West Seattle, Washington
Shortly after the West Seattle Bridge’s abrupt closure in March 2020, SDOT installed a traffic signal at Highland Park Way and Holden – an intersection where community members had long been begging for help. The signal was described at the time as “temporary.” It was scheduled to be replaced by a “permanent” signal this fall. Today, SDOT announced it’s pushing back construction of the permanent signal until after the West Seattle Bridge reopens. From the announcement:
We originally scheduled construction at this intersection for fall 2021. Out of sensitivity for Highland Park neighbors who are already experiencing increased traffic, and the travelers who use the intersection, construction on the signal will now begin after the bridge reopens in 2022. This is to ease the impact on people living in Highland Park of more congestion and more cut-through traffic. We expect to select a contractor later this year.
Prior to the high bridge closure, we had already been working with the community to better understand needs for this intersection. The Highland Park community had been asking for changes at this busy intersection, which has been the site of several crashes and safety issues. Poor sight distances, high speeds, travel lane confusion, and a lack of curbs and crosswalks for pedestrians have contributed to these issues.
The project has reached final design and we expect to select a contractor for building the changes next year after the high bridge reopens to traffic.
The final project design includes:
• A more durable traffic signal with metal poles that have signal lights instead of lights connected to wooden poles.
• The signal will also include traffic cameras to monitor and adjust the signal in real-time, as well as vehicle detection in the pavement so the signal can recognize when a person driving is waiting at the light.
• Rebuilding all four corners of the intersection with new American with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible concrete curb ramps and curb bulbs.
• Painting permanent crosswalks at each crossing.
This is the intersection where a roundabout once was proposed, but eventually scrapped because required grading cost too much.
This weekend’s biggest event is a collection of events – Alki Beach Pride, which Stacy Bass-Walden and her team have kept going through the pandemic – and this year, ABP’s 7th year, there’s a big lineup of events! Highlights will include:
CAR PARADE: Start arriving 10:30 am Saturday at Jack Block Park (drive into the entrance at 2130 Harbor Avenue SW), decorate your car, and roll out at noon to head toward the beach.
RAINBOW CITY BAND: Performing at noon Saturday in The Admiral District (2300 block California SW) and then “in several spots on the Alki boardwalk.”
VOLLEYBALL TRAINING: Join the West Seattle Reign on the beach volleyball courts 11 am-7 pm on Saturday, all ages.
COVID-19 VACCINE POP-UPS: Two chances to get vaccinated – noon-7 pm Saturday at Alki Bathhouse (60th/Alki), 3-9 pm Sunday at Statue of Liberty Plaza (61st/Alki).
ABP AFTERPARTY: At Alki Beach Pub (2722 Alki SW), 10 pm-close on Saturday night.
PRIDE PAINT & SIP: 11 am Sunday at 59th/Alki, hosted by Kay the Painting Lady
KAYAK/SUP PARADE: Meet at 11:30 am Sunday at Seacrest – Alki Kayak Tours is offering 25% off rentals.
ROLLER PARADE: 1 pm Sunday, meet at the Alki Statue of Liberty (61st/Alki) and roll toward Seacrest Park.
INDIGENOUS STORYTELLING: After the roller parade, listen to Hailey Tayathy tell stories “Imagining Queer Indigenous Futures” at Seacrest, 1:45 pm Sunday.
OUTDOOR MOVIE: 8:15 pm Sunday, “But I’m a Cheerleader,” at Alki Playground (59th/Stevens)
Supporting ABP and the LGBTQ+ community, many businesses beyond the beach are offering specials – see the list here!
More public facilities are reopening. X weeks ago, after a reader question, we reported that the city was close to announcing a plan for reopening the Southwest Customer Service Center and its counterparts around the city. This afternoon – the announcement: The SWCSC (2801 SW Thistle), in the same building as Southwest Pool and Teen Life Center) reopened today. Its hours will be Mondays-Fridays, 9 am-5 pm. The center offers a variety of services including in-person bill payment.
2:46 PM: A big Seattle Fire Department response is headed for the 3200 block of SW Avalon Way. The dispatch is “a report of a fire on the fifth floor.” Updates to come.
2:52 PM: Arriving crews say nothing’s visible, so they’re “investigating.” Avoid Avalon in that area as it’s being blocked – between Genesee and 35th – by/for the response.
2:56 PM: They’re not finding anything – apparently a work crew’s “dust” was mistaken for smoke – so most responding units are being dismissed.
3:10 PM: Call closed, so Avalon should be getting back to normal.
Just out of the WSB inbox:
This is Kayla, owner of Opal Nail Studio (formerly Juniper) in the Junction. Just wanted to contact someone who could get the word out that there is an individual on foot who has walked into our business twice in the last hour and stolen merchandise and tried to run out the door.
One of our team members went after him and they got into a physical altercation and he tried to do it a second time shortly after.
I’m reaching out to you to help let our small-business neighbors know that this man isn’t exactly in his right mind and may try this at other businesses.
The person in question is about 5’7″, Caucasian, male, medium build, Jeans, and a T-shirt. Seems under the influence of drugs.
Opal is at 4155 California SW.
12:38 PM: Thanks to the texter who tipped us about what’s logged as a “marine service response” off Harbor/Alki Avenues. They report the West Seattle Water Taxi “rescued (a person) who had turtled his craft and couldn’t get it upright.” SFD sent fireboats. We’re following up.
12:42 PM: We’ve also heard from Karen, who was on the Water Taxi when this happened, and reports the rescue involved an “overturned sailboat off Duwamish Head,” adding, “We were on the water taxi when it diverted from the route to rescue them. Kudos to the crew!”
1:08 PM: Thanks to Rodney for the through-a-telescope photo. Meantime, we’re hoping to get more rescue details from Metro (which manages the Water Taxi).
2 PM: Our original texter, Roxanne, says the Coast Guard has brought the sailboat in. (added) Doug and Shari sent this photo:
3:18 PM: Here’s what we just received from Water Taxi/Metro spokesperson Al Sanders in response to our inquiry (photos included):
The crew of the West Seattle Water Taxi Doc Maynard rescued two boaters whose sailboat capsized off Duwamish Head shortly after 12:00 p.m.
The Doc Maynard had just left West Seattle’s Seacrest Dock on its 12:00 p.m. sailing to downtown Seattle when the crew spotted two people in the water next to a capsized sailboat.
The water taxi pulled next to the sailboat and deployed their rescue platform and life sling, but the two people were unable to use the sling.
One of the crew of the Doc Maynard then got into the boat’s rescue suit, went into the water, and assisted the people into the sling and onto the water taxi.
The Doc Maynard returned to Seacrest Dock with rescued passengers of the boat and were met by Coast Guard. The boaters worked with the Coast Guard to retrieve their capsized vessel.
After bringing the boaters to the dock, the Doc Maynard resumed its regular schedule.
The photo is from Darin, one of several readers who noticed that “BRIDGE CLOSED” signage had appeared Tuesday at the entrances to the SW Andover pedestrian/bicycle bridge over the west end of the West Seattle Bridge [map]. The foot bridge has long been scheduled for an earthquake-safety project, but that’s not why it’s closed, SDOT just told us in response to our inquiry:
The Andover pedestrian bridge was closed to address trespassing onto the high bridge from the pedestrian bridge. We also added signs in the area and hired peace officers to monitor the pedestrian bridge on weekends to help reduce trespassing. This issue was raised to us by nearby residents and the Seattle Police Department. Trespassing onto the high bridge is a safety issue as there should not be any community members on the bridge until we know it is safe for travel.
We plan to reopen the pedestrian bridge after the seismic retrofit is complete, in late fall or early winter. However, we will continue monitor the area for trespassing.
Construction of the seismic retrofit is likely to start next month, according to SDOT; more info on the project is here. We asked SDOT for specifics on what kind of problems the trespassing has caused (perhaps the graffiti vandalism that’s been visible on the bridge’s sides?); the reply: “Noise activities were taking place on the ped-bridge after hours and especially on the weekends,” as well as a reiteration that it’s just not safe to be on The Bridge.
SIDE NOTE: Last time the foot bridge made news was related to one of the other signs in the top photo. Years ago, it was popular for hanging banners such as birthday wishes, to be seen by drivers passing beneath it. In 2007, a crackdown began (extensively discussed here).
PARKS’ AQUATIC SCHEDULE FOR TODAY: Wading pools are closed on Wednesdays, but Highland Park Spraypark is open 11 am-8 pm as usual (1100 SW Cloverdale) as is Colman Pool at Lincoln Park (8011 Fauntleroy Way SW), noon-7 pm.
STAYING COOL INDOORS: The city’s list has two air-conditioned West Seattle locations for today, the Senior Center of West Seattle (4217 SW Oregon) until 4:30 pm and the Delridge Library (5423 Delridge Way SW) until 6 pm. Before the hottest days arrive (tomorrow and Friday), we’re checking on other options, so if you know of any, please comment, or email us at email@example.com – thank you! (added) The city has since updated its list to add the High Point Library (3411 SW Raymond), open until 6 today, 10-6 tomorrow and Friday. Delridge Library also will be open those hours today, tomorrow, and Friday. The Senior Center was also considering extending its hours.
(added) ALKI BEACH CLEANUP: 3-6 pm, join Alki Volleyball Association in cleaning up the beach, and get a free burger. RSVP and info here.
BALLOT-MEASURE DISCUSSION: Tonight at 6 pm, before their regular meeting at 7 pm, the 34th District Democrats host a discussion of City Charter Amendment 29, which will be decided by voters in November. Supporters call it “Compassion Seattle“; they will be represented along with opponents, who have organized as “House Our Neighbors.” The discussion is online, as is the meeting, which is expected to include fall endorsement votes. The registration link is in our preview.
SOUND TRANSIT ONLINE OPEN HOUSE: Upcoming service changes for existing bus service (including adding service to Route 560) and light-rail service will be discussed in an online open house at 6 pm. If you’re interested in attending, register here.
OPEN MIC: Wednesdays at The Skylark (3803 Delridge Way SW), 7:30 pm signups, 8:30 pm performances.
School starts for many local students three weeks from today and we’re continuing to publish back-to-school announcements. Today – an invitation for Chief Sealth International High School students to sign up for fall sports, which get going even before classes begin:
Sports tryouts and practices begin soon. Sports Registration is open.
Sports offered and start dates are as follows:
August 18, 2021
August 23, 2021
Girls’ Slowpitch Softball
Girls’ Swim & Dive
Co-ed Cross Country
Joining a fall sport is a great way for new students to meet classmates before school begins!
If your school has an announcement, now or at any time during the year, please email us the info – firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
6:09 AM: Good morning, Today’s forecast is the prelude to the heat wave – mid-80s expected (yesterday’s high was 85).
26th SW – Closed northbound between Roxbury and Barton. See project details here
Delridge project – Here’s where crews are working this week.
SW Andover pedestrian/bicycle overpass – Readers report this had “closed” signs on Tuesday. We’re waiting for a response from SDOT re: what’s going on.
For ferries and water taxis, regular schedule. Watch @wsferries for updates.
BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES
506th morning without the West Seattle Bridge. Here are 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 here 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):
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.