Transportation dominates discussion @ HPAC

September 28, 2019 8:49 pm
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 |   Highland Park | Neighborhoods | West Seattle news

This past week’s HPAC meeting – for the group that now includes South Delridge and Riverview as well as Highland Park but is keeping the acronym – was something of a small-group discussion, no guests, just updates, with transportation dominating the discussion:

HIGHLAND PARK WAY IMPROVEMENTS: Following up on the mayoral budget announcement earlier in the week, Michele Witzki – who has long worked on advocacy for Highland Park Way/Holden – provided some backstory. She and HPAC chair Gunner Scott had met with SDOT and mayoral reps.

Witzki believes the $3 million-plus will go toward a stoplight. (Editor’s note: SDOT director Sam Zimbabwe confirmed this the next night at the West Seattle Transportation Coalition meeting – more on that meeting tomorrow.) Scott said SDOT had asked them how the community would feel about a signal vs. the roundabout; he told them the roundabout was mostly an SDOT idea in the first place. He also pointed out that Highland Park has other safety needs. Witzki added that they expressed concern about mitigation to deal with the cut-through traffic: “We tried to advocate as hard as we could in 45 minutes.” Zimbabwe is expected at next month’s HPAC meeting; Witzki emphasized that people should come to that meeting with solutions: “You can fund solutions – you can’t fund complaints.” HPAC’s Marianne McCord said they had learned at the previous night’s District 1 Community Network that the budget item was something the mayor was adamant about including. But that’s no sure thing – while D-1 Councilmember Lisa Herbold supports it, it’s important to lobby the other councilmembers.Witzki says they do have letters of support from other CMs as well as the 34th District state-legislative reps. You can’t take that for granted, McCord stressed. The group discussed talking points including that Highland Park Way/Holden is really a “third entrance” into West Seattle. Email with points you want leadership to be ready to discuss.

YOUR VOICE, YOUR CHOICE: It’s the final days of voting for which local projects should get a share of funding. Scott recapped the four projects in the HPAC jurisdiction that are in the running. (See our original story on the vote for the list and the ballot link – two are headed Highland Park, two are headed South Delridge.)

HIGHLAND PARK ELEMENTARY GREENWAY SURVEY: This is now open – Craig Rankin talked about it. He and others in attendance said that if you’re looking for a recommendation, 10th SW is it. You can take the survey here until October 11th.

PLANNING COMMISSION: This advisory group is coming to West Seattle 4-5:30 pm October 10th at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. (A few attendees hadn’t heard of the commission.)

WESTCREST PARK: As we’ve reported earlier, the dog park will close for months for drainage work. Parks will come to October’s HPAC meeting to talk about plans for a small alternate area. Then, Scott said, they plan to hold a community gathering at the park. If you’re interested in being part of that – be at the October HPAC meeting!

CAMP SECOND CHANCE: The promised community meeting on its permit s likely in the second half of October.

DUWAMISH GRANT: HPAC supported the Duwamish Tribe’s application for a King Conservation District grant re: more trails through the greenbelt west of the Longhouse, “Ridge to River.” It went in two weeks ago; Seattle Parks and SDOT are expressing support for it. They’ll find out about its fate in December.

NEW EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS NEEDED: Longtime leaders are ready to step away – so new leadership is needed. There’s lots of work to be done.

BUS MESS: Some casual discussion of how people awaiting buses downtown no longer can depend on the 125 or 131. “Downtown’s a mess.”

UPCOMING EVENTS: First annual Highland Park Plant Swap is set for October 5th at HPIC – watch for details … November 16th is the HPIC Bicentennial celebration, with “notable guests,” dignitaries, bingo, and more, per HPIC’s Kay Kirkpatrick … The annual HPIC Holiday Bazaar is happening in November too.

NEXT MONTH: SDOT and Parks, fourth Wednesday in October … then HPAC skips November and December due to the holiday season … January might bring an invite for the newly elected District 1 City Councilmember, whomever that turns out to be.

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