FOLLOWUP: West Seattle Health Club’s repairs wrap up, as RV-parking concerns linger

(WSB photo from Monday: Site where crash/fire damaged West Seattle Health Club, 4+ months later)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Four and a half months after a vehicle hit the West Seattle Health Club and sparked a fire, repairs are finally wrapping up at the fitness facility. And its management is still trying to get the city to take action to eliminate residential-RV parking nearby.

We went to WSHC to talk with its vice president of operations Dan Lehr after his ongoing requests – and frustration – resurfaced in an email discussion started by nearby resident Jill, concerned about trash by the RVs, with WSB among the CCs. (The photo above this paragraph is from Jill’s email.)

SW Andover across the street from the club’s north side, adjacent to the Nucor plant, has drawn RVs for years – we first reported on that in late 2015; it’s an industrial zone and overnight parking is not prohibited in such zones.

The number of RVs there fluctuates – we’ve counted several times since we talked with Lehr last Thursday, and it’s ranged between 8 and 10, but he says it’s been as high as 19.

(WSB photo, taken tonight)

Nucor has installed lights along Andover (above) and he’s getting an estimate for “big floodlights” on the club’s west side, on 28th SW between Andover and Yancy, where he says the most problematic activity has been there. He says that besides trash, he’s found needles there. And he says he’s been “physically confronted three times” while documenting what’s going on, to the point where he says he’s obtained a concealed-gun license and doesn’t go out on that side unarmed. He’s already installed fencing where the crash happened, and says he would like to put up a sturdier barrier but is caught up in the permit process.

Police parking enforcement does show up from time to time and tags the RVs; a reader sent us a photo of one getting towed last month during the snow.

(WSB photo from October 2018)

Whether the vehicle that hit the club last fall was residential or not – Lehr says he has evidence it was, though as we reported in October the city changed its original description – the incident has been costly. Lehr says the club has had to do $650,000 in repairs. While insurance will cover it, they’ve only been reimbursed for about $80,000 so far. The pool was out of service for about a month, he says, and the hot tub finally reopened in February.

Lehr says police were never able to cite anyone – whoever was in the vehicle fled the scene after it hit the building – and that’s “disappointing.” (We confirmed with SPD today that no arrest or citation has resulted so far – but they say that could still change, as the case status remains “open.”) The WSHC grounds also sustained at least $5,000 in damage, Lehr said, when an RV crashed on the east side of its parking lot, bordering Longfellow Creek, last July.

But what he’d most like to see is a ban on overnight parking. So far, he says the city has told him they’re looking at a more “wholistic” approach to the RV-parking situation. We asked if he was considering legal action; he says he’s watching to see how a Portland case turns out, and they’re considering partnering with other businesses that have had problems. It’s not just the damage, he points out, but all the time dealing with the claims and repairs, not to mention trying to monitor and report the ongoing problems like the aforementioned “drug activity” he hopes lighting will deter.

Regarding the bigger picture, he says he’s repeatedly contacted the mayor’s office and to date has not received a reply. City Councilmember Lisa Herbold has responded, he said. So we followed up with her. She told us she’s “been regularly engaged” with Lehr since the crash and that her involvement has included “advocacy with SPU, SDOT, SPD, and the Mayor’s Office,” plus relaying/explaining the various departments policies, as well as using her “bully pulpit to get SPD’s attention to this location,” while, she added, “I can’t make them or SDOT do something that is contrary to their policies.”

So what policies is she referring to? She cited SPD partnering with SPU for an “RV remediation program” with an “ultimate goal” described by SPD as trying “to connect the people to services, insure that they move their vehicles in conformance to city law (primarily the must-move-after-72-hours ordinance), and ensure we clean up any debris that is left behind. Using a team concept also allows us to insure we are consistent with recent court decisions regarding vehicle residents, so that we do not inadvertently expose the city to unnecessary legal jeopardy. The goal is not to impound these vehicles, but instead have them move regularly and be less impactful on the locations where they park.”

Herbold says the court reference in that SPD explanation involved a King County Superior Court case, but adds there are others, including this one in San Diego (which, we noticed while researching, factored into a recent City Council vote there repealing a ban on vehicle living)

Herbold summarizes that “it is not so simple as enforcing the laws. Both because (a) there are so many RVs throughout the city that are serving as residences, SPD doesn’t have the resources to enforce the laws everywhere, and (b) even if they did, there are legal questions about when and how we can do that because of the lawsuit mentioned above.” So, she says, city efforts have been focused on a voluntary “remediation” program, launched almost a year ago, to get RV residents to move so that sites can be cleaned up. A report on sites addressed by that program through the end of 2018 shows only one West Seattle location out of more than 30, the 2700 block of Harbor SW. So far, the area near WSHC has not surfaced as a priority for remediation, though Herbold tells us that she has contacted both SPD Chief Carmen Best and the mayor to advocate for it. In the meantime, Herbold’s legislative assistant Alex Clardy says, SPU does visit the site regularly to pick up trash.

As for changing the parking rules and policies, the councilmember notes that SDOT responded to Harbor Avenue neighbors’ similar requests last year by saying “SDOT no longer installs ‘No Parking, 2 am to 5 am’ or similar signs such as time limit signs if their intended purpose is only to prevent car camping on that block, as this simply moves the issue down the street. Real answers lie in more holistic social services.” And even if they did, she said, SPD has said it doesn’t have enough people/funding for enforcement.

So the parking issue remains unresolved, even as WSHC VP Lehr says with some relief that they are finally getting “pretty much back to 100 percent,” post-fire, for now.

79 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: West Seattle Health Club's repairs wrap up, as RV-parking concerns linger"

  • MJ March 5, 2019 (10:40 pm)

    Hopefully the perpetrator that caused the WSHC damage is caught and made to pay for the damages they caused.When I drive on the east side of the lake I do not see RV’s parking along streets.  Why can’t Seattle emulate the stricter policies implemented by other City’s.  Also the crime rate in these east side City’s is significantly lower!

    • Swede. March 6, 2019 (5:45 am)

      Because someone living in an RV, that they are willing to run away from in the case of an accident, can just pay $650,000 for repairs right? It is interesting, as you point out, that Bellevue, Kirkland etc. doesn’t have this issue. Guess their police force, etc., do enforce all the ‘small’ laws that apply to parking and loitering. And they (likely) also just send the homeless they find over to Seattle…

    • Jim March 6, 2019 (6:26 am)

      It’s not strict laws that keep rvs away from the east side. It’s just that anyone with sense would never choose to live there. :)

    • Lagartija Nick March 6, 2019 (8:27 am)

      And how do propose the perpetrator pay for $650,000 worth of damage? Even at minimum wage it would take more than 20 years to equal that amount. You can’t get blood from a stone as the old adage goes. I absolutely believe if the perpetrator is caught they should face consequences; jail, community service, etc. But let’s be realistic, they are never going to be able to pay for the damages.

  • WSResident March 5, 2019 (10:46 pm)

    Soooo, when is the Council, and Lisa Herbold, going to enact legislation to curtail the impacts of these deathtrap RVs on neighborhoods and businesses? Rather than take any initiative, all I have heard Lisa Herbold do is punt the issue back to the Mayor’s office. Talk about useless!

    • bolo March 5, 2019 (11:46 pm)

      “… all I have heard Lisa Herbold do is punt the issue back to the Mayor’s office…”

      Is that true? The reporting states that she has engaged “SPU, SDOT, SPD, and the Mayor’s Office.” Somebody here not telling the truth?

      • WSB March 6, 2019 (1:10 am)

        Not sure who you are asking there nor why WSResident would say all s/he has heard the councilmember do “is punt the issue back to the mayor’s office” when right here in our quotes s/he is hearing (unless s/he didn’t read that part) the councilmember mention other departments. That also was the case in our first followup shortly after the incident:

        Obviously that engagement hasn’t resulted in what Dan Lehr is asking for, so the question is more, what if anything has it achieved – TR

      • WSResident March 6, 2019 (9:46 am)

        Taken from the Southwest District Council Meeting the WSB reported on a few weeks ago:“Another attendee brought up the issue of RVs near the West Seattle Health Club. “Rather than this cat and mouse game of parking enforcement resources going into ticketing, officers involved … what is the plan? Why is there nota designated area (for RVs to park)? What is being done?” (Side note: A reader texted us about some ticketing/towing there yesterday.)Herbold brought up the safe-lot experiment from a couple years ago. “So what’s being done now?” pressed the attendee. The councilmember said there’s budget funding for a mayoral proposal, and “some of us on the council have strenuously argued it should be focused on RVs … hers is focused on cars,” apparently based on a San Diego project with a good track record.”

  • JenJ March 5, 2019 (10:54 pm)

    Herbold summarizes that “it is not so simple as enforcing the laws.Yes it is, Lisa, and if you were half as “wonky” as you pretend to be, you would know that YOUR JOB is to craft legislation that gets around the legal issues you claim are preventing any progress on this matter. Stop being lazy and agenda-driven!

  • Jane March 5, 2019 (11:49 pm)

    Social Services have been cut for years. Wars always get funded. Tax breaks for the rich are also a huge priority. These politicos don’t want to offend potential donors. Voters are secondary. This problem of unregulated capitalism is at the core of most social problems. Homelessness, drugs and most poverty issues are just some of it’s results. Despair hurts. I’m not saying there is no personal responsibility needed here. I AM  saying that most politicians won’t address the core issue – war, imperialism and capitalist profits. They all go together. 

    • M March 6, 2019 (6:21 am)

      Interesting then that these RV problems really only exploded after the anti-capitalist that share your views hijacked the city council. Other cities that are most capitalists savvy have been able to make progress. 

    • Lagartija Nick March 6, 2019 (8:29 am)

      I agree with this 100%!

    • wscommuter March 6, 2019 (10:59 am)

      Jane … I’m not aware that the Seattle City Council has diverted funds for the homeless to “wars and imperialism” but you may know something I don’t.  Please do educate us.  

      • Alex S. March 6, 2019 (12:11 pm)

        Jane knows there is zero connection between the ever-growing homeless budget in Seattle and federal military spending.  She is just parroting the same old decades-old socialist party propaganda. 

  • Pelicans March 6, 2019 (12:27 am)

    If I park on the street for more than 3 days,  I get an orange sticker/ticket in my windshield.  Why are these people exempt from the 72 hour rule, and  I am not? – Please answer, Lisa Herbold.

  • Aaron March 6, 2019 (12:28 am)

    I will not be voting for for any candidate that continues to advocate for the cities absurd policies that pretend to help the less fortunate. I will not be voting for Lisa Herbold.. who obviously does not care about the safety of the homeless or or anyone else in this city, or it’s laws. Lets vote her out!!!

    • M March 6, 2019 (9:31 am)

      I agree with you 100% I emailed Lisa 4 weeks ago about the growing encampment on the bike trail on Alaskan way.  It is unsafe for cyclists and pedestrians. She never responded back. She dies absolutely nothing.

      • Kathy March 6, 2019 (11:04 am)

        I wrote a letter about the tent encampment along the Elliott Bay pedestrian/bike trail just north of Atlantic Street. I did receive a response from Lisa’s office and the City but the answer was that it is now on their radar but there are many other encampments  throughout the city and they have to prioritize them to address them. I think that was several months ago and still no action. I happen to think that encampments on the main pedestrian/bike trail between West Seattle and downtown  is a potential safety hazard, as we found out about the encampment under the the West Seattle Bridge where a person biking was accosted.  I will re-submit my letter.

      • TSurly March 6, 2019 (7:03 pm)

        Unsafe based on what? I ride through there everyday and find those folks keep to themselves and make sure any garbage is kept off the trail. Just because the sight of homelessness makes you uncomfortable doesn’t mean it’s (those people) are dangerous.Get a grip.

        • Kathy March 6, 2019 (11:40 pm)

          The trail is for transportation not permanent residence. Just because nothing has happened to you doesn’t mean that there is no potential risk. Although you may pass by everyday on your bike or even engage with some of the residents that doesn’t make you capable of vouching for the character of everyone staying there. Homelessness should make you uncomfortable if your fellow humans feel their only choice is to live without sanitary facilities and amid piles of garbage and likely rats. The city has programs to get illegal campers into habitable shelter but they evidently can’t keep up with the demand. 

          • tsurly March 7, 2019 (12:32 pm)

            You are stereotyping, plan and simple. This is no different than the hateful racial stereotypes that plague our country ( eg automatically assuming people of color are criminals).  Homelessness makes me sad and sympathetic, but not uncomfortable. Yes the trail is for transportation and not residence, but who are you to judge some living on the street struggling to survive?  

        • Kathy March 9, 2019 (11:26 pm)

          So you are saying the residents of this encampment along the trail are a protected class? If that is the case, you are doing a pretty poor job of protecting them. We all are doing a poor job as residents of the city. (I’m assuming you are a Seattle resident).

  • Sixbuck March 6, 2019 (12:49 am)

    When will city council enact legislation?!?Haha!!  The answer is never. The joke is on you, residents of Seattle. Decades of unbridled liberal political inbreeding has led to this !!Haha!!

    • Seattle March 6, 2019 (12:28 pm)

      It’s not funny. 

    • Jort March 6, 2019 (5:54 pm)

      Ah yes, the barren, filthy wasteland that is Seattle. Truly, the unchecked decades of craven, sinful liberalism has resulted in a desolate, economically-dead hole of filth and garbage, home to none of the world’s richest billionaires and world-renowned for our plummeting, rock-bottom real estate values. Truly only conservative government can get this city on the right track so that we can start attracting some of the world’s most successful corporations. I, for one, blame liberals for us having some of the lowest real estate prices in the country and ……..                Oh…..             wait……       Looks like maybe the “liberals” have done just fine here in one of America’s most prosperous and economically successful cities of the last 20 years. But, then again, having to look at homeless people is admittedly very icky, so you’ve got that one!  

  • WW Resident March 6, 2019 (2:09 am)

    What’s the problem? This is simply the result of the progressive ideals that we hold that the mayor keeps touting. Our city is so vibrant! I know, the mayor told me so. Never mind the story after story after story after story of real businesses, schools, communities, individuals share contradicting this claim. Never mind that the homeless non profits have made this a cottage industry and the leaders are making quite a nice living off of the big business of homelessness. Never mind we have an impotent city and King County attorney. Never mind that the Seattle Police have been ordered to take a hands off approach to this. Never mind that the state is looking at a bill to essentially make it legal for homeless to park, it seems indefinitely, on public spaces. Meaning people would then essentially be able to park in front of and /or side of your house and live and you wouldn’t be able to do anything about it. Seattle is so woke. 

  • Anonymous Coward March 6, 2019 (4:57 am)

    What would new legislation do if, like much of the current legislation, it’s not enforced? 

  • flimflam March 6, 2019 (6:02 am)

    i can’t imagine the frustration of the business owner here. the city is essentially responsible for the damages as it has allowed just about anything on wheels (tabs, brakes, proper emissions or not) to be on the streets without any concern or accountability for the consequences.

  • Brian Hughes March 6, 2019 (6:04 am)




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    “Homelessness” is
    always characterized as the problem, but that’s not really true. 
    Homelessness is one common cause for a whole host of problems/negative impacts,
    such as crime, filth, disease, and blight.  And the causes of homelessness
    are many and varied.  That means that there is no single
    “wholistic” solution, no silver bullet, that will alleviate this
    issue all at once. 

    The first thing that needs to
    be done is to enforce laws and hold criminals accountable.  You can live
    in an RV and, if you do, that doesn’t make you a criminal.  But you can’t
    dump your trash in huge midden heaps on public land.  You can’t threaten
    or hurt people.  You can’t trespass on private property or be destructive. 
    These laws should be enforced regardless of who is breaking them.  If the
    consequences provided under the law don’t function as a deterrent, then change
    the law so that the consequences do provide a deterrent.  But protect all of us (homeless included)
    from criminals.  Whether a criminal is
    homeless or not isn’t relevant, because homelessness doesn’t cause crime.  Don’t confuse correlation with cause.

    The second thing is to stop
    creating new homeless people.  People who
    want a home, work hard, but can’t afford their rent – or those who suffer from
    some unavoidable catastrophe, such as a health crisis (including mental illness)
    – should be housed or subsidized by us.  “It’s
    too expensive!” some of you say, but compared to what?  I think it’s cheaper and more of a benefit to
    keep a roof over the heads of productive people who happen to be poor.  And not all benefits have to be in the form
    of cash.

    Substance abuse is a tough
    one.  It is a disease that can cause and
    perpetuate homelessness and it is often the primary driver of criminal
    behavior.  Some can be treated, but for
    many, the disease is terminal.  I’m not
    sure you can help someone who doesn’t want to help themselves.  But those that do want help with their addiction
    should get it free of charge.  Again, is providing this
    service more expensive than the negative impacts of neglecting it?  I highly doubt it.

    Let’s say some form of the
    above works.  Those left are there by
    choice.  Okay, fine.  Some of us want to live on our own
    terms.  So maybe we can provide places
    for that.  Want to live in a tent?  Great, but you have to do it in sanctioned
    spaces.  Is that an unreasonable or
    unjust infringement on someone’s rights? 
    Maybe so.  But the current “system”
    (if you can call it that) infringes on the rights of other citizens, the majority of whom choose
    to live by the rules of society.

    • Lagartija Nick March 6, 2019 (8:33 am)

      I don’t understand the first part of your post, but I totally agree with the second part. 

  • Quora March 6, 2019 (6:57 am)

    Let’s face it folks, the City of Seattle has two sets of laws; those that apply to people that can pay and generate revenue for the City, and those that “apply” to people that cannot.I just had to pay $136.00 for failing to fully stop at a red light before making a turn. The “violation” was caught on a camera, then mailed to me. Instead of taking a day off work and going in front of a judge to try and mitigate the cost, I paid it. Yes, by the letter of the law, I violated a traffic rule, but it is frustrating nonetheless, especially when you are reminded of stories like these and realize crime, dangerous crime is all around us, yet the City doesn’t put in cameras or write tickets to the men and women violating these laws because it won’t bring in any $$$.Yes, two sets of laws; one set that applies to hard working folks who also have to deal with rising property taxes, utility charges, car tabs, etc. The other set a “gift” to those who willfully break laws, often in plane sight, but remember, the “police can’t do it all”.

    • KM March 6, 2019 (7:29 am)

      As a pedestrian, your story gives me hope.

    • Brenda March 6, 2019 (7:39 am)

      I couldn’t agree more. 

    • Lagartija Nick March 6, 2019 (8:44 am)

      I’m glad you were able to pay that ticket in full, lots of people can’t. Did you know that if you aren’t able to pay in full but want to pay in installments the city charges you $5 extra per installment, including the first? So that a $75 parking ticket paid over three $25 installments actually costs $90 (happened to me a few years ago). So yes, there are two separate rules. The rich pay less and the poor pay more. 

      • Quora March 6, 2019 (10:34 am)

        The point is some don’t pay at all. Well, there are several points actually. If the police are forever going to say “we can’t do it all because of limited resources”, then they need to prioritize where those resources go, and while I admit I should have come to a stop and understand the safety implications involved in not doing so, my situation is evidence that police are policing like they are running a business and putting something like return on investment over real issues of 1) public concern over trash, safety, and crime taking place in homeless encampments and RV communities and 2) VICTIMS OF CRIME, like the owner of WSHC.  So what is Lisa Herbold going to do to solve this?  Also, to your point, I think it is total BS that the City charges someone to break up the cost of a ticket like this. Give everyone the option to spread out the payments at no cost; especially considering there are thousands of people in Seattle breaking laws on the streets in broad daylight and no tickets or citations are being issued in that regard.

    • Swede. March 6, 2019 (1:39 pm)

      It’s also interesting to point out that in the case of redlight tickets that it’s a private company that profits from those… SPD only looks at the provided evidence and then send the registered owner of the vehicle a ticket. 

  • Peter S. March 6, 2019 (7:32 am)

    This part made me laugh:>>  and ensure we clean up any debris that is left behind. Using a team
    concept also allows us to insure we are consistent with recent court
    decisions regarding vehicle residents, so that we do not inadvertently
    expose the city to unnecessary legal jeopardy. <<1) Why should “we” have to clean up any debris?  Enforce the d@mn littering laws or rescind them so we can all just though our garbage and other waste outside our residences if we want to.2)  Since when is this city counsel worried about exposing the city to  unnecessary (if not reckless ??) legal jeopardy?  Witness the several lawsuits in the news recently regarding slander/libel, etc.Echo much of what Brian Hughes and Quora said.

  • pdid March 6, 2019 (7:35 am)

    It would be great if there were a repair & education program to help fix the derelict rigs so they are more roadworthy. Maybe a partnership with South Seattle College? Homeless or not, everyone has accidents on occasion, that’s what insurance is for, and given how steep that hill is, unless a more formidable barrier is erected, someone is going to crash into the pool again. I hope they get their permits sooner than later – that seems like an area of help the city can assist with given the circumstances.

    • Lagartija Nick March 6, 2019 (8:50 am)

      I like this idea. Unfortunately, the permitting process is abysmally slow (unless you’re a developer). I’ve been waiting for over 10 months for a permit to remove two very unhealthy street trees on a client’s property. 

    • West Seattle Hipster March 6, 2019 (8:59 am)

      How about training the people living in these RV’s how to work on them and repair them, thus providing them with an opportunity to have a career.

      • Question Authority March 6, 2019 (10:53 am)

        How about training that leads to a career in waste management, starting with picking up their own garbage for OTJ experience.

        • West Seattle Hipster March 6, 2019 (2:31 pm)

          Even better!  Than maybe they can see the impact of their actions.  I just don’t see the city of Seattle holding them accountable 

  • annaeileen March 6, 2019 (8:04 am)

    I work out there regularly and live close by and what I see is an RV ticketed and then it moves to the other side of the street and then a pile of garbage left. Rarely does an RV get towed.    I was walking by the other day and there was an unaltered,  collarless cat by the West Family’s RV (they move back and froth Andover) and my husband and I were concerned about it and a pot-smoking women yelled through the RV window, he is looking for a place to go the bathroom.  So add cat poop to the growing garbage around that area.  I have written Lisa Herbold about my concerns and got a lame canned response. 

    • Jethro Marx March 6, 2019 (5:19 pm)

      You wrote your councilperson to complain that someone’s cat was pooping outside? Most of the time, when people say “LOL” they’re not being literal, but, I, and presumably your councilperson, elled out loud for real when we read this. You ought to heed Marshawn’s creed: “…mind my business; stay in my own lane.”

      • annaeileen March 6, 2019 (8:11 pm)

        sorry that wasn’t clear.  I wrote her a few times about my concern with ticketing RVs that just move from one side of the street to the other.  What is the point of ticketing an RV that just moves to the other side of the street?  How is that helping?  The cat thing made me mad because it was not altered, it didn’t have a collar and had to find a place to poop in the blackberry bushes.  Why no cat box?  It just adds to the trash in that area. I heed no one, especially when they tell me to :)

  • Aaron March 6, 2019 (8:31 am)

    We need to enforce our laws and not tolerate what we and our city government are allowing to happen in our city. I would not want anyone living amid the trash and biohazards they are currently, or creating the public safety issues they do now. If we want more of the same continue to vote for these clowns. But the definition of insane is to continue to do the same thing and expect different results.

  • West Seattle Dad March 6, 2019 (8:41 am)

    Two sets of laws is exactly right, and it’s  something  that has GOT to change. You can’t expect law abiding citizens to continue to advocate for those less fortunate when it turns around to bite them more often then not. Herbold has got to go, I definitely will be looking elsewhere this election.

  • aa March 6, 2019 (9:25 am)

    It really is the trash and human waste, etc. that is the biggest concern.  I agree with the frustration that we who have homes are held to a different set of rules. Maybe we need a city wide protest where we all dump our garbage out on the sidewalk.  Or maybe these photos ended up in tourist publications.  Come see Seattle but watch out for the piles of garbage  and human waste!   One thing that continues to confuse me, and I admit I don’t keep up as much as I could, has anything happened as a result of all the money spend on committees and newly appointed people in city government whose sole responsibility is to work on the homelessness problem? Wasn’t there some high paying new position created when Ed Murray was in office?   What did that person accomplish?  Silly question, how does AnnaEileen know that cat was unaltered?

  • S - in West Seattle March 6, 2019 (9:45 am)

    This is just ridicules.  If there are rules on the books then Cops need to enforce those rules and if the City Counsel thinks we shouldn’t enforce those law then Change the laws, but you cannot just say don’t do it. A law is a law. An outside group shouldn’t have the ability to tell our Cops how to perform there jobs.     

    • Jort March 6, 2019 (10:59 am)

      I agree. There is a law on the books that is called the “Speed Limit” and the overwhelming majority of the thousands of car drivers in Seattle are exceeding the posted limits multiple times every single day. When will the City Council decide to ENFORCE the speeding laws that are on the books?! Why are automobile advocacy organizations like AAA telling our Cops how to perform their jobs?!

      • Blinkyjoe March 6, 2019 (1:48 pm)

        When speeding reaches ‘crisis’ levels and task forces are called and assembled, and consultants hired and reports filed on the speeding ‘crisis’ HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of $$ spent on it, and mayors call for a State of Emergency due to rampant speeding, I’ll agree with you.

        • Jort March 6, 2019 (5:46 pm)

          So some minor laws should be enforced 100% of the time, but others shouldn’t?  By the way, automobile-related fatalities are one of America’s leading causes of preventable death, and we exceed nearly all other developed nations in this grim statistic. I think our road safety actually is at crisis levels, myself, but then again I know how much people love to drive fast! Toot toot! So fun to break the law, because it’s OK when I do it! But lock up those homeless people in RVs! Yuck! So gross to look at Yucky!

      • WW Resident March 6, 2019 (4:36 pm)

        Wow, talk about a swing and a miss. Your attempt at being clever fell flat

        • Hesadork March 8, 2019 (10:27 am)

          Haha- I have to agree with you ww resident 

        • Mort March 8, 2019 (7:48 pm)

          Try to find a thread (on any topic) in the WS Blog where Jort DOESN’T find a way to fit in an anti-car comment. It can’t be done.

  • Dave Virnig March 6, 2019 (10:17 am)

    SMC 11.70.100where parking stalls or spaces are marked or painted upon the curb and/or pavement of the street, or alley, no person shall park any vehicle so that any part of such vehicle occupies more than one (1) such space , protrudes beyond the markings designating such space, or is in the adjacent area for use for safe maneuvering into and out of a designated parking space. That makes any RV parked along Harbor Ave SW illegal. Why no enforcement??I also happen to be the person who made the request to SDOT about parking restrictions on Harbor Ave. What gives SDOT the authority to make social policy decisions at the expense of the health and safety of the citizens of the city????

    • Quora March 6, 2019 (10:42 am)

      There is no enforcement because the enforcement won’t generate revenue. They can’t extend resources on something that will yield zero return on investment. Hell, like in my example, they could install a camera on Harbor Ave and VIDEOTAPE violators of the parking laws and issue tickets accordingly, but they won’t, because nobody will pay. Well, I paid my ticket.  Two sets of laws….it’s reality.

  • Jort March 6, 2019 (10:56 am)

    If only we ran our government and made policy decisions based on four-sentence blog comments, all our problems would be solved! Homelessness is a complex, difficult issue. The same people who advocate for lifetime prison sentences for RV parking violations are the same people who will not yield a single inch of increased housing density in their neighborhoods, and in fact will escalate legal battles for years and years just to prevent the construction of particular apartment buildings. Perhaps a balanced approach works better? 

  • Kathy March 6, 2019 (11:20 am)

    We all like to complain, but I would like to offer a suggestion how we can all get involved in addressing this problem. While the city for whatever reason is slow to respond to removing illegal encampments, I have found that they are very responsive to illegal dumping reports. One way to make a report is through the city’s Find It Fix It app which has a category for reporting illegal dumping. It just takes a few minutes to take a picture  on your cell phone of the dumping surrounding illegal encampments and submit it to the city through the app. It may not solve the illegal encampment  problem, but repeated reports will at least call the city’s attention to problem areas and the mess will be cleaned up. Report, clean up, repeat. The more people reporting, the better.  If campers find they cannot spread their junk around the area maybe they will move on or at least keep it neat.I have found that with any government entity, the broken record approach is the best way to get action. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. The government doesn’t have a requirement to  respond to complaints in the Blog comments, but they must respond to Find It Fix It reports.

    • WSB March 6, 2019 (11:37 am)

      That was mentioned by Councilmember Herbold in her response to me (FIFI).

      Also a note: As previewed in our daily highlights (just published) and as has been in the calendar for a while, homelessness policy is on the Southwest District Council agenda tonight, all welcome as always. The guests include a relatively new mayoral adviser on the issue.

  • Seattlite March 6, 2019 (12:03 pm)

    If Seattle’ s city council and mayor had a serious goal to clean up the out-of-control homeless population they would have done so long ago.  Instead, weak law-enforcement policies that don’t allow SPD to effectively do their jobs when it comes to the homeless which includes heroin addicts, alcoholics, predators of all varieties, mentally ill, and perpetual street people. A great guy who helped me out in Lincoln Park in November, 2018, when I was being followed by a screaming man who was saying he wanted to mess me up, told me that he and his fellow workers are constantly accosted by the homeless in Pioneer Square.

  • raybro March 6, 2019 (12:44 pm)

    I have a question for Jort.  How is increasing housing density going to solve the homeless problem?  What you are going to get is neighborhoods that are more dense, filled with new market rate apartments/condos/houses.  Market rate housing is not a solution to this problem.  Market rates are one of the contribution factors to homelessness.

    • Seattlite March 6, 2019 (2:05 pm)

       RayBro…It will not solve the homeless problems. What it will do is to continue to whittle away at the hard-working, law-abiding, tax-paying middle class that the city council and mayor seem so desperate to move out of Seattle.  Other cities in the USA have been successfully transformed into a population of super rich and extremely poor which I believe is Seattle’s leaders’ and politicians’ goal. That way the super rich pay for the extremely poor and the middle class continues to fade away until it will be part of the extremely poor.

  • Blinkyjoe March 6, 2019 (1:39 pm)

    All this talk about a ‘holistic’ approach is great, but….it shouldn’t preclude the enforcement of current laws. This has been an issue for YEARS and zero traction has been made. Enforce vagrancy, public indecency and littering laws. Do that WHILE you are coming up with a ‘holistic’ approach.  Bring back poor farms. I read somewhere that cities are putting homeless on the payroll to pick up trash. That sounds good on its face, but we’re paying people to pick up their own trash!! And some elements of the homeless will just keep littering so they have job security.  I MUST have garbage service that I pay for…again shining a light on the two sets of laws in this city. 

  • dsa March 6, 2019 (1:43 pm)

    ” In the meantime, Herbold’s legislative assistant Alex Clardy says, SPU does visit the site regularly to pick up trash.”  The issue is that there should be no trash to pick up.  Enforce the littering laws. 

  • Kath Carr March 6, 2019 (2:24 pm)

    SPD doesn’t have the resources to enforce the laws everywhere.”  Wow. Just wow.  Maybe the city would be so kind of map out the lawless areas of the city so law abiding people can avoid them.

  • Guy Olson March 6, 2019 (5:03 pm)

    It’s such a beautiful area over there! 

  • JB March 6, 2019 (5:45 pm)

    I would try installing large concrete blocks where the RVs park.  Possibly space them so a car can fit but not an RV. 

  • Dale March 6, 2019 (5:53 pm)

    Lisa Herbold will never be a supporter of common sense ideas and solutions to the increasing problems plaguing Seattle.  She has her thoughts and attitudes about how to deal with the issues, and does not want to hear opposing ideas.  After meeting with her last year, during her office hours in South Park, five of us, all small, long time landlords in Seattle (who respect our tenants and keep our rents in quality buildings well below current market rates), tried to explain our concerns about unintended consequences of her legislation for rental property owners to lose control of who lives in their properties.  She ended the meeting and walked out after 15 minutes.  The results of the legislation we predicted have come true.  They caused rents to rise and small landlords to give up and sell their properties.  After that happens, rents do not fall.  The buildings are bought by developers who maximize the profits.  And watch what happens when Seattle adopts full-on rent control.  Anyone been to the blighted areas of New York City?  She is clueless.And thanks again to WSB for being one of the few places where old time Seattleites, who remember when Seattle worked,   can vent our frustration.

    • Alkimark March 6, 2019 (9:59 pm)

      I sold my duplex on Alk I for the very reason you mention last year.  Got rid of 2 below market rent units.  A dude from Microsoft bought it and it has been vacant since.  I’ll never own any rentals in the city of Seattle again.

  • 1994 March 6, 2019 (9:13 pm)

    Maybe Nucor or the city could put out some speakers, with good volume, and play classical or elevator music ALL night long. Or the loud sound of squawking birds?? Make the street not so welcoming during night time hours for those who want to linger. 

  • 1994 March 6, 2019 (9:25 pm)

    What I want to know is how the homeless people can afford to buy a dilapidated RV, pay for the gas, and have some money to keep it rolling around….??? How does one do that? Where do you find these old RVs for sale? If they are not in good mechanical order they should not be allowed on the streets.  I bet most of these rolling dumps are not insured and don’t have valid license tabs. 

  • CatLady March 6, 2019 (10:02 pm)

    The absolute audacity of people here complaining about trash is, well… actually not surprising at all. But still. Two (three?) weeks ago, when the city was buried in Snowmageddon and trash wasn’t being picked up there were dozens of comments on this blog from people complaining about it. So much Chicken Little-ing about “I’ve been missed three times now and my garbage can is full and what am I supposed to do?!”And yet that experience seems to have endowed almost no one with any sympathy towards people who (wait for it) don’t have access to curbside garbage pickup. Humans are messy and gross, and when we live together in cities trash piles up fast. We’ve literally known this for centuries. I don’t like litter any more than the next person, but where are unhoused people supposed to put their trash? Has anyone complaining here bothered to engage with unhoused people and figure out what they need in order to stop littering? Or is it just easier to complain for the warmth of your house? 

    • Anonymous Coward March 7, 2019 (3:44 am)

      They’re supposed to put it in bins and then take it to the transfer station themselves, just like all the other people living in areas outside of Seattle who do not have curbside trash collection.  And just like the housed are supposed to do with all of their refuse that doesn’t qualify for curbside pickup (think old couches, used appliances, etc).  Now, can you tell me where they’re not supposed to put it?

  • aa March 6, 2019 (10:47 pm)

    Cat lady, Its my opinion that most of the comments here are expressing frustration towards our city and its inability to develop any lasting solutions to deal with the garbage, not the homeless people. You pose the same question as many others here, “where are unhoused people supposed to put their trash?”   

  • Peter S. March 7, 2019 (9:21 pm)

    Bingo Dale and AlikiMark.  I’m close to unloading my 2 (considerably under-market rent) WS duplexes for the very same reason.  Could easily sell out to a developer for a tidy profit.  Not wanting to turn the lives of my wonderful longtime tenants upside down is one of the primary reasons that prevents me from doing so.  My personal beef is mostly with RRIO, which is the stupidest piece of regulatory legislation passed by City government in a very  long time.  Certainly does nothing to benefit the majority of renters and in fact hurts them, because cost are ultimately passed on to the tenant. 

Sorry, comment time is over.