Followup: $ for 47th/Admiral signal, Fauntleroy ‘green boulevard’ design advance in council committeeJune 19, 2013 at 11:37 am | In Transportation, Triangle, West Seattle news | 14 Comments
(WSB photo looking east toward 47th/Admiral, 2011)
City money for a full traffic signal at 47th/Admiral just advanced one step closer to reality, after the City Council’s Government Performance and Finance Committee voted to send a package of midyear budget changes to the full council. We reported Tuesday on the council’s decision to go for the full half-million-dollar signal, which neighborhood advocates have requested for years. No councilmembers voiced opposition.
Immediately after that signal was discussed, another six-digit West Seattle item popped up – another $200,000 for designing “Green Boulevard” changes for Fauntleroy Way through The Triangle.
(One of two “green boulevard” options shown by SDOT last year)
Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, long an advocate of the concept, described it as a “slowly progressing project” and yet one that’s needed as the area continues to develop as a residential/commercial area. The city’s 2012 budget, as reported here in 2011, included $250,000 to start design; if the additional $200,000 is finalized, that will get the design process to 60 percent. The “boulevard,” Rasmussen noted at today’s meeting, involves “primarily pedestrian improvements – sidewalks, curb bulbs, etc.” We’re checking for updated design documents, since it’s been almost a year since the last public discussion (see materials from that July 2012 open house here). Today’s committee meeting, meantime, was not a final vote on these and other spending proposals, so if you have something to say pro/con/otherwise, you can find contact information for councilmembers here.
Tomorrow is scheduled to be the second day of repaving work on California SW south of Morgan Junction. While SDOT only announced work for the block between Frontenac and Myrtle, Ron A shares the photo and says the city crews have already done something extra:
Looks like we got a bonus — they filled in the slumps in the road to the north and south of Mills this morning! FYI, there are underground springs in those locations that slowly erode whatever material is under the roadbed. The section in the picture was patched about 5 years ago.
Another followup to transportation news from Monday: After the city announced it’s giving the county money for extra Metro hours on certain routes, including 21 and 120 in/through West Seattle, we asked for any and all specifics, and this afternoon, we finally have them. If the current plans are finalized, the service changes on September 28th will include:
ROUTE 21: On Saturdays, extending 15-minute frequency until 8 pm outbound
ROUTE 120: Three additions –
*Weekdays – Extend 30-minute frequency until 11:04 p.m. inbound and 12:09 a.m. outbound
*Saturdays – Extend 15-minute frequency to operate from 7:12 a.m. to 6:49 p.m. inbound and 8:53 a.m. to 7:23 p.m. outbound; Extend 30-minute frequency until 10:48 p.m. inbound and 11:24 p.m. outbound
*Sundays – Extend 30-minute frequency from 6:32 a.m. to 10:18 p.m. northbound and 6:09 a.m. to 11:24 p.m. southbound
(Hat tip to Bruce at STB for sharing first word the specifics had become available, and thanks to Rochelle at KCDOT for tracking them down for us to share here.)
(WSB photo, November 2011)
Tomorrow morning, when the City Council’s Government Performance and Finance Committee considers mid-year budget changes/additions, they will include half a million dollars for a traffic signal long sought by the Admiral Neighborhood Association and other neighborhood advocates. The dangers of the top-of-hill, on-a-curve intersection got a tragedy-borne spotlight when 26-year-old Tatsuo Nakata was hit and killed in November 2006. Some safety improvements have been made, but getting a full signal has proven elusive – though the ANA has continued to push, including with the November 2011 demonstration shown above.
The new proposal is an major upgrade from just one month ago, when Mayor McGinn announced a plan for a “flashing pedestrian beacon” at the intersection, and the start of a technical study for a full signal, as part of a list of projects to be pursued with savings from the Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project. Yesterday, the council issued its own announcement about a “re-alignment” of midyear transportation spending – including some changes from the mayor’s May proposal; most notably for West Seattle, the “full traffic signal” for 47th/Admiral.
We’ve been seeking additional details since then, and obtained them today from Councilmember Tom Rasmussen‘s office. While the documentation for tomorrow morning’s meeting is not finalized yet, we’ve seen a draft version of the 47th/Admiral proposal, which would explain that “Councilmember Rasmussen proposes to add $480,000 in additional funding (on top of $20,000 in the Mayor’s initial proposal) for SDOT’s more comprehensive approach of full signalization of the intersection, which would place each of the 10 entering side streets into full traffic control; possibly adding an additional crosswalk on Admiral …” As soon as the official document is available, we’ll share it. Tomorrow’s council committee meeting is at 9:30 am at City Hall.
11:39 AM: We don’t have the specifics yet, but two Metro routes in West Seattle – 21 and 120 – are on a list of eight bus routes for which the city plans to give Metro $750,000 to buy “more than 5,000 hours of added service per year through early 2016.” The money comes from “savings from the voter-approved Bridging the Gap Levy,” according to a news release from the office of Mayor McGinn, who made the announcement today with Metro General Manager Kevin Desmond. It says the money will “help Metro increase evening and weekend frequency on high-ridership routes from 30 to 15 minutes or from 60 to 30 minutes.” The announcement also makes a point of noting that the State Legislature has yet to reach a deal on the transportation-funding proposals that would help Metro avoid having to make $75 million in cuts when two types of temporary funding start running out next year.
11:52 AM: The mayor’s spokesperson Aaron Pickus says the extra hours are set to take effect in September. We’re asking Metro for any other details available.
12:53 PM: County spokesperson Rochelle Ogershok tells WSB the “service change” that’ll bring the added hours is on September 28th. So far, she has no additional details regarding exact number of hours, etc., but we’ll add anything more we find out.
Just in from SDOT:
Next week, a Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) paving crew will be working on California Avenue SW between SW Myrtle Street and SW Frontenac Street. On Tuesday and Wednesday, June 18 – 19, between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., the crew will grind down and then repave the street surface. There will be no parking in the work zone. Sidewalks and crosswalks will remain open. During the work, the roadway will be reduced to two lanes and bicyclists will merge with vehicle traffic. Motorists should expect delays moving through the area.
‘We’re way behind on transit’ – but there’s still hope for light rail: Mayor talks West Seattle transportationJune 12, 2013 at 11:47 am | In Transportation, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 31 Comments
(Mayor McGinn at Diva Espresso on Tuesday; photo by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Though you haven’t heard much about it lately, there’s still a chance West Seattle will get light rail, some years down the line.
Mayor Mike McGinn came to West Seattle on Tuesday afternoon to get that message out, and we took the opportunity to ask him about other issues related to West Seattle’s transportation challenges.
It was his third visit to West Seattle in a week, and tonight will be his fourth visit in eight days, as the 34th District Democrats decide who to endorse for this year’s election races, including the one in which he’s vying for re-election against eight opponents. His series of visits began June 4th with the Madison Middle School briefing on dental care for students citywide and continued Sunday as he breakfasted at Chelan Café with five community activists.
That brings us to Tuesday afternoon.
The mayor and two staff members – SDOT transit expert Michael James and communicator Aaron Pickus – came to Diva Espresso in The Triangle to offer a West Seattle-specific briefing on the state of light-rail planning, though the conversation turned to other things.
He said that after talking to West Seattleites – including the group with whom he had breakfast on Sunday – he realized people here might not be aware that light rail is at least a bit beyond pipe-dream status.
We recorded the entire briefing/discussion on video – keep in mind it was at a busy coffee shop, so you’ll hear the espresso machinery in the background now and then:
If you don’t have time to listen, the key points are ahead:
If you drive the road above – the westernmost stretch of Avalon Way, between Fauntleroy and 35th – you might have noticed pavement markings indicating some reconfiguration ahead. WSB Forum members have been discussing it, too. We asked SDOT, and spokesperson Marybeth Turner has just provided an extended explanation:
This bicycle and pedestrian improvement is on Avalon starting approximately 100′ east of 35th Ave SW and extending to Fauntleroy.
There are no bike facilities in this area currently. We are installing bike lanes on both sides of Avalon. The north side/uphill side of Avalon will now have a continuous bike lane from Spokane St to Fauntleroy. The south side of Avalon will have a small stretch of bike lane starting at 36th Ave then changing to a shared lane as you pass by 35th Ave SW.
The lane widths and configuration will be: one 6-foot bicycle lane on each side of Avalon, one 12-foot eastbound lane narrowing to 10 feet, one 10-foot two-way turn lane, and two 10 foot westbound lanes.
We are also remarking the crosswalks at the intersection of Fauntleroy/36th/Avalon and also at Avalon and 35th. There will be large crosswalk warning signs at the side of the street for drivers approaching Avalon from Fauntleroy.
As they do now, drivers coming and going from off-street parking areas will need to watch for pedestrians and bicyclists.
This does not affect parking, since there’s no on-street parking in that area now. But the area unquestionably is getting busier, with one development finally completed (The Residences at 3295), one about halfway done (3261 Avalon), another one likely to start later this year (4435 35th SW), and a microhousing project next to the 7-11, not to mention three other projects further east/northeast on Avalon.
(WSB photo of RapidRide bus in The Triangle shortly after C Line debut last fall)
Tomorrow is “service change” day for Metro – one of several each year. When we published the West Seattle changes earlier this week, commenters wondered what Metro meant by saying “the RapidRide C and D Line schedules will be adjusted.” Metro spokesperson Jeff Switzer promised to find out – and here’s the followup information he has just shared:
RapidRide C and D lines: A new southbound weekday trip to Westwood Village leaving Bay 3 at the Alaska Junction at 5:12 a.m. will be added. Also, in an effort to balance passenger loads, the RapidRide C and D line schedules will be adjusted during the morning peak period.
What does this mean?
1) We’re adding an early morning trip to help connect with service to the airport.
2) The other changes are to actual trip times northbound from West Seattle to downtown. The net number of trips is identical (except for the partial added early morning trip), while having more buses run during the period where ridership data showed more need.
This has the effect of allowing 11 trips instead of 10 between 7:45 a.m. and 9:45 a.m. (when passenger loads were higher) and 12 trips instead of 13 between 4:59 a.m. and 6:59 a.m. (when passenger loads were lower).
Another way of looking at it, after June 8, C Line weekday buses to downtown Seattle are scheduled:
· about every 8-12 minutes from 5:30-9:24 a.m.
· about every 15 minutes starting at 9:24 a.m. (15-minute service previously started at 8:39 a.m.)
Updated schedules will be posted online later Friday, and riders can view the adjusted trip times to be ready for Monday. Though the RapidRide C/D line service is interconnected, D Line morning trips are staying roughly the same as they were since February.
Since launching, we continue to closely monitor operations and watch for opportunities to better serve passengers within our budget.
We appreciate everyone’s continued support and ridership, and ask for patience as riders and drivers transition to the adjusted trip schedule.
Reminder that Sound Transit also makes its periodic service changes tomorrow – including a major change to Route 560.
Metro‘s just issued a reminder of its Saturday (June 8) service change. Here are the revisions directly affecting West Seattle routes:
· RapidRide C and D lines: A new southbound weekday trip will be added to Westwood Village leaving Bay 3 at the Alaska Junction at 5:12 a.m.. Also, in an effort to balance passenger loads, the RapidRide C and D line schedules will be adjusted during the morning peak period.
· Route 56, 57: The southbound Route 56 trip to Alki leaving Fourth Avenue and Wall Street at 3:28 p.m. will be converted to a Route 57 trip to Genesee Hill. Also, westbound Route 57 trips will end at Bay 2 instead of Bay 1 at the Alaska Junction in West Seattle.
(From left, Metro’s Victor Obeso; Delridge District Council chair Mat McBride; Metro’s DeAnna Martin and Doug Johnson. Photo courtesy Joe Szilagyi)
With side effects of last fall’s big changes still rippling, and the possibility of cuts ahead if new funding isn’t found, Metro Transit remains a hot topic, even for those who don’t ride its buses regularly. For the new Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council (aka WWRHAH), it’s the #1 topic its members want to know about – not surprising, given that the Westwood Village area is being increasingly utilized as a transit hub, and that last fall’s cuts hit especially hard in Arbor Heights. So last night, WWRHAH devoted the entirety of its meeting to hearing from and talking with Metro reps. If you couldn’t be there, here’s our video – in two parts, since there was a five-minute break during the meeting. Part 1:
Here’s part two:
That ends a few minutes before the meeting did, as our camera operator had to run out to breaking news. If you don’t have time to listen to/watch the video, WWRHAH secretary Joe Szilagyi published detailed notes via the council’s website late last night, and you can read them here.
P.S. Metro reps are making another appearance in this area tomorrow night, as part of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting, 7 pm Thursday (June 6) at NH Fire District headquarters, 1243 SW 112th.
SIDE NOTE: Just as we were finishing this story, Metro announced details of its June service changes, taking effect Saturday. Here’s the regionwide page; we’ll have a separate West Seattle breakout shortly.
Heads up for Washington State Ferries travelers – and drivers in the terminal areas – on this sunny weekend afternoon:
The Klahowya is out of service for necessary repairs. The 2:25 pm Southworth to Vashon and Fauntleroy sailing and the 3:20 pm Fauntleroy to Vashon are cancelled. The two-boat schedule begins when the 3:30 pm Vashon to Fauntleroy sailing becomes a direct 3:35 pm Vashon to Southworth sailing. The 2-boat schedule will in effect for the remainder of the day. Updates will occur when more information becomes available.
You can check the route’s status – and get the 2-boat schedule – here.
6:11 PM UPDATE: WSF says Klahowya is back in service.
Two local meetings next week feature two hot topics:
MICROHOUSING @ SOUTHWEST DISTRICT COUNCIL: After stirring concern in other parts of the city, “microhousing” started turning up here (browse WSB development coverage), and now the City Council is considering setting new rules for it. Here’s the recent memo from Councilmembers Tom Rasmussen and Nick Licata and Council President Sally Clark to Department of Planning and Development director Diane Sugimura, who is scheduled to discuss microhousing at the Southwest District Council‘s monthly meeting next Wednesday (June 5th). Also on the agenda: A Seattle Public Schools manager with updates on the school construction projects in the works here (which include the Fairmount Park addition and the new Arbor Heights and Genesee Hill schools). The meeting’s at 6:30 pm Wednesday, Southwest Teen Life Center/Pool (2801 SW Thistle).
METRO @ WWRHAH COUNCIL – AGENDA/GUESTS UPDATE: We’ve already mentioned that the new Westwood Roxhill Arbor Heights Community Council will focus its entire meeting on Metro next Tuesday (June 4th), and you’re invited even if you’re not within WWRHAH boundaries – there’ll be lots of time for community questions. WWRHAH chair Amanda Helmick has shared the agenda/guest list – read on:
Just in from Washington State Ferries: “The Issaquah is out of service for necessary repairs. Maintenance crews are onboard the vessel and performing repairs. The 2-Boat Schedule will be in effect beginning with the 3:10 pm sailing from Fauntleroy, and the 3:15 pm sailing from Southworth.” We’ll update this when there’s new info.
5:21 PM UPDATE: 3-boat service is returning, says WSF.
Back in October, we reported on a big change proposed for the Sound Transit Express bus route that serves West Seattle – a plan to drop the Junction-Westwood Village section of Route 560, while increasing frequency from Westwood to the airport (and beyond). More than half a year later, the change is about to take effect, we have confirmed, thanks to an inquiry from Colleen, who received a “rider alert” this morning, leading us to check with ST. Spokesperson Bruce Gray replied with the flyer shown above that’s being distributed to riders. He adds, “The short version – starting June 8 the 560 will run all day between Westwood Village, Sea-Tac Airport, Renton and Bellevue. It will no longer run between Alaska Junction and Westwood Village. Details on the route and stops can be found starting on p. 99 of our Rider Guide.” The schedule shown on those pages shows the first trip each weekday at 4:34 am from Westwood, taking about 20 minutes to Sea-Tac, running every half-hour till 7 pm, then four more trips, ending with 10:50 pm. The weekend runs leave Westwood hourly from 5:52 am until 10:52 pm.
West Seattle’s newest community council, Westwood/Roxhill/Arbor Heights (WWRHAH), has formally announced its next meeting, with an open invitation to people from all over the area, since it’s a topic affecting just about everyone: Metro Transit. Some of the discussion points – both current situations and potential future cuts – are detailed in the preview on the WWRHAH website. Plenty of time to clear your calendar to be there – the meeting is at 6:30 pm on Tuesday, June 4th, at a bigger location than usual, the Chief Sealth International High School library (2600 SW Thistle).
P.S. Wondering about the WWRHAH boundaries? Don’t miss this lively “explanation.”
(Map provided by SDOT)
The Admiral Way hill north of the West Seattle Bridge is in for more changes, according to an announcement just in from SDOT. Spokesperson Peg Nielsen tells WSB the changes will “widen the bike lane and existing buffer (to) make it feel safer for people riding bikes and encourage cyclists who might otherwise use the sidewalk to use the bicycle lane. This change will make for an even more pleasant walking experience for pedestrians.” According to Nielsen, this will be facilitated by removing on-street parking on the east side of Admiral south of 3508 Admiral Way (map), and time restrictions are planned to the north:
SDOT has visited the location six times since August 2012. During each visit, no more than five vehicles have been parked south of 3508 Admiral and on average 50 percent of them were cars ‘for sale’. As a result, we do not anticipate the parking change will significantly impact local residents. We’ve also heard concerns about the potential for vehicles to park long-term in front of residents just north of this address (on the east side). As a result, we are planning to limit parking to four hours Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. up to SW Olga Street.
A letter was mailed to residents along this portion of Admiral Way notifying them of our plans. SDOT is interested in hearing their feedback and have invited them to e-mail email@example.com or call 206-684-7583 by May 31.
The last major round of changes for this section of Admiral Way was back in 2010, when what started as a “rechannelization” proposal was eventually downshifted to “restriping,” including an uphill bike lane and parking removal down the hill, south of City View.
8:57 AM: Busy morning at the Bike-To-Work Day station hosted under the bridge by West Seattle Bike Connections – with repairs/checkups as well as treats.
This is the first BTW Day since WSBC was formed.
ADDED 10:53 AM: WSBC president Don Brubeck tells WSB they had 592 riders by 9 am – up 38 percent from last year! He shares the photo below, featuring Sonia Honeydew, who helped count riders (and baked cookies!), with rider #592:
Don says Stu Hennessey of Alki Bike and Board (who’s in our top photo) says last year’s count was 429. Don adds, “Some riders zoomed right through. Many stopped for a chat, cookies, coffee, and bike checks or helmet fit adjustments. I enjoyed actually meeting people I see every day going the opposite direction. Bob Winship led the West Seattle Bike Connections volunteers for the station. Kathy McCabe, Deputy Director, and Serena Lehman, Community Outreach Manager, were with us representing Cascade Bicycle Club.”
(back to original 8:57 am report) Meantime, in downtown White Center, local businesses set up a Bike To Work Day station outside Caffé Delia (WSB sponsor) offering treats:
The events on this side of the bay are usually focused on the morning; for afternoon events, check the Cascade Bike Club’s official page.
Two major stops tomorrow in our area for Bike To Work Day – the customary station under the West Seattle Bridge, 6-9 am, will be hosted this year by West Seattle Bike Connections, whose website has details here. And if you head south – or ride from the south – downtown White Center, in front of Caffé Delia (9622 16th SW; WSB sponsor), is THE place to stop, also 6-9 am – here’s what they have going on. (And if you’re going through someplace besides WS/WC – check the map on the Cascade Bicycle Club website.)
(King County photo)
Will state legislators be impressed? They were the real target of tonight’s County Council committee hearing inviting people to voice their concerns about Metro’s warning of “devastating” service cuts if nothing is forthcoming to replace special funding that expires next year. The Times estimates the crowd at about 400, and multiple sources say more than 100 people signed up to speak, with the hearing finally ending after 7:30 pm. Coverage links:
*Coverage on the Metro Matters website
*Tweets, photos in a Storify aggregation
*Seattle Times (WSB partner) coverage by transportation reporter Mike Lindblom
*Daily UW report, focused on student participation at hearing
If you’re just catching up, our coverage of Metro general manager Kevin Desmond‘s April 1st briefing explains what’s going on, with links to ways in which he says service might be affected. From that story, the map of potential West Seattle changes (shown again at today’s hearing, according to Joe Szilagyi from the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council):
(Metro summary of what West Seattle/White Center might face, with a clearer view of the map shown above, here)
More recently, here’s our Tuesday report following a WSB interview with Desmond, mostly on behalf of the skeptics who still aren’t so sure crisis looms. So what happens now? Depends on the Legislature; HB 1954 – reintroduced when the special session started Monday – remains the bill to watch, for now.
Mayor proposes $900,000 in East Marginal safety improvements, $500,000 for lower Spokane St. and vicinityMay 14, 2013 at 12:55 pm | In Safety, Transportation, West Seattle news | 10 Comments
(5/7/2013 photo by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
Less than two weeks after 54-year-old Lance David died at East Marginal and Hanford after his bicycle collided with a truck, and one week after participating in a memorial ride to that site, Mayor McGinn says today that he’s asking the City Council to approve $900,000 in safety improvements to that area, and about half a million for lower Spokane St. and feeder roads such as Delridge and Admiral. Read on for the official announcement, which includes other proposed work around the city:
As announced last week, SDOT plans to shift the Delridge Way repaving work to Phase 3, Thistle to Trenton, this Wednesday. The section of Delridge that will have a southbound detour during that time will be between Thistle and Holden. Above, the map; below, the update:
Beginning May 15, southbound traffic on Delridge Way Southwest in West Seattle will be detoured at Southwest Holden Street and the currently detoured stretch from Southwest Thistle to Southwest Trenton streets will be reopened. The closure will allow the contractor working for the Seattle Department of Transportation to reconstruct the roadway and install storm drains. The new detour, from Holden to Thistle streets, is expected to remain in place through mid July. This work is Phase 3 of the project that is rebuilding much of Delridge Way Southwest.
Traffic will be redirected (see attached map):
· West on SW Holden Street
· South on 35th Avenue S
· East on SW Thistle Street
· South on Delridge Way SW
Delridge will remain open to northbound traffic except for intersection work. Local access to businesses and residents will be maintained.
This is a five-phase project. At the end of Phase 3, construction activity will move north to Phase 4, between SW Orchard and SW Holden streets.
(Metro Route 21 bus traveling westbound on Avalon, past under-construction apartment building)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Will Metro have to slash its services – or will some of the supplementary funding that expires next year be replaced, averting crisis?
This week might be pivotal. For starters: Today, state legislators are back in Olympia for a special session. They hold the power to give transportation-funding “tools” to local leaders – but whether they will do it is very much in question, as two West Seattle’s state legislators told the 34th District Democrats last Wednesday (WSB coverage here).
County leaders, including Metro management, hope for a show of support at a special public hearing tomorrow (Tuesday) afternoon – and through an online comment form, if you can’t make it to the hearing to speak in person.
With all this as a backdrop, the man who runs Metro, its general manager Kevin Desmond, sat down with WSB for a conversation, which we videotaped in its 48-minute entirety.
Full disclosure, it was their idea, not ours: After reading countless WSB comments about Metro, including skepticism from some suggesting the money woes are more about mismanagement than funding shortage, county Transportation Department communicators asked if we would be interested in an interview, so we worked out time to sit down at his Pioneer Square office. First, if you just want to hear for yourself, here’s the unedited video (your editor here is the voice you hear asking questions; WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand was behind the camera):
If you’d prefer to read the highlights – key points are ahead, along with more about what’s next:
(UPDATED 12:52 AM with fire’s cause)
(Photo by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
8:09 PM: Firefighters are just starting to arrive at a possible house fire at
34th and Morgan. They’re reporting smoke and flames. We’re en route. Firefighters say the house is boarded up – so at this point, they are fighting it “defensively,” not going in. Westbound traffic is blocked on SW Morgan, so avoid the area.
(This and next two photos by Tony Bradley)
8:16 PM UPDATE: Our crew arriving at the scene says this is not at 34th despite the radio transmission – it’s at 36th and Morgan, a house that has been the source of trouble in the past.
8:24 PM UPDATE: The fire is in the basement. Though initially, noting it was a boarded-up house, firefighters were not going in, they are now searching and so far have not found anyone inside. Traffic at 35th and Morgan, and westward, is blocked. No report of injuries.
8:37 PM UPDATE: Also no sign that anyone had been inside, we are told at the scene. The Fire Marshal is en route to investigate. Meantime, we finally had a moment to dig up the background – it was last October 4th when we first reported that the house had been boarded up, five weeks after neighbor complaints had come to a head with a stolen-property case.
8:54 PM UPDATE: With the fire basically out, they have finished searching the house. Nobody inside. Neighbors tell us they have seen a couple people coming and going recently, though (which as discussed in comments had been noted even after the house was boarded up). The street is likely to open within 45 minutes or so, and authorities are trying to get Metro buses through, since this is on the 128 route.
9:05 PM: Police have just announced via radio that eastbound SW Morgan is reopening.
12:52 AM: SFD says the fire was started by “spontaneous combustion of improperly-disposed-of stain rags,” with damage totaling $30,000.
Another “spot repair” project just announced for a stretch of West Seattle roadway:
Seattle Department of Transportation’s paving crews will replace concrete roadway panels on Delridge Way Southwest at 23rd Avenue Southwest (near SW Graham Street) on Wednesday, May 15th. Two-way traffic will be maintained. Drivers may encounter some congestion in this area during the work.
This project is being funded by SDOT’s annual paving program and the Bridging the Gap transportation initiative approved by Seattle voters.
(Tuesday photo by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
Since the deadly crash on East Marginal Way eight days ago, much has been said about improving the route bicyclists from West Seattle (and points southward) take to get downtown and beyond. This morning, City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen – shown above during Tuesday evening’s memorial ride/gathering (WSB coverage here) – asked us to share this update:
Plans to Improve Bicycle Route from West Seattle to Downtown
Tom Rasmussen, Transportation Committee Chair, Seattle City Council
Last week’s fatal collision between a bicyclist and a truck resulted in an outpouring of grief for the death of Lance David and sympathy for his family. While we are not certain what led to the collision, I am determined to improve conditions on this route that will benefit bicyclists and motorists.
Last week I completed and posted my newsletter. The main subject is Seattle’s bicycle plans and policies. Here is a link to the newsletter.
A few days after the article was posted, I held a work session with SDOT staff. We pored over a large map of the route to identify options for improvements. I know this route, and I bicycle along this route to and from work when my meeting schedule permits. It is very challenging because of the heavy traffic and the many and sometimes confusing crossings. There are long stretches where the streets have been pulverized by the mammoth trucks going to and from the Port. The conditions require extra caution on everyone’s part, whether they bicycle or drive this route.
Please know that it did not take this heartbreaking fatality to bring attention for the need to improve this route. Last fall, the City Council increased the 2013 SDOT budget for bicycle improvements city-wide. We specifically funded planning for improvements to portions of the West Seattle route to downtown.
During the next several weeks I will continue to work with SDOT and members of the community to develop a plan for improvements to the West Seattle – East Marginal Way bike corridor. I am determined to implement those plans as soon as possible.
The many suggestions during the past week in the comments section of the West Seattle Blog are very helpful. If you have other suggestions for improvement, please post them in the comment section or write me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
More scenes from this year’s Bike to School Day – Astrid shares two photos from Westside School (WSB sponsor), pointing out:
Westside School, with a student body population of only 237 in the Lower and Early Grades, had 39 students and 4 teachers participate. Would love to acknowledge all the dedicated students, teachers and parents for participating in the event, and a big thank you to the Cascade Bicycle Club for their encouragement.
And quite the bike collection resulted!
Also on Bike to School Day, this family photo came in from Sean:
BTS Day is part of Bike Month – here’s the Cascade calendar of upcoming events.
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