West Seattle, Washington
(Bridge update starts 1 hour, 9 minutes in)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
What SDOT calls the West Seattle Bridge Program has ranged so far beyond the bridge itself, today’s Community Task Force meeting was more than an hour old before the bridge’s status finally got the spotlight.
We’ve already published three updates on other matters that preceded the bridge progress report:
–West Marginal Way bicycle-lane decision
–WMW/Highland Park Way intersection work starting Saturday
–Low-bridge access status
So now – here’s what’s up with the bridge-repair planning.
So far, no turkey experts have come forward to offer opinions on whether the turkey who appeared in West Seattle recently is the same one who hung out here for a year before heading south in April 2020. So we’re not so sure about calling this one THE West Seattle Turkey. But this turkey’s newfound fans have named her anyway. Meredith, who sent the photo above, says, “We’ve decided to call her Henrietta. She’s been sleeping here for over a week so we thought she needed a name.” The turkey’s adopted area is just a bit south of the 2019-2020 sightings-rich area southeast of Admiral. Lisa D., in the short video below, described her as “neighbor turkey”:
Henrietta (or whatever you want to call her) is still drawing attention from neighborhood pets too – Alan sent this photo:
The state Fish and Wildlife Department notes that turkeys are more common in eastern Washington, but does say “small populations” pop up here west of the Cascades now and then,
Toplines from the Fauntleroy Community Association board’s July meeting, online last night:
CRIME: Southwest Precinct Lt. David Terry and Sgt. Simon Edison ( were first on the agenda. Crime is down in Fauntleroy, they told the FCA. One attendee asked them about the category of catalytic-converter theft, after it had happened in their neighborhood. They didn’t have stats on that, the SPD guests said, but they said there’s a regional operation under way “to put the kibosh on it.” It’s a nationwide problem, they explained, complicated by the stolen catalytic converters being taken across state lines for the removal of precious metals. Not only is a regional task force working on it, they said, but there’s federal jurisdiction because of the interstate transport of stolen items. If it happens to you, they urged, please report it.
FESTIVAL: The decision hasn’t been made yet on whether to bring back the Fauntleroy Fall Festival this year; last one was in October 2019 (WSB coverage here). Some families may not be too keen on the idea of a large gathering with many children if those under 12 are not yet eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations, it was noted; a community survey might be done to gauge the comfort level. Also, time is drawing short for the fundraising and volunteer-wrangling that’s needed to put on the free festival. The decision will be made by August 1st.
FERRIES: The FCA’s point person on ferry issues, Frank Immel, briefed other board members on the launch of the Community Advisory Group that was chosen for the Fauntleroy terminal-replacement project. They met last month (as covered here) and are set to meet again July 28th. Some in attendance wondered how – whether – CAG members will get feedback from the community at large; that’s yet to be determined.
MEMBERSHIP: A three-member committee has been working to raise awareness of FCA among community members, including pop-ups and door-to-door visits.
NEXT MEETING: The FCA board usually meets second Tuesdays but skips August; in September, the meeting likely will be in-person with an online option – watch fauntleroy.net for more on that.
Yet another update from today’s West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force meeting: Current stats on who’s authorized to use the low bridge.
A new round of access authorization starts on the first of each month, with the application deadline on the 15th of the previous month. (Tomorrow’s the deadline to apply for August access – get the application here.) Patients who need to use the bridge to get to treatments for life-threatening conditions are granted access for three months.
One stat that wasn’t presented is one we’ve been asking SDOT about: Employer shuttles. In a major sign that some morkers are returning to offices, 116 employer shuttles now have access to the low bridge, SDOT tells WSB.
One CTF member asked whether unrestricted access hours – currently 9 pm to 5 am except 9 pm to 8 am on Friday/Saturday and Saturday/Sunday nights/mornings – would expand. Short answer from SDOT: No, though the topic is often revisited.
We take a quick break from an afternoon full of transportation information for big news from Meg Bell of West Seattle Little League:
Last night at Bar-S Fields, the West Seattle Little League 11s All-Stars won the District 7 Championship. They defeated Rainier District All-Stars 20-11.
While the score looks like a decisive victory, the two teams ended the 6th inning in a tie, 8-8. Tied 11-11 in the top of the 9th inning, WSLL tallied 9 runs to take the lead and held the Rainier District scoreless in the bottom half. It was a true team effort with 24 hits, including a home run by Madis Meyer and excellent pitching by Ayla Moore, Charlie Aykens, and Cruz Palepoi.
The 11s team: Alex Datz, Ayla Moore, Grady Scheff, Parker Manderino, Madis Meyer, Vinny Cramer-Nilson, Charlie Aykens, Jameson Kirkland, Jason Klein, Lily Frazzini, Cruz Holmes, Cruz Palepoi, and Ezra Dykgraaf, with coaches Otis Moore, Nick Datz, and Nick Meyer.
The WSLL All-Stars will represent District 7 at the Washington State 11s All-Star Tournament. The tournament begins July 24th in Woodinville. The 11s join the West Seattle 12s All-Stars, who will also represent District 7 at their state tournament in Redmond starting Saturday, July 17th. On Thursday, July 15th, the West Seattle Little League 10s team plays for the district title at the Pacwest Fields.
2:49 PM: More West Marginal Way news from this afternoon’s West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force meeting: SDOT says the next phase of work to improve the WMW/Highland Park Way intersection will start early this Saturday morning. The initial work will include partial removal of the raised traffic islands as well as curb-ramp work (that’ll start on the northwest corner); some work already has been done. SDOT says the work will last a few months and will be done without a reduction in traffic lanes. We’re checking for more details on planned work days/hours. (More meeting coverage on other topics, still to come.)
4:50 PM: More info from SDOT, and a closer look at the plan:
At this intersection, we will:
-Remove existing raised traffic islands to create a new northbound lane and shift the southbound left-turn lanes further west to reduce wait times.
-Update the traffic signal equipment for people of all abilities, which will allow us to make signal adjustments in real-time remotely from our traffic operations center based on what cameras show
-Install new accessible curb ramps
-Relocate the bus stop
-Improve turning movements for vehicles traveling through the intersection to shorten wait times
For people driving, this work will improve intersection efficiency by allowing more people to turn at the same time and more people to get through the intersection heading northbound onto West Marginal Way SW. The new live video stream will also help us monitor and make real-time changes as needed to keep people moving. For people biking and walking, these changes will make navigating the intersection easier and provide safer crossings. …
SDOT crews will be working the next several weekends, starting this weekend of July 17 – 18.
Work hours are 4 AM to 1 PM each day to minimize impacts to area businesses and people driving on the detour route.
The decision is finally in on the West Marginal Way protected bicycle lane replacing a half mile of the outside southbound traffic lane north of the Duwamish Longhouse. The West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force has just been told – in their monthly meeting (watch here) – that the lane will be built.
It’ll be a 4-foot, 2-way protected bike lane with a jersey barrier (here’s our previous coverage of the design that was recently unveiled).
SDOT contends that losing the lane at that spot will have a “negligible” effect on travel times. The construction will not start, however, until after the bridge reopens in 2022. In Q&A, Zora says the mayor has signed off on this. Here are the topline reasons for the decision:
In discussion post-announcement, SDOT director Sam Zimbabwe noted that traffic on WMW is not likely, post-bridge-reopening, to be anything near what it is now. He insists SDOT is committed to freight mobility (the city’s Freight Advisory Board opposed the bicycle lane, and the Port of Seattle expressed concerns). Other updates from the meeting will be in separate coverage.
In West Seattle and around the city, the pandemic has brought an expansion in sidewalk/curbside dining and shopping. The city is going to keep issuing free permits for this for a while – but then has to decide on future policies. They’re asking for your help via a survey. Here’s the announcement and survey link:
As you may know, for the past year SDOT has issued free permits to local businesses to allow outdoor cafes, retail displays, and vending trucks and carts on our streets and sidewalks. Participating businesses have expressed great appreciation and new applications are still being accepted through the end of 2021. This program was designed to help businesses as we recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and the restrictions placed on indoor customer capacity.
We are now planning for what will happen when the free permit program ends on May 31, 2022. Will we return to pre-COVID permitting with related design standards, rules, and permit fees? Or will we take what we’ve learned from this program and heard from our community and begin to make some changes? What changes would have the most positive effects and on which communities or which groups within communities?
As one part of our effort to learn more, we created a survey for members of the general public and business owners. This is just one part of our outreach plan, but it’s an important one. … The survey will remain open through August 15, 2021, but please consider taking it right away – it is designed to take 10 minutes or less.
Notes for the day/evening ahead, in West Seattle and beyond:
BALLOTS MAILED: King County Elections says this is the day it’s mailing ballots for the August 3rd election. You can vote as soon as you get yours – drop boxes open tomorrow (and you can also return your ballot via postal mail).
WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE COMMUNITY TASK FORCE:The Community Task Force’s next meeting is at noon. Our preview includes the viewing link and full agenda.
GOVERNOR’S MEDIA BRIEFING: Remember back when Gov. Inslee used to present pandemic briefings multiple times each week? That’s over, but he is doing occasional briefings/Q&A, and today at 2 pm is the next one. Main topic is wildfires but the pandemic is likely to be a topic too. You can watch here.
MAYORAL CANDIDATES FORUM ON GROWTH/DEVELOPMENT: A coalition of neighborhood groups including the Morgan Community Association is presenting a forum tonight with some of the candidates for mayor, 6 pm online. Go here for the viewing link and full details.
SEATTLE PEDESTRIAN ADVISORY BOARD: 6 pm online, with topics including an update on “School Streets.” Viewing/call-in information is on the agenda.
SUMMIT ATLAS OPEN HOUSE: The West Seattle charter middle/high school has an online open house at 6 pm; our calendar listing includes the registration link.
34TH DISTRICT DEMOCRATS: Tonight’s monthly meeting online at 6:45 pm is preceded by a special 6 pm program on a proposal for a national infrastructure bank. Same link for both – details in the July newsletter.
Logwatchers may have noticed a “scenes of violence” callout just before 3 am. Here’s the police summary of what that was about:
On 7-14-21 at about 0250 hours, an unknown male entered a business in the 1600 block of SW Holden St and requested the employee call 911 because he had accidentally shot himself. The subject then fled the business, got into his vehicle, and fled the area. Responding officers observed the vehicle leaving and followed it to the area of 17 Ave SW / SW Graham St, where the subject parked the vehicle and fled into the greenbelt area. An extensive area check was conducted, but the subject was not located. A handgun was observed inside the locked vehicle, which was impounded to the processing room.
6:03 AM: Good morning, Today’s forecast calls for full sunshine by later in the day, and a high in the 70s. Early-morning clouds were also in the Tuesday sunrise, photographed by Theresa Arbow-O’Connor:
Delridge project – Southbound Delridge remains closed between Holden and Trenton. Here’s what else is up this week.
Roxbury repaving – Today, SDOT plans tree work in advance of repaving Roxbury between 24th and 25th early next week.
BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES
478th morning without the West Seattle Bridge. Here are the views of other bridges and routes:
Low Bridge: Automated enforcement cameras remain in use; restrictions are in effect 5 am-9 pm daily – except weekends; the bridge is open to all until 8 am Saturday and Sunday mornings. (Access applications are available for some categories of drivers.)
West Marginal Way at Highland Park Way:
Highland Park Way/Holden:
The 5-way intersection (Spokane/West Marginal/Delridge/Chelan):
And the 1st Avenue South Bridge (map):
For the South Park Bridge (map), here’s the nearest camera:
Trouble on the streets/paths/bridges/water? Please let us know – text (but not if you’re driving!) 206-293-6302.