West Seattle, Washington
Just so you’re not startled trying to drive through The Junction tonight or tomorrow morning even before the festival begins — the city reminds us that the road closures for Summer Fest kick in at 6 tonight and continue till late Sunday night. (And in an outside-WS note, if you need to travel to the Eastside, remember this is one of those “520 bridge shutdown” weekends, 11 pm Friday till 5 am Monday.)
One side of the marquee atop Java Bean Coffee on Avalon pleads, SAVE OUR CROSSWALK!!!! The crosswalk in question is in the foreground of this photo, near a bus stop and a stretch of Avalon where many patrons of Java Bean and neighboring Luna Park Cafe have to park (and cross) since those businesses have a small lot:
We wrote Java Bean boss Tony Hoyt to find out what’s going on. He pointed us to this city Transportation Department webpage, which says in part:
SDOT has completed a technical analysis of the unsignalized marked crosswalk at SW Avalon Way and SW Orleans Street. This crosswalk no longer meets our recommended guidelines and will be removed.
Which makes no sense to Tony, who summarized the situation this way in a group e-mail he sent out this week:
The city of Seattle wants to remove the crosswalk from in front of the West Seattle Java Bean. A few years ago they removed a flashing, yellow caution light from above the crosswalk and one of my employees was struck by a car and nearly killed. Now they want to remove the crosswalk entirely. This crosswalk is 50 feet from two Bus stops and the city just installed two sidewalk cut away ramps last summer… now they want to remove the crosswalk. I guess this will make it safer for those older folks and citizens in wheel chairs to cross the street.
Tony says it would make more sense to restore the overhead warning light than to remove the crosswalk. We found an even more impassioned account (including more on what happened to the accident victim mentioned by Tony) written up here. Meantime, even though the city webpage makes this sound like a done deal, they’re still asking for comments; click to e-mail them.
For anyone still wondering about the power problems in south West Seattle last weekend — Scott Thomsen from City Light told us what caused the biggest outage Saturday morning: an underground cable failed and had to be replaced. Apparently this happens from time to time; cables’ insulation can go brittle because of “heat and other environmental conditions.”