West Seattle snow aftermath: “Loose ends” open thread

We’ll be checking on several things today – including a UPS followup and non-pothole road questions. Any other loose ends or followups on your mind? Post a comment or e-mail WSB.

46 Replies to "West Seattle snow aftermath: "Loose ends" open thread"

  • JayDee December 30, 2008 (8:27 am)

    In trying to get a wayward UPS package (a bottle of wine, which requires an adult signature) redelivered from my home to my office, the UPS service contact said early this AM that they would not be able to deliver the package today or tomorrow (Wednesday) because they will not be shifting packages from the trucks they are on today or Wednesday. They could deliver it on Friday, but the office is closed Friday. I rescheduled it for next Monday since I am pretty sure it will keep with our winter weather.

    In addition, UPS’s tracking software confused two shipments I received this week, indicating that they’d tried twice with the latest package, when they only tried once.

    So if you are in the same situation, perhaps this will provide some information about UPS’s plans. What Can Brown Do for You?

  • JH December 30, 2008 (8:32 am)

    Having a bottle of wine delivered to the office sounds very good to me right now.

  • alywest December 30, 2008 (8:46 am)

    I noticed that heading south on 35th from Raymond to Othello, the white lines are gone. This making it hard to stay in your own lane. Are there plans to repaint them?

  • JW December 30, 2008 (8:58 am)

    Recycle was never picked up yesterday on the east side of 55th Ave SW (between Genesee and Charleston) but was collected on the west side of the street. Anyone else in this situation? Does Waste Management plan on collecting what was missed yesterday today or will we have to wait another week or two to get this stuff collected? My bin is overflowing and I don’t want to leave it on the curb where the next wind storm will scatter everything around the neighborhood once again……..

  • Preggo December 30, 2008 (9:03 am)

    JW, the same situation happened to us yesterday and was literally across the alley. I was miffed.

    But this morning I heard the raucous beeping of the truck, and there they were! Collecting our recycling, and they were in a hurry, literally running with someone else’s container, and then ours, to the truck. There were 2 workers plus a driver. They really are out there. Good luck!

  • Jen December 30, 2008 (9:04 am)

    Our recycle was not taken either … 44th and Genesee. I’d love to know what to expect for pickup as we are overflowing like everyone else …

  • Preggo December 30, 2008 (9:08 am)

    WSB, this whole snow debacle (snowbacle?) has got me thinking gravely about how emergency situations will be handled by the city and county in the future.
    But in terms of West Seattle itself, are there any go-to places, physical or online, for when a disaster strikes? I’m not wishing for one! But it would be helpful to know for future reference. Also do you have links in place for preparedness, where to buy emergency kits, how to put one together etc.
    Maybe there could be monthly meetings somewhere for preparedness in our neighborhood, for whatever situation folks want to address. Clearly the WSB has something going here, an expanded network of folks who are vigilant and outspoken as well, and that’s a valuable commodity to have in a ‘hood.

  • JH December 30, 2008 (9:12 am)

    The white lane lines on the WS bridge are very faded also.

  • rbj December 30, 2008 (9:13 am)

    I was wondering what the law is regarding shoveling sidewalks. I noticed that maybe 10% of people on my block shoveled their sidewalks while the rest complained about not being able to drive or catch a bus.

    If this happens again, and I shovel my sidewalk and walk to work when it does, is there someone I can call to report those lazy hypocrites?

  • JW December 30, 2008 (9:14 am)


    SDART (Seattle Disaster Aid and Response Teams) has an info packet that you and neighbors might be interested in. Website: http://www.cityofseattle.net/emergency_mgt. Phone:206 233 7123.


  • stb December 30, 2008 (9:23 am)

    FedEx came through yesterday but we are still waiting on several UPS packages.

  • Preggo December 30, 2008 (9:33 am)

    Excellent, JW, many thanks for posting!

  • Rick December 30, 2008 (9:33 am)

    Those all important new “sharrows” have been sanded off. How will I know if I’m riding my bicycle on the street or sidewalk now? Maybe Greg has another painting contractor cousin who could repaint them?

  • P December 30, 2008 (9:46 am)

    how about replacing of the street lights? I would say at least 1/2 of the lights on the west seattle bridge are out. Also, I have turned in many pole numbers over the past year and they have never been fixed. On 35th there are several intersections with almost all lights out. I would like to hear about this issue.

  • mae December 30, 2008 (9:50 am)

    rbj…regarding the shoveling of sidewalks – we constantly shoveled the sidewalk leading to our house but my postman (who came EVERY day!) said he was surprised I was shoveling because the bare sidewalks could be more slippery. We did not shovel the main sidewalk because of this and also there were so many people our on sleds and skis that it was easier for them to be on packed snow instead of icy pavement.
    We have a shoveling tip since we were using our flat ended metal gardening shovel as we didn’t have a plastic snow shovel – if the metal shovel ices up spray it with Pam!

  • wsguy December 30, 2008 (10:00 am)

    I was wondering what the law is regarding shoveling sidewalks. I noticed that maybe 10% of people on my block shoveled their sidewalks while the rest complained about not being able to drive or catch a bus.

    If this happens again, and I shovel my sidewalk and walk to work when it does, is there someone I can call to report those lazy hypocrites?

    Comment by rbj — December 30, 08 9:13 am

    RBJ – what about the elderly or those with health conditions that prohibit them from shoveling the sidewalks? Or those on fixed incomes that can’t afford to hire anyone to do it even if they could find someone? Do we really want to see people in wheel chairs trying to shovel snow for fear of the snow police?

    Should those people be reported and fined? Or should we spend the money to have special exemptions made and posted for once in a decade events. What s your time frame -with in the first hour -12 hours – are we supposed to rush home from work to shovel to make it convenient for you?

    As someone who walked everyday during the snomare it was easier and safer to walk on snow that the sheet ice often found on shoveled walkways.

    Perhaps give a little more thought to your next post rather than making sweeping generalities….

  • homedk December 30, 2008 (10:06 am)

    In response to Preggo: here is a link to the “Master of Disaster” emergency gathering place map for West Seattle, (https://westseattleblog.com/blog/?p=7578). Cindi Barker has been heading up this effort; you can find additional info if you run a search for her name.

  • hopey December 30, 2008 (10:06 am)

    Regarding shoveling sidewalks: here is the related forum thread, which includes the Seattle ordinance requiring sidewalks to be cleared:

  • wsguy December 30, 2008 (10:17 am)

    The Seattle Ordinance quoted from the P-I is an outdated version.

    The SMC was updated on 7/23/08 and the new version makes it pretty much unenforceable…

  • Harmonic December 30, 2008 (10:21 am)

    Still waiting for a 2-day air UPS package that was due December 18th and our recycling got missed as well at 46th & Edmunds area.

  • WSB December 30, 2008 (10:21 am)

    Always a fan of direct links, we looked that up in the SMC, and here’s the direct link:

  • WSB December 30, 2008 (10:23 am)

    And just in case you want to send that to anyone, you can use one of many URL shorteners to get something that works in e-mail.

    was an early fave

    but we are currently partial (for no particular reason) to

  • Preggo December 30, 2008 (10:29 am)

    Thanks, homedk!

  • Scott B. December 30, 2008 (10:32 am)

    It seems that at some point, the City decided to forget about saving the lane turtles and reflectors. I am curious whether the trucks with the front-mounted plows had their rubber/plastic taken off at that point or if the grader(s?) did all the damage.

    I am also curious about what the additional non-City-owned snow-removal equipment was that the city apparently contracted toward the end of the snow events, and who the contractors were. I saw a Mid-Mountain Contractors Caterpillar road grader parked next to the future Whole Foods.

    Since the apparent shift in City policy came only a couple days before the snow/ice started melting, I am curious about whether the City would shift from the “let them drive on the compact snow and ice and sand moguls” policy sooner in a future equivalent snow event.

  • homedk December 30, 2008 (10:36 am)

    You’re welcome, Preggo.

    Not sure why the link I sent earlier doesn’t seem to be working, but I double-checked & this is the correct link: https://westseattleblog.com/blog/?p=7578

    Many individual neighborhoods in West Seattle have been working with Cindi on these plans, including our own neighborhood (Hansen View, which is part of Fairmount). Our neighborhood is doing this at the neighbohood level via our Blockwatch group, but I know that other neighborhoods have community associations that are involved.

  • wsguy December 30, 2008 (10:39 am)

    WSB – GREAT tip on the URL shortner :-)

  • Scott B. December 30, 2008 (10:43 am)

    I saw a (City, I think) vac-truck cleaning out a catch basin during the snow/ice melt. I wonder if the City has an estimate of the percentage of sand that washed or will wash into the storm drains and creeks instead of being swept up by street-sweeping trucks, and whether that will factor into a decision on whether or not to use salt if we are hit by a similar snow event in the future.

  • Scott B. December 30, 2008 (10:48 am)

    Regarding URL shorteners:
    I used to like TinyURL until someone complained about the advertising. Now I like snipurl.com

  • Sue December 30, 2008 (11:04 am)

    wsguy, regarding the disabled/elderly/low-income and shovelling, if someone owns (or rents, as we do) a house, they have the responsibility to either shovel or make other arrangements to have it done. If they can’t do it themselves, and can’t afford to hire someone, then perhaps they can make arrangements for a friend/family/neighbor to do it for them for free or barter or whatever arrangements can be made. My husband always would shovel snow for neighbors unable to do so themselves. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect someone to find a way to maintain their home.

  • Tracey December 30, 2008 (11:12 am)

    Recycle just picked up along Ferry Ave! Yay!

  • adb December 30, 2008 (11:33 am)

    “It is the responsibility of the owner or occupant of private property to remove snow and ice on the sidewalks abutting his or her property in a timely manner and, if practical, prevent its becoming or remaining in an icy, ridged, uneven or humped condition or in a condition which is potentially hazardous to users of the public

    Haha… even though this was the “plan” for our streets!

  • Diane December 30, 2008 (11:35 am)

    37th and Hinds; recycle finally picked up; garbage still overflowing

  • RS December 30, 2008 (11:46 am)

    Interesting about the sidewalk requirements. I was just in Boston last week and the city actually had inspectors traveling around neighborhoods handing out fines to people who hadn’t shoveled! Of course, that no-excuses, no-nonsense attitude was appreciated when driving down the well plowed and salted streets!!

  • GreenSpaces December 30, 2008 (11:52 am)

    The lane markers needed to be repainted as soon as a dry day appears – especially on the Spokane St viaduct. That roadway is narrow anyway, and the yahoo I was driving next to yesterday scared me enough that I braked to not be next to him anymore since s/he was crowding the “line” that is now invisible.

  • Diane December 30, 2008 (12:09 pm)

    oh, and I’m still waiting for paycheck that was deposited in USPS mailbox in Wallingford on Monday, 12/22; 8 days and counting

  • WSB December 30, 2008 (12:14 pm)

    Re: the road grader, it is in SDOT’s fleet, according to the explanation we published in the second half of this item:
    We have questions out on the lane-stripe bumps and the sand. Also, just published a separate short update on UPS: They called us to say hey, changed our minds, we’re working tomorrow to keep catching up – TR

  • Steph December 30, 2008 (12:27 pm)

    Haven’t seen garbage collection yet in Highland PKWY yet. Anybody seen in that area?

  • sam December 30, 2008 (12:48 pm)

    there’s not a requirement for homeowners on streets without sidewalks to do anything, is there? we ended up shoveling parts of the road in front of our house but it didn’t help much.

    from what I’ve experienced, SDOT does not have any action plan to clear a safe walking area for pedestrians on streets without sidewalks. you just need to learn to walk in 12″ snow.

  • k December 30, 2008 (1:12 pm)

    Haven’t seen or heard a garbage, recycle or UPS truck around HPW in quite some time. Maybe I have forgotten what they sound like?

  • Scott B. December 30, 2008 (1:17 pm)


    The City apparently owns one road grader: a modern Volvo.

    According to the Seattle P-I (dated December 24):
    “Seattle contracted with private companies for extra graders to clear city streets — two in West Seattle and two in the University District, Sheridan said.”

    It would be interesting to find out if there is a difference in the amount of damage the private-company-owned equipment did to lane markers compared to the City-owned equipment.

    Although snow removal is one of the easiest tasks to perform with a road grader, a skilled grader operator who is being careful could save most of the lane turtles. Lane turtles are glued on pretty well. A grader operator would probably be able to feel it when they are hit. On more than one occasion I have seen a twelve inch long, two inch square wooden grade stake pounded into solid ground pause a grader the same size as those used recently for snow/ice removal.

  • JW December 30, 2008 (1:19 pm)

    The recycle gods have smiled upon us – all garbage and recycle picked up on 55th – keep the faith those who are still waiting and have a safe and happy new year (hopefully garbage free).

  • JW December 30, 2008 (1:31 pm)

    Being from Boston I agree all is well maintained there but Boston is essentially hill-less compared to Seattle and is used to snow events, even has an adequate fleet of plows, sanders and sidewalk plows – most folks own snow shovels/blowers etc – don’t think many WS folks own a snow blower – some didn’t have shovels so cut the folks that didn’t shovel the sidewalks some slack (i’d rather see the dog poop picked up!) – the city did no better IMHO and then what about one of my neighbors who was shoveling snow from the street onto the sidewalk on Xmas to make room for guests to park…….It doesn’t happen every day – we got through it, need to learn from it and move on.

  • Andrea December 30, 2008 (1:32 pm)

    Steph: For Highland Park, if your garbage day is Friday (mine is and I live on 7th and othello), it will be picked up Saturday (Allied Waste). I finally called, these threads around garbage do not seem to include our lovely neighborhood :(.

  • WSB December 30, 2008 (2:50 pm)

    Scott B – that is the one we photographed at our nearest intersection, the Volvo, shown here:

  • Steph December 30, 2008 (4:13 pm)

    Hey k and Andrea. Thanks for the update! Seems like we are always forgotten on the lower-east side.

  • PP December 30, 2008 (4:19 pm)

    Snowmare After Party – still taking volunteers to help with this! Ideas on best venue??

    email me at seattleamiga@yahoo.com

    Three of us so far – need more help!!

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