(scroll down or refresh for updates; we’ll start a new post when the closure starts @ noon)
We’ll break our Alki “Car-Free Day” coverage today into three reports – before the closure (till noon), during (till 6), afterward (later this evening). First report – Just drove the length of Harbor/Alki starting a few minutes after the parking restrictions took effect at 10 am, driving westbound to 63rd. No tow trucks spotted yet. Did see more than two dozen cars parked in the no-parking zone, though, like these in the 1300 block of Alki:
Parking-enforcement golf carts and some other Seattle Police vehicles are staging at Don Armeni:
SDOT crews are starting here on the west end of the to-be-closed zone and working eastward, placing cones along the center line (the Water Taxi and 56 will run in the lane away from the water).
Heading back the other way shortly to see if any tow trucks have turned up yet. 10:44 AM UPDATE: Back at the police staging area at Don Armeni. Heading southeast through the parking lot (toward Seacrest), just got passed by several officers on Segways. Almost every type of police vehicle is here, including several motorcycles and one of the parking-enforcement Chargers. Still no sign of tow trucks, but looks like some of the cars we spotted parked in the no-parking zone back closer to the beach have since moved. Meantime, the SDOT crew coning off the bus lane has already made it to the 53rd Ave Pump Station zone:
If you were having trouble visualizing exactly where the no-parking zone kicked in at Maryland/Harbor – here’s a look, pointed southeast – this is right by the west entrance to Don Armeni – the street sign toward the right side of the photo is Maryland:
Heading back the other way toward the beach now that Hour 2 of parking restrictions is about to start. Once noon arrives, we also will report on the other side of this – where roads are blocked leading to Alki from the Admiral etc. 11:20 AM UPDATE: Only about a dozen vehicles left parked in the no-parking zone; most appear to have been ticketed (unless that’s something else in the little gold envelopes):
Honey Bucket’s putting out some port-o-lets in spots east of the main beach zone (since you won’t be able to drive to a restroom if you need one????). Most interesting note: Beach-route side streets from Admiral (all the way up to Lander) are already marked off with LOCAL ACCESS ONLY signs – this pic is from 61st/Admiral:
Probably one more pre-closure update to come in this post – then after 12 noon we will start a new post on what’s happening during the actual event, whether the beach is busy (or not, as some fear), etc. 11:56 AM UPDATE: As of about five minutes ago, the side streets were all closed off. Just a few straggler cars parked in the no-parking zone; still no sign of tow trucks, we’ll check later to see if they just stayed put (with envelope under windshield wiper) during the event. We’ll launch the “happening now” post in a couple minutes – just passed a couple of enthusiastic guys out in the street east of 53rd yelling “WE’RE CAR-FREE, HOW ABOUT YOU?” “Gonna be,” we replied. Will be hoofing it shortly (and will start the new post with the sign guy’s photo, provided it came out).