West Seattle, Washington
Congratulations to frequent WSB contributor “Diver Laura” James and her colleagues on that 2014 KCTS report about the sea-star die-off – they’ve been nominated for the Pacific Northwest Emmy Awards. That’s one of two nominations for Laura – her underwater photography of the sea-star situation also is part of another Emmy-nominated KCTS report, “Is Alaska Safe for Starfish?” Last year, she won one for another public-TV project, about sea otters and climate change. The full list of this year’s regional Emmy Award nominations is here; the winners will be announced in June.
The DPD/SDOT study of the city’s parking policies – and recommendations for if/how to change them – just hit the inbox. Above, read the report. That’s what we’re still doing, and we’ll add toplines shortly. You can also go ahead (after the jump, if you’re reading this from the home page) and read the official news release sent with it:
In last Friday’s report on the online petition launched by opponents of two key components of the city’s under-development 35th SW safety plan, we mentioned the plan itself had started taking shape in the wake of a very different petition. That petition circulated early last year and was closed after more than 600 signatures and city leaders’ promise of safety improvements, in response to requests that traced back at least six years, to fall 2007.
Today, supporters of the changes SDOT is pursuing – a speed-limit reduction to 30 mph and some form of rechannelization – have reopened the petition from early 2014. Don Brubeck of West Seattle Bike Connections sent the announcement from Seattle Neighborhood Greenways:
If you are FOR safety on 35th Avenue SW, please sign this PRO-safety petition. You may have seen a petition circulating to STOP the safety improvements planned for “I-35″. There are several hundred signers who may be deceived by the petition claims that 35th is safe as is, and speed is needed, or actually saves time. It is hard to believe that they would be more willing to risk their neighbors’ lives rather than lose a few seconds of car travel time due to 5 mph lower speed limit; a signal at Graham; a greenway on 34th; pedestrian safety islands; a left-turn lane to avoid rear-ending and left-hook car crashes.
If you are FOR Safety, please sign this PRO-safety petition, signed by over 600 concerned neighbors in 2014, and re-opened now.
SDOT continues accepting comments about the proposed alternatives, which are outlined in the slide deck below:
The alternatives were presented in two meetings last month, both of which we covered – March 10th here, and March 12th here – as well as at the March 26th West Seattle Transportation Coalition meeting. SDOT said it would return to the community with final recommendations in June and is still accepting direct comments – e-mail email@example.com.
In case you didn’t already get this via the Metro alert system:
As part of an independent international survey effort by transit agencies serving 11 cities around the world, Metro is inviting customers to tell us their thoughts about the bus service we provide.
The 11 transit agencies will compare the results of their surveys in order to learn from one another and work toward providing even better service.
The northbound Battery Street Tunnel is closed for a collision. Use alternate routes. pic.twitter.com/zbRToxcTqT
— seattledot (@seattledot) April 13, 2015
2:03 PM: Don’t know yet how long this will last – but heads up if you are heading north: The Alaskan Way Viaduct might be a trouble spot for a while, because the collision shown in SDOT’s tweet has closed the northbound Battery Street Tunnel. No Seattle Fire callout, which likely means no serious injuries, if any. Updates when we get them.
2:20 PM: The Incident Response Team is on scene, says SDOT.
2:42 PM: Open again.
Making your plans for Earth Day on April 22nd (one week from Wednesday)? Barbara Clabots from the Surfrider Foundation (in our August 2014 photo above) just sent word they’re organizing a volunteer cleanup on Alki Beach, 2:30-4 pm on Earth Day – details on their website. They’d love all the help they can get to remove cigarette butts and other trash from the sand. We’re hearing of some possible warm weather this weekend, so there might be a lot of cleanup to do by then.
(5:12 PM UPDATE: Just added archived video of meeting – briefing starts about 1 hour, 9 minutes in)
10:38 AM: Click the “play” button to watch,
live, as the City Council gets briefed on the Highway 99 tunnel project. Today’s big focus – as previewed in our morning traffic/transportation-news watch – is on how much settling is happening with the Alaskan Way Viaduct and vicinity. The briefing is accompanied by a sheaf of technical information, from the state and the city, which has done its own analysis (and has already issued a news release declaring that the AWV is safe to use). More to come – we’re adding toplines below, as this continues.
*WSDOT project lead Todd Trepanier reiterates that the Viaduct is safe and that if any information indicated it weren’t, they would shut it down ASAP. But, he later says, data underscores that “this structure needs to be replaced.”
*Daily “automatic surveys” are “recording information all the time”
*So what would trigger a declaration of “this is unsafe”? Councilmember Bruce Harrell asked. Trepanier insisted there is no numerical answer to that, no “x” cracks or “x” inches, but that they keep monitoring and if something looks close to a trigger, they fix it. “It’s complex,” he insists. OK, says Councilmember Mike O’Brien, but “what are they comparing it to?” No numerical answer results. Trepanier mentions “demand and capacity.”
*WSDOT briefer Dave Sowers goes through the slide deck we’ve added below. Says that as long as a specific building, specific water line, etc., settles at same overall rate, it’s OK. Discussion also underscores that multiple entities are monitoring multiple points and not always finding exactly the same thing in (nearly the) same place; Sowers says they’re not yet sure why.
*March 28th inspection for which the Viaduct was closed: WSDOT says quarter-to-half inch of settlement at monitoring spots in Seneca Street vicinity, since last October. CM Sally Bagshaw asks why that area, since not near tunnel pit; WSDOT says they haven’t figured it out yet – it’s not the area where they’ve had settling near Seneca in the past. “Bent 76” (monitoring point) is where some cracks showed movement, they add, and new gauges have been installed. CM O’Brien asks, is the deterioration getting to any certain point such as, the Viaduct could have survived an X quake a month ago but not now? WSDOT’s very technical answer does not hit a certain magnitude but does mention that despite the “large cracks” they believe it would be OK in a “108-year event” quake.
*Water main on Western in Pioneer Square to be replaced ASAP – design 90% done – will take about 8 weeks
*City’s technical analysis (second slide deck below): Bottom line, the city wants another analysis before tunneling resumes, since some parts of the Viaduct have already hit the inch-or-so of settling that it was expected to be able to withstand. They also would like to know what magnitude of quake the Viaduct is expected to be able to handle, currently, and whether more strengthening might be in order. Are we approaching a point at which the Viaduct would have to be closed? Councilmember Tom Rasmussen asks. Not necessarily, says SDOT.
*Here’s the WSDOT presentation:
*Here’s the city’s technical-analysis presentation:
*Here’s the Seattle Public Utilities presentation (including the water-main-replacement plan):
OTHER PROJECT-RELATED POINTS:
*Seattle Tunnel Partners is making progress on machine-repairing project, says WSDOT, but “still too soon” to set or guess at dates for resumption of tunneling. Won’t be the “budget-breaking project” (some have feared), Trepanier says
*No rescheduling yet for the sign-related work that WAS going to shut down 99 lanes north of the Battery Street Tunnel for a while
(Satyr Anglewing butterfly, photographed by Trileigh Tucker)
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
CAREGIVER SUPPORT GROUP: Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s/dementia? At 1:30 pm, a twice-monthly support group meets at Providence Mount St. Vincent – details here. (4831 35th SW)
NORTH DELRIDGE NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL: 6:30 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. So far, here’s what’s on the agenda – but it’s YOUR community meeting, so if you have an idea, concern, question, be there. (4408 Delridge Way SW)
ADMIRAL LIBRARY EVENING BOOK GROUP: The West Seattle (Admiral) Branch‘s Evening Book Group gathers tonight too, 6:45 pm; this month’s book is “The Worst Hard Time” by Timothy Egan – more info here. (2306 42nd SW)
BROWSE THE CALENDAR to see what else is up today/tonight – and beyond.
(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Happy spring break to everyone who’s off this week, and welcome back to everyone who’s been away. Our Monday watch is on. And we are looking ahead:
TRANSPORTATION THIS WEEK:
*This morning’s City Council briefing will include a tunnel-project update around 10:30 am (watch live via Seattle Channel – accompanying documents are linked from the agenda, with lots of charts related to Viaduct settling)
*Tuesday night’s Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting (7 pm, The Sanctuary) will include an SDOT briefing on the early-stage plan for a bicycle lane on Admiral Way between California and 63rd SW. (Also see the document that will be shown to the City Council Transportation Committee earlier in the day.) Plans for a 20 mph speed limit on residential streets around West Seattle High School will be discussed too.
*On Wednesday night, another West Seattle presentation about the draft transportation levy is set for the Delridge District Council meeting (7 pm, Youngstown Cultural Arts Center). Also that night, the agenda for the quarterly Morgan Community Association meeting (7 pm, The Kenney [WSB sponsor]) includes several transportation topics.