West Seattle, Washington
Post-holiday virus-crisis news:
NO NEW KING COUNTY OR STATE NUMBERS: Atop the Public Health daily-summary dashboard: “Due to power outages impacting the Washington State Dept. of Health, King County’s data is incomplete today, and the Daily Dashboard will not be updated today. We aim to update the dashboards tomorrow.” The state has this explanation: “DOH operations were severely impacted by windstorm damage and many services were unavailable this afternoon, including the DOH website and phones. Given the interruptions, DOH was not able to update COVID-19 data today.”
NATIONAL/WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 27.4 million cases worldwide, 6.3 million of them in the U.S. – see other nation-by-nation stats by going here.
BRIEFING TOMORROW: For the weekly update on the statewide situation, watch the media briefing with the state’s COVID-19 response leaders tomorrow (Wednesday) at 2 pm; it’ll be streamed here.
GOT SOMETHING TO REPORT? email@example.com or 206-293-6302, text/voice – thank you!
The wildfire smoke is expected to hang around at least into Wednesday morning – that’s when the current Air Quality Alert expires. Right now, as this map shows, local readings are all in the “unhealthy” range. This is all from wildfires that, in our state, burned 330,000 acres yesterday alone. For our area, there’s some good news, though – the forecast has pulled back a bit on the feared mini-heat wave … now it looks like three days ahead in the 80s, no more talk of 90s.
Thanks for the.photos and videos from two local musical performances on Labor Day:
UNDER THE BRIDGE: Every so often, you might notice someone playing under the bridge, west of the 5-way. If it’s an entire band – it’s probably Felonious Monk:
Rose Feliciano sent the pic and video after spotting them playing last night:
As the short clip shows, the band even drew a bit of an audience, despite the location.
ON PUGET RIDGE: Thanks to Lisa Kauffman for photos and video from a performance at Puget Ridge Edible Park on Labor Day afternoon:
Thaddeus Spae and Richard Dean were the featured musicians, with a guest turn by Stu Hennessey:
Here’s video of Spae:
If you haven’t been to PREP – check out our August story!
Just in case you heard the sirens: Seattle Fire had a short-lived water-rescue response headed to 55th/Alki. SFD says the initial report was “kiteboarder in distress,” but the person swam safely to shore and the response was cancelled.
Tomorrow, the West Seattle Bridge closure will factor into a discussion at the City Council’s Land Use and Neighborhoods Committee: The issue: Should the city’s Comprehensive Plan be amended to consider the potential effects of a long-term closure? The plan can only be amended once a year, and tomorrow’s committee meeting takes up potential amendments that can’t advance without councilmembers voting to “docket” them. Amendments can be proposed by anyone inside or outside city government; the amendment that would take the bridge closure’s potential effects into consideration is proposed by Deb Barker, a community advocate whose current roles include membership on the West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force. Almost since the start of the closure, she has advocated for the city to look at its effects beyond the basic matter of bridgelessness, and ways to mitigate them. The council staff report says that staffers recommend docketing it, though the Seattle Planning Commission and Office of Planning and Community Development do not. From the staff report:
Amendment with mixed recommendations
Amendment 2 would amend the Transportation Element and FLUM to address the effects of the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge emergency closure. The proposal lists a wide range of changes related to the closure. Many of these proposals are regulatory in nature and would not affect the Comprehensive Plan. However, Central Staff recommend moving Amendment 2 forward because the Comprehensive Plan may need policy modifications to address the major, unexpected and potentially long-term impact to mobility in Seattle caused by the bridge closure. Considering whether changes to the Comprehensive Plan are merited due to this significant impact to the City’s infrastructure is prudent.
SPC and OPCD disagree. They conclude that the proposal would be better addressed through the budgetary and programmatic processes currently being coordinated by the Seattle Department of Transportation.
Tomorrow’s meeting also includes a public hearing and vote on two West Seattle amendments – a proposal to change the West Seattle Hub Urban Village boundaries to include Providence Mount St. Vincent, and additions to the Delridge Neighborhood Plan. The committee meets at 9:30 am tomorrow (Wednesday); the agenda explains how to watch and how to comment.
In West Seattle Crime Watch today:
QFC WINDOW-SMASHING RAMPAGE FOLLOWUP: We reported Sunday night on an arrest following a window-smashing rampage at the West Seattle Junction QFC. The 33-year-old suspect remains in jail. We’ve obtained the police-report narrative, which says officers arrived after “several 911 calls” and arrived to find a naked man outside the store, detaining him, as he matched the suspect description. The officer who filed the report wrote:
I observed that several windows to the store had been broken out or had objects thrown through them. These windows were double-pane, and many were over 10 feet off the ground. I saw several rocks on the ground in front of the store that appeared to have been used to break the windows. The glass in the sliding doors to the store had been completely broken out as well. Other officers went inside and contacted the store manager and (a witness who) stated the following:
(The suspect) regularly comes into the store and is not a problem. Tonight, he entered the store with several bags and (redacted) asked him to leave them at the front with staff. This enraged (the suspect) and he began throwing items from the shelves and breaking items. He threw several plastic bottles at (redacted), one of which hit him in the head. (Redacted) then called 911 along with several other people. (The suspect) continued to throw items around and break several more windows and a refrigerator. He then took off his clothes and ran out the store before being contacted by officers. The damage to each window was likely several hundred dollars. Both men and me positively identified … the suspect. (The person hit by a bottle) had a bruise developing on his forehead and a small cut on his left wrist and bruising as well. He was evaluated at the scene by SFD Ladder 11. SFD also boarded up the damaged windows and doors.
A quick check of the suspect’s record includes a case last year in which he was arrested for throwing rocks at a downtown bar; he was sentenced to three months in jail. In 2014, he was charged with stealing five cars in one night from an Eastside dealership. He’s being held in lieu of $5,000 bail.
Also, two reader reports today:
ALKI CAR BREAK-IN: From Kimberly:
Last night between 12 a.m. and 7 a.m. my car was broken into on 55th Ave SW off Alki Beach. 2 shark vacuums, miscellaneous cleaning supplies, and a lockbox safe were stolen from my Nissan Versa. Safe held cash, car title, and a box of ammunition.
GATEWOOD CAR BREAK-IN: Via text:
39th and Orchard. Someone broke into our Subaru Outback at 3 am. They were trying to steal it. Fuse panel was open. They were able to get into it without triggering the alarm. They clearly knew what they were doing. My wife woke up as it was happening. Probably the only reason it’s still in the driveway.
Thanks for the tip! Melissa just pointed out that one casualty of today’s smoky air is Seattle Public Library‘s curbside service. SPL tweeted: “Due to poor air quality, the Library is unable to provide Curbside Service today and appointments should be rescheduled. Some locations are still offering restroom access and book returns. Please contact the Library before visiting.”
One notable West Seattle project in today’s city-circulated Land Use Information Bulletin, and it’s one that had been off the radar for a while: 4800 40th SW (corner of SW Edmunds) went through Design Review in 2017-2018. Today, the city has published its land-use approval, which opens a 2-week appeal period (the decision notice includes information on how to file one). The project is described by the city as a “4-story, 56-unit apartment building with 4 live-work units and retail. Parking for 44 vehicles proposed.” (The site was upzoned to 55′ in the HALA process but this project was initiated under the previous 40′ zoning.) Approval doesn’t necessarily mean development is imminent; the site has been home to Origins (WSB sponsor) for 4 years, so we’re following up separately.
Thanks to David Hutchinson for the photo of this morning’s smoky sunrise, seen from Duwamish Head. The smoke is expected to start clearing later this morning, but in the meantime, we’re under an air-quality alert until 11 am. (UPDATE: That’s now been extended to 10 am Wednesday, as commenter Mike points out) Temps could peak in the low 80s. Four notes for today/tonight:
CITY COUNCIL: The council’s 2 pm meeting includes West Seattle Bridge funding and scooters. The agenda includes full details as well as how to watch/comment.
GOVERNOR: His 2:30 pm media briefing is the first in more than a week. The announced topic is wildfires, not COVID-19, but that could come up too. You can watch the stream here.
DEMONSTRATION: The twice-weekly West Seattle sign-holding demonstrations organized by Scott continue today:
Black Lives Matter sign waving
Tuesday Sept 8, 4 pm to 6 pm, corner of 16th SW and SW Holden
Thursday, Sept 10, 4 pm to 6 pm, 16th and Holden
Come show support for BLM and ending systemic racism. Hold signs, meet neighbors and stand for racial justice. Scott at PR Cohousing, endorsed by Hate-Free Delridge. Signs available.
Meeting? Event? Biznote? Email’s the best way to reach us with non-breaking info: firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
Bridge updates as we start the holiday-shortened workweek:
CITY COUNCIL VOTES ON FUNDING: The plan for $70 million in “interfund” loans to finance the first stage of West Seattle Bridge work gets a final vote when councilmembers reconvene today after the two-week end-of-summer recess. This won unanimous Transportation Committee approval before the recess. More info is in the 2 pm meeting agenda.
BRIDGE STABILIZATION UPDATE: In case you haven’t seen this already, SDOT has published its second end-of-week update on the stabilization work, including this:
(This) week, the contractor is planning to:
-Complete the first phase of filling cracks with epoxy.
-Begin the second phase of crack injection towards the middle of the bridge.
-Continue to inspect cracks.
-Place carbon fiber wrap around recently filled cracks.
-Continue installing the post tensioning system.
During this work, you’ll see:
-Some crews working on top of and under the bridge.
-Scaffolding and crews working on platforms suspended under the bridge.
There’s additional work taking place inside the bridge – including monitoring cracks and preparing for the installation of additional post-tensioning strands – that you will not be able to see.
COMMUNITY TASK FORCE MEETS: 3 weeks after its last meeting, the West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force meets online Wednesday at noon. We hope to get the agenda and connection information from SDOT later today, but in the meantime, one known agenda item: The Reconnect West Seattle implementation plan. We’ve previewed the draft, and among other things, SDOT has slight revisions in the.mode-shift commuting goals – increasing the percentage of commutes it hopes will be made by bicycle next year to 10 percent, for one example (last year’s baseline was 1 percent):
In the 2019 Baseline, about 60 bicycles crossed the Duwamish per AM peak hour. The Lower Spokane Bridge can accommodate 400 – 1,000 bicycles per hour. To accommodate 1,000 bicycles per AM peak hour, SDOT will need to make substantive capital improvements across West Seattle.
The Reconnect WS plan has separate bicycle and freight sub-plans as well as four project lists for the areas most affected by bridge-detour traffic.
12:30 PM UPDATE: Here’s the link for watching tomorrow’s meeting, or use access code: 146 544 1172 after calling 408-418-9388.
AUDIT OF OTHER BRIDGES: Right after the sudden bridge shutdown took so many by surprise 5 1/2 months ago, Councilmember Alex Pedersen – who chairs the Transportation Committee – called for an audit of the city’s other bridges, to be sure no other surprises are lurking. He announced in this online update that the audit will be presented to his committee next week, on September 16th.
6:07 AM: It’s Tuesday, the 169th morning without the West Seattle Bridge.
*Permanent repairs on the Admiral Way sinkhole are set for today and tomorrow;
*Here’s the newest Delridge project info about where work is focused this week.
*1st Avenue S. Bridge: 3 more NB overnight closures are planned tonight, Wednesday night, and Thursday night, so if you are heading off-peninsula late at night/early in the morning, use the West Seattle low bridge or South Park Bridge.
CHECK THE TRAFFIC BEFORE YOU GO
Here’s the 5-way intersection camera (Spokane/West Marginal/Delridge/Chelan):
Here’s the restricted-daytime-access (open to all 9 pm-5 am) low bridge:
The main detour route across the Duwamish River is the 1st Avenue South Bridge (map) . Here’s that camera:
The other major bridge across the river is the South Park Bridge (map). Here’s that camera:
Going through South Park? Don’t speed.
Check the @SDOTBridges Twitter feed for info about any of those bridges opening for marine traffic.
Metro – Still reduced service and distancing, with some changes starting September 19th, and the potential return of fares on/around October 1st.
Water Taxi – Still on its “winter” schedule, with the 773 and 775 shuttles running – see the schedule here.
Trouble on the roads/paths/water? Let us know – text (but not if you’re driving!) 206-293-6302.