SCHOOLS: Gates planned for West Seattle High School parking lot

(Tire marks in WSHS lot as shown in 2017 Google Street View image)

When empty, the West Seattle High School parking lot has been used for driving stunts. We’ve heard police dispatches, and received a few reader notes about late-night wheel squeals and brake screeches. One neighbor wrote earlier this summer, “Myself and many of my neighbors have noise sensitivity, are on the spectrum, have PTSD or have a pet that is continually being traumatized by the noise coming from the West Seattle High School parking lot … day and night.” Now Seattle Public Schools is planning to gate the lot. We found out about this after seeing a related item on the agenda for the Seattle Landmark Board‘s Architectural Review Committee – since WSHS is a city landmark, the board has to sign off on changes. The agenda documents showed only a gate on the north driveway, but district spokesperson Tina Christiansen says they’re planning gates for both – the north side is the only one subject to Landmarks Board approval. Christiansen adds, “The community has alerted SPS to the problem with parking lot being accessed off hours.” We don’t have details yet on what hours the gates would be locked but wanted to let you know for starters that they are planned. Meantime, the Landmark Board committee meeting is at 8:30 am Friday, online; here’s the agenda.

37 Replies to "SCHOOLS: Gates planned for West Seattle High School parking lot"

  • Sherman Olsen August 24, 2022 (4:23 pm)

    That’s great news. I live more than half a mile away and I’m tired of hearing the squealing tires in the night–I hate to think what it’s been like to live closer.

  • Jennifer August 24, 2022 (4:54 pm)

    Fantastic and it couldn’t happen soon enough. I’m tired of hearing screeching tires late at night and sometimes during the day too. Some weeks it is almost a nightly occurrence and has been going on for a number of years. 

  • M August 24, 2022 (5:28 pm)

    I was wondering where that noise was coming from. I thought it was on Alki.  Didn’t know it was at the high school.

    • Neighbor August 25, 2022 (1:57 pm)

      No shortage of tire marks on Alki so I think it is both.

  • Blbl August 24, 2022 (5:39 pm)

    That’s terrible news. It’s public property, and as a taxpayer I have a right to use it. I have used the lot to teach my kids to drive, ride a skateboard, and I’ve used it as a place to read and relax when waiting for someone or an appointment. If the problem is “driving stunts”, then fix that. Don’t cut off access from people who have a genuine right to use it. Lazy. 

    • Lagartija Nick August 24, 2022 (6:23 pm)

      Wow, just wow. I highly doubt you are doing any of those things in the middle of the night when these issues are occuring and presumably when the gates will be locked. 

    • Baffled August 24, 2022 (6:44 pm)

      Actually, you don’t necessarily have the right to use any taxpayer-funded property as you wish.  School grounds aren’t public parks, and even public parks close at night.  

    • Bc August 24, 2022 (6:46 pm)

      Aside from teaching driving (which that lot is too small for anyway, coming from a dad teaching his kid to drive right now) you can still do all of those things as you can just walk right over from Hiawatha. It will be even safer for skateboarding without the cars. You’ll have to manufacture outrage at something else.

      • Blbl August 24, 2022 (7:34 pm)

        Haha!! You don’t believe I do these things at night? I don’t have the right to use a public parking lot? You don’t think I’m teaching my kid how to drive correctly? These are hilarious. 

        • Oh Seattle August 24, 2022 (9:37 pm)

          Something tells me you don’t ever relax.

        • Boop August 24, 2022 (11:29 pm)

          There are lots of public spaces that close, why would this be any different?  Or, are you just trying to troll the comment section?

        • Rick August 25, 2022 (9:38 am)

          Go to Safeway, buy a pack of gum and demand to use their lot as you wish. After all, you are a PAYING customer!

    • Kersti Elisabeth Muul August 24, 2022 (9:39 pm)

      It’s actually great news. New drivers are destroying their tires, understanding nothing about responsibility and costs. You can go drive at SWAC

      • S - In West Seattle August 28, 2022 (3:54 pm)

        No we don’t want anymore people driving at the SWAC. We have our own share of people doing donuts there also. Lock it all up.  Plus my guess that since school is starting soon a lot of this will stop. 

    • Mariem August 24, 2022 (10:25 pm)

      Good points! 

    • Elton August 25, 2022 (12:13 am)

      Do you really sit in a public school parking lot alone reading? That is quite disturbing. There are a lot of other quiet public places in West Seattle to sit and read.

    • Neighbor August 25, 2022 (2:02 pm)

      I’m a taxpayer too.  I’m going to go down to JBLM and demand they let me do donuts on the runway.  It’s my right!

  • TonyW August 24, 2022 (5:40 pm)

    Whoever thought of this should get a big gold star. I’m shocked no one had to die first.

  • Happy neighbor August 24, 2022 (7:30 pm)


  • m August 24, 2022 (9:02 pm)

    Hmmm, wonder why this area is getting solutions implemented. We have the same exact problems in SE West Seattle. Ah, well. Nevertheless.

  • Gina August 24, 2022 (9:35 pm)

    A side question that has puzzled me since the school remodel: Why is there a fence down the middle of the parking lot?

    • Rose August 24, 2022 (11:14 pm)

      The smaller side is for teachers and staff (it’s just slightly smaller but the left side looking at the front view) and the bigger lot (right) is usually for students

  • Kersti Elisabeth Muul August 24, 2022 (9:43 pm)

    Keep in mind our dwindling numbers of salmon are extremely sensitive to tire dust; Coho in particular. We are already killing them and these burnouts add so much pollution to an already deadly waterway in Seattle for threatened and endangered salmon species. If you’ve never seen pre-spawn mortality, head down to Longfellow creek where the salmon suffocate and die from tire dust before getting a chance to spawn. Then decide if it’s fun and ‘your right’ 

  • Jort August 24, 2022 (11:28 pm)

    Looks like the school district is joining The War on Cars!!

  • Diane August 25, 2022 (12:34 am)

    I expect the elders at Island View Senior Housing, across the street, will be pleased with this news; often the loud screeching in circles happens 1am, 2am, 3am . . . . .

  • Jennifer M August 25, 2022 (3:47 am)

    Thanks so much to the neighbor who tirelessly lobbied the school, the school district, and the city parks dept to stop the nearly nightly (and sometimes daily) tire pealing out in the parking lot!! I hope they’re done for the night, yawn…

  • NotOnHolden August 25, 2022 (7:10 am)

    This is a ridiculous waste of resources.

  • young at heart August 25, 2022 (8:56 am)

    God everybody has gotten OLD !! Every one of us snuck out at night and did donuts in parking lots as teenagers !! Just be glad they aren’t glued to a video game or tic toks !! Go yell at some clouds ! 

    • Revilo August 25, 2022 (10:50 am)

      Could not agree more.  I want to hang with you.

    • Neighbor August 25, 2022 (2:01 pm)

      I never had access to a rear wheel drive car so I couldn’t do donuts.  But I did do plenty of dumb things behind the wheel and otherwise.  And of course we lost a few classmates to car crashes.  Ah, the good old days.

    • Chels August 27, 2022 (6:41 am)

      Exactlyyyy. Lighten up people

  • April August 25, 2022 (10:04 am)

    Boooooo…thumbs down!

  • Jeff August 25, 2022 (1:54 pm)

    This is awful! This is a public lot! I also like to skate on this lot. I really hate “police state Seattle” sometimes.

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