West Seattle, Washington
As we head into the third weekday since Metro‘s big changes – in West Seattle, launching RapidRide C Line while restructuring much of the rest of the route system – we’ve heard again from the King County Department of Transportation regarding some of the most common concerns. They’re hearing directly from riders, and we’ve had three vigorous comment discussions here on WSB – today here, Monday pm here, Monday am here. Metro spokesperson Jeff Switzer sent an update earlier tonight; we added it to the ongoing comment thread but promised a separate story later, since he’d included some attachments. So here it is, starting with the toplines he sent:
Full RapidRide C line were reported Monday and Tuesday during the morning commutes from West Seattle to downtown Seattle. Riders are frustrated and contacted Metro Transit asking for more buses to improve capacity.
What’s Metro doing about it?
Metro temporarily deployed two RapidRide additional buses, and also made a third additional trip to help carry passengers on Tuesday morning. That said, there also were a few temporary mechanical problems with buses on the route during the Tuesday morning commute, causing delays and additional overloads. Metro will have two additional buses available downtown for the RapidRide C and D lines during the Tuesday afternoon commute, and for the C line during the Wednesday morning commute. The additional buses are intended to be available in case of service disruptions due to mechanical problems, transit delays or reports of overcrowding or stops passed because a bus was too full.
What do riders need to know?
Full buses might bypass stops if there is no more room for additional passengers. Metro drivers report and the Transit Control Center tracks these situations and when possible works to add available buses to the route to accommodate the demand.
Metro is tracking the issue of full buses on the C Line and working to address the issues. During these first few days of the new service, crowding and longer travel times might occur as riders, drivers and transit coordinators become familiar with the route and schedule. Other bus service in West Seattle is available through Metro’s Trip Planner and noted in the attached document.
Three documents actually came along with the above toplines. The first one is a Word doc listing “Commuter Options for riders from West Seattle” – including links. We don’t have the time to replicate it into a story with links intact, but if we convert it into a PDF the links won’t work, so here’s the Word doc. Second, the route map for peak times (PDF, here); third, the “all-day” route map (PDF, here).
Again tomorrow, we’ll launch a story in the morning for discussion of how things are going.
Received this too late to include in the roundup of West Seattle business notes we published earlier, but it’s somewhat time-sensitive, and you might be able to help, so here it is:
Restita DeJesus and Seattle Wushu Center are moving out of their studio space (located at California and Juneau). We will be holding classes in other locations in the West Seattle area until we find a permanent location. Awaiting to hear back from a few places, preferably Kenyon Hall. We’re looking at renting floor space for 3 or 4 hours per evening Mondays thru Saturdays.
Individuals interested in our Tai Chi, Kung Fu/Self Defense, or Filipino Martial arts classes may call Restita DeJesus (206) 229-4774 or e-mail email@example.com. Community members who know of or own affordable evening floor space to rent for the longtime members of our kids’ and adult classes, may contact Restita as well.
Chief Sealth International High School (2600 SW Thistle) is just a few blocks from the stretch of Delridge Way SW that is scheduled for a big repaving/resurfacing project next year, with some rechannelization plans included (as detailed on this city flyer). It’s also the place to take your questions, concerns, other comments, about the project, till 7:30 pm, as an open house is under way right now, with city reps on hand in the school library (go up the steps to the entrance off the main parking lot and follow the signs down the hall). No presentation is scheduled; it’s just a drop-in event. SDOT staffers on hand include the project manager as well as specialists in some of the areas involved, from pavement to traffic control. The info-boards on easels around the room include new graphics we hadn’t seen before, including two boards that explain the detours planned for southbound Delridge drivers during the year-long project:
The city expects the work to start in January, and it may include the southernmost few blocks of 16th SW in the city limits, too, if the money is found.
ADDED WEDNESDAY MORNING: We’re expecting to get the newest graphics from SDOT in a PDF we can share – but for starters, we did photograph more of them last night, and you can click ahead to see the images:
WEST MARGINAL WAY: A traffic alert from the King County Wastewater Treatment Division, about work that’ll be happening over the next few weeks: They’ll have contractors “replacing manholes at the intersections of West Marginal Way SW and Southwest Idaho Street, and West Marginal Way SW and Southwest Alaska Street” starting tomorrow, according to spokesperson Annie Kolb-Nelson. Her advisory continues:
The project could last for up to a couple of weeks, and work hours will be from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. weekdays, with some night work expected in mid-October to restore sections of West Marginal Way.
Drivers can expect traffic control set up on both sides of the work site to shift traffic around the site. Flaggers will be on hand to ease congestion and accommodate entry and exit to and from facilities near the work sites, including the City of Seattle’s Herring’s House Park parking lot.
Thinking manhole covers generally seemed sturdy enough to last forever, we asked Kolb-Nelson for a little more info about exactly what’s being done. Her reply: “While sewer infrastructure is built to last for many decades, daily wear-and-tear eventually takes a toll, even on non-mechanical equipment like manholes. The workers are replacing the manhole rings and covers in the intersections, which take a lot of stress from traffic, especially heavy trucks.”
SPOKANE STREET VIADUCT RAMP CLOSURE DATE CHANGE: Just found out from SDOT that the date of an overnight ramp closure is changing. The 1st Avenue South offramp from the WESTBOUND SSV will be closed 3 am till 9 am this Saturday morning (October 6th), instead of for a few hours Thursday morning. (We’ll be updating our standing list of traffic alerts – always linked atop the WSB sidebar – ASAP.)
Just got word of this: A modern-architecture group called Docomomo WEWA has a home tour in West Seattle this Saturday:
You’ll visit three mid-century modern homes that demonstrate the creative work of one architect, Arnold Gangnes (1918 – 2003), who was known for his innovative designs for modern dwellings and later for large scale non-residential and institutional projects. Included on the tour is Gangnes’s own house built in 1948.
The event is a self-guided driving/walking tour. Two of the residences are next door to each other. The third home is reachable by car, bike or a nice long walk.
The tour hours are 11 am-2 pm, and there’s a $10/person (cash or check) fee. Check in at 5054 SW Grayson (county archive photo above; here’s a map) to get a tour booklet and map; organizers also want you to know that (a) you’ll have to take off your shoes at each home and (b) only exterior photography will be allowed.
Four West Seattle business notes:
BARTELL DRUGS HQ SIGN UP: Thanks to Sam for the tip. We think this is the first corporate name on the outside of West Seattle Corporate Center since Services Group of America moved its HQ. Last time we checked with Bartell – whose move was first reported here August 7th – they were expecting to move 100 or so corporate employees here by the end of this month.
Another sign of note:
OLIVIA’S OPENS IN NEW HOME TOMORROW: There will be a consignment consortium of sorts on the north edge of The Junction as of tomorrow. That’s when Olivia’s Consignment for Kids expects to open its new location at 4140 California SW, next to Cherry Consignment. Olivia’s had been at the south edge of the Admiral District.
ZATZ COLORING CONTEST – WITH FREEBIE! Jesse from Zatz A Better Bagel (WSB sponsor) just sent us heads-up about a coloring contest that’s under way at the Admiral District store and continues till this month’s West Seattle Art Walk on October 11th: “It is open to kids ages 1-10 and when they submit their coloring page they get a free bagel card good for 1 bagel free with any purchase. We will choose winners at Art Walk on the 11th. The winning prize is a $25 gift card to Zatz. No purchase is necessary to enter. We will be displaying the colored pages inside our bakery lobby so kids can come back and see their artwork.” Zatz is at 2348 California SW.
BODYLIFE CONDITIONING: You might remember Jill Pagano from NiaDivas, which she ran from Youngstown Cultural Arts Center for almost six years. Now she has expanded her business to a “permanent commercial location just north of C & P Coffee” (WSB sponsor), at 5432 California SW. It’s called BodyLife Conditioning – and her remodeling work there has included heated floors (“just like our feet to be comfortable,” Jill says). She’s offering a mix of “holistic exercise that brings people’s bodies to life.” And they’re planning a grand-opening event 9 am-2 pm October 13th.
We start today’s West Seattle Crime Watch with a theft that puzzles the person who reported it: Darla Varrenti, executive director of the Nick of Time Foundation (which came to Chief Sealth International High School last year for youth heart screenings). She says a defibrillator donated by her organization, like the one at right, has been stolen:
We placed 130 AED’s last year in all the schools in SPS and at the 15 outside sports fields with a program called “The Heart of Seattle Schools.” The one at the (Southwest Athletic Complex) has gone missing and in order to have that complex covered the school district has taken one from the high school [Sealth] to replace it. That leaves a floor at the school not covered as the nearest one is on the 3rd floor.
This machine really has no value to anyone unless you are having a sudden cardiac arrest, then it becomes life-saving! … The school district doesn’t have the money to replace it and I hope the community might rally around and help them out to replace it.
Varrenti says the units cost about $1,200 each. If you have any tips on the theft – call 911. If you are interested in donating to help replace the stolen one, you can do so through Nick of Time (go to nickoftimefoundation.org and click “Donate”; then, she says, “they can put a note in that the donation is for the West Seattle AED and they get a receipt back right away”). P.S. The field from which the AED was stolen is the same one where a coach suffered a fatal heart attack four months ago.
THREE MORE CRIME WATCH NOTES: Ahead, two bike thefts and a followup on a recent theft report, after some of the stolen items were found and returned to their owner!:
(Photo courtesy Rachael Wright)
Tomorrow is International Walk To School Day, and while many schools are planning special events here and elsewhere, Highland Park Elementary has the biggest West Seattle celebration, since – as first noted here last Wednesday – Mayor McGinn is coming to help dedicate “Safe Routes to School” grant-funded safety improvements along the route to HPE. Parent volunteer Rachael Wright has been working on this for a long time and in addition to the 11th/Holden crossing and speed bumps on 10th, she e-mailed us this morning to point out an “unexpected (but much appreciated) result of the improvements”: New stop signs on 9th SW at SW Henderson (map). Rachael quotes longtime Highland Park resident and parent Monica Benshoof:
“The recent placement of the stop signs located at the intersection of 9th & Henderson, has made it tremendously easier for me & my children to cross the street- to enter the park & trails on the other side. I have resided in Highland Park for 41 years, and up until now, it has always been difficult to cross there, being as it is a very busy arterial road. Even now that I am a driver, it is also less difficult to utilize this intersection, because other vehicles don’t have a choice of stopping to rotate traffic flow. It’s awesome!!!”
In our correspondence, Rachael added:
I love that Monica mentions access to Westcrest park and trails. Because of the nature of Highland Park, located in the most SW quadrant of West Seattle, and crisscrossed by arterial roads, it can be very difficult for local children and adults to safely access our amazing parks. As kids walk to school, they also walk to parks, and we have been very fortunate that the Safe Routes project, by creating safer routes to school, also created safer routes to our local parks: Riverview Park, Highland Park Playground and Playfield, and Westcrest Park.
You’re invited to join in tomorrow morning’s ribbon-cutting, followed by a walk to HPE with the mayor – be at 11th and Holden (map) at 8 am.
(SDOT map for upcoming Delridge repaving project and tonight’s open house about it)
From the WSB West Seattle Events Calendar for today/tonight:
BOEING FIELD ALERT – FIRST LADY’S VISIT: Of particular note for Boeing Field watchers and eastern West Seattle, First Lady Michelle Obama flies in this evening for a fundraiser and departs tomorrow morning.
…AND 2 OTHER DOWNTOWN TRAFFIC FACTORS: Madonna’s at KeyArena tonight and the Mariners are at Safeco Field. Add that to the First Lady heading for a Westin fundraiser, and you’re probably want to going to get out of downtown/SODO early, unless you’re going to any of these events.
AS FOR THE REST OF THE TRAFFIC ALERTS: Ongoing intensified work at the Barton Street Pump Station north of the Fauntleroy ferry terminal is likely to include lane closures there, plus work is scheduled during the day on Highland Park Way today. Both projects are detailed in our day-by-day traffic-alert list.
Now, the other highlights:
TODDLER STORY TIME: 10:30-11 am at the West Seattle (Admiral) Library.
DELRIDGE (AND POSSIBLY 16TH) REPAVING/RECHANNELIZATION OPEN HOUSE: 5:30-7:30 pm at Chief Sealth International High School (2600 SW Thistle), go get your questions answered about the BIG repaving project coming up for the south mile of Delridge Way SW, and possibly part of 16th SW, as well as the “rechannelization” scheduled along part of the stretch. We checked with SDOT and this is completely open-house format, no presentation planned, so drop by any time during the 2 hours.
SUPERINTENDENT’S REGIONAL MEETING: New Seattle Public Schools superintendent José Banda is touring the city for community meetings, and tonight, 6-7:30 pm, is the “regional” meeting for West Seattle and South Park. It’s at Concord International Elementary in SP – map and details here. P.S. This is the meeting for which a Sanislo Elementary teacher requested community support, as they deal with class size – here’s her open letter.
SUNSET-TO-DARK LINCOLN PARK HIKE: Keep enjoying the dry weather while we have it! Tonight, naturalist Stewart Wechsler leads an evening hike through Lincoln Park, starting at 6:30 pm. Details here.
More on the calendar!
(Monday morning photo from Alaska/California RapidRide station)
6:38 AM: How will things go for bus riders on the second weekday of RapidRide C Line and Metro route restructuring? After going through the first two commutes yesterday, Metro said they would consider adding buses on the C Line if needed. We’re starting this story for updates and comments – let us know. (We’re watching Twitter and Facebook again this morning, too.) Yesterday’s coverage is here (morning) and here (pm), both including Metro responses/updates. Detailed Metro info (including schedule and map links) is here.
8:08 AM: So far the rider reports continue to center on crowded buses.
8:40 AM: Via Twitter, Ben reported that his RapidRide bus stalled for a few minutes on northbound 99 (around 8:30 am) before the driver could get it restarted.