West Seattle, Washington
(this post covered updates till 12:33 am Sunday; the next post is here)
(video from California/Thistle [map], added 8:50 pm)
At least here on one of the “higher hills,” as the forecast always refers to it. We have at least two Twitter reports of Alki/Beach Drive snow, too, so it seems to be West Seattle-wide. Adding photographic evidence shortly. “Teensy little flakes,” reports the snow-country-born half of the team, “must be REALLY cold up there (in the clouds).” Forecast has warned of the possibility of snow “showers” so we’ll see how long this lasts. 8:46 PM UPDATE: Getting heavier. And drivers on our hill are starting to sound, shall we say, challenged. Send pix if you have ’em! firstname.lastname@example.org
CLICK TO SEE THE REST OF OUR SATURDAY NIGHT SNOW UPDATES, WHICH CONTINUED TILL WE STARTED A NEW POST AFTER MIDNIGHT:Read More
That video’s from the windswept shore at Seacrest less than an hour ago, as the Christmas Ship and its entourage visited to serenade onlookers with holiday music by Northwest Girlchoir Vivace. A different choir — Canterbury Belles — will be on board when the Christmas Ship stops at Lowman Beach (8:50 tonight) and Alki (9:40 tonight); Soundwave will sing during its stop at Don Armeni at 7:10 pm tomorrow. Here’s the full schedule for the rest of its season. (If you’re new to the area – the Christmas Ship is a civic enterprise of sorts, in partnership with tour-boat operators Argosy Cruises; different choirs are on board the boat as it makes scheduled stops throughout much of December, and in addition to listening for free from the shore, you also can pay to be on the Christmas Ship itself — sold out for the rest of this season, but there’s room on some of the “follow boat” voyages — that same schedule page will lead you through the ticketing process.)
In the two days since the two “scenarios” for Alaskan Way Viaduct Central Waterfront replacement were announced — one, a “couplet” of surface streets; the other, a new single-deck viaduct, 2 side-by-side structures — we have brought you expanded comments from some well-known voices: The West Seattleites on the Stakeholders Advisory Committee, Vlad Oustimovitch of Gatewood (read his thoughts here) and Pete Spalding of Pigeon Point (read his, here), as well as former West Seattle Herald editor Jack Mayne (read his guest editorial here). Tonight, another voice, advocating on behalf of West Seattle economic concerns: the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce. WSB received a copy yesterday of this letter sent Thursday to area elected officials:
Re: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Options
Dear Governor Gregoire, Executive Sims and Mayor Nickels:
The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce adopted position statements in May 2006 on various transportation issues. Included in this document is a position for the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement project:
The Alaskan Way Viaduct capacity needs to be fully replaced in either an elevated or tunnel alternative, the “boulevard” concept is unworkable.
Importantly, the current plan to remove all viaduct capacity during two years of construction is completely unacceptable due to the disastrous consequences of such a plan to both commuters and emergency vehicles.
These positions were adopted after very careful consideration. While the West Seattle Peninsula continues to absorb great population growth (home to approximately 20% of the City’s population), our region has failed to be recognized as meriting the transportation and economic infrastructure that it deserves to create a community that can be self sustaining.
Given this dynamic, West Seattle’s population continues to seek employment, medical care, goods and services that are situated off of the Peninsula. Our community sends thousands of cars OFF of the peninsula onto SR-99 and I-5 every day (presently including the Southworth and Vashon ferry traffic as well as industrial / freight transport) and thousands of cars returning each day. Our gravest concern is that the construction impacts along the waterfront will impede our community’s ability to access job, critical medical care, and services not available on the peninsula. It is equally clear that the re-routing of traffic to I-5 will cause great hardship to our commuters, our businesses, the neighboring industrial community, and emergency vehicles. We must remind you ALL that access to jobs and medical care is paramount.
We have strong concerns about the long term impacts of a surface design and strongly urge you to retain at least one tunnel option on the short list.
The tunnel options provide for on-going movement to the downtown corridor during construction; lessens the overall impact of any additional congestion on I-5; maintains capacity for freight and commuters thereby easing a significant burden on West Seattle; and after completion, provides for both through access and an improved waterfront boulevard, the best of both worlds.
We request you give careful consideration to the long term impacts on the West Seattle community that would result should a surface option be implemented. We formally request a more thorough investigation and disclosure of genuine economic and social impacts on the West Seattle community as a whole.
The superficial and cosmetic appeal of a surface option will quickly disappear when the West Seattle Bridge and Spokane Street Viaduct become parking lots; when Alaskan Way, Second Avenue and Fourth Avenue become truck routes; and traffic sits idling at stop light congesting our streets.
We urge officials to preserve the tunnel options and consider truly “putting people first.”
Our organization is committed to working with state, county and city transportation agencies to bring about change for the good, to help meet the demands, but our adopted positions are ones that speak clearly on behalf of our community.
Thank you for your attention.
(West Seattle Chamber of Commerce board)
Thanks to those who have shared their Viaduct opinions with us so far; there’s still room, and time for more (email@example.com) – and your comments are vital too. All WSB Alaskan Way Viaduct coverage is archived here, newest to oldest; project information is at alaskanwayviaduct.org; and as mentioned previously, an important opportunity to voice your opinion “in person” is the public forum at Town Hall this Monday night, starting at 5 pm (here’s a map/directions to TH). To read what citywide news sources are reporting about the Viaduct, see the latest links on the WSB “More” page (which also automatically picks up citywide media coverage of West Seattle).
(photo added 3:26 pm, after SUV was righted, view from slope on north side of bridge at Avalon end)
ORIGINAL 2:36 PM POST: Westbound bridge is closed – that word from Desiree – not sure how far it extends but we are en route to check out a “heavy rescue” call westbound on The Bridge at Admiral, which undoubtedly is the reason why. More shortly. The traffic camera that points westward in that area isn’t showing much, but the one pointing eastbound shows the lanes empty all the way back to 99, which suggests there is a detour or barricade that far back. 2:52 PM UPDATE: Looks like the westbound bridge is open again – traffic camera now shows vehicles heading that way. Patrick found a viewpoint and sees a maroon SUV, on its side, that’s apparently about to be hauled/towed away. He also saw an aid car leaving the scene. 3:02 PM UPDATE: There may still be some slowing for a bit – authorities are checking now for any “(oil) sheen” on the bridge and getting ready to clear the scene – sounds like SDOT will sand the area after the wreckage is cleared – it appears that traffic is now being diverted off at the Admiral exit till the towing and sanding is done (Patrick is watching from the Fauntleroy foot bridge). So if you’re seeing this from downtown or points further east, a good idea to delay your trip West Seattle-bound for a while. 3:28 PM UPDATE: Still no word on the people who were in the SUV that crashed; this photo is from Sharonn Meeks, looking at where the bridge was blocked off just past Admiral:
Just back from a whirlwind visit to two holiday bazaar/sale events under way in West Seattle till 3 pm. Above, sisters Danielle Aguilar and Bri’Anna Smith are selling not just warm handmade hats at the Delridge Community Center bazaar, but also the coolest recycled-material lunch bags we’ve seen in a while — quilted out of plastic grocery bags. Bri’Anna makes it all and you can find her online at myspace.com/knitagainstthemachine – meantime, we found another West Seattle sister team selling holiday-gift treats (including flavored nuts and creatively packaged candies) nearby:
Those are from Twisted Sisters Emporium, created by Connie O’Donnell and Diane Radischat (who you may know from Special Editions Studio). Also at Delridge Community Center till 3 pm, those gorgeous West Seattle Hi-Yu Festival handmade glass ornaments, with Hi-Yu Queen Margo Femiano and Junior Court Princess Anna Fuller on hand:
Next, it’s over to C & P Coffee, where a cozy but bustling arts/crafts sale also continues till 3 pm. We were captivated by these neighborhood-pride (little map segments of West Seattle and other Seattle neighborhoods) magnets that Cyn Moore (cyncity pendants) is selling:
More of today’s events (Christmas Ship tonight – three West Seattle stops!) are listed on the WSB West Seattle Weekend Lineup.
(photo added 12:15 pm; Cooper parent Brittany Abbott at the info display)
Just got word that Cooper Elementary is getting the “Save Cooper” word out today with a table at the Delridge Community Center bazaar that’s continuing till 3 pm. Otherwise, next official meetings in the process are Tuesday’s 6:30 pm hearing at Genesee Hill, with speaker signups already under way, and Wednesday’s 6 pm School Board meeting at district HQ in Sodo (speaker signups start Monday morning).
THE CHILL: Snow or no, just be ready for COLD by nighttime. Latest analysis here.
THE FUN: Click here to go directly to the Saturday section of the West Seattle Weekend Lineup. A few new listings came in after we published it yesterday, so even if you checked once, worth another look! (If you’re shopping, our Coupons have discounts and freebies.)