West Seattle, Washington
As was evidenced again in the discussion after the 35th/Juneau crash the other day (original coverage here, followup here; today’s update here), there are many things that could be done to make our roads safer. But there’s no arguing that some of the responsibility lies with all of us as drivers. To that point, Lt. Steve Paulsen at the Southwest Precinct wanted to share these thoughts (and some info):
I regularly receive a varying mix of opinions from our community in regard to value of traffic enforcement and its overall importance to public safety/saving lives.
In the last week since school has started, I have noticed an increase in traffic collisions. Most are due to speed or just not paying attention to driving, i.e. … cellphones, GPS navigation screens, DVD players, reading the paper, putting on makeup, shaving, eating…
I attend a number of community meetings from every part of our fine West Seattle community. The single most common complaint the Seattle Police Department receives from each neighborhood is traffic-related. We are fortunate to have regular assistance in West Seattle from our Traffic Section, who have City-wide responsibility in patrolling our neighborhoods to ensure traffic and pedestrian safety.
I realize that our citizens are very busy and with the advent of technology, they have become increasingly distracted while driving.
To my fellow West Seattle folks….Please slow down and pay attention when you are driving. School has started, we have children walking around…We have more people riding bicycles and motorcycles, which as you know are difficult to see at times. Anticipate each intersection, whether controlled or not, as a potential accident location…Keep an eye out for pedestrians and joggers who may be hooked into their iPods and not paying attention to traffic…
Here are a few of our regularly enforced areas … No surprises here! We would much rather have you slow down than to have to write the citations.
All School zones during school hours
West Seattle Freeway
35th Ave SW
16th Ave SW
Highland Park Dr
1st Ave S near the bridge
Thanks again, please be safe out there and watch out for each other!
Lieutenant Steven Paulsen
P.S. We originally drafted this early today, before hearing from Denise Sharify re: the 35th/Juneau accident survivor (as we reported this afternoon, she’s out of the hospital). Denise is hoping to work with the High Point Neighborhood Association to revive the High Point-specific Pedestrian Safety Committee that worked on many issues in recent months, some of which have been addressed with city responses such as the new 35th/Raymond light upgrade and the 34th/Morgan crosswalk.
Just so you can’t say we didn’t give you the heads-up (more than a dozen of them, actually, going all the way back to first word six weeks ago): Tomorrow’s the day that the third of the city’s three “Car-Free Days” this summer will shut down Alki SW (and a bit of Harbor) to most traffic from Harbor/California Way to Alki/63rd (see map above, and click it to see the doorhanger from which it was taken), noon-6 pm. No-parking signs have been up since Thursday; 10 am tomorrow, two hours before the actual road closures, the no-parking rules take effect, from Maryland (map) to 63rd. We will be posting updates – with photos as well as info – from the area by then, watching to see whether anyone gets towed; then, as noon gets closer (as we did on the 4th of July) reporting on the street closures; and once noon arrives, we’ll post updates on the activities that are under way (here’s our preview) and how many people are actually down on Alki to participate (will it be the “ghost town” some predicted? in less than 15 hours, we’ll find out). More questions? Here’s our post from yesterday with the final official city advisory; here’s the city’s own information page about the event. Once things start kicking in around 10 am, if you have anything to report, please e-mail us, or text or tweet (see the Contact page for all the different options). P.S. We walked the Alki business district this afternoon looking for any evidence any businesses are closing tomorrow because they think it’ll be quiet (as had been hinted when this was first announced); found NO evidence – let us know, though, if you’ve heard of any, otherwise we’ll be checking on that again tomorrow too.
Heading back to WSB HQ a few hours ago after the Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza ceremony, we spotted three Seattle Police cars rushing from Fauntleroy to northbound California, with rollers and sirens; we lost track of them, and couldn’t pick up anything obvious from the scanner, so later when we ran into Lt. Steve Paulsen on Alki, we asked what that call was about – he didn’t have tons of details but said it was a burglar “on Beach Drive” and “we got him.” Then a bit later, we got the rest of the story in this note from Megan:
Around 2:25 this afternoon I came home to a very panicked neighbor on her cellphone. She walked in on a well-dressed 5’8ish African American robbing her. This was in the middle of a Saturday afternoon. In a secure condo building. Luckily, a nice husband and wife heard her yelling for help and came to her aid. The African American ran down Beach Drive. The husband in pursuit. As she was on the phone with 911, a cop drove by, who she flagged down. A description was given. I had a friend I was meeting down on Alki and it looked as if they had arrested a suspect by 2:40 p.m. Great Job, SPD! I did want to give a heads up to everyone though, considering that this was in the middle of a Saturday afternoon. I would have never thought such a thing would happen like that.
P.S. To be a little more specific about the location – this happened around the 4200 block of Beach Drive.
From Denise Sharify, who works for Neighborhood House in High Point and has long been an advocate for pedestrian-safety improvements in the area, we get word that the 15-year-old HP girl hit by an SUV at 35th/Juneau on Thursday is out of the hospital. Denise says, “It is a miracle she seems to be okay with a concussion and minor abrasions.” Denise is hoping to work with the HP Neighborhood Association and the city on pushing for more improvements; we will have more on that, plus a safety-related plea from a local police leader, in another WSB report later tonight; first, we wanted to pass along the good news about the accident victim as soon as we heard it.
Karen Berge was a little startled to see this sight in her neighborhood a short time ago (the photo was taken at 36th/Dawson) – a group of mostly unclad bicyclists. We don’t think this photo shows anything X-rated; and we’re pretty sure (from what one guy has written on his back – BURN FAT, NOT OIL – visible in a larger version of the photo) that it’s got something to do with this protest (warning, link includes some actual nudity; bottom line to the protest, pun not intended, under the umbrella of the “World Naked Bike Ride,” is to call attention to what “the dangers of oil dependence” and the dangers faced by cyclists and pedestrians). Karen said they were last seen “heading north”; makes sense since as we were about to publish this, we got word they’d just gone through the Admiral District (past Click! Design That Fits, WSB sponsor, who sent that tip). 6:18 PM UPDATE: After posting this and leaving the house for a while, received reports of the bicyclists being spotted pretty much all over West Seattle – Alki, Lincoln Park, etc., plus a few more photos, like this one taken by Bill Schrier as they pedaled north on California through the Admiral intersection:
ADDED 7:06 PM: And here’s a photo from California/Oregon, courtesy of Mac, followed by some info our original spotter, Karen, found online:
Karen found a wiki all about the ride; even an online flyer. It says this was the last of three such protest rides in Seattle this year. Side note — almost everyone who reported sightings included some variation of the line we almost used as our first headline on this post – “West Seattle, or Fremont?”!
Almost exactly a year after the recast Alki Statue of Liberty was unveiled for the first time – it was unveiled again this afternoon during the dedication ceremony for the Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza, which also included a ribboncutting for the plaza itself — as you can see in our video, a beautiful sight with a city fireboat show just offshore (and a little bit of a breeze-fueled snag before the draping came off!). Hundreds of people were on hand, including many who worked on the project, and even some of the men (like Harald Sund, featured in this P-I story) who were among the Boy Scouts that helped dedicate the original statue (which is now on display at the Log House Museum‘s gift shop) more than half a century ago; the city was represented by West Seattle-residing Councilmember Tom Rasmussen (who chairs the Parks and Seattle Center Committee) and Parks Department Deputy Superintendent Christopher Williams (they’re standing screen-right from Plaza Project Committee co-chairs Paul and Libby Carr in this short clip of the ribboncutting):
We’ll add a few more notes and images later, but first an advisory: If you’re going to the luminaria-lit concert at the plaza tonight, it was announced at the ceremony that the time has been moved up to 7 pm – we’ll have some video of the concert, luminaria, and hopefully the new pedestal’s lantern, in addition to some more of today’s sights and sounds. (All WSB Alki Statue of Liberty coverage is archived here, including many updates from the past 14 months of plaza fundraising and construction.)
The White Center Food Bank (which also serves part of southern West Seattle) is getting a boost from an artistic fundraiser under way now at Avalon Glassworks: Proprietor Shannon Felix explains, “We’ve made big, beautiful green glass apples with white stems which sell for $80, of which 50% goes directly to the White Center Food Bank. They are limited-edition, signed and numbered, six-inch apples. The $40 proceeds from each apple equate to approximately 200 pounds of food for the food bank.” Avalon Glassworks is on Avalon just south of The Bridge, by Luna Park Cafe (map) – and according to its website, if you visit 2-5 pm today, you can see glassblowing happening live (the site mentions other dates too)!
Quick highlights from the West Seattle Weekend Lineup:
ALL DAY TODAY, AND INTO THE NIGHT: 11 am is the start time for the Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza dedication celebration, which continues on into the evening, with the actual dedication ceremony at 1:30 pm; schedule here.
MIDDAY TODAY: The first Grad Night fundraiser car wash of the year for West Seattle High School‘s Class of ’09 is 10 am-2 pm in the school’s parking lot. Bonus for all patrons and volunteers: Hotwire Coffee (WSB sponsor) donated coffee gift certificates!