day : 30/01/2014 9 results

West Seattle road safety: Temporary speed signs on 35th SW; flashing beacons for 3 school zones

We’ve talked a lot about road safety here – and this week, new signage in multiple areas of West Seattle is being noticed. First, in the wake of the most recent discussions about 35th Avenue SW, temporary signage has been brought in. SDOT‘s Jim Curtin explains:

Two Speed Watch Trailers were recently deployed to 35th Avenue SW in an effort to reduce speeds on the corridor. These devices detect and display the speed of oncoming vehicles and provide direct feedback to drivers about their speed. They do not record data but raise awareness about speeds on this principal arterial roadway. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) studies show that these signs generally result in speed reductions in the range of 1 to 7 mph. In Seattle, our experiences with these devices typically result in speed reductions of 3 to 5 mph and significant reductions in the number of people traveling 10+ miles per hour over the speed limit. These function in a similar manner to the permanent radar speed signs that exist in four locations on 35th Avenue SW.

The portable speed watch trailers will remain in place for the next week or two and will be deployed periodically on the corridor. At this point, we are evaluating other measures that might help address speeding and other safety concerns on 35th.

Meantime, the online petition launched by neighborhood advocates on Tuesday passed 500 signatures today.

SCHOOL-ZONE BEACONS: We’ve been working on a closer look at safety concerns on Delridge by the Boren school building, which houses K-5 STEM now and will also be temporary home to Arbor Heights Elementary for the next school year. Halfway through the second year of classes there, Boren is finally getting flashing lights – “beacons” – to warn drivers about the school zone.

Robin Graham from the K-5 STEM PTA shared that photo of installation that was under way today. After hearing from a reader about an installation under way on California SW near Gatewood Elementary, we checked with SDOT’s Brian Dougherty to ask for the big picture:

There are three new sets of flashing school zone beacons being installed this month in West Seattle. They are located at:

· Delridge Way SW approaching SW Juneau St for the STEM (and future Arbor Heights) School
· SW Thistle approaching 26th Ave SW for Denny Middle School and Chief Sealth High School
· California Ave SW approaching SW Frontenac St for Gatewood Elementary

None of these will include permanent automated speed-enforcement cameras at this time. The beacons have all been installed and there is some sign work that needs to occur before the beacons can be turned on. The sign work is scheduled to occur in February and I expect the beacons will be fully functional sometime around March 1st. This spring, we will ask Seattle Police to conduct targeted enforcement to remind drivers not to exceed 20 mph when the lights are flashing.

There are two other spots where speed cameras ARE on the way – as previously reported – on SW Roxbury by Roxhill Elementary and Holy Family School. As of our most recent check, those are not expected to be in operation until this fall, as the next school year begins.

Southwest Design Review Board doubleheader, report #1: 4505 42nd SW told to come back for 2nd round of ‘early guidance’

(Option 1 – with elements the board said it preferred over the project team’s preferred Option 3)
In the first of two Southwest Design Review Board sessions tonight, board members called for a second round of Early Design Guidance for 4505 42nd SW, a site that’s steps away from where the board convened (upper floor of the Senior Center of West Seattle).

This phase of design review is about a building’s “massing” – its size and shape – so that’s what was addressed by most of the “design packet” is here. For the mixed-use building, it’s “the very beginning” of the process, as city planner Beth Hartwick explained to attendees – a single-digit turnout, unlike many recent SWDRB meetings, even counting project team members including site owner Leon Capelouto.

With the guidance offered tonight, its height and number of units are in play – at least seven stories and at least 50 units, though how much more, depends on how the next round goes.

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The WSBeat: Stolen-car stop; dog owner threatened; more

By Megan Sheppard
On the WSBeat, for West Seattle Blog

This edition of The WSBeat contains summaries written from reports on cases handled recently by Southwest Precinct officers – generally cases that (usually) have not already appeared here in breaking-news coverage or West Seattle Crime Watch reports, but that might at least answer the question “what WERE all those police doing on my block?” Or on the bridge, or the beach, or …

*Around 5 p.m. on the 28th, a plainclothes officer radioed that he had run across and was keeping an eye on a car that had been reported as stolen. Three people climbed into the vehicle (parked in the 4100 block of SW Lander) and officers followed it eastbound on Admiral Way, hitting their lights when it pulled near a cafe parking lot under Spokane St. The 20-year-old driver and a 19-year-old female passenger were both West Seattle residents. He had no license and she was already under supervision by the Department of Corrections. Both were booked into King County Jail for investigation of auto theft. He faces additional charges for violating a protection order to stay away from the woman; she faces additional charges for violating probation. The third passenger, a Ballard resident, was released from the precinct.

*On the 24th, in the 4000 block of Beach Drive, a man let his dog out of his apartment. The dog ran up to and started barking at a man who was walking up from the beach. That man yelled, “Get your dog away from me.” The owner called the dog, which responded and stood behind him. The suspect approached and said, “Keep him away from me or I will kill you and the dog.” The yelling continued, and the suspect pushed the victim several times in the chest and dared him to call the police. The suspect was described as a white man, 50-64 years old, about 5’10” with medium build, short brown curly hair. He wore glasses and remains at large.

Four more summaries ahead:Read More

Update: Former West Seattleite Amanda Knox ‘frightened and saddened’ by new verdict

1:22 PM: Though an appeals court overturned the original “guilty” verdict against former West Seattle resident Amanda Knox in 2011, the latest court to take up the case has just changed that back to “guilty.” Knox, now 26, was not required to return to Italy for the trial, though her co-defendant and former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito did appear in court, as did relatives of murder victim Meredith Kercher. Now the question is whether and when Italian authorities will seek to have Knox extradited to serve a 28-year prison term. “They’ll have to catch me and pull me back kicking and screaming into a prison that I don’t deserve to be in,” she was quoted as telling British newspaper The Guardian in a pre-verdict interview (see video on their site).

2:25 PM: Knox has released a statement that is published in full on another British news site, The Telegraph. In part, she said: “I am frightened and saddened by this unjust verdict. Having been found innocent before, I expected better from the Italian justice system. … My family and I have suffered greatly from this wrongful persecution. This has gotten out of hand.” The Telegraph also reports: “Shortly after the verdict, Knox left her mother’s home with her head covered in a blanket and was driven away in a Lincoln Town Car.”

PHOTOS/VIDEO: Giant 12th Man flag at West Seattle Corporate Center

(Video by Craig Baerwaldt, added 4:07 pm)
West Seattle’s most famous flagpole now flies the blue 12th Man logo – in a big way:

(Photos by Christopher Boffoli and Patrick Sand for WSB)
Hundreds of people came to West Seattle Corporate Center, to see it go up:

Ex-Seahawks Jack “The Throwin’ Samoan” Thompson and Robbie Tobeck raised it, with assistance from Paul McNicholas (below center), chief engineer for Development Services of America, which manages the building:

DSA is one of the West Seattle Corporate Center companies, along with the organizers of today’s mega-flag rally, Metropolitan Market (WSB sponsor) and Bartell Drugs. Yes, a Broncos fan tried to crash the party:

The hoopla also included what you might call a mini-bronco, but Dreamland Ponies had it decked out in Seahawks mode:

The 12th dogs were on hand too:

Some fans brought their own flags:

Oh by the way – about the scale of the “official” 1,500-square-foot flag (made by Flags A’Flying in Tacoma) – this gives you a bit better idea:

With the game three long days away, it was a moment to savor and remember:

A few more photos on the way – check back!

West Seattle development: New proposal for ex-Mastro property at 3257 Harbor Avenue SW

(King County Assessor’s Office photo)
12:02 PM: A new West Seattle project just turned up on the city’s Design Review calendar – for 3257 Harbor Avenue SW (map), on a site previously owned by notorious real-estate-magnate-turned-fugitive Michael Mastro. Though the property once was proposed for a development to be called Aqua Bella – here’s the flyer we linked from this WSB story in 2009, at which time it was listed for $6.4 million, suggesting a development with 80 units, 3,600 square feet of retail, 107 parking spaces, its current ownership has designed something a bit smaller. After foreclosure, it was bought by CRE Harbor Avenue LLC for $1.2 million, and that’s who is advancing the new proposal – described on the city website as six stories, 44 residential units, 2 live-work units, and 44 parking spaces, on a 10,575-sf lot. This project’s debut before the Southwest Design Review Board is scheduled for 8 pm March 6th, right after the first review for 1606 California SW.

3:03 PM: As pointed out in comments, this appears to involve half the original site. Checking further into the DPD’s online files, it appears a similar-sized project with a separate land-use-application number is proposed for the other half of the site, at 3303 Harbor Avenue SW. We’re checking with the city to see whether or not that means this is really one 2-building project. (Update: It is.)

West Seattle Thursday: ’12th Man’ mega-flag raising; Design Review x 2; SPD chief search; Orca Talk; school open houses…

No, they’re not Seahawks – but they’re related! Awesome photo of Alki-area eagles fluffed up as they dry out from one of this week’s rainshowers, courtesy of Gary Jones. And speaking of the Super Bowl – here’s the new WSB page with all things West Seattle (let us know if you have something to add!). Now, on to today’s calendar highlights:

**Editor’s note, 11:11 am – if you’re seeing/hearing helicopters, it’s for the flag event**

(Photo courtesy Scott Vlotho – added 11:32 – more photos in a separate story later!)
WORLD’S BIGGEST 12TH MAN FLAG: Today’s the day! As we first told you on Monday, a 12th Man flag the size of a house is going up at West Seattle Corporate Center at 11 this morning, as organized by two of the local businesses headquartered there, Metropolitan Market (WSB sponsor) and Bartell Drugs. It’ll be a party – be there! (Delridge/Andover)

HOLY FAMILY SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE: 1:30-3:30 pm, you’re invited to tour the school. (20th/Roxbury)

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO SEE IN A NEW SEATTLE POLICE CHIEF? 6 pm tonight at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, it’s the next stop in the community-discussion tour regarding Mayor Murray’s search for a new Seattle Police chief, as previewed here. (4408 Delridge Way SW)

DESIGN REVIEW BOARD DOUBLEHEADER: The Southwest Design Review Board looks at two projects tonight, both in the Early Design Guidance stage – at 6:30 pm, the first review of the seven-story, 50-apartment, 16-parking-space project at 4505 42nd SW (design packet here); at 8 pm, it’s the first review of the 30-unit townhouse/live-work-unit proposal for the former Charlestown Café site at 3824 California SW (design packet here). Both reviews include time for public comment, and both are at the Senior Center of West Seattle. (California/Oregon)

SEATTLE LUTHERAN OPEN HOUSE: 6:30-8 pm, prospective families are invited to visit Seattle Lutheran High School – see the campus, meet the staff! (40th/Genesee)

K-5 STEM AT BOREN OPEN HOUSE: 6:30-7:30 tonight, come tour the school! Details in our calendar listing. (5950 Delridge Way SW)

ORCA TALK: Tonight’s the night The Whale Trail celebrates Springer, the orca rescued from Puget Sound and reunited with her family in Canada. Here’s our previewcheck to see if tickets are still available – update, it’s sold out! C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7 pm. (5612 California SW)

FREE PARENTING SEMINAR: Courtesy of South Seattle Community College Cooperative Preschools – 7-9 pm tonight at Fauntleroy Schoolhouse, “Children Learn What They Live”:

As a parent, you have values that you are passing on to your child in the decisions you make every day. So, what are these values? Are they honesty, kindness, generosity, self-worth, respect, patience, tolerance? In this class we will talk about the ways you can identify and clarify your values as well as discuss how to inspire values through your parenting. Kylene Ushimaru has been teaching preschool and working as a parent educator for 28 years. Her wisdom, experience and honest approach to parenting will leave you feeling more confident and empowered as a parent.

Free but please pre-register by sending e-mail to (9131 California SW, room 4)

LOTS more on our calendar … browse it here.

Update: Why Seattle Police, Coast Guard were searching off Alki

(First 2 photos by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
8:02 AM: Several people have messaged us wondering about at least one Seattle Police boat searching off Alki. Just talked with SPD media-relations Det. Mark Jamieson, who says someone called in early this morning after spotting a “fixed light” off Alki that the caller thought MIGHT be a boat in distress. So police have been out looking, but haven’t found any evidence so far of anyone in or having been in trouble.

8:22 AM UPDATE: Per scanner discussion, the Harbor Patrol boat spotted some kind of “object” in about 10 feet of water, and it’s been “marked.”

9:04 AM UPDATE: Added photos. The Coast Guard was out helping search, too.

(Photo by Don Brubeck)

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Super Bowl-countdown Thursday edition

6:34 AM: Good morning – we start again this morning with two views of the bridge.

For more cameras, including Viaduct views, see the WSB Traffic page.

If you drive North Delridge in the late morning, things might be a little wild at Delridge/Andover around 11 am, because of the Seahawks-spirit flag-raising (here’s our original report from Monday).

Look-ahead notes: Tomorrow (Friday, January 31st) there are no classes for Seattle Public Schools; it’s the “day between semesters.” Friday night, the low bridge will close to surface traffic for a dredging operation; that’s noted here, along with an advisory about the Alaskan Way Viaduct for Sunday morning.

7:49 AM: From comments – avoid California right now between Edmunds and Alaska, construction-site concrete pour. We’ll check on this shortly.

8:25 AM: The online petition for 35th SW safety improvements is approaching 500 signatures. We’ll have an update on this (and a few other local road-safety notes) later today.

8:32 AM: Low bridge is closed to vehicles/pedestrians so marine traffic can go through, per SDOT Twitter.