Inanimate endangered species


No wonder the traffic was nuts getting through the last leg of the Fauntleroy “exit” from The Bridge. Somebody has a sign on the overpass for the first time in weeks. Given what anti-banner watchdogs have done in recent weeks (see comments on this post), we expect it to have lasted approximately 3 minutes after our driveby. So we snapped a quick pic in case “Torie” doubts somebody really tried to wish her (?) a “happy b-day.” Yes, yes, we know, banners are illegal and a traffic hazard and all that, but we have to say, without them, West Seattle feels like a slightly lonelier place.

44 Replies to "Inanimate endangered species"

  • chas redmond September 19, 2007 (10:14 pm)

    Totally agree. The causeway has seemed unnaturally sterile the past few weeks. I hope that whoever has appointed themselves banner posse lightens up and gets a life. I was actually thinking of putting up a somewhat harshly worded full-bridge banner which basically said “Chill Out Banner Posse – it’s NOT your bridge.” Depending on how things go I may well still do this.

  • flipjack September 19, 2007 (10:36 pm)

    Yeah I was wondering about that….no banners….whomever has taken it upon themselves to clean the bridge can FOAD!
    And by the way “9/11 WAS AN INSIDE JOB”

    I guess I gotta post that here since the bridge banners are gone.
    Hey WSB, maybe you could have a Missing BRIDGE BANNERS section with the option for font styles and sizes.

  • Radley September 19, 2007 (11:21 pm)


    Your idea rocks. To the people taking the signs down, thanks so much for trying to make WS an oh so tacitful but homogenous suburb. If you want a nieghborhood with no personality, there are numerous subdivisions on the east side that I can steer you to.

    I say that the signs are a part of what makes WS unquie and charming, and have been here far longer than the residents trying so hard to tear them down. To quote my gradfather, “If you don’t like the smell, don’t buy the house next to the dairy.”

  • Erik September 19, 2007 (11:22 pm)

    Flip –
    Just don’t post more than 1 e-banner at a time or else Kerry’s security detail will come and tazer you.

  • Kayleigh September 20, 2007 (5:23 am)

    I never thought that uninteresting, tacky-looking signs were part of West Seattle’s “character.” And they distract drivers who are often going too fast on that stretch.

  • T. De September 20, 2007 (7:04 am)

    Can anyone provide statistics on how many traffic accidents have been reported under the walkway on Fauntleroy, because of distracting banners? I haven’t heard of any, but clearly something is driving the banner policing group nuts – I would hope it would be factual and not just figments of someone’s imagination.

  • m September 20, 2007 (8:22 am)

    On the evening commute, I’m usually going about 5 to 10 MPH under that bridge which gives plenty of time to read the signs in a safe manner. It’s fun to see what people have to say, and it’s especially nice when you see one up there for you on a birthday or anniversary. The people taking the signs down should spend their time picking up litter on the road instead; litter is much more unattractive than the signs on the bridge!

  • donald September 20, 2007 (8:24 am)

    i never found the signs to be distracting. i think they are great and add a lot of character to WS. we need to keep ahold of our identity with things like that, with all the development and homoginaztion happening nowadays. if people don’t like it, thats their business, but they shouldnt be allowed to ruin it for everyone else. Radley said it best, if you don’t it go back to bellevue.

  • sw September 20, 2007 (9:38 am)

    In 14 years of commuting to and from downtown, the only time I have ever seen a problem caused is when the politicos are standing with signs on the bridge waving at cars. This is also a frequent problem at the 35th and Fauntleroy intersection.
    Folks, we live in an urban neighborhood – not a planned community in the outskirts. Dressing up the kids and hanging banners on the bridge add to the uniqueness of West Seattle, which already is slipping away. What do you suppose the residents of Fremont would do if the some self-appointed banner posse policed “Waiting For The Interurban” in the same manner?

  • NATINSTL September 20, 2007 (9:40 am)

    I was actually commenting to my husband the other day that I was really missing the banners. I like to see some happy messages, it makes me feel that some things are right with the world and the community I live in. There’s always a few though that seem get their way to the disappointment of many. I hope they don’t stop dressing up the statues.

  • flipjack September 20, 2007 (10:00 am)

    Erik- Ouch! – hehe…
    Yeah, yaknow it’s FREE SPEECH! Charles has a great Idea….Howzabout organizing a banner blitz plastering the bridge with banners adhered to the railing with at least a roll of duck tape each.
    HEy’s a great mission for your videographers…see if they can catch the banner fascists in the act and post it on the blog!

  • The Velvet Bulldog September 20, 2007 (10:48 am)

    Hey all you signage rebels (whom I support whole-heartedly!) It ain’t so much free speech since it’s city property and they’ve decided to go after and fine as many sign putter-uppers as they can track down. Sucks, eh?

  • Jeff September 20, 2007 (10:52 am)

    Wow! I didn’t know the fate of humanity was riding on these banners. Like I said before, I cross over the walkway more than I drive underneath it. The messages are lost on me; I only see the backs of the signs or yesterday’s birthday greetings crumpled up in the bushes. I like a cleverly-crafted band poster or a tear-jerker of a lost dog sign on a telephone pole when I’m walking about town, but these particular signs have gotten in my way more than they’ve informed me. I try to stay ambivalent; I really don’t care. You have as much right to put up a sign as the next person who wants to tear it down or deface it. The people that are forming the lynch mobs and chanting “West Seattle love it or leave it”, these are the people that are taking things too far.
    And if you’re gonna mess with the little kid statues, get a little more creative! Don’t put on the same neon-colored t-shirt with hard-to-read writing that the last person did. Put some sombreros on them or dress them up as little soldiers, just do something different.

  • Keith September 20, 2007 (1:14 pm)

    flipjack, i was thinking the same thing – I’d love to see WSB-TV interview the self-appointed bridge police and see/hear their side of the story.

  • Katherine September 20, 2007 (1:16 pm)

    It may be the neighbors who are taking down the signs. There’s been a lot of drug dealing going on up there. Signs and banners just help them hide what they’re doing. The neighborhood has come together to watch, log, and destroy the dealers’ sense of security.

  • WSB September 20, 2007 (1:20 pm)

    We are a little short on stakeout time (much as we wish we could just park and keep an eye out!) so if anybody knows the hours when neighbors patrol … we’re all ears and could put in a little targeted time. The drug-dealing comment is interesting. The comments on the previous item from alleged neighbors seemed to stress the aesthetics.

  • add September 20, 2007 (1:41 pm)

    Jeff – just an fyi, the hard-to-read t-shirts on the statues recently were supposed to be accompanied by an easy-to-read banner on the bridge, which was removed & destroyed!

    I also love when the statues are dressed up, too – unfortunately signs and banners are not allowed anyywhere near the sculpture. So sometimes it’s left to the imagination what exactly the decorations are all about! Like the recent neon eye patch thingies on them recently – no clue what it was about but it made me chuckle!

  • neighbor September 20, 2007 (2:12 pm)

    Drug dealing on and around that bridge has been extremely disturbing and dangerous. I agree with Katherine that it’s probably neighbors taking down the banners and signs to make it more difficult to hide what is going on -not for aesthetic reasons.
    If you use that bridge, please use caution -people are doing drugs in the bushes underneath the bridge & deals go down there on a nightly/daily basis. Please call 911 if you see anything suspicious!

  • Megan September 20, 2007 (2:33 pm)

    It was talk like a pirate day. Maybe that’s why they had eye patches?

  • TeaLady September 20, 2007 (3:07 pm)

    It was probably the same day I saw the pirates driving down California in that crazy ship. It was only about a week or so ago, so I was very confused…and amused :)

  • Tish September 20, 2007 (5:00 pm)

    Re: The drug comment. Oh please! I have a hard time believing that drug dealers have decided that a public bridge over a busy intersection is the best place to deal drugs. This seems to be someone’s rather pathetic attempt to justify their personal distaste for posters on the bridge. One only needs to visit the SPD’s crime stats map (not to mention shear logic) to see how erroneous this claim is.

  • Keith September 20, 2007 (5:04 pm)

    Drug dealing on a prominent bridge in plain view of all those houses and tons of traffic? Is this the same drug dealer who called the cops about his missing cocaine?

  • neighbor September 20, 2007 (6:46 pm)

    I know it seem weird -but it’s true. The drug dealers hang out on one side of the bridge, then cross over to meet their customers on the other side (at the dead end of Andover Street on the East side of the bridge) or sometimes mid bridge. The “transactions” take a matter of seconds.
    The area underneath the bridge on the East side is heavily wooded & people routinely hang out & smoke crack (or whatever) there. As a nearby neighbor, I can tell you that the dead end at Andover where the footbridge begins is a SERIOUS problem. Our neighbors are afraid & there is no way anyone is trying to “justify” the removal of banners. Tell ya what -why don’t you come down and hang out there for an evening & see what you think then.

  • Leez September 20, 2007 (8:02 pm)

    Hey Tish. You clearly do not live on either side of the foot bridge nor must you ever walk over it. Drug deals happen almost daily and the neighbors are working hard with the police to catch them…unfortunately they have quick get-aways and are not easily caught (hense the location). The deals happen on either side…not in the middle.
    Flipjack, go ahead and post all the posters you want, but could you please make sure they are disposed of after you have made your point? Again, you most likely don’t cross the footbridge otherwise you would see the HUGE litter problem we have with the forgotten signs. I have no beef with the signs, just wish people could clean up after themselves!

  • ms_f September 20, 2007 (8:18 pm)

    Maybe somebody should dress up the statues as little drug dealers — just to show we know what’s going on there!

  • Radley September 20, 2007 (8:31 pm)

    I would have missed Westfest, one of my all time favorite WS activites, if not for this thread, given that I always rely on the bridge banner to know when it is. To bad that the sign police are anti-fall carnival.

  • Jen V. September 20, 2007 (9:29 pm)

    when my friends and I were 18 – and there may have been some alcohol involved – one night we took a boom box (for anyone under 33, that is a really big ipod w/out headphones) up there, dressed in disco gear and had a guerrilla dance party. I wonder if we were a distraction?

  • Keith September 20, 2007 (10:30 pm)

    If drug dealing is a problem on the bridge, perhaps West Seattleites should be encouraged to hang *more* signs and banners there, thus creating a heavier flow of active & concerned citizenry in this neglected area.

    Take Back The Bridge – Hang a Banner Today!

  • Erik September 20, 2007 (10:37 pm)

    I kept thinking ‘gorilla disco’ and pictured people dressed up in various animal costumes. Oh it’s guerilla…

  • Tish September 20, 2007 (11:27 pm)

    While I’ll concede that drug transactions may occur in the area, I still doubt that the signs/posters hanging on the bridge 1) encourage drug users to frequent the area and 2) make it easier for them to complete illegal transactions. If what “neighbor” says is true, drug users appear to use the bridge for quick getaways more so than anything else. Thus, I still assert that citing drug-related crime in the area is merely an excuse to rid the community of posters that most clearly love and cherish. As many people have said, it’s a West Seattle tradition and until there is conclusive evidence that this tradition has caused drivers/citizens irreperable damage, it should be allowed to continue.

  • Tish September 20, 2007 (11:40 pm)

    While I’ll concede that illegal activity may occur on/near the bridge, by one poster’s admission above, it appears to be due to the fact that the bridge offers users a “quick getaway” more so than anything else. Thus, I still assert that posters hung from the bridge do not encourage illegal activity. Hanging posters from this bridge has been a West Seattle tradition for DECADES. Unless there is clear evidence that it causes irreperable damage to drivers/citizens, I still believe that the tradition should be allowed to continue.

  • Pelicans September 20, 2007 (11:41 pm)

    Well, Keith, Erik, Neighbor and-love you-flipjack,
    How ’bout it? A guerilla (or alt-gorilla costume) dance and banner long-term marathon. Try to hang as many banners as often as space and foot traffic permit. Take them down when the events they announce expire, and put up new ones. Police (military term) the area, meaning take down and pack away old banners, or install trash cans on each end that are emptied as regularly as Seattle Parks and Rec ones along the beach (2X daily in some cases), all the while doing this to some bangin’ music, dancing til you drop.
    More regular people in the area, more often would mean the cockroach-like druggies would go somewhere less travelled, don’t you think?
    Keep postin’-it’s the light of my day.

  • Tish September 20, 2007 (11:42 pm)

    Oops. It looked like my first post didn’t take so I re-wrote it. Sorry about that!

  • Wes September 20, 2007 (11:51 pm)

    I live on the west side of the pedestrian overpass and can quickly sum this up. This has NOTHING to do with the drug problem. As a matter of fact, it is unlikely that the sign swiper is even aware of the drug issue, as he does not even participate in his block’s blockwatch.

    In June, some banner posters made their sign on the sidewalk across the street from the overpass entrance and the paint bled through the sign and got on the sidewalk. One of the guys that lives in the house chased them up the bridge and yelled at them and then called the police. The sign makers went to the store and scrubbed the sidewalk with cleaner for a good half hour. Ever since then, one of the guys that lives in that house would go up once it got dark and cut down the signs, crumble them up and stuff them in the bushes under the overpass or just throw them off the overpass on both sides of the bridge. (Sometimes he even cuts them down during the day and will run up and yell at people as they are trying to hang a sign.) I would see a new crop of sign trash on my way to the bus. The litter got to be quite a problem. He even cut down a Seattle Parks and Rec sign and threw it off the bridge. Recently, DOT has trimmed back some of the blackberries under the overpass, so he does not have a place to hide them and has probably since then been putting them in his garbage. This a about a selfish person who thinks he owns and is custodian of the entire corner and bridge. So much so that he found it his place to nail up the nice blue “NOTICE” sign at the entrance to the overpass under the City of Seattle warning signs. (It is OK for him to post a sign there, but not for anyone else to hang a sign on the bridge.) This is also the same guy that has numerous video security cameras surrounding his house.

  • flipjack September 21, 2007 (12:12 am)

    right on pelicans!

    You know I’m beginning to see the connection now between the bridge and the nonsensical costumes on the statues.
    People are tearing down or putting up banners, then scoring drugs and taking them before they go dress up the statues…wow!! It’s like a little uber-ecosytem right in our own neighborhood!!
    I think the whole thing needs environmental protection and city regulation so that this natural uber-phenomena can thrive.
    More research needs to be done to see whether or not it’s actually the drug dealers putting up the banners (for cover!!) or regular citizens, but the people dressing the statues are most definitely on drugs.

  • flipjack September 21, 2007 (12:18 am)

    Just realized that my theory ties right in with the inanimate endangered species title that WSB gave this blog entry.
    This lends itself well to a pending “Inanimate Endangered Species Act” whereby, people removing banners are actually contributing to the destruction of the the uber-ecosystem I describe above. I think we can turn the banner law around legally and save the silly costumes on the statues in one fell swoop with the “Inanimate Endangered Species Act”!

    P.S. I apologize for using “uber” several times in my entries.

  • miws September 21, 2007 (7:07 am)

    I have not weighed in on this yet, as I have mixed feelings.

    Being a life lomg Wesseattlite, I am very disturbed at how our community, and the City of Seattle as a whole, has lost so much of it’s character in the last several years.

    So, though I agree that the signs add to the uniqueness of Wesseattle, and back when I used to travel the Bridge daily, I enjoyed many of them, I’ve known all along that they were illeagal.

    I don’t think any instances of one coming down on a car have been documented, but to coin an old phrase, “there’s always a first time.” Back when I had a car and use to drive the along there, I’d occasionally think about “what if?”, and would even think about how I’d react, if a banner came down and across my windshield.

    That being said,

    Wes, please clarify, is this idiot actually tossing the signs onto the Expressway on those occasions? If so, he’s causing a greater danger than the signs just hanging up there.

    At the very least, he should be charged with littering, for the times he’s “stashed” the banners in the bushes.

    But, I suppose the Police would have to actually witness that.

    With all those cams he has, maybe people should walk by and makes faces at him! Staying off his property, of course, and doing nothing threatening that he could have on tape, and use as evidence of “harrassment”. :)


  • Leez September 21, 2007 (7:56 am)

    Really don’t think the signs have ever been related to the drug problem…just coincidence. DOT did trim some blackberries back, but I think it was only b/c neighbors complained. If indeed the “bridge guardian” is tossing them into the blackberries on either side, then I think us neighbors need to have a word with him. Maybe a garbage can could be installed on the West side (closer to his house) to help reduce the littering he’s doing.

  • donald September 21, 2007 (10:37 am)

    Methinks the guy tearing down the signs with all the security cameras *is* the drug problem. Why else would he need all those cameras around? That way he can go get all hopped up on goofballs, stroll down to the bridge, do the deal and walk back and tear all the signs down. His “policing” of the banners on the bridge is just an elaborate cover for his giant grow/methlab operation!

  • Leez September 21, 2007 (11:11 am)

    I really wish that was the case! SO much easier to catch that guy.

  • Jen V. September 21, 2007 (6:27 pm)

    Sounds like it’s time for guerrilla dance party redux 2007!!
    dang- now where did I put my boom box?

  • chas redmond September 22, 2007 (1:30 pm)

    One of the neighbors ought to get a snapshot of the guy harassing signers and taking down the signs – send it to WSB and let’s all see who it is. If it remains an issue, bring in the Herald and let them do a piece. Perhaps by then the Times and P-I or KOMO/KIRO/KING/FOX will be on it. Surely one of these media will knock on this guy’s door and ask about the cameras and his surreptitious activities. He’s offing the signers – time to out him.

  • Erik September 22, 2007 (8:24 pm)

    We could call on ‘Danger Jim!’

  • Cissy September 26, 2007 (10:27 pm)

    I wanted to hang a small brightly colored banner for my youngest daughters 8th birthday tomorrow. And also next week for my oldest daughters 13th birthday.I had a banner when I turned 18 (almost 20yrs ago). Now I’m afraid to do it for fear of getting a fine! This is ridiculous!!!!! These banner nazi’s are also responsible for the traffic and unsafe conditions on our West Seattle Bridge. No one born and raised in the Emerald City has that ‘holier than thou’ attitude(me included).

Sorry, comment time is over.