West Seattle, Washington
The Environmental Protection Agency is soliciting comment on another Duwamish River cleanup change, and offering an informational session Wednesday night (August 25th) to explain it. This part of the cleanup is known as the Jorgensen Forge Sediment Cleanup, and while it’s not in West Seattle, much of the river runs along the peninsula’s eastern edge, so its health is of local importance.
The pollution is from what the EPA describes as “a steel and aluminum forging and distribution facility” at 8531 East Marginal Way [map], where, the EPA continues, the “riverbanks and sediments next to the facility are contaminated with toxic metals and PCBs that may pose a risk to people’s health and to the environment. The Earle M. Jorgensen company removed some of the contaminated riverbanks and sediments in 2014, but they left some of the pollution in place.” Now the EPA is taking public comment on cleanup alternatives for the contaminated sediments.
The comment period was extended until September 27th by request of the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition, which is concerned about the change. The DRCC says, “Jorgensen Forge and EPA propose to allow the company to abandon PCBs in the river bottom that it left behind in violation of EPA orders, saving the company millions of dollars. Jorgensen Forge was cleaned up as an Early Action Area because it had some of the river’s highest levels of contamination and posed an immediate threat to people’s health. The company violated EPA’s cleanup order for the site, leaving behind high levels of PCBs and burying them under backfill. The company was fined and a new cleanup order was prepared. Now EPA proposes to allow the company to leave behind much of their mess, allowing them to cheat and run.”
The EPA has a fact sheet here; the DRCC has one with information on how to take action, here. To attend the EPA’s information session Wednesday at 6 pm, register here. The DRCC is having an information session too, on September 6th – email email@example.com for information on how to participate. You can also comment on the proposed cleanup alternatives without attending either session – Region10@epa.gov is the email address.
6:23 PM: No injuries this afternoon when someone in a car shot at someone in another car at or near the 5-way intersection just west of the low bridge. It’s taken a while to piece this together, but here’s what we have so far: The victim(s) called police and met them along Avalon; gunfire damage to their car was reported to include a flat tire. Then the suspect(s) called 911 and met up with officers in Riverside, near 17th/Marginal:
Meantime, officers went to the original scene at the Chelan/Marginal/Spokane/Delridge intersection and told dispatch they found three casings – from two different guns. We caught up with police at the Riverside scene, and they told us they’re investigating this as a case of “road rage” but they were still sorting it out and hadn’t arrested anyone yet.
7:46 PM: Just talked to SPD spokesperson Det. Valerie Carson. Here’s what she says police now have, after talking to people in both cars: This started on Highway 99 as a “merging issue” involving people in a Honda (car in the background of our photo above) and Subaru. As the two cars proceeded westward, they got close enough that some yelling ensued. Then after they both crossed the low bridge, they were stopped at the 5-way light, when two people in the Honda got out and came over to the Subaru, pounding on its windows, At one point, someone from the Honda allegedly punched someone from the Subaru; they claimed someone from the Subaru spat at them. The Subaru driver decided to drive away; both people from the Honda pulled guns and fired. They told police they did so in self-defense, feeling that the Subaru driver was going to run over them; the Subaru driver claimed they were already pulling away when the people from the Honda shot at them. Bullets hit a rear tire. No arrests as police continue to investigate; Det. Carson says they did confiscate the guns, and that both people in the Honda had valid concealed pistol licenses for them.
ADDED 11:49 AM: SPD Blotter has a post about this – same narrative as we added last night after talking with Det. Carson (spelling corrected), but with two photos added – first, the Subaru’s flat tire:
And the guns surrendered by the people in the Honda:
The post also notes that each car carried a woman and a man at the time of the incident.
Last week, we reported on SDOT‘s proposal to remove the Delridge/Oregon pedestrian bridge instead of strengthening it as has long been the plan. This week, SDOT continues to ask for your thoughts, with an ongoing online survey, and two in-person opportunities Friday and Sunday. Two questions lingered after that first report, and we have answers to both. First: What’s the cost comparison? The answer to this one is partial – SDOT spokesperson Ethan Bergerson tells WSB, “The seismic retrofit project which would be necessary to keep the bridge safe in earthquakes would cost roughly $4-5 million (based on preliminary estimates).” But, he says, they don’t have an estimate on how much the teardown would cost. The other question was about this sentence in the last paragraph of the SDOT announcement we published: “Removing the bridge will help support SDOT’s policies focused on people walking.” Several commenters observed that sentence didn’t seem to make sense. So we asked which “policies” that referred to. Bergerson’s response:
“We’re building a new pedestrian signal and marked crosswalk across Delridge Way SW at SW Oregon St, allowing people to cross the street safely without using the pedestrian bridge. Before this project, there was no crosswalk or pedestrian signal at this location. The new signal and crosswalk was a community request submitted to the Your Voice, Your Choice program a few years ago. Taking advantage of an opportunity to get this work done efficiently, we added the crossing improvement to the Delridge Way SW – RapidRide H Line project for construction.
“The new signal and crosswalk is safer and accessible to everyone, so we expect it to be more popular way to cross the street than the existing pedestrian bridge. People walking and rolling across Delridge Way SW can head straight across the street at ground level instead of climbing the steep spiral ramps to the bridge which are a longer distance to travel, get slippery in the rain, and present challenges to people with disabilities, small children, the elderly, and people biking. But, most importantly, the new signal and crosswalk is designed to be fully accessible for people with disabilities and in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), including curb ramps onto the sidewalk and a push button which vibrates and makes a noise to let people with limited vision or hearing know when it is safe to cross the street. The pedestrian bridge is not ADA compliant because of the steepness of the ramps and other missing accessibility features. With the new signal and crosswalk offering an easier way to get across the street, we believe many community members will find the pedestrian bridge redundant and out of the way.”
And if the teardown were cheaper, he added, money not spent on the seismic retrofit might be spent on “other safety or pedestrian improvements.” But he insists there’s no decision yet – so if you haven’t already offered feedback, here again is the survey link; you can talk to SDOT reps in person outside the entrance to the Delridge Community Center (4501 Delridge Way SW), 2-4 pm Friday (August 27th) and 1-3 pm Sunday (August 29th).
With Seattle Public Schools starting classes a week from tomorrow (except for kindergarteners/preschoolers), it’s important for schools to have an accurate count of how many students are showing up. Toward that end, Tricia suggested we publish this message from the district:
If your student will not be attending Seattle Public Schools or attending another school this year, please complete the appropriate form here. If you have questions, you may contact the Seattle Public Schools Admissions Center team online or at 206-252-0760.
2:24 PM: Just got word from Metro spokesperson Al Sanders that the signal at 15th/Roxbury is out because “the crew on the RapidRide H line construction hit a conduit near 15th and Roxbury, taking out power to the signal.” He says SDOT and SCL are “working to repair the break” and in the meantime they will get an officer to direct traffic (if one’s not there already).
5:17 PM: Just went by to check – still out. Sanders says it might be a few more hours.
8:01 PM: Fixed!
That’s the spot in the Spruce (39th/Alaska) garage where a thief cut Casey‘s bicycle loose and took it. Casey is wondering if anybody saw the thief leaving the building with the bicycle, a North Rock model purchased about a month ago that looks like this. A police report has been filed online.
Many community organizations skip August meetings, but not the West Seattle Transportation Coalition – too much going on. WSTC will meet online Thursday (August 26th) at 6:30 pm, with guests scheduled on three topics: Sound Transit light rail, now that the “realignment” decision has been made (WSB coverage here); the West Seattle Bridge, as repair design continues (here’s our recent report from a visit to the bridge); and 16th SW safety, with a new community effort focused on speeding and other issues along that arterial.
All are welcome to attend WSTC meetings; we’re awaiting the Zoom link and will add it here and in our calendar listing when it’s available. (Added: Our calendar listing now has the viewing/participation link and call-in number.)
With many more sunny days likely before fall and winter roll in, one local coffeehouse has again expanded its outdoor offerings, C & P Coffee Company (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor) added a covered patio on the north side of its property last winter, and now it’s turned a previously sloped area out front into a bricked patio. Add that to the garden area out back, and C & P has a lot of outdoor space to offer. Also note, as featured in the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar and our weekend previews, C & P has live music outside on Saturday mornings and Sunday afternoons.
Here’s what’s happening in the hours ahead:
OUTDOOR STORY TIME: Page Ahead presents another outdoor story time today in the amphitheater at High Point Commons Park (behind 6400 Sylvan Way SW), 11 am-noon.
YMCA JOB FAIR: 4-7 pm, go to the West Seattle YMCA (36th/Snoquelmie; WSB sponsor) to find out about job openings, get interviewed on the spot, learn about incentives of up to $600, and more, as previewed here.
BACK-TO-SCHOOL TOWN HALL: 4:30 pm online, Seattle Public Schools plans a Q&A focused on health and safety for the new school year; here’s where to find participation/viewing links.
DEMONSTRATION: As announced by organizer Scott:
Black Lives Matter sign-waving
Tuesday, Aug. 24, 4:30 to 6 pM, corner of 16th SW and SW Holden
Come build awareness & stimulate actions to tear down the systems that have oppressed Black lives for over 400 years on this continent. Hold signs, meet neighbors and stand for racial justice. Scott at Puget Ridge Cohousing, endorsed by Hate Free Delridge. Signs available.
LIVE MUSIC: 6-9 pm at The Spot West Seattle (2920 SW Avalon Way)
TRIVIA & TACOS: 7 pm at Admiral Pub (2306 California SW) – help the pub defend the trivia title!
Got something going on? Let us know so we can include it in our calendar and daily previews – firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
6:10 AM: Good morning. Sunny and 70-ish weather is predicted again today, with afternoon haze.
26th SW & beyond – Northbound 26th SW closure continues between Roxbury and Barton. This is part of the King County-led portion of the RapidRide H Line preparations; there’s an update on the related White Center work, though.
Delridge project – Also part of the H Line preps – here’s this week’s plan.
Beach Drive – All week, tree trimming is planned in the 5900-6500 blocks for utility-line safety.
SW Alaska – “Red bus lane material and green cross bike markings will be installed starting the evening of the 24th and will last approximately 2-3 nights” – this, in the Junction/Triangle area.
For ferries and water taxis, regular schedule. Watch @wsferries for updates.
BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES
519th 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 – No camera for a few weeks (explained here)
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.