day : 09/05/2019 10 results

WEST SEATTLE LIGHT RAIL: To ‘prefer’ or not to ‘prefer’

(Sound Transit video of today’s entire committee meeting. WS-Ballard briefing/discussion starts at 1 hour, 50 minutes in)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Today brought the last stop for West Seattle to Ballard light-rail before a key Sound Transit Board vote to decide which routing/station locations will go into environmental studies.

But the board’s System Expansion Committee declined to recommend a complete “preferred alternative” routing/station-location plan, after hearing opposing opinions on whether to do so at all.

Before the committee’s vote late today – near the end of a 4-hour meeting with other major agenda items – it heard those opinions from two ST board members who are not committee members. Phoning in from an overseas trip, King County Councilmember Joe McDermott (a West Seattle resident) advocated for not identifying a preferred alternative, saying there’s just not enough information. Meantime, committee chair King County Councilmember Claudia Balducci read email from board member Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers insisting that a preferred alternative must be identified and that environmental studies should not include options discarded in the first two levels of advisory-group review – such as the so-called “purple line,” a two-tunnel West Seattle plan that the Stakeholder Advisory Group wanted to keep but the Elected Leadership Group did not. ST staff’s very preliminary estimates suggested it could require more than $1 billion “third-party funding,” but various meetings have included some suggestions that panicking over price tags should wait until more design/engineering work has been done.

Before we get into what preceded that, here’s what the committee gave its blessing to – the West Seattle language from the motion that members approved:

West Seattle (Avalon/Junction)
Preferred alternative (To be determined)
Potential preferred alternative (To be determined)
Other DEIS alternative (To be determined)

West Seattle (Delridge)
Preferred alternative
N of Genesee station – Elevated guideway runs south adjacent to Delridge Way SW to an elevated Delridge station on a diagonal between Delridge Way SW and 26th Avenue SW north of SW Genesee Street. Continues west on an elevated guideway along SW Genesee Street.

Additionally, the Board directs staff to explore refining the Delridge station location, prioritizing a further south location and looking for opportunities to minimize potential residential impacts, create a high quality transfer environment, optimize TOD potential and reduce costs.

Other DEIS alternatives
S of Andover station – Elevated guideway follows Delridge Way SW south to an elevated Delridge station south of SW Andover Street. Continues south along Delridge Way SW and then runs west along SW Genesee Street.

The Board directs staff to conduct an initial assessment of the following alternatives, which were suggested during the scoping period, to establish whether further detailed study in the Draft EIS is appropriate:

Yancy/Andover alignment – An alignment along the Yancy/Andover corridor with a Delridge Station serving Youngstown.

Pigeon Point Tunnel – A refinement of the Pigeon Ridge Tunnel alignment that was previously evaluated in Level 1 and Level 2 screening. This alignment would include a refined Duwamish crossing location that includes a tunnel through Pigeon Point with a further south Delridge station location.

The assessment and recommendation for further study shall be brought back to the Sound Transit Board for review and potential action.

Duwamish Crossing
Preferred alternative
South crossing – Elevated guideway crosses over the Spokane Street Viaduct, curves west and parallels the West Seattle Bridge on the south side. Crosses over the Duwamish Waterway on a high-level fixed bridge on the south side of the existing bridge, then rounds Pigeon Point and heads south along Delridge Way SW.
Other DEIS alternatives
North crossing – Elevated guideway curves west and parallels the existing West Seattle Bridge on the north side. Spans the Duwamish Waterway on a high-level, fixed bridge on the north side of the existing bridge, then crosses over the West Seattle bridge ramp, passes over the Nucor Steel property and runs south along Delridge Way SW.

The Board directs staff to conduct an initial assessment of the following alternative, which was suggested during the scoping period, to establish whether further detailed study in the Draft EIS is appropriate:
Pigeon Point Tunnel – A refinement of the Pigeon Ridge Tunnel alignment that was previously evaluated in Level 1 and Level 2 screening. This alignment would include a refined Duwamish crossing location that includes a tunnel through Pigeon Point with a further south Delridge station location.
The assessment and recommendation for further study shall be brought back to the Sound Transit Board for review and potential action.

Here’s the full motion (PDF), including other sections of the West Seattle to Ballard extension. Now, what preceded it:

Read More

AVALON/35TH PROJECT: New phase of paving starts Friday; signage added

After three weeks of work on Avalon, a new phase for the first segment of paving work starts tomorrow. Tonight we have the latest official update – followed by new information on traffic issues resulting from the 35th SW segment of the project that started this week. First, SDOT’s update:

We have wrapped up base paving on the east half SW Avalon Way! Tomorrow, May 10, we plan to move traffic to the east side of SW Avalon Way as we shift work to the west side of SW Avalon Way from SW Genesee St to SW Yancy St (Zone B). As part of this work, we will be demolishing the west side of SW Avalon Way all the way to the centerline.

Starting Friday, May 10, we plan to close the west side of the intersection of SW Avalon Way and SW Genesee St to conduct utility work and pavement reconstruction. Similar to the previous closure on the east side of the intersection, crews will need to work across multiple lanes of traffic in the intersection for a few weeks.

Potholing has begun on 35th Ave SW from SW Avalon Way to SW Alaska St (Zone E) to prepare for water main work. We will maintain one lane of traffic in each direction on 35th Ave SW between Fauntleroy Way SW and SW Alaska St through approximately November 2019. See below for more information about what to expect.

Heads up for future travel: SW Alaska will be closed to 35th Ave SW from Saturday, May 18 to Sunday, May 19. This will allow crews to conduct maintenance on the water main.

Businesses are open! Please continue to visit businesses on 35th Ave SW and SW Avalon Way during construction. Pedestrian access will be maintained at all times.

Things we’ve heard from the community

Each week, we’ll plan to address a few common questions we’ve heard from your neighbors.

Where will my bus stop be?

We’re working with King County Metro (Metro) to coordinate temporary bus service reroutes and stop relocations during construction. On Metro’s website, you can find more information about construction reroutes and sign up for Metro Transit alerts. If a stop is going to be relocated, Metro will post signs along the corridor.

(WSB editor’s note: Metro’s “alerts” webpage still does not include this informatinn. We called this to Metro’s attention yesterday and again today.)

It’s difficult to bike along the corridor

We recognize that construction makes biking along the corridor difficult, especially when bike and vehicle traffic merge. We also recognize that the geography of the area makes it difficult to find alternatives. We will continuing to assess the safety of people biking through our work zone and work with West Seattle Bike Connections to identify future alternative routes during construction.

How long construction will last:

Construction in Zone B is anticipated to wrap up in mid-June. Work in Zone E is anticipated to continue through November. Thank you for your patience as we strive to complete this work safely and efficiently!

Also addressed by SDOT today – a resident’s concern about the 35th SW constraints and backups resulting in cut-throughs on narrow nearby side-streets south of SW Alaska. Kevin cc’d us on his original note and SDOT included us in today’s reply:

Thanks for your email and letting us know about the cut-through traffic on 36th Ave SW and 37th Ave SW. We’ve included details below about a few changes we’ve made to signage onsite today. In addition, we’ve also included a few options that we can offer for your specific side streets if cut-through traffic continues to be an issue.

Signage adjustments on 35th Ave SW
Crews evaluated signage onsite this morning to ensure the messaging on the boards and the closure was as clear to people driving as possible.

(WSB photo – we were headed SB; the messaging faces NB traffic)

They added a message board about the closure at 35th Ave SW and SW Myrtle St in center-turn lane, and kept the current message boards in place at SW Snoqualmie St and SW Alaska St. We will continue to evaluate traffic and the best locations for these message boards as the closure continues.

Additional mitigation options

We are looking into speed mitigation tools and will get back to you soon.

We will be adding a note to our email updates to let people driving that we have heard from neighbors about speeding and concerns around safety on side streets. Particularly as we head into sunny, warmer weather, we’ll highlight a reminder to slow down and watch for people biking, people walking, and kids playing and walking to school.

In addition, if you do not already have vision zero signs for your street, we would be happy to bring you some reminding people driving through that “20 is plenty.”

The project team’s contact info is on the right sidebar of this page.

SOFTBALL: West Seattle HS and Chief Sealth IHS face off for district-tournament spot

Exciting afternoon/evening at Southwest Athletic Complex for fans of local high-school fast-pitch softball. Chief Sealth International High School and West Seattle High School both won their 3 pm Metro League tournament games (Sealth 10-8 over Ballard, WSHS 10-0 over Ingraham) and that sent them immediately into an early-evening faceoff for the final spot in districts.

The Wildcats were up early – 9-4 in the second inning when we arrived – and the Seahawks never quite caught up. Final score was a victory for WSHS, 19-6. According to the district brackets, placing 9th in the Metro tournament means the Wildcats play next at 4 pm Monday – here’s the bracket that will show who and where.

UPDATE: Seen on West Seattle Art Walk, May edition

6:37 PM: Couldn’t be a more perfect night to get out and enjoy art – it’s West Seattle Art Walk night!

That’s Megan Simmons, who’s at Next-to-Nature in The Junction tonight. Right across the street, Rachel Austin is painting at Click! Design That Fits (WSB sponsor):

And on the same block, at CAPERS, you can enjoy art from this year’s West Seattle Garden Tour competition:

Winning artist Sheila Lengle was there too; photo to come! Most WSAW venues are open at least until 8 – see the map and list in today’s highlights.

ADDED 7:55 PM: That’s Sheila above with son Rafferty and grandkids Lathan and Quinn. As reported here back in March, her artwork Garden Girl in Red Shades won the competition to be featured on this year’s poster and ticket book for WSGT (which is on June 23 this year). You’ll be able to bid for it during a silent auction on tour day, with proceeds going to this year’s tour beneficiaries.

FOLLOWUP: Police plan noise enforcement on Alki tomorrow, and beyond

Summer-like weather has already started to bring summer-like crowds to Alki. We noticed the Seattle Police mobile precinct there yesterday evening, and now have word that police are planning more noise-enforcement patrols. SPD says the next one is planned tomorrow night (Friday, May 10th) and has other dates planned this spring and summer. The police reminder: “If your vehicle can be heard from over 75 feet away you could receive a $135 citation.” (Here’s the law, if you want to read it for yourself.)

CONGRATULATIONS! Golden Apple for Denny International Middle School teacher Leticia Clausen

“You make me a great teacher.”

That’s what Denny International Middle School teacher Leticia Clausen told students who gathered Wednesday to help celebrate her Golden Apple Award. Family and friends were there too, along with reps from KCTS 9, which has presented the Golden Apples for more than a quarter-century. Here’s our video of what happened at the classroom gathering:

She teaches dual-language immersion at Denny, whose principal Jeff Clark recalled working with her to create the program on relatively short notice, years ago. The Golden Apple honors included a $500 check presented during the classroom ceremony; the beaming winner said first thing she wanted to use it for was sopas for her students.

P.S. As part of the Golden Apple celebration, Ms. Clausen has been profiled by KCTS – see the video on the station’s website.

BIZNOTE: Paper Boat Booksellers finds a home for their West Seattle bookstore

You might have met the West Seattleites behind Paper Boat Booksellers during their Independent Booksellers Day pop-up at Alair last month. Now they’ve found a home of their own! Tipsters pointed out (thank you!) the sign that’s now up at the ex-Experimac storefront in north Morgan Junction (6040 California SW), and co-proprietor Desirae Judy confirms to WSB that she and husband/business partner Eric Judy have signed a lease. In an earlier exchange, when they were still space-hunting, they told us, “We are book lovers and believe that an independent bookstore can thrive in our community – it is not only a place to indulge in the love of reading, but also a place to meet your neighbors and share your love of books. We envision our bookstore as a true community meeting space!” They will start buildout soon and have bookshelves on order, with the hopes of opening Paper Boat Booksellers sometime this summer.

West Seattle Art Walk and more for your summery Thursday

May 9, 2019 11:18 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Art Walk and more for your summery Thursday
 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

We start with the biggest event for today/tonight, the May 2019 West Seattle Art Walk:

That’s the map/list of places to go, some with art, some with food/beverage specials to entice you to participate, some with both! We published a preview night before last; even more highlights are on the official WSAW website.

Also happening in the hours ahead:

WEST SEATTLE LIGHT RAIL: As previewed here Wednesday, the Sound Transit Board‘s System Expansion Committee talks this afternoon about which routing/station locations for the West Seattle to Ballard extension should go into environmental studies. 1:30 pm at the ST boardroom downtown, with a public-comment period toward the start of the meeting, which has many other topics on the agenda. (401 S. Jackson)

(Canada goose family exploring Constellation Park at low tide, photographed by Gary Jones)

LOW-LOW TIDE: Out to -1.8 feet at 2:53 pm.

SOFTBALL: Chief Sealth and West Seattle both have 3 pm playoff games at Southwest Athletic Complex – and winners of those games move on to a 5 pm game. (2801 SW Thistle)

SEATTLE BEER WEEK KICKOFF: 5-9 pm, Ounces in North Delridge celebrates the kickoff of Seattle Beer Week, and is scheduled to be an official tour stop around 7 pm. (3803 Delridge Way SW)

SECOND THURSDAY OUT! The Senior Center of West Seattle‘s LGBTQ group meets at Great American Diner and Bar for dinner at 6 pm, followed by, for those interested, “Office Hour” at ArtsWest, 7:30 pm curtain. (4752 California SW)

AVIATION PROGRAMS OPEN HOUSE: 6 pm at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor), find out about SSC’s Aeronautical Technology Department. (6000 16th SW)

WORDS, WRITERS, WEST SEATTLE: 6 pm at Southwest Library:

Seattle art historian and curator Barbara Johns will present her book, The Hope of Another Spring, Takuichi Fujii, about the Japanese artist who lived in Seattle and was later incarcerated during World War II, first in the Puyallup state fairgrounds and then in a permanent camp in Minidoka, Idaho. During that time, Fujii documented his daily experiences in words and art. Johns has brought his works back into public view with the help of Fujii’s family members. Sandy Kita, the artist’s grandson, provides translations and an introduction to the diary.

(9010 35th SW)

OPEN MIC AT C & P: All genres welcome, 7 pm at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor). For listeners – all ages, no cover. (5612 California SW)

CEPHALOPOD: Funk/jazz jam band live at Parliament Tavern, 9 pm. No cover. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)

MUCH MORE TODAY/TONIGHT/BEYOND! It’s all on our complete calendar.

2 West Seattle pool reminders as record warmth approaches

(Colman Pool, photographed in 2017 by Long Bach Nguyen)

With temperatures expected to set records – in the 80s – for the next few days, you might be thinking about swimming. If you don’t have a membership to one of the local fitness facilities with pools, here’s a reminder about changes at West Seattle’s two city-owned pools: Outdoor Colman Pool at Lincoln Park opens early this year, with this Saturday and Sunday (May 11-12) set as its first postseason weekend; here’s the backstory. Indoor Southwest Pool, though, is closed for maintenance and not expected to reopen until late May. P.S. There’s one more public option not too far away – Evergreen Pool in White Center (606 SW 116th).

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Thursday watch; weekend alerts

(SDOT MAP with travel times/ Is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE/ West Seattle-relevant traffic cams HERE)

7 AM: No alerts so far. Another look at this weekend’s alertk:

NB HIGHWAY 99 TUNNEL: Closed overnight Friday-early Saturday for routine maintenance

CRANE REMOVAL: California SW closed at Stevens all day Saturday for removal of West Seattle’s only tower crane.

SHRIMP FISHING: Don Armeni Boat Ramp (1222 Harbor SW) is likely to be very busy Saturday early morning through early afternoon, as the state opens shrimp fishing 7 am-1 pm that day.

WEST SEATTLE COMMUNITY GARAGE SALE DAY: 9 am-3 pm Saturday, sales all over the peninsula (here’s the map).