Some neighborhoods are getting city permits to close sections of business-district streets for summertime “café streets.” Not the West Seattle Junction, though. Not for lack of trying, says Lora Radford, executive director of the West Seattle Junction Association (who provided the photo above of a north Seattle street as inspiration). The idea has come up in discussions here on WSB and elsewhere, and WSJA was looking to close a small section of SW Alaska – the half-block east of California, to the service alley. Radford says, “The closure request was June 15 – October 15 with the plan to activate the space with picnic tables and umbrellas for outdoor seating. The SDOT planners and permit review team took a long and thoughtful approach to the plan, with the Junction fully appreciative of their ability to think outside of the box. In the end though, the impact across multiple departments was too disruptive.” A major obstacle in this case was Metro; the city told WSJA that among other things, “Closing this stretch would result in significant service delays and degrade reliability” – that half-block stretch of Alaska is used by routes that total 373 weekday trips. The decision only affects the proposal to actually close that part of SW Alaska; curbside/sidewalk extensions of food/beverage establishments elsewhere in The Junction will continue, and WSJA says a few more Junction establishments are considering those.
West Seattle, Washington