West Seattle, Washington
The West Seattle Transportation Coalition is about to start its second year. After one year of meetings, conversations, discussions, and outreach, WSTC has announced a list of “the five most pressing transportation issues for the West Seattle peninsula, which are within the power of the City of Seattle to directly address and resolve,” and sent a letter about them to city leaders.
First, the WSTC list:
(WSB file screengrab of SDOT camera looking toward bridge’s offramp to 99)
Expand vehicle capacity from the West Seattle Bridge to SR-99.
(Photo by Long B. Nguyen)
Develop a “West Seattle Peninsula” emergency relief plan.
(WSB file photo of the sign that marked the former 4th Ave. onramp spot until 2008.)
Increase access to the westbound Spokane St. Viaduct from SODO.
(City file photo of Lander tracks)
Complete the Lander Street Overpass.
(December 2013: De-icer-slick, closed-to-traffic bridge; WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli)
Immediate mitigation of traffic events to West Seattle peninsula chokepoints.
WSTC says it has sent a letter outlining “… these issues, possible resolutions, and (calls) for action …” to Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, City Council President Tim Burgess, and City Council Transportation Committee Chair Tom Rasmussen. It asks for a response with the “plan of action” by January 9, 2015. You can read the letter on the WSTC website, or below:
Agree? Disagree? Get involved! The WSTC meets on second Tuesdays and invites all to its next meeting, October 14th, 6:30 pm, at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center.
SIDE NOTE: This will also be a busy season on some of the problems for which WSTC and local neighborhood councils already have pushed for action – next launch is the 35th Avenue SW Road Safety Corridor project, with a community meeting October 22nd.
ADDED TUESDAY: Thanks to Clay Eals at the Southwest Seattle Historical Society for sharing a new scan:
With relatively rapid redevelopment in parts of some Seattle neighborhoods – West Seattle, Ballard, Capitol Hill come to mind – concern percolates about losing “character.” In some cases, neighborhoods have special districts as “overlays” meant as an attempt to preserve some of that character – Pioneer Square, notably, and Capitol Hill’s Pike-Pine area, for example. But what about other neighborhoods, like West Seattle, where the Southwest District Council has been trying for two years to get a historic-resources survey going for part of our area, as a first step?
“Neighborhood Conservation Districts” might be a tool for our area and others, suggests Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, who is sponsoring a briefing on the concept tomorrow, during the first part of the City Council’s two-part Monday meeting. Here’s the slide deck they’ll be going through:
The presentation during tomorrow’s 9:30 am Council meeting (agenda here) will not include a vote – it’s just a briefing, and there’s no specific council bill attached to it. But Councilmember Rasmussen tells us, “If my colleagues agree, I will continue to work for legislation to establish a process for neighborhoods to nominate themselves to become Conservation Districts.” Tomorrow’s briefing should start around 10 am and will be live online and on cable via Seattle Channel.
Thank you, as always, to “Diver Laura” James for sharing another view of what you won’t see unless you’re a diver too. From her dive last night off Seacrest, an unedited stretch of octopus-watching:
Along with the link, Laura wrote: “We spent almost 10 minutes with this amazing beautiful creature before we had to leave because of depth, time and air constraints (though I would have happily spent all night). It turns out my buddy swam right over the well-camouflaged octopus and was checking out the den of another octopus looking to see if there were any eggs (none to be found so far). You can see me signal him by bobbing my lights. The octopus gets curious and decides it wants to come check me out (I’m actually swimming backwards in some of the video) until my dive buddy comes over and then it decides to do something even more entertaining. Upon noticing my dive buddy, it ceases advancing on me and for lack of a better descriptive, turns around and starts sneaking up on my buddy. You can actually see it hunkering down and hiding behind the log, then it squeezes under the log and boo! Octopus! It does not appear upset in any of the interactions, more curious and checking things out. It does get upset later on when it tries to invade the den of a second octopus and gets into a bit of a wrestling match.” P.S. Interesting Giant Pacific Octopus info and trivia here.
P.S. On a much-smaller scale – remember Laura’s iPhone-microscope plankton-watching? She has agreed to join us in the WSB booth at the West Seattle Junction Harvest Festival four weeks from today, so you can bring your kid(s) by to have a look at the tiny creatures that fill our seas. The Harvest Festival is set for 10 am-2 pm Sunday, October 26th.
ADDED 3:42 PM: Laura just sent an edited video with a “potpourri of critters” from the dive, so we’re adding it:
One month until Halloween – and if you have kids, you know you can’t put off costumes until the last minute, whether you’re making them or buying them. There is another option – swapping costumes – and you’ll have a chance this Wednesday (October 1st) at My Three Little Birds in south Morgan Junction. Proprietor Jennifer Young says you can bring in a no-longer-needed (doesn’t fit, etc.) kids’ costume 1-5 pm that day and trade it for another one. Her shop is at 6959 California SW. (Anyone else doing costume swaps this year? Let us know!)
(Click image to see full-size aerial photo on city website)
The southeasternmost corner of West Seattle is along Myers Way, south of the east end of Roxbury. On both sides of Myers, which continues on into unincorporated North Highline, you’ll find vacant government-owned land – some state, mostly city – and a few other uses, such as the city’s Joint Training Facility (outlined in red on the city aerial view above).
On the Friends of Lincoln Park website, Mark Ahlness has written about a new suggestion for the city to keep 31+ acres of land in that area (outlined in orange above), as “Myers Park,” instead of selling it. It’s not a suggestion FROM his group, or from him, but they were contacted by the person proposing it, Cass Turnbull, a greenspace advocate known for work including founding Plant Amnesty. The city website says the area was declared surplus – and therefore sellable – in 2006. A sale fell through back then, but the city is still looking for one or more buyers, according to 2012 documents like this one, which included a city recommendation that one part of the site be kept, and the rest be sold to cover original acquisition costs (estimated at $13 million).
If you’re interested in getting involved in a campaign to keep it as open space, Turnbull’s contact information is included in the post on the FLP site.
— Christine (@dontblinkart) September 28, 2014
FALL FRESHNESS: 10 am-2 pm, see what’s new at the West Seattle Farmers’ Market. (44th/Alaska)
BACKYARD RAINGARDEN! Or front yard. Or side yard. Or maybe a cistern. Through the RainWise program (WSB sponsor), you might be able to get a rebate covering all or most of the cost for one. But figuring out how might be a bit daunting – so here’s an easy way to get your questions answered – RainWise is at the “Raingarden Festival” this afternoon at West Seattle Nursery, 1-4 pm. (California/Brandon)
‘KEEP HIGH POINT GREEN’: 2-4 pm, community-organized event to plant shrubs/flowers by Neighborhood House’s High Point Center, and get to know your neighbors. (6400 Sylvan Way)
‘THE MOUNTAINTOP’ MATINEE: No football game today – perfect day for theater instead. 3 pm at ArtsWest (WSB sponsor), which promises “your heart will be touched and your soul stirred.” (4711 California SW)
FREE CHOCOLATE TASTING: 4 pm at X-Gym – stop by and try! (3213 Harbor SW)
ALL-AGES OPEN MICROPHONE: Starts at 4 pm (signups at 3), at the Skylark. (3803 Delridge Way SW)
GOING OUT TONIGHT? See some of your options here.