WEST SEATTLE JUNCTION NOTES: Tagging vandalism cleanup plan; more bikeshare dropoffs; recycling event Saturday

Three Junction notes:

TAGGING VANDALISM TO BE CLEANED UP: Thanks to everyone who tipped us about the particularly big and brazen tagging across the front of the former Radio Shack store at 4505 California SW. We checked in with West Seattle Junction Association executive director Lora Swift, who had just put up the sign you see in our photo – informing everyone interested that it is scheduled to be cleaned up tomorrow.

Also in The Junction, more bike-share bicycles were dropped off today:

RENTAL BIKES REPLENISHED: The orange bicycles in the truck are from Spin; the truck was replenishing/adding them at spots along California, judging by what we later saw as we headed south, all the way to the bottom of Gatewood Hill. The green rental bicycles are from LimeBike, also in view along the sidewalk (we see them most often in use), and there’s also been a recent multiple-bike appearance by the third company authorized to operate in the city, Ofo, whose bicycles are yellow. Anna sent this photo as they appeared on corners in the heart of The Junction a few days ago:

Those three companies have permits to have thousands of bikes out around the city. The trend is spreading nationwide.

RECYCLING REMINDER: Our third and final Junction note – just four days until the dropoff Recycle/Reuse event on Saturday (October 14th), 9 am-1 pm, in the Junction lot along 42nd SW just south of SW Oregon – here are details about what they will and won’t take.

44 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE JUNCTION NOTES: Tagging vandalism cleanup plan; more bikeshare dropoffs; recycling event Saturday"

  • Swede. October 10, 2017 (10:16 pm)

    The one problem that’s starting to become an annoying already about the bike chare is they all advertise that you can ‘leave them anywhere’, so people do… In the middle of sidewalks, in bushes, on the bus, in private yards etc. Preferably laying down or leaning on something since the rider forgot that they, off course, have a kickstand… 

  • WSR October 10, 2017 (11:27 pm)

    And 5-6 of the 8 yellow OFA bikes were stolen w/out being legally checked out/unlocked by a group of 5-7 youth, ages approx 10-13 on Sunday in the Junction during heavy foot traffic. I hope these companies have enough funding to keep locating and replacing the bikes. They are a public amenity. It is unfortunate some bad eggs abuse the benefit. These companies should make it more difficult to ‘lift/walk off’ w/ the bikes. They make a terrible noise but can be ridden w/out being u locked (as witnessed Sunday). And they appear to have a way to easily remove the locking device when out of sight. All of us should speak out when we see the theft or misuse happening. If we keep turning a blind eye, this type of behavior will continue and will worsen. It’s time to work together to take our neighborhood back and let the riff raff know this ill behavior is not acceptable and will not be tolerated.

  • Gatewood resident October 11, 2017 (7:51 am)

    I’m all for easily accessible, environmentally friendly modes of transportation but I’m not sure how successful this new program will be with bikes littered all over the city, now West Seattle.  I see bikes abandoned in yards, in front of stores and on our sidewalks, and in my opinion, it’s an eyesore.  Now, to hear that they are able to be stolen and ditched will only impede access to law-abiding, paying customers.  Curious what the West Seattle Junction Association and business owners think?

    • WSB October 11, 2017 (10:21 am)

      Lora from WSJA was actually with us in looking at the Spin dropoff truck yesterday and asked the driver about their dropoff parameters. Which are set by the city, without BIAs or their businesses having a say in where they go – sidewalks are public right of way – I’ve been trying to find the policy online out of curiosity – on the city website, not as interpreted by other publications – and haven’t yet.

      • newnative October 11, 2017 (10:32 am)

        it works both ways with sidewalks, in my work neighborhood in Queen Anne, these bikes are often strewn across the sidewalks. I have picked up bikes to prop them out of the way only to get dirty looks from passersby, who must be thinking I’m using/leaving the bikes in the way. Sometimes it looks like the bikes are being purposefully left in the way (more than one lined up to block a sidewalk).  Who is liable when/if someone is injured tripping over them?

      • Chemist October 11, 2017 (1:34 pm)

        The city had some regulations (in Operations) about the roll-out fleet size and required a plan initially, but that’s the first I’ve heard of any suggestion that the city controls subsequent roll-out patterns, outside of some maximum bike density and demographic service area requirements.


    • Wsrez October 11, 2017 (4:01 pm)

      I agree gatewood.

  • S October 11, 2017 (9:42 am)

    This Bike share is a joke I just drove to work from South of West Seattle to North and counted 86 bikes lining California Ave and I didn’t even make it to the Admiral. 

    • WSB October 11, 2017 (10:12 am)

      We travel West Seattle’s arterials daily as part of doing this and the recent deliveries (Spin yesterday, Ofo a few days ago) represent a significant increase in what we’ve seen. I would imagine the companies are monitoring and won’t overstock for long if there’s no payoff.

    • Jon Wright October 11, 2017 (4:03 pm)

      How many cars did you count?

  • Just Wondering October 11, 2017 (9:42 am)

    I see more of these bikes parked then being ridden.

    • Chris October 11, 2017 (10:56 am)

      I see more cars parked than being driven. 

      • KM October 11, 2017 (3:39 pm)

        You’ll even find cars “littered” in front of shops, on private property, in yards–everywhere!

  • Jack Sparra October 11, 2017 (10:23 am)

    Let’s count the number of bike riden between 10/15 and 4/15. Why we think this is a congestion solution is beyond my simple mind. Serve the 0.01% rather than find real infrastructure solutions. Dreamers!

    • WSB October 11, 2017 (10:24 am)

      You can do that right here.

    • Peter October 11, 2017 (11:49 am)

      Nobody ever claimed these would solve congestion, only drivers have the power to do that by choosing other transportation options. The point of bikeshare is to provide more people with more transportation options, and thus allowing them to avoid congestion. But traffic congestion is, always has been, and always will be a choice drivers make for themselves. 

  • Jack Sparra October 11, 2017 (10:37 am)

    That’s ALL cycling, not rent a bike, which is the ugly eye sore (I call it littering). I would be 99% of all bicyclists own their bikes.  Why we need a service(s) to dump them all over the city is beyond me.

    • Katie October 11, 2017 (12:20 pm)

      Bikes are eyesores?  Do you also get angry at the sight of parking lots or cars parked by the side of roads?  Or are they more aesthetically pleasing?

  • Carol October 11, 2017 (11:24 am)

    Re where the bikes are left. I have contacted the companies and asked them to remind staff not to block access. I’ve seen them in the middle of sidewalks or in front of access ramps. Not sure what we could to with the riders to remind them to not block access. I also move bikes that I think are in the way.

    • ACG October 11, 2017 (6:08 pm)

      That’s my issue with these bikes- when they are just lying in the sidewalk or impeding the right of way. Saw many of them strewn about on California. Those bother me- just as improperly parked cars do. The ones that were parked out of the right of way or near bike racks (where available) are fine. Just as I don’t  mind properly parked cars.

      There are, however, tickets that can be given for improperly parked cars. The city needs to figure out a plan, quickly, to get this under control.

      I can stop pushing my stroller and move these bikes out of the way. Not sure how a disabled individual would be able to do the same. 

  • slc October 11, 2017 (12:03 pm)

    Wow.  I think this is a great program.  I have used them multiple times where before I would have called an Uber.  My teenage son and his friends will use a combination of public transportation/bike share over driving/parking.  What makes it work is knowing there will be bikes where they need them.  Over time things will balance out, and the bikes will be where people use them most.  Simple supply and demand.  Agree people should use common sense and courtesy when ending their rides.  Disappointing to hear boys stealing bikes rather than using their “first time free ride” privilege.  Hopefully the novelty wears off soon.  It’s hard to hide a yellow/orange/green bike for long.  Have any of those commenting here actually tried a bike share?  

    • A October 14, 2017 (12:47 am)

      “Youth” was what the original comment said about the bike thieves; the author didn’t say whether they were boys or girls.

  • Krista C. October 11, 2017 (12:30 pm)

    I drive all over this city as part of my job and see these bikes used all day, everywhere. They are a great resource to use as part of your commute or just for fun. People need to think more about where they leave them though, so they don’t block pedestrian access.

  • GAnative October 11, 2017 (12:39 pm)

    The LimeBike on my block last weekend.

  • Wss October 11, 2017 (2:16 pm)

    Anyone else pick up on the irony of complaints about these bikes but not ome comment on the increase in graffiti in the junction?

    The example in this story is pretty flagrant but there is tons of it all over recently and businesses do not seem to be taking care of it.

    • newnative October 11, 2017 (3:07 pm)

      Graffiti isn’t a hazard for the seeing impaired. 

  • MTS October 11, 2017 (2:24 pm)

    So while we’re talking graffiti: who takes care of the endlessly resurgent graffiti along the lower section of Emma Schmitz/across from Mee-Kwa-Mooks on the water? Guessing it’s the city. Are there ever discussions of installing cameras to curtail the graffiti or having volunteers helping with cleanup? (The whole park could use a bit of landscaping help too.)

    • WSB October 11, 2017 (2:47 pm)

      Yes, that’s city property. Ways to report it:

      • Harv October 12, 2017 (3:54 pm)

        Haven’t had any luck with getting graffiti on city property removed.  Filed online report on July 25th (55 business days ago) and again on August 26th (32 business days).  If this tag was on my fence I would owe around $4,000 in fines by now! 

        • WSB October 12, 2017 (3:55 pm)

          Which city property?

          • Mike October 14, 2017 (12:27 pm)

            SPU Pump Station #71

    • alki_2008 October 11, 2017 (5:48 pm)

      I think cameras in a lot of places would be good, but of course the ACLU or others would complain about how it’s an invasion of privacy.  I seem to recall such complaints when cameras were installed along the Alki boardwalk and those cameras ended up being unused because of the ‘privacy’ complaints. I’m sure someone can correct me if I’m mis-remembering that.

      Cameras won’t necessarily stop crimes, but at least they would help with identifying the perpetrators and might be a deterrent once their presence (the cameras) becomes well known.

      I won’t be surprised if the same people that complain about cameras filming in ‘public spaces’ start complaining about homeowner cameras that film more than just that homeowner’s private property. After all, many home security cameras end up capturing footage of the public sidewalk and street in front of the home.

  • Rick October 11, 2017 (4:46 pm)

    I feel like the companies have an number of bikes they’re allowed to deploy and that’s all they care about. They are giving absolutely no thought as to where they put. It’s easy to blame “bad apples” for moving them around, but when 10 show up, perfectly parked in a row, that’s the a company action.  They put them in places where nobody is starting a trip, nor where someone would end a trip.  Or they fill up bike racks so people riding their own bikes have to move them to be able to use a rack.  They are liter, albeit colorful liter, but none the less liter in our city.  The companies are just a “green” version of Uber.  They’re in a battle for market share and don’t care about our communities at all.  They see our communities existing to serve their needs.

    • alki_2008 October 11, 2017 (7:17 pm)

      “They see our communities existing to serve their needs.”

      That doesn’t really make sense. If their bikes didn’t serve the needs of the community, then they would make no money and wouldn’t put their bikes in the community.

      If people really think that the bikes are not being used, then just wait a few months and the companies will remove the bikes. They would have no incentive to put their bikes out if nobody was using them.

  • S October 11, 2017 (4:48 pm)

    No I don’t get angry when I see cars parked along the road, but green, orange, and yellow bikes i do plus they are ugly. I would compare this problem to the old toy problem at Ercolini Park. 

  • m October 11, 2017 (7:44 pm)

    I think the 3 new bikeshare programs are brilliant and I love that they’re getting progressively more use!  I don’t think they are an eyesore at all – the bright colors make them very appealing. I can’t help but get a smile on my face whenever I see one being ridden or waiting for the next rider. 

  • 1994 October 11, 2017 (8:18 pm)

    I saw a lime bike in the back of a pick up with a tarp partly covering it.  When the truck driver realized the lime bike was observed, he covered it better with his tarp so it was no longer visible….

  • wetone October 11, 2017 (9:06 pm)

    Since these bikes are parked on public sidewalks why aren’t they paying a fee to city for advertising there business  ? it’s a business isn’t it…..  that the city basically allows to run illegally. Not ticketing riders that are not wearing helmets. What would happen to motorcycle and scooter drivers if they quit wearing helmets ?  Seattle government at it’s best, picking and choosing.

    • WSB October 11, 2017 (9:22 pm)

      They are paying fees to the city.
      All listed on the last full page here.
      Permit, processing time, plus a per-bike fee.

      The helmet law is incumbent on the rider. And extensively discussed here:

      • wetone October 13, 2017 (4:40 pm)

         One time per bike  fee of $15. and a $1675. permit. What a cheap price for all the sidewalk space their using and hazards their creating,  very unfair.  How about sandwich boards and issues within Seattle for there use ? they use much smaller footprint. I guess city will get lot’s of useful data from these bike businesses on how successful they are to justify all new bike lanes and road configurations/diets  ; )  Then they will disappear…   Really want to know why riders aren’t being ticketed ?  again if I ride my scooter or motorcycle without helmet I get ticket, no excuses.  Seattle tax payers will get screwed on this deal sooner or later.   

  • Peter October 11, 2017 (10:42 pm)

    They put them in places where nobody is starting a trip, nor where someone would end a trip.”

    Really? Nobody starts or ends a trip except where you think they should, huh? Nobody has different destinations than what you can conceive, apparently  

    “Or they fill up bike racks so people riding their own bikes have to move them to be able to use a rack.”

    That’s just an outright lie. They’re self locking, don’t need racks, and I’ve never seen a single on on a rack. 

  • Jim P October 12, 2017 (1:39 pm)

    I’ve seen several stripped rental bikes downtown.  Some have been there for more than a week. (Along with stripped bicycle carcasses chained to lamp posts, some of which I’ve seen for more than a year.

    (It’s those little civic touches like that that make Seattle the charm and wonder it is at times.

    The back streets of West Seattle seem littered with them. I’ve seen a dozen or more along 16th st and the route of the 125 and some were obviously dragged to quiet spots, presumably to see if they could be relieved of their locks and sold and then just left lying about or tossed in the bushes for the sheer pleasure of being a ***** to society by our more quaint locals and juveniles (of all ages).

  • Jim P October 12, 2017 (1:44 pm)

    “Or they fill up bike racks so people riding their own bikes have to move them to be able to use a rack.”

    That’s just an outright lie. They’re self locking, don’t need racks, and I’ve never seen a single on on a rack. “

    With respect to the poster, I’ve seen rental bikes chained up to trees or in racks.  Presumably by the more self-centered variety of people who want to make sure the bike is handy whenever they wish to use it without the undue burden of actually buying a bike for their personal use or worrying about someone else daring to use it.

    There really is no upper limit to some people’s sense of self-entitlement and disdain for anyone else who is not them.

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