West Seattle, Washington
Another fun-filled holiday weekend is days away, featuring two unique events in The Junction:
PAJAMARAMA, SATURDAY AM: That mug is one of the potential bonuses to a new West Seattle Junction Hometown Holidays event – shop in your jammies this Saturday from 9 am to noon! Junction merchants invite you, “Gather friends and mugs, as we’re having a pajama party. Shop in your pajamas, enjoy free cocoa, whipped cream, and sprinkles at the cocoa filling station. Why stop at home in your pajamas when you can shop here! When you shop in jammies and spend $20 or more, you’ll receive a limited-edition diner mug too. Supplies are limited, so come early.”
Imagine the photo opportunities. Speaking of which, before the weekend’s out:
COCOA CRIS CRINGLE, SUNDAY PM: There’s no Santa photo like a photo with Cocoa Cris Cringle at Easy Street Records (California/Alaska), and he’ll be there Sunday (December 15th), 4-7 pm: $20 includes the use of hats, props, and candy canes. Proceeds benefit the West Seattle Food Bank. Bonus: “This year we have live musical accompaniment with keys by Hugh Sutton; I will be singing some holiday classics!” P.S. Pets welcome.
Tonight’s featured West Seattle Christmas lights are on SW Holly – appropriately enough – between Sylvan and 31st. We got two tips about the block.
Thanks to Lina, and to Erin, who wrote, “Our whole block has been working hard to ‘up our Christmas light game’ this year.”
Got lights to let us know about, whether yours or someone else’s? Email firstname.lastname@example.org – and see past spotlighted lights by scrolling through this WSB archive.
SDOT is reminding you about this weekend’s scheduled closure of the 35th/Alaska intersection, starting Friday night, and preparations including “closing the left-turn lane for people driving north on 35th Ave SW and turning onto SW Alaska St as soon as tomorrow (December 11).” Details:
35th Ave SW and SW Alaska St:
To rebuild the concrete roadway, we will be restricting left turns onto SW Alaska St as soon as tomorrow, December 11. To reach SW Alaska St, please proceed north on 35th Ave SW and turn left at SW Avalon Way. Please note that this work is highly weather dependent and is subject to change if weather is wetter or colder than anticipated. Please expect:
No left turns from 35th Ave SW onto SW Alaska St
This closure will be in place for several weeks
People driving on SW Alaska St can turn right or left on to 35th Ave SW
If you are driving north on 35th Ave SW, continue driving north and turn left onto SW Avalon Way, left onto Fauntleroy Way SW, and then a left onto SW Alaska St.
Upcoming 35th Ave SW and SW Alaska St Weekend Intersection Closures:
To rebuild the concrete roadway, we will be closing the intersection of 35th Ave SW and SW Alaska St for up to 3 weekends:
The first intersection closure is this weekend from Friday, December 13 at 7 PM to early on Monday, December 16 to allow us to conduct water utility improvements
The second intersection closure is scheduled for the weekend of December 20; we will share more information through next week’s email updates and on our website.
We plan to do this work over the weekend to minimize noise and traffic impacts as much as possible. Please note that this work is highly weather-dependent and is subject to change if weather is wetter or colder than anticipated.
During these closures, please use the recommended, posted detour (see map below) or alternative forms of transportation, and do not use side streets and residential streets to avoid the closures. You can also expect:
Coordination with King County Metro on bus stops and routes; check Metro Rider Alerts for the most up-to-date information
Loud noise, dust and vibrations
No parking signs at SW Snoqualmie St and 36th Ave SW to accommodate nearby businesses and local traffic
35th Ave SW to be local access only from SW Edmunds St to SW Morgan St
If you live on the east side of 35th Ave SW, you will only be able to turn left on to 35th Ave SW, south toward SW Morgan St
If you live on the west side of 35th Ave SW, you will only be able to turn right on to 35th Ave SW, south towards SW Morgan St
Uniformed police officers to be present to direct traffic
If you live off 35th Ave SW between SW Morgan St and SW Alaska St, please be patient as you approach our Uniformed Police Officer at SW Morgan St. Inform them that you live in the area and they will allow local access to continue. We will be detouring all other traffic.
Zone F (SW Alaska St from 35th Ave SW to 36th Ave SW):
Tomorrow, we will close the south side of 36th Ave SW at SW Alaska St for a few days to complete water utility upgrades. As soon as next week, we will close the north side of 36th Ave SW at SW Alaska St for a few weeks to complete demolition and rebuilding the road. Please expect:
loud noise, dust, and vibrations while we complete this work.
36th Ave SW will be open during the weekend closures of the intersection of 35th Ave SW and SW Alaska St
Temporary and intermittent driveway and alley closures
Pedestrian access to all businesses and residence will be maintained
6:40 PM: You might have gotten a short version of this Amber Alert via your phone – a family being sought, possibly in a 28-foot tan Bounder RV. Their photos are all on this poster. We haven’t found the source yet but KING‘s version says they were last seen in the 4700 block of 26th SW in North Delridge. Larger photos are here. If you have any information, call 911.
7:26 PM: WSP says they’ve been found near Cheney, WA, and everyone’s OK. (added) SPD added these details to its post: “All children were found safe in Eastern Washington and will be turned over to Child Protective Services custody. Both parents have been questioned and released, pending further action from the courts.”
Received via email:
Warning for females working in West Seattle.
Intended Sexual assault incident occurred on Thursday, December 5th at approximately 9:30 am on the 6500 block of California Ave SW.
Suspect is 6’2/4” in height, physically fit, approx mid-40s, African American, balding and has worn baseball caps at times. Targets shorter, Caucasian women in their place of business or in parking lots.
Has not been caught at this time but there is an active investigation to find him. If you have had any suspicions of this person or have photos, please contact the West Seattle police. People coming forward is one of the main ways he is being tracked and will be caught.
The Southwest Precinct number is 206-733-9800.
EDITOR’S NOTE, JANUARY 13: We tried repeatedly to verify with police that an investigation was under way. They were unable to. And then finally we were told this turned out to be a hoax. Publishing it without evidence of a police report was a departure from our usual policy so we apologize for that.
4:52 PM: Thanks for the tips about police “in tactical gear” chasing a suspect just south of Admiral/California. So far as we know, this is a warrant arrest. An SFD engine was dispatched because the suspect claimed to have gotten hurt in the process. Working to find out more.
5:32 PM: The scene was clear when we got there, so we won’t be able to find out anything more until tomorrow.
ADDED 10:10 AM MONDAY: A commenter said last night that this was an arrest of another robbery-spree suspect; a check of the jail register this morning confirms that (updated) one of the additional potential suspects named in court documents was indeed booked last night. We’re asking SPD for confirmation about whether a “flashbang” – used in some warrant/standoff situations – is what led to the “explosion” noise some reported last night.
11:12 AM: SPD confirms that what was heard was a noise-making device used by SWAT. The warrant on which the 19-year-old suspect is being held, so far, actually is related to a case from last year. Meantime, today is the rush-charging deadline for the two “spree” suspects arrested Friday so we’ll have a separate update later.
1:36 PM: One year ago tomorrow, the Ride2 shuttle service’s expansion to West Seattle was announced at a Seacrest media event with city and county leaders. Last night, we started hearing from WSB readers that Ride2 drivers were telling them it was about to be canceled, and King County DOT has just confirmed that:
King County Metro will not renew the on-demand shuttle service Ride2 West Seattle, which was funded by the voter-approved Seattle Transportation Benefit District and served the Alaska Junction and King County Water Taxi dock at Seacrest Park.
At the same time, Metro announced that it will also cease Ride2 Eastgate, which serves Eastgate Park & Ride. Both one-year pilot programs will end on Dec. 20.
Combined, Ride2 Eastgate and Ride2 West Seattle delivered 125 trips per day on average.
Via to Transit, which serves Southeast Seattle and Tukwila, will continue. By comparison, it currently serves around 240 trips per day in the Rainier Beach service area alone, and nearly 1,000 rides per day across its five service areas.
The pilots were designed as 12-month research projects to test innovative solutions to immediate transportation needs. West Seattle’s Ride2 launched just before phase one of the “Seattle Squeeze,” in which the viaduct was coming down and City of Seattle sought to provide an alternative to driving downtown via the West Seattle Bridge. Eastgate’s immediate need stemmed from the fact that Eastgate Park & Ride—the county’s largest park-and-ride—was often full early in the morning, and is located in an area with limited local bus service and walking and biking infrastructure.
Ride2’s key performance indicators included average wait time and in-vehicle time, however the project team kept an open mind in terms of expected ridership. A total of 7,155 users downloaded the Ride2 app used in both service areas, though less than 15 percent have used the service in the last 30 days.
These Ride2 pilots provided valuable data to Metro on the need for certain on-demand services, but ultimately did not meet the milestones necessary to continue the programs given financial constraints.
The Ride2 service is operated by Hopelink, a valued long-standing operational partner with Metro. Hopelink, which began operation of Ride2 West Seattle when the service began and assumed operation of Ride2 Eastgate in February 2019, has 14 drivers assigned to Ride2. Hopelink is working with affected drivers on transition planning, and Metro is actively engaged in this effort.
Metro will fulfill the terms of its contract, continuing to fund Hopelink Ride2 operations for 30 days following Dec. 5, the date that Hopelink received official notice that the service would end.
Ride2 West Seattle
Average ridership hovers around 29 trips per day, costing $84 per trip to operate, and is funded by the voter-approved Seattle Transportation Benefit District.
West Seattle’s service area, including Alki, Fairmont Park, Genesee, High Point, North Admiral, North Delridge, and Riverview, contains an estimated 53,000 residents and 12,000 jobs.
Feedback from customers indicated that Ride2’s window of margin for pickup and drop-off was better suited to connect to very frequent service such as light rail, versus Water Taxi, which sails every 30 minutes in the spring and summer.
3:25 PM: We asked Metro spokesperson Torie Rynning about the seeming contradiction in “ending Dec. 20” vs. funding a full month past Dec. 5. She replied, “Our contract stipulates that we give Hopelink 30 days’ notice before ending service, but through discussion with Hopelink, it was decided that Dec. 20 would be a better operational end date from a staffing and customer experience stand point, given the holidays.”
That’s Midget the Chihuahua, taken during a robbery in South Delridge. Shannon says it happened to her parents Sunday near Delridge/Barton:
Please be on the lookout for my mom’s Chihuahua, Midget.
On Sunday, December 8th (at around 1:45 pm), a woman and man pulled a gun on my parents and took Midget. The woman was described as being caucasian, with shoulder-length brown hair, tall and thin. The man was described as being caucasian, with reddish/brown hair and combed to the side. He was also very thin. My mom couldn’t give very much of a description because it happened so fast, she was in shock.
Midget, is a little over a year old and is a tri-colored Chihuahua. The (photo above) is when he was only 6-8 months old. He’s bigger now and weighs about 5-7 lbs.
The SPD case # is 19-454236. We’re also adding to the Lost/Found Pets page.
11:19 AM: Three-plus years after cutting the speed limit on some arterials to 30 mph, the city is dropping it again. Announced today, via SDOT Blog:
Mayor Jenny Durkan has announced 4 steps to make our streets even safer & achieve our Vision Zero goal of ending traffic deaths & serious injuries on city streets by 2030.
One step is reducing speed limits to 25 miles per hour (MPH) on major streets citywide. The speed limit on smaller neighborhood streets was already reduced to 20 miles per hour.
Today we launched the effort by reducing speeds to 25 MPH along Rainier Ave S., which will now have a consistent speed limit for 3.5 miles south of S Alaska St.
In 2020, we will begin lowering speeds on the rest of Seattle’s major streets, starting in Southwest and Southeast Seattle. We’re also working closely with our partners at WSDOT to lower speeds on state highways within our city, including Aurora Ave and Lake City Way.
Traffic deaths & injuries are a serious epidemic, & reducing speed limits helps ensure everyone can travel safely.
Severe crashes are increasing all over the country. Even in Seattle, which is consistently recognized as one of the safest cities in the country, there are over 13,000 crashes a year. On average, 20 people die, and 150 people are seriously injured each year, and while the trend dipped in 2018, it has gone back up in 2019. This trend is not acceptable. We don’t want anyone to experience the tragedy of a friend or loved one being killed by a collision.
Reducing speed limits has a proven safety benefit.
A person walking, rolling, or biking is twice as likely to be killed if they are hit by a person driving 30 MPH than someone going 25 MPH. 90% of people hit by cars going 20 MPH are injured but survive.
We’ve seen increases in safety everywhere we’ve reduced speed limits to 25 mph.
Downtown & South Lake Union: 10% fewer crashes and 20% fewer severe injuries and deaths
Greenwood & Phinney Ridge: Crashes were lowered by 34%
Greenlake & Roosevelt: 44% reduction in collisions
It’s not just Seattle. New York City dropped speed limits throughout their city to 25 MPH in 2014. From 2014 to 2018, they were one of the only major cities in the country to see a consistent drop in traffic fatalities. The World Health Organization has concluded that a 5% reduction in average speed can result in a 30% decrease in traffic fatalities.
Slow & steady wins the race. Speeding causes collisions, & collisions cause 25% of traffic congestion.
We expect a negligible impact on how long it takes people driving to get where they’re going. Most trips will only take 20-40 seconds longer to drive a mile at 25 MPH than the current speed limit. About a quarter of the time we spend sitting in traffic is due to collisions, and lowering speed limits prevents about a third of them. It’s a win–win. …
As we implement lower speed limits, we’ll be installing signs at more frequent spacing so drivers see the speed limit more often. And as part of Mayor Durkan’s four steps, in 2020, Vision Zero Street Teams will share information about lower speed limits at educational events throughout the city. Speed limit information and safe driving tips will be shared through print, social, and ethnic media.
The City will also create a new Major Crash Review Task Force which will convene a panel of experts to analyze every serious and fatal collision in our City and provide recommendations to prevent similar incidents from happening again. The City will also launch Vision Zero Street Teams to raise awareness around transportation safety issues and educate the public about lower speed limits and other infrastructure projects.
We work closely with our friends at the Seattle Police Department (SPD) to enforce the rules of the road and keep everyone safe, with a focus on warnings first to raise awareness. We’re working with SPD to develop further strategies to ensure traffic enforcement is equitable and does not disproportionally impact communities of color. We use data to inform focus areas to make sure to consider both collision trends and demographics to determine locations for enforcement patrols. We take a high visibility approach to enforcement and inform people about our additional hours of enforcement through our network of dynamic message signs and media. After all, the intent of the patrols is not to issue citations, but to change behaviors.
We’ve asked SDOT for elaboration on “major streets.” It’s been three years since one major West Seattle street, Delridge Way, was lowered to 30 mph, almost our years since the same cut on another, Fauntleroy Way.
2:45 PM: SDOT spokesperson Ethan Bergerson confirms that “the speed limit will be 25 mph on all arterial streets. Smaller neighborhood streets will remain 20 mph. An easy way to tell the difference (most of the time) are that arterials have yellow lines down the center.” The mayoral announcement also notes:
SDOT will also double the number of intersections with leading pedestrian interval safety enhancements to 250 in 2020. These intersections give pedestrians a few seconds head start before cars get a green light, making pedestrians in crosswalks more visible. Studies have shown that leading pedestrian intervals can reduce the number of people hit by cars by 60 percent. …
Over the next two years, the Seattle Police Department will also double the number of red-light cameras and add safety cameras at five new school zones. SPD will provide 1,200 additional hours of enforcement on high-injury streets focused on giving warnings and driver education. Patrols will monitor intersections and bike lanes to discourage unsafe practices by drivers.
Last time we asked, they hadn’t picked camera locations yet, but we’re asking again.
4:55 PM: Side note – the City Council’s Sustainability and Transportation Committee will get a Vision Zero briefing on Thursday at 1 pm. The agenda is out and it includes this slide deck (PDF) saying 2019 is the worst year in more than a decade for traffic-related deaths in Seattle, including 16 pedestrian deaths – triple last year’s number; four were in West Seattle. The slides also mention increased enforcement: “600 annual hours of additional enforcement focusing on high crash corridors and top contributing factors to collisions (impairment, distraction, speeding, failure to stop for pedestrian).”
10:47 AM: Though it’s been closed for some days, something about the Cottage Grove Shell (5445 Delridge Way SW) closure has drawn attention over the past day or so, as several people have asked about it. So we went over for a look. According to both the state liquor-licensing-application list and a social-media post forwarded to us by Mike (thank you!), it’s undergoing an ownership change. No one was there when we visited, so we don’t have any info on an updated reopening timeline, but it’s clearly visible from outside that the mini-mart hasn’t been restocked yet.
ADDED TUESDAY NIGHT: We went by again tonight and stopped when we saw people working on site. However, they were just there working on the floor and said they had no idea when the business would reopen.
Two new photos of The West Seattle Turkey have come in – thank you! – so today’s highlight list brings back #TurkeyTuesday! (If you’re new, The Turkey first turned up in West Seattle in April and relatively quickly settled in the general southeast Admiral area, from which both of today’s photos hail.) Now, on with the highlights, from the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide and Event Calendar:
RESTAURANT SUCCESS: If you’re thinking about starting a food truck, café, or restaurant, this informational event at Delridge Library could help. 3-4:30 pm. (5423 Delridge Way SW)
SANISLO ELEMENTARY DINE-OUT AND TALENT SHOW: 5-8 pm at Great American Diner, percentage of the proceeds benefit Sanislo. (4752 California SW)
COLLEGE FAIR: Future college student in the family? Learn about schools, financial aid, more at this free public event tonight at West Seattle High School, 6-8 pm. (3000 California SW)
HOLIDAY CONCERT: West Seattle Community Orchestras‘ Debut & Concert Orchestras in concert – program details here – 6 pm at Chief Sealth International High School Auditorium. Admission is FREE; donations appreciated! (2600 SW Thistle)
STUDENT CONCERT: First of three winter concerts at Madison Middle School, 7 pm. (3429 45th SW)
SINGER-SONGWRITER CONTEST: 7 pm at Pacific Room on Alki (WSB sponsor), come watch the contenders! No cover. All ages. (2808 Alki SW)
OPEN MIC: Take your talent to Parliament Tavern tonight, 9 pm. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
We’re now one week from winter solstice, eight days from the start of Hanukkah, two weeks until Christmas Eve, three weeks until New Year’s Eve. So another reminder – please keep sending listings for the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide, which is a living document, with frequent additions as info comes in and deletions after events are over, all the way through January 1st. It includes holiday-season performances, church/synagogue services, shopping events, donation drives, New Year’s Eve bar/restaurant parties, and much more – no fancy “press releases” or flyers required for a listing, just send us the basic what/where/when/who info, email@example.com – thank you!
7:15 AM: Good morning. WSDOT says a crash on the 1st Ave. S. Bridge is blocking 1 NB lane.
FERRY ALERT: A medical emergency has delayed multiple Triangle Route sailings.
WEEKEND CLOSURE REMINDER: Remember – the 35th/Alaska intersection is scheduled to close this weekend for work, starting at 7 pm Friday.
7:28 AM: The 1st Ave. S. Bridge crash is cleared.
9:05 AM: Just dispatched, response for a crash on NB I-5 at the exit to I-90.