West Seattle, Washington
Nine months have now passed since we first reported the city was planning to review Junction-area parking — a review that could end up with a recommendation for pay stations (which Fremont is currently fighting with the “Keep Fremont Free” campaign). When we last checked on the review’s status, SDOT told us it would start before year’s end, but the bulk of the work would be done next year. That’s still the case – according to a short handout made available after an only-tangentially related meeting we covered tonight (more than 20 West Seattle neighborhood and business leaders, developers, and city reps gathered to start brainstorming a wholistic approach to the Triangle’s future – look for our full report on that, tomorrow). Here’s the entirety of the handout:
West Seattle Junction Parking Study
*The Community Parking Program Team is in the process of identifying the blocks within the West Seattle Junction area that will be studied and finalizing the proposed project schedule.
*A preliminary boundary for the area is:
-SW Dakota St to the North
-SW Brandon St to the South
-Fauntleroy Way SW to the East
-47th Ave SW to the West
*Within the next two weeks, the Parking Assessment Manager will begin conducting outreach to area stakeholders to solicit input on the parking study.
*A mailer announcing the schedule for the West Seattle Junction project will be mailed in December.
*For more information, please contact Dante Taylor — West Seattle/Alaska Junction Parking Assessment Manager.
The city’s official Community Parking Program page is here. Meantime, the proposed study boundaries seem pretty wide (forgive us for not drawing a map, we’ll have one tomorrow) so we’ll be checking on that as a followup. (Our stories on the Junction parking review are archived here, newest to oldest.)
E-mail from “Blue” says somebody stole a backpack like the one you see at left – and they’re hoping it will be returned: “My 12 year old’s school back pack was stolen today around 2:45 pm after school. It was taken right off of the front porch of his friend’s house in a very quiet neighborhood on 47th Ave SW, 1/2 block south of Admiral Way [map], while they stepped inside for a moment. It is really a shame that this should happen. Unfortunately, a large 3” white binder with all of his school work was inside, besides school books, hoodie, etc. If anyone finds this notebook, please call Madison Middle School 252-9200, or please drop it off at Alki Mail & Dispatch if it’s more convenient. The backpack was a skateboard-type pack, Independent brand. All black, with a large red symmetrical cross (the Independent logo) and large red “Independent” letters on the whole back side. My son would really appreciate it if the neighbors in the area can keep an eye out in their bushes & alleys, in case someone threw his binder & school work out. It’s a hard lesson for a kid. Thank you!”
This has come up in comments on other items (like this thread), and in the WSB Forums – what’s up with all the work on Barton, which is a busy thoroughfare for folks traveling to Fauntleroy Church and Fauntleroy YMCA (WSB sponsors) and the businesses in the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse, as well as heading east from the ferry dock and Endolyne businesses? One neighbor pointed out it was gas-line work. We called the Puget Sound Energy media department. Two business days, no callback. So next we tried SDOT, knowing they would at least have had to have issued a permit, and they responded within a few hours. Here’s the information we got back from SDOT communications boss Rick Sheridan:
This work is a major replacement by PSE of part of their infrastructure and is a permitted right-of-way activity. The work will replace more than 8000 feet of pipe and will run through a number of streets in West Seattle. PSE has an approved traffic control plan and we expect them to
be finished by December 6, 2008, though this work can sometime run long.
Our permit requires them to notify everyone who may be affected at least 72 hours before the work in the right-of-way begins. This is a standard period of time required for this type of effort.
We will contact PSE to remind them of this obligation and will also send a Street Use inspector to examine the site.
Given how well-used that stretch of road is, you’d expect notifying “everyone who may be affected” would have involved notices to local media, but it didn’t, so far as we can tell. SDOT itself is good about advance notice of road work in the case of most projects of this scale.
Got that pic after getting word that West Seattleite Mike Seely posted to the Seattle Weekly‘s food/drink blog Voracious that the Tug Tavern (north of Home Depot, next to the Vietnamese Cultural Center) is now the Tug Inn – serving cocktails.
Latest government-budget news with potential direct effects on you: Just got word from the county that it’s figured out how to delay the second half of a proposed 50-cent bus-fare increase till 2010. So that would mean a 25-cent increase next February, 25 more cents at the start of 2010. Here’s the official announcement:Read More
Just one of those government-news-laden days. As promised in our previous report, here’s the official King County Ferry District news release about its $19 million 2009 budget getting unanimous approval at midday today:Read More
Also just out of the inbox, the Seattle Design Commission meeting agenda for this Thursday — and it includes a design review of the “alley vacation” proposal for the Conner Homes two-building development at 42nd/Alaska/California. (Previous WSB coverage here, including links to our original report and Charlie Conner’s response.) The commission meets all day at City Hall; this item is scheduled to come up at 2 pm. The “alley vacation” is being requested so that Conner can use the underground portion of the alley and create one big parking area for both buildings, but there’s been concern, including a petition drive, that the closure time required by the project would harm alley-using businesses to the south. (Final approval on the request would have to come from the City Council.)
Next Monday, the City Council takes its final vote on next year’s budget; today, they’ve just issued the official announcement that they’re done with committee votes. We’re currently combing through the fine print in all the various documents on this page — for example, one item up for consideration today involved a chunk of money coming out of the “skatepark implementation” budget line, so we’ll be checking to see if that will affect the Delridge project, while also looking for other potential local effects – stay tuned. 4:26 PM UPDATE: Here’s what we’ve found out so far: The Delridge skatepark $ could indeed be in jeopardy because it was supposed to come out of that budget line, which has been cut $600,000 for next year, $100,000 for the following year. Also, there is some question about whether the Fauntleroy paving project (which as a side effect spawned the three-lane proposal that we reported, with a followup, last week) might be in jeopardy too – the council has moved some budget $ to a north end project (Linden) that has been decades in the making. The ultimate decision is up to SDOT leadership, we’re told, but since Fauntleroy was the last proposal added to the budget, it would run the risk of being the first one cut.
The decision is in for the appeal of the city’s approval of a proposal to expand a group of cell-phone antennas atop the Soundcrest Apartments (photo above) at 6609 SW Admiral. (WSB was the only news organization with a reporter at the daylong hearing last month at which neighbors argued their appeal of the decision – here’s our report from that day.) It’s a partial victory for the neighbors – deputy Hearing Examiner Anne Watanabe reversed the “conditional use” approval, saying the applicants didn’t present information to show if this was truly the “least intrusive” location possible for the antennas, consistent with city code. However, she affirmed the “determination of nonsignificance” under SEPA (a state environmental law). We’ll be reading through for further details; we’ll also be seeking opinion from the applicants as to what they plan to do next. Meantime, here’s the full text of the Hearing Examiner’s decision. ADDED 4 PM: Jim Borrow, the neighbor who led the appeal presentation in the Hearing Examiner’s hearing room at the Municipal Tower last month, tells WSB he’s still reviewing the decision.
That’s a video compilation with many more angles on the 4532 42nd SW demolition (see our first report here, including links to info on what’s coming to the site), shot and edited by WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli. If you’re interested in checking it out in person, he says the teardown crew’s back at work after lunch break. (This is barely a block north of Alaska on 42nd, one house separated from the Capco Plaza [QFC/Office Depot] megaproject.) ADDED 5:05 PM: Went back just after sunset – nothing left but debris:
The company that launched wireless internet access on Washington State Ferries routes including Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth, Parsons, has just been acquired by Boingo, best known for wi-fi service in airports. Here’s the announcement. This excerpt indicates monthly subscriptions will be cheaper:
The Ferries Wi-Fi network will be moving to a Boingo-branded start page, where commuters and tourists will be able to purchase Boingo AsYouGo day passes for $7.95, as well as Boingo Unlimited for $21.95 per month. Boingo Unlimited is a monthly service that provides Wi-Fi access throughout the Americas and can be used at any Boingo location. For current subscribers to the Washington State Ferries Wi-Fi, the monthly subscription will be a decrease in price from $29.95, and will now include the ability to connect to any hotspot in the Boingo Roaming Network.
ORIGINAL 11:15 AM POST: Just started in the King County Council chambers. Live on cable channel 22 (and online). This is where they are to vote on approving the budget for, and reauthorizing the property-tax levy to run, the King County Ferry District, parent agency of the Elliott Bay Water Taxi (and Seattle-Vashon passenger ferry). 11:34 AM UPDATE: The Ferry District’s $19 million budget for next year has just passed – with councilmembers (sitting as Ferry District directors) noting that it’s reduced from the original plan, because it will include the same levy level as this year, instead of seeking the one percent increase allowable by state law. Adding a few more details shortly. 12:01 PM UPDATE: A full news release is expected shortly, at which time we’ll post separately. In the short run – King County Councilmember Dow Constantine‘s staff explains the tax-rate decision actually means a reduction from this year: The total amount to be collected is the same as last year, so with an increased amount of taxpayers, that means a small drop in the rate. Water Taxi fares will stay the same as this year, and the budget includes more than $2 million for dock improvements at Seacrest (which may not wind up costing that much), which will be discussed in the January 15th public meeting we first reported here a week ago.
Comcast’s Shauna Causey (a West Seattleite) forwarded the news release on these changes launching next month (mid-December in WS, she says) – you might be interested, if that’s your ISP: New megafast, costlier service (up to $139/month) plus potential speed improvements at current service levels:Read More
(added noontime, photo by Christopher Boffoli)
ORIGINAL 9:14 AM POST: Just started a few minutes ago. More to come… ADDED 9:45 AM: iPhone photo:
10:33 AM UPDATE: Uploading video now. Big house, so the job’ll take a few hours. WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli took over at the scene so we could head back to HQ. For past coverage of this site, click here (archive of all mentions, newest to oldest – going back to 2006). A few people who stopped by to watch the demolition this morning in the early going had memories to share – one woman said she needed to go call someone who was born there 75 years ago, when it was a hospital. ADDED 10:48 AM: Video from the “first bite” (to be followed shortly by a clip from further along):
(video no longer available due to blip.tv shutdown)
ADDED 10:56 AM: This clip is from about 20 minutes into the demolition work, as part of the upper story was torn away. As soon as this part was done, a massive cloud of paint etc. flakes wafted across the street to where we were watching, and beyond. Going to have to bring a mask to the next demolition.
(video no longer available due to blip.tv shutdown)
Here’s the rendering of the future project, from the last Design Review Board meeting June 13:
You can see the entire presentation from that meeting here. Meantime, though the passages marked by these types of demolitions certainly can evoke nostalgia, that’s not the case for everyone, particularly when structures like this are left to deteriorate and be vandalized: One neighbor who came by in the early going — who said he’d lived in the area a long, long time and pointed toward the homes further north in the block that will come down for the 42nd/Oregon project — grinned, looking at the demolition work, “It’s about time.”
Another week of double-digit price drops – with most prices about a full dollar lower than a month earlier. Read on for our list of West Seattle gas stations’ prices (for regular and premium) as of a few hours ago (with comparison numbers for previous weeks/months):Read More