West Seattle, Washington
Heading into a summery weekend, here’s our nightly roundup of pandemic-related local headlines:
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: From the county’s data dashboard:
*6,863 people have tested positive, up 93 from yesterday
*480 people have died, up 6 from yesterday
One week ago, those totals were 6,308 and 446.
ANOTHER LOCAL DEATH: The toll is up to 5 people in the 98146 zip code, which includes Arbor Heights, The Arroyos, and White Center. 98126 remains at 9; 98106 at 2; 98116 and 98136 at 1 each.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: Find them, county by county, on the state Department of Health page,.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: More than 3.8 million cases – almost a third of them in the U.S. See how that breaks out, nation by nation, here.
MAJOR PARKS TO CLOSE EARLIER: Today’s city announcements included this one – major parks (including Alki Beach, Lincoln Park, and West Seattle Stadium) will close at 8 pm nightly starting tomorrow, until the stay-home order ends. The full list, and a reminder of other current COVID-19-related Seattle Parks policies, is here. That includes “no crowding,” though that seemed a bit flouted at Anchor Park tonight, as shown in this photo just texted:
FIRST ‘STAY HEALTHY STREETS’ TO STAY THAT WAY: Another city announcement – the 20 miles of streets around the city made “local traffic only,” including streets in High Point and Puget Ridge/Highland Park, will be that way permanently.
… AND A THIRD ROUND: In addition to that, two “Stay Healthy Streets” additions were announced today, including one in West Seattle – the north end of Beach Drive, along Constellation Park:
WEST SEATTLE FARMERS MARKET … will be back this Sunday, according to yet another city announcement.
NEED FOOD? 2,000 22+-pound boxes of emergency food will be available to anyone who shows up – while supplies last – 2-5 pm tomorrow at Food Lifeline in South Park.
NEED WI-FI? The state announced more free “drive-in” wi-fi hotspots today. Here’s a map; looks like all the ones available in our area so far are at public libraries (city and county).
STREET ART: Lisa couldn’t find sidewalk chalk, so used temporary paint to create these and other messages at 17th/Myrtle:
GOT INFO? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone us, text or voice, at 206-293-6302 – thank you!
Almost two months after campuses closed, some schools’ staff and families are finding a way to see each other at a distance – through car parades like the one from and for Highland Park Elementary this evening.
Signs and smiles were abundant:
Most staffers were in cars- but some bicycled, too:
A few were in convertibles:
Check out the driver here:
Lots of cheery beeping:
Jake reports that his neighbor’s light blue 2018/19 Toyota Camry “was stolen out of the parking lots at Trader Joe’s on Fauntleroy earlier today.” Her dog was in her car at the time; it’s been found but her car has not, at last report. We don’t have the plate or a pic but the police report # is 20-151279.
4:51 PM: Avoid (corrected) 10th S./S. Cloverdale for a while. A driver has hit and injured a pedestrian. Police are there investigating, and SFD is there to treat the victim.
5:04 PM: Correction – the SFD log shows this is at 10th S/S Cloverdale. The latter is the main east-west through South Park. It’s just reopened, per police radio communication. We’ll be checking with SFD on the victim’s condition.
4:21 PM: In a media briefing we covered earlier this afternoon, Mayor Jenny Durkan announced the first 20 miles of closed-to-through-traffic “Stay Healthy Streets” – announced as an experiment to give more people room to “socially distance” while walking, bicycling, etc. – will be permanent. That includes the first two stretches in West Seattle – one in High Point, another in Puget Ridge/Highland Park. She said it’s part of “rebuild(ing) a better Seattle,” in hopes vehicle-traffic and pollution reductions will continue post-pandemic. (We asked about the HPAC request to drop SW Trenton from the Highland Park stretch; SDOT director Sam Zimbabwe said they’re still evaluating that.) Also announced, an SHS expansion this weekend that will include the northernmost stretch of Beach Drive, between Alki Avenue and 63rd SW, alongside Constellation Park. The mayor also announced the city would seek to accelerate projects around the city making it safer to walk and ride – no specific list yet.
4:44 PM: Here’s the official SDOT announcement, which also notes they’ll have a survey out soon.
Ready to shop for Mother’s Day? Or, any other reason? As previewed here earlier this week, a “Virtual Shopping Spree” involving eight West Seattle Junction retailers is getting under way – live online, here – right now! The featured retailer will change every half-hour – see the schedule here – starting with Click! Design That Fits (WSB sponsor) first up.
2:30 PM: Even before we get to the summery weather expected this weekend, Alki Avenue and Beach Drive have already drawn summer-size gatherings of drivers. We heard last weekend from several residents of those areas who had called police about illegal parking, reckless driving, and noise, among other things, with photos like this:
The Southwest Precinct plans to have “additional police resources” at the beach this weekend; precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis explains:
We have revamped our existing traffic emphasis program to include using parking enforcement and other assets that will further assist us as we address the dangerous driving and noise issues. Taking in account of the approaching warmer weather, we are going to post extra patrol officers in our highest areas of interest. We are also attempting to secure designated “Police Only” parking zones so that our traffic enforcement, emphasis officers and our stationary Mobile Precinct will be able to occupy and secure our most popular areas before the car enthusiasts have a chance to take over and engage in poor and reckless behavior. We are sincerely hoping that our City Officials and other City agencies support us in this ask.
Precinct operations commander Lt. Steve Strand says they’ve been there before but, “Unfortunately we can’t be there all the time and under current conditions the crowd shows up unexpectedly during various days and nights. Sunday evening in particular.” He adds, “We will respond to 911 calls but this is a lower priority than most other calls for service if it is only noise and nuisance, versus public safety. We have done some outreach to neighbors on how to report crime effectively and accurately because we are not enforcing the Governor’s stay home, stay safe order. We are asking for voluntary compliance with social distancing and assisting parks with trespassers if they close.” They’ve been in direct contact with some of the residents to try to clarify how and what to report. If you see reckless driving, you can call 911 because that’s an immediate public-safety issue; if police can’t respond immediately, Lt. Strand says, you also can send info such as plate numbers to email@example.com.
Meantime, we expect to hear more shortly about the city’s other plans for the weekend, in a news conference with the mayor and Parks/SDOT directors – separate story ahead.
3:04 PM: Two things that just emerged at that news conference are relevant to this, so we’ll note them here first: “Major parks” including Alki (also Lincoln Park and West Seattle Stadium) will be closing at 8 pm starting this Friday, until the stay-home order lifts. Also, SDOT plans to add Beach Drive between Alki Avenue and 63rd to the “Stay Healthy Streets” list – we’re seeking clarification about how soon that will start.
Just announced by the city, which is currently granting permits on a week-by-week basis – the West Seattle Farmers’ Market will be open again this Sunday, 10 am-2 pm on California SW between Alaska and Oregon. Find info on policies and vendors here; our coverage of last Sunday’s market – the first one in two months – is here.
Food Lifeline in South Park is usually a place where food is stored and distributed for organizations such as food banks – but tomorrow, anyone in need of food is invited to a special direct distribution that has just announced:
Free Food Distribution for Everyone
Friday, May 8th
2:00 pm. – 5:00 pm
815 South 96th Street
Come by Food Lifeline to pick up an emergency food box for yourself and/or your family. Food Lifeline will be distributing 2,000 boxes of shelf-stable food items to help you and your family during this difficult time. This is for ANYONE in the community that needs help. Your zip code is the only personal information required.
Each box will include up to 25 pounds of food such as canned fruit/vegetables, canned meats, non-meat protein items, and breads/grains. Here’s a map. This will be primarily a no-contact drive-up distribution between FL’s two warehouse buildings, while supplies last.
Today’s city-circulated Land Use Information Bulletin includes word of a final land-use approval for 4508 California SW, a mixed-use project described as “a 7-story building with 38 apartment units, 20 small efficiency dwelling units, lodging and retail,” with 14 offstreet parking spaces. Much has changed since we covered the project’s final Design Review meeting six months ago – a pandemic and a closed, possibly unfixable bridge. So before publishing word of the approval (here’s the decision), we called the site’s owner/developer, longtime West Seattle entrepreneur Leon Capelouto, to ask if the project is still on. He noted that “the process” started a relatively long time ago (we first reported on it in March 2018) and they’re certainly going to go ahead and get the permits, but it could be “a long time” before construction. So – provided they survive the COVID-19 economic trouble – the three restaurants in the project’s future space (Lee’s Asian, Kamei, Naked Crepe) won’t be moving any time soon. Meantime, as part of the official process, today’s notice triggers a two-week appeal period (the notice explains how).
For the first time this spring, truly summer-like weather is on the way. The forecast is for sunshine through Sunday; while today’s high is expected to be seasonal – in the 60s – the next three days could get near or past 80. Sunday in particular – possibly the mid-80s. Then on Monday, clouds are expected to return.
6:07 AM: 45th morning without the high-rise West Seattle Bridge. If you have to commute this morning – here are the cameras for the restricted-access low bridge (where SPD enforcement continues) and the 5-way intersection west of it:
The main detour route across the Duwamish River is the 1st Avenue South Bridge (map). To get to I-5, exit onto Michigan at the bridge’s north end. Here are cameras for the bridge and Michigan east of it:
The South Park Bridge (map) can also take you across the river. Here’s the South Park camera:
Both bridges open for marine traffic; check the @SDOTBridges Twitter feed for info about openings.
Water Taxi – Reduced schedule continues
As of this week, West Seattle has two sets of “Stay Healthy Streets,” closed to through traffic (but open to residents and delivery drivers) 24/7. See the maps here (Puget Ridge/Highland Park) and here (High Point), and heed the “STREET CLOSED” signs.
During the stay-home order, we’re not live-monitoring traffic, so please let us know what you’re seeing – comment or text (but not if you’re drivingl!) 206-293-6302.