West Seattle, Washington
As promised, we followed up today on Saturday’s bizarre and frightening Avalon Way incident involving a naked man running in the roadway, bolting into a business, and smashing windows on an occupied Metro bus before police got him under control.
We had few details that day – most of the story was told by commenters – but we obtained the police report narrative today and have transcribed much of it. It begins:
At 11:52 (am) … numerous callers reported a naked male in the vicinity of SW Avalon Way/SW Andover Street acting erratically and armed with a hammer. Dispatch advised the following: “On Avalon, just north of intersection, naked male hitting vehicles and lying in the middle of the road. The subject was described as a white male, late twenties to forties, 5’8” to 6’, thin, bald, facial hair, and completely naked.
Three officers were sent, two who are described as having had Crisis Intervention Training, one described as from the SW Precinct Bicycle Squad. They were in the small bus that transports the bicycle squad, “which lacks emergency equipment or in-car video,” the report notes, continuing:
Prior to officers arriving, dispatch updated that the subject was unintelligibly yelling, striking vehicles with a hammer, appeared high, jumped onto a pickup truck, stopping traffic, lying in the street, dancing, broke a bus window, went into a pet-care business, and covered in blood, chasing people with a hammer.
Saturday (July 8th) at noon, you’re invited to a free self-defense seminar at Elite Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu of Seattle (WSB sponsor) in North Delridge. The announcement from Sonia Sillan:
When you think of self-defense, what’s the first thing you think of?
For us at Elite BJJ of Seattle, it’s about awareness, empowerment, setting boundaries, having confidence. It’s about finding your voice and believing in yourself. Join us on July 8th for a three hour clinic, where our goal is to leave you with more knowledge, feeling more empowered, and understanding of what self-defense really means (both mentally and physically).
We’re going to show you a wide range of practical techniques and more importantly, the concepts that are critical to learning how to avoid becoming a victim of violence. We’ll be going over basic, EFFECTIVE, self-defense movements and techniques, capitalizing on leverage and momentum.
This seminar isn’t your typical self-defense seminar, so make sure to reserve your spot, bring some friends, and get ready to learn.
Who: No experience necessary; open to all, ages 10+
Child care: If you have kids between the age of 5-10, we will have a movie and toys setup for them! Just make sure to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to give us a heads up.
Registration: Make sure to RSVP at www.tinyurl.com/eliteseattle in order reserve your spot.
Cost: Free. There are no strings attached to attending this event, we genuinely want to share our knowledge. For those whou would like to contribute to a great cause, we are always supporting New Beginnings-Ending Domestic Violence; feel free to bring a cash or check donation for New Beginnings.
Questions? Email email@example.com
Elite BJJ is at 5050 Delridge Way SW.
Bit by bit, 35th SW seems to be moving closer to earlier repaving. You’ll recall that originally, SDOT’s plan had it penciled in for 2023. Then came news in April that the Avalon repaving project would include three bus-battered blocks of 35th, between Avalon and Alaska. After that, we learned earlier this month that some spot repaving is planned on south 35th SW. Today, Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s weekly update includes word that the rest of the south section of 35th SW might be moved up to 2019 – and includes word of exactly which sections will be involved in the spot repaving:
You may recall that, in April, I sent SDOT Director Kubly a letter requesting that SDOT expedite the schedule for re-paving 35th Avenue SW, currently not planned until 2023 in SDOT’s 2016-2024 pavement plan.
This week I received a reply from SDOT. In response to hearing not only from me, but many of you as well, they have indicated they have scheduled the rebuild of 35th from Alaska to Avalon for 2019 (in conjunction with Avalon re-paving project). This segment of 35th carries the highest bus traffic. They also indicated they are considering moving forward, from 2023 to 2019, the re-paving work on the Roxbury to Morgan segment of 35th.
In addition, they are planning on spot repairs in 2017 for the northbound travel lanes from Cloverdale to Thistle, Holden to Austin, and Othello to Webster.
After sending the letter, I further asked about a question several constituents have asked about whether the lane reduction from Roxbury to Holly had resulted in a differential weight distribution than the road was originally designed for, thus possibly leading to greater degradation of the road.
SDOT replied that this has been an issue with some lane reductions in Seattle, but they didn’t believe it was much of a factor on 35th, except perhaps in some places. They noted that southbound, the lane reduction had shifted traffic onto concrete, which is structurally more robust. Northbound, there may be some accelerated deterioration in spots that they proposed to mitigate with spot repairs in 2017, as noted above.
I appreciate SDOT’s responsiveness to the requests of my office as well as District 1 constituents in this matter.
Her update also includes the entire text of SDOT’s letter to her, which includes some numbers on the repaving costs, plus a warning that moving up 35th would “require us to eliminate other Move Seattle [levy] paving projects throughout the City.” You can read it on her website.
P.S. As we reported June 19th, 35th SW Phase 2 is still on the drawing board, with Phase 1 analysis due to go public in a few weeks.
From last night’s West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting – the return of SPD’s Community Service Officers, plus an update/Q&A on local crime trends.
COMMUNITY SERVICE OFFICERS: This SPD program is being revived after more than a decade. Presenter Angela Socci from SPD talked about its history from 1971-2004 as a bridge between the police and underserved neighborhoods. Now, for 2018, there’s money in the budget, and she is making the rounds seeking input about what the new CSO program should look like and how it might fit into the current existing structure, which includes Community Police Team Officers and Crime Prevention Coordinators. The major public outreach and rollout is expected to start in January.
One thing for certain: As they were back in the day, the CSOs will be uniformed but unarmed. No mission statement yet, though. So, Socci asked meeting attendees, what skills should the new CSOs have, and what would you like to see them do?
Many said the skillset should include things like de-escalation, conflict management, knowledge of group dynamics, and a general understanding of psychology. That came up again when someone asked if the CSOs might interact with homeless people and others who are dealing with mental illness.
As far as what they should do, there were requests to send CSOs into schools to deal with troubled kids and also to get involved when kids get interested in gangs. Also there was talk about dealing with
runaways and families who are having issues.
According to Socci, SPD is largely just listening and pulling all the comments together from people like this group, for now. She and her team will also be working with the city’s Office of Civil Rights to see how the CSOs can work to apply the social-equity toolkit.
CRIME TRENDS AND CONCERNS: The meeting began with Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis giving toplines on recent crime trends. Overall, crime is down from this time last year, he said, and SPD continues to work with judges and prosecutors to try to slow down the cycle of catch/release, catch/release for people arrested for crimes such as car prowls. Attendees told Capt. Davis that they would like to see more traffic enforcement, particularly for drivers failing to stop for pedestrians, as well as speeding. No info yet on plans for enforcement of the new cell-phone law, which takes effect next month. Though it didn’t come up in open discussion, we asked Capt. Davis afterward if he had an update on last month’s Alki murder; short answer, no, but longer answer, detectives are continuing to work on identifying the suspected killer.
The West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network will not meet in July or August, so next meeting will be the fourth Tuesday in September – that’s 6:30 pm September 26th.
At the time of the April briefing, details weren’t finalized. Now, they are – and perhaps the biggest one is that 59th/Admiral will be converted – tentatively – to an all-way stop. Here’s the update SDOT sent us today (also note that it includes a “poll” seeking your vote on the design for painted curb extensions – the three options above):
Following the SW Admiral Way restriping completed in late 2016, we’re improving pedestrian crossings at 6 intersections along the corridor this year:
These improvements are intended to provide a safer and more comfortable pedestrian environment along SW Admiral Way and were informed by feedback from the community. The crossing treatments work to:
Shorten crossing distances
Reduce speeds of turning vehicles
Improve access to key destinations throughout the corridor, including schools, transit, and parks
We’re aiming to have all 6 improvements completed by the end of 2017, with the crossing at 59th Ave SW on a slightly faster timeline. This crossing will be implemented in two phases. Before the beginning of the 2017-18 school year, our crews will install new signage and signal changes to convert the intersection to an all-way stop. After a couple of months, we’ll evaluate the all-way stop. If it’s performing well, we’ll install phase 2 improvements, which include curb extensions and a red flashing all-way stop beacon.
Five of the six projects will also feature decorative painted areas, and we’re asking community members to weigh in on their preferred design. We’ve added a poll to our project website for community members to vote for their favorite option.
Questions or comments? Dawn Schellenberg at firstname.lastname@example.org or (206) 684-5189.
On Tuesday night, the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meets at the Southwest Precinct for the final time before summer break. The 6:30 pm meeting is another chance to hear about crime trends and bring up community concerns with local police. And this month’s special guest, as just announced by WSBWCN co-leaders Karen Berge and Deborah Greer, will talk about the impending return of SPD’s Community Service Officer program:
City Council set aside funding to re-implement the Community Service Officer program in 2018. Our guest speaker will be Angela Socci from the Finance and Planning Section of the Seattle Police Department. She’ll talk about the plans for reinventing the CSO program. They are in the early stages of the program development process, so we have an opportunity to offer feedback. How would you like to see the new program take shape?
You don’t have to be a Block Watch captain – or even a Block Watch member – to be there; all are welcome. The precinct is at 2300 SW Webster (east of Home Depot) and the meeting room is right off the public parking area by the entrance.
Earlier this week, a reader report about a frightening confrontation in Lincoln Park sparked a lot of discussion here. Hours later, we asked the Southwest Precinct‘s second-in-command, Lt. Ron Smith, about patrol plans there, and he indicated they would be stepped up now that Alki has calmed down. The next day, we asked City Councilmember Lisa Herbold if Lincoln Park issues were on her radar; she said she’d been hearing about the camper concerns and letting constituents know how to report them. Today, this is just in from WSB reader Chuck, who took his concerns to both Herbold and police – he received this from SW Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis:
Thank you for taking the time to convey your concerns regarding the homeless/camping issues in Lincoln Park and in other greenbelt areas of West Seattle. To date, our Community Policing Teams, The Southwest Bicycle Patrol squad and our district officers have conducted several patrols and social contacts with various individuals in the aforementioned areas.
This morning our officers along with representatives from the Seattle Parks Department conducted a sweep of Lincoln Park and removed several encampments and issued park exclusion notices to the involved subjects. This information was also passed along to our Navigation Team, who will assist us with further follow-up on the Park’s homeless issue.
This matches a bit of scanner discussion we heard this morning about police sweeping a park area (via a frequency that covers both West and South Seattle, and no mention of addresses, so we couldn’t tell which park).
The two buildings at Arrowhead Gardens that were without water after Monday’s pipe break will get it back this afternoon, if it’s not back already, according to a spokesperson for AG’s parent nonprofit Senior Housing Assistance Group (SHAG). We followed up after commenters raised concerns in the discussion following our original story. SHAG’s Karen Lucas tells WSB that water was expected to be back around 3:30 pm. While it was off, she says, those affected were able to use facilities in the two buildings that weren’t affected, and water and meals were provided. Eight units were evacuated and the Red Cross was brought in to help; Lucas says those who didn’t have relatives/friends to stay with were put up in hotels. Lucas confirms that the broken pipe is on their property so it’s their responsibility to fix, not Seattle Public Utilities (which is what SPU told us, too), and she said they’re still not sure why the pipe broke, flooding the underground parking area after, she was told, breaking through concrete like “a geyser.” She also wanted to thank the Seattle Fire and Red Cross crews who responded, for doing a “fabulous” job.
Last week, in comments following a West Seattle Crime Watch report about car-prowls at local parks, the discussion turned to suspicious activity in and around the north end of Lincoln Park..
Today, Lila e-mailed us this detailed account of recent incidents, wanting to warn others:
Me and my family live right next to Lincoln park…a few days ago a woman walked through with her dogs while we and the neighbors were all playing outside, she informed us about calling the cops on a man who made her very nervous – she saw him scoping out cars/homes to rob. About five minutes later he walked through our side entrance in the park and right by us, he got uncomfortably close to my friend/neighbors son and said something along the lines of, “what’s up little man” everything about his mannerisms were extremely uncomfortable (and extremely inappropriate to approach a child like that-it was simply uncomfortable) and felt by all of us, he walked on and that was that.
The next day my baby and I went on a walk in the rain, it was clear right when we entered the trail that we were the only ones in the park…as we walked for a minute the same man jumped out from the side shrubbery on the North end of the park sort of near the picnic table (like he was waiting for someone to leap out at) where all the homeless people hang out and drink. He was alone and jumped out right in front of us and turned around looking under the hood of my stroller at my son then looked at me up and down licking his lips and whipping a dirty cloth against his leg, he slowed down so much he had it so we couldn’t get passed him and he walked backwards as he continued to check us out, like we were his lunch.
It takes a lot to make me uncomfortable, I have bartended for many years and I have seen men at their worst. But this? This was something different, something dark and terrifying. I know this park like the back of my hand so I knew there was a side trail coming up, and as soon as he looked away to watch where he was going I made it to that opening and headed straight to the street, where he followed us the whole way looking pissed and mumbling. I took a moment to call 911 because I had that unfortunate thought of, ‘this is just what men do. You’re safe, it’s fine’ But what about the next woman? Or child? And that thought, that shook me to my core, so we called. The operator was impatient and kind of over it, as seems to be the theme to emergency operators; two police SUV’s and one trooper entered the park and that was that. I let my neighbors know, shook it off and got on with our day.
This morning at 4-5 am my husband woke up to do his exercise routine and heard a woman screaming on the top of her lungs for help in the park, he called the cops immediately, a bit later he heard a man erratically screaming. We still don’t know what happened. However, my husband and I want to make certain that everyone knows what is happening. I don’t know if the two incidents are related, but I do know that West Seattle isn’t the same place we moved into. And specifically at the North end of Lincoln Park, as well as the parking lots, thing have been getting extremely sketchy and dangerous and there have been uncountable car and home burglaries.
I have seen coyotes walk in and out of the park, I have been almost decapitated by a hawk catching a fish on my paddle board down there, I have seen unleashed erratic dogs with no owner in sight … none of this has scared me. You know what scares me? Our own species.
First: We suggested to Lila that she (or someone from her household/neighborhood) bring this up at tonight’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting, when precinct leadership is in attendance and there’s a specific time for voicing questions/concerns. (7 pm, Southwest Precinct, 2300 SW Webster)
Second, calling 911 IS the right thing to do if you see illegal activity happening in a park – that’s reiterated here. The “alcohol & drugs” section of that page begins: “Use of alcohol, cannabis, and illegal drugs is prohibited in our parks.” The “code of conduct” section specifically refers to threatening and harassing behavior and reiterates, “If you see illegal or threatening activity in a park or facility, call 911.” The more someplace is reported as a trouble spot, police say, the more likely it is that patrol resources – not just reactive responses – will be assigned.
We heard much of this unfold on the scanner early today, but not enough for a report until the Block Watch captain sent this in:
:We reported, and SPD arrested, a car prowler on our block, 8800 block of 42nd Ave SW, last night/this am @ 12:30 AM.
From our front window we observed a man getting out of the car that is not working parked across the street … This was suspicious as that car does not move. The suspect moved down the block, zig zagging, trying every car and getting into some and sitting – probably stealing. By this time we had called 911. SPD response was within 3 min. They were able to apprehend the suspect … and they took him to jail. Hope he spent the night thinking about his actions! … Please keep a sharp eye out for any suspicious behavior and don’t be shy about calling 911. Their quick response time was commendable. We had no less than 8 SPD cars on the block within a few minutes of our call.
Response times, of course, can vary depending on what else was going on … before that, it was pretty quiet in this area. There was also a big response this morning when a neighbor near 25th/Roxbury called in a report of someone entering a house through a window .. the house turned out to be “registered as vacant,” according to police-radio traffic. We don’t know how that one turned out.
Speaking of strengthening crime prevention and safety in your neighborhood – Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Burbridge just sent word that registration is open for this year’s Night Out – Tuesday, August 1st:
National Night Out registration is officially open! Registration remains open until 5 pm on Monday July 31st. Community members can visit seattle.gov/police/community-policing/night-out to register and access printable invitations, street closure signs, and logos for your event.
Night Out is a national event promoted in Seattle by Seattle Police Department Crime Prevention. It is designed to heighten crime prevention awareness, increase neighborhood support in anti-crime efforts, and unite our communities.
The photos are from Eric, who says this truck took a wrong turn down residential 41st SW south of The Junction around 11:15 am, “squashed” an SUV, and got stuck “near the Hudson stairs”:
Eric says he empathized: “Driver was really young. I used to drive big rigs, felt for him. He was planning on trying to reverse all the way to Edmunds. I tried to help for half an hour but had to leave.” We don’t know where the truck was trying to go, but the city does have a map of “major truck streets” – Fauntleroy, two blocks east, is the major one in that area.
2:02 PM: Two weeks ago, we reported that SDOT told a City Council committee the Harbor Avenue SW speed-limit drop from 35 mph to 30 mph would happen “soon.”
Now we have a date: Tomorrow. And a reader just called to say that signage is going up – we’re off to check.
SDOT originally planned to reduce speed limits on five West Seattle arterials, including Harbor, by the end of 2015, but the changes have been rolling out more slowly.
2:50 PM: Down here on Harbor, all the signage we’re seeing so far says 25 mph, not 30 as announced. We’re checking with SDOT.
4:08 PM: SDOT spokesperson Sue Romero just confirmed to WSB that those are the wrong signs: “We are redirecting a crew to install the proper signs, which will be 30 mph, before the end of the day today.”
P.S. This isn’t the first mistake involving speed-limit signs in our area – remember the “20 HPM” signs two years ago?
10:36 PM: We went back to Harbor Avenue to check:
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) May 26, 2017
Two reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch:
CAR WINDOW SMASHED: The photo above is from Deborah in the 4100 block of Beach Drive SW, who says, “My car, parked in the apartment parking lot, had its rear passenger window smashed in around 5:00-5:20 this afternoon. Nothing was removed from the car, and no signs of tampering to the ignition and steering column. Called it in to the police, but they’ve not had any similar reports in the area.”
PACKAGE PROWLER: The photo above is from a reader who says this person was prowling their neighborhood on Thursday afternoon, in the 5600 block of 40th SW, “looking under vehicles and pretending to check the garden of the area. He looked over our gate for packages or anything that could be grabbed; he has rain boots on that come just below the knee, green shorts, a black hoodie with an insignia, black hat, sunglasses, and it looked to be dark brown hair.” One neighbor reported a stolen item; the suspect was reported to be associated with a silver Ford Focus Coupe, tinted windows. Police were notified.
TUESDAY: WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF THERE WAS AN INTRUDER IN YOUR HOME? That’s the focus of next Tuesday’s West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting, 6:30 pm at Southwest Precinct (2300 SW Webster). The presentation will feature Community Police Team Officer Todd Wiebke. All welcome – in a Block Watch or not.
It’s Bike Everywhere Day – and a busy route between West Seattle and downtown has some improvements in place, Scott Morgan tells us:
I wanted to send a big thank-you to Lisa Herbold, who has helped to improve East Marginal Way for all the West Seattle Bikers who use it. I brought up the issue of trucks parking in the bike lane last November which happens multiple times a week as they wait for the Port to open their gates in the mornings. She has persistently worked with Chris Eaves at SDOT to add delineator posts to this stretch. The desire is that these posts will be a small reminder that the bike lane are for bikes and not parking trucks.
I’ve included pictures from my commute (Wednesday – above) and one from last week (below).
It’s a route where many have long advocated for improvements, and more are on the way.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The city and county reps on hand at the third “community conversation” about Myers Way-related homelessness issues almost outnumbered the community members who showed up.
But a smaller turnout than the previous “conversation” did not result in fewer questions; this crowd had plenty. Read More
An incident this morning led to the principals of Chief Sealth International High School and Denny International Middle School sending this letter to families a short time ago. It was sent to us too:
We want to share with you information regarding an incident that was reported today involving one of our scholars as she exited a Metro bus on her way to school. At approximately 8:50 AM, a 9th grade female scholar reported that she was followed off the bus by a man when she disembarked at the corner of Delridge and Thistle. She stated that the man grabbed her wrist and asked her if she wanted to go with him. She was able to free herself from his hold and then she ran to school. She reported the incident to Chief Sealth staff, who notified the police. The Seattle Police Department is investigating the incident.
The safety of our scholars is our top priority. We will continue to collaborate with the Seattle Police Department and Seattle Public Schools Safety and Security to help monitor the surrounding area before and after school.
You can help your children stay safe by talking to them about personal safety. Tips to discuss are:
• Walking in pairs or groups and being aware of their surroundings at all times.
• Leaving for school at times where there are high levels of pedestrian traffic.
• Immediately reporting anything suspicious to trusted adults (school staff and family members).
• Keep earbuds off and expensive phones out of sight.
Cathy Phillips from King County Public Health and Julianne Ruffner from the state Ecology Department (below) visited Alki Beach this morning, to sample the water while providing a quick media briefing on the BEACH program, which monitors the water at “high-use saltwater beaches” between Memorial Day and Labor Day. (Here’s the draft list for this year.)
Whether you’re going to Alki or one of the other beaches on the list, their message is to “surf the web before you surf the beach” – check online before you go into the water – look at this map to see if there’s an advisory where you’re going. The BEACH program samples water at its designated beaches every week; Phillips explained that the water is shipped to the lab the same day it’s gathered, and they find out within about 24 hours whether there’s a problem. Be careful after a storm, she warned, because rain can change the water quality even from whatever a previous day’s tests showed. You can help keep the water safe, the program advises – “pick up after your pets, have toddlers wear swim diapers, make sure young children get frequent bathroom breaks, and pick up your trash. Avoid feeding the wildlife.”
Eight days ago, we reported that demolition equipment finally arrived at 9029 16th SW, the scene of at least three fires in five years, including one this past February. After that, the city had finally ordered its owners to do something about it, eventually extending the deadline to April 21st; when the demolition equipment arrived on Thursday, May 4th, we actually had an inquiry out to the city about what would happen if nothing happened. SDCI told us they had been informed the fire-gutted house would be torn down the next day.
That was a week ago. We’ve gone by daily. No activity. A new complaint is still pending. So we will renew our inquiry with the city on Monday.
Meantime, we’ve noted in our previous followups on this property that the city is considering new rules regarding what owners of structures like this can be required to do. They’re going before the Planning, Land Use, and Zoning Committee at 9:30 am next Tuesday (May 16th). The slide deck for the hearing contains a lot of alarming stats – and photos of derelict properties that actually look better than 9029 16th SW.
(Seattle Channel video from this morning’s committee meeting; Vision Zero briefing is first item, after public comment)
Earlier this week, we reported that a document prepared for the City Council Sustainability and Transportation Committee meeting today included a bit of information we’d been seeking for a while – what’s up with 35th SW Phase 2.
We monitored the meeting via Seattle Channel to see what would be said. When SDOT’s Darby Watson presented the “Vision Zero” program update this morning, she had two notes of West Seattle interest: One was about 35th – she said the report on Phase 1 (a precursor for Phase 2) is expected next month. So if you’re watching for what’s next on 35th, sounds like we’ll find out in June.
The other was about Harbor Avenue SW – Watson mentioned its speed limit would be cut from 35 to 30 mph “soon.” It’s been more than two years since Harbor and four other West Seattle arterials were announced in the original Vision Zero plan as destined for lower speed limits. As reported in our February 2015 coverage, SDOT said it expected to make all of those cuts by the end of 2015. But the timeline has lagged; Fauntleroy Way was lowered in February 2016, and Delridge in December 2016.
P.S. The Sustainability and Transportation Committee meets again next Tuesday with an agenda including a report on the first full year of the Move Seattle levy and a briefing about bicycle theft.
(If you can’t spare 3 minutes, the stop-sign-running is particularly prolific in the final minute-plus)
That video was recorded in November at 17th SW and SW Trenton by area resident Darryll Wolf. He sent it to various city reps then – and sent it again yesterday, after a close call. This time, we were on the CC list. His e-mail:
Dear SDOT, SPD, and Councilmember Herbold,
(Thursday) morning, as I was running to catch the bus to work at 7:53 am, a driver accelerated into and through the intersection at SW Trenton Street and 17th Ave SW, refusing to stop at the stop sign while I was in the lane! She did this as I was in front of her car, forcing me to run backward to avoid being hit. I’ve reported rampant violations at this intersection before and was even hit by one car (hit and run) and nearly hit by several others in the past several months. I shared this 3-minute video in this same email thread in November showing fully 85% of drivers fail to stop or yield right of way at this clearly signed intersection.
The incident this morning felt like a deliberate attempt by the driver to threaten or injure me with her car. I am very worried about my own safety as well as the safety of my family and neighbors who live, work, and play along the 17th Ave SW greenway.
In 2016, the Seattle Greenways project team created this new sanctioned pedestrian and bicycle greenway on 17th Ave SW north of SW Henderson Street and then placed stop signs at each of the east-west intersections along the greenway where no stop signs had ever existed for likely near 100 years. But they and SDOT failed to do any awareness campaign or enforcement follow-up to ensure the safety of those who use the greenway. I am disappointed that after having reported the frequent violations and one known hit and run at 17th and Trenton in the past few months to SPD, CPT, and the Greenways project team, we have only seen about an hour of SPD enforcement at this intersection with no ticketing for violations, and the Greenways team and SDOT have been a complete no-show here.
I have been documenting the continued pattern of violations at the 17th and Trenton intersection since last November and will continue to report this problem to SPD. I have reported similar incidents of speeding and aggressive or threatening driving through school crossing zones, and the general failure to yield to pedestrians along 16th Ave SW, and along SW Trenton Street from Delridge to 16th Ave SW. But I have seen zero SPD presence in those areas during rush hour and have never seen a single person ticketed for this blatant and common recklessness.
As the increased densification under HALA upzoning increase car, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic in our area, it is my hope that SPD, SDOT, and the City will take this seriously and do real traffic calming, enforcement, and ticketing before we see people killed by reckless drivers. Throughout the area from 16th Ave SW to SW Delridge, between Holden and Roxbury, there are many children and public transit users who are vulnerable to death and disfigurement by reckless drivers every day. And these drivers must be shown that traffic laws are not optional and that drivers cannot threaten and maim pedstrians with their cars with impunity. We need your help to send this message!
I look forward to hearing from SPD, CPT, SDOT, and the City in the near term on how each of you plan to address this very real public safety issue in our area. I am happy to discuss this in person or over a phone call if it will result in quick action.
From the list to whom Wolff sent the video, the first response (at least, the first to the entire CC list including us) was from Councilmember Herbold:
I watched your video and I’m aghast that of a dozen cars going through that intersection over the 3 minutes you filmed, only two cars made a complete stop at the stop sign. By the way of this message, I’m asking that Chief Davis consider an enforcement at this intersection. Thank you for your advocacy on behalf of pedestrian safety.
As mentioned here Thursday morning, SPD’s Traffic Unit chief, Capt. Eric Sano, is the scheduled guest for the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council next Tuesday (7 pm May 16th), so if you have neighborhood concerns, it’s a good time to bring them up.
We’ve been trying to get an update on Phase 2 of SDOT‘s 35th Avenue SW project, which has gone without a public update for 9 months now, since an “open house” last August and a followup walking tour. Today, we found an update in the Vision Zero progress report published as part of the agenda for the City Council’s Sustainability and Transportation Committee meeting Friday morning. The report includes summaries of several road-redesign projects around the city, including 35th, which was rechannelized south of SW Holly in fall 2015:
35th Ave SW
On 35th Ave SW, a 1.75 mile redesign and speed limit change has reduced collisions and speeds.
Left-turn collisions have been virtually eliminated. The street redesign has also allowed SDOT to mark new pedestrian crossings.
While we’ve successfully reduced speeds on this street, it took some tinkering with signal timing and public feedback to get operations dialed in.
After initial implementation, we nearly eliminated collision types like sideswipes and left turn crashes.
We did, however, see an increase in rear-end crashes, on Saturdays in particular (which is not uncommon with projects of this nature). We collected additional data and began tweaking signal timing on Saturdays. Since then, we’ve improved operations on 35th and rear-end crashes on the weekends are down by 72%.
To date, there have been zero serious or fatal collisions since redesigning the street.
We’ll release a before and after report in summer 2017 and our work on the northern segment of the corridor will begin in earnest shortly thereafter.
That’s the full text of what the new Vision Zero report says about 35th SW (you can find it on page 15 of the report). When the city held an open house last August, it had promised the next discussion of Phase 2 would be “early” this year.
The end is finally near for 9029 16th Avenue SW, the South Delridge house that’s been the scene of three fires in five years, most recently February 25th. One month after a demolition permit was issued, heavy equipment arrived today. Just yesterday, we had sent an inquiry to the city Department of Construction and Inspections, which had ordered the owner to take care of the situation and then issued an extension to April 21st. Since as recently as yesterday afternoon (we’ve been going by to look every day or two), there was no sign of activity, we asked the city what would happen if it didn’t happen. The online log for the site shows yet another complaint filed by neighbors as of about a week ago. While writing this update, we just heard back from SDCI spokesperson Bryan Stevens, who says the city’s been told that demolition will start tomorrow. (If you see it any sooner, let us know – we’ll go by again later.) There’s a redevelopment proposal for the site, described as a “mixed-use building.”
It started loudly, and ended quietly. After commenter Bolo asked if SDOT‘s trumpeted Pothole Palooza had ended, we asked, and got the reply today.
Short version: Yes.
Longer, from SDOT spokesperson Sue Romero: “Our Pothole Palooza campaign has finished, although pothole-filling is always ongoing for our crews. During the 11-day campaign (April 17 to 27), crews filled about 8,400 potholes; in the 2-week period of the campaign that included Friday, April 28, crews had filled 8,700 potholes.” (No regional breakout.)
According to an SDOT video wrapping up Pothole Palooza, that’s close to half the number of potholes their crews fixed in the entirety of 2016 (19,074). SDOT workers got extra help from Seattle Parks workers during PP. And as Romero said, they’ll continue responding to pothole reports – you can file them online here (see the pothole-report map here), call 206-684-ROAD, and/or use the city’s Find It, Fix It app.
P.S. As for repaving instead of just pothole-filling – here’s our most-recent followup on the Roxbury and Avalon projects that are planned “as soon as 2019.”