West Seattle, Washington
Big data corrections top tonight’s pandemic updates:
KING COUNTY’S NEWEST NUMBERS: The cumulative totals from the Public Health daily-summary dashboard are all below last night’s numbers, due to this data correction:
Now, the numbers:
*71,982 people have tested positive, 292 fewer than yesterday’s total
*1,179 people have died, 9 fewer than yesterday’s total
*4,593 people have been hospitalized, 72 fewer than yesterday’s total
*796,252 people have been tested, up 5,256 from yesterday’s total
One week ago, the King County totals were 68,472/1,140/4,447/773,510.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 95 million cases and 2,030,000+ deaths, 397,000 of them in the U.S. – see the nation-by-nation breakdown here.
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The first of the West Seattle Junction murals to be renovated – the Hi-Yu Parade scene on the south-facing wall of the Post Office – needs a little more work, to repair damage done by a vandal. Sometime recently, someone splashed beige paint across a particular group of parade-watchers depicted in the mural, to the right of the parade royalty – a woman and two children of color, seated on the curb. We heard about the vandalism via a tip, and checked it out this weekend. After we brought it to the West Seattle Junction Association‘s attention – as WSJA has been heading up the mural-renovating efforts these past few years – volunteers have removed some of the vandal’s paint, so the three people are partly visible again:
It will need professional repair, though, and the muralist who’s renovated several other local murals in the past three years, Bob Henry, will be consulted. The mural’s 2007 renovation, we noted at the time, followed tagging vandalism.
One week after revealing new, sharply higher cost estimates for expanding light rail to West Seattle and Ballard (WSB coverage here), Sound Transit went public with another set of numbers, showing that the cost of tunneling into The Junction is suddenly a lot closer to the cost of the default elevated line. These numbers were presented to ST’s System Expansion Committee on Thursday, along with the revised cost estimates first shown to the Executive Committee last week; Thursday’s meeting video is above, and the full slide deck is here. Here are the new West Seattle tunnel-related numbers that were presented:
Those numbers reflect the estimated cost of the entire West Seattle segment, not just the station itself. The new estimate showing as little as $100 million difference between running elevated or tunneling to the heart of The Junction is a big change – previously, the difference was projected to be about $700 million, as shown in this slide from a 2019 presentation:
Whatever the cost differential is, it would require “third-party funding,” but Seattle Mayor and ST board member Jenny Durkan said during the Thursday presentation that she was “heartened” to see the new estimates, observing that they now had a better idea of what extra funding would be needed.
The biggest looming issue, though, remains the gap between ST’s pandemic-shrunken revenues and even the original price tags of the West Seattle-Ballard extension and other projects approved by voters in the ST3 ballot measure. So ST remains on a path to “realignment” of its plans, with a decision due later this year; board members have a workshop planned this Thursday. ST also is proceeding with an independent review of the new cost estimates, expected to be complete in April.
WHAT ELSE IS NEXT: The West Seattle-Ballard project remains in the environmental-study phase, with its Draft Environmental Impact Statement now expected in the middle of this year, opening a new public-comment period. Final routing and station-location decisions are expected in 2023. The extension’s projected launch date already has been pushed back a year to 2031, a date that the upcoming “realignment” could move further down the track.
P.S. You can catch up on what’s proposed, what’s being studied, and how the process works by checking out ST’s “online open house.”
ORIGINAL REPORT: Thanks to Dan for the tip: The newest food stand on Alki is TACOntainer, set up in the front yard of the former bike shop/mask shop/boutique space at 2532 Alki Avenue SW. The name is because of its shape – part of a shipping container. Here’s a closer look at the menu:
TACOntainer is open 11 am to 8 pm daily for starters.
P.S. This is not the only change on the way for that site – a permit for a deli called Natalie’s on Alki has been making its way through the city-permit system.
ADDED THURSDAY: We followed up with TACOntainer proprietor Victor via email. We asked about the structure; he explains, “The structure is an actual 10-foot shipping container that had 1 trip on an ocean cargo ship. It is not cut, but rather a rare container that comes in this particular size. Initially I wanted a larger container, but Seattle public health rules and regulations required me to put it on wheels and a smaller container made more sense, so I had to be inventive and make it all fit and work! I built it myself from the ground up in 2020.” As for how long he plans to be on Alki, at least a month in this spot, depending on how the unrelated future business in the building proceeds, but he lives nearby and hopes to find another Alki spot whenever a move is required. No website yet but there is an Instagram account he plans to eventually use, here.
“There will be another crew at some point that will grade the road and make it smooth. It’s pretty dangerous right now. I would caution drivers, especially motorcycles. There are several different layers/bumps in the road.” So whatever your mode of travel, take extra care on Sylvan Way. We’ll be checking with the city post-holiday to see when the smoothing work is planned
On December 30th, we reported on that mid-afternoon crash at Fauntleroy/Oregon. SPD sent out the Traffic Control Investigation Squad to investigate, as one driver was seriously hurt and taken to the hospital. Here’s what has happened since then: The 36-year-old woman driving the white vehicle was cited for a red-light violation, and faces $190 in fines. For the driver she hit, the crash’s aftermath is far more costly. The victim’s daughter Emily, a local grocery-store worker, says that her mom is “struggling with broken ribs, a head injury, and deep bone bruising. We found out from my mom’s doc that she has a severe concussion from the accident and her cognitive thinking has been altered, affecting her energy, movements, and moods greatly. The total recovery time is about 6 to 8 months!” She started a crowdfunding account for any community members interested in helping.
We’ve already mentioned two West Seattle events of note for tomorrow’s Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day – here’s another, thanks to a tip from Marlo: Join other community volunteers in a cleanup at Alki Beach, starting at 10:30 am Monday. Details are here. (Anything else? firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!)
South Delridge continues to be a redevelopment hot spot. One year ago, we noted a project proposed for 9020 15th SW [map] – six 2-story houses, with offstreet parking for six vehicles, replacing the house shown above. The site is 13,000+ square feet, zoned Residential Small Lot, which allows one unit for every 2,000 square feet. The plan now has city land-use approval, which means an appeal period is open, deadline January 25th, as explained by this notice.
Here’s what’s happening on this midwinter Sunday:
TRAFFIC ALERT: Sylvan Way is scheduled to close again 7:30 am-~5 pm for Seattle Public Utilities drainage work. We’ll be checking to see in case it reopens early.
TODAY’S ONLINE CHURCH SERVICES: Every week we update our list of more than 20 local churches’ Sunday online services (with a few also offering in-person options), with the latest links; find them here.
WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: 10 am-2 pm in The Junction, the market’s open. Scroll down the page at this link to find the vendor list and map for this week. (Enter at California/Alaska; pickups for online orders are at California/Oregon)
REMINDER – JUNCTION PAID PARKING: This is the third day since the four free lots changed to paid parking. Street parking remains free, as do pockets of parking that belongs to businesses.
WEST SEATTLE TOOL LIBRARY: Open 11 am-4 pm – need a tool to fix or improve something? (4408 Delridge Way SW)
FREE TO-GO DINNER: White Center Community Dinner Church will serve to-go meals at 5 pm, outside, near the Bartell Drugs parking lot in White Center. (9600 15th Ave SW)
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