West Seattle, Washington
LOST A TIRE ON THE BRIDGE? Somebody in a red truck did, and Lee‘s got it. E-mail us if it’s yours.
PIRATE RADIO: Didn’t realize West Seattle had a “pirate radio” station (and no, we don’t mean Seafair Pirates), but apparently it does and its operators reportedly intend to broadcast the Federal Communications Commission media-ownership hearing that’s happening downtown tomorrow afternoon & evening. More if/when we hear them hit the air.
CAN YOU HELP THIS MOVIEMAKER? Or — do you want to be in a commercial? For more on both questions, check out the note Chris Hill sent us:Read More
Busy night – WSB team members have been to the High Point Neighborhood Association pedestrian safety tour (video on that later) and a couple stops along the monthly West Seattle Art Walk in The Junction. Participation is especially strong on the north end, where we dropped in on Ginomai at the SW corner of 42nd/Genesee, which opens artists’ working studios during the Art Walk, and Divina (California/Genesee), where student art from several schools around West Seattle is on display – if you missed it during the Art Walk, you can check it out at Divina any time till the day before Thanksgiving – here are just a few samples (the wire sculptures at the bottom of the photo, and more hanging from the shop ceiling, are particularly cool):
While in The Junction, we also noticed Shadowland‘s sign is up – we’ve discussed its quirky exterior here before, and will check back in daylight for a wider, brighter perspective:
One week ago tonight, West Seattle bicyclist Peter McKay was shot while riding on Delridge, not far from his home. No one is under arrest yet, but local groups are doing what they can to change that: Read here and here about Seattle International Randonneurs and the Bicycle Alliance of Washington raising more than $5,000 so far to give somebody the impetus to bring the culprits in. (If you want to donate, all three of the links in the preceding line will send you to the right place.)
We monitored some of this afternoon’s King County Ferry District hearing on the water taxi and other proposed foot-ferry operations. The district board members, aka King County Council members, had just received the proposed operations plan/budget (which we are awaiting to pass on to you) — they have a lot of decisions to make, and the next meeting is Tuesday morning. One thing we were glad to hear — toward the end of the meeting, West Seattle’s KC Councilmember Dow Constantine talked about the excellent in-person turnout (we saw some known WSB readers at the podium!) and also the fact more than 50 people submitted “online testimony” — for which the specific link was created after a WSB reader asked about it. Way to go for public participation, and stand by for more details on the decisions to be made and how it will affect you, both in terms of transportation and taxation. 4:15 PM UPDATE: Here are those details, contained for starters in the County Executive’s “transmittal letter” (read the full text here) — we’re still reading through it ourselves, but one topline is the proposed funding plan (quoting from the document now): “a property tax levy of 5.5 cents per $1,000 of assessed value over ten years.”
There’s a real bulletin this time around in the semiweekly city Land Use Information Bulletin that just came out: A request to rezone both sides of California, between Hanford and Hinds on the east side, and from Hanford to 100′ south of Hinds on the west side. If this is granted, the zoning would change from NC1-30′ (the last number is max height) to NC2-40′. Looking now to find out more about what’s behind this, but wanted to pass it along in the short run – we’ve been following the LUIB fairly closely for more than a year and haven’t seen anything like this in that time.
-A citywide challenge to gather 6 tons of toys for Toys for Tots by next Monday is under way now. Organizers tell us there are four dropoff locations in West Seattle: Curious Kidstuff, Seattle Lutheran High School, and the two Radio Shack stores, and the drive is being organized by a West Seattle-based PR firm (Janet Wainwright Public Relations, which, data point, otherwise focuses on Northwest publicity campaigns for 13 major movie studios).
-Several major events happening tonight in WS; they’re all on the WSB Events page but we wanted to give them one more shoutout: The monthly West Seattle Art Walk; the rescheduled International Baccalaureate informational night at Chief Sealth HS; opening night for “The Crucible” at West Seattle HS; and for development-watchers, the Southwest Design Review Board is back in action tonight, 6:30 pm at the Southwest Precinct, taking a look at this Junction project.
-Mini-update on Westcrest Park concerns: Reader e-mail says two squad cars and one uniformed officer, patroling on foot, were spotted at the park, so it may be getting some of the attention concerned citizens asked for.
-If you see this post after 2 pm today, you should be able to watch the King County Ferry District public hearing live via KCTV (here’s the link). P.S. Ferry District board members (aka KC Councilmembers) are just listening/discussing today; they vote next Tuesday morning.
Just in, courtesy of this city press release: Remember the call for citizen votes earlier this fall on how to spend city money on neighborhood transportation projects? From the long list of West Seattle nominees, the mayor is recommending approval of two sidewalk projects: Alki Avenue from 65th to Beach Drive (stretching west from the area above where the sidewalk ends now), and in east West Seattle, a sidewalk along 30th between Findlay and Juneau.
We weren’t here for the years before the “high bridge,” but we understand life was quite different when everyone trying to cross the Duwamish into and out of West Seattle was at the mercy of marine traffic. Now, we have the “high bridge” (completed in 1984) and the “low bridge” (completed in 1991), which elegantly swings open to allow marine traffic to get through. It’s that bridge Jennifer e-mailed WSB about to suggest a discussion:
I was wondering if there has been any discussion on the WSB or elsewhere about the opening of the lower bridge during rush hour? I began a daily trip across the lower bridge about two months ago, in order to reach my son’s day care on East Marginal, and I’m continually amazed at how frequently the lower bridge is opened around 8 AM and 5 PM, peak traffic times. Combine it with trains, the hellish traffic light at Spokane/West Marginal, and the occasional accident on the West Seattle Bridge (and all the folks who think they’ll beat the traffic by hopping down to the lower bridge), the roads leading to the lower bridge are gridlocked quite frequently.
Before I incur the wrath of indignant commenters (Ride the bus! Find daycare closer to home! Don’t complain because ships are people too! Go back to California!) I’d like to point out that this isn’t a whiney complaint; I’m really just interested to know what folks might know about it. I’m surprised that the trucking traffic coming out of all the Port terminals doesn’t take precedence over the ships passing through. Is there really a well-devised plan to take into account the needs of ship traffic, weighted against the huge traffic tie-ups that result during certain hours of the day? Forget the measly little commuters in their SUVs – what about the business impact to the industry in the area?
Also, my observation is that the lower bridge affects everyone who commutes in and out of WS – including bus riders, bicyclists, workers in the Duwamish area, truckers, and everyone on the ‘big’Â bridge – because when the lower bridge is closed, everyone heads up there and does some kind of crazy u-turn in the 1st Avenue South area.
Thanks for any insights.
Here’s what the Seattle Department of Transportation has to say about it. (The bottom-line quote from that link, “The Southwest Spokane Street Swing Bridge opens on demand, even during rush hour.”)
Tonight before the High Point Neighborhood Association meets (6 pm, High Point Library), members of its Pedestrian Safety Committee plan a walking tour with City Council President Nick Licata. One of the recent tragedies that concern this group and other West Seattle residents is the accident at 35th/Othello on October 27th that killed longtime area resident and educator/engineer/inventor Oswald Clement. His memorial is now set for next Wednesday (11/14) at St. James Cathedral, according to friend and former student Sharon Stone, who has written an obituary to tell us all more about Mr. Clement and his life, which ended just two days short of his 86th birthday:Read More