Two days after the city cleared the mostly-RVs encampment site along SW Andover/28th SW, eco-blocks were installed this morning. The neighboring West Seattle Health Club had announced pre-sweep that to “avoid the return of the encampment, the West Seattle Health Club is partnering with our neighboring businesses to place cement eco-blocks along the surrounding area.” After a tip early this morning, we went over around 7:30 am and found two workers in gear from neighboring Nucor finishing the placement, which they said they’d started about two hours earlier.
Blocks are also in place along the west side of 28th.
As the camping was illegal – though not enforced for six-plus years – this is too. We asked SDOT about it on Thursday and spokesperson Ethan Bergerson replied:
Seattle Municipal Code 15.04 states that it is unlawful to place objects or structures in a public place without first securing a written permit. SDOT does not issue permits to obstruct public streets, sidewalks or parking spaces with concrete blocks because this can cause problems such as parking spillover onto adjacent streets, blocking utility access, conflicts with other transportation needs, or accessibility barriers which violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Additionally, the desire to prevent others from using a public space is not a valid reason for seeking a permit in and of itself.
Blocks like these have been installed, however, in other areas of the city, either post-sweeps or preventively. Some are also in place along part of a formerly much-camped area of 1st Avenue South in southeast West Seattle.