Another reminder: Alki Summer Streets (“car-free day”) tomorrow

During our interview with Mayor Nickels this morning (more on that later), he even referred to it as “car-free day” – its name last year – at which time we offered the suggestion that maybe next year it could revert to something simpler like that, as opposed to the current “Celebrate Seattle Summer Streets.” No matter what you call it, TOMORROW is the shutdown day on Alki. And while we’ve been discussing it here since our very first report of that date four months ago, the motto now is “no surprises” – so again, the basics: West Seattle’s main waterfront boulevard will be closed to most vehicle traffic 9 am-5 pm tomorrow. The parking restrictions kick in an hour earlier. The day starts with the West Seattle 5K (WSB sponsor) from the Alki Bathhouse at 9 am (you can register on-site starting at 8 if you’re not already signed up); then activities kick in around 11:30 am. There’s a general list on the city’s CSS website; Cascade Bicycle Club is sponsoring a full slate of activities, with the timeline here; Coastal is presenting live music and a mini-skate ramp; Bamboo Bar and Grill is planning live music 1:30-5:30 pm and a pig roast; and you’ll no doubt find other activities along the stretch, organized and ad-hoc (as we did in our as-it-happened coverage last year – tomorrow, by the way, our plan is similar to last year, with morning coverage checking out closure points and other details, as well as the as-it-happened report/s).

22 Replies to "Another reminder: Alki Summer Streets ("car-free day") tomorrow"

  • etip May 30, 2009 (11:24 pm)

    God I hate this. All it does is push more tourist traffic onto the side streets- we have enough Alki speeders on our streets already. It makes getting in and out of west seattle harder, and it cost a ton of money to shut a street down.

    Glad Nickles thinks all of this is worth it; it does nothing for the community.

  • WSN Helen May 31, 2009 (12:14 am)

    It’s hard to tell from the huge pink dot covering it up, but will there be access up/down the hill at California?

  • WSB May 31, 2009 (12:35 am)

    What I *expect* will happen is that they’ve chosen that spot — instead of further east like last year – so that people can get up and down the hill, from and to the east/south stretch of Harbor. What will happen in reality – we’ll see first thing tomorrow morning – that’s why I’ll be out in the 7:30/8 am vicinity to see where the barricades are going up, etc. – TR

  • WSN Helen May 31, 2009 (12:43 am)

    Thanks! Will be checking in the AM as I have a traveler coming in who won’t know about the closure and will need a re-route.

  • OP May 31, 2009 (12:59 am)


  • Diane May 31, 2009 (1:07 am)

    can hardly wait til tomorrow!!!
    it was fantastic last year; should be even better this year

  • Stephanie May 31, 2009 (1:17 am)

    This is so dumb. Sure, bring more idiots into my neighborhood- great.

  • BusinessOwner May 31, 2009 (1:17 am)

    How can we make sure this won’t happen next year?

  • WSB May 31, 2009 (1:28 am)

    The mayor’s office is the primary driver on this, pun not really intended. So I would suggest feedback there. It’s not anything that requires a City Council vote but OTOH as noted here, he’s running for re-election, so if you have a beef with it, start there:
    Also, I’ve said repeatedly, dating back to last year, if you are an Alki business owner and you believe this hurt your business, TELL YOUR STORY PUBLICLY – we for example are read by 20,000 homes/businesses/government agencies at least once a week – I have repeatedly extended that invitation and nobody’s come forward. And by the way, if that happens tomorrow – you’ve got a business and it’s a ghost town – I will be reporting from the car-free zone all day long – call me to come see firsthand. Our business number is answered 24/7, 206-293-6302. By the way, that invitation extends to ANYBODY – same goes if you have a business that’s bustling and you want to show it off. We’ll be documenting what we see along the way, of course – TR

  • Che Guevara May 31, 2009 (5:12 am)

    Hallelujah! No more cars!

  • Byron May 31, 2009 (6:42 am)

    Bike Hugger will represent! Riding it later today.

  • Scot Bastian May 31, 2009 (8:41 am)

    All I can say is this. My friend and I WERE going to drive down to the Alki Cafe today for brunch. But, we’re going to just avoid the hassle and go elsewhere now. Here is another suggestion I have for the Mayor–why not charge for parking on weekdays so I will be forced to avoid the area all together? Here is another suggestion–why not revive your initiative to force me to purchase plastic garbage bags when I now can recycle the free ones I get? These ideas just get dumber and dumber.

  • Ed May 31, 2009 (9:39 am)

    Awesome, I will be there to enjoy the atmosphere and the once a year lack of traffic noise.

  • MB May 31, 2009 (9:51 am)

    Car-free days attract more people, which in turn end up patronizing more businesses. Those of you complaining that this does nothing for the neighborhood are absolutely wrong. The others that are complaining that this will simply bring in more people to “your” neighborhood — yes, it will. If you wanted to live somewhere free of people, well there’s much cheaper land in the middle of Washington where you can live on acres and acres of land all to yourself.

    Part of what makes Alki Alki is the fact it’s one of Seattle’s best beaches, and it attracts people. Getting rid of cars for a day isn’t going to cause the neighborhood to go downhill, it isn’t going to cost you anything other than perhaps a ten minute detail, and it isn’t going to hurt. So shut up, go along, and get along.

  • austin May 31, 2009 (10:28 am)

    ^^ what MB said!
    I’ll be walking down to Alki in a few minutes to enjoy the beach and frequent area businesses. I’m glad we have this day to enjoy a traffic jam free Alki.

  • Nathan May 31, 2009 (12:30 pm)

    I also was planning on driving to Alki today for lunch, but now I will not. The mayor is an idiot. These kinds of things don’t work unless your city has a decent public transportation system, which we clearly do not.

  • WSB May 31, 2009 (12:35 pm)

    For what it’s worth, the water taxi shuttles are running in the dedicated lane, so you can get here that way from the Junction and other points they serve.

  • Lookitsme May 31, 2009 (8:03 pm)

    In spite of some of the comments above, a few of us rode over to Alki today and had a lovely day. Thousands of people were enjoying the opportunity to safely reclaim the streets, socialize, and have some fun – without having to deal with the chuckleheads that normally cruise Alki with their rolling implants/extensions.

    It’s funny – all of the businesses looked crowded to me – and I’m reasonably sure that my non-motorized money is just as good as the “normal” kind.

    Personally, I think this should happen at least once a month. I like visiting Alki, but you couldn’t pay me to go there under typical summer conditions…

  • etip May 31, 2009 (8:27 pm)

    MB, did you read last year that it cost the city $40,000 to shut the street down for a day? This what we’re dealing with finance problems all over the city. No, it won’t “bring the neighborhood down”, but it’s a waste of money, and it does nothing. One day? So that you can walk in the street instead of the sidewalks or bike lane? Hardly worth it.

  • WSB May 31, 2009 (8:37 pm)

    The quote last year in a Times article was $45,000 total for all three street closures that were done last year – Columbia City, Capitol Hill, and Alki.

  • etip May 31, 2009 (9:25 pm)

    ok, $45k to shut down three streets for a day- at a time when the govt is financially failing. Still not worth the cost.

  • alki_2008 June 1, 2009 (2:06 pm)

    MB, do you have stats that show car-free days attract more people? Most people that visit Alki Beach get there by CAR…and they’re not going to visit Alki Beach when they can’t drive there and instead have to figure out the public transportation schedule, which is well-reduced on Sundays.
    Lookitsme, the businesses may look crowded – but it’s all relative. If a restaurant has tables/seats available, then it’s probably not as busy as usual for a sunny weekend day (when just about every table is taken and people are waiting to be seated). It’s all relative. ;)

Sorry, comment time is over.