West Seattle, Washington
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Take your mind off Viaduct-less-ness for a moment by thinking ahead to West Seattle light rail.
Though its target start date of 2030 is 11 years away, we’re now just a few months away from determining which “preferred” route/station-location plan Sound Transit will study. And your next key input point could be only weeks away – if the federal shutdown doesn’t bring the process to a semi-halt.
The Stakeholder Advisory Group that’s playing a key role in the process met last night, first meeting of 2019, third-to-last scheduled meeting. The intent was to recap where things stand and offer a chance for group members to ask questions as they ponder what they will be recommending toward the end of the third and final evaluation level in a matter of weeks. Here’s the timeline:
That’s from the slide deck for the meeting.
Just in from the King County Sheriff’s Office, word that one of the suspects in Monday’s Roxbury Safeway incident has turned herself in. Khalia Wimberly is being booked into jail, according to KCSO. She is one of two people sought after a deputy responding to a shoplifting report was hit by a car fleeing the scene. (That car, which investigators say Wimberly was driving, has already been found, too.) KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Ryan Abbott says that the deputy has a broken leg and is “resting at home comfortably.”
5:13 PM: SFD has a “scenes of violence” response headed to the 3600 block of SW Donovan in Upper Fauntleroy. More info to come.
5:21 PM: Per scanner, SFD reports “a non-injured patient who is refusing treatment” so their response is being downsized. No other information so far on circumstances.
5:25 PM: Our crew is told the original call was that someone had a weapon and might have been injured, but neither has turned out to be the case.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
As in “The Viaduct’s going to be closed forever.”
Multiple speakers, including Mayor Jenny Durkan, used the word at today’s last multi-agency briefing before the Alaskan Way Viaduct‘s permanent shutdown at 10 pm Friday (January 11th).
First – here’s the video, so you can watch and listen for yourself if you want to:
This briefing was held at SDOT headquarters in the city’s Municipal Tower downtown. Among the speakers were two new players in the city government’s transportation scene – Sam Zimbabwe, who hasn’t officially started work as SDOT director yet, and Michael Worden (with the mayor in top photo), the retired general hired to be the city’s mobility czar.
(From WSB files, rough concept of proposed Highland Park roundabout)
2:34 PM: Though the city had hopes that the state would say “yes” to funding the Highland Park Way/Holden roundabout proposal, the answer’s in, and it’s “no.” After we got a tip from neighborhood advocate Michele Witzki, SDOT’s Jim Curtin confirmed the rejection:
We did not receive funding for the roundabout at Highland Park Way and SW Holden St. We’re reaching out to the granting agency to learn why our project was selected for funding. As we currently understand the situation, the project did not meet collision thresholds that the granting agency was looking for and our local matching funds were insufficient relative to the project cost.
We have briefed Councilmember Herbold’s office on the news and we intend to discuss our options for this project soon. In the meantime, SDOT continues to advance design with existing funds (we have $500K for planning and design) and will continue to pursue funding to enhance this intersection.
We have a message out to the councilmember asking for comment. The roundabout also had previously drawn support for Mayor Jenny Durkan, who said during her Highland Park visit in September that a “Plan B” would be found if the state said no. And the topic came up in our recent conversation with State Reps. Joe Fitzgibbon and Eileen Cody – published here last night – that they might be able to pursue a funding request via legislative action, if the grant application was denied (which now it has been). The city had previously committed some funding, including design dollars discussed a year and a half ago. And SDOT heard about traffic-safety concerns again at a Highland Park meeting just a month ago. The roundabout idea goes back at least six years.
ADDED 5:48 PM: Comment from Councilmember Herbold, in response to our inquiry: “It’s definitely disappointing news. We’ve been told that a combination of a larger local match and reducing the size of the project will make the project more competitive. We’ve got $500,000 of the City of Seattle’s match so far. I’ll be looking at ways to increase what I’ve already got earmarked in the City CIP. I understand that the community may be pursuing a Your Voice Your Choice proposal as well.”
1:30 PM: Thanks to Kersti Muul for the tip! Southern Resident Killer Whales – K-Pod, to be specific – are headed this way, northbound from Burien’s Three Tree Point. They passed here southbound earlier in the day and have now turned around. Please let us know if you see them!
2:01 PM: Another texter says they’re in view from south of Alki Point.
2:54 PM: Turns out there are TWO groups of orcas in the area – southbound transients, northbound residents. And a TV helicopter (according to FlightRadar 24‘s tracker, the one channels 4/5 share) is buzzing them right now off Fauntleroy.
3:16 PM: Thanks for the updates in comments! NB whales are off The Arroyos now.
4:17 PM: As dusk nears, they’re between Fauntleroy and Vashon, per comments as well as a call from Donna Sandstrom of The Whale Trail.
Thanks for the tips. With West Seattle Water Taxi service about to increase because of the Viaduct-to-Tunnel transition time, signs of the impending changes – announced months ago – are starting to show up today. Above, two big canopies are covering areas of the pier at Seacrest.
Nearby, signs are up for the temporary parking restrictions along Harbor Avenue SW – no parking 2 am-5 am on the water side of the street, between Fairmount and the north/west entrance to Don Armeni Boat Ramp. Starting Monday, the West Seattle Water Taxi will be on a two-boat schedule for the rest of the winter season, and will add midday service – you can see the revised schedule here. Along with street parking, there will also be parking available at Pier 2 (enter across from the Harbor Avenue 7-11) with a free shuttle to the Water Taxi dock and other changes detailed here. Here’s more on what’ll be different. Meantime, we’ll have coverage later this afternoon of today’s big Viadoom-readiness briefing, held at SDOT HQ downtown.
Topping our highlights list for the rest of your Thursday:
It’s the Viadoom Eve edition of West Seattle Art Walk tonight – that’s the new winter quarter map and list of venues. This roundup of highlights on the Art Walk website spotlights some of the artists. Remember that the West Seattle Art Walk, running 5 pm to “late,” isn’t just about art – some of the venues offer food and drink specials to entice you out, too.
Also ahead today/tonight:
WEST SEATTLE CHAMBER AFTER-HOURS: 5:30-7:30 pm at Verity Credit Union (WSB sponsor) in The Junction. Meet the Chamber’s new CEO Julia Jordan. Free to members, $10 otherwise. (4505 California SW)
WORDS, WRITERS, WEST SEATTLE: Claudia Castro Luna, West Seattle-residing state Poet Laureate, is this month’s featured author. 6 pm at Southwest Library. (9010 35th SW)
OPEN MIC: 7 pm at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), musicians and singers of all genres welcome. (5612 California SW)
LOTS MORE TODAY/TONIGHT – see our full calendar here!
Photo and story by Jason Grotelueschen
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
The first meeting of the District 1 Community Network, the new West Seattle/South Park supergroup that we wrote about on WSB last month, convened on Wednesday night at South Park Community Center.
Leaders from neighborhoods up and down the West Seattle peninsula were present — in fact, the tagline “Doing better things for the peninsula” was mentioned repeatedly during the meeting, as a sort of shared vision for focusing on issues that matter most to the collection of neighborhoods in West Seattle.
The group had agreed to meet on a regular basis with a new rotating facilitator for each meeting. At the helm for Wednesday’s meeting was Tamsen Spengler of MOCA and the SW District Council.
6:58 AM: Good morning. Second-to-last day for the Alaskan Way Viaduct, which closes forever at 10 pm tomorrow (Friday). Just checked around – no incidents currently reported in/from West Seattle.