West Seattle, Washington
(WSB photo taken at Seacrest this morning, after the West Seattle Water Taxi sailed away)
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, six highlights for this afternoon/evening:
7:05 Elections: All meeting participants may vote
Vice President – Jason Wax
New Executive Board Members
SW District Council Representative – Tod Rodman
Executive Board – Cindi Barker and Tod Rodman
7:15 District 1 Candidate messages – 5 minutes each
• Lisa Herbold
• Phillip Tavel
• Tom Koch
7:30 MoCA Minute Updates
• NEW ‘Little Library’ for Morgan Junction Park
• 10 years already!! The Morgan Junction Festival
• Future Morgan Junction Park Expansion & SW Eddy Street
• Hub Drill and Hub-a-thon – April 17, April 18, and May 9
• California Avenue streetscape improvement request
7:35: Special Guest – Dove Alberg – Director, Capital Development and Construction Management, Finance and Administrative Services, City of Seattle.
8:00 Old Business
Morgan cut-through traffic study
Morgan Junction Business Association
New Bike Racks
SW Precinct Advisory Committee
Sidewalk Improvement Grant
Nazarene Church Comprehensive Plan Amendment
Receivership Committee report – Proposed By Laws Changes
8:35 New Business
Report from SW District Council – Design Review Concerns
YMCA Expansion Endorsement
Neighborhood Conservation District proposal
Workshop – Things to know now that you are 50
The meeting rooms are on the lower level of The Kenney. (7125 Fauntleroy Way SW)
DELRIDGE NEIGHBORHOODS DISTRICT COUNCIL: 7 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. Agenda:
7:05 p.m. Welcome & Introductions
7:15 p.m. North Delridge Action Plan
7:30 p.m. “Aging Your Way: Things to Know Now That You’re 50”
7:40 p.m. Levy to Move Seattle
8:10 p.m. Update on NPSF
8:15 p.m. DNDC Member Additional Updates & Announcements
8:30 p.m. Closing Remarks/Other Items
(4408 Delridge Way SW)
WORDSWEST LITERARY SERIES:This month, “Death and Taxes: The National Poetry Month Special with Kelli Russell Agodon and January Gill O’Neil”:
AND OF COURSE … there’s more on the calendar.
While sending a reminder about tomorrow’s “open house” drop-in info session about the SW Roxbury plan announced last week, SDOT also announced walking tours in May, for the 35th SW project updated last month as well as for Roxbury. Here’s the lineup:
*Tomorrow (3-4:30 pm), Roxbury project open house @ Southwest Library (35th/Henderson)
*May 16th (9 am-noon), 35th SW walking tour (details/meeting place TBA)
*May 20th (evening), Roxbury walking tour (details/meeting place TBA)
Along with our coverage links above, here are SDOT’s project pages:
10:46 AM: According to a text tipster and the Orca Network Facebook page, you just might see orcas between Fauntleroy and Vashon right now – heading slowly southbound, according to observers, but at some point they might turn around, so this is your official heads-up that they’re in the area. Please comment if you see them! (And we ALWAYS appreciate texted tips about so many things – 206-293-6302, any time of the day/night.)
12:24 PM: We didn’t have any luck right around 11 from the Brace Point area – but two commenters have been watching more recently – thanks for the updates!
ADDED 7:44 AM: Some video from Wednesday, posted to YouTube and credited to Alisa Lemire Brooks/Orca Network, identifying these orcas as transients, not residents.
Seattle Police are warning of a bogus “plumber” scamming his way into homes – and says one was in West Seattle:
… In five different cases between January 22nd and April 8th, the suspect has approached women – all between the ages of 76 and 91 – at their homes, claimed to work for Fox Plumbing, and then tried to snake his way inside to steal cash, credit cards, and IDs.
In the first incident, the suspect approached a woman at her home in the 4700 block of 25th Ave SW, said he was working at a neighbor’s home, and needed to check her water. The victim allowed the man inside, where he strolled from room to room, turning on faucets before leaving. The victim became suspicious and called Fox Plumbing, only to learn they did not have anyone working in the area. She then discovered the suspect had stolen cash, credit cards and her ID.
The full story, with incidents elsewhere in the city, is here.
(Photo of bicycle-parade participants gathering during 2014 Alki Summer Streets)
One week ago today, we broke the news that SDOT is changing its “Summer Streets“ program this year and, after seven years, scrapping the street festival it had been presenting on Alki Avenue SW after the West Seattle 5K Run/Walk (which **IS** still on for May 17th – it’s a separately organized benefit for the WSHS PTSA). Unless, SDOT told us, someone in the community wants to organize the event. That immediately galvanized some Alki residents including Guy Olson, who’s been an organizer of the bicycle parade during Summer Streets the past two years. He says – keep saving the date! Here’s what they’re working to plan:
We are most likely calling it “Alki Daze.” We are planning on still doing the costumed bicycle parade, hiring Bubbleman, having at least two bands play, and having the first ever bicycle drag race on Alki, all happening on May 17th. This will all be starting around 1:00 pm. I will be blocking off the parking spaces on the 2600 block of Alki, on the south side of the street for bicycle parking. In addition, we will be making this a 2-day event, hence the “Daze.” On May 16th we are going to host a community meet-and-greet at a local bar or restaurant. After that, we are planning a community bonfire.
Guy says they’re also checking into whether any kind of campout might be allowed in the area. We asked him if they’re looking for volunteers, sponsors, etc. – not yet, and no further details, but they wanted to let you know that they’re working on it.
(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Good morning. No incidents in or from West Seattle so far this morning. One update on ongoing work:
UPDATE ON 47TH/ADMIRAL SIGNAL/CROSSWALKS: From SDOT:
Construction is scheduled to begin this week on the south side of 47th Avenue SW and SW Waite Street. We anticipated beginning demolition of the southeast and southwest corners as soon as Monday but the work has been slightly delayed. Residents and businesses can now expect demolition at the southeast corner as soon as (today), April 15, and at the southwest corner on Thursday, April 16. The corners will be impacted for approximately two weeks while crews prepare signal pole foundations and pour new curbs and sidewalk. Access to Alki Mail & Dispatch will be maintained at all times.
Corners may be closed to pedestrians and bicyclists during work. People walking and biking will need to follow marked detours or find an alternate route.
As we’ve previously mentioned, there will be a lull of activity between work at the corners of this intersection and installation of the signal. Construction at the intersection will slow down at the end of April while we wait for the delivery of signal equipment. We will continue to keep you informed as more information is available related to installation and configuration of the new signal.
SPEAKING OF ADMIRAL: Watch for our report on last night’s Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting, with SDOT’s briefing on two projects – adding bicycle lanes between California and 63rd, and reducing neighborhood speed limits in the WSHS vicinity.
10:26 AM: If you’re heading up from Harbor Avenue to California Avenue, a crash is blocking the uphill lane – thanks to the tipster who texted us. Does not appear from the SFD log that there were serious (if any) injuries.
Less than three weeks till your chance to break your breakfast routine and support nonprofits by having breakfast with the Rotary Club of West Seattle and special guest:
King County Executive (and West Seattle Rotarian) Dow Constantine will speak at the West Seattle Rotary Club’s annual Fundraising Breakfast at Salty’s on May 5, 2015, 7-9 am. Go to the club website for more information and to register.
The Rotary Club of West Seattle supports local projects including Pencil Me In For Kids, the Children’s Shopping Spree, Students of the Month, the Kiddie Parade, and the Grand Parade.
(WSB photo of Executive Constantine from March 28th dedication of M/V Sally Fox on Vashon Island)
The city has just gone public with the list of 44 people who have applied to fill the rest of Sally Clark’s City Council term. We’re seeing at least two familiar West Seattle names – Delridge District Council chair Mat McBride and 34th District Democrats board member Chris Porter. (We’re still reading the list – let us know if we’re missing other West Seattleites.)
Other applicants include Mark Solomon, known here as Crime Prevention Coordinator for the Southwest and South Precincts; also, three former city councilmembers – Jan Drago, Heidi Wills, and Peter Steinbrueck.
The council is to announce finalists next Monday (April 20th) and to make an appointment one week later. Stand by for details on how to tell them what you think of the applicants.
Attempted car theft, mail theft, burglary, all in this roundup of West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports, ahead:
GATEWOOD REPORT #2: Not far from there, at 36th/Myrtle (map), Eugene reports: “3 pm today. Walking up Myrtle street in broad daylight. Maybe it’s not news anymore. But it looked like a chupacabra with fur so I thought I’d mention it.”
PUGET RIDGE: Forwarded from a neighborhood list, a sighting at midmorning today near 21st/Dawson (map).
2:38 PM: We weren’t sure that was thunder until we got up from the desk and looked out to the southwest. Storm moving in! Checking the National Weather Service to see how long (or short) it might be. (Added) Forecast for the afternoon does say “possibly a thunderstorm.”
3:35 PM: And as is so typical for spring weather … now, even as rain continues, a sunbreak is moving our way from the same direction that yielded the big boom earlier.
7:13 PM: Thanks to Patrick for tweeting this photo of a between-showers rainbow:
— Patrick kelly (@MetPatrick22) April 14, 2015
(Admiral Way Safety Project area map, from SDOT)
We’ve already mentioned that the Admiral Neighborhood Association will hear tonight from SDOT about bicycle lanes proposed along Admiral Way between the business district and Alki. Since then, SDOT has sent this preview – which reveals it’s not just a bicycle-lane project, but includes other planned safety improvements including narrower vehicle lanes (note that this area includes the already-underway 47th/Admiral signal-and-crosswalks project):
Collisions from 2011 to 2014 along SW Admiral Way
· 1 pedestrian collision along project extent (2012)
· 2 bike collisions along project extent (both in 2011)
· 45 vehicle collisions along project extent
· Reduce lane widths along SW Admiral Way and design the street to encourage slower speeds and reduce collisions
· Add new travel option by installing buffered bikes lanes from 63rd Ave SW to 44th Ave SW.
In order to add the bike lane, depending on the location, on-street parking will be consolidated to one-side of the street where parking utilization is low; or the two-way, left-turn lane (will be) removed to keep on-street parking on both sides of SW Admiral Way.
Parking Study Results
Along this 1.4 miles of SW Admiral Way, there are 441 parking spaces. We tracked the parking utilization on weekends and weekdays, morning, noon, evening and late night. At the maximum occupancy for each block, only 33% of existing spaces are being used. Of course, this isn’t uniformly distributed across the corridor. Between 45th Ave SW and California Ave SW and between 57th and 63rd avenues SW on-street parking occupancy is relatively high.
Existing Spaces: 441
Current Utilization: 33%
Percentage Preserved: 56%
April – Community briefings
May 6 – SW District Council briefing
May – Open House
May – July – Final design
August – Implementation
2016 – Evaluation
(We are asking SDOT to confirm that “percentage preserved” in the “parking study” section means that 44 percent of the 441 parking spaces are to be removed, or whether it means something else. Update: Yes, SDOT’s Norm Mah confirms, that’s what it means – so, about 200 spaces will go.)
Now that you’ve seen the plan, if you have questions/comments, come to tonight’s Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting, 7 pm, The Sanctuary at Admiral (42nd/Lander). If you absolutely can’t – watch for one of the other briefings (such as the SWDC, 6:30 pm Wednesday, May 6th, at the Senior Center of West Seattle).
(Click image for the full-size, downloadable, printable PDF)
The native-flower photos, in montage format, were taken last weekend on Fairmount Avenue by Fred Weinmann, whose son Chris Weinmann shared them with us, to share with you. After a quick review, we suspected this was the work of someone more knowledgeable than the average wanderer, so we asked Chris. He tells us his dad – a Port Townsend resident who frequently visits West Seattle to be with family – is a botanist and former president of the Washington Native Plant Society. Fred Weinmann also has published a few botany books, as you can see in this bio from the UW, where he has taught. Thanks to them for sharing, and enlightening!
Good luck to Evergreen Science, a 15-member team of 6th-through-9th-grade-age homeschool students from West Seattle and South Seattle who are headed to a big competition this Saturday: The state-level Science Olympiad, to be held at Highline College in Des Moines. If they win, they’ll go to the National Science Olympiad, which will be held at the University of Nebraska in mid-May. Christine Ranegger e-mailed to let us know about Evergreen Science and pointed us to the official SO website for this explanation:
Science Olympiad competitions are like academic track meets, consisting of a series of 23 team events in each division (Division B is middle school; Division C is high school). Each year, a portion of the events are rotated to reflect the ever-changing nature of genetics, earth science, chemistry, anatomy, physics, geology, mechanical engineering and technology. By combining events from all disciplines, Science Olympiad encourages a wide cross-section of students to get involved. Emphasis is placed on active, hands-on group participation. Through Science Olympiad, students, teachers, parents, principals and business leaders bond together and work toward a shared goal.
Teamwork is a required skill in most scientific careers today, and Science Olympiad encourages group learning by designing events that forge alliances. In Elevated Bridge, an engineering whiz and a kid from wood shop can become gold medalists. Similarly, a talented builder and a student with a good science vocabulary can excel in Write It Do It, one of Science Olympiad’s most popular events.
This is the team’s third year of competition and second year making it to state, where they placed sixth last year but are hoping to win it all this time. The parent-coached team meets every Monday morning at a home in Admiral, and its subgroups have been getting together inbetween to train in their specific events; Evergreen Science also has been crowdfunding to cover expenses. They’ll know by Saturday night if those expenses will include a trip to Nebraska – Christine promises to let us know how they do!
(Band-tailed pigeon in Fauntleroy Park, photographed by Mark Wangerin)
Flying on into the Tuesday highlights from our calendar:
WATER RATE INCREASE? 2 pm at the City Council’s Public Utilities and Neighborhoods Committee meeting, discussion starts on the projected water-rate increases – reported and discussed here last Friday. Watch live via Seattle Channel – or go to City Hall. (600 4th Av., downtown)
JUNCTION NEIGHBORHOOD ORGANIZATION: 6:30 pm at the Senior Center of West Seattle:
Our guest speaker will be discussing RPZ parking and how to request modifications to the current RPZ criteria which do not work for our neighborhood: Margo Polley, Strategic Adviser at Seattle Department of Transportation. We will also be joined by some team members of the Dept. of Neighborhoods to talk about small sparks grants and the PACE program. … JuNO is looking for a webmaster and committee leaders & community event planners.
All welcome. (Oregon/California)
ADMIRAL NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: 7 pm at The Sanctuary at Admiral – agenda includes SDOT briefings on Admiral Way bike-lane plans west of California SW and 20 mph plans in neighborhoods near West Seattle High School. (42nd/Lander)
NIGHTLIFE TOO … check the calendar!
(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Welcome to Tuesday, April 14th. No road work alerts for today beyond continuing projects. Speaking of which …
ADMIRAL NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION TONIGHT: How’s the 47th/Admiral signal/crosswalks project going? You’re likely to find out tonight when ANA meets at 7 pm, The Sanctuary at Admiral (42nd/Lander). The agenda also includes SDOT briefings on a future bicycle-lane project along Admiral Way west of California and the 20 mph zone planned in the WSHS area.
JUNCTION NEIGHBORHOOD ORGANIZATION TONIGHT: JuNO’s 6:30 pm agenda at the Senior Center of West Seattle also includes an SDOT rep, talking about RPZ criteria – of extra interest now in the wake of the citywide parking-study report covered here last night.
Earlier in the day …
CITY COUNCIL TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE: 9:30 am at City Hall (or watch live online or on TV via Seattle Channel), with a busy agenda including updates on Bicycle Master Plan Implementation and the Freight Master Plan.
Survey du jour:
QUESTIONS ABOUT METRO: Answer them and be part of an international survey about transit.
Now, on to traffic watch – updates if/when anything of note happens.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.