Toplines from tonight’s North Delridge Neighborhood Council meeting:
RV ‘SAFE LOT’ UPDATE: The last item discussed at the meeting was the one that yielded the biggest news. NDNC co-chair Michael Taylor-Judd, leading tonight’s meeting, said the current target date for the “safe lot” at West Marginal Way SW and Highland Park Way to open is February 19th. We had checked again with the city at the end of last week and were told only that they were still on track for the one-month time frame mentioned in the initial announcement, which was on January 19th, exactly one month before the date mentioned tonight. Discussions since that announcement have revealed that the city expects about 15 vehicles to use the lot; that they would be solicited from among those already living in vehicles in West Seattle and SODO; that the Low Income Housing Institute would operate it, with services offered by Compass Housing Alliance. It’s one of two such lots the city announced; the other one will be in Ballard.
Also discussed by NDNC – crime, preparedness, transportation, and more:
NEIGHBORHOOD CRIME/SAFETY: Random broken windows, a stolen car, a car jacked up in a driveway with the entire wheel section of the chassis stolen, car prowls in the lot at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (the meeting location) .. crime stories were told by people around the table. One resident said that he’s noticed police going by patrolling more in the past few days. Taylor-Judd said he had checked with the precinct and they don’t believe there’s been a dramatic increase lately, but they reiterate, whatever happens, please report it. He said the window-breaking in North Delridge and other neighborhoods is suspected to be connected to some “joyriding,” so police are on the lookout for that. As for the reports of potential gunfire – when police get reports, they go out to look for evidence (which as we often write here would involve casings or property damage, if no actual injured victim/s emerge). Also as reported here before, he said, police are keeping an eye on a few “problem houses.” Meantime, a member associated with the Delridge P-Patch said open drug use is happening there – as was mentioned during the Find It Fix It Walk last year – and she’s hoping to find ways to communicate community alerts, “to build a more-present community.”
The needles, Taylor-Judd pointed out, isn’t just a Delridge thing, or even just a Seattle thing, but it’s a “huge national problem.” But it brings up practical issues of safety, too, such as how to protect kids who are at the P-Patch for a work party, and how to dispose of needles. Another attendee mentioned that public needle use happens because people have nowhere else to do it, so there’s a move for safe injection sites around the city.
EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS: Cindi Barker from West Seattle Be Prepared came to NDNC to talk about preparedness in general, especially the emergency-communication hubs, which for seven-plus years now have been on the boards for various local neighborhoods – a place for people to meet in case of catastrophe and organize so that “neighbors (can help) neighbors … a place where you can come say ‘I need,’ or ‘I have’,” etc. This would only activate in case of what Barker called “the really big disaster.” But personal preparedness is key, she stressed – that includes a kit and a plan, how you and your loved ones would reunite if disaster struck while you were apart, etc. She explained other levels of preparedness and collaboration, at the block level, the neighborhood level, and the importance of knowing what resources you have – maybe three nursers live on your block, for example, and once your block is OK, they could go to the hub and offer help if anyone needed first aid. The hubs, she reminded NDNC, have drills, to work with scenarios that might happen. (Here’s one of our past reports. Another drill, Barker said, is coming up June 11th.) While some help will arise organically, the more you think about it in advance, the better. “So you practice this stuff,” she said. She also noted she wasn’t here to urge creation of another hub – Pigeon Point has one just uphill, while the Delridge P-Patch has one in the valley. But she did urge NDNC to help encourage people in the area to organize, block by block.
NEIGHBORHOOD PROJECT PROPOSALS: Taylor-Judd said several projects are proposed from the Delridge district in this cycle, including traffic safety at 25th/Brandon – watch for the presentations and ranking at a future Delridge Neighborhood District Council meeting.
SOUND TRANSIT 3: Taylor-Judd, who is also part of the West Seattle Transportation Coalition, gave attendees a short primer on the possibilities Sound Transit is considering for this fall’s ballot measure. No matter what happens, he said, the assumption is that it would have to come across the Duwamish River on a new bridge, rather than using an existing one, or tunneling. Where that crossing would be, he said, remains under discussion – could be on the north side of the existing bridge, or could be on the south side and “punch through the (Pigeon Point) hill.” There’s talk, he said, of a station in the Triangle/Stadium area and then having the route continue, elevated, into The Junction, but local groups are not big fans of that, for a variety of reasons including how businesses would be affected and how it would affect road configuration. So those groups, he said, are going to see “if Sound Transit will commit to undergrounding.” He also mentioned ongoing advocacy for Sound Transit to go for a bigger package – 25 or 30 years instead of 15 years. Meantime, WSTC is still – as mentioned at its last meeting (WSB coverage here) – working on a survey to ask people around the peninsula what they think, before ST makes its decision this spring on the November ballot measure.
DELRIDGE COMMUNITY CENTER FITNESS ZONE: Taylor-Judd said they’re working on a briefing at a future NDNC meeting, and most recent word is that groundbreaking is likely in May, which would be one year after the initial announcement.