West Seattle, Washington
10:52 PM: A crash at Admiral Way/51st SW is blocking the westbound (downhill) lanes right now. One person is reported hurt, but injuries are not believed to be major.
11:27 PM UPDATE: Won’t be blocked much longer. Car’s already on a tow truck and scene will be clearing.
That more-routine lineup of trucks around 8:30 this morning, near the entrance to T-18, was the last one we saw today, after the city and port announced and took steps to head off any threat of a third day of backups onto the West Seattle Bridge and surface streets. By afternoon, when we checked again pre-commute, even that terminal-entrance lane was empty. So what now? No official updates from SDOT or the Port, but Councilmember Tom Rasmussen told WSB tonight, “SDOT has advised me that the Port and City will continue the work and changes that were implemented today through Thursday. Of course, I want to know the plans for after next Thursday.”
Earlier in the day, ILWU Local 19 sent a news release (read it here) saying it had an even simpler suggestion: “The terminal operators, including Stevedoring Services of America at T18, need to immediately address the daytime traffic problems in Seattle by shifting operations to service trucks at night as well as days. It really is that simple,” according to Local 19 vice president Jason Gross. The schedule changes were mentioned in this ILWU news release we linked in our Thursday coverage; the terminal operators announced the nighttime cuts in this January 2nd news release. And while their contract negotiations continue, both sides got a letter today from more than 170 business organizations, reports CNBC, urging them to reach an agreement. The letter – which you can see here – says in part:
… Sales of American exports remain clouded in uncertainty across Asia and our overseas competitors eagerly highlight the problems at West Coast ports as a reason not to purchase American made or grown products. …
Please consider allaying the growing concerns of the many thousands of businesses and millions of jobs which rely on West Coast ports for orderly and timely supply chain operations by working together to conclude the ongoing contract negotiations so we can then address the congestion issues at key West Coast ports. …
At least nine Washington state organizations are among the signers.
(WSB file photo: Roxhill Park-side ‘wall of buses’)
The Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Neighborhood Council has been working for more than a year to push Metro and the city for safety improvements in the area of the Westwood “transit hub.” One year ago, WWRHAH led a walking tour with Metro, county, and city reps. Progress on some of the issues was reported four months later; other changes have included SPD bicycle patrols. Today, WWRHAH co-chair Amanda Kay Helmick sent an update on more of what they’ve been working to get:
We are pleased to announce that Metro Transit will be upgrading the sidewalks along the bus stop from the Rapid Ride stop to 29th Ave SW this year. In addition to new ADA-compliant sidewalks, Metro will also be adding lighting in the same area.
Metro asked King County for additional funds for capital improvements to the Rapid Ride, and that includes $170,000 for sidewalks and lighting for the bus stop along Roxhill Park.
Design work has started, with implementation this year. No firm date has been given as of yet. We have asked Metro to come to our March 3rd WWRHAH meeting for further updates in regards to the Transit Hub. We will also be asking SDOT to be there as well to discuss Barton Street concrete panels that are sinking, and crosswalk improvements to critical intersections.
WWRHAH meets first Tuesdays (next one, February 3rd), 6:15 pm at Southwest Library.
Those who knew and loved Joe Fine are invited to his Celebration of Life tomorrow, 11 am-3 pm, at Duke’s on Alki. Here’s the remembrance that his family is sharing:
Joe Fine, 76, of West Seattle, passed away on Monday, January 5, 2015 from pancreatic cancer.
Joe was a legend to all that had the honor of knowing him. Born December 17, 1938 in Valentine, Nebraska to Mary Lamoureaux, he would spend his earliest years in Valentine at the family ranch just over the border in South Dakota. After WWII, he was adopted by William Fine, and the family settled in Billings, Montana, where Joe would graduate from high school. He attended and graduated from The University of Montana in Missoula. While there he was an active member of the Phi Delt house, where he was known as “Shakey.”
After graduating, he married Sharon Sayre and together they had two sons: William Glen and Gregory Joseph. He was a successful sales rep for Standard Oil and then Carpenter Paper before settling in Kalispell, Montana, where he owned a number of businesses including Joe’s Varsity, The Jean Factory, and Clothes Gallery. Whether he was creating award-winning promotions like Levi Clause and the Jean Advisor, or later selling diamonds in retail, doing remodel construction, or the nearly ten years he spent at Home Depot in the Garden Department, Joe is remembered for his entrepreneurial spirit and almost magical salesmanship.
All along the way, Joe collected a diverse group of friends that remained close throughout his life:
Last year, the city’s draft proposal for Pedestrian Zones was circulated to neighborhood and district councils around West Seattle and the rest of the city via a series of briefings, several of which were covered here, starting with one almost a full year ago in Morgan Junction.
It’s meant to tweak zoning in some business districts to ensure that future development is more pedestrian-friendly. And tonight, the mayor’s office has announced the final proposal is ready for review. The announcement came via a news release you can read here, and a sheaf of documents linked here. Maps show the 11 sections of West Seattle where changes are proposed; you can see the maps here. There are five maps – scroll through the first 25 until you get to:
*Exhibit Z, showing a stretch of Delridge Way from north of Juneau to just north of Brandon
*Exhibit AA, showing stretches of 35th SW in Morgan, Gatewood, Westwood
*Exhibit BB, showing a section of South Delridge
*Exhibit FF, showing a section of Admiral
*Exhibit GG, showing part of The Junction
(Specific information about each area proposed for tweaks can be found in this report.) None of the proposed rezoning shown would change maximum allowable height for development in the affected areas. This all goes now to the City Council, which will set dates for hearings and votes.
3:45 PM: An incident reported to involve a pedestrian has a police/fire callout at Delridge/Orchard, and we’re told northbound lanes are blocked, with traffic backing up. More to come.
3:58 PM: Our crew at the scene reports the road is now fully open and police are clearing out. A private ambulance was leaving. That suggests the victim’s injuries were not major. We’re trying to find out more.
4:03 PM: Police tell us at the scene that the victim was a juvenile who suffered a broken leg. And they confirmed an earlier incident we had been checking on – 15th and Roxbury, less than an hour ago, in which a juvenile pedestrian also suffered a broken leg. Both scenes are now clear.
2:04 PM: For the second day in a row, a local student has been robbed while walking to school. Thursday, it happened in Gatewood; today, in Westwood. The victim’s mom contacted us in hopes someone might see this, tossed aside somewhere:
She told us her daughter’s phone “was nabbed right out of her jacket pocket as she walked from Westwood Village to Sealth High School on 25th ave. SW. We filed a police report but she’d really like the bottom half of her Beemo phone case back. It might have been discarded somewhere along 25th Avenue SW.”
We have requested but not yet received the police report in this case – if and when we do, we’ll add whatever else it includes, including descriptions, if any. Meantime, we asked the mom if her daughter’s OK. “She’s understandably shaken but physically OK. She’s just real sad about losing the phone case.” If you see it, contact police; the case number is 15-017129.
4:10 PM: We’ve obtained the report from SPD but it includes very little additional information. This was reported around 8:30 this morning; police were called once the victim arrived at CSIHS, so there’s no exact address of where she was when it happened. The robber is described only as black, male, maybe 15-17 years old, wearing black. The victim said he came up to her, said “Give me your phone”; she didn’t respond. He then reached into the front pocket of her sweatshirt, grabbed her phone, and ran southbound, toward Westwood Village.
Sounds like a long time, but it’s not: We are now less than 3 weeks away from your first side-by-side look at the four (so far) people who want to be the first-ever Seattle District 1 City Councilmember, representing West Seattle and South Park. WSB is presenting the first announced candidates’ forum in this race:
Thursday, February 5, at Highland Park Improvement Club (1116 SW Holden)
Doors open 6:30 pm
Forum 7-8:30 pm
The candidates are (in first-name alphabetical order this time):
If you need to bookmark a reminder, here’s the official listing on the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar (Facebook event page coming up soon too). HPIC has lots of room, and we’ll have refreshments, so have dinner and then come see and hear (and bring a question for!) the contenders for this area’s new seat on the City Council, which starting this year will be made up of seven people elected by district, two at large.
Two weeks after a Seattle Public Utilities contractor started night work cleaning sewer/storm lines at the Fauntleroy ferry dock, SPU has announced an extension: “The concrete slurry found in the pipes is a higher strength than we had expected. Therefore, the contractor will discontinue with the jet and hydro cleaning efforts and move to a milling process to grind the slurry from the pipes. The equipment and noise levels will remain the same as before.” Part of the north ferry-loading lane will continue being coned off while this work is done. It’s now expected to continue 9 pm-5 am through January 30th.
(September 2014 photo by John Westrock, recently added to WSB Flickr group)
Weekend’s almost here! While you await Sunday’s Big Game – and/or other weekend excitement – here’s what’s up for the rest of today, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
REMINDER – FOOD DRIVE! As noted here earlier this week, Straight Blast Gym (WSB sponsor) has a big month-long food drive under way – drop something off today/tonight/this weekend (or any time before January 31st) and help them get to their goal of a ton and a half! (5050 Delridge Way SW)
TEEN SPACE: DESIGN CHALLENGE! 3:30 pm at Southwest Branch Library – teens are invited to take the challenge and build a structure that won’t collapse under pressure. Or – just chill. Details here. (35th/Henderson)
HIGHLAND PARK MOVIE NIGHT: Doors open 6 pm at Highland Park Improvement Club, kids’ short 6:15 pm, main movie at 7 pm. Details on the HPIC website. Free – BYO chair or use one of theirs. (12th/Holden)
HIGH-SCHOOL BASKETBALL: Only West Seattle High School has home games tonight, with Bainbridge Island HS visiting: Full schedule here; girls’ varsity at 6:15 pm, boys’ varsity at 8 pm. (3000 California SW)
‘BUS STOP,’ NIGHT TWO: West Seattle High School Drama Club presents “Bus Stop,” student-directed by Kaya Hubbard, again tonight at 7:30 pm in the school theater. Details on the WSHS home page. (3000 California SW)
LOTS OF LIVE MUSIC! Listings for musicians performing tonight at Salty’s on Alki, C & P Coffee, Feedback Lounge (all WSB sponsors), Skylark, and Benbow tonight – find them all by going directly to our calendar.
Nine days ago, Beth‘s VW Passat was stolen from her driveway near Lincoln Park. The next day, a reader reported it turned up in front of their home in Beverly Park. Now – Beth says it’s been stolen again:
Turns out they ransacked and found an extra key in my husband’s car. I am
requesting help again since some lovely lady found it last time in the 115th
area. I was having it rekeyed on Saturday!!!
2004 royal blue VW Passat with Sun Valley and state of WA stickers on back,
license #AKD2678 (in a Hans Automotive frame). I am so frustrated!
If you see it, call 911.
P.S. The West Seattle Crime Prevention Council‘s first meeting of 2015, with local SPD leadership on hand, is at 7 pm next Tuesday (January 20th). If you have neighborhood crime/safety concerns, be there.
(WS high/low bridges and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
6:19 AM: This morning’s big question is whether the city/port plan to keep trucks from backing up again today (details toward the end of our Thursday coverage) will work; two texters before 6 am reported signs of a backup, but we’re also hearing police (via scanner) on the case, so we’ll see. And we’ll be watching outbound traffic as always.
6:58 AM: An emergency response in the 3000 block of SW Barton is blocking the westbound side of Barton, per scanner. No other details.
7:03 AM: We should also remind you that Monday (January 19th) is a federal holiday, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, and that means transit changes – Metro will be on the “reduced weekday” schedule; the Water Taxi will not be running; schools will be closed.
7:29 AM: Our crew went to 30th/Barton to find out about the emergency response. A motorcycle rider has been taken to the hospital after his motorcycle collided with a car at 31st/Barton. Police don’t have information on his condition but apparently his injuries are not major, as TCIS is not being called out and the westbound lanes will be reopened soon (a tow truck is there now).
(WSB photo: Police officer, tow-truck driver at motorcycle/car collision scene)
Eastbound traffic is not affected.
8:02 AM: Police/fire en route to a
reported two-vehicle crash in the 5600 block of 16th SW, north of South Seattle College (WSB sponsor). At least one person is reported hurt.
8:35 AM: Last sign of that crash is an SPD vehicle by the north entrance to SSC. We’re now headed to check on the port-truck situation.
8:49 AM: Nothing visible on the bridge itself. Checking the surface streets and port vicinity next.
9:09 AM: Here’s what we saw a few minutes ago:
Lineup for T 18 but not affecting through traffic pic.twitter.com/fzivy26qaH
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) January 16, 2015
From an overlook in east Admiral, we saw a few trucks queued at Terminal 5. Will check back around midday.
3:50 PM NOTE: We were going to write a separate story reassuring folks that there’s no truck trouble this afternoon – not even the routine queue shown in our photo above – but unrelated breaking news is getting in the way of that, so we’re just mentioning it here. If you see anything different at any point, please text or call (when you can do so safely/legally, of course) – 206-293-6302.