West Seattle, Washington
We’re now less than two weeks from the current expiration date on the stay-home order. That’s where we start our nightly roundup of virus-crisis news:
WILL PHASE 2 START ON JUNE 1? The governor was asked about that twice during his media briefing today. As noted during our as-it-happened coverage, his answer was basically, too soon to say.
DON’T DELAY YOUR HEALTH/DENTAL CARE: That was the main message of today’s briefing. Gov. Inslee issued a proclamation that says in essence, providers can reopen when they feel they’re ready to follow the new protocol, including ample PPE for patients as well as staff.
ANOTHER BRIEFING TOMORROW: The governor will speak and have Q&A again at 11 am tomorrow, announced as an opportunity “to talk about the plan for additional county variances and announce emergency small-business grants.” Here’s the link for the planned livestream.
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: From the Public Health daily-summary dashboard:
*7,529 people have tested positive, up 49 from yesterday
*523 people have died, up 1 from yesterday
One week ago, those totals were 7,115 and 505.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: Find them here.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: Find them here.
FREE FOOD: Food Lifeline has two more distributions this week.
UNEMPLOYMENT IMPOSTERS: The state Employment Security Department issued an update on the problem today, and urged people to report any evidence of fraud – here’s where to go.
FAKE SIGN: A texter called this to our attention – an almost-real-looking fake sign at the Sanislo Elementary playground:
ENDING ON A NOTE OF GRATITUDE: A real, and very creative, sign in Arbor Heights – thanks to Andrea R. for the photo:
GOT INFO? PHOTOS? Email email@example.com or text/voice 206-293-6302 – thank you!
Paul is hoping for help recovering the only irreplaceable item burglar(s) took from his home near 41st/Findlay: “I got a watch from my grandfather when he passed away and last night someone broke into our house and stole the watch. It was a 1960s Gübelin Watch with his name engraved on it, ‘John Palm.’ A couple other things were stolen but they can all be replaced. The watch is similar to the one (in this stock photo).” Police report # is 20-163824.
That’s a page from the new printable online “coloring book” offered free by the West Seattle Art Walk. It’s by Dani Dodge, one of 19 artists who contributed to the brand-new “coloring book.” As we’ve seen – and shown – art has been therapeutic, even cathartic, in these pandemic times, so here’s a chance to express yourself – print one page or print them all. This post on the WSAW website explains how.
From Food Lifeline in South Park:
Food Lifeline announced today that it will continue to distribute thousands of emergency food boxes to anyone needing help keeping food on the table during this crisis.
Food Lifeline – 815 South 96th Street (Two this week)
*Wednesday, May 20th, 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
*Friday, May 22, 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
This schedule is also available on the homepage of foodlifeline.org
ANYONE can have access to this food. This is a confidential distribution, so there will be no paperwork or qualification. Food Lifeline is only asking for zip codes to track its efforts.
Here’s a map to FL’s South Park location.
A WSB reader found Ray‘s stolen bicycle. Maybe you will spot Amelia’s:
It was stolen from her apartment building in The Junction. If you see it, let us know and we’ll let her know.
2:37 PM: Just under way, Gov. Inslee is talking about reopening for elective medical procedures. He’s joined by Bill Robertson, president and CEO of MultiCare; Sally Watkins, executive director of the Washington State Nurses Association; and Vice Admiral Dr. Raquel Bono, director, Washington state COVID-19 health care response. We’ll add notes as it goes.
2:40 PM: He opens with words of gratitude for health-care providers but says we’ve weathered the peak and so he says he’s issuing a proclamation allowing non-urgent medical and dental procedures, if safety protocol can be followed. … He says PPE availability and hospital capacity remain key in “readiness” for this. He acknowledges that getting PPE may be a challenge for some providers and so that might affect their ability to reopen. Waiting-room limits, distancing, hygiene are other parts of the new rules. Regarding hospital capacity, he says there’s now a tool to track that in real time.
He urges people not to be afraid to contact their health-care professional to talk about their concerns and needs.
2:44 PM: Watkins is talking about the guidelines and how they help individual providers assess their readiness. She says they don’t intend “unintended health consequences” by people delaying important care such as vaccinations. Robertson subsequently reiterates that message – don’t avoid care if you need it.
2:56 PM: Now it’s media Q&A. First question is about governors’ call with the president today; Inslee says he was not it. Next question: What about June 1? “We would really like to move to Phase 2, but we can’t guarantee when that will happen. … we will be able to make that decision in the days leading up to that time … we have to look at the course of this disease. … We are hopeful; there have been some signs of progress recently … but we’re going to have to monitor this on a daily basis in the next several weeks.”
Next question: A new study claims up to 13 percent of Washington’s 1,000 COVID-19 fatalities might be from another cause. Inslee says even if that were so: “887 deaths – that’s OK?” He then goes on to decry “conspiracy theories” as “disappointing … I’ve heard people say things that are from a different planet.”
Then: Why did the governor change his mind about requiring restaurant patrons to leave contact information? “We figured we’re going to get enough voluntary compliance … to not risk disagreements at the reservation counter.”
Also: If we get to Phase 4 as soon as mid-July, might we get back to large sporting events? “We don’t know …. we need to make the decisions when we have the information” to make them, Inslee replied. He adds that the success in the next few months will be related to the 14-day isolation capability of people who test positive and their families, or people otherwise exposed.
What about testing capacity? Inslee says again that the state has a good capacity for analyzing samples – 20,000 a day – but doesn’t have enough materials to do that many tests, because the federal government still isn’t living up to its commitment. He goes on to detail a “maddening” case of getting the wrong supplies. Then he says that he’s also infuriated that the president has said that testing is overrated.
Another question about when the Phase 2 decision will be made. Inslee repeats that when they have enough data “in the days leading up to” June 1st, he’ll decide. What’s the criteria? He lists some of the types of data they are monitoring, not just positive cases and deaths – hospitalizations, for example, and the much-mentioned “R0” number – how many additional people are infected by each new patient – and he says that number is back around 1.
3:17 PM: Asked a followup about the earlier mention of a possible error in the fatality total, the governor clarifies that he has no reason to doubt the number is accurate, and again decries “conspiracy theories” as “disgusting” and “malarkey.”
Three minutes later, he wraps up. The video window above should show the recording soon. And we’ll add a link when the medical/dental proclamation document is available.
Thanks for the tips and photos! Eastbound Admiral Way is blocked just east of California by a crash. SPD and SFD are there; avoid the area for a while.
Congratulations to the winners of this year’s Westside Awards, announced today by the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce. As shown in the Chamber-provided graphic above, here’s the announcement from CEO Julia Jordan:
Our Business of the Year White Center Glass, celebrating 50 years … Row House, our Emerging Business of the Year; Not-for Profit of the Year Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association – DNDA; and finally our Westsider of the Year, Mary Anne DeVry. Each of you make life in West Seattle that much better. Loving, caring, and openly helping our neighbors. THIS is why West Seattle, IS THE BEST SEATTLE!!!!
The winners are chosen each year by the Chamber from community-provided nominations. The criteria, and past winners, can be found here.
If all or part of the West Seattle Bridge collapsed – how exactly might that happen? SDOT has just released a new memo from its consultant WSP, part of the ongoing work to determine the bridge’s future (or lack of one). Here’s the 7-page memo (4 pages of text and 3 of graphics), which warns, “This bridge’s issues are unique, and we are not currently able to indicate the likelihood of any of the potential failure scenarios”:
… The memo identifies 9 proactive steps to prepare for, and potentially prevent, these worst-case scenarios. We have already begun work on all of them.
… The steps to better understand and monitor the structural integrity of the bridge include:
1. Continue the daily visual inspections of the bridge
2. Implement an automated intelligent monitoring system that collects data in real time
3. Implement localized data logging using an automated system that will report total deformation across multiple cracks
4. Undertake non-destructive testing of select vertical post tensioned tendons
All these steps are underway. We have conducted in-person visual inspections of the bridge every day since March 20. We have nearly completed installation of the intelligent monitoring system that includes 8 high-resolution cameras, 16 movement sensors, and 52 vibrating wire sensors to monitor cracking.
Our structural engineering consultant has completed about 30 percent of the 100+ non-destructive tests we plan to conduct. This includes using ground penetrating radar to create an image of cavities and voids deep within the bridge concrete and identify whether there is any corrosion around the steel support tendons. We look forward to sharing more about this incredible technology and the important role it plays in a future blog post.
The steps to stabilize the bridge and potentially prevent bridge failure include:
5. Design and construct interim repairs at the distressed locations to arrest the crack propagation in the near term.
6. Repair the bearings at Pier 18 that are restricting thermal expansion and contraction movements of the structure.
7. Design, fabricate, and deploy temporary shoring to support the bridge in case of partial or multi-span superstructure collapse.
8. Evaluate full repair alternatives relative to the potential need for bridge replacement.
9. Design and construct full repairs if feasible or demolish the bridge and plan for a bridge replacement.
Meantime, as reported two weeks ago, there’s now an emergency-response plan for what would happen **if** a collapse seemed imminent – or close to it.
9:45 AM MONDAY: For decades, the Highland Park community has been fighting for safety upgrades at Highland Park Way and Holden. Within a week of the West Seattle Bridge closure, a “temporary” signal was rushed into place, followed by a few other tweaks. But SDOT promised the full “safety project” would still happen, and has just officially unveiled an early-stage plan, outlined in a flyer that arrived in some HP mailboxes over the weekend (thanks for the tips!). It spans other streets too, despite the title, but HP Way/Holden is the heart of it. Here’s what the proposal looks like:
(You can see it larger here in PDF.) The plan includes a protected bike lane on the uphill side of Highland Park Way, from West Marginal Way SW at the bottom of the hill to Holden at the top. That is discussed further, along with other nearby plans, in the slide deck presented by project developer James Le in this video from the project website:
Here are two key slides showing potential side-street “traffic calming” (Monday afternoon update – the entire deck is now online):
Once you’ve considered all that, you can take the “early design survey” in which you’re asked to prioritize what you think the area needs. It’s open through May 31st. A few days before that, SDOT expects to be part of the next monthly HPAC meeting – 7 pm Wednesday, May 27th; watch for details at hpacws.org.
11:16 AM TUESDAY: We asked SDOT to clarify the channelization proposal for the Highland Park Way hill, and the reply, just in, confirms the interpretation that one lane is proposed for downhill motor-vehicle traffic:
Highland Park Way SW between SW Holden St and West Marginal Way currently has two southbound lanes and two northbound lanes. Creating a southbound uphill protected bike lane would provide a needed bike connection between the Duwamish Trail and the Highland Park neighborhood. Creating space for this bike lane would require removing one downhill, northbound car lane. This change would also have a safety benefit by reducing speeding toward West Marginal Way.
Traffic modeling and counts of the number of turning vehicles conducted prior to the West Seattle bridge closure indicated that removing the northbound car lane would have a minimal impact to traffic. However, we know that Highland Park Way SW is one of the most heavily used detour routes into and out of West Seattle. We have been listening closely to community comments and monitoring traffic since the bridge was closed and expect to make a decision on this proposed change in the coming weeks based on the community’s input and new traffic data.
It’s now been two months since the governor’s orders limited restaurants to take-out/delivery. Since the start, we’ve kept a long list of your West Seattle options – not just restaurants but also other businesses offering prepared-food and/or beverages. Two more additions to mention as the week begins; Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes, well-known for its catering, is now offering take-and-bake Family Meals, for pickup at The Hall at Fauntleroy or for delivery – order by noon Mondays for pickup/delivery on Wednesdays. Menu and info here. … New in The Triangle is the fried-chicken food truck Swagg-n-Wagon at 4514 Fauntleroy Way SW, open Tuesday-Wednesdays 12-4 pm, Thursdays-Fridays 12-6 pm …And we keep updating the ongoing listings as we get word from proprietors and/or customers – email firstname.lastname@example.org or text 206-293-6302 … thank you, and EAT/DRINK LOCAL!
6:03 AM: Good morning – the 56th morning without the high-rise West Seattle Bridge. Headed out? Here are the cameras for the 5-way intersection and the restricted-access low bridge (where SPD enforcement continues):
Since the main detour route across the Duwamish River is the 1st Avenue South Bridge (map), that’s the next camera view:
The other major bridge across the river is the South Park Bridge (map) – this camera shows the approach:
Both bridges open for marine traffic; check the @SDOTBridges Twitter feed for info about openings.
NEW CAMERAS: SDOT has added 6 more cameras, along 35th and Roxbury. Here are two:
You can see all local traffic cams, including the new ones in West Seattle, here.
Water Taxi – Reduced schedule continues
During the stay-home order, we’re not live-monitoring morning traffic, so please let us know what you’re seeing – comment or text (but not if you’re drivingl!) 206-293-6302.