SAFETY: Police plan ‘additional resources’ at Alki Beach this weekend

(WSB photo from last month, mobile precinct @ Alki)

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:

(Reader photo, last weekend)

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

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.

34 Replies to "SAFETY: Police plan 'additional resources' at Alki Beach this weekend"

  • Steve May 7, 2020 (2:50 pm)

    I’m sure it’ll be crazy this weekend but perhaps with the bridge closed that will help. Not sure why they just don’t shut down Alki Ave? It’s not like any business are open and they could make residents show I.D. to access it.

    • Anne May 7, 2020 (3:30 pm)

      Some businesses an Alki are open for take out,

    • momosmom May 7, 2020 (3:31 pm)

      And  who is going to stand there and check ID’s…are you volunteering?

    • Jethro Marx May 7, 2020 (3:35 pm)

      It sounds like you are asking for public (i.e. taxpayer-funded) resources to be used to establish a private neighborhood. Extreme circumstances are present, sure, but we have heard the same request even in common times and that makes its motives suspect.

    • Charlie May 7, 2020 (8:43 pm)

      SteveApparently you don’t live on Alki Ave. The businesses that are already struggling to make ends meet have done there best to generate income with orders to go. Closing Alki Ave would make a bad situation worse. The business owners don’t deserve another hurdle.  

  • Herrmann May 7, 2020 (3:06 pm)

    It’s interesting how the loud, modified engines groups of motorcycle and customized car enthusiasts arrive together. They must be gathering somewhere else either in person or online and “parading” on Alki Ave, revving engines and blasting stereos all the way to the beach. 

    • WSJ May 7, 2020 (3:11 pm)

      Car clubs and cruising have existed as an American hobby nearly as long as cars have existed. Alki is one of the few places in town to do it, it’s just a fact of life. 

      • Wilson May 7, 2020 (5:11 pm)

        As someone who lives in West Seattle and bikes/runs/walks along Alki a lot, I love seeing the car clubs. I know not everyone enjoys it, but some of us do. It can be real annoying though if you live in the neighborhood. However Alki is a public park and the streets are public too. 

      • Chuck May 8, 2020 (8:27 am)

        No, Alki is most certainly not one of the places to do it. It’s illegal, not to mention a pointless nuisance. 

  • Jim May 7, 2020 (3:17 pm)

    The police can and should enforce the new modified muffler/noise ordinance.  Start writing tickets and the noise issue at Alki will disappear. 

  • Flo B May 7, 2020 (3:18 pm)

    In the “cruising” day’s SPD would block off Harbor and send everyone up California and would block off Alki ave  @59th. Took care of the car’s, and (most of)people. Larger point is the mayor’s response. She’s closed off parking at Golden Garden and Don Armeni to keep crowds down for more “social distancing”  logic would dictate she would have seen the forecast and had a plan earlier. Maybe she was counting on nobody going outside to the beach on an 80 degree weekend…………

    • CandrewB May 7, 2020 (4:11 pm)

      That pushed a lot of it to that road along Cormorant (sp?) Bay…

  • OnAlki May 7, 2020 (3:55 pm)

    Has anyone else noticed that Alki Ave has turned into a late night drag strip? I’ve heard cars literally racing up and down the street after 1am or so several times now in the last week.

    • zark00 May 7, 2020 (5:53 pm)

      That’s been a thing for years, decades maybe, down there.  It seems to be cyclical – gets popular for a while then dies down again.  Someone drive right off into the water a while back while racing down there.

  • smittytheclown May 7, 2020 (3:57 pm)

    Man, about the only advantage ( I thought!) to the bridge being down is that we’d get Alki to “ourselves”.Oh well!

    • Wes C. Addle May 7, 2020 (5:52 pm)

      Most are local or come in from the south so they probably didn’t ever take the bridge anyway. 

  • Kyle May 7, 2020 (4:03 pm)

    I wonder what the rational is for closing those public parks at 8pm instead of when they normally close? Does data show a spike in social distancing violations after 8pm? It seems arbitrary, and related to other issues they’re deciding to blanket with pandemic reasoning.

    • WSB May 7, 2020 (4:27 pm)

      The news release sent following the briefing says ” to further deter the BBQs, bonfires, parties, and gatherings that are taking place in parks.”

      • Kyle May 7, 2020 (8:08 pm)

        Thanks WSB. I still don’t totally buy their logic. Haven’t seen any bonfires at West Seattle Stadium. I agree it makes sense to deter those activities, but do party rates spike after 8pm? It seems like an arbitrary time they drew in the sand that is probably more related to noise complaints from neighbors near a public park than related to the pandemic. If they want to deter those activities, ban them outright. I doubt those activities increase after 8pm. Instead you take away the right for someone to walk (by themselves) in a public park after 8pm.

        • Skybear May 7, 2020 (9:05 pm)

          Might also have to do with fewer resources being available after hours to monitor and help encourage/enforce social distancing.

          • Kyle May 7, 2020 (9:39 pm)

            Are those resources only available before 8pm?

  • KT May 7, 2020 (4:07 pm)

    Seems like I read something like this last year and the year before and …..

  • DS May 7, 2020 (5:11 pm)

    I wish SPD good luck clearing the beach this weekend by 8 when it has been an 80 degree day. Should be interesting. Not that I’m picking sides.

  • anonyme May 7, 2020 (5:28 pm)

    The photos of Alki look just like any other pre-pandemic weekend.  I often wonder if a species this stupid even deserves to survive.

    • lookingforlogic May 7, 2020 (8:34 pm)

      A daily discussion in our household.

    • Chuck May 7, 2020 (8:41 pm)

      Weird. I wonder the same thing when I watch people fall in lock-step with the Man’s orders, never questioning the narrative on their TV. All for the common cold (a man-made version at that–right Mr. Gates?) with an above 98.5% survivability rate. But keep that mask on. You know, the one the Surgeon General recommends that you don’t wear? Funny how that’s gotten no traction…

      • WSB May 7, 2020 (10:01 pm)

        No, it’s not remotely funny.
        Google surgeon general masks. A variety of stories from a variety of sources about his advice against them *in March*.
        In April, he changed his mind, as did the CDC, and he even demonstrated how to make your own:

      • Chuck May 8, 2020 (8:33 am)

        Because a deadly virus does not care about your political views. Anyone who thinks this is a Bill Gates made conspiracy or a cold, most certainly falls in the parent post’s “too dumb to survive” category.

      • Tim May 8, 2020 (8:36 am)

        Go troll some where else please. Just because you don’t like the news, doesn’t mean it is false.

  • Ken May 7, 2020 (6:25 pm)

    Or with the current  Durkanian society we’re now subjected to, they can just make the entirety of Harbor Ave and Alki Ave as permanent “healthy streets”.  And you know, they’re probably already thinking along these lines.  Would not be even remotely surprised if it really happened.

  • Jorge Ortega May 7, 2020 (8:42 pm)

    All I can say is I’m sure tired of all the cars parking off along constellation park and everyone standing taking up the sidewalk space. making it especially worse for people walking dogs, with strollers or running who actually live on the road… having to Dodge everybody walking out into traffic, all the “fast” people whizzing by is not cool and unsafe. Today I saw a white BMW pass someone going at least 50 through a cross walk on Alki.

  • anonyme May 8, 2020 (9:09 am)

    I’ve noticed a big uptick in speeding and dangerous driving, as well as defiance of social distancing.  It wouldn’t surprise me if even stricter restrictions are necessarily put in place as a result of ignorant defiance of reasonable guidelines to keep everyone safe.  This juvenile rebellion only makes matters worse.  Grow.Up.  What does it say about our culture when police presence has to be beefed up for MOTHER’S DAY,  of all things?

  • anonyme May 8, 2020 (3:42 pm)

    Oooooh, fear “the Man”.  Right – especially if he’s orange.  Actually, I prefer to follow those with medical degrees.  If that’s being in “lockstep” it is still a far more informed decision than the alternative.  Anyone with a modicum of medical knowledge or common sense could have deduced very early on that any disease that is airborne (as C-19 clearly was) would require masks for protection.  Any ‘advice’ to the contrary was clearly a desperate measure to deal with the fact that we were pathetically ill-prepared to deal with this crisis.  I personally thought this was a terrible and hypocritical message despite the underlying intent.  However, that unfortunate early message does not change the fact that masks are a necessary tool for protecting against airborne disease.

  • Mori May 9, 2020 (7:30 pm)

    This has become a class divide.  Let all the people enjoy Alki; especially in these hard times, for those who don’t work in tech or science and can’t afford a house in the Alki neighborhood.

Sorry, comment time is over.