What a year! With hours to go until 2021 arrives, it’s time for our annual lookback, with the 10 most-commented WSB stories of the year. As you can probably guess, the pandemic and the West Seattle Bridge closure loom large on the list; those two ongoing emergencies also made this a record year for WSB readership, averaging almost 2 million pageviews a month. Thanks for reading, commenting, sending tips, and huge thanks to the local businesses and organizations whose sponsorships cover our costs (which increase along with traffic, as we work to increase reliability and our server’s ability to handle big breaking news). Now, on to the countdown!
#10 – GOVERNOR EXTENDS STAY-HOME ORDER
May 1, 2020 – 190 comments
Gov. Inslee announced the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order would be extended another month, and also outlined his plan for reopening in phases.
#9 – CITY COUNCIL GETS BRIDGE BRIEFING
April 20, 2020 – 195 comments
Four weeks after the West Seattle Bridge was closed, five days after SDOT announced the closure would last until at least 2022, the City Council got a briefing.
#8 – SEATTLE EVENING MARCH COMES TO ALKI AND ADMIRAL
July 30, 2020 – 196 comments
Their demonstrations weren’t the biggest seen in West Seattle, but the Seattle Evening March protesters’ visits here were among the most memorable, as they marched along many residential streets on their way to visit officials including City Councilmembers and, on this night, King County Executive Dow Constantine.
#7 – ‘STAY HEALTHY STREETS’ ADD ALKI POINT
May 7, 2020 – 215 comments
As part of the city’s pandemic response, some streets were closed to through traffic to give people more space to walk, run, and roll. When Beach Drive’s northern end, alongside Constellation Park, was added, many were thrilled, many others were not.
#6 – ALKI POINT ‘STAY HEALTHY STREET’ EXPANDS
May 10, 2020 – 230 comments
Shortly after the aforementioned stretch of Beach Drive was closed to through traffic, it was suggested that adding Alki Avenue west of 63rd would make sense too – and that happened quickly.
#5 – SEATTLE EVENING MARCH IN THE JUNCTION
July 27, 2020 – 234 comments
This was our introduction to the Seattle Evening March group; we had missed their previous visit to West Seattle, but on this night, after reader tips that they were gathering near Madison Middle School, we followed them to Council President Lorena González‘s Junction home.
#4 – POLICE CHIEF WARNS BUDGET CUTS COULD CLOSE SW PRECINCT
July 10, 2020 – 264 comments
As the City Council mulled halving the SPD budget (ultimately making a much-smaller cut), then-Police Chief Carmen Best warned that dramatic cuts would be required if that happened, possibly including shuttering the precinct that serves West Seattle and South Park.
#3 – WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE TOWN HALL
April 22, 2020 – 274 comments
One month after the bridge closure, City Councilmembers Lisa Herbold and Alex Pedersen led a Town Hall. 3,000 RSVP’d, 1,000 questions were submitted, 24 were answered.
#2 – WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE’S SUDDEN SHUTDOWN
March 23, 2020 – 464 comments
We reported live as the city delivered shocking news – the West Seattle Bridge was unsafe and needed to be closed immediately.
#1 – WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE WON’T REOPEN BEFORE 2022
April 15, 2020 – 730 comments
This was almost more shocking than the original closure announcement – news that the bridge might not be fixable, and that even if it could be fixed, it wouldn’t reopen before 2022. (This is now the all-time most-commented WSB story.)
PREVIOUS YEARS: Here are our most-commented-stories lists, going back to 2011: