HALA UPZONING: See the 10 changes suggested for West Seattle’s part of the plan

More than tbree years have passed since then-Mayor Ed Murray proposed the upzoning plan eventually named HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability,to affect commercial and multifamily property citywide, as well as other property in the city’s “urban villages.” Now it’s moving toward a final vote, expected in mid-March. First, councilmembers will consider potential amendments to the plan. Wednesday morning at 9:30 am, they will look at 10 amendments proposed for West Seattle, as well as 1 for South Park, plus dozens in three other City Council districts. From the agenda documents, here are short descriptions of the 10 amendments proposed to modify what HALA MHA upzoning would otherwise do in West Seattle:


Intersection of SW Carroll St and Beach Dr SW
Do not rezone the Residential – Commercial node at the intersection of SW Carroll St and Beach Dr SW.

That’s the area by Weather Watch Park, best known businesswise for La Rustica.

1-2 through 1-6

Single-family zones within the West Seattle Junction Residential Urban Village: Modify all proposed rezones from Single-family within the West Seattle Junction Urban Village to Residential Small Lot.

Otherwise, the single-family-zoned areas there are slated for upzoning to Lowrise 1.


West Seattle Junction Residential Urban Village: Triangle Area
Increase proposed maximum heights of Neighborhood Commercial zones within the Junction triangle area from 75′ to 95′.

The Triangle area went through its own planning process early this decade.


Area west of Fauntleroy, south of SW Graham Street
Reduce the proposed zone designation in the Morgan Junction Urban Village south of SW Graham Street and northwest of Fauntleroy Way SW to a less intense Lowrise multifamily zone designation.

That would be LR2 instead of LR3.


Area bounded by SW Barton, Barton Pl SW and 21st Ave SW
Reduce the proposed zone designation within the Westwood-Highland Park Urban Village in the area generally between SW Barton Pl and Delridge Way SW from Lowrise multifamily to Residential Small Lot.

Here’s an explainer of RSL and other zoning designations.


26th Ave SW between SW Barton & SW Roxbury ST
Reduce the proposed zone designation within the WestwoodHighland Park Urban Village along 26th Av S from Lowrise multifamily to Residential Small Lot.

(Close-up maps for each proposed amendment are toward the start of this document from the meeting packet.) The council will discuss these, and the amendments proposed for three other council districts, at Wednesday morning’s meeting (9:30 am, City Hall, live coverage as usual via Seattle Channel) with more discussion planned February 8th. An evening public hearing is planned February 21st, and then the council is scheduled to vote on amendments February 25th.

Extreme Risk Protection Orders explained, plus community concerns and police updates, @ West Seattle Crime Prevention Council

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

If you have a crime/safety trouble spot to surface to local police, the monthly West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting is the place. Just a handful of community members showed up tonight. Here’s what they heard, and said:

CAPTAIN’S UPDATE: Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis gave the “2018 synopsis” including a reduction in crimes against people, but a small increase in property crime – +2.8% – that would have been worse if not for stepped-up action. As he does at every WSCPC meeting, he pleaded for community members to “help us help you,” including by not leaving items in cars, reporting everything that does happen, and surfacing “ongoing issues.”

UPDATE ON HAMILTON VIEWPOINT ASSAULT: Capt. Davis was asked about the assault we reported last Saturday at the North Admiral park. It wasn’t a random attack, he said, but instead was an altercation with a “specific story line” and the person who wound up with a “bump on his head” had been “drinking heavily.” No arrest reported.

Read More

CRIME WATCH: Stolen burgundy Jeep Cherokee

Stolen-vehicle report from Kris: “My Jeep was stolen from Top Hat overnight. 1998 Jeep Cherokee, burgundy, plate # 767-ZZV. Email to: kriswantsyou@gmail.com” And of course call 911. (Stolen cars are often brought across the city/county line, in both directions, so we’ll publish North Highline reports like this one when we get them.)

Get a ‘Clue’! West Seattle High School production starts Wednesday

You’ve played the game – now see the show! This year’s student-directed production at West Seattle High School, “Clue,” opens tomorrow (Wednesday) night, the first of three nights you can see it (January 16, 17, 18), 7:30 pm curtain each night. Isabella Hale is directing; tickets are $10 at the door, no reservation required.

(That promo is student-produced too, by Jonah Elbaum.) Find out more at westsidedrama.com. WSHS is at 3000 California Avenue SW.

POST-VIADUCT PM COMMUTE #2: Tuesday afternoon/evening watch


(SDOT MAP with travel times / WS-relevant traffic cams / Water Taxi schedule, other helpful info HERE)

4:05 PM: Good afternoon! We’re watching the PM commute again today. No specific issues right now. Most recent regional overview from WSDOT: “Travel times are pretty tame at the moment.”

4:49 PM: All’s still well. Keeping an eye on downtown too. And the forecast – now a “slight chance of rain” tomorrow morning, a little higher chance Wednesday afternoon, then “likely” on Thursday.

5:40 PM: Bus report tweeted by Randy:

5:51 PM: If you are headed OUT of West Seattle, heads-up – just heard a dispatch for a two-car “blocking” crash on the eastbound high bridge. Exactly where, haven’t heard, but hope it’s off to the side as the drivers are reported to be “arguing with each other.”

6:05 PM: Police were unable to find the crash scene, so apparently they moved on.

6:16 PM: If you head this way on 4th Avenue S., heads up about a Seattle Fire response at 4th/Stacy (map) just south of downtown. “Burning pile of debris” is the report. Reportedly on the north side of the street so SB traffic not too likely to be affected.

Construction progress and other updates after second weekday morning of #Realign99

(Photo by Long Bach Nguyen)

Again this morning, the second weekday of the #Realign99 three-week Highway 99 closure for the viaduct-to-tunnel transition, multiple transportation agencies had reps available for reporter questions on a conference call. Here are the toplines:

CONSTRUCTION PROGRESS: WSDOT’s Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program deputy administrator Dave Sowers said, as he did yesterday, that work is “overall progressing very well.” The main reason for shutting this entire stretch of Highway 99, you’ll recall, is to do work tying the tunnel’s on- and off-ramps to the rest of the highway. One key point of interest for West Seattleites is the Dearborn offramp from 99 – which will become the key pathway into downtown for northbound traffic not using the tunnel – which is going to take a bit of time beyond the three-week “realignment closure.” Sowers said today that the projection remains “a week to 10 days” beyond the tunnel opening. Among other components of that part of the project, they have to pour concrete and give it two weeks to cure, then stripe it, he explained. He said they might have an estimate by the end of next week, adding “I can’t tell this group enough how motivated we are to get that ramp open as soon as possible.”

TRAFFIC WATCH: WSDOT and SDOT both said traffic patterns were similar to Monday (earlier than usual). We asked about West Seattle Bridge volume stats; that information might be available by day’s end.

TRANSIT WATCH: Total Water Taxi count for Monday (both directions) was 2,872, compared to 779 on the same day last year. This morning’s West Seattle count was 1,200 riders, up from 334 on the same date last year but down a bit from Monday. Still plenty of capacity, stressed Metro’s Jeff Switzer – same with the Pier 2 parking lot, which is only filling about a fifth of its 250 spaces so far. Switzer also had updated Metro bus stats: For all of yesterday they used “standby” coaches for 55 trips, handling 1,500 passengers, mostly for the C Line, E Line, and Route 120. This morning they used standby buses for 19 trips. One word of caution from Switzer: Metro volume usually peaks at midweek so don’t let any low-volume trip today fool you!

Seen off West Seattle: U.S. Coast Guard escorts for Fauntleroy ferry

Mark Dale sent the photo from Gatewood. He’s one of several people who asked about that sighting this morning – U.S. Coast Guard “response” boats escorting a Fauntleroy-bound ferry. We checked with USCG District 13 public affairs – no incidents, no threats, they told us. So apparently just training.

YOU CAN HELP! 2 ways to be part of first auction for Denny International Middle School

Denny International Middle School‘s first-ever auction could use your support. There are two ways to help, as explained in this announcement:

We are the Denny International Middle School PTSA (Parent, Teacher, Student Association) and would like to ask for your support with our 2019 First Annual Live Auction, “Mardi Gras.” This event will be held at the Highland Park Improvement Club on February 9th at 5:30 pm and will feature a live big band, games, great local items to bid on, authentic New Orleans cuisine; your ticket includes beer and wine.

To purchase tickets visit: dennyinternationalmiddle.tiptopauction.com/auction2019

The objective of the PTSA is to bring additional funding to our school that supports an increase of after-school programs, technology, club offerings, sports and to assist teachers with classroom educational development, as well as support other scholar activities. PTSA funds are used to benefit all scholars and organizations at Denny International Middle School.

Although we have received exciting donations from local businesses and organizations in the community, a truly successful auction requires parent and family participation and donations. Can you create a themed basket for the event? Some ideas include: Travel Basket, Martini Party, Grillmaster BBQ, Picnic Set, Spa Glamour, Chocolate Decadence (wine and fine chocolates), Pet Treat Basket, Music to My Ears (cd collection), Tee Time (golf theme), Home and Garden (tools and seeds), A Day at the Beach (towels, sunscreen, toys, snorkel gear), Family Movie Night (popcorn, DVD, theater candy). We request NEW AND UNUSED ITEMS ONLY PLEASE, unless you are creating a vintage basket.

Are you a season ticketholder for a sports team or a theater with a few dates you will not be attending? Donate your tickets and the Auction Committee will create a basket with them and add team swag.

We ask that you consider donating to our worthy cause by January 23, 2019. Donations may be dropped off or mailed to the school, located at 2601 SW Kenyon Street, Seattle, WA 98126, ATTN: PTSA AUCTION, or arrangements can be made for a volunteer to pick up your donation. Please contact Angelica Mendoza at angiemg2002@yahoo.com or Susan DeFant at sldefant@gmail.com to make arrangements. Your donation may be tax deductible.

Thank you in advance for your kind consideration. We appreciate and need your support!

7 for your West Seattle Tuesday

(Glaucous-Winged Gull photographed by Robin Sinner at Emma Schmitz Park, with The Brothers as a backdrop)

Highlights of what’s happening for the rest of your Tuesday:

LEARN TO PAINT: Free watercolor-painting class for people 50+ starts today at South Park Community Center, 10 am. Details in our calendar listing. Call to see if there’s room. (8319 8th Ave. S.)

BABY STORY TIME AT 2 LIBRARIES: Two chances, on both ends of West Seattle, to enjoy story time with your up-to-1-year-old this morning. Both at 10:30 am – at Southwest Library (9010 35th SW) and at West Seattle aka Admiral Library (2306 42nd SW).

DINE OUT TO BENEFIT STUDENTS: 4 pm-10 pm at Mioposto Admiral, it’s a dine-out benefit for Lafayette Elementary – part of the proceeds will be donated. (2139 California SW)

JOIN THE WEST SEATTLE COMMUNITY ORCHESTRAS! Practices start tonight – varying times and skill levels – here’s our preview.

HOPE PRESCHOOL OPEN HOUSE: 6:30 pm, Hope Lutheran School invites you to learn about its preschool program. (4456 42nd SW)

WEST SEATTLE CRIME PREVENTION COUNCIL: 7 pm at the Southwest Precinct, it’s your chance to talk with local police about neighborhood crime/concerns. Also, city attorney precinct liaison Joe Everett talks about Extreme Risk Protection Orders. (2300 SW Webster)

WESTSIDE DANCE CLASSES: A new series starts tonight at the Senior Center of West Seattle – details in our calendar listing. East Coast Swing at 7 pm, Cha Cha at 8:15 pm. (4217 SW Oregon)

SEE WHAT ELSE IS UP … via our complete calendar!

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Second post-Viaduct weekday – AM coverage

(SDOT MAP with travel times / WS-relevant traffic cams / Water Taxi schedule, other helpful info HERE)

5:29 AM: Good morning! Welcome to a foggy Tuesday. Among the things you should know as we start coverage for the second weekday of three weeks without Highway 99:

RIDE2: King County says “Customers can again request trips for Ride2 West Seattle using the app or via phone calls. Our contractor is monitoring the system after making fixes last night.”

5:54 AM: The fog is expected to hang around through the entire commute – a “dense fog advisory” through 9 am.

6:10 AM: High bridge looks busy. Regionally, travel times are reported to be “above average,” so people are commuting earlier again today.

6:26 AM: Texter says police are out watching the new 4th Avenue temp bus lane. SDOT did send us a revised map (PDF) of the lane as it exits the eastbound West Seattle Bridge.

6:34 AM: Thanks to the texter who just let us know that two buses, Routes 50 and 37, got into a bit of a scrape on Alki:

I am just leaving to catch the water taxi shuttle for the water taxi into downtown and there is a bus collision, it’s on 61st and Alki Ave.

It hasn’t started to cause any trouble but just wanted to let you all know! Not too bad, looks like one of the buses clipped the other and knocked off the side mirror.

6:45 AM: Also on the topic of buses, Colleen reports via Twitter that her C Line was full from The Junction and skipped the remaining WS stops. One other Twitter report, from Mary: “6:10 #56 almost full before reaching California Ave. New early crowd for sure.”

6:59 AM: Our crew is now at the Water Taxi dock to see how things are going. First three sailings: 113, 60, 120. That first one was more than yesterday, but since both boats hold 200+, there’s still plenty of room. And if you don’t have anyone to drop you there and can’t get to a bus/shuttle, usage of the temp (free) lot at Pier 2 did not get anywhere close to maxing out Monday, so that’s an option (entrance is across from the Harbor Ave 7-11).

7:13 AM: 81 people on the 7:05 Water Taxi. And reps at the dock confirm Pier 2 has plenty of room to park. The bridge, meantime, looks full, but in our experience, this seems to be the start of peak time anyway.

7:44 AM: City traffic engineer Dongho Chang has tweeted bicycling stats from Monday. Major jumps from comparable dates the past two years – 1,666 riders counted yesterday.

8:06 AM: The roads definitely peaked early. Meantime, more West Seattle Water Taxi numbers – 190 at 7:25, 99 at 7:40, 165 at 8 am.

8:34 AM: Bridge and I-5 are still busy – if you’re trying to avoid jams you probably need to wait at least another hour. Also remember that the Coast Guard has agreed to limit low-bridge openings for marine traffic between 7 and 10 am and 2 pm and 5 pm – there was one low-bridge opening around 6:30 on Monday – so if you avoid the low bridge because of the unpredictability, it might be more feasible here during Highway 99-less-ness.

8:48 AM: Looking ahead, the rain is now expected to stay away until Thursday morning. So we’ll likely have two rainy commutes, and then next Monday is the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday.

8:57 AM: If you are headed northbound beyond downtown, take note – three lanes of NB I-5 are blocked near Northgate by a semitruck on its side.

9:04 AM: Our crew is back from spending the past few hours at the Water Taxi dock and reports, “It’s slick out there.” … Got questions? We’ll be on the multi-agency media conference call again at 11:30 (yesterday’s participants included WSDOT, SDOT, Metro, Sound Transit) so let us know.

Beware of icy roads and paths again Tuesday morning

The frosted fishing pier at Seacrest was the clearest photo we got of the slickness that caused some trouble around West Seattle on Monday morning. With a similar forecast for Tuesday, and patchy fog already out there with near-freezing temps tonight, you’ll want to be extra careful whether driving, riding, or walking. We asked SDOT what’s planned; spokesperson Dawn Schellenberg replied, “Our crews will be out tonight treating right-of-way as needed.” If you encounter an icy patch of public path/road that needs attention, call 206-684-ROAD. (And then please let us know so we can include it in our coverage, which will start again Tuesday at 5:30 am.)

Celebration of life planned January 26 for Scott Rasmussen

Family and friends invite the community to celebrate the life of Scott Rasmussen one week from Saturday:

There will be a Celebration of Life for our wonderful friend Scott Rasmussen on Saturday, January 26, 2019 at 3:00 PM at the Chelan Café in West Seattle….one of his favorite spots!

We ask that you bring your good memories of Scotty to share. Please also bring any favorite photos you have of Scotty, as well as a few copies in case others would like to have one. There will be food at the Celebration, as well as a “No Host” bar.

Come raise a toast to Scotty, the “Mayor of Alki,” and all the great memories he created for us!

Saturday, 1/26/19 @ 3:00 PM
Chelan Cafe
3527 Chelan Ave SW

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)

CONGRATULATIONS! West Seattle dentist Dr. George Naden celebrates retirement

(WSB photos)

After more than 38 years practicing dentistry in West Seattle – the first half of that with his dad – Dr. George Naden is retiring. We were invited to stop by his retirement celebration Sunday afternoon at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center.

Dr. Naden isn’t just a dentist – he’s also a rower, runner, bike rider, and skier, and musician. He co-founding the Tangletown String Band, with which he played at the party.

Dr. Naden says he’s not sure what most he’s looking forward to in retirement – just sure that new adventures await. *His practice at 4000 SW Admiral Way has been taken over by Dr. Igor Tverskoy. (Thanks to his longtime hygienist Shelley Lebert for letting us know about the celebration – her work at the practice goes back to George’s dad Dr. Tom Naden, who retired in 1999!)

UPDATE: House fire west of The Junction

5:56 PM: What started as a mid-size SFD call has just upsized to a “full response” for a house fire in the 4400 block of 46th SW. Radio communication describes the fire as centered in the house’s attic.

6:12 PM: Added a photo from WSB’s Katie Meyer, who reports smoke but no visible flames.

6:15 PM: WSB’s Patrick Sand reports that it was a small attic fire, is out, and firefighters are winding down their operation.

PM COMMUTE: First post-Viaduct afternoon/evening


(SDOT MAP with travel times / WS-relevant traffic cams / Water Taxi schedule, other helpful info HERE)

3:30 PM: Good afternoon! We’re back to watch the journey home. For starters, Dale sends word that the 4000 block of SW Oregon should be avoided – police are there handling a crash.

3:57 PM: All clear. Incident Response Team truck was just leaving.

4:17 PM: From SDOT: “We’re seeing light traffic on major roads downtown, but traffic is picking up on Mercer St EB, I-5 SB into downtown, and on the West Seattle Bridge EB toward I-5.”

4:35 PM: If you’re choosing your route home, 1st Avenue on the south side of downtown looks good, per updates from a texter.

5:20 PM: As pointed out in comments, the TV helicopters are back over the bridge … South of downtown, a crash is reported at 1st and Holgate. On the northbound side, but still – FYI.

5:31 PM: The Water Taxi sends an official announcement of the adjustment reported earlier in a comment by SeattleNewbie: “During this first evening commute of #Realign99, crews are testing a new boarding procedure at Pier 52. Riders can pretap ORCA cards to prepay in order to expedite boarding during this period of high demand.” … Meantime, our Amazon-bus commuter tipster says it was a half-hour ride home just now, southbound I-5 to the West Seattle Bridge.

METRO, WATER TAXI: First post-Viaduct commute went ‘fairly smoothly,’ county says

3:31 PM: Toplines from this afternoon’s briefing at Metro‘s Transit Operations Center east of the stadiums, led by King County Executive Dow Constantine and Metro deputy general manager Terry White: Things this morning went “fairly smoothly.” They addressed both county transit services, Metro buses and the King County Water Taxi. And the increase in ridership for the latter was described as even more than we’d heard at the pier this morning: 1,350 passengers this morning, 350 passengers on a typical morning this time of year.

They can handle twice that, and there’s still room at the temporary Pier 2 parking lot, so try the WT if you can. As for the various routing changes readers reported in comment discussion – they didn’t know yet if any would be formalized for tomorrow and beyond. As for the extra buses held at the ready in case more capacity was needed, they transported more than 300 people, mostly on the 120 and E Line. More to come, including video of the briefing.

4:43 PM: Here’s the video:

We also got a quick look inside the center, first time we had visited since the C Line’s launch inaugurated major West Seattle changes more than six years ago:

The center is where Metro is in constant communication with its drivers – one corner also hosts the customer call center, too. We asked about the changes-on-the-fly reported by some commenters this morning; Metro hadn’t yet had the afternoon meeting at which they planned to discuss how that went, with an eye toward tomorrow morning.

WSDOT says #Realign99 work is going well so far

On this third day of Highway 99-less-ness, the #Realign99 work itself is going well, according to WSDOT‘s project deputy administrator Dave Sowers. That’s what he told reporters on a late-morning conference call. One bit of the ramp-building/tunnel-connecting work is even a bit ahead of schedule, Sowers said. But he also said there’s zero chance the tunnel will open early – they’re sticking to their plan for a February 2-3 celebration weekend, and then (assuming all goes well) the tunnel opening in time for the Monday, February 4th, morning commute. We’re on our way now to a Metro/Water Taxi-specific briefing in SODO; more to come.

‘Rescue extrication’ response on Harbor Island, quickly downsized

If you see Seattle Fire units headed from West Seattle and SODO to Harbor Island, here’s what’s going on – a “rescue extrication” dispatch for what’s described on the scanner as a “industrial accident.” They’re headed to Vigor Industrial to help a man who so far is described as in stable condition, possibly with a leg injury. The first crew on scene has just reported that the patient is “not trapped” so the response is being downsized.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Stolen blue Focus; mail theft

Two reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch, and a reminder:

STOLEN CAR: The 2012 Ford Focus, license BFH4131, in the photo above “was stolen from 38th Ave between Hanford and Stevens some time between Wednesday evening 1/9 and Friday afternoon 1/11.” If you see it, call 911.

STOLEN MAIL, FOUND: From DeAnna: “FYI: A pile of mail was found in our yard on the 9400 block of 5th Ave SW on Friday morning – several addresses – some of the envelopes had been opened and contents removed. We reported it to non-emergency police number and were told they’d come check it out when they could. It was still here this morning so I bundled it, put a note on it for USPS, and put it in our outgoing mailbox.”

REMINDER: Got a question/concern for police? Your next chance to ask them face-to-face is Tuesday night, 7 pm, when the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meets at the Southwest Precinct (2300 SW Webster).

West Seattle Preschool Fair and more calendar highlights for your Monday

(Sunday sailboat on Elliott Bay, photographed by David Hutchinson)

From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

BLUE ANGELS JET VISITING: As noted here on Sunday, this afternoon the #7 Blue Angels jet is scheduled to land at nearby Boeing Field for the midwinter planning visit.

WEST SEATTLE PRESCHOOL FAIR: 5:30 pm-7:30 pm at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church, talk with reps from multiple local preschools! Free, and the whole family’s welcome, but they’d appreciate if you pre-registered here. (3050 California SW)

EVENING BOOK GROUPS: Two at 6:45 pm at local libraries tonight – at Southwest Library (9010 35th SW), this month’s book is “The Last Brother” by Nathacha Appanah; at West Seattle (Admiral) Library (2306 42nd SW), this month’s book is “Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman” by Lindy West.

FINDING STILLNESS WITHIN: 4-week Buddhist-meditation series starts tonight at SoundYoga (WSB sponsor), 7 pm – info in our calendar listing. (5639 California SW)

WEST SEATTLE BOOSTER CLUB: Support student programs! WSBC meets at 7 pm at West Seattle High School. (3000 California SW)

MONDAY QUIZ: 7:30 pm, all-ages quiz, with prizes, at The Skylark. (3803 Delridge Way SW)

SEE WHAT ELSE IS UP … by browsing our complete calendar!

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: First post-Viaduct weekday – AM coverage

(SDOT MAP with travel times / WS-relevant traffic cams / Water Taxi schedule, other helpful info HERE)

5:30 AM: Good morning! As promised, we’re on watch early for the first post-Viaduct commute. No outbound trouble reported so far.

5:40 AM: WSDOT reports a collision on NB I-5 downtown: “in the gore point on NB 5 near Seneca; it isn’t blocking anything, but people are seeing it and slowing, so we are seeing a bit heavier traffic in that area.”

6:04 AM: Our crew is now headed to Seacrest to report on the Water Taxi commute for the rest of the morning, in addition to everything else we’re monitoring.

6:28 AM: Solid brake lights on the eastbound bridge. And an interesting report in comments – Route 56 did stop at the light-rail station, something Metro said they wouldn’t do. Please keep us all updated on anomalies (we’ll ask at the media briefings/Q&A sessions later). Also – wherever you see a temporary no-parking sign, TAKE IT SERIOUSLY!

Some of those zones are meant as holding zones for added buses that might be needed. … Meantime, still lots of room on the Water Taxi. The county isn’t providing passenger counts so far but we counted about 80 people boarding the one that’s about to leave.

6:40 AM: Update – 112 on that sailing. Still room (both boats on the WS run have 200+ capacity). Also, the low bridge opened for 11 minutes. Note that the temporary restrictions are in effect 7-10 am and 2-5 pm, and even during that time, it can still open for 5,000-gross-ton-plus vessels.

6:58 AM: 4700 block of West Marginal Way SW (by the Duwamish Longhouse) has a Seattle Fire “rescue extrication” response headed that way for a crash that is reported to be possibly “in a wooded area.” … Update: Car on roof, off road, one person hurt. Response is still likely to be affecting W. Marginal Way flow for a while.

7:12 AM: Water Taxi dock busy but NOT over capacity, still. Most-recent boat left with 110+ people. Here’s the line:

Marination Ma Kai at the dock is opening at 7 am for breakfast.

Meantime: Andy tells us that West Marginal near the Longhouse-vicinity crash scene is slick – temps this morning were close to freezing. We’re also told traffic there IS getting by despite the emergency response. … Thanks to everyone who’s sharing their experience in comments!

7:39 AM: The headline seems to be, everybody left early so backups started earlier. Meantime back at the dock, sailings are now surpassing 200 (getting closer to capacity). King County Executive Dow Constantine, longtime WT champion, is at the dock too (in photo with KC Marine Division’s Paul Brodeur):

7:49 AM: West Seattle-residing Seattle Times transportation reporter Mike Lindblom tweeted that the 7:30 am bike counter on the “low bridge” showed 278. Meantime, most-recent Water Taxi run was just under 100. The Metro supervisor keeping watch on the temporary parking lot at Pier 2 tells us it’s only about a quarter full – free shuttle to the dock – so if you’re still considering how to get off the peninsula, that’s an option.

8:03 AM: A warning from Rebecca: “Please post a warning ASAP about the northern tip of California Ave where the street makes a sharp turn. I just saw two bicyclists and a moped wipe out there!! Very slippery right now.” She sent this photo:

(Rebecca adds that Ferry Avenue is slick too.) Meantime, bus riders say things are going relatively well – including private transit; an Amazon bus rider from The Junction said the 7 am trip only took five minutes longer than last week.

8:23 AM: SDOT reports “So far, light traffic on major roads in Downtown Seattle.”

8:38 AM: The 8:15 am Water Taxi had 139 people on board. KC Marine Division confirms that they are leaving on schedule even if there are people waiting – Heather e-mailed us about this and said about 15 people were affected at one point during the 6 am hour; our crew hasn’t seen a major amount of this happening, but still, be aware – they are loading until one minute before scheduled departure, and then taking off. Also, the free shuttles have been pretty much at capacity.

(That’s the San Juan Clipper, the second boat on the West Seattle run during this extra-service time.)

8:47 PM: And a big-picture stat – through 8:35, just under 1,200 passengers on Water Taxi runs this morning, 66 percent above normal this time of year. Ride2 has had 150 riders (we’re checking on commenters’ reports of app glitches).

9 AM: If you’ve waited to leave – this would seem to be a pretty great time. We added to the array of cameras on our Traffic page so you can see for yourself beyond the four we are showcasing above.

9:27 AM: Another icy-road report, just in via text:

Might be worth noting in your traffic reporting that Snake Hill on the way to Brandon is terribly terribly icy. I just picked up and took home a couple of bicyclists I came upon who had wiped out on their way down. Bumped and bruised and broke a one of the bikes. Another route to Delridge is advised.

9:43 AM: Don’t get complacent, is the reminder … everybody who made a change today DEFINITELY helped. We’ll be watching traffic through the day and will have a PM report too with an ear on getting back this way. We also expect morning post-mortems from the transportation agencies in a conference call in less than 2 hours, and a Metro briefing at 1:30 pm, so stand by for updates! Thanks again for texting/calling 206-293-6302 (our round-the-clock hotline, in its 12th year) when there’s something to report.

FIRST POST-VIADUCT COMMUTE: What you need to know for first Monday of #Realign99

One last round of reminders tonight, after an uneventful weekend post-Alaskan Way Viaduct shutdown, with the first 99-less commute hours away:

(Live webcam showing work by south tunnel entrance. See other construction cameras here)

WHAT’S CLOSED: Highway 99, between the West Seattle Bridge and the south end of the Battery Street Tunnel: The Viaduct is closed forever; the Highway 99 tunnel will be open the morning of February 4th if all goes well. Finishing the pre-tunnel exit ramp for NB 99 traffic to downtown (at Dearborn – here’s the explanatory video) is projected to take at least another week after that.

Metro routing. All the routes that used the Alaskan Way Viaduct are using temporary new “pathways” to get downtown. (Here’s the map.)
-The temporary bus lane painted on the eastbound bridge and 4th Avenue is now officially in effect.
-Maritime openings of the low bridge are supposed to be kept to a minimum during morning peak hours and part of the afternoon (7-10 am and 2-5 pm). (Bridge openings are tweeted here.)

-Two boats on the West Seattle run (Doc Maynard and San Juan Clipper), both with 200+ capacity – here’s the schedule, including Vashon (which is on its regular schedule):

-Doubled free Water Taxi shuttle service (see the schedules here)
-Parking at Pier 2 (Harbor/Florida – here’s a map) with a free shuttle to the dock
-Overnight parking restrictions on Harbor between Fairmount Avenue and Don Armeni Boat Ramp, meant to ensure more street-parking spots for WT riders
-Extra bicycle parking at Seacrest
-Remember the Free Waterfront Shuttle once you get downtown (see the maps here).

-As long as you are traveling either to or from The Junction or Seacrest, and are in the service area, Ride2 might be an option for you. (See the map, times, etc. on the Ride2 website.)

-The city plans to station uniformed police officers at key locations from SODO to downtown – see the list and maps here. (And note that the city says the plan is subject to change at any time.)

-We’ll be starting by 5:30 am and will see how that goes. We’ll have a crew at the Water Taxi dock monitoring the situation there, as well as at the desk here watching/listening to the traffic/transit situation. We’ll also, as we did during the last weekday Viadoom, have running PM coverage for starters. Something to report to us? (Not while you’re at the wheel, of course!) 206-293-6302, text or voice.
-If you have questions or observations, please share those when you can – we’ll be participating in media briefings between the am and pm commutes.
-In addition to the cameras we will feature during ongoing coverage, our 24/7 traffic-cameras page is here.

Now West Seattle’s only bookstore, Pegasus Book Exchange is thriving

(Pegasus’s Eric Ogriseck thumbs through a rare offering: A 1906 first edition of “Peter Pan”)

Story and photos by Tony Lystra
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

Now that the Westwood Village Barnes & Noble has closed its doors, Pegasus Book Exchange is West Seattle’s last surviving bookstore — and, despite a deluge of obituaries for America’s independent bookstores, business is booming at the family-owned store at 4553 California Avenue SW, employees say.

Eric Ogriseck, who has worked at the store for seven years, said 2018 was the best year in Pegasus’ history. The banner year was, no doubt, helped along by last year’s closure of Merryweather Books, just a few storefronts up California Avenue. Still, Ogriseck said, revenues at Pegasus have been jumping roughly 5-10 percent in recent years.

The vast majority of the book store’s shelves are piled with used books, but the store started selling a few new titles more than a decade ago, when customers were clamoring for new copies of the hit teen vampire drama Twilight.

With Barnes & Noble closing, Ogriseck said more books are on their way to Pegasus, which has been owned for nearly four decades by Fred and Lanthe Epps, of Mount Vernon, and managed by their grown daughter Emma Epps.

“We have to kind of stay with the times,” said Ogriseck, who added that the store will likely increase its new book inventory by 10 percent.

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