(SDOT camera screengrab from 7:39 am this past Monday, looking at EB West Seattle Bridge)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
As we’ve been reporting, SDOT thinks it can relieve the backups blamed on the newly restored NB Highway 99 bus lane by making some changes – without removing the lane.
During a multi-agency “Seattle Squeeze” update at tonight’s Southwest District Council meeting, SDOT’s downtown mobility director Heather Marx elaborated on exactly what’s under consideration.
Marx, a West Seattle resident, said: “We are working right now with WSDOT to get their approval to make some adjustments. We’re going to extend the merge 1,000 more feet so it’ll give people more mixing zone to stretch themselves out … instead of the pretty short merge area, we’re going to give you a lot longer … the shortness of the merge is creating a backup …” slowing down cars and buses. She said engineers believe that will make a difference, “to relieve some of that friction.” The goal is to have that change in place “shortly,” but she has no date, summarizing “We are quite aware of the problem and are actively developing a solution.”
Marx’s comments come six days after SDOT director Sam Zimbabwe said something similar – but less specific – to the West Seattle Transportation Coalition. It’s been a week and a half since the bus lane’s return has started backing up 99 onto the West Seattle Bridge, slowing not only drivers but also buses before they ever get to the lane.
The rest of the Seattle Squeeze presentation and other meeting details, ahead: Read More
Three more cases in West Seattle Crime Watch:
EARLY-MORNING ROBBERY: We asked police about a robbery call early this morning in the 8100 block of 24th SW. The report says the victim walked outside his house around 3:40 am and was approached by someone who “demanded money and struck the victim in the head.” The robber took “an unknown amount of money from the victim, kicked him, and ran away.” Police searched, with a K9 team, but didn’t find the robber; the victim was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
PURSE THEFT: Tara reports that around noon today, her purse was taken from an outdoor workout room in the 3300 block of 59th SW. It’s described as a “small black leather long shoulder-strap purse” containing “a pink leather wallet with driver’s license, bank cards,” and cash.
ALKI ARREST: Another case from Alki – we found this one after noticing a familiar name on the jail register. 25-year-old Nickolas Osborne is the man arrested by police back in July for an Alki stabbing death a year earlier, but not charged (as explained here). He has been in jail for two weeks, charged with criminal trespassing, because of an incident in which he showed up outside an Alki residence and insisted he had to be allowed inside to get his things. But he had never lived or even visited there. The resident told police this wasn’t the first time he showed up at the house; she and her boyfriend tried to get him to leave but he wouldn’t. Police were finally called. He continued refusing to leave; they arrested him. His bail is set at $3,000 and he’s been through a mental-health assessment, with a competency hearing scheduled tomorrow. As noted in our summer coverage of the stabbing case, Osborne’s record includes a case from March of last year, in which he set an SPD car on fire while Southwest Precinct officers were taking him to jail for allegedly harassing Lincoln Park/Lowman Beach visitors.
Lot of questions about a police response at an apartment building on SW Avalon Way near 35th. We went over to ask. It was a domestic-violence situation, police told us. Seattle Fire was called in to help them gain entry to a unit – that’s why SFD was there but no callout was shown on the Real-Time 911 log. (added) One person was arrested.
One week ago, we showed you the concrete curb extension that’s been added on the westbound side of SW Barton alongside Westwood Village, where a driver hit and killed a pedestrian three months ago, in an area where neighborhood advocates have been pleading for safety improvements for years. But that’s not all SDOT is planning in the area, the West Seattle Transportation Coalition was told at its meeting last week. The briefing by Brad Topol, who’s currently leading SDOT’s Vision Zero efforts, was a followup to his WSTC appearance last July. Here’s what he brought to show what’s in the works:
(Here’s a PDF version if you can’t read it via Scribd above.) Also, we recorded him on video:
You’ll note in the renderings that a flashing beacon is now planned for the area as part of the conversion of Metro Route 120 to the RapidRide H Line; that’s something that Topol had said in July was not in the plan.
Also discussed: Sightline effects of Metro buses parked along Roxhill Park, along eastbound SW Barton. SDOT plans curb paint and, if needed, signage to keep buses from parking where they impede visibility.
Regarding the curb extension, Topol drew some concern about the lane-narrowing pushing bicycles into the center of the traffic lane. He said this area is in the Bicycle Master Plan and could see a protected bike lane in the future. WSTC pressed further on design inconsistencies between this and, for example, Avalon. Topol’s predecessor Jim Curtin, also in attendance, jumped up to say that Avalon is being readied for protected bike lanes now, while Barton is only a possibility fo the future.
Continuing, Topol said 26th/Barton has work on the way to address its “high collision” status as well as Neighborhood Street Fund. “Leading pedestrian interval” signal timing was installed last week – only required a change in software programming. (LPI gives pedestrians a head-start over cars that might be turning into their path.)
One more question from WSTC for SDOT: How do you involve the Westwood Village property owner/management in these decisions? Short answer: They don’t even know who those are, let alone have interaction with them. But WSTC members observed that transportation flow outside the shopping center shouldn’t be considered as if it’s not related to the flow within/through the center.
4:26 PM: If you’re getting ready to head this way via the high bridge, heads up – there’s a two-car crash on the westbound side, near the Delridge offramp. The outside lane is partly blocked.
4:33 PM: This is now described as two separate crash scenes, related, no one hurt.
5:14 PM: All clear.
The West Seattle Helpline helps keep people from becoming homeless by getting them through an emergency -and their upcoming “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” event gives you the chance to ensure they can keep doing it. Two more days to get your ticket(s), as the Helpline reminds us:
Only two days left to buy tickets to West Seattle Helpline’s 10th annual Neighbors Helping Neighbors Dinner & Auction at the Hall at Fauntleroy on Saturday, October 12th from 6:00-9:00 pm.
This is a fun evening out to celebrate our community and stop homelessness before it starts. The night begins with a cocktail hour with a silent auction and live music, where you can strike a pose at our photo booth. Then enjoy a delicious dinner and exciting live auction where you can bid on great experiences such as a week long Caribbean cruise for two or an in-home brandy tasting! End the night with our infamous dessert dash with delightful desserts from Macrina, Indulge, Salty’s, and more!
Neighbors Helping Neighbors Dinner & Auction raises crucial funds to ensure that all of our neighbors receive the help they need during tough times so they can stay safe and stable in their homes. Together, we can stop homelessness before it starts.
To purchase tickets, click here! Don’t wait – ticket sales end Friday, Oct 4th!
3 1/2 years after we first reported that a multifamily project was proposed for the former Church of Christ site at 4220 SW 100th, site work is under way. Jeff tipped us late last month that demolition had begun; crews were doing deconstruction work by hand at first, but now heavy equipment is involved. The 8-townhouse, 1-live-work project went through Design Review in 2017 and 2018; it drew extra scrutiny because its site is part of an isolated sliver of multifamily/commercial zoning – NC1-30 (three stories) when the project was initiated, so that’s what it’s being built to, though HALA MHA has since upzoned the site to NC1-40 (four stories).
Ten minutes after the doors opened at the new PCC Community Markets (WSB sponsor) West Seattle store this morning, 200 shoppers had already entered.
The line had stretched down the block across the California SW side of the new 24,000-square-foot store – twice the size of its predecessor:
And then – at two minutes till 9 – this celebratory cake was cut:
As explained in our comprehensive preview look inside the new store on Monday, this is an anniversary party, since PCC opened in West Seattle – on the same site – in 1989. That’s part of what CEO Cate Hardy told the crowd in the moments before opening:
The Super-Krewe played outside the sun-splashed California/Stevens entrance before and during the first shoppers’ entry:
The freebies – including bags of PCC’s custom coffee – went fast. But if you’re headed over to shop, the store is stocked and ready, including the expanded area where you can pick up something for lunch, dinner, snacks, etc., either self-serve or at the deli case.
As noted in our preview, the produce tables are made of cedar reclaimed from the old store, which was demolished in early 2018, eight months after it closed. The new store was built for Living Building Challenge Petal Certification, designed by architect Graham Baba in collaboration with architect of record MG2 (added: with Hewitt designing the building), and is led by store director Nate Rundle:
If you want to say you were there on Day One, you have until 11 pm (regular hours will be 6 am-11 pm every day).
More festivities ahead, too – the West Seattle High School Band (from across the street) is scheduled to play this afternoon.
Four weeks from today, trick-or-treaters are invited to visit Admiral District businesses. That’s the day before Halloween, as just announced:
Admiral District merchants of West Seattle are proud to announce the return of the annual “Trick-or-Treating” event for 2019. The Admiral District “Trick or Treating” event will occur on Wednesday, October 30th this year, 3 pm-6 pm. The event has been moved to the day prior to Halloween to make it easier for kids to participate who receive “early release” on Wednesday. This longstanding Admiral neighborhood tradition has grown in popularity each year, and continues to be a West Seattle family favorite.
Trick or treating in the Admiral District is 100% volunteer supported by the businesses operating near the intersection of Admiral and California Ave SW. Each year, local businesses give back to the community by providing a safe place for families to enjoy the holiday. Find your favorite costume, grab the kids, and come out on Wednesday October 30th to join in on this popular West Seattle event!
If you are interested in finding out whether a specific business in your area will be participating, stop by in advance, or give them a call. This event is well attended and most Admiral area store fronts take part in the fun. On the day of the event, simply look for the attached sign in business windows, and stroll through the Admiral District with family and friends.
West Seattle Junction trick-or-treating starts at noon during the Harvest Festival on Sunday, October 27th; Westwood Village trick-or-treating is set for 4 pm-6 pm on Halloween (Thursday, October 31st).
(Corps of Engineers photo, 2014)
Announced this morning:
The Seattle District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, awarded a $3 million contract September 27 to Redside Construction based in Bainbridge Island to replace an existing seawall in West Seattle.
The project will replace the existing 500-foot-long seawall at Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook, 4503 Beach Dr. SW, that was constructed in the 1920s and has experienced significant erosion and damage from storm events. We anticipate construction in mid-2020.
The new seawall will be a “soldier pile” (system of vertical piles spaced at a regular interval with material in between to create a wall) design, built a few feet seaward and a few feet higher than the existing seawall, and equipped with safety handrails that the current seawall lacks. This design will minimize the impact on the beach, address rising sea level concerns and create better contours for the restoration landscaping on the landward portion of the overlook area.
The Army Corps has partnered with Seattle Parks and Recreation to design and build this coastal storm damage reduction project under Section 103 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1962. Coastal storms and erosion continue to threaten public infrastructure located in and around the project footprint, including a 54-inch King County sewer main, a main public arterial, City park property, and other underground utilities.
The Seattle Parks project page is here; our coverage of a Q&A community meeting about the project back in July is here. Community comments were first solicited in 2014, when the project was estimated to cost $2.3 million.
(Band-tailed Pigeons, photographed by Mark Wangerin)
What’s up? All this, for starters – from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
PCC WEST SEATTLE OPENS: In just minutes, the new store opens its doors, 9 am (regular hours will be 6 am-11 pm). The celebration includes coffee and cake this morning and music throughout the day. Missed our sneak preview? See it here. (2749 California SW)
FIREFIGHTER STORY TIME: Missed it last night? Catch this fun fire-safety event at South Park Library 11:15 am-11:45 am. (8604 8th Ave. S.)
WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON MOVIE: At the Senior Center of West Seattle, 1 pm: “Gun Fury.” $1 members, $2 nonmembers, popcorn included. (4217 SW Oregon)
HIGH POINT MARKET GARDEN FARM STAND: Fresh produce sold by the people who grow it at the mini-farm next to the stand! 4-7 pm. (32nd SW/SW Juneau)
LEARN THE THRILLER DANCE: Get ready for Halloween! Class series starts 6 pm tonight at High Point Community Center. Registration info in our calendar listing. (6920 34th SW)
SOUTHWEST DISTRICT COUNCIL: 6:30 pm at the Senior Center/Sisson Building. Spotlight topics include the “Seattle Squeeze” transportation crunch, with a guest from SDOT among others. Also, hear about the new Paws on Patrol program. All welcome! (4217 SW Oregon)
JIM PAGE: Singer/songwriter at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm. No cover. All ages. (5612 California SW)
THE LOOSE HEELS: Danceable country classics at Parliament Tavern, 8 pm. No cover. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
(SDOT MAP with travel times/ Is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE/ West Seattle-relevant traffic cams HERE)
7:11 AM: Good morning. WSDOT says a vehicle is stalled on the NB 99 exit ramp to Dearborn, blocking the right bus lane.
INTERSECTION CLOSURE: The next Avalon/35th intersection closure is scheduled to start 9 am Friday (October 4th) and last all weekend, weather permitting.
ALSO FRIDAY: The 4722 Fauntleroy/4721 38th tower crane is going up; a spokesperson for the developer tells WSB the staging will be on 38th, not Fauntleroy.
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