West Seattle, Washington
Two Alaskan Way Viaduct/Highway 99-related notes on this day after The Big Announcement (WSB coverage here) that the AWV’s permanent shutdown for the tunnel transition (and then demolition) won’t happen until January 11th:
ANOTHER CLOSURE THIS WEEKEND: WSDOT confirms that another Highway 99 closure north of the West Seattle Bridge is planned this weekend, this time northbound, according to spokesperson Laura Newborn. When we checked with her this morning, she was awaiting confirmation on the Friday night (September 21) start time (update: 9 pm), but added that “WSDOT plans to open up the NB ramp at Royal Brougham so NB SR 99 will be accessible after the Seahawks game on Sunday.” That’s assuming the closure doesn’t end early, as last week’s southbound closure did.
BUS ROUTING AFTER THE PERMANENT CLOSURE: Looking ahead to its next “service change” this Saturday, Metro created timetables with information about what happens to the 12 routes that use the Alaskan Way Viaduct, once it closes. Below are the links to PDFs of each timetable and the language each respectively contains regarding rerouting during the Highway 99 closure:
(During the Highway 99 closure) … the C Line will be rerouted through SODO via 4th Ave S, and via 2nd Ave and 3rd Ave south of Columbia St. The C Line will continue to operate via 3rd Ave midtown.
(During the Highway 99 closure) … Route 21 will be rerouted through SODO via 4th Ave S, and via 2nd Ave and 3rd Ave south of Columbia St. All Express service will operate exclusively via 3rd Ave midtown; Local service will remain unchanged midtown
(During the Highway 99 closure) … Route 37 will be rerouted through SODO via 4th Ave S, and via 2nd Ave and 3rd Ave south of Columbia St. All Route 37 service will operate via 3rd Ave north of Columbia St during this time.
(During the Highway 99 closure) … Route 55 will be rerouted through SODO via 4th Ave S, and via 2nd Ave and 3rd Ave south of Columbia St. Route 55 will operate via 3rd Ave, but otherwise remain unchanged midtown.
(During the Highway 99 closure) … routes 56 and 57 will be rerouted through SODO via 4th Ave S, and via 2nd Ave and 3rd Ave south of Columbia St. Both routes will operate via 3rd Ave, but otherwise remain unchanged midtown.
(During the Highway 99 closure) … Route 113 will be rerouted through SODO via 4th Ave S, and via 2nd Ave and 3rd Ave south of Columbia St. Midtown, Route 113 will shift operation from 1st Ave and 2nd Ave to 3rd Ave.
(During the Highway 99 closure) … Route 120 will be rerouted through SODO via 4th Ave S, and via 2nd Ave and 3rd Ave south of Columbia St. Route 120 will operate via 3rd Ave, but otherwise remain unchanged midtown.
(During the Highway 99 closure) … routes 121, 122 and 123 will be rerouted through SODO via 4th Ave S, and via 2nd Ave and 3rd Ave south of Columbia St. Midtown, the three routes will shift operation from 1st Ave and 2nd Ave to 3rd Ave
(added) Route 125
(During the Highway 99 closure) … Route 125 will be rerouted through SODO via 4th Ave S, and via 2nd Ave and 3rd Ave south of Columbia St. Midtown, Route 125 will operate exclusively via 3rd Ave.
Since the timetables have language suggesting that the permanent AWV closure was expected to start around the end of this month, some might be confused, so we contacted Jeff Switzer of Metro, who reiterates, “The printed timetables for the 12 routes that use the viaduct will be accurate at the time the tunnel opens. The interim pathways defined during the closure are set, however, additional bus stops are under consideration. Buses will continue to use the viaduct and their current paths, and riders can expect the same trip duration, until the viaduct closes.” The mention of “additional” stops dovetails with what Metro deputy general manager Terry White said at yesterday’s media briefing, that stops are still being finalized.
As reported here Friday, Seattle Parks cut short the planned monthlong closure of Southwest Pool, citing permit/contract trouble. But it’s operating on a limited schedule during the month instead. So what IS being worked on during that time? Parks has updated this post with info, including:
SPR will take advantage of the pool’s reduced operating schedule to conduct a complete interior LED conversion to the facility, including changing approximately 430 fluorescent tubes to LED. This effort will reduce the facility’s lighting energy consumption by 55%. This project will help us meet the City’s goal of reducing energy consumption by 20% by 2020, as set out by the Seattle Climate Action Plan. SPR will complete this project prior to the pool returning to its full operating schedule on Monday, Oct. 15.
The limited schedule, meantime, can be seen here (PDF).
Though fall doesn’t officially arrive until Saturday, Alice Enevoldsen‘s season-change Autumn Equinox Sunset Watch is happening a few days early – join her tomorrow (Wednesday, September 19) at Solstice Park. As always, it’ll be a fun, free, educational way to celebrate the arrival of the new season. Details are here; directions and map to Solstice Park are here. She’ll be there starting around 6:30 pm regardless of the weather (unless there’s a steady downpour, which is not in the current forecast); the sun is expected to set shortly before 7 pm. (P.S. Here’s why this is happening a few days pre-equinox.)
11:46 PM: Work local! Organizers tell us they have a “steady stream” of potential employees moving through the second West Side Job Fair, continuing until 1 pm at Great American Diner & Bar (4752 California SW) in The Junction.
Above are West Seattle Chamber of Commerce board chair Pete Spalding and CEO Lynn Dennis and WS Junction Association executive director Lora Radford – their organizations are presenting the Job Fair in partnership with WorkSource. Just bring copies of your resumé and get ready to talk with local businesses and organizations who are there hoping to fill more than 100 jobs.
P.S. We’re the West Side Job Fair’s media sponsor, and also want to remind you that year-round, local (West Seattle/White Center/South Park) businesses are welcome to post job listings, free, on WSB – just follow the JOBS link on our site menu.
5:25 PM: 116 jobseekers participated today!
Thank you for the tips. That note on the door of Great Harvest Bread Co. in The Junction (4709 California SW) confirms it’s closing. Since it’s closed on Tuesdays, there was no one there to talk with when we went by a little while ago, but the note says:
To all of our wonderful and loyal customers:
After 16 1/2 years in business the time has come for us to hang up our aprons. Due to doubled rent in 2017 and personal family reasons, our family must move on to the next chapter in our lives. We appreciate each and every one of our customers. We have met some amazing friends during our years in West Seattle. We will miss you and we can’t say thank you enough for supporting our family-run business. As we close our doors, it is time for another family-run business to take over and serve this wonderful community. Stay tuned for the details to come.
Friday, September 21st, will be our last day of business. Again, thank you all for EVERYTHING!!!
The Pals Family
Though Great Harvest is a chain, as explained on the West Seattle store’s website, they have operated under a “Freedom Franchise,” explained as “we get to run our business in a way that meets our community’s unique needs.”
Highlights as we wade into your Tuesday!
WEST SIDE JOB FAIR: Bring your resumé – multiple copies – and get ready to interview on the spot as 30+ West Seattle employers interview for 100+ jobs. 10 am-1 pm at Great American Diner and Bar in The Junction. Presented by the West Seattle Junction Association and WS Chamber of Commerce; WSB is the media sponsor. (4752 California SW)
YMCA PRESCHOOL OPEN HOUSES: 10 am-11 am and 4:30-5:30 pm, you’re invited to open houses for the West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor) preschool at the Schmitz Park school building. (5000 SW Spokane) and a 10-11 am open house for the Y’s preschool at the Louisa Boren STEM K-8 building. (5950 Delridge Way SW)
PEDESTRIAN AND MOBILITY FAIR: Geared toward seniors but all are welcome, 11 am-1 pm at Alki Beach Bathhouse, lunch provided. Find out ways to help be sure you can keep getting around! (2701 Alki SW)
DOGS IN THE POOL: Today’s the first session of the Arbor Heights Swim and Tennis Club‘s annual Dog Days of Summer, with the pool open to dogs after it’s closed for the season to humans. 5-7 pm. (11003 31st SW)
WEST SEATTLE CRIME PREVENTION COUNCIL: First meeting after summer break. Your concerns and questions for local police are at the heart of tonight’s agenda – it’s your chance to bring them up outside of a 911 call. 7 pm at the Southwest Precinct. (2300 SW Webster)
CHIEF SEALTH IHS PTSA: First meeting of the year for the Chief Sealth International High School PTSA, 7 pm in the Confucius Center on campus. (2600 SW Thistle)
UNPLUGGED: All acoustic musicians/singers are welcome! At C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm. (5612 California SW)
SEE WHAT ELSE IS UP … on our complete calendar!
A night to remember for the West Seattle High School volleyball team, first win of the season in a home match against Bainbridge High School.
The visiting Spartans took the first game 25-16 but then the Wildcats won the match by taking the next three, 25-8, 29-27, and 25-23. The last two were especially hard-fought by first-year head coach Abby West‘s players.
Next up for the Wildcats, they’re at home again Tuesday night, 7 pm varsity, vs. Skyline. Here’s the season schedule.
After four months as its interim director, Highland Park resident Andrés Mantilla is now officially in charge of the city Department of Neighborhoods, confirmed today by the City Council.
He succeeds Kathy Nyland, who led the department for three years following Bernie Matsuno‘s four-year tenure. Mantilla has worked for the city in a variety of roles for the past decade, detailed here with other info about his background. The announcement of his confirmation quotes him as saying, “I am deeply appreciative of the power that community engagement and inclusive outreach has in building a more equitable Seattle. I look forward to working with community and neighborhood groups as we continue this important work.” (Photo from seattle.gov)
From the WSB inbox:
In the interest of warning other early morning runners/walkers, I had a disturbing encounter this morning around 6:10 while running north on California between Genesee and Charlestown.
A vehicle moderately slowed down beside me just north of Genesee and must have circled the block and did it again north of Dakota, but this time paced me for a few seconds. I then noticed the vehicle pull off to the side north of Charlestown as I approached that intersection. I crossed the street to the 7-11 and watched the vehicle proceed south on California after slowing in front of the 7-11. It was an old (’70s/maybe early ’80s) two-tone brown large “SUV” with the rear window rolled down or missing. Be alert, runners and walkers!
Special thanks to the 7-11 employee and Vanpool at the gas pump for being so helpful to me!
Just a few blocks uphill from Washington State Ferries‘ Fauntleroy terminal, you can drop in until 7 pm at Fauntleroy Church (9140 California SW) to find out about/comment on the WSF Draft Long-Range Plan. Among the easel displays, the ferry of the future:
The proposed plan would have three 124-car hybrid-electric ferries serving Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth by 2029. Other big changes on this route would include a second slip at Southworth by 2026. The long-range plan – which is supposed to look all the way ahead to 2040 – also covers climate change:
And it covers budget woes – with one board saying the system only has half the funding it would need to make it’s proposed plan reality. If you can’t make it to this open house, you have until late October to comment via this online open house. The so-called Triangle Route, meantime, has a much nearer-term change in the works – a new schedule for the first time in a long time (here’s our most-recent report on that process). We just got the schedule for three meetings specific to THAT proposed change:
-Fauntleroy, 5-7 pm October 23 (Fauntleroy Church)
-Vashon, 6-8 pm October 24 (Vashon Island High School)
-Southworth, 5:30-7:30 pm October 25 (Harper Church)
Despite a community outcry, South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) will close its Pastry and Baking Arts program. Back in April, the recommendation to close the well-regarded program to save money was announced, and led to impassioned pleas, including those made at an impromptu meeting that included many local baking/restaurant luminaries. The timeline for the decision was extended, but now it’s been made. Here’s the statement we just received from SSC:
South Seattle College has decided to close the Pastry & Baking Arts program. The decision comes after assessment of findings from a year-long program viability review that all programs go through, extensive discussion and analysis with stakeholders, and weighing a variety of factors, including:
*Declining enrollment over the past several years and low student-to-faculty ratio
*High instructional costs
Students, faculty and staff have been notified of the closure and the college is focused on providing support to those directly impacted:
The college will provide our current cohort of 17 pastry students with support to complete their education. Instruction and Student Services will work collaboratively in that effort and a student success team is in place to specifically support our students on an individual basis. Those students will start class the first day of Fall Quarter.
Campus administrators, human resources and union representatives are in the process of meeting with program faculty and staff to discuss options and make plans.
Statement from South Seattle College President Rosie Rimando-Chareunsap:
“As a member of South’s community for 18 years, I witnessed and truly valued the Pastry & Baking Arts program’s contributions to our college history and student success. It serves as a good example of how we support our community’s career interests and industry workforce needs through the programs we offer. Those interests and needs evolve over time, and with the serious challenges facing Pastry & Baking Arts today it is, unfortunately, no longer fiscally responsible to continue running the program. It is paramount that we be good stewards of taxpayer dollars and student tuition.
“I greatly appreciate the students, staff, community members and pastry industry representatives taking time to share their perspective on the quality and value of the pastry program, and every student who chose our program to pursue their passion in pastry and baking arts. South continues to operate a great Culinary Arts program, and I want future pastry chefs to know Seattle Central College – our sister institution – has an excellent pastry and baking program.
“South Seattle College remains committed to offering a comprehensive range of programs that meet demand from students, community, and industry partners, and ensuring resources are used effectively.”
In a recent interview with WSB (story later this week), the new president said the program had “more than double the average cost per student” compared to other SSC programs.
(Added 6:20 pm: Full unedited video of briefing)
1:02 PM: Here’s the full news release:
Mark your calendars. In early 2019, the new State Route 99 tunnel will open, offering travelers a direct route from Seattle’s stadiums to the Space Needle.
To open the tunnel, the Washington State Department of Transportation must first realign the state highway, and then move SR 99 from the seismically vulnerable Alaskan Way Viaduct into the tunnel. This intensive work will last about three weeks and prompt the longest major highway closure to ever hit the Puget Sound region.
“The opening of the SR 99 tunnel will be an historic event in the state’s transportation history,” said Brian Nielsen, administrator of the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program. “Before we can celebrate, we have to get through an unprecedented closure that will require all of us to change our behavior.”
WSDOT’s current plan is to close SR 99 through Seattle beginning Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. Closing SR 99 through Seattle is the only way crews can finish building the highway and the eight new ramps that will allow travelers to enter and exit the new tunnel
Travelers should expect region-wide congestion for up to six weeks as crews complete final connections to and from the new tunnel. In addition to the three-week closure:
*The off-ramp from southbound SR 99 to South Atlantic Street will permanently close one week earlier than the viaduct.
*The new off-ramp from northbound SR 99 to South Dearborn Street will require up to two weeks of additional work after the tunnel opens.
Get ready, make a plan
When the viaduct closes, 90,000 drivers who normally use the Alaskan Way Viaduct will need to find another way to get to, or through, downtown Seattle. During past Alaskan Way Viaduct closures, congestion increased on all major highways throughout Puget Sound as well as on local streets.
While WSDOT is working closely with the Seattle Department of Transportation, King County Metro and other key transportation agencies to keep traffic moving during this challenging time, help from drivers is critical.
“We need drivers to change their habits for three weeks to prevent gridlock,” said Nielsen. “We recognize everyone’s strategies will be different based on their needs, but consider other ways to get to and from your destination, if you can.”
When Seattle Tunnel Partners finished disassembling the tunneling machine Bertha in 2017, WSDOT estimated the tunnel would be open in early 2019. While there was optimism this date could be moved up, a number of factors influenced the decision to stay with the early 2019 date:
Construction progress: WSDOT has several contractors that must complete work to be ready for the three-week SR 99 closure. Scarsella Brothers, Inc. will then build the final tunnel and ramp connections. Some of this work, like road striping, is weather dependent.
Public notice: Starting in January ensures that contractor work will be complete and we can provide a specific date much further in advance. The public’s help will be critical and this will give everyone time to plan.
Holiday travel and commerce: WSDOT and its partner agencies are committed to keeping people and goods moving during the busy holiday season. Avoiding a major highway closure between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day helps achieve this goal. There are also fewer major events in early 2019 than there are during the last quarter of 2018.
Per the Legislature’s decision, the SR 99 tunnel will be tolled as a part of the project’s financing plan. The tunnel will be free to use when it first opens.
Additional details about the closure, tunnel opening and the future tolling of the tunnel can be found at www.99tunnel.com.
1:50 PM: The briefing is over and we’re headed back to HQ. We recorded it all on video and will be uploading that. Also, some West Seattle-specific details: Paul Brodeur from the King County Water Taxi said it will run a two-boat schedule on weekdays during the closure, with shuttles also doubled, and there will be extra parking including a lot at Pier 2, at Don Armeni, and along Harbor Avenue.
3:26 PM: Bus reroutes during the closure are already mentioned in route-specific pamphlets as part of Metro’s service-change announcement – but the language suggests they were expecting the closure to be much sooner, so we’re asking Metro if the January timing will change anything. Metro’s new deputy general manager Terry White said at the briefing that the stops for the 12 routes that will have to be rerouted are still being finalized.
6:20 PM: Just added our full unedited video of the briefing and Q&A from this afternoon.
11:56 AM: Thanks for the tips! A “full response” fire call in Arbor Heights, sent to a house near SW 97th and 31st SW [map], was quickly downsized, but several units are still on scene, so we’re on the way to find out more.
12:08 PM: This was a kitchen fire – but not a cooking fire. We’re told the stove, accidentally turned on, ignited some nearby items. Quickly extinguished; no one hurt.
6:25 PM: Neighbor Alan sent this photo of Lou the puppy, who he says was rescued by firefighters:
Another West Seattle missing-person alert from SPD:
MISSING: Jacqueline Dupras, 74. Diagnosed with dementia and increasing memory issues. 5'3", 135 lbs., reddish grey hair, green eyes. Unknown clothing description. Last seen Sunday in the 1900 block 46th Ave SW. Call 911 if seen. pic.twitter.com/cpON5jvJyg
— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) September 17, 2018
Jackie has long been active in the community, so many know her.
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
SOUTHWEST POOL REOPENING: As announced Friday, the pool’s closure for upgrades has been cut short, and it instead will be open on a “limited schedule” that you can see here (PDF), including noon-6:30 pm today. (2801 SW Thistle)
GIVE THE GIFT OF LIFE: 1-7 pm blood drive at Peace Lutheran Church in Gatewood, closed 3-4 pm for a break. (39th SW/SW Thistle)
EARLY DESIGN OUTREACH FOR 5616 CALIFORNIA SW: 4 pm at High Point Library, it’s the second “Early Community Outreach for Design Review” meeting in West Seattle since the new process launched. This time, as previewed here, the project is 5616 California SW, proposed for eight townhouses. (3411 SW Raymond)
VOLLEYBALL! The West Seattle High School volleyball team plays Bainbridge HS, JV/C games at 4:30, varsity at 6. It’s Middle School Night – explained in our preview. Admission free! (3000 California SW)
WASHINGTON STATE FERRIES’ FUTURE: By year’s end, the state ferry system has to finalize its next long-range plan – through 2040 this time – and send it to legislators. 5-7 pm, stop by Fauntleroy Church to learn more about what WSF envisions in its draft plan and/or to add your comments. (9140 California SW)
FOR THE FULL LIST … see our complete calendar!
9:29 AM: If you’ve noticed the police presence in/around Lincoln Park – we just went down to find out. Officers say a man tried to rob the gas station/mini-mart just north of the park and might have fled into the park, so that’s why they’ve been searching. The description broadcast on police radio: “Light-skinned black male, light facial hair,” wearing a baseball-style cap over a pulled-up hoodie with three reflective strips on it and cut-off sleeves, black pants, running shoes. If you have any information, call 911.
9:33 AM: Our crew subsequently went over to the gas station, where they were told it wasn’t an attempt, it was indeed a robbery, and the robber got away with some money. Detectives are there talking with them now.
9:09 AM: Tomorrow’s the day for this year’s West Side Job Fair – 10 am-1 pm Tuesday (September 18th) in The Junction, with more than 30 local employers interviewing for more than 100 jobs. From office to restaurant, medical practices to schools, and more. Just show up, and be sure to bring multiple copies of your resumé – the West Side Job Fair is at Great American Diner and Bar (4752 California SW). WSB is media sponsor again this year, since we work all year to connect employers with prospective employees via free job listings.
9:09 PM: Here’s the updated list of employers planning to be there and the positions for which they’re hiring.
7:10 AM: Good morning! No incidents reported in/from West Seattle so far.
FERRIES’ FUTURE: 5-7 pm tonight, Washington State Ferries is at Fauntleroy Church for the West Seattle open house about its draft long-range plan – backstory here.
Have you seen that white Chevrolet Tahoe? It was stolen last night in West Seattle. Plate AIP0892. If you see it, call 911.
Tuesday night, the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council resumes monthly meetings after summer break – and it’s all about you. WSCPC president Richard Miller tells WSB the agenda is simple: Updates from local police, followed by open time for you to ask police questions and voice crime/safety-related concerns. It’s a unique chance to talk with police face to face, 7 pm Tuesday (September 18th) at the Southwest Precinct (2300 SW Webster).
No guarantees, but we might be lucky and get a glimpse of the Southern Resident Killer Whales tomorrow. As night falls, Kersti Muul tips us, resident orcas are southbound just north of Elliott Bay, in the Discovery Park vicinity. As she points out, this is a bit earlier than the usual SRKW fall return. And it comes the day after the second of two public meetings about their plight. If you see orcas tomorrow (or any other time!) please let us know – our 24/7 hotline, text or voice, is 206-293-6302.
Big difference in the weather between today and the originally scheduled date – three weeks ago – for the Cosmo 7K on Alki. The long sleeves on some runners were a giveaway. Today – cool and occasionally rainy; three weeks ago, warm and smoky, and the wildfire smoke led to the postponement decision.
Even this furry onlooker had a jacket:
Some participants ran the full 7K; others ran or walked a 5K version of the course. First female finisher overall, registered for the 5K, was Carrie Vanderveer, in 26:09:
Twenty seconds behind her was the first female 7K finisher, Dawn Parlinski, in 26:29:
First male finisher, registered for the 5K, was Neel Salukhe, in 24:00:
First and second male 7K finishers are both in our photo below:
That’s Corey Elliott, finishing in 25:56, six seconds ahead of Woody Sobey, who ran the 7K in 26:02. This was the second year that the Cosmo races were run in West Seattle, replacing the Alki Beach Run previously organized by Northwest Hope and Healing, now a Cosmo beneficiary.
P.S. Next big run in West Seattle – the sold-out Orca Half next Sunday (September 23rd), from Lincoln Park to Don Armeni Boat Ramp. No road closures planned.