West Seattle, Washington
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The process of arriving at a “preferred alternative” for Sound Transit‘s West Seattle/Ballard light rail routing and station locations will stretch further into spring than first planned.
That’s part of what was announced at last night’s Stakeholder Advisory Group meeting, which was centered on releasing and discussing how the currently under-review possibilities compare on a variety of criteria, including cost. The same information will be reviewed by the Elected Leadership Group tomorrow morning, and your feedback will be sought online and via in-person forums in a month or so.
Here’s the full slide deck from the meeting (PDF, 12 MB). First thing to remember – the so-called “end to end alternatives” that are in the spotlight for this third and final review phase are not “all or nothing” plans from which one will move into the next phase. But here they all are on a map:
In order in the legend, they are the “representative project” (outlined in the ST3 vote in 2016), the
West Seattle Elevated option, and the West Seattle Tunnel option. ST staffers stressed repeatedly that this is the time to “mix and match” components if that makes more sense. So the evaluation information emerged in segments, rather than simply scorecards for each full “end to end alternative.” Here’s the criteria on which the components were evaluated:
We know, it might seem a little confusing – while the city is asking for your help prioritizing Neighborhood Street Fund proposals (as we reported back on Monday), it’s also launching a separate yet similar process, asking for your ideas for street and park projects. This process is for the funding program that’s now known as Your Voice, Your Choice: Parks and Streets, and it’s a chance to propose projects every year, while the one we mentioned on Monday is a every-three-year process. So now, the YVYC announcement:
Idea collection is officially open for the 2019 Your Voice, Your Choice (YVYC): Parks & Streets program.
From now to February 22, you can submit your project ideas online or in-person at any Seattle Public Library branch.
Project ideas can include park benches, trail improvements, flashing beacons, or curb ramps … just to name a few. Check out our list of project examples for a better understanding. The only criteria are that ideas be physical improvements for Seattle’s parks or streets, benefit the public, and cost $90,000 or less.
Once ideas are submitted, volunteers will be recruited to turn the ideas into 8 – 10 proposals per Council District. Then this summer, everyone will have the opportunity to vote for the top projects within their district.
You can learn more about the YVYC process and how to get involved on our webpage, and for questions, email email@example.com.
Here are the nine District 1 (West Seattle/South Park) projects that won the voting last year.
4:47 PM: A Seattle Fire water-rescue response is headed to the 3700 block of Beach Drive SW (with some units on standby for Don Armeni), where a 30-foot boat is reported to be in trouble. Police and Coast Guard have already been dealing with it, but now SFD’s being sent too.
4:59 PM: Most of the responding units are being dismissed. Some are remaining to help get the boat safely away from the shore.
5:17 PM: Adding a reader-contributed photo (thank you!).
6:34 PM: And one more – this one’s from Keith:
8:16 PM: Video from Heidi:
Thanks to Eugene Lee for the photo from the West Seattle Water Taxi dock at Seacrest this morning. Now that the Highway 99 tunnel opening is confirmed for Monday, that makes tomorrow the final 99-less commute. To mark the occasion, King County Executive Dow Constantine plans to greet WT commuters at the dock, as he did at the start, so if you’re there around 7:30 am Friday, you’ll get the chance to say hi. Two WT reminders beyond tomorrow:
-The expanded-schedule two-boat service DOES continue all the way until the 7-day-a-week schedule begins in late March. The extra parking at Pier 2 and park-and-ride shuttle will continue, too.
-The WS Water Taxi DOES run Saturday because of the viaduct/tunnel celebration – here’s our story from earlier this week with that day’s special schedule.
If you’ve noticed the lights-and-sirens police response – here’s what officers are investigating, according to radio communication: A reported carjacking. The victim says the suspects are acquaintances to whom she was giving a ride when they pushed her out of the vehicle around 29th SW and SW Findlay and took it. The vehicle is described as a white 2002 Mercury Mountaineer, license plate starting with BDS – if you see it, call 911.
It’s official – the Highway 99 tunnel WILL open in time for Monday morning’s commute. That’s what WSDOT’s project boss Dave Sowers just told us and other media on a conference call. He said that starting Sunday afternoon and continuing into the “wee hours” of Sunday night/early Monday, they will be in the midst of all the ramp work – an “item by item, hour by hour” list of steps – to make sure it’s ready to go in time for the Monday commute, by 4:30-5 am Monday.
But for people traveling NB on 99 from West Seattle and points south, it’s vital to remember that for the first week or more, as noted many times, the exit ramp to downtown via Dearborn Street will NOT be open. Transportation authorities promise they will have signage in place to remind you that exiting to NB 99 from the eastbound West Seattle Bridge will be a “no exit until after the tunnel” (they promise to get us the exact verbiage they’ll be using) exit, until that ramp is open. “Pay attention to the signage,” Sowers urged drivers, especially in that interim time.
Sowers was asked if the possible snow toward weekend’s end could bring a setback. “Unless we had six inches of snow during the Super Bowl” – which is NOT in the forecast so far – he doesn’t expect it. But because rain is expected tonight, he said they’re in something of a “mad dash” to finish some final touches such as striping.
ORIGINAL REPORT, 12:07 PM: Thanks to John Laspina for the view of Mount Rainier, the Moon, and Venus early today. You might have heard some chatter so far about possible snow in a few days. There are no alerts so far but the National Weather Service “forecast discussion” says snow showers are possible toward the end of the weekend. And temperatures are dropping, whether moisture meets up with the cold air or not – highs in the 30s early next week.
ADDED 5:41 PM: The NWS warns it’s still too soon to know with any certainty what’ll happen: “Coldest air of the season arrives later on Sunday. Potential for some snow showers exists late Sunday into Monday across the area as a system slides to our south. However, it is still too early to determine amounts and location of the snow.”
FRIDAY MORNING: Now the NWS is out with a Special Weather Statement.
(Brant, photographed by Mark Wangerin)
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
PHIL TAVEL CITY COUNCIL CAMPAIGN KICKOFF: 6 pm at Easy Street Records, the first candidate to register in the District 1 City Council race is hosting his official campaign kickoff, with speeches starting at 6:30 pm. (4556=9 California SW)
BOREN STEM K-8 MIDDLE-SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE: 6 pm, prospective Louisa Boren STEM K-8 middle-schoolers and families are invited to an open house. (5950 Delridge Way SW)
DENNY INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE: 6:30 pm at Denny International Middle School, prospective students and families are invited to an open house. (2701 SW Kenyon)
SEATTLE LUTHERAN HIGH SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE: 7 pm, prospective SLHS students and families are welcome to visit. (4100 SW Genesee)
AT THE SKYLARK: 8 pm, Reality Check performs at The Skylark. $8 cover. 21+. (3803 Delridge Way SW)
AT THE PARLIAMENT: 9 pm, Into the Cold – “Heavy-duty rock meets three-part harmony.” 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
WHAT ELSE? See our complete calendar for more events happening today/tonight and beyond.
(WSB photo from 2018 CommuniTea)
You don’t have to wear a hat – it’ll still be a fun afternoon if you buy a ticket to enjoy tea and treats, plus inspiration, at this year’s CommuniTea, benefiting WestSide Baby and its work assisting thousands of local families. Again this year, the CommuniTea will be at the Sheraton in downtown Seattle. It’s set for Sunday, March 31st, doors opening at 1 pm with live jazz and mimosas, tea and program at 2 pm. Individual tickets are $75; a table for 10 is $600. You can RSVP here.
5:55 AM: Good morning! No incidents/alerts in our area so far.
6:06 AM: As the Water Taxi gets going for the day, a reminder that Spirit of Kingston is filling in for Doc Maynard until early afternoon. (Water Taxi Watch shows San Juan Clipper arriving at the dock right now, with SoK to follow.)
6:16 AM: Reader reports that the high bridge is slower than usual for this point in the morning.
7:30 AM: Nothing to report, but we’ll note that WSDOT has yet to formally confirm that the tunnel will open Monday. Our next chance to talk with the project leader will be a conference call at 12:30 pm, so if there’s any news, it likely won’t be before then.
7:49 AM: Bridge and I-5 both solid red on the traffic-speeds map right now
8:30 AM: If you’re going to the Saturday viaduct/tunnel celebration, WSDOT has this roundup of helpful info.