West Seattle, Washington
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The final decision is in regarding what SDOT plans to do about 35th SW north of Morgan. Actually, first, what it won’t do: No further rechannelization, though that doesn’t mean it’s off the table forever.
The Phase 2 plan is going out via e-mail and web updates soon, probably next week, as SDOT had told us when we checked back two weeks ago. Then we got first word of the final plans during a briefing at SDOT headquarters downtown today, along with toplines on how Phase 1 has been doing.
First, some backstory. The project to improve safety on 35th SW was announced in February 2014, after five deaths in seven years on what some called “I-35.” In fall 2015, two miles of 35th SW were rechannelized between Roxbury and Willow.
SDOT’s Jim Curtin says that was the longest rechannelization SDOT has ever done. It is part of the city’s Vision Zero initiative – working toward zero traffic-related deaths and zero major injuries.
And since the south-end rechannelization (and speed-limit reduction, to 30 mph), he says, 35th SW has reached that goal.
Thanks to the parent who forwarded us the following message that Seattle Public Schools subsequently confirmed to us was sent to families throughout the district:
In recent weeks, a social media post from the United Kingdom began promoting April 3 as “Harm a Muslim” Day. Social media can spread messages quickly, and some of SPS students are talking about this.
While this activity seems to be focused in Europe, in an abundance of caution, there will be increased security at schools. If you hear of something, please contact the district Safety & Security office at 206-252-0510 or call 9-1-1 if it is an emergency.
As a school system, we will do everything we can to make sure our students are safe while in our care. Anyone who feels unsafe or targeted for any reason should immediately contact a trusted adult.
Harassment of any kind is not, and will not, be tolerated in Seattle Public Schools.
(Seattle Channel video of this afternoon’s City Council meeting)
Six years after a quiet rule change to allow some projects to be built without parking, a not-so-quiet rule change heading further down that road passed the City Council this afternoon. West Seattle/South Park Councilmember Lisa Herbold was the only one voting “no.” Her proposed amendment to allow the city to consider parking impacts for some projects in neighborhoods where parking is mostly maxed out (explained here) was rejected before the final vote.
We first reported on the proposed changes last November, when then-Mayor Tim Burgess officially sent them to the council. Almost a year before that, it was one of the topics at a series of city “open house” events, which otherwise were focused on the proposed HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability upzoning.
You can read the full legislation (140 pages) here. Highlights were described by city staffers who briefed the Southwest District Council four weeks ago. They include a change in the definition of “frequent transit” – which governs whether a project can omit parking if its developers don’t want to include it – as well as allowing building owners to open up unused parking to more potential users. Supporters say requiring less parking to be built will be environmentally friendlier and will make new housing more affordable.
5:15 PM: Police at the scene aren’t saying much but the black car in the southbound lane of 35th SW just north of SW Webster is stolen, according to scanner traffic, and officers are searching for two men last seen running west from there. A K-9 team is now joining the search.
6:06 PM: No luck so far in finding the suspects. The car is no longer in the travel lane.
A reader asked us this afternoon about the candles, flowers, and balloons at 24th SW/SW Kenyon. We’ve learned that they are in memory of 21-year-old Trevon McKoy, identified by the King County Medical Examiner this afternoon as the man shot and killed on lower Queen Anne Hill early Sunday. A community member who asked for anonymity tells WSB that the memorial is near where Mr. McKoy lived with his grandmother, just blocks from Denny International Middle School, which he attended before going to high school outside West Seattle, at Franklin HS; mourners gathered at the corner for a vigil last night. Citywide-media reports say McKoy had a rising rap career as JuiceTheGod, profiled last summer by Seattle Weekly, which also noted his college-basketball career. No arrest reported so far.
Providence Mount St. Vincent has announced that it’ll reopen to visitors tomorrow, after a norovirus outbreak resulted in the facility closing its doors to visitors and even canceling its chapel’s traditional Easter Mass. From administrator Charlene Boyd, the announcement:
We are delighted to report that The Mount will be open to visitors effective Tuesday, April 3 — tomorrow! Thank you so much for your patience during this challenging time.
Your support and cooperation is greatly needed as we get back to normal operations. Although you are welcome to visit if you are well, we ask that you wash your hands or sanitize upon entering and leaving The Mount.
Most importantly, you may not enter or visit The Mount if you are ill. No fever, cough, sore throat, diarrhea, or vomiting in the last 48 hours prior to visiting The Mount.
Again, thank you for your cooperation and patience. We look forward to seeing you soon!
The Mount had told us that the number of cases during the outbreak “fluctuated” but averaged in single digits.
The sun’s out, and the season of long warm nights is almost here. That invariably brings cruising and vehicle noise to Alki Beach. The city has noise rules, but they’re tough to enforce, Seattle Police say. For more than a year, multiple initiatives have sought to see if something can be done to change that. Local community groups including the Alki Community Council hosted presentations by and discussions with a representative of a group working on new technology, and in the meantime, City Councilmember Lisa Herbold circulated a survey with results that showed the level of concern about the noise problem. She also got an item into the newest city budget requesting a report on the noise-enforcement situation. She released that report in her newest weekly update. You can read it here. In addition to explaining the challenges of enforcing noise rules, the report explains, for the first time, the “new technology”:
In a recent meeting with a community member concerning vehicle noise on Alki, the \ individual shared an emerging technology that could impact the enforcement of vehicle noise. The option utilizes an approach similar to that of automated speed zone cameras. As described, it uses air pressure generated from changes in noise levels to detect excessive noise. Pads or readers on the roadway identify the source vehicle and that vehicle’s license plate is read similar to the existing red light traffic enforcement process.
Should it operate correctly and be validated and accepted, it could operationally function as the automated camera enforcement program does. It would issue the vehicle owner a citation. This concept is early in development, but presents an interesting and innovative approach to the issue of excessive vehicle noise. Such a solution would have to be vetted against both the process and the spirit of the surveillance ordinance, as well as community and city priorities.
So what’s next? Herbold’s update concludes, “My office is currently working with Council Central Staff on follow-up questions for additional detail, and with community on next steps and potential solutions.”
Looking ahead to the rest of your Monday:
COUNCIL VOTE ON PARKING CHANGES: At the 2 pm City Council meeting, a vote is likely on legislation (first introduced last November) changing the city’s rules on offstreet parking – specifically how much is or isn’t required in new buildings, and how existing parking can be used. West Seattle/South Park Councilmember Lisa Herbold is proposing one change to what’s going up for a vote, as she explained in her weekly update. As always, the meeting will start with a public-comment period at City Hall. (600 4th Ave.)
FAMILY STORY TIME: 6:30 pm at High Point Library – this is the story time for kids of all ages. Free as always. (35th/Raymond)
PUGET RIDGE NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL: West Seattle’s newest community council meets tonight, 7 pm at the Puget Ridge Cohousing common house:
This month we will have Yun Pitre from Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. She will provide us resources from the city. If, you have specific questions please come to the council. We will be reviewing by-laws as well.
If you’re driving to the meeting, you’re reminded to “please park on 18th and enter through the pathway entrance by the resident parking lot (by the mailbox). There will be signs directing you to the common house!” (7020 18th SW)
QUIZ NIGHT: Looking for Monday night fun? It’s Quiz Night at The Skylark, 7:30 pm, all ages, free, prizes! (3803 Delridge Way SW)
LOOK INTO THE FUTURE … via our complete calendar.
As noted here last week, the EC Hughes Playground overhaul project is gearing up (along with others in West Seattle). This is the playground at 2805 SW Holden, same park as the wading pool, although that’s not part of the project. Two ways to let Parks know what you’d like to see in the project:
#1 – Answer this new online survey
#2 – Join Parks staff for two meetings – first, to talk about the new play area’s design, 5-6:30 pm Thursday, April 19th, at Southwest Teen Life Center (2801 SW Thistle); second, to review the “preferred design,” 1-3 pm Wednesday, June 13th, at the park. Kids welcome at both meetings – the playground users have the best input!
The play equipment is being replaced because of damage discovered in an inspection that followed the discovery of wood damage that forced the Lincoln Park South Play Area structure (which is ) to be closed last year.
6:35 AM: Good morning. We start with an alert that West Seattle Water Taxi service is canceled “until further notice” this morning because of mechanical trouble.
Otherwise – no traffic incidents reported in/from West Seattle so far.
ROAD WORK: As we reported over the weekend, repaving work is scheduled to start today on Beach Drive between Andover and Douglas.
6:47 AM: And now the West Seattle Water Taxi is resuming service after “a minor mechanical issue” was handled, per an alert just sent.
Also note, it’s cold out there – 37 degrees and some frost on cars!
7:55 AM: SDOT repoerts a crash at 31st/Holly. SFD has responded.
Back on Thursday, we previewed the 26th annual Fairmount Ravine cleanup, and neighbors’ plans to hold the city accountable for taking care of the publicly owned greenspace and right-of-way. Above are the volunteers who showed up to pitch in on Saturday, including Matt Algieri, who tells us how it went:
15 interested area residents each donated three hours of their time, cutting ivy from trees, cleaning Admiral Way Bridge sidewalks and removing garbage and debris from under the bridge.
There was a lot of garbage under the East side of the bridge, more than we anticipated. That generated most of the 40 bags of garbage collected and shown in the pictures.
Many ravine trees had ivy removed, ensuring their health and vitality, and both bridge sidewalks are now clean and clear. 15 people working three hours gets a lot of work done!
One note, Seattle Public Utilities sent a crew at 8:30 AM Saturday morning, the start time of Ravine cleanup, to paint over graffiti under the bridge. Yes, 8:30 am, the Saturday before Easter. John Lang asked a person, who we believe was the crew supervisor, about the crew’s work and timing of the work order for this work, and did not get a specific answer. In any case, we worked around the crew and experienced no problems.
Overall the event was a great success. The next step is obtaining Seattle City ownership removing garbage and debris under the bridge.