One day after Seattle Parks announced the start date for early closings at Alki, the beach’s summer plan was the main discussion topic for the Alki Community Council.
Seattle Police Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Martin Rivera was the only guest at the hybrid meeting, held online plus in-person at Alki UCC.
Capt. Rivera said SPD is working on a contract with Parks regarding the early Alki Beach closure (10 pm starting May 27th). Parks covers the cost of two officers to assist at closing time, he said, and SPD provides an additional four officers for an emphasis patrol in the area “when staffing allows.” Starting this week, Alki and other West Seattle “hot spots” will see the extra patrols Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, possibly also Sundays.
What about traffic enforcement on Alki/Harbor Avenues? Capt. Rivera said SPD and SDOT have been talking about ways to deter speeding and racing via road design, primarily the possible addition of speed bumps. He said so far it’s just a matter of funding – he likes the idea of raised crosswalks but says those are estimated at around $80,000, about eight times the cost of a speed bump. Asked about the potential location, Capt. Rivera suggested “each end” of Alki; data collection was planned to further shape a plan, and he suggested contacting Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Danner if you want to be involved. Could private money be raised to fund speed bumps? one attendee asked. Capt. Rivera wasn’t sure. They’re also in talks regarding the angle-parking area and how that can be reconfigured to minimize problems. “Maybe it needs to go back to lateral parking,” he mused. (Aside: In a discussion of Alki as a regional draw despite the bridge closure, he said he heard “end of July the bridge might be open again.”) Other road issue: Regarding the Alki Point “Keep Moving Street” status, he said they’re just “waiting for the mayor to say yes” to making it permanent. (Later a community member who’s been advocating for permanence mentioned a recent meeting with a mayoral rep.) Someone asked about Parking Enforcement; Capt. Rivera reminded attendees that those officers now work for SDOT. Bike officers? No bike officers, no Community Police Team, “we just have 911 (responding) officers,” he said.
That led into a brief discussion of police staffing: “Every shift is missing five or six bodies,” Rivera said. For those keeping track of personnel, acting Lt. Dave Terry, who had attended many West Seattle community meetings as a shift supervisor, has been promoted to the SPD Audits section. The precinct is now missing 1st and 3rd Watch lieutenants – Lt. Terry had been 3rd, and the 1st watch lieutenant has now been moved to the citywide intradepartmental group dealing with homelessness. He also said the precinct had added three new officers recently but also lost three, so is currently about 15 people below where staffing should be.
The ACC had hoped to have a guest from Seattle Parks but they were a no-show. One more note – Parks is running a survey about the early closing time at Alki (and Golden Gardens) – here’s the link.
NEXT MEETING: Third Thursdays at 7 pm most months – so the next one will be June 16th.
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