West Seattle Blog... » Safety http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Fri, 25 Jul 2014 08:49:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 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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Two sex offenders with new West Seattle addresses: New Southwest Precinct advisory http://westseattleblog.com/2014/05/two-sex-offenders-with-new-west-seattle-addresses-new-southwest-precinct-advisory/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/05/two-sex-offenders-with-new-west-seattle-addresses-new-southwest-precinct-advisory/#comments Fri, 23 May 2014 18:50:04 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=274265 Two Level 3 sex offenders have moved to West Seattle, and Southwest Precinct crime-prevention coordinator Mark Solomon has sent an advisory to let you know about them:

In an effort to keep you informed, and in our constant attempts to reduce future victimization, we want to let you know about level 3 sex offenders that have moved into Southwest Precinct neighborhoods in recent weeks.

· Micheal Barron, a 25-year-old white male, is a level 3 sex offender who has recently moved to the 5600 Block of 21st Avenue SW. Mr. Barron is currently under Department of Corrections supervision. [Editor's note: You can see his photo & other info here]

· Nikolai Greff, a 52-year-old white male, is a level 3 sex offender who has recently moved to the 2600 Block of 49th Avenue SW. Mr. Greff is no longer under Department of Corrections supervision. [Editor's note: See his photo & other info here]

Detective Fields from the Seattle Police Department’s Sex Offender Detail is assigned to check on these offenders and verify their information. To learn more about these offenders, please visit the King County Sheriff’s Office Sex Offender website and search by their names. You will also find personal safety tips and resources on this site.

If you have further questions about these offenders, contact Michelle McRae of the Seattle Police Sex Offender Detail at 206-684-5581 or e-mail at michelle.mcrae@seattle.gov.

To register to receive an email alert whenever a published offender registers within one mile of your desired addresses, go to (this) link.

Click ahead to read general safety information that Solomon has shared with similar advisories in the past:

Level 3 sex offenders pose the highest risk to re-offend. It is normal to feel upset, angry and worried about a registered sex offender living in your community. The Community Notification Act of 1990 requires sex offenders to register in the community where they live. The law also allows local law enforcement to make the public aware about Level 2 and Level 3 offenders. Since these offenders have completed their sentences, they are free to live where they wish. Experts believe sex offenders are less likely to re-offend if they live and work in an environment free of harassment. Any actions taken against the listed sex offenders could result in arrest and prosecution as it is against the law to use this information in any way to threaten, intimidate or harass registered sex offenders. The SPD Sex offender detectives will check on these offenders every 3 months to verify our information.

The single most effective means of protecting your child is communication with your child. They have to feel comfortable discussing sensitive matters with you. Teach your children that they should not be asked to touch anyone in the bathing suit areas of their body or allow anyone to touch them in those areas. Teach them types of situations to avoid. It is not good enough to tell a child to avoid strangers. Please remember that children are most often molested by someone they or their parents know.

They are not the only sex offenders living in this area (or elsewhere). You can use this lookup to see who else is nearby (it’s also permanently linked from the WSB Crime Watch page).

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School Road Safety Plan: 1st West Seattle discussion http://westseattleblog.com/2014/05/school-road-safety-plan-1st-west-seattle-discussion/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/05/school-road-safety-plan-1st-west-seattle-discussion/#comments Wed, 21 May 2014 08:43:32 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=274058

Tuesday night at Southwest Branch Library, a handful of community members met with SDOT reps and consultants to brainstorm the city’s in-the-works School Road Safety Plan for next year and beyond. Whatever emerges in the future plan will get funding from the city’s increasing arsenal of school-zone speed cameras, noted SDOT’s Jim Curtin, who recapped the pre-existing plan to add two more in West Seattle this fall, both on Roxbury, near Roxhill Elementary and Holy Family School. The plan remains to have them in place by September, with a monthlong grace period and ticketing starting in October. Those are two of five to be added at schools around the city this year, joining 4 in place, 1 of those in West Seattle, on Fauntleroy by Gatewood Elementary (existing cameras are in black on the SDOT map below, with the next round of additions in blue):

More than a dozen additional ones are expected around the city next year, Curtin said, with 60 schools being studied right now. The camera revenue has to go to school-safety improvements by order of the City Council.

The consultants at the meeting were from Toole Design Group, which is working with SDOT on the plan. They explained that this is in the opinion-gathering stage, and collected reaction to some possible plan components including traffic calming and different types of crosswalk signals. They promised more meetings in West Seattle; tonight’s attendees suggested one of those meetings be held on a weekend so that people with school-age children might be more likely to attend.

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Getting to school safely: West Seattle meeting next week http://westseattleblog.com/2014/05/getting-to-school-safely-west-seattle-meeting-next-week/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/05/getting-to-school-safely-west-seattle-meeting-next-week/#comments Sun, 18 May 2014 01:22:31 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=273733 What’s in the works to improve safety along the roads and sidewalks leading to local schools – and what isn’t, but should be? Join a discussion this Tuesday night (May 20th) in West Seattle to help design the city’s School Road Safety Plan. Thanks to Cathy Tuttle from Seattle Neighborhood Greenways for sharing news of the meeting, which she calls “simply the most important road-safety meeting you can attend this year.” It’s one of three meetings around the city, and it’s set for 6-7:30 pm Tuesday at Southwest Branch Library (35th/Henderson); more details in this Facebook event invite.

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Turn it off! Free mini-workshop on Sunday to help you handle utilities post-disaster http://westseattleblog.com/2014/05/turn-it-off-free-mini-workshop-on-sunday-to-help-you-handle-utilities-post-disaster/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/05/turn-it-off-free-mini-workshop-on-sunday-to-help-you-handle-utilities-post-disaster/#comments Fri, 16 May 2014 22:13:43 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=273632 The p-word – preparedness – is big around here. We know it’s tough to take time to plan or learn something you hope to never have to use – but this Sunday, if you can spare *half an hour*, it’ll be well worth it. A free city-presented mini-workshop at Southwest Branch Library will teach you what you need to know about handling household utilities in case of disaster, 1:40-2 pm:

In just 30 minutes, find out how to safely power down your household electric panel and how and when to turn off your natural gas at the meter. Join us for hands-on practice using real equipment and pick up other tips on how to secure your household water supply. Class is free, no RSVP. Come one and all.

The SW Library is at 35th/Henderson.

P.S. Also in the preparedness vein – remember that local volunteers are having a drill at Ercolini Park tomorrow morning (9-noon), so don’t be startled if you happen onto it!

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Another crash at West Seattle’s most-dangerous intersection; pavement work this weekend http://westseattleblog.com/2014/05/another-crash-at-west-seattles-most-dangerous-intersection-pavement-work-this-weekend/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/05/another-crash-at-west-seattles-most-dangerous-intersection-pavement-work-this-weekend/#comments Fri, 16 May 2014 21:31:49 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=273626

Looks like nobody was hurt, and the wrecked car is about to be towed away, but we’re making note of another crash we just passed at what statistics show as the intersection with the most crashes in West Seattle – Roxbury/Olson, at the east end of Roxbury, a car went off the road, into/by the rail. Police have the northbound/eastbound turn lane blocked on Olson, but probably not for much longer. SDOT’s Roxbury safety project remains a work in progress, with improvements promised by summer’s end – and in fact, though we don’t know if traction had anything to do with this, this is the area where pavement work to improve it is scheduled for this weekend.

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Video: Denny IMS Marching Band leads Roxhill Elementary walkers for safety celebration with Feet First http://westseattleblog.com/2014/05/video-denny-ims-marching-band-leads-roxhill-elementary-walkers-for-safety-celebration-with-feet-first/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/05/video-denny-ims-marching-band-leads-roxhill-elementary-walkers-for-safety-celebration-with-feet-first/#comments Fri, 16 May 2014 20:19:49 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=273616

A bit of a parade this morning to Roxhill Elementary School, with the Denny International Middle School Marching Band and director Marcus Pimpleton leading the way, and local elected officials walking alongside:

(That’s State Rep. Eileen Cody, right, and Seattle School Board director Marty McLaren, both West Seattleites, with Roxhill principal Sahnica Washington at left.) The occasion? As noted here earlier in the week, Feet First organized the walk-to-school event as a celebration of Safe Routes to School improvements near Roxhill, funded by a state grant. They even brought along their safety mascot, the chicken:

Safe Routes for School improvements are in the works for other West Seattle schools, as SDOT‘s Brian Dougherty told the Southwest District Council earlier this month – our report on that meeting, including his briefing and the list of projects, is here.

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Walk-to-school celebration at Roxhill Elementary this Friday http://westseattleblog.com/2014/05/walk-to-school-celebration-at-roxhill-elementary-this-friday/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/05/walk-to-school-celebration-at-roxhill-elementary-this-friday/#comments Tue, 13 May 2014 22:34:34 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=273264 On the heels – and toes! – of last week’s Walk-To-School Day events at two West Seattle schools, there’s another celebration coming up this week. Feet First shares news of an all-school Walk To School Day for Roxhill Elementary this Friday. The 9 am festivities will include Walking School Buses, a special dropoff on the northwest side of Roxhill Park so kids who usually take the bus can join in the last few blocks, local leaders including 34th District State Rep. Eileen Cody and School Board Director Marty McLaren, and even the marching band from nearby Denny International Middle School. Routes to Roxhill have seen recent safety improvements (such as these) as the result of a Safe Routes to School grant, and that’s part of the reason for the celebration.

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