, e-mail just wouldn’t work), as explained in this announcement:

Billing statements from Puget Sound Energy arriving in mailboxes over the coming weeks might smell a little rotten.

A newly designed natural gas safety brochure is being sent out to more than 1.1 million PSE customers throughout September. In addition to lots of important information about what to do if there’s a suspected gas leak, there’s a scratch-and-sniff section that’s a reminder of the rotten egg odor associated with natural gas.

To help detect gas leaks more easily, PSE and other natural gas utilities add an odorant called mercaptan to the natural gas, which is naturally odorless and colorless. Everyone in a family needs to recognize the stench, and know what to do if they smell it:

* If a natural gas odor is detected inside or outside a house or building, or if a leak is suspected, everyone should get out immediately.

* Do not switch any lights or appliances on or off.

* Do not use cell or landline phones inside the structure or near the smell.

* Do not use anything that might create a spark or has a flame, such a lighting a match or a cigarette.

* When far away from the area, call 911, or PSE’s 24-hour emergency hotline at 1-888-225-5773. PSE’s natural gas technicians will respond immediately from our service centers at no charge to check out a problem.

* A hissing sound, blowing dirt or bubbles in a puddle may also indicate a possible natural gas leak.

In addition to delivering a “rotten egg smell,” the pamphlet also reminds customers to call 811 to have underground utility lines located before having any work done to prevent injuries and damage.

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Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights CC isn’t meeting tonight, but IS meeting with Highland Park AC, police on September 24th http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/wwrhah-isnt-meeting-tonight-but-is-meeting-with-hpac-police-on-september-24th/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/wwrhah-isnt-meeting-tonight-but-is-meeting-with-hpac-police-on-september-24th/#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 16:04:30 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=284379 It’s September, and the community groups that took all or part of the summer off would usually be getting back to their normal schedules. But two of them have a different plan for this month. Tonight, the first Tuesday, would usually be the regular meeting night for Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council, but here’s what’s on the schedule instead, as announced by Joe Szilagyi:

One more month of a slightly different WWRHAH schedule!

No meeting tonight as we’ve mentioned — the next one will be a joint meeting with the Highland Park Action Committee at their meeting space on Wednesday, September 24 at 630 pm. This meeting will be dedicated to and focusing on Seattle Police across our two areas and South Delridge. Bring your questions — we’ll have all the key staff from the Southwest Precinct there!

Meeting: HPAC & WWRHAH joint SPD meeting
Date: Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Time: 630 pm-830 pm
Location: Highland Park Improvement Club, 1116 SW Holden

Here’s the Facebook event if you want to join that or share it.

If you live in one of those areas and have concerns/questions for SPD, that meeting will be particularly crucial, as the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council has canceled its September meeting because of health challenges among its leadership.

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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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