West Seattle, Washington
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
When the Sound Transit board meets in a week, it’ll hear that the Elected Leadership Group for the West Seattle/Ballard light-rail extensions pretty much agrees with the Stakeholder Advisory Group on which alternatives should stay in the running.
That’s the upshot of the ELG’s two-hour meeting downtown this afternoon, its first one since the planning process ramped up in January. As declared at the start, its goal was to recommend which alternatives should move forward to what ST calls Level 2 of review, and for West Seattle, those remain the “Pigeon Ridge/West Seattle Tunnel” and “Oregon Street/Alaska Junction” alternatives.
ELG co-chair King County Councilmember Joe McDermott opened the meeting. ST CEO Peter Rogoff spoke next, lauding the “progress” on the project and reminding everyone that the ST board is to “meet in this room …. less than one year from now” to make a preferred-alternative recommendation.
From among the ELG members, only Mayor Jenny Durkan was not in attendance; the six City Councilmembers were – Sally Bagshaw, Lorena González (who recused herself from discussion of the West Seattle route because it might go right by property she owns in The Junction), Bruce Harrell, Lisa Herbold, Rob Johnson, and (by phone) Mike O’Brien – along with King County Executive Dow Constantine, Seattle Port Commissioner Stephanie Bowman, and ST board chair Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers.
ST executive Cathal Ridge presented a refresher of the timelines, all the way from identifying a preferred alternative early next year for formal environmental study, to launching West Seattle light rail in 2030, Ballard light rail in 2035. And he went over the Stakeholder Advisory Group’s recommendations from last month (WSB coverage here), along with what preceded it. Here’s the slide deck for today’s meeting:
He gave a short version of the evaluation criteria and then launched into the five West Seattle “concepts” that were evaluated. He summarized neighborhood-forum feedback (as you can see on page 20 of the slide deck) including “a lot of support for tunneling” and “a lot of support for moving the Delridge station south.” (He did not explicitly mention that the neighborhood forum for West Seattle, on May 5th, was held after the Stakeholder Advisory Group had made its recommendations April 24th on what should advance and what should not. The forum summaries were added to the ST website this afternoon.)
After the brief review of the West Seattle concepts and the stakeholders’ recommendations, facilitator Diane Adams invited ELG members to comment.
9:06 PM: Congratulations to the West Seattle High School softball team on a great season that just came to a heartbreaking end at Southwest Athletic Complex, with a 5-4 loss in a must-win district-playoff game against Juanita. More later.
11:34 PM: Adding photos.
West Seattle scored first early to jump out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning
Juanita came back a couple of innings later to open up a lead. West Seattle came back and the game was tied 4-4 going into the 7th. A two-out rally got Juanita the win and the district’s fifth and final spot in the state tournament.
THURSDAY NIGHT: With three reader reports of river otters far uphill from the water’s edge in West Seattle, it’s time to share the alert! The photo above is from Jonathan, who spotted those two in Fairmount Ravine, near the bridge. His report came in about the same time as a note from Luke, who was bicycling in the ravine when he saw what we assume were the same two, “scurrying along the side of the road.” And last night, Emily reported seeing one “crossing the road on SW Jacobsen Road between 51st Ave SW and Beach Drive SW.” If you’re new – river otters are the ones you’ll see in Puget Sound, not “sea otters,” which are more common in the open ocean. Be especially careful on near-shore roads this time of year – some have been hit by drivers as they cross, often headed to/from an inland den. This state Fish and Wildlife Department info-sheet has more about river otters.
FRIDAY MORNING, 10:27 AM: According to a note from Jennifer, they’re even further inland now, up along Walnut.
What should Washington State Ferries be planning for between now and 2040? As you’ll see at the open house now under way at Fauntleroy Church, the system already has some idea … but wants to hear yours too.
It’s a low-key event – no presentation, just a chance to learn about the long-range-plan creation process, talk, leave written comments (from sticky notes to formal comment forms) if you’re interested:
The open house is on until 8 pm, at 9140 California SW. If you can’t get here, you can also see the same info-boards, and share your thoughts, via the online open house that’s continuing for one more week, through May 24th. The long-range plan has to be complete and ready to present to the Legislature by New Year’s Day.
One year in business! That’s the reason for a party this Saturday in North Delridge, announced by Echoes Studios:
Echoes Studios is celebrating our first anniversary with an open house on Saturday, May 19th, from 6 – 9 pm. Located in a historic former speakeasy in North Delridge’s music district next to the Skylark Café and Mode Music Studios, Echoes is owned and operated by engineer Bryan Standridge with business partner Matt Larson.
After making recordings in his Gatewood-area basement (and garages and practice spaces) for years with bands from across the country, including the acclaimed 2008 “She’s the Dutchess, I’m the Duke” LP, Bryan and his father-in-law built the warm, woody space by hand before opening last May. The goal was to create an amazing sounding room and a place where musicians and engineers could relax, hang out, and have an awesome time making music – from beginners and hobbyists in the studio for the very first time to seasoned pros.
Since opening last May, Bryan and accomplished engineers from around the city have recorded garage rock, surf, punk, rock n’ roll, folk, jazz, funk, fusion, and someone even made a movie over a long weekend. We’re so happy to be part of West Seattle’s amazing music community and super excited for the awesome sessions and projects lined up for the future.
Echoes Studios is at 3801 Delridge Way SW.
Heads up for Lander Street users in SODO: The longterm closure of two blocks for the Lander Street Bridge project starts soon, SDOT has announced:
S Lander St will close as early as the evening of May 22, 2018 as part of the Lander St Bridge Project. S Lander St will be closed to traffic from 1st Ave S and to 3rd Ave S through early 2020 while the new bridge is being built. Pedestrian and bicycle rider access will be maintained, as will access to all adjacent businesses along S Lander St.
As an alternative to S Lander St, use S Holgate St or S Spokane street to move east and west across the BNSF railroad tracks.
Access to S Lander St from Occidental Ave S, on both the north and south sides of S Lander St, will be closed. This closure will be in place during bridge construction and made permanent once construction is complete.
A small portion of 3rd Ave S, at the south side of S Lander St, starting at the north driveway at Republic, will also close as early as May 22. This closure will be in place until summer 2019. During the closure use 4th Ave S to move north and south and access businesses on S Lander St.
For more information on this project and to sign up for email updates, please visit: seattle.gov/transportation/lander_bridge.htm
If you have questions or concerns, please contact the outreach team at email@example.com or 206-256-5450.
Because of the strong WS/SODO connection, the project had long been of interest to people on this side of the river, including the West Seattle Transportation Coalition; the project achieved full $123 million funding last year.
Two West Seattle events of note for bicyclists in the next two days:
FRIDAY: Tomorrow is “Bike Everywhere Day,” and once again, a “celebration station” is planned beneath the West Seattle Bridge during the morning commute, 6-9 am. The announcement:
West Seattle Bike Connections again hosts a Bike Everywhere Day cycling station at the west end of the Spokane Low Bridge on Friday, May 18, from 6 to 9 AM. Alki Bike & Board will provide simple, on-the-spot bike repairs. Homemade baked goods, beverages and information on bicycling routes and planned improvements will be available, and local biking enthusiasts will be on hand to answer questions about bike commuting, recreational cycling and other biking issues. Please stop on your way out of West Seattle!
(WSB file photo from Alki bicycle parade)
SUNDAY: It’s the 6th annual Costumed Bike Parade on Alki Avenue SW, a fun tradition that local resident and rider Guy Olson has continued to organize even though the city stopped its “car-free day”/Summer Streets events years ago. Just bring your bike and costume to 63rd and Alki in time for the 2 pm parade on Sunday, and get ready to ride eastbound along the beach. (Here’s the rest of the lineup for Guy’s “Alki Daze” festivities, which start Friday night.)
Though the locations for West Seattle’s light-rail stations are nowhere near finalized yet, it’s not too soon to start talking about how transit-oriented development (TOD) can ensure there’s affordable housing near them. That was the point of a panel discussion last night, presented by Welcoming West Seattle, whose Matt Hutchins – a local architect and community advocate – was co-moderator. We recorded the entire hour-long discussion on video:
Panelists included two City Councilmembers, District 1’s Lisa Herbold and citywide Position 8’s Teresa Mosqueda (who chairs the council committee that handles housing-related matters), as well as Sound Transit‘s Edward Butterfield, Mercy Housing‘s Bill Rumpf, and Schemata Workgroup architect Marijana Cvenček, with co-moderator Bryce Yadon of Futurewise.
If you’re interested in and/or curious about the topic, you’ll want to watch the whole hour – but we do have some toplines from the event, held at Southwest Youth and Family Services in North Delridge as part of Affordable Housing Week – after the jump:
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar for the rest of your Thursday:
LOW-LOW TIDE: Got time for a walk on the beach this afternoon? Today, the tide’s out to -2.9 feet at 1 pm.
SOUND TRANSIT ELECTED LEADERSHIP GROUP: The elected officials involved in screening potential routes for West Seattle (and Ballard) light rail are meeting this afternoon for the second time since the planning process ramped up. Public’s welcome, 2-4 pm at Sound Transit’s board room. The agenda and presentation are here. (401 S. Jackson)
TRIANGLE TASK FORCE: The citizens’ advisory committee that’s been reviewing matters related to the Washington State Ferries “Triangle” (Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth) route meets again at 4:30 pm, Fauntleroy Church. (9140 California SW)
WHAT SHOULD BE IN WSF’S LONG-RANGE PLAN? Right after the task force meets, it’s a public drop-in session for you to tell WSF what you believe should be in the next version of its long-range plan. 6-8 pm at Fauntleroy Church. (9140 California SW)
MOVE VS. REMODEL WORKSHOP: Trying to decide between the two? Free 6:30 pm workshop tonight at Graystone Mortgage in Jefferson Square can help. Details in our calendar listing. (4726 42nd SW)
DESIGN REVIEW FOR 1250 ALKI SW: 6:30 pm at Senior Center of West Seattle, the Southwest Design Review Board looks at what’s now a 40-condominium plan for this site, replacing five houses, one of which already has been moved. The meeting includes a public-comment period. See the “design packet” here. (4217 SW Oregon)
SOFTBALL PLAYOFFS: Cheer on the West Seattle High School softball team at a must-win district-playoffs game via Juanita at Southwest Athletic Complex, 7 pm. (2801 SW Thistle)
2 ROUNDS OF TRIVIA: 7 and 8 pm at Great American Diner and Bar. (4752 California SW)
LOOK FURTHER INTO THE FUTURE … via our complete-calendar page. And if you have something for the calendar (the earlier sent, the better) – firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
We’ve reported previously that the city was seeking community members to help decide on whether to grant a zoning “departure” so that portables can be brought to Madison Middle School. Now, the Department of Neighborhoods has announced the date for the resulting meeting – with info on how you can comment even if you can’t be there:
The public is invited to discuss the development plans for Madison Middle School located at 3429 45th Ave SW. The meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 30 at 6 p.m. at the school. The Seattle School District is requesting a modification (known as a “departure”) from a City zoning regulation for reduced on-site parking in order to provide portables.
The Seattle School District will make a presentation on the modification before the Madison Middle School Development Standards Departure Advisory Committee, a group composed of neighbors, and Seattle School District and City representatives. After the presentation, the public is invited to provide comments. Following public comments, the committee will deliberate and consider the District’s request. Additional meetings may be held, if needed.
If community members cannot attend the meeting, written comments can be submitted by Tuesday, May 29 to Maureen Sheehan:
Mailing Address: Seattle Department of Neighborhoods
P.O. Box 94649
Seattle, WA 98124-4649
For additional information or to request an interpreter (by May 28) for the meeting, contact Maureen Sheehan, Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, at 206-684-0302.
We first noted the portable plan in January.
6:58 AM: Good morning! No incidents or transit alerts of note for West Seattle and vicinity so far.
LOOKING AHEAD: Tomorrow (Friday) is Bike Everywhere Day, and as usual there will be a “celebration station” under the bridge, 6-9 am; Sunday is the West Seattle 5K, with Alki/Harbor closed during the race, ~8-11 am; another round of “Revive I-5” work is planned on northbound I-5 this weekend – here’s the map.
WASHINGTON STATE FERRIES’ LONG-RANGE PLAN: WSF’s Fauntleroy meeting for your feedback about the system is tonight, 6-8 pm (drop in when you can), at Fauntleroy Church (9140 California SW).