West Seattle, Washington
After a driver hit and killed 30-year-old Nicholas Wolf on California Avenue SW just north of SW Findlay, much discussion ensued about pedestrian safety in the area. But neighbors have been working on it for a long time.
Today, neighbors received word that SDOT plans to upgrade the California/Findlay intersection to a pedestrian-activated half-signal. Here’s the letter they got from interim SDOT director Kristen Simpson:
… I am following up on my previous email to let you know that we recently completed our engineering evaluation of this location, and to share with you our plan for making improvements.
In our study, we considered several factors including traffic volumes along both California Avenue SW and SW Findlay Street, turning movement counts, numbers of people walking and biking, transit ridership, travel speeds, roadway geometry, adjacent land uses, proximity of neighborhood greenway connections, potential school crossings, nearby signalized crossing opportunities, existing intersection traffic control, and the collision history of the intersection. Based on our analysis, we plan to upgrade the existing yellow flashing beacons at the intersection to a pedestrian half signal. The pedestrian half signal can be activated by push buttons and will stop traffic on California Avenue SW with a red signal indication. This pedestrian half signal design and operation will be similar to that of the traffic control at the nearby Fauntleroy Way SW and SW Findlay Street intersection. We will be funding this upgrade through our existing programs – including the Levy to Move Seattle – and intend to deliver this improvement by the end of this year, barring unforeseen issues.
In addition, we will be implementing a painted curb bulb in the southeast and northwest quadrants to improve sightlines for pedestrians crossing at the intersection, and installing a median island on the south leg of California Ave SW, in close proximity to the intersection to reduce the open feel of California Avenue SW, prevent the use of the center turn lane as a through lane, and potentially reduce vehicle speeds. We anticipate implementing these improvements by the end of this year as well.
The intersection has two RapidRide C Line stations, southbound just south of the crosswalk, northbound just to the north.
As for the deadly crash – the investigation continues but the initial police narrative was obtained by independent journalist Ryan Packer and provided to WSB. In it, police say the 16-year-old driver who hit Mr. Wolf returned to the scene, with his father, about an hour after the crash. The narrative says he told officers that he was driving “50 to 55 miles per hour” northbound at the time of the crash. Mr. Wolf and his wife had just been dropped off by a friend on the west side of the street and were crossing to get to their residence on the east side of the street.
Images like those from SR3 researchers have led the state to order emergency rules requiring whale-watching boats to give Southern Resident Killer Whales more space. The state’s announcement today explains the latest concerns about the endangered orcas:
With numerous whales in poor body condition and several pregnancies reported, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) today issued an emergency order requiring commercial whale-watching vessels to keep at least one-half nautical mile away from endangered Southern Resident killer whales this summer, and all boaters are urged to Be Whale Wise and do the same.
Using measurements from drone photographs, researchers from SR3 Sealife Response, Rehabilitation, and Research identified several pregnancies among the Southern Resident killer whale population and a dozen members in poor condition between September 2021 and April 2022.
“While we have reason to remain hopeful with the reports of recent pregnancies, the reality is that there are several Southern Residents that aren’t doing well and we’re very concerned about the population at large,” said WDFW Director Kelly Susewind. “We’re taking action today to address these immediate concerns, and we continue working with our partner organizations to implement the Governor’s Task Force recommendations for the long-term health of these orcas.”
According to SR3’s measurements from aerial images, three K-pod whales (K12, K20, and K27) were in the last nine months of pregnancy, and likely within the last six months (from a typical full term of 17-18 months), as of September 2021. Based on recent online videos showing a calf with K pod, it is likely that at least one of these pregnancies was successful. Another whale, L72, was determined to be in the last six months of pregnancy as of January 2021, and we expect this whale is still in late-stage pregnancy. These females had body widths consistent with those of females who subsequently gave birth in the past.
Twelve J- and L-pod members were in poor condition based on measurements of the fatness behind the skull, which puts them at a two-to-three-times higher risk of mortality. Concerningly, one of the dozen whales in poor condition (L83) also appeared to be pregnant when last measured in January 2022.
In addition to the pregnancies and orcas in poor body condition, SR3’s results identified two young whales (J53 and L123) that were exhibiting slower-than-expected growth, which is measured by length. One of these (J53) is also exhibiting lower-than-average body condition. …
Read the full state announcement here.
6:47 PM: Via text:
Our neighbor’s work truck was just stolen off the street in front of our house, about 6:05 pm.. White box truck, no cab overhang, no marking on the doors. License plate C85192U. Spotted driving toward White Center near Westwood Village a (short time) ago. Stolen from Juneau St near 37th.
Call 911 if you see it.
7:19 PM: It’s been found in Burien.
A West Seattle Thriftway shopper named Lisa just won big. For the past three months, shoppers have been entered into a “free groceries for a year” contest, just to say “thanks” for their patronage these past few tough years. This afternoon, the winning ticket was drawn.
Thriftway (a longtime WSB sponsor) chose a random shopper named Brennan to pull the ticket. Thriftway management immediately got busy notifying the winner, who gets one $150 gift card a week for the next year!
(Image from SDOT webcam)
SDOT says it has more pothole work to do on the eastbound Spokane Street Viaduct – the older side of the West Seattle Bridge continuation east of the Highway 99 overpass – so it’ll be closed for much, though not all, of the weekend:
On Saturday, July 2 and Sunday, July 3, from 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day, we will close the on-ramp from eastbound SW Spokane St (West Seattle Low Bridge) to the Spokane St Viaduct, as well as the eastbound lanes of the Spokane St Viaduct.
A signed detour will be in place along SW Spokane St.
Four days until the return of the West Seattle 4th of July Kids’ Parade, which starts at 10 am Monday, from 44th/Sunset in North Admiral – just show up and you’re in, all human-powered except Seattle Fire Engine 29 and the famous “neighborhood blue truck” leading off the parade. The parade winds along a few neighborhood blocks, then crosses California SW to Hamilton Viewpoint Park, where kids’ activities, sack races, and treats await. We asked parade co-organizer Nicole Lutomski for updates on the plan:
*National Anthem will be sung by Sloane Pothier from the West Seattle School of Rock
*Kids activities will be hosted at Hamilton Viewpoint by neighborhood businesses and parade sponsors
*Sack races will be held in these groups:
-3 & Under
-4-5 year olds
-6-7 year olds
-8 & Up
-“Last call” race, kids of all ages
Also at Hamilton Viewpoint, until noon, the All City Ice Cream Truck, All City Hot Dog Truck, and Home Bites will be there. Again, this all starts when the parade gets rolling at 44th and Sunset at 10 am Monday. (If you’re new and wonder what it’s like, we record video every year – here’s the 2019 parade – lots of bicycles, strollers, wagons …) Spectators along the route are welcome, too.
Again this Fourth of July, the West Seattle Junction Association will place dozens of American flags along the heart of the business district – but it can’t happen without volunteers. All ages welcome – you can sign up to help put them up at 9 am Monday and/or to take them down at 4 pm. Just go here.
(Seen in Fauntleroy)
Edging closer to the long holiday weekend – here’s what’s up for the rest of today/tonight:
WADING POOLS OPEN: Sunny and warm today, so the city will open the pools that are scheduled for Thursday operations. In West Seattle, that means Delridge (4501 Delridge Way SW), noon-5:30 pm, and Lincoln Park (8011 Fauntleroy Way SW), noon-7 pm. Highland Park Spraypark at 1100 SW Cloverdale is open 11 am-8 pm, too.
COLMAN POOL: The outdoor pool at Lincoln Park will be open today as its 7-days-a-week schedule continues, noon-7 pm.
BASEBALL: The West Seattle Little League 12s All-Stars play for the district title, 6 pm at Bar-S (64th SW/SW Admiral Way), spectators welcome.
BOARD GAME NIGHT: Come try something new at Meeples Games (3727 California SW), 6:30-10 pm.
Have something to add to our calendar? Email info to email@example.com – thank you!
Family and friends will gather July 12th to celebrate the life of Dennis R. Capalby. Here’s the remembrance they’re sharing with his community:
Dennis Robert Capalby
April 23, 1950- June 11, 2022
Dennis passed peacefully in his home with his family by his side.
Dennis was a lifelong resident of West Seattle and had many wonderful memories of growing up and living in this community. He loved boating and was a longtime member of the Jim Clark Marina.
He leaves his wife Teri and their children Tyler (Kerri), Amanda, and Nick (Robyn), and his five grandchildren whom he adored, Henry, Kate, Charlie, Eloise, and Zoey.
A Celebration of Life well lived will be held at The Hall at Fauntleroy on Tuesday, July 12, from 1:00 – 3:00. All are welcome.
To share memories and condolences of Dennis with his family and friends, please visit: www.emmickfunerals.com/obituary/Dennis-Capalby.
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries and memorial announcements by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to firstname.lastname@example.org)
Registration opens tomorrow morning for upcoming youth tennis lessons at Arbor Heights Swim and Tennis Club. Here’s the announcement they’re sharing with the community:
Our next two-week tennis-lesson session starts Tuesday, July 5. Key information includes:
Two separate 45-minute lesson sessions offered: 12.30 pm-1.15 pm and 1.15 pm-2 pm
Each session includes 10 lessons: Tuesday-Friday, July 5-8, and Monday-Friday, July 11-July 14
Ages 8-18 and all abilities welcome
Cost is $108 for 9 lessons
Registration opens Friday, July 1, at 9 am. Click on Lessons – Arbor Heights Swim and Tennis Club to register.
Questions at AHemail@example.com
6:03 AM: Good morning; welcome to Thursday, June 30th.
Hope your holiday weekend starts early – sunny and 70s today and tomorrow, then clouds Saturday through Monday.
BUSES, WATER TAXI, FERRIES
Metro buses are on their regular weekday schedule; watch @kcmetroalerts for word of reroutes/trip cancellations.
Ferries: WSF continues on the two-boat schedule for Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth – and WSF says that probably won’t change before next spring. Check here for alerts/updates.
BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES
830th morning without the West Seattle Bridge.
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.)
1st Avenue South Bridge:
South Park Bridge:
West Marginal Way at Highland Park Way (one of four recently installed cameras!):
Highland Park Way/Holden:
The 5-way intersection (Spokane/West Marginal/Delridge/Chelan):
Trouble on the roads/paths/water? Text or call us (when you can do so safely) – 206-293-6302.