day : 07/03/2016 11 results

West Seattle Crime Watch: Tools taken from truck; items found

March 7, 2016 11:51 pm
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 |   Crime | West Seattle news

Two West Seattle Crime Watch notes:

TRUCK BREAK-IN: Early Monday morning, Nancy reports discovering that her husband’s truck had been broken into. “They took about $2500 in tools, mostly Makita items.” This happened in Arbor Heights.

LIKELY LOOT: A Puget Ridge resident wonders if any of this looks familiar, “various socket gears and an ammo (?) box” that appeared Sunday morning:


The tipster suspects it was dumped loot.

SAFETY MEETINGS: Reminders of three – Tuesday night, the Admiral Neighborhood Association hosts a Community Police Team officer, 7 pm at The Sanctuary at Admiral (42nd/Lander); Wednesday night, it’s the student-safety meeting for the Chief Sealth International High School and Denny International Middle School communities at Sealth (2600 SW Thistle); March 15th, it’s the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council, 7 pm at the SW Precinct (2300 SW Webster).

Roxbury report card: Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council, report #1

(WSB photo added Tuesday afternoon, looking east from west of 30th SW; future-sidewalk zone is at right)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Two major transportation-related topics at tonight’s Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council meeting, too big for one story, so we’re tackling them separately.

In this first report: A SW Roxbury Safety Project report card, six months after changes including the rechannelization of its western mile-plus, to one travel lane each way plus a center turn lane, presented with information about what’s yet to come.

Jim Curtin, SDOT’s project manager for Roxbury (and the concurrent 35th SW changes), brought new stats, half a year after preps for the restriping began, along with an update on what’s next.

First, a bit of backstory. The rechannelization plan was unveiled in July 2014, but traced back to WWRHAH discussions more than a year earlier.

As Curtin explained tonight, “It was an effort to improve safety, and it all came up because this neighborhood council sent a thoughtful letter asking us to take a look at the corridor … as anyone in the neighborhood knows, walking along Roxbury was not a fun thing. We had two lanes in each direction; if you had a vehicle of any substantial size in that curb lane, they were going 30 to 40 mph literally inches away from you as a pedestrian. We took a look at the data and found out there was a high injury rate – that’s something we don’t like to see; the speed data showed an egregious speeding problem; we have two schools, Holy Family at 20th SW and Roxhill Elementary at 30th SW … As somebody who lives in Arbor Heights, I drop the kids off at day care every morning and (see these roads). … Wider streets encourage faster speeds.”

They reviewed, as he reminded everyone, the entire corridor from 35th to Olson. “Most of the changes have been on the western end of the corridor, but we’re gearing up to do some things further east” – not further rechannelization, he said, because the eastern part has too much volume for that, “one of the busiest streets in West Seattle.”

Here’s the latest data (with a formal report to come in September, along with recommendations):

SPEEDING: Down “significantly,” Curtin said.

At 20th SW (Holy Family), the 85th-percentile speed pre-rechannelization, was 37.5 mph – 7.5 mph over posted speed limit. Since the rechannelization, the 85th-percentile speeds have dropped by 3.7 mph, just a bit under 10 percent reduction.

At 30th SW (Roxhill Elementary), a “big drop in speeds” – pre-project, 85th percentile was 41.3 mph, 11.3 mph over posted speed limit; post-project, 34 mph – a 7.3 mph (17 percent) reduction in speed.

CRASHES: At 26th/Roxbury, which is still being evaluated for possible changes such as turn signals, there were 17 collisions in the 3-year period pre-rechannelization; post-project, zero, Curtin said: “We’re thinking that’s a good change at this point.”

As a whole, 17th to 35th SW on Roxbury, grand total of two collisions in the six months post-rechannelization, both “property damage only” crashes – zero injuries, zero serious injuries, zero fatalities. Curtin’s assessment: “We are certainly liking where those numbers are taking us.”

TRAFFIC VOLUMES: Steady, almost exactly what they were before, 475 per hour is the busiest it gets.

TRAVEL TIMES: Interns are doing what they call “floating car surveys” on all the SDOT rechannelization projects, “driving the corridor during peak hours with a passenger with a stopwatch, recording times.” So far, Curtin said, travel times are basically unchanged, with a maximum delay of 23 seconds over pre-project travel times: “Very little change or impact to vehicular traffic out there.”

FEEDBACK: After Curtin finished, two participants brought up issues such as having to wait a long time to back out of driveways or to merge into traffic. “The floating tally doesn’t include that,” one man suggested. What’s the likelihood of changes at 26th/Roxbury? Curtin was asked. It’s functioning well now, he said, but “I think we can take a look at it” – looking at, for example, lengthening the north-south “green time” on 26th. Some other questions led to Curtin wondering if possibly a “signal loop” in the pavement had failed, so he said they’ll take a look.

City Councilmember Lisa Herbold arrived during the briefing and asked about the analysis Curtin mentioned for fall, as well as the feedback on 35th SW. Can citizens help define how it’s analyzed? she said, urging a “partnership” between SDOT and the community. “That’s how this project got started in the first place,” Curtin pointed out.

One attendee noted, in support of the changes, that people who “can no longer speed” certainly are experiencing a slower commute, so “their opinion might not be as valid. … I’m just amazed at 6:20 in the morning at how many people are ready to, like, shoot me for going the speed limit.”

WHAT’S NEXT FOR ROXBURY CORRIDOR: SDOT is up to 90 percent design for the new stretch of sidewalk coming to the south side of the street, east of 30th SW; a bit of it is in the city, but mostly in King County. They’ll take it out to bid in April and then build “400 linear feet of sidewalk,” which will “complete the sidewalk network” in the area (which has already seen new sidewalks as part of the Safe Routes to School program).

Also: Look for two new radar speed signs between 4th and 12th SW; they’ve made some modifications at the crash-prone 8th SW intersection, Curtin said, and they’re working to reduce the speed limit to 30 mph there.

At Olson and Roxbury, where Roxbury curves into Olson Place, SDOT will “fully signalize the crosswalk at that intersection” this year.

They’ll be rebuilding the sidewalk and improving barriers at Myers Way and Olson Place – ramps and other pedestrian improvements in the works.

And, looking back to the west a ways, “we’re still working on pavement and ramps in the section where the pavement is the worst” at 17th and 18th, in tandem with King County, because it’s “mostly theirs,” plus a City Light vault.

“Otherwise, I’m totally open to everyone’s comments and suggestions,” said Curtin. (You can reach him at – and in addition to a Roxbury report this fall, you can also watch for news about the northern section of 35th SW in the months ahead.)

What about the slickness on the Roxbury/Olson hill area? asked a motorcycle rider. Another SDOT rep present said they thought they had it solved by tracing it to a particular model of Metro bus that seemed to be causing an “oil issue” at various spots around the city, but it’s not completely corrected, he acknowledged, so there may be something else in play.

SPEAKING OF BUSES: Report #2 will focus on the discussion of a problem that residents of 26th SW south of Westwood Village have been experiencing since RapidRide and other changes transformed the area into a major transit center without a significant amount of planning – damaged pavement and curbs, and settling/sinking houses.

Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council, co-chaired by Amanda Kay Helmick and Eric Iwamoto, now meets on first Mondays, 6:15 pm, at Southwest Library.

About the emergency response near Alki Community Center

(WSB photo)

Thanks for the texts about the emergency response near the Alki Community Center. Here’s what it was about: A woman was injured in Schmitz Park, about midway between the upper and lower entrances to the main trail, apparently from some kind of fall. She had to be brought out via a “Stokes litter” (in photo, post-rescue), the incident commander told us, which took some time; she’s been taken to Harborview.

Beach Drive traffic calming, Harbor/ Avalon/ Spokane tidying? Neighborhood-fund proposals @ Southwest District Council

FullSizeRender (82)

Two community-proposed projects are seeking Southwest District Council support for their applications to get Neighborhood Park and Street Fund money – one on Beach Drive, one on Harbor Avenue. Both were presented at this month’s SWDC meeting, which also included a briefing on the upcoming work to re-replace earthquake-safety cushions on the Fauntleroy Expressway (west/southwest end of the West Seattle Bridge).

SWDC is one of West Seattle’s two groups of representatives from community groups and organizations in what the city defines as this area’s two neighborhood “districts” – Southwest, primarily western WS, and Delridge, eastern WS (see the map here). When it’s time for NPSF applications, the councils review proposals and make recommendations to the city. The criteria include “Projects must cost less than $90,000 as determined by SDOT and Parks” and “The project has widespread positive impact on the neighborhood as a whole.”

The photo atop this story is part of the area involved in the proposal from the Beach Drive SW Neighborhood Committee, formed for the application:

Read More

ALERT: Two more loud ‘rapid-load’ tests @ Terminal 5 this week

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If you’re in the Terminal 5 area – take note that the Port of Seattle has two more “rapid-load testing of piles” set for this week, as part of the design/permit process for the Terminal 5 Modernization Project. They’re both scheduled around noon, one tomorrow (Tuesday, March 8th), one on Thursday (March 10th). Port spokesperson Peter McGraw says it “will sound like a half-second cannon shot,” which one reader verified after a recent test (of which we didn’t get advance notice). If you have a question or complaint, here’s the address you can use: – McGraw says the test results “may help reduce the number of piles required and the depth of pile installation, which in-turn would reduce noise associated with pile-driving during construction.”

2 West Seattle ex-substations now for sale


1:50 PM: When we reported last week on the former Andover Substation going up for sale on the open market, it was the only ex-substation in West Seattle – of the half-dozen reviewed in the past year and a half – to be set for that type of disposition, right now.

Now, we’ve discovered that a second one has a “For Sale” sign – a change from the plan that was in the works last December, when the City Council authorized disposition of the ex-substations, after a review process that stretched over more than two years. And the site has a page on the city website that just went live this morning, days after the other listings.

It’s known as the White Center Substation, though it’s in Highland Park, at 8820 9th SW [map]. The city report on the ex-substations last September had said that the site was suggested as a complement to a county stormwater-infrastructure project, and that the county “concurred that the former White Center Substation would be a suitable site for stormwater bio-retention.”

The bill subsequently passed by the Council in December said that the site would be offered to King County at its appraised value, listed as $355,000. But that fell through, and now the site is for sale, with the flyer setting the minimum bid at $500,000 and describing the site as 13,750 square feet, zoned LR (Lowrise) 2.

We’ve been inquiring with the county and city as to why the sale to the county fell through, and will update with whatever we find out. Bids, meantime, are due by the end of this month.

4:05 PM: Our inquiry to the county has brought this reply from Annie Kolb-Nelson of the Wastewater Treatment Division: “King County WTD has been looking at a range of alternatives to control CSOs [combined sewer overflows] in the Lower Duwamish at West Michigan and Terminal 115, and we’ve been working closely with community members to understand concerns and priorities. With regard to the substation property you refer to, King County considered the parcel but later determined we could complete the project without it. However, because the community expressed interest in it, we looked into acquiring it through alternative funding such as grants or other resources to cover the purchase costs. Unfortunately, we were unable to find the funds needed.”

Highway 99 tunneling update: ‘Demonstration period’ over; Viaduct closure getting closer

Another Highway 99 tunnel update from WSDOT this afternoon. This time, the state has told its contractor, according to the update, “that they could continue mining to a planned maintenance stop near Yesler Way. The notification came as STP completed the 25-ring demonstration period that was put in place when mining resumed on Feb. 23. The underground maintenance stop is approximately 120 feet north of the tunneling machine’s current location near South Washington Street. The machine has traveled a total of 1,437 feet and the bored section of the SR 99 tunnel is now 15 percent complete.” That maintenance stop is where, WSDOT says, the machine could undergo “several weeks” of work before it gets ready to tunnel beneath the Alaskan Way Viaduct, which will be closed for about two weeks as a precaution while the machine is beneath it.

In case you missed our coverage, WSDOT reps briefed the West Seattle Transportation Coalition on the closure plan last month; they expect to set a closure date with about two weeks’ warning.

West Seattle water: Discoloration reports again today

We’re continuing to track brown-water reports in West Seattle – the city says they’re not unusual, with some days bringing 40-50 around Seattle. Today we’ve heard from people near 49th/Dakota and 56th/Andover. As always, we asked them to call the number Seattle Public Utilities gave us for brown-water reports weeks ago – 206-386-1800. Both reported being told that SPU doesn’t have any reports of line breaks or projects today, but that if it’s not SFD testing hydrants – which is done without notification to SPU – it might be work at the new Genesee Hill Elementary project stirring up sediment in the lines. Meantime, we’re working on a big-picture followup for later this week about how water quality is monitored on an ongoing basis. SPU has general “what to do if the water looks weird” info here.

West Seattle restaurants: Wingstop work at Westwood Village

(WSB photo)

10:56 AM: Eight months ago, when Eats Market Café announced it was closing, we reported the plan for Wingstop to take over its space in the heart of Westwood Village. That space has remained vacant and idle since then, but work has finally begun to remodel it for Wingstop – we had been going by periodically to check, and spotted the crew at work this morning. As our photo shows, the space is now completely gutted. A crew member told us that the delay was mostly attributable to a long wait for city permits; they’re hoping to have the restaurant open sometime in May.

While Wingstop is a national chain, this restaurant is being opened by local franchisees from a group headed by include former Seahawks player Sidney Rice, whose fifth one opened in Pierce County a little over a month ago.

2:55 PM: A comment related to this story has led us to one update since the original report – one of Sidney Rice’s former Seahawks teammates is now a Wingstop franchisee and has become the owner of this future store, as confirmed to WSB by a corporate spokesperson – Richard Sherman.

West Seattle Monday: Early Days @ Nurturing Expressions; Community Orchard’s new season; WWRHAH’s new night …

(Male golden-crowned kinglet, “displaying,” photographed by Mark Wangerin)

Last Monday before Daylight Saving Time (which starts at 2 am next Sunday, March 13th) … Highlights from our calendar for today/tonight include some changes and fresh starts:

EARLY DAYS’ NEW LOCATION: Today’s the first Monday, 10:30 am-noon, for this parenting-support group to meet at Nurturing Expressions (WSB sponsor) in The Junction. (4746 44th SW, Suite 201)

GIVE A PRICELESS GIFT: Give blood, 1-7 pm (closed 3-4 pm for break) at Peace Lutheran Church in Gatewood; info in our listing. (39th SW/SW Thistle)

COMMUNITY ORCHARD OF WEST SEATTLE’S NEW SEASON: Spring is almost here and it’s time to work in the orchard – stop by 4-6 pm today or find other opportunities via the info in our calendar listing. North end of South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus. (6000 16th SW)

WESTWOOD-ROXHILL-ARBOR HEIGHTS CC’S NEW NIGHT: Tonight’s the first time the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council is meeting on its new night, the first Monday of the month. Same time, 6:15-7:45 pm; same location, Southwest Library. At the heart of tonight’s agenda: SDOT and Metro, talking with WWRHAH about bus- and transit-center-related issues. (35th SW/SW Henderson)

WEST SEATTLE HI-YU: The all-volunteer group behind West Seattle’s only-one-of-its-kind community float (among other things) meets at 7 pm at Admiral Congregational Church – all welcome! (California SW/SW Hill)

AFTER HOURS AT ARTSWEST: 7:30 pm, the cabaret series is back, tonight featuring Matt Owen with AW’s Mathew Wright – more here. (4711 California SW)

MORE NIGHTLIFE … on the calendar!

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Monday watch; bridge crash

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

6:30 AM: Good morning! No incidents in/from West Seattle reported so far this morning.

LOOKING AHEAD: No scheduled closures to preview for the week, so far, but we’re noting that it’ll be darker this time *next* Monday (but lighter in the evening) because Daylight Saving Time starts at 2 am Sunday.

6:39 AM: Thanks to the texter (206-293-6302 if you’re a passenger) who just reported a crash on the eastbound bridge: “Two cars rear-ended each other in the middle lane right after the top of the bridge.” Now seeing that SFD has been dispatched too.

6:47 AM: No injuries, so the SFD units have already cleared from the scene.

7:09 AM: SDOT says it’s not seeing the crash aftermath and “volumes appear normal” for this time of the morning.

8:30 AM: No incidents reported since then, but it’s a sluggish morning overall around the region, according to the citywide traffic reporters, so be aware of that.