In addition to the new lighting quietly installed at Emma Schmitz Viewpoint last week (first reported by Beach Drive Blog), more safety-enhancing measures are on the way to the viewpoint and Me-Kwa-Mooks across the street. So says Seattle Parks, in its promised response to our inquiry last week for more information on the lighting and anything else that’s planned in the wake of the June 1st “safety walk” with Parks managers and Seattle Police leadership:
(WSB photo from June 1st)
Here’s the response, in its entirety:
Seattle Parks and Recreation response to West Seattle parks June 1, 2012 walk-through: What we have done and will do at Me-Kwa-Mooks Park and Emma Schmitz Viewpoint in the summer of 2012.
Pruning: Parks did most of the requested pruning in March.
• Parks removed a hedge on the east side of the street, opening up visibility into Me Kwa Mooks park and removing a barrier someone could hide behind.
• The crew lowered the hedge on the west side (Emma Schmitz Viewpoint) and did pruning to improve sight lines on the pines.
• Additional pruning called for in the following two items will be done by the end of June:
➢ A little more pruning was requested during the 6/1/2012 walk on one of the pines next to the bus stop. The pruning on this pine was done fairly recently. It was not clear if the requester realized this work had been done but we will look and see if any more work would make a difference.
➢ People pointed out the entrance to the trail that leads up the hill into Me Kwa Mooks Park. It is difficult to see the start of the trail and a tree planted there blocks visibility. We will try to improve visibility but the tree is healthy and should not be damaged or removed.
• Several people pointed out a corner as one goes down the south-most stairs. There is a weed (common names include American Bamboo and Knotweed) growing there. Unfortunately, if we cut it down now we will not be able to do management measures that were planned later in the summer or early fall (the best time to remove it effectively). The only effective way to deal with this problem is to wait. It is a very tough weed to control, and the management program will take years. It has been around for more than 20 years.
• City Light suggested two lights that will increase lighting on the southernmost stairs. It appears they have already installed lighting on an existing pole. Thank you City Light!
• Parks will add a sign where people go down the first stairs on the south and will place another at the north end of the park. Need to confirm parks hours signs match the official hours.
• There is a storytelling area built by a partner school about a block in from where the trail starts. The area has been used as an unofficial fire pit for many years. The crew will pull the blocks and post a temporary no fires sign. This will be done by end of June.
• Finally, Parks did not replace the screen around the sanican when it was destroyed last summer. There have been no complaints, and the visibility around the sanican is better without the screen for people walking down the street or using the sanican.
The “unofficial fire pit” was shown in our coverage of the June 1st safety walk, after a concerned neighbor led the way to point it out to us and interested participants after the walk.
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