day : 02/07/2014 10 results

2 notes from tonight’s Southwest District Council meeting

As Southwest District Council co-chair Sharonn Meeks said toward the start of tonight’s SWDC meeting, its agenda didn’t have one central guest or topic because “we just need to talk.” Rather than rattle off a mega-list of bullet points from the ensuing talk, we’ll be following up on a few things for separate stories, and making note right now of two things:

LAND USE SUBCOMMITTEE: Other neighborhoods have land-use committees that often look at projects of note outside official government processes such as design reviews, and SWDC announced a few months back that it intended to get one going as a subcommittee. The first meeting is finally set – 6:30 pm Wednesday, August 27th. Location TBD, agenda TBD, but if you’re interested in West Seattle development and land use and want to be part of a citizen-led group looking at it, set the date aside.

PARK DISTRICT BALLOT-MEASURE FORUM: Admiral Neighborhood Association president David Whiting announced that ANA’s meeting next Tuesday will include guests from both sides of the August 5th ballot measure proposing creation of a Seattle Park District with permanent taxing authority, instead of sending levies/bond measures to voters every several years to raise extra money for parks. The ANA meeting is at 7 pm Tuesday (July 8th) at The Sanctuary at Admiral, 42nd/Lander. (The Delridge District Council had a forum on the proposal in May; we recorded video.)

Morgan Junction Park expansion: City closes the deal

(WSB file photo)
ORIGINAL WEDNESDAY NIGHT REPORT: Seattle Parks has notified the Morgan Community Association that it’s closed the purchase of the Morgan Junction Park expansion site at 6311 California SW. The plan has been in the works for almost two years – we first reported the sale negotiations in September 2012. The site just north of the current park includes the building housing a minimart and dry cleaner to the north, and some undeveloped land to the west. We don’t have word on the final purchase price yet; the site had originally been listed as a potential development site for $2 million. There is no money budgeted yet for developing the site, which will officially be “landbanked” for starters, but it’s one of the projects for which money is earmarked in the Park District proposal on next month’s ballot (a preliminary version was noted here last October). According to what the city has told MoCA, the timetable for demolition of the building is not set yet, so the businesses will be there a while longer; the site needs some cleanup too because of its past.

THURSDAY MORNING UPDATE: Parks says the purchase price was $1,887,000. The site is a little more than a quarter of an acre.

West Seattle Summer Fest 2014 countdown: Pop-up library!

Just 9 days to go until the year’s biggest party, West Seattle Summer Fest (co-sponsored by WSB) – July 11th, 12th, 13th, closing the streets to vehicles and opening them to fun in the heart of The Junction. Today – news from the West Seattle Junction Association, which presents WSSF, that the first day of Summer Fest will feature the festival’s first-ever “pop-up library”:

West Seattle Summer Fest will host Open Air in Junction Plaza Park on Friday, July 11 from 10 am to 6 pm. The Seattle Public Library will bring a pop-up library outdoors (a kind of outdoor reading room, complete with book
tower and benches) where guests can check out books and DVDs from our mobile collection, take a break with a magazine, and chat with librarians (among other things). You can visit their landing page for a bit more information.

In addition to the above, Open Air provides hotspots with free wi-fi access and charging stations for visitors. On site librarians are particularly interested in signing up visitors for library cards and showing them the range of ebooks, downloads, and databases offered by the library.

You can browse more advance info on Summer Fest – including the music schedule and vendor list/map – by going to the official website.

Followup: What went wrong with the low bridge last night

Toward the end of the peak pm commute on Tuesday evening, the “low bridge” malfunctioned, second time in two weeks. We asked SDOT today what happened. From spokesperson Marybeth Turner:

When the bridge operator was opening the bridge to allow a vessel to pass through at 6:20 p.m., the gate on the west side that stops vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians experienced a mechanical failure. A shear pin in the internal linkage had broken.

The bridge control system is designed to always fail in a safe mode, which prevented the operator from opening the bridge. The vessels, bicycles, pedestrian and vehicles were delayed until the operator was able to make the repairs himself. The delay was approximately 67 minutes.

On June 18th we had another control system safety shut down related to the sensors that monitor the location of the bridge. This caused a 2 ½ hour delay that likely affected many of the same commuters.

We continue to look for ways to engineer more reliable systems associated with bridge openings. A delay of this length, although rare, has severe impacts on the traveling public. Detour routes for bicycles and pedestrians are not convenient.
The Spokane Street Bridge opens over 1,500 times per year with very few incidents that delay traffic due to malfunction of the bridge.

West Seattle road work: More Morgan Junction-area repaving next week

July 2, 2014 2:18 pm
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 |   Transportation | West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

Last weekend, SDOT repaved the intersection of California/Fauntleroy. Next week, they’ll extend the new pavement a block south, according to this announcement just in:

Once Fourth of July festivities are over, Seattle Department of Transportation paving crews will move in to California Avenue Southwest to pave the block south of the Morgan Junction.

Providing the good weather holds, the crews will grind and pave California from Fauntleroy Way Southwest to Southwest Holly Street, starting at 7 a.m. on July 8 and July 9, and ending at 7 p.m. each day.

One lane of traffic will remain open in each direction with Police Officers and traffic flaggers assisting drivers through the work area. Crosswalks and sidewalks will remain open. On-street parking will be restricted.

As noted in our update on last weekend’s work, SDOT already has repaved stretches of California to the north and south.

Mayor’s choice for SDOT director: Scott Kubly, formerly of Chicago and D.C.

(Photo from
The mayor has announced his choice for Seattle Department of Transportation director: Scott Kubly, former deputycommissioner of the City of Chicago Department of Transportation and former associate director of the District of Columbia Department of Transportation. In the news release (read it here in its entirety), Mayor Murray calls Kubly “a transportation visionary” with “a proven track record” who has “worked on bike issues, car share programs, traffic management and pedestrian safety strategies, rapid transit and street cars; he’s done long-range budgeting, strategic planning, cost reduction, major capital project development, and performance measurement and accountability.” Kubly is quoted as saying:

Seattle is growing incredibly fast … To accommodate that growth and preserve the city’s great quality of life, we need a transportation system that doesn’t just get the basics right like freight mobility and safety,, but that also invests in new, high quality transit, bikeshare, new bike lanes for Seattleites from 8 to 80 to ride in, and improving the pedestrian experience throughout the city. It also means creating an environment in which the private sector can provide transportation services that complement the public transportation network. This means creating an environment that allows transportation network companies and taxis to thrive, carsharing to expand, or for new types of transportation services to evolve. The fact is, people aren’t tied to individual transportation modes, they’re tied to outcomes – and we must continue bringing forward options that will deliver the positive outcomes they need and expect.

West Seattle-residing Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, who chairs the Transportation Committee, is quoted as saying:

Seattle needs a transportation director who recognizes the importance of a balanced transportation system and can help guide our city’s transition from auto-dependence. … Mr. Kubly’s experience in Chicago and Washington, D.C. shows a commitment to accomplishing just that. I look forward to our discussions with Mr. Kubly over the next several weeks. I also encourage the public to participate in the confirmation process.

Pending Council confirmation, Kubly is slated to start on July 28th, making $180,000 a year. He follows acting director Goran Sparrman and previous director Peter Hahn, who was announced last November as not staying on once former Mayor McGinn departed. Hahn had succeeded Grace Crunican, who resigned at the end of 2009.

SIDE NOTE: A search shows that the most-recent program for which Kubly made news in Chicago was overseeing its speed-camera program. … A few months later, here’s what one Chicago website wrote when Kubly announced his departure.

West Seattle food: Shoofly Pie Company to close in The Junction

(King County Assessor’s Office photo)
Shoofly Pie Company in The Junction has announced its shop will close next month. Here’s what proprietor Kimmy Tomlinson posted this morning on Facebook:

Friends of Shoofly – After 7 wonderful years bringing pie to wonderful West Seattle, Zak and I have decided to pursue other life interests (I dunno, maybe write a cookbook?! ;)). Our last day at our retail store will be Sunday, August 17th. It is bittersweet, but we are also looking forward to the next chapter of our lives.

Thank you so much for supporting us from the beginning when most people were asking the question, “you’re going to open a bakery that only sells pie??!?” We hope you’ve enjoyed our handmade pies as much as we’ve enjoyed making them for you. Thank you to all the brides and grooms who have given us the honor of making your wedding pies. Most of all, thank you to our amazing staff who have always gone above and beyond throughout the years. We’ll miss you.

Please stop by at street fair and over the next weeks to enjoy some pie and help us say goodbye. And remember, Pie Fixes Everything!

Shoofly is at 4444 California SW, where it opened in July 2007 (and notes, also on FB, that it’ll be open 10 am-4 pm on the 4th of July).

Quick calendar note: Southwest District Council meets tonight

July 2, 2014 10:30 am
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 |   Southwest District Council | West Seattle news

One calendar highlight for tonight – the Southwest District Council IS having a July meeting. The agenda includes a summary of the two recent city “conversation” meetings – Councilmember Mike O’Brien on June 4th (WSB report here) and “West Seattle: Let’s Talk” last Saturday (WSB report here) and a report on the district’s proposed Neighborhood Park and Street Fund projects, as well as an update on progress toward creation of a West Seattle Land Use Committee. All are welcome – 6:30 pm, Senior Center of West Seattle (upstairs at Oregon/California). To see what else is on the calendar today, go here.

Admiral Way bike-lane widening: City finally unveils new plan

It’s been almost ten months since SDOT announced it was shelving and redesigning a plan to widen the bike lane and buffer on the Admiral Way hill north of the West Seattle Bridge – here’s the last thing we published, back in September. The city said residents had voiced concerns about loss of parking spaces and time restrictions on what remained. At the time, they said a new version would be out “early” this year. It’s just arrived today:

As you know, SDOT has been studying how to make the uphill bicycle lane on SW Admiral Way safer and more inviting by widening the bike lane and buffer from SW City View Street to 80 feet south of 3508 SW Admiral Way. We originally proposed to restrict on-street parking on the east side of SW Admiral Way within this section to allow for the improvement. After receiving concerns about the impacts, we delayed implementation of the project to work on an alternative that would preserve some on-street parking.

The attached revised design preserves on-street parking in front of the residences, while restricting parking in the green belt area. Time restrictions will not be installed. The work is expected to be completed this summer.

Here’s a closer look at each of the color-coded configurations:

See all of the above in one PDF with the configurations next to the map here. And if you want to compare it to what SDOT originally proposed in May 2013, you can see that map here.

P.S. Speaking of SDOT, Mayor Murray is set to announce at 11 am today who he’s chosen to be the department’s next director.


(WS high/low bridges and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
We’re off to a late start this morning but it’s been quiet – perhaps the pre-holiday slowdown already. No road work this weekend, WSDOT reminds us; holiday transit changes for Friday are listed on the WSB 4th of July page.