Transportation issues were at centerstage during this month’s Southwest District Council meeting, which had a few agenda changes from what had been announced in advance.
DON ARMENI BOAT RAMP PARKING: SWDC heard first from Paul Hage, who is opposed to the new non-boater-parking crackdown at Don Armeni. We reported on this in April; the city insists it’s not a change in policy, but rather, stepped-up enforcement.
Hage read a 3 1/2-page statement including research that he says shows that while the car-parking spaces in the area, on the street and at both ends of Don Armeni, are taken up during the day, the spaces for boaters are 79 percent empty during all but the busy heart-of-summer months.
Hage told the SWDC that he wants a more-equitable policy with some room for non-boaters to use the parking during the times it’s not maxed out.
Seattle Police had reps at the meeting – Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Ron Smith and Community Police Team Officer Jon Flores. Lt. Smith said they were there to discuss enforcement, not policy. Officer Flores said they have issued some citations but mostly have been talking to drivers and giving them warnings; many drivers told them the old signs were unclear and had led them to believe it was OK to park anywhere in the lot. Lt. Smith said the new signs are assisting them in dealing with the large number of cars that gather at Don Armeni at night and on the weekend, and said enforcement efforts are under way for speeding, racing, and drinking, not just parking. Also, regarding the use of the small in-park sections where non-boater cars are allowed, they now are signed for two hours maximum, the police said.
Discussion among SWDC members included Alki Community Council president Tony Fragada noting that ACC had taken the issue of Don Armeni lot gatherings to various agencies before, and Fauntleroy Community Association‘s Vicki Schmitz-Block pointing out that this is a Parks issue, so a Parks rep should come to the council and talk about it.
ADMIRAL PROPOSAL: Emily Ehlers showed SWDC what she had shown the Admiral Neighborhood Association a few weeks earlier (WSB coverage here) regarding changes SDOT is proposing for Admiral Way west of California SW. Next step is an open house for the community at Alki Elementary, 6-7:30 pm on May 21st.
As community members had pointed out during the ANA meeting, one major flaw with the city’s proposal so far is its stats on parking usage along the stretch, since, as was admitted during that previous presentation, the survey was taken in winter. SWDC’s Jim Edwards suggested to Ehlers that SDOT visit on the day of the Seafair Pirates Landing – June 27th – and Ehlers said she wasn’t familiar with the event.
At that point, issue was taken with whether or not this was a done deal. SWDC co-chair David Whiting, president of ANA, said SDOT had assured him earlier that bicycle changes were not in the works for this stretch. Ehlers said people involved in various projects aren’t always in communication with each other. But the plan is not set in stone, she insisted, and could change based on results of the summer parking survey. Skepticism remained.
Speaking of safety – there was a question about whether road cracks west of California would be getting fixed. Ehlers said the current Admiral-fixing plans are for east of California but she’d take the voiced concerns back.
SSC ARBORETUM: Two reps from the Arboretum at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) invited SWDC to have its next meeting there and take a tour. The invitation was accepted – so take note that the June SWDC meeting, first Wednesday in June, will be there.