West Seattle, Washington
It’s drawn the most support at West Seattle public meetings about what will replace the “central waterfront” section of The Viaduct, which the state vows to take down 2012 no matter what — but the possible option shown above, a retrofit, is one of three options now totally out of the running, according to a state/city/county briefing this afternoon, presented by these three government representatives (left to right, Bob Powers from the city, Ron Paananen from the state, and Ron Posthuma from the county/Metro).
We liveblogged the briefing in detail here; the briefing materials are now available online here; but if you want a summary of what this all boils down to, and a quick look at the renderings for each of the 8 “scenarios” (plus what didn’t make the cut), here goes:Read More
That two-minute video shows you the most emotional moments — out of MANY emotional moments — at tonight’s city-organized public forum about the two West Seattle sites that are among the “final four” possible city-jail locations. Highland Park Elementary teacher Laura Drake truly brought down the house; we were at a table with Highland Park Action Committee leaders and members, and some were dabbing at tears after Drake finished. Concern, as well as raw emotion, also centered around the process, the meeting’s format, the lack of background information about how the city whittled down its original list of sites, and much more – here’s our full report (finalized in the early am):Read More
The jail forum (much more to come) was tonight’s biggest event but not tonight’s only event. At Youngstown Arts Center, area Democrats gathered to help West Seattle’s three state legislators kick off their re-election campaigns: left to right, it’s State Sen. Joe McDermott, State. Reps. Sharon Nelson and Eileen Cody.
And on the other end of Delridge, at Cafe Rozella, that’s Branden Born and Alon Bassok from the University of Washington, who will be there for the next few Thursday nights to chat with anyone and everyone about how the Delridge and White Center areas could be even more livable, framed in the issues central to the King County Food and Fitness Initiative. (6:30 pm next Thursday, join ’em there!)
The jail meeting has wrapped up aside from “individual conversations” for which city reps have stayed, and Highland Park residents among others are busily engaging them in those conversations. The meeting got very emotional at times, particularly in the last 15 minutes or so during which the city reps were supposed to be addressing the concerns raised by small groups – but meeting attendees became very frustrated with the lack of specifics. Bottom line is that the city held this to gather public comment and notes that the final decision is still about a year away – a key point on the timeline will be a consultant study due next month that supposedly will show whether the city is on the right track in pursuing a low-rise option, or should perhaps pursue a high-rise option, which could send the whole thing back to the drawing board. Also ahead – the County Council is reportedly going to talk Monday about the proposal to extend its jail agreement with the cities. More to come.
We’re at the Machinists’ Union Lodge in South Park for the first of two city-organized public forums on the two proposed West Seattle sites in the running for a possible city misdemeanor jail. The Highland Park Action Committee has a big presence here, of course – that’s HPAC’s Dina Johnson above, in the lodge hall with one of the signs group members have brought (cameraphone photo, sorry it’s not clearer). We’re NOT currently planning to liveblog the meeting – but if you are interested in occasional updates, follow us on Twitter, where we probably will post a few updates (twitter.com, and sign up to follow westseattleblog) if the wireless signal holds – a little spotty so far. The actual meeting doesn’t start till 6:30 – right now folks are milling about chatting; some citywide media crews are here. The agenda will include a “brief background presentation” at 6:40, small-group sessions to gather public comments and report back to the full group; at 8:40, it’s “city responses to issues raised,” closing comments at 8:55, meeting scheduled to end at 9 pm. (If you missed this one, the second city-organized public forum is July 26 at South Seattle Community College, 9 am, and HPAC will meet again 7 pm July 21.) 7:39 PM UPDATE: Highland Park Elementary teacher Laura Drake brought down the house with a speech full of fury and heartfelt emotion – some people are actually crying – we have it on video and will post it as soon as we get home when this is over; we can guarantee you’ll see part of it on the 11 pm news (though tv self-limits to about 20 seconds – we’ll show you the whole 2 to 3 minutes).
We took that photo in The Junction this morning, then checked to see what the signs were for — a little sealing work tonight, we were told, no big deal. Well, now the city has issued an advisory because the work’s been pushed back, so if you’re planning on Junction nightlife late tomorrow night, you should be forewarned – read on:Read More
We’re still working on our summary of the briefing we liveblogged earlier – where state/city/county reps presented the 8 “scenarios” now under consideration to replace the “central waterfront” section of the Alaskan Way Viaduct – but in the meantime, we wanted to let you know the meeting materials including artist renderings have just been posted online; find them here (look for Scenario A through Scenario H).
Update on our post from this morning … here’s what we saw as we just passed through 35th/Morgan headed southbound on our way home from the Viaduct briefing downtown (liveblog notes here; summary still in the works, along with images of the options – if WSDOT doesn’t put them online soon, we’ll take pix of the printouts we have).
As we wrap up at the Viaduct briefing downtown (check out our live-blog notes in previous post; full summary later), here are two West Seattle items just in from the city Parks Department – more money for Morgan Junction’s park, which had been described at the last public meeting as in need of more $ for the favored design, plus a delay in construction of the Hiawatha Playfield improvements:Read More
(3:13 pm note, the briefing is now over – all notes below – we will write into a summary later.)
We’re downtown, 24th floor of the Wells Fargo Building (view above is from the briefing room), headquarters of the Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seawall Replacement Program, for the briefing on the Alaskan Way Viaduct progress so far – will post notes here as it goes. NOTES: 8 possible scenarios identified so far … A-C surface, D-E above ground solutions, F-H are below ground “SR 99 components.” No longer any 6 lane replacements in the solutions they are considering. All are 4-lane, either elevated or below-ground. Retrofit is “one of the solutions we are not considering any further.” Scenario A highlights: this solution is a 4-lane surface street on surface Alaskan Way, combined with a lot of improvements to downtown, I-5, increased transit … Ron Paananen was laying out the previous … Bob Powers: these are systems approaches … government leaders directed us to go back and look at those … that’s why Ron said six lanes no longer being considered … we have assembled the building blocks, these are the system approaches to the solutions … Paananen: We think we’ve learned all we need to know about 6-lane solutions through previous efforts … the 2 we boiled it down to a little over a year ago, couldn’t advance any further .. looking at the problem differently … looking at it in a way we don’t NEED A FULL CAPACITY SOLUTION … because of improvements on streets, transit … Powers: A is “low capital solution” … looking at trying to add a transit lane from Olive to 520 northbound on 5 … changes in HOV lanes southbound … (We note, the Scenario A map takes into account a Delridge Rapid Ride bus route as well as the other one already on the drawing board) … Powers: 2 lanes in each direction along the waterfront on Alaskan Way, with signalized intersections up to the Battery Street Tunnel going northbound, you’d go through tunnel, there would be signalized intersections north of there … “intent is to reconnect the grid system E-W north of the Battery St Tunnel” … NOTE: This will be long so we are breaking it off to its own page. Click the post headline and keep refreshing if you want to follow the notes.Read More
That’s Captain Joe Kessler and Sgt. Jeff Durden of the Southwest Precinct receiving the first batched of printed-out thank-you/get-well messages for Officer Jason McKissack, from the message-sending campaign organized by the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council. If you haven’t sent yours yet, today’s the last day – this is wrapping up at the end of the night. Go here to send a message and to see some of the ones already sent. (Officer McKissack, by the way, is doing OK and continuing to recover at home.)
Thanks to Erin for the tip on this – she spotted that new basket of pedestrian flags at Avalon/Yancy (map) – while out and about this morning, we spotted two others on California SW, one north of The Junction, one south. The basket says they’re from SDOT and bears the slogan “Grab, Walk, Wave” – we’re checking to see if more are on the way (we checked some previously flag-bearing intersections around WS like the notorious 47th/Admiral, and it still has the old orange flags). Also seen while out and about:
The signal at 35th/Morgan is off at the moment (see the temporary stop sign at lower left) and a new configuration of turn lights appears to be on the way — this view is facing south on 35th.
Wendy Hughes-Jelen of High Point sent that photo along with a link to her blog post about spotting that car at Hans VW on 35th. We traced the number to the website for Datel Communications — in Avon, MA — then called to ask what it was doing here. A very polite and patient lady who probably has to answer that question dozens of times a day explained that it’s now a fulltime “art car” touring the country and even has its own website, thephonecar.com (where you can also see its creator pictured with his extensive telephone collection). Subsequent searching reveals it was at the Fremont street festival last weekend and mentioned in a Big Blog post before a Seward Park stop last week.
JAIL: Tonight is the first of two city-organized public forums about the two potential jail sites in West Seattle. This one’s in nearby South Park, 6 pm, 9125 15th Place S. (Archived WSB coverage of the jail-sites fight map). (is here.)
VIADUCT: This afternoon, city, county and state officials will discuss where the search for a “central waterfront” Viaduct replacement stands, before the Viaduct Stakeholders’ Committee has its next meeting. We’ll be at the briefing downtown at 2 pm; the public is welcome at the committee’s meeting, 4 pm, City Hall.
SAFETY: If you’re in southeast West Seattle or White Center, the South Delridge/WC Community Safety group meets tonight, 6 pm, St. James Place (9421 18th SW). As with the nawly renamed West Seattle Crime Prevention Council, this group focuses on crime and other safety issues and gets updates from law enforcement – with free dinner as a bonus.
CAMPAIGNS: West Seattle’s three state legislators – Sen. Joe McDermott, Rep. Eileen Cody, and Rep. Sharon Nelson – are having a joint reelection-campaign kickoff event at Youngstown Arts Center, 5:30 pm.
Those are just four of today’s highlights – see more on our West Seattle Events Calendar.