What’s the long-term solution for waterfront driver gatherings? Residents, police discuss @ Alki Community Council

(WSB photo: Quiet moment on Beach Drive by Constellation Park, May 13)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Would removing parking solve the problem of drivers gathering along West Seattle’s public waterfront?

That was one of the suggestions as residents of three Alki-area neighborhoods dominated the discussion at the Alki Community Council‘s onlne meeting last Thursday night.

The meeting began with an update from Southwest Precinct operations commander Lt. Steve Strand. While police have launched their seasonal emphasis at Alki, he warned that the city’s COVID-19-related budget crunch is reducing the amount of money available for overtime to staff those extra assignments (and others). Nonetheless, extra officers were planned for two of the three days on Memorial Day weekend.

Addressing the driver-gathering concerns, he said the “Stay Healthy Streets” designation for Beach Drive by Constellation Park (and then Alki Avenue west of 63rd) was inspired by the ongoing problems there. The situation worsened after the Don Armeni Boat Ramp parking lot was closed, he noted, displacing the “car clubs” who liked to gather there. He acknowledged that the problem keeps shifting, and noted that they’re “looking at long-term solutions” if, as has been suggested by SDOT, the Constellation Park-side change is temporary.

What alternatives? asked attendee Barb, who described the escalation in recent years as rendering the stretch into “almost like a war zone” at times, not only in the warmer months. “Hundreds of cars, drag racing, burnouts, drinking, pot smoking, littering …it’s become just an unbelievably discouraging place to be.”

The designated police/ADA spots could be kept, Strand suggested, or perhaps make it a one-way street, or put in traffic-calming islands. SDOT would require planning and community input, he added, also noting that while nearby residents are happy about the current restrictions, they’ve heard concerns from other community members, including scuba divers.

The new restrictions by Constellation Park have pushed the drivers further south to Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook/Me-Kwa-Mooks, attendee Stephanie said. Whenever the drivers get dispersed from Alki, they converge in her neighborhoo. “I don’t even feel like I can leave my front yard … it was bad before, it’s worse now.”

Another attendee said “physical barriers” are needed to prevent the road from being used as a “race track,” since “the police can’t be everywhere at all times.”

Lt. Strand said police need help ID’ing the “car clubs” that cause trouble. Can’t officers figure that out? retorted an attendee. Yet another wondered whether “gang issues” were involved.

Steve, who lives on Duwamish Head, said that side of Alki is seeing issues too – if drivers can’t gather elsewhere, that’s where they flock. He’s written letters to SPD and the City Council.

More ideas were suggested, like a speed-enforcement camera on Admiral Way in the Alki area; state law limits how those types of cameras can be used, Strand said. Parking restrictions might be more feasible.

Another attendee wondered about the much-touted noise-ordinance enforcement. Are citations being issued? Are motorcycle officers being deployed?

Lt. Strand said the Traffic Unit (which isn’t based at the local precinct) keeps track of citations and is supposed to be delivering a quarterly report to the City Council.

Could extra money be raised to add officers for enforcement? wondered Barb.

Another attendee suggested a “laser focus” on the parking issue. (That brought words of caution from someone else who said street parking is needed for some apartment residents with “insufficient parking.”)

Lt. Strand left shortly after that, but told community members he can be reached at steven.strand@seattle.gov – “I’d be happy to talk with anyone about the issues they’re seeing.”

The discussion among attendees continued. ACC president Tony Fragada suggested bringing together SDOT, Parks, and SPD. Balancing the needs of park users – like the divers, as well as kayakers and people going fishing, who all have gear to haul in – with residents, visitors are welcome, it was stressed, provided “they don’t drag-race at 3 o’clock in the morning.” Eventually, the topic wrapped up with a call for unity between the beach neighborhoods, rather than working at counterpurposes as a solution for one area pushes problems to others.

WHAT’S NEXT? SDOT has promised a survey about the Stay Healthy Streets program, but it hasn’t appeared yet. It’s set up a feedback mailbox, though – StayHealthyStreets@seattle.gov.

77 Replies to "What's the long-term solution for waterfront driver gatherings? Residents, police discuss @ Alki Community Council"

  • Anon May 25, 2020 (12:08 am)

    With West Seattle being so cut off from everywhere right now I’ll be quite unhappy as a resident if parking is limited for those of us who live here because we’re trying to deter others. I feel for people, but not all of us live within a reasonable distance to walk or bike to Alki. 

    • Herongrrrl May 25, 2020 (8:53 am)

      If it were just local WS people I think it wouldn’t be as much of a problem, but it isn’t. I woke up Saturday morning to a bunch of trash in my front yard on Beach Drive from someone who had been parked out there the night before. It was garbage from  Chik Fil A takeout. There isn’t a Chik Fil A anywhere near WS! I suppose it is possible that someone with a hankering for a chicken sandwich left WS to get one and come back to eat it in front of my house, but I think the reality is that our beachfronts are a regional draw, and there has been very little consideration by the city, parks, SDOT, and SPD about how to address these issues as the population of WS has exploded along with folks from out of the neighborhood using waterfront parks. This is by no means a new problem, but while so many of us are at home more now the additional noise and traffic sure becomes harder to ignore.

  • Miker May 25, 2020 (2:01 am)

    Hmmm, Lt. Strand is looking for help to ID the car clubs that cause trouble? How about actually having a police cruiser come down to patrol Alki once in more frequent while? Recently, it unfortunately doesn’t matter at what time of day (or night), so chances would be high that they (literally) run into a culprit or two by unfolding the power of their very own police trained eyes and ears. Alki Ave, 63rd Ave, and lower SW Admiral are a venerable s@&t show these days. They all do need some traffic management ASAP, including enforcement, speed bumps, and islands. I know, Lt. Strand is one the enforcement side, not building traffic islands. On that note, the lovely noise ordinance is a joke, IMO. Who starts an ordinance like that with a year of “you know, it’s here now, but we want to make sure you are aware, because next year we are going to crack down”. Right. Fast-forward 12 months and… nothing. Sure, yes, COVID-19 happened. But hey, „more important“ things, right.? Oh, and too bad, different department, of course. It‘s not just about the noise either. They are obviously not rev‘ing their souped up sleds at an orderly 20-30 mph. I hope I’m wrong, but I can’t shake the feeling that an accident is bound to happen at some point. Does that matter to Lt. Strand? Ah, yes, apparently, per above. I shall send him an email with license plate numbers. Am I the only one who thinks this is absurd?

    • Anne May 25, 2020 (6:36 am)

      Hi Mike-I don’t live at Alki-but have lived in WS & enjoyed it for 70 years-& I absolutely agree with you. I wish there was more of a consistent police presence there-but since there’s not-please gather those license plate numbers, take pics/videos if you can & ask your neighbors to do the same-email to Lt. Strand. Flood him with them daily if needed! I know it’s not your job-but if you & those that live at Alki could be its eyes & ears-those of us that don’t live there but love it would be grateful. The rest of us-if we see do these things happening-let’s do our part by reporting license number too. If Lt. Strand wants emails-let’s give him emails.

  • Flo B May 25, 2020 (7:04 am)

    Historical note. Cruising, showing off, hanging out have been going on at Alki for a LONG time. There was even a riot there in 1969. It wouldn’t surprise me that some of the people complaining now were doing the same things when they were young.   

    • fitz May 25, 2020 (5:33 pm)

      There was a fight in 1969??  Not too long ago, a gang banger shot a guy in the chest with hundreds of people around.

  • Danny May 25, 2020 (7:25 am)

    Alki is a right for all people if residents dont like it they should move! Alki has always been and will always be a attraction and a place to go, to think the authorities or even the residents can restrict it will only bring conflict! Just because u live on alki gives u no right to try a determine who, what club or how people emjoy it! 

    • Kathy May 25, 2020 (3:25 pm)

      There was already conflict, that’s the problem that was neatly solved by adding street closure signs without requiring a bunch of expensive police overtime. It’s all peace and harmony now. Come on and check it out. you can park nearby.

    • Chris May 25, 2020 (5:39 pm)

      I kind of agree. However, it seems like the problem is getting worse. Still, if you move to Alki without the expectation that it’s a party area, then you will be very frustrated 

  • DeadEnder May 25, 2020 (7:43 am)

    So, exactly what is the problem with re-opening the Don Armeni boat ramp, again?At least you knew where and who they were, and (there was) access to trash cans and bathrooms.    

    • McGruff May 25, 2020 (11:31 am)

      The cruisers take parking that is earmarked for the boaters to park their rigs and trailers.

      • Paul Hage May 25, 2020 (4:07 pm)

        Conflict with trucks and trailers is clearly seasonal.  Eighty “earmarked stalls” don’t mean anything most of the year when there are few if any trailers – you know, when there isn’t much boating.   Being asked to leave when there are few or no trailers makes no sense.  Of course I go when they ask – south to Alki.  They finally added some off season parking on the street side of the lot – I took that as a poke in the eye as they are well aware the most desirable spots are up against the waterside curb.   And I repeat – the ticketing at the launch largely moved the miscreants out.  

  • Herewegoagain May 25, 2020 (7:54 am)

    Another, ‘I moved to the beach area, now I don’t like the traffic’ article. Barb, I’m guessing you have no clue what a ‘war zone’ is. How about these ‘community groups’ get together and discuss ways to help people during covid as opposed to how everyone can help them?

  • SLJ May 25, 2020 (9:07 am)

    Speed bumps would help deter racing without limiting parking access to the water. It seems like that wouldn’t be too expensive either.

    • Kathy May 25, 2020 (4:11 pm)

      OK, now we know you don’t use this street or you would know it already has speed bumps.

      • HappyOnAlki May 25, 2020 (10:57 pm)

        Where are there speed bumps on Alki?

  • NW May 25, 2020 (9:13 am)

    Regarding all three areas Seattle public parks  where cruising cars and rowdy behavior seem to be an issue for those concerned in the immediate area and us further inland has there been any interest in starting a push to volunteer in those parks?

  • Wsmom May 25, 2020 (9:21 am)

    What about all the businesses on Alki? I wouldn’t be able to go if I couldn’t find a place to park.

    • Kathy May 25, 2020 (4:12 pm)

      OK, now we know you don’t use this street or you would know there are no businesses along it.

      • HappyOnAlki May 25, 2020 (10:28 pm)

        Kathy, no businesses along Alki? Except for the restaurants and the shops and the kayak rentals and the surrey rentals, you mean?

  • WSesRsd May 25, 2020 (9:36 am)

    Again, how about simply enforcing the speed limits And noise ordinances. People have a right to park along the water and enjoy their club, not just the lucky few who get to enjoy waterfront views or love in Alki. 

  • mark47n May 25, 2020 (10:25 am)

    As places for people to gather becomes more and more limited due to the Covid-19 issue problems like this will crop up.Alas, no one, here in WS, especially along the waterfront, will ever be happy with the activities that occur there and, clearly, would like to restrict access to only themselves (note water access signs removed, likely by neighbors, along Beach Drive where public access is permitted in some locations). The streets and parks are for all (when they’re open) and that includes car clubs. Seeking to limit them and their legal activities is an interference with their constitutionally protected rights of freedom of association.

    • Will May 25, 2020 (11:40 am)

      I think it’s ok if not all parks are for car clubs. There need to be safe and quiet spaces for communities as well. 

    • Wanderer May 25, 2020 (12:40 pm)

      @mark47n – drag racing, not obeying the noise ordinance, smoking pot while driving and drinking while driving are not legal activities.

      • mark47n May 25, 2020 (5:01 pm)

        @Wanderer: I said nothing about those things and they are already illegal and will be illegal wherever they are. That said, you cannot create limits on one group and not others for the use of public space as long as said use is legal. As for your concern about weed, go and stroll along Me Kwa Mooks and the waterfront there plenty of pot smoking there. There’s plenty of pot smoking all over in public and that’s illegal but I don’t see you whining about that only in reference to car clubs.As to @Wills post: public=available to all for legal uses to include gatherings. I don’t think that’s very complicated.

  • Really May 25, 2020 (10:47 am)

    It’s an unsolvable problem, because there’s no way they can enforce the law in Seattle. Same thing with people running red lights – there just aren’t enough cops to watch every intersection and write a ticket anytime someone runs a red light. Same for tolling tunnels and bridges – we can’t have someone sitting there all day taking our money. That’s why it’s free to drive through the tunnel.It’s a real head scratcher. might as well just give up. 

    • WSB May 25, 2020 (11:06 am)

      What? It’s not “free to drive through the tunnel” (assuming you mean Highway 99). We’ve been billed every time.

      • Eddie May 25, 2020 (11:16 am)

        Really was trying to be ironic, ‘couldn’t enforce rules like you can’t toll a tunnel’.  What? You toll the tunnel electronically? Novel concept, let’s enforce the rules electronically too!

  • Wanderer May 25, 2020 (10:54 am)

    What if we considered a more positive approach? Make it a place WE would like to go so it helps deter others from gathering. Pipe in opera music like they do in doorways downtown to deter the homeless from sleeping there.  Allow pop-up coffee stands and food vendors to operate in parking lots and at Constellation Park. Pretty up these places with flowers and artwork. Rather than pay higher-salaried police to patrol, put people to work cleaning up the garbage that gets strewn about. Why make these places uglier with barriers and the like when we have a chance to do something positive? 

    (Also, why would this matter: “SDOT would require planning and community input…” They didn’t bother to do that when they closed off the Stay Healthy Streets.)

  • Paul Hage May 25, 2020 (11:08 am)

    Photos are a good approach – catching some sort of club decal – very good.  I don’t want to loose the opportunity to visit and enjoy the shore – two ADA spots is not adequate.  My almost daily weekday visits are rarely late in the day so I see very little trouble in the off season.  I have opined for time and area restrictions previously.  If problems are in the evening maybe closure shortly after sunset would help – maybe earlier.  A couple of enforcement sweeps like occurred at Don Armeni might be as effective as it was there.

  • Will May 25, 2020 (11:38 am)

    Alki Avenue is one thing, but to allow people to park along Constellation Park is extremely dangerous. There is no room to allow that and ensure the safety and health of that community and those who come to use the beach park. It has become extremely dangerous down there. The street along Constellation Park should should remain shut down for traffic until no parking can be ensured and speed restricted. 

    • John W May 25, 2020 (12:51 pm)

      Why do you write that, “to allow people to park along Constellation Park is extremely dangerous “?  Is there data to confirm?

    • alkiannie May 25, 2020 (2:18 pm)

      It’s annoying but, extremely dangerous?  How so?

      • Kathy May 25, 2020 (3:52 pm)

        The sidewalk is too narrow and crammed between a railing and a curb to socially distance forcing people to walk out into the street around parked cars. There is no parking strip. People come to park and party and congregate on the narrow sidewalk, blocking it completely. What if you are in a wheelchair? There are curb cuts but they are few and far between meaning you are trapped if you are facing oncoming foot traffic.  At minimum, parking should be eliminated on the water side from 64th Ave SW where the grassy park ends westward to the point, in order to make adequate space for people to walk and wheel to enjoy the beach. There would still be plenty of parking on the other side of Beach Drive and along the grassy park.

      • Will May 26, 2020 (7:33 am)

        I’m talking about the stretch of beach drive along Constellation Park. To have cars parking lined up along that narrow sidewalk on that street with such high pedestrian traffic requires pedestrians and bikes etc to have to go into the street where they must compete with heavy fast traffic. It’s very unsafe for a residential street with Park access. Anyone who has been down there on a nice day knows this and has experienced it. It’s simply a matter of safety. Now of course with parking there, all the rest of the problems follow, but it all begins with the parking along that stretch which needs to go and should never be allowed in the first place. 

  • McGruff May 25, 2020 (11:46 am)

    The problem here isn’t outsiders coming to our neighborhood. We accept it is a beautiful place – that is why we live here. The problem is when the visitors refuse to behave.Yes, they are public streets and parks, but you have an obligation to be a good guest. Loud music, motors, dangerous driving, littering, graffiti, drinking, and drugs are not acceptable. You don’t have any right to engage in those behaviors here. This may be your playground, but it’s our home. Behave yourselves or see more consequences like the closing of the streets near Constellation park.This is why you can’t have nice things (and probably why you can’t afford to live here). Don’t tell us we have to suck it up and put up with you.

    • Patrick May 25, 2020 (12:23 pm)

      +1

    • KHALIF, ABDIKADIR ADAN May 25, 2020 (12:55 pm)

      You should be more welcoming of the guests in your neighborhood. Suck it up.

      • Rick May 25, 2020 (4:26 pm)

        How ’bout I come and sh*t all over your neighborhood,destroy the peace and beauty and tell you to “suck it up” because it’s my right to do that? I believe the majority of visitors are respectful but I’m willing to bet you don’t want this in your “hood”. That’s why you come here.  Typical hypocritical behavior.

        • jonny May 25, 2020 (4:48 pm)

          When you say “hood”, is that racist code for people of color? You are welcome in my NEIGHBORHOOD.

    • John W May 25, 2020 (1:24 pm)

      Absent from the widespread blame on visitors, er ‘outsiders’, is our own communities’ contribution to the problem.  Somehow generations of West Seattle youth and young adults have also abused beach privileges and still do, but are not blamed here.  I know this historically as a guilty young person cruising Alki 50 years ago and I wouldn’t be surprised if our local sons and daughters continue the tradition.  I like to remind myself that these jewels of our parks system belong to and should be shared with all.

      • Kathy May 25, 2020 (4:06 pm)

        50 years ago we didn’t know that the cars we were cruising and joyriding in were poisoning the air and water, warming up the atmosphere and oceans so that marine life is now struggling to survive.  Times have changed, John.

        • HappyOnAlki May 25, 2020 (10:37 pm)

          This discussion doesn’t have anything to do with climate change. Times haven’t changed that much, Kathy.

    • Seaweed May 25, 2020 (1:41 pm)

      @MCGRUFF hehhehheh… nail on the head! I don’t live down there but I do visit. I would feel the same about my neighborhood as well.

    • mark47n May 25, 2020 (5:05 pm)

      I’m sorry, but could you look under your chair? I lost my tiny violin. I was going to play it for you but…Honestly, the park isn’t your home. West Seattle doesn’t belong to the denizens of those fortunate enough to live here, it belongs to everyone. I know that’s a difficult concept to grasp, for those that paid $1M for your home but the parks and roads here are free to all so suck it up.

      • Duffy May 26, 2020 (7:57 am)

        That’s not the point anyone is trying to make…stay on topic for a more constructive discussion. Of course everyone has the right to come and enjoy public spaces, but the littering, drinking and driving and violation of noise ordinances must be obeyed by everyone, including those that live in the area. This isn’t a matter of “sucking” anything up; if people continue to disregard rules that are aimed at keeping order in public places, the residents have a legitimate gripe.

    • winniegirl May 25, 2020 (9:30 pm)

      Your home is your home.  Every place else is public property that we all pay for.  You don’t get to dictate who goes where.

      • Duffy May 26, 2020 (8:04 am)

        Again…stay on topic. Nobody is putting forth what you are suggesting. Care to comment on the rampant violation of rules and ordinances in these areas? If someone drove to you home, parked in the street directly in front, drank a case of beer while blasting music, then sped off leaving all of the trash behind, would you shrug your shoulders as YOU were forced to clean it all up because that person has a “right” to be there?

        • winniegirl May 26, 2020 (3:08 pm)

          I live on 35th.  I’m quite aware of the noise associated with these vehicles as they also use other roads to get to Alki and I hear them at all hours of the day.  And guess what?  I knew that it would be noisy when I moved here.  Just because they aren’t enjoying their evenings as you would doesn’t make it illegal.  If you have an actual complaint, call the police.

          • Duffy May 26, 2020 (9:54 pm)

            People do call with complaints. And very little is done. And I’m sorry, are you comparing your situation on 35th to that of the Alki Beach and Constellation Park areas? You know how many more folks go to the latter to actually hang out/congregate with other large groups of people? What you are experiencing living on 35th is nothing like what goes on down near the beach. It’s disrespectful to others that want to enjoy those areas and do so following the rules, regardless of whether you live down there or not.

    • HappyOnAlki May 25, 2020 (11:01 pm)

      McGruff: “This is why you can’t have nice things (and probably why you can’t afford to live here).”  Are you REALLY that openly elitist?  That’s not classy, that’s just rude.

  • J May 25, 2020 (12:43 pm)

    Its very simple. Enforce the laws on the books. That’s it. Repeat offender’s get their vehicles impounded. Please Seattle “Leadership”, stop pretending to be naive about the situation. If you can’t even handle unruly cruiser’s, why do you have your jobs? 

  • George May 25, 2020 (2:40 pm)

    McGruff, your post read as very haughty to me.  Have you taken a poll of the net worth of these individuals causing a ruckus? Please don’t assume that you are a better, more polite person, simply because you can afford to live on Alki.   Classism is not cool. You don’t have additional rights to public roads and parks just because you have more money. If people are not well behaved, it should be a matter for SPD, as others have suggested. You want privacy and quiet? How about you don’t live in a showy mansion down on Alki.   

  • WSWatching May 25, 2020 (2:55 pm)

    Limiting access is an exercise in privilege, plain and simple. The public beaches and waterfronts are for all, not only those who can afford to live there. Some of the comments I see and hear about “outsiders” etc., is really disheartening, and sad,as well as racially and economically coded language. I grew up in single parent family in West Seattle, and we were very poor. My mother couldn’t afford to take us on a vacation, but she could afford a few sandwiches, a watermelon, beverages and many summer outings to Alki, Lincoln Park and the vicinity – that was our childhood joy and instilled many memories that have lasted a lifetime. I have heard folks state in this forum it is their right as residents to enjoy their peace and quiet and views. Well, these areas also belong to the public. From access issues, to privileged cyclists (and yes mostly white – it is an equity and race issue!) telling folks to simply leave West Seattle if they can’t live without the bridge and their cars – SMDH. This is the result of gentrification, growth on steroids, lack of affordable housing and on and on. It is economic and racial privilege forcing people out of communities and making them feel unwelcome. The city of Amazon has arrived and it’s ugly.

    • Kathy May 25, 2020 (4:02 pm)

      You and everyone else of all classes are privileged to come to the park and beach, too. Nobody’s stopping you. Park on the other streets and walk in. If you need to haul stuff, bring a shopping cart. You are making a mountain out of a molehill. 

    • J May 25, 2020 (5:27 pm)

      Well said. I totally agree

    • Sunflower May 25, 2020 (5:44 pm)

      ‘My mother couldn’t afford to take us on a vacation, but she could afford a few sandwiches, a watermelon, beverages and many summer outings to Alki, Lincoln Park and the vicinity – that was our childhood joy and instilled many memories that have lasted a lifetime.’

      That sounds nice. We are fortunate to live and share in a beautiful place with such opportunities. I hear your concerns and frustrations regarding inequities. However, it sounds like you may have missed what people are actually complaining about in regards to the Alki area. It’s not complaining about ‘outsiders’ simply visiting and enjoying the area respectfully.  It’s wanting the area to be a better environment for local and ‘outside’ people and families, to be able to enjoy the kind of visit you described above.  

      The complaints I’ve been hearing here relate to loud motorcycles and cars, loud music, exhaust, open drug and alcohol use, and littering. Imagine if this was going on outside your home, all the time. I haven’t heard proposals to make the Alki area closed to outsiders, just wanting to address some of the issues arising, which seem to be particularly car related.  One solution being explored and discussed is closing portions of the main drive around Alki, which would encourage people to park on nearby streets and get out of their car, and walk around to enjoy the beach. 

      Also, you are right that there are inequities, in everything. But to call cyclists privileged is a generalization that is not accurate.  Many lower income people ride a bike because they cannot afford the costs of owning a car. You may be narrowly thinking of a particular subset of cyclists who can afford expensive bikes and ride for sport. Many cyclists ride as affordable transportation and recreation. Riding a bike can be more affordable than other forms of transportation, recreation, and exercise.Fyi, there are organizations that actively work to make biking more accessible and affordable in the community. Bike Works is one organization. I would agree though, that so much more needs to be done in this world to address inequities.

    • Tsurly May 25, 2020 (6:27 pm)

      A study conducted last year using marketing research suggests that men of color bike just as much as white men.https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/data/who-bikes-in-seattle-bicycling-gender-gap-one-of-biggest-in-country/%3famp=1

    • winniegirl May 25, 2020 (9:33 pm)

      thank you, wswatching.  exactly.  Your home stops at your property line and it becomes public space that we all have access to without having to check with property owners first.  You didn’t buy the neighborhood.

      • Kathy May 25, 2020 (11:09 pm)

        This is about making the park better for everyone by eliminating the high volume of automobile traffic on this street. It was done so that people of all ages and abilities who want to enjoy the park and need to keep distance in accordance with public health guidance can do so safely without being threatened or hit by distracted  and speeding drivers. It’s not about giving some benefit to the property owners on that stretch of Beach Drive. Everyone who visits the park benefits from this change, as long as there will be rules about social distancing. That could be a while until there is a vaccine available for all who need it or some miraculous cure. And no, I don’t live on this street.

        • Kyle May 26, 2020 (8:14 am)

          If it is about temporarily providing space to social distance for the next few months I could get behind that. However all the complaints seem to be about issues that are pre-COVID, and using a pandemic as a convenient opportunity to push a different agenda.

          • Sunflower May 26, 2020 (9:46 am)

            If it is about temporarily providing space to social distance for the next few months I could get behind that.’

            Yes, it sounds like this was implemented in response to the pandemic, to temporarily help with creating space where people can safely social distance outdoors. However, this change has brought about a larger conversation. It’s apparent this change has been a welcome relief for neighbors, who have shared there have been ongoing issues in the neighborhood and on this road. The change is also raising the point that continuing to allow all the recreational driving there and some associated behaviors may not be so healthy for the environment. All these conversations can be happening, and that doesn’t take away from the legitimate necessity right now, for people to have safe spaces outdoors.

  • Rob May 25, 2020 (3:49 pm)

    Stop trying to close PUBLIC STREETS!!!!! 

    • McGruff May 25, 2020 (9:53 pm)

      Stop being jerks on them, and we will.  Keep acting like low-class spoiled brats, and we’ll continue to use our clout to come up with ways to keep you out. I honestly don’t understand why you think it’s OK to blast loud music, street race, leave trash and graffiti, smoke weed and drink in front of my house, and then have the nerve to tell me, ‘Well, you should’ve thought of that when you bought your house here; suck it up, Buttercup’? You wouldn’t tolerate that sort of thing in front of your home, would you? If you would, that explains why you can’t afford to live here.

      • Notoveryet May 26, 2020 (4:05 pm)

        Wow, you should be so embarrassed, you literally just wrote that.

  • Rick May 25, 2020 (4:29 pm)

    Seattle IS dying

  • Tedweed May 25, 2020 (4:56 pm)

    Alki is a great place to go and enjoy the day! Just remember to take care of the place and leave it in a good way for others to see

  • Char May 25, 2020 (8:24 pm)

    Holy smokes, just reading the comments are enough to make me depressed. We are a community guys and gals, let’s try to remember that there are individual people behind each one of the screens. I agree that street racing, partying, etc. in the Alki area has gotten worse. My grandparents, parents, uncle, and myself all live/lived on Beach DR SW and agree it’s a concern. I absolutely want people to come and enjoy the beauty of our neighborhood and feel welcomed. I think it’s safe to say that there is frustration due to people not respecting that that’s what it is, a neighborhood. That people should respect street signs and limits, not litter, and avoid being loud and disruptive.I’m personally asking people to turn down their music or not to street race, and if they don’t then I take photos. To me it’s the risk I’m willing to take to keep my community the way I remember growing up as a kid. I completely understand if others doing feel comfortable with it. I’m going to do it because I think it brings a level of accountability and provides actionable ideas for the police vs just venting at them for not doing enough.Honestly I’m not sure what the solution is, I’m just hoping by expressing to individual people that this is a community that expects people to be respectful it will catch on over time. Probably idealistic but oh well!  

  • Kyle May 25, 2020 (9:46 pm)

    Wow, I think we need more data. The comments here are full of anecdotal evidence of “people disrespecting the neighborhood so we should make it harder for the public to access million dollar views”. How many police reports have been filed for noise complaints etc.? If it’s a problem, it needs to be documented so that targeted enforcement can be done. For example why must we restrict access in the winter if it’s a summer problem? Hard to tell without data. Walling off public access without mountains of data would be an overreaction. Also, so and so saying they see whatever the illegal activity is ALL the time is not data. It will take longer but the people who see these things need to call it in and report it so that SPD can see the data and staff accordingly.

    • AlkiRes May 26, 2020 (12:23 am)

      “If it’s a problem”??? If you need data, just look at the burnt rubber skid marks all over the pavement by Constellation Park. My family lives 3 blocks away and we are woken up regularly by the noise of people very loudly revving their engines and peeling out then multiple cars racing up Alki or Admiral. And by multiple, I mean 20 or more. I had to stop walking constellation park because my asthmatic lungs couldn’t handle the amount of pot smoke. It’s really unfortunate that conversations get off track when people write things that are racially biased or elitist. I have no idea who is causing massive disruptions at 3 in the morning or tagging the sidewalk or leaving broken glass and bottles all over the place so that I have to walk my dog somewhere else. But that BS needs to stop, and if that means shutting down the road to cars, then fantastic. I used to love parking there and enjoying the view on quiet days. Not being able to do that anymore is a small price to pay for a beautiful park to not be chaotic. We just walk in now and it’s GREAT to be able to enjoy the view peacefully. Anyone is welcome and encouraged to come and enjoy all of our public beaches and parks – legally. 

      • Kyle May 26, 2020 (7:53 am)

        What you are providing is, again, anecdotal evidence. If you want to stop people from legally parking and having easy access to their park than please work with SPD or your neighbors to provide actual data of disturbances called in etc.  

        • AlkiRes May 26, 2020 (9:58 am)

          I believe we have crossed that bridge already. The police know of the illegal activity already. They already have the data. Please don’t twist my words to say that I want to stop people from legally parking there or having access. Life is full of compromise. Having to park a car and walk a block to a gorgeous beach where you are likely to take a walk is a small compromise for the sake of maintaining a well managed park. When it comes to easier access for people with disabilities, yes! More parking places are needed. When it comes to the scuba divers and boaters – I have no idea. I feel for them and hopefully something can be worked out. 

          • BB May 26, 2020 (3:07 pm)

            Alkires,
            What you described was our situation when we moved into one of the Tudor houses across the street from the south parking lot of Lincoln Park twenty years ago.  It was a regional gathering point for underage drinking, drugs, street racing, fights, occasional gunfire, graffiti on park structures and broken beer bottles and cigarette butts in the kids playground.  There would be up to 100 teens and young adults partying in the parking lot at night.  Our neighborhood documented everything and worked with the SW precinct and the Parks Department to find solutions.  It took many years but gradually it got better.  I recommend you form a community group and try to work together with the City departments to improve the situation.  We were incredible squeaky wheels that never let up.

  • wetone May 26, 2020 (9:19 am)

    Here is another case where city government is the issue here. If city would enforce current laws we would not have issues such as this. Being one that lived and grew up at Alki 60’s-80’s and still live within 2 miles I. Can honestly say things are not much different today compared to then. I remember the riots (multiple not just 1) Traffic is same as it was from early mid 70’s. Same issues with cars racing, loud music, pot smoking and drinking. One difference is the gun fire/ shootings that we have today. But that’s once again city wide issue not just Alki. Back in the 60s-80’s people settled their issues with fist fights and an occasional stabbing. Fighting was happening almost weekly, wether at Alki, Schmitz or Lincoln park it happened. Back in that time Alki had multiple grocery stores, drug store, multiple restaurants, taco time , dry cleaners, the list is long. It has always been a busy area. The biggest issue today compared to then is city dealt with the problems by ticketing, arresting, telling one to leave area or an occasional smack with billy club. Today very little is done to those causing problems and that all falls on City Leaders with their lackadaisical leadership. I will say that area around Alki point should be a one way roadway. With nice parking, bike and walking paths.  

    • Community Member May 26, 2020 (2:49 pm)

      @wetone – “If city would enforce current laws” really, really doesn’t belong with “an occasional smack with billy club”.   

  • WS Taxpayer May 26, 2020 (9:32 am)

    imagine that a subset of a population grew tired of a group of people, searching for a place to congregate and enjoy life.  They are breaking the rules, requiring extra services, being a nuisance with their loud and offputting behaviors.  The population began putting up barriers to the congregation in the hopes of deterring such activity and they grew more and more imposing, not only to those hoping to congregate, but also to unintended “welcome” visitors…  I don’t know where you all stand in the political spectrum but this nimby battle is beginning to descend to BUILD A WALL levels people.  

  • El'Jefe' May 26, 2020 (6:00 pm)

    It is and always will be a congregation for south-ends finest. You live in a beach area so you get people who are attracted to spots that drew you there in the first place.  Taking the parking away at constellation park is lame.  Those folks have a bunch of money but it doesn’t mean they should get their own street.  This should be a  temporary closure.   Open up the boat launch. 

Sorry, comment time is over.