The Morgan Community Association has met for the first time since the pandemic wiped out in-person gatherings, convening via teleconference and phone this past Wednesday. Busy agenda as always for the MoCA quarterly meetings, starting with the peninsula’s biggest topic of the year:
WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE CLOSURE/RECONNECT WEST SEATTLE: Madison Linkenmeyer and Michael Harold from SDOT were guests. Harold, noting that he is a Morgan Junction resident, started by recapping the newest info about the low bridge, while insisting it is NOT believed to be at “imminent risk.” The strengthening plans are a “take no chances” precaution, Harold said. He also said they’re considering expanding access – even though the low bridge is already “exceeding capacity” at times:
As for the closed high bridge – a quick recap, with something we haven’t noticed before – a defense that the bridge was built “to the standards of the day.”
Harold reiterated that the high bridge has to be stabilized “no matter what” the eventual decision – repair or replace – is. That’s not even a two-option decision, Harold noted – “there’s so much happening,” a multitude of repair/replacement options; timetable for that decision is still likely “late this summer.” The stabilization work will enter a new visual phase soon, with a platform being hoisted early next week from a barge. (The Community Task Force was told the previous week that would happen this past week, but that turned out to be a premature estimate.) And he explained Reconnect West Seattle, which aims to move people across the Duwamish River while the bridge is out with a “mode-shift” plan. MoCA vice chair Phil Tavel asked about SDOT’s vision that 500 daily trips could be handled by walking. Could be people living near the low bridge, could be park-and-ride users. In other traffic-mitigation discussion, SDOT noted a few things they’ve done at 35th/Morgan:
Neighbors from Sylvan Ridge – about a mile east – chimed in there because of the recent crashes. “We are very aware” of those problems,” Harold said, which is why SDOT has done some tree-trimming,”and we’re going to be taking some additional action,” he added, without elaborating.
(This meeting was one day before the bridge emergency declaration – something MoCA president Deb Barker had long advocated for – was announced, so it was not discussed.)
Other quick updates:
WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE NOW: Tavel said the coalition continues to work to be a “collective voice” for advocacy.
WEST SEATTLE COVID RECOVERY: Tavel also updated this effort, with almost 100 volunteers involved and more than 30 acts of assistance. If you know about people who need help – shopping, paying rent, other types of help – and don’t know where to turn, point them that way. Cindi Barker noted that the District 1 Community Network has a subgroup working on a bigger project for longtime relief. Morgan is sending the city a letter asking for staff help to support grass-roots efforts like this.
DEVELOPMENT HALT? MoCA also is sending the city a letter asking that development permits for West Seattle be put on hold until traffic is returned to the West Seattle Bridge.
AFFORDABLE HOUSING: Meantime, D1CN has a long-planned conversation coming up on July 20th to discuss affordable-housing with those who build it, focusing on the question “what are the barriers to creating it in District 1?”
SHOW MORGAN SOME LOVE: The group continues to advocate for shopping and dining locally, with this catch phrase, which you might have seen on large signs in Morgan-area businesses’ windows.
NEW LOCAL BUSINESSES: Autumn Lovewell and Monica Colgan, owners of Youngstown Coffee Company and HeartBeet Organic Café, introduced themselves and were welcomed.
BLM MARCH: The June 6th march to join the big Black Lives Matter demonstration at The Junction was recapped.
WEST SEATTLE ART WALK: Morgan businesses joined the Art Walk in June, some with in-person openings in July. Local participants include West Seattle Wine Cellars, Mailbox West, and Northwest Encaustics in The Building.
MORGAN JUNCTION COMMUNITY FESTIVAL: June 19, 2021, is the date for the next one. Planning starts in January. Volunteers needed!
MORGAN PARK EXPANSION: Though the park development is on hold, remediation plans continue, Deb Barker said.
LOWMAN BEACH SEAWALL: This project is proceeding and expected to go to bid by fall. As part of the project, the tennis court is being removed, but a community group is using grant money to study possible relocation – maybe a pickleball court instead – and is hoping to have a community meeting in August.
The Morgan Community Association meets third Wednesdays, 7 pm, in January, April, July, and October.