West Seattle, Washington
11:31 AM: Just announced to address the south-downtown slowdown: Starting September 9th, SB Metro buses will be moved off 1st and onto 2nd, connecting to 4th. There will be a “longterm stop on 2nd Ave Ext. S. between Washington and Main to replace the SB stop at 1st/King.” More details to come.
12:21 PM: Just leaving the media briefing downtown. Also from the announcement: Starting September 12th – the projected start date of the Dearborn section of viaduct demolition – NB buses will be rerouted too, though that’s only expected to last a week and a half or so.
During that time, NB buses that use 99 will take 4th Ave. S. with stops at Prefontaine Pl. and James St.
The permanent pathway for buses is expected to open around the end of the year, the SDOT and Metro reps at the briefing said. Meantime, we asked what took so long to come up with this solution – couldn’t the problem have been predicted?
Metro’s Bill Bryant said it really took summertime traffic to kick in before they realized things weren’t going well. As for the month-plus it’s taken to come up with this, he indicated that they tried hard to see if signal timing and other nonrouting measures would help enough … but they didn’t.
The routing alone isn’t the only change planned; SDOT’s downtown mobility director Heather Marx said there remain many “moving pieces” in terms of signal timing and even channelization changes. Today’s announcement notes that “Buses using 2nd Avenue to connect to 4th Avenue S. will have a second left-turn lane from Columbia St. to 2nd Avenue.” And on 99, for example, the NB bus lane that was in place pre-tunnel will be brought back, possibly in time for the end of the Dearborn demolition.
2:57 PM: Commenter Kyle asked about data. We in turn asked Metro spokesperson Travis Shofner, who replied:
These travel times are between 3rd and Columbia and Avalon St in West Seattle. Here are the scatter plots looking at the afternoon and evening rush (Limited data in these plots):
While we cannot promise that Fourth Avenue South is always going to be faster than First Avenue, riders should have a more predictable commute. From the data … you can see that First Avenue was sometimes the fastest option but also unreliable and inconsistent, with extended travel times for riders in the afternoon and rush hour. Second Avenue to Fourth Avenue South has less data, but in just one day of reroute, showed more consistency and was much more reliable without as many extended travel times. With SDOT improvements not reflected here, we may see those Second Ave/Fourth Ave S times improve.
Anecdotally – judging by the reader reports we’re getting – seems like a busy week for car prowlers. Two more reports start this West Seattle Crime Watch roundup:
IN SEAVIEW: From D: “We’ve had 3 nights of car prowlers on 46th Ave between Graham and Raymond. We just had a block meeting with neighbors but wanted to give a shout out to other neighbors who might be next.”
VIA TEXT: Received this morning:
Thought I’d say I live in the 7300 block of 16th Ave SW; my car was had almost everything missing, taken when I left to go to work, just now realized. :( so sad, it’s just an old piece of dirt car with all my work items … among other things (that) got taken.
MAIL THEFT: From Michelle:
We live on 20th Ave SW between Thistle and Elmgrove. (Tuesday) night, someone figured out a way to pry open our sturdy locking mailbox. They stole a small package containing a new watch my father-in-law mailed to my husband. Other mail was stolen including birthday cards for our son. We called the non-emergency line and a policeman came out pretty quickly.
We usually pick up mail daily but missed Tuesday. This is the third time we’ve had mail stolen and thought the locking mailbox would deter thieves. The last time this happened, the police recovered our mail from the home of a woman they arrested for stealing identities and committing other fraud. It was a
painful process to restore identity.
Michelle says they’ve “started researching secure mailboxes and security cameras.”
Highlights for your pre-holiday-weekend Thursday:
LOW-LOW TIDE: Out to -2.1 feet at 10:35 am.
WADING POOL & SPRAYPARK: Through Labor Day, 11 am-8 pm daily operating hours continue for the Lincoln Park wading pool (8011 Fauntleroy Way SW) and Highland Park spraypark (1100 SW Cloverdale).
BACK-TO-SCHOOL BASH: Backpacks, school supplies, haircuts offered at Southwest Youth and Family Services, 4-7 pm. (4555 Delridge Way SW)
RENDETTA & LEFT SIDE SUN: Doors 7 pm, music 8 pm at The Skylark. $8 cover. 21+. (3803 Delridge Way SW)
INTO THE COLD & GUESTS: 9 pm at Parliament Tavern. $5 cover. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
MORE! See today’s other listings via our full calendar.
If you use the Free Waterfront Shuttle downtown, they want you to know that it’s been extended to October 31st, instead of ending service on Labor Day weekend as originally scheduled. We last wrote about it back in January, when it expanded hours to help with the viaduct-to-tunnel transition. With viaduct demolition not quite done yet, “additional funding will keep the daily service running,” according to the announcement, which notes:
… Since it started in July 2018, the free service has provided more than 330,000 rides to tourists and locals visiting Seattle’s waterfront, Pioneer Square and downtown’s retail core. The shuttle currently operates seven days a week, running weekdays from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on weekends from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The service is provided by the WSDOT-funded DowntownSeattleParking.com program and is managed by Commute Seattle and the Downtown Seattle Association. … The shuttle is funded through the Alaskan Way Viaduct Parking Mitigation Program, designed to increase accessibility to the waterfront and Pioneer Square during viaduct demolition. …
The shuttle offers two routes: one along the waterfront and one linking the downtown core to the waterfront and Pioneer Square. …
With the shuttle now scheduled to run until late October, that also aligns with the end (October 25th) of this year’s 7-day-a-week King County Water Taxi schedule.
6:53 AM: Good morning!
PM BUS REMINDER: 4-8 pm today, because of the Seahawks game, Metro will reroute southbound buses out of Pioneer Square – here are the details (PDF).
WATER TAXI: It’ll run later tonight because of the football game.
AVALON PAVING: Thanks to David for the tip – some area residents got an update from SDOT saying that “to complete paving early this Friday due to the holiday weekend, crews will be paving the
West side of Zone C (today). There will be no driveway access from 7 AM to 7 PM.” Zone C is on Avalon between Genesee and 35th SW. (Update from David: SDOT is actually paving the EAST side today.)
7:11 AM: Trouble reported on the bridge – trucks blocking the eastbound ramp to 99. The bridge cams are still down so we can’t see this, and SDOT hasn’t issued an alert, but we have multiple reader reports – thanks! One person says it looks like a pickup truck driver got stuck trying to pass a semi.
7:18 AM: SDOT has a view with the pickup still stalled on the ramp and says the Incident Response Team is on the way.
7:40 AM: SDOT says the stalled vehicle has been moved and the ramp’s back to normal. (Thanks again for the tips on this – which predated SDOT reports by quite some time – provided you’re not behind the wheel, we appreciate traffic and other breaking-news tips via 206-293-6302, 24/7, text or voice.)
8:35 AM: New bridge alert – if you’re inbound:
Roadwork on West Seattle Bridge WB w/o SR-99 blocking the right lane. Use caution. pic.twitter.com/PdJSVfddjN
— SDOT Traffic (@SDOTtraffic) August 29, 2019
Two more local projects have informal meetings scheduled as part of the city’s Early Community Outreach for Design Review process:
9402 18TH SW: You can meet project team members for this nine-unit townhouse/rowhouse plan [map] at 6 pm September 16th in the White Center Library meeting room (1409 SW 107th). They’re also accepting feedback via an online survey – find it here in both English and Spanish.
The next two days are your last two chances of the summer to explore the shore during low-low tides. At 10:35 am Thursday and 11:22 am Friday, low tides will be out to -2.1 feet – the last daytime tides that low this year. Not quite as low as the minus-3-foot low tides earlier this summer but low enough for exploring! (If you can’t get out on the beach until the weekend, Saturday’s low-low tide is decent for beachwalking too – -1.5 feet at 12:09 pm.) New around here? A favorite low-tide-exploring spot is Constelltion Park/Richey Viewpoint along Beach Drive south of Alki Point. But tread lightly and take great care with any creatures you see!
As promised at Monday’s tunnel-toll announcement, Metro and SDOT have come up with a plan to address the slowness of West Seattle (etc.) bus routes, and plan to unveil it at a media briefing at midday tomorrow. They “will detail efforts to improve transit travel times and reliability for West Seattle bus riders on routes 21x, 37, 55, 56, 57, 113, 120, 121, 122, 123, 125, and the RapidRide C Line,” according to the preview. And they “will also discuss lane changes and signal-timing improvements to keep people and goods moving through this chapter of the Seattle Squeeze.” We’ve been covering the bus trouble here for more than a month, since readers started pointing out the worsening downtown jams, particularly during the southbound pm commute.
If you’re using the Highway 99 tunnel tomorrow, you might notice the tolling signs that currently say FREE will instead display symbols. Just a test, WSDOT spokesperson Laura Newborn says – tolling really won’t start until November 9th, as announced back on Monday. Depending on the time of day, here’s what the signage will show tomorrow (and other testing times) in the Good To Go (GTG) and Pay By Mail (PBM) displays:
Time of Day GTG PBM
5:30 a.m. $!.)) $#.))
6 a.m. to 7 a.m. $!.@% $#.@%
7 a.m. to 9 a.m. $!.%) $#.%)
9 a.m. to 3 p.m. $!.@% $#.@%
3 p.m. to 6 p.m. $@.@% $$.@%
6 p.m. to 11 p.m. $!.@% $#.@%
11 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. $!.)) $#.))
Newborn says 4,000 more people have signed up for free GTG sticker passes since Monday’s announcement – you can do it by going to 99tunnel.com.
Back in April – when we were only two months removed from this year’s February snowpocalypse – we reported on the King County Council considering waiving Metro fares during that kind of weather. Today, on an extra-warm late-summer day, councilmembers finalized the plan. Here’s the announcement:
Today the Council approved legislation sponsored by Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles that would waive enforcement of Metro transit fares when Metro activates its Emergency Snow Network to encourage people to use transit and avoid driving during severe snowstorms.
The legislation was approved 7-2 with Councilmembers Claudia Balducci and Kathy Lambert voting in opposition.
Metro customers will be able to ride without paying the transit fare while the Emergency Snow Network is in effect. The legislation increases accessibility of Metro transit service for those experiencing homelessness in need of shelter and encourages all residents to avoid driving during severe snowstorms.
“Like our policy of free fares on New Year’s Eve, this legislation is about promoting safety,” said Kohl-Welles. “It will encourage people to stay off the roads and get to where they need using a safer mode of transportation – regardless if they have an Orca Card or enough money to pay the fare.”
The measure was proposed earlier this year by Kohl-Welles in response to a massive storm that devastated roads and highways across the region in February and became known as “Snowmageddon.” This resulted in Metro activating the Emergency Snow Network for the first time.
A memo accompanying the legislation projects this could “potentially cost Metro approximately $64,750 per day during a snow event warranting enactment of the Emergency Snow Network.”
This Sunday (September 1st), Amanda Winans will be the next open-water swimmer to attempt the Amy Hiland Swim, named for the woman who in 1959 became the first person on record to accomplish the swim between Bremerton and Alki Point. Six have done it since – from Erika Norris in September 2016 to Stephanie Zimmerman earlier this month. Northwest Open Water Swimming Association president Andrew Malinak announced the Sunday plan and tells WSB, “Amanda is yet another swimmer who has been training at Alki for the past several years, and has been a regular training partner of Stephanie Zimmerman since she began training at Alki. This will be Amanda’s first marathon swim. Amanda is a research engineer at the UW School of Oceanography, and regularly entertains us on swims by pointing out which marine invertebrates we’re swimming through.” Both Stephanie and Erika will be among the crew supporting/officiating during Amanda’s swim; Andrew will pilot the support boat.
11:16 AM: Two West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports:
CAR PROWLS: From Debbie:
Last night (1:55 am) was a pretty active night in our neighborhood. We heard car of young men go through, a loud bang that we thought was a window breaking; but have no description of car or occupants. There is evidence they were in cars from 37th & Cloverdale to 39th & Thistle, hitting Sullivan Street between 37th & 39th as well. They took a set of golf clubs out of one car & tossed them along a one-block path.
BURGLARY ATTEMPT: From Matt:
Our doorbell camera caught this woman trying to break into our house (Tuesday) in the Alaska Junction. The door was locked so all that she got away with was a watering can and a plant from our deck.
ADDED 11:52 AM: One more report that just came in:
STOLEN BICYCLE: From Jake near California/Holly:
Want to give my neighbors a heads up – my locked bicycle was stolen out of our backyard early Tuesday AM (8/27). Particularly unnerving because it was very much out of sight within a fenced yard. I feel we were cased as the thief had to bring in some serious bolt cutters to cut the locking cable. Please be on the lookout for a metallic green TREK Mountain bike with twin black saddlebag/ panniers and rear rack.
Highlights for an extra-warm Wednesday:
WADING POOL & SPRAYPARK: Through Labor Day, 11 am-8 pm daily operating hours continue for the Lincoln Park wading pool (8011 Fauntleroy Way SW) and Highland Park spraypark (1100 SW Cloverdale).
HIGH POINT MARKET GARDEN FARM STAND: Eighth week for this year’s weekly farm-stand sessions, selling fresh produce and flowers, all grown by local residents, at the mini-farm by the stand. 4 pm-7 pm. (32nd SW/SW Juneau)
SSC ADMISSIONS WORKSHOP: South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) invites you to this 4:30 pm workshop “to assist future students and community members with the admission and enrollment process.” More info in our calendar listing. (6000 16th SW)
DISASTER-SKILLS WORKSHOP: 5:30 pm at Southwest Library, presented by the city Office of Emergency Management:
This workshop provides training on key skills needed after a disaster and more in depth instruction on key preparedness actions. Participants will rotate through four stations, with each lasting 30 minutes. The workshop covers the following topics: (1) Fire Extinguisher Use, (2) Utility Control, (3) Water Storage and Purification and (4) Emergency Sanitation.
Free, but register here ASAP! (9010 35th SW)
PARKS SUPERINTENDENT @ HPAC: Jesús Aguirre, who recently returned to the role of Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent, is the guest at tonight’s <strong>Highland Park Action Committee meeting, 7 pm at HP Improvement Club. (1116 SW Holden)
YOUR TURN AT THE MIC: Open Mic night at Great American Diner and Bar, 7 pm signup, 7:30 pm performances. All ages. (4752 California SW)
HIP SHOT: Fusion jazz at Parliament Tavern, 8 pm. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
9:26 AM: SFD has a big response headed for the 4100 block of SW Othello. More to come.
9:30 AM: Per radio communication, this is an exterior fire and it’s out aside from smoldering. All but a few units are being dismissed.
Thinking about buying a new bed? The West Seattle Booster Club is raising money for West Seattle High School athletic programs again this year with a mattress sale 10 am-5 pm September 14th at the school:
Come support your Wildcats on September 14th! This is our biggest fundraiser of the year. 100% of the proceeds will be reinvested in Locker Room renovations, Gymnasium upgrades and our WSHS Sports Performance Center! Every dollar and referral helps! Thank you and Go Wildcats!
This flyer has more details.
6:52 AM: Good morning!
BACK TO SCHOOL TODAY: It’s the first full day of classes for Seattle Lutheran High School in The Junction (4100 SW Genesee).
STADIUM ZONE: A 1:10 pm game wraps up the Mariners–Yankees series.
THURSDAY PM BUS REMINDER: 4-8 pm on Thursday, because of the Seahawks game, Metro will reroute southbound buses out of Pioneer Square – here are the details (PDF).
Seattle Public Schools open for classes one week from tomorrow – on Wednesday, September 4th – and they’ll do so with new contracts for members of the district’s largest union. From the Seattle Education Association announcement of tonight’s ratification vote:
… Highlights included in the three-year deal include competitive pay raises for educators, support for school racial equity teams and additional staff, including nurses and counselors.
Seattle Education Association represents more than 6,000 teachers, office professionals, paraeducators and substitute educators.
Office professionals approved their contract by 97.67 percent. Paraeducators approved theirs by 91.82 percent and teachers/certificated staff approved their contract by 88.15 percent.
9:54 PM: If you’re headed outbound, be aware you won’t be able to get to Highway 99 from the eastbound bridge for a while because of a crash:
UPDATE: The off-ramp to SR-99 NB from West Seattle Bridge EB is currently blocked. Use alternate routes. pic.twitter.com/35OVLcs5dN
— SDOT Traffic (@SDOTtraffic) August 28, 2019
10:17 PM: SFD has closed the call, which means fire/medic units have all left the scene.
10:50 PM: All clear at the scene, per SDOT.
4:10 PM: We followed up with SFD. The crash involved one driver who hit the median, a 43-year-old man who was taken to Harborview Medical Center by private ambulance with minor injuries.
While most community councils take meeting hiatuses in August, tomorrow night brings a notable exception: Highland Park Action Committee. At 7 pm Wednesday, HPAC welcomes you to “a conversation about the future of Seattle Parks and Recreation with Superintendent Jesús Aguirre.” This is in the context of Parks’ work on a new Strategic Plan. HPAC meets at the Highland Park Improvement Club, 1116 SW Holden.
The results of the newest annual Seattle Public Safety Survey – conducted by Seattle University for SPD – are out. Top concerns of respondents are listed citywide, by precinct, and by “microcommunity” (aka neighborhood with a community group that has participated in development of policing plans). Here are the Southwest Precinct-area highlights:
The survey summary says 706 people in the Southwest Precinct area – West Seattle and South Park – completed the survey; demographically, the summary notes, “Compared to Seattle demographics, survey respondents [from this precinct area] were disproportionately more likely to be non-minority and female.” The report summarizes:
The top public safety concerns for the Southwest Precinct are Car Prowls, Lack of Police Capacity, Property Crime- General, Residential Burglary, and Auto Theft.
Southwest Precinct slightly differs from the citywide top public safety concerns, which were Car Prowls, Lack of Police Capacity, Homelessness, Property Crime, and Residential Burglary; for residents in the Southwest Precinct, Auto Theft was a top public safety concern over Homelessness, which was a top public safety concern in the citywide findings.
The most prominent themes residents in the Southwest Precinct commented on in their narrative responses were Lack of Police Capacity, Homelessness is a Public Safety, and Public Health Issue, Crime- Public Order, Crime- Property, and Crime- Traffic/Pedestrian/Bike/Transit. In comparison with the citywide themes, which were Homelessness, Lack of Police Capacity, Public Order Crime, Property Crime, and Police being Prevented from Doing their Job, themes prioritized by residents in the Southwest Precinct were Crime- Traffic/Pedestrian/Bike/Transit, which was a concern over the citywide theme (that) police are being prevented from doing their jobs. At the micro-community level, top public safety concerns, prominent themes, and perceptions of public safety are similar to the precinct as a whole. However, some micro-communities differ from the others (e.g. unsafe driving/speeding in Alki, littering/dumping and gang activity in South Park).
You can read the entire report here.
Beautiful day for whale-watching! Kersti Muul sends word that the T-137 transient orcas are “milling” off Alki Point – “no direction” so hard to tell which way they’re headed next. Let us know if you see them!
Thanks to readers who’ve asked about another remodel in progress at the Metropolitan Market (WSB sponsor) Admiral store. The work has changed the store’s hours temporarily – and a long-term change is ahead, too. First, about the remodel: MM marketing director Cameron Ito says the remodel is scheduled to be complete in early October, adding, “Among the many exciting improvements in the store, the remodel will include a new Health & Wellness department, increased product selection, and overall redesign in select areas.” The sign above shows the temporary hours during the remodeling work, but a longterm change is ahead too; Ito says that after the remodel, permanent hours will be 5 am-1 am daily.