West Seattle, Washington
(Riders arriving at Spokane Street site)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
“Robb should still be here.”
So said one of the bicycle-affixed signs seen tonight when Seattle Neighborhood Greenways‘ memorial ride for Robb Mason arrived in the area east of the West Seattle low bridge where he was killed by a hit-and-run driver two and a half months ago.
And so said speakers including Mr. Mason’s widow Claudia.
This was the second ride in his memory, after Critical Mass Seattle. That one was just two weeks after his death, yet despite the passage of time, the one tonight was more emotional, and more resolute. City officials including SDOT’s new director were there this time, promising action; Mayor Bruce Harrell even had spoken to the riders before they left City Hall Plaza and headed this way. But Claudia Mason’s words were the most powerful of all, not only in remembrance of her husband, but also with a message to his as-yet-unapprehended hit-run killer:
After she spoke, riders rang bicycle bells, the gentle ringing rippling across the roadside crowd of more than 100. Another sound heard too often during the gathering was that of speeding cars.
The next speakers, local advocates, pleaded for action – Kate Wells of West Seattle Bike Connections, saying the city did not act boldly enough during the bridge’s shutdown to make travel safer for all modes, but needs to now; Erica Bush from Duwamish Valley Safe Streets, noting the area’s unique transportation characteristics, insisted that freight, pedestrian, and bike safety can co-exi
Others who spoke included Gordon Padelford, SNG’s executive director, saying Seattle can solve big problems – like the bridge – and certainly can fix the safety conundrum; the city’s executive general manager Adiam Emery, who reiterated the commitment to safety goals; and SDOT’s traffic engineer Venu Nemani, who did the same. Then the person in the best position to effect change took the microphone, new SDOT director Greg Spotts, who said safety is now job one for everyone in his department and won’t be siloed any more:
When the speeches ended and riders started talking logistics for getting back home – safely – we spoke briefly with Padelford, to ask if his group had any immediate recommendations for safety at the scene of the crash that killed Robb Mason. He cautioned that the exact circumstances aren’t known but one thing is – chronic speeding in the corridor, Measures to address that, such as speed humps and raised crosswalks, could be considered, he said.
Meantime, as Claudia Mason said in hopes the hit-run driver would hear, “You can’t hide forever,” and if that driver’s family/friends know what happened, they shouldn’t bear the burden of keeping that secret. Tips can be called in to SPD’s Violent Crime Hotline, 206-233-5000.
At 8 pm, Ladder 13 pulled out of its bay at Seattle Fire Station 37 in Sunrise Heights, lights flashing. But it wasn’t heading out on a call. At fire stations all over the city, right at that moment, other SFD apparatus that weren’t on calls did the same, in tribute to fallen firefighters.
It was a citywide followup to SFD’s annual ceremony earlier in the day remembering its fallen firefighters at the downtown monument inspired by the four who died in the Pang warehouse arson in 1995. They are among more than 50 Seattle firefighters who died from line-of-duty injuries/illnesses, dating back to 1899.
Last week, we mentioned nighttime lane closures so crews could go inside the West Seattle Bridge to work on the new observation platforms. Now, they’re done, SDOT reports in its weekly bridge update:
This week, crews finished installing lighting inside the bridge for the permanent inspection platforms. These newly installed and illuminated platforms will allow inspectors to easily monitor the bridge’s interior concrete in the months and years to come. On top of frequent visual inspection, the bridge’s 24/7 monitoring system continues to transmit real-time data to our bridge inspection team.
With the interior light installation work complete, crews ended the nighttime lane closures on the high bridge that were needed to finish this work after the bridge opened. An additional nighttime lane closure on the high bridge will be needed to adjust several signs in the coming weeks.
Tomorrow night marks two weeks since the bridge reopened after its 2 1/2-year closure.
5:10 PM: Right at crunch time for the Friday pm commute, a crash is blocking part of Delridge Way at SW Thistle. Avoid the area for a while.
5:39 PM: Police have just reported that Delridge is open again both ways.
Three biznotes this afternoon:
TAP SHACK’S LAST NIGHT: West Seattle Brewing reminds us that this is the final night for its Alki Tap Shack (2536 Alki Avenue SW), as reported here a month ago. The weather’s perfect to stop by one last time; Hannah from WS Brewing says “We will have beers, bikes, and bbq, a partnership with Peace Peloton! Starting at 6, Jones BBQ; 7:00-ish, DJ Big Ugly, party into the night!” WS Brewing will continue at its “mothership” location (4415 Fauntleroy Way SW). Ampersand Coffee next door also is affected by the site’s impending redevelopment but will remain open in its current building one more month, then plans to move into the former Tacontainer until the new building is done.
HOMEFRONT CLOSURE: Just up the block – thanks for all the tips about Homefront Smoothies and Ice Cream‘s impending closure at 2622 Alki Avenue SW.
We finally were able to catch up today with proprietor Saravy. She says October 31st is their last day; they lost their lease, and her understanding is that the site owners want to give the space to a relative’s business. Homefront has been there for more than 20 years. Apparently other businesses in the building are staying, according to the one we’ve been able to reach so far. Saravy is looking for another Alki location where she could reopen Homefront, but hasn’t found a new site yet; if you have any ideas, let her know.
15TH/ROXBURY: Several readers asked about the banner on the northeast corner of 15th/Roxbury, announcing a future café. We checked with the building’s owner, Michan of West Seattle Window and Door. She said they are removing the banner as they’re not ready to discuss the plan yet. But WSWD is opening a showroom in the building, which will be open by appointment, on the lower level next to the vape shop.
If you’re among the many fans of pickleball, here’s an online petition you might want to sign: Local members of the Seattle Metro Pickleball Association are helping with the campaign to get custom vehicle license plates for the sport’s supporters. The plate would raise money to go toward a dedicated pickleball facility. They need 3,500 signatures expressing interest in the plate, to meet a state Department of Licensing requirement for creating a plate like this, we’re told. If you want to sign, you can go here. Find out more about the initiative – and how pickleball got to be the official state sport – here.
(Photo courtesy Senior Center of West Seattle – artist Steffanie Lorig and mural)
The cracked corner windows at the Senior Center of West Seattle building are being replaced today – and that means the temporary murals (explained here before the Alki Arts pop-up week) had to come down. Both were offered for sale, with half the proceeds to the artist, half to the Senior Center. SCWS executive director Amy Lee Derenthal says one mural already has been sold but the other one is available, the one that’s been facing California SW – a 40″ x 80″ mural painted by Steffanie Lorig. If you’re interested, email Alki Arts’ Diane Venti to inquire, at email@example.com.
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, happening tomorrow (Saturday, October 1st): The regional fundraising Walk To End Alzheimer’s is happening downtown. Local supporters are organizing a mini-walk here:
For those who want to stay in West Seattle, the Alzheimer’s caregivers support group welcomes anyone to join them for a walk at 11:00 am at 39th and Holden for a walk in the Gatewood area. Wear purple if possible!
No RSVP needed – just show up.
Back in 2020, not long after the West Seattle Bridge closed, SDOT unveiled a version of the Highland Park Way/Holden safety-improvements plan that included rechannelizing the HP Way hill – removing a northbound (downhill) lane and installing a protected bike lane on the southbound (uphill) side. This idea generated considerable community concern (partly but not entirely because the hill was a vital artery for bridge-detour traffic), and SDOT shelved it later that year. Now a bike-lane proposal for the hill is apparently back. We discovered this while reading SDOT’s grant-proposal document published here, part of an application for $30 million in federal funding. Most of what’s proposed for West Seattle in the Safe Streets For All proposal consists of small projects such as curb ramps. But on page 15, we found the bike-lane proposal, now described as “protected bike lane, east side, separated 2-way bike lane” on Highland Park Way between West Marginal and Holden. No design or rendering is featured in the document, so we’re checking with SDOT, including the question of whether this is planned regardless of grant-funding status. The new 2-way bike-lane proposal isn’t mentioned on SDOT’s HP Way/Holden project page, which recaps the scrapping of the previous idea and notes the community suggestion that the existing east-side roadside path be widened instead.
(Squirrel stocking up on sunflower seeds for winter – photo by Caity Gerhardt)
Here’s what’s happening in the hours ahead, mostly from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
BLOCK DROP: DIY cleanup equipment is available at Delridge Community Center/Playfield (26th SW & SW Genesee) until 6 pm – that’s also where you can drop off what you clean up, as part of closing the Block Drop loop!
BRING IN YOUR ART: Today’s the final day on which you are invited to bring artwork to the Southwest Library (9010 35th SW) for this year’s Southwest Artist Showcase, which starts Sunday. The branch is open today until 6 pm.
OFFICE HOURS: City Councilmember Lisa Herbold returns to in-person office hours, 3-7 pm, appointment required – email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out if there are any remaining for today.
HIGH-SCHOOL FOOTBALL: The Chief Sealth International High School Seahawks play at Ingraham at 4:30 pm; the West Seattle High School Wildcats, play Lincoln at Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex (2801 SW Thistle), 7 pm. Admission is $4 students/senior citizens, $6 adults, cash only.
MEMORIAL RIDE FOR ROBB MASON: Seattle Neighborhood Greenways leads a bicycle ride from City Hall downtown (600 4th) to Spokane Street east of the low bridge, where a hit-run driver killed West Seattle massage therapist Robb Mason in July. You can ride with them from downtown or meet at the scene – details in our calendar listing.
LIVE AT EASY STREET: Back to the ’90s! 7 pm at Easy Street Records (California/Alaska), Love Battery performs live, free, all ages, celebrating the re-release of their 1992 album “Dayglo.”
BINGO AT ADMIRAL PUB: West Seattle’s “sassiest bingo party” starts at 7 pm. (2306 California SW)
NEW PLAY AT ARTSWEST: The new ArtsWest (4711 California SW; WSB sponsor) play “Swimming While Drowning” continues the first week of its run, 7:30 pm curtain. Tickets are available online.
FIREFIGHTER MEMORIAL: The annual Seattle Fallen Firefighter Memorial service downtown today will be followed by this event at all Seattle Fire Department stations:
Between 8-8:15 p.m., the department will further recognize fallen firefighters by participating in “Light the Night.” All of Seattle’s 33 fire stations will pull the apparatus in front of the apparatus bays and turn on the emergency lights. Community members are invited to observe this remembrance outside of their local fire station (note: if an apparatus is on an emergency response that station may not be participating).
West Seattle has five SFD stations – look for 11, 29, 32, 36, 37 here.
SPELLING BEE AT THE SKYLARK: 8 pm, the finals in Spelldown After Dark – an adult spelling bee. Check to see if there’s room for spectators tonight! (3803 Delridge Way SW)
Have something to add to our Event Calendar? Email info to email@example.com – thank you!
Mode Music and Performing Arts – the nonprofit sibling to Mode Music Studios (WSB sponsor) – is about to start fall classes, and some have room to register:
Mode Music and Performing Arts‘s group classes kick off on October 10th, which means there’s one week left to register your kid for one! We’re putting a spotlight on three of our favorites: Ukulele 101, Dungeons & Dragons Campaign, and Songwriting Workshop!
1. Ukulele 101
Grades K – 3
Mondays, 4:00 – 5:00 pm
If you’ve got a little one who loves music and are looking for a place for them to channel that, ukulele classes are a great place to start! Ukulele 101 offers kindergartners through 3rd graders a great chance to learn the basics of an instrument that’s just their size. Our teacher Veronique Littlefield has experience as both a private music instructor and a preschool teacher, making her perfect for intro lessons for our younger students.
2. Dungeons & Dragons Campaign
Grades 4 – 6
Tuesdays, 4:00 – 6:00 pm
Is your tween crazy for Stranger Things? Do they love all things fantasy and magic? Sign them up for our Dungeons & Dragons campaign! Our D&D Campaign is led by Dungeon Master Jessie Kuehm, who moonlights as MMPA’s education director when she’s not guiding her fellow campaigners into the forgotten realm. Jessie’s a real expert at the world of D&D, and feels strongly that the game provides students with great social and creative skills like teamwork, collaboration, and the artistry of character building.
3. Songwriting Workshop
Grades 4 – 8
Wednesdays, 5:30 – 6:30 pm
Songwriting workshop welcomes all tweens and junior highers who love to scream-sing Taylor Swift/Olivia Rodrigo/Lizzo in their bedrooms (we relate)! Songwriting is an amazing way for kids to own their stories and learn music skills at the same time, and there’s no better teacher to introduce them to it than our own Jared Mitchell. Jared graduated Belmont University with a degree in Music Business with an emphasis in Songwriting, then stuck around Nashville for several years after, where he had an exclusive publishing deal with a local recording studio. He has a passion for sharing all his knowledge with a new generation of songwriters, and will help the kids not only write their own song, but produce a professional-quality recording of it!
Registration info is here. MMPA and Mode are based in North Delridge, right next to the now-open West Seattle Bridge.
9:31 AM: 4th SW is blocked northbound at SW Roxbury/Olson because of a crash.
6:00 AM: Good morning. It’s Friday, September 30th.
Here’s the forecast – sunny after some possible patchy morning fog, breezy in the afternoon, high in the upper 60s.
Metro buses are on their regular schedules; watch @kcmetroalerts for trip cancellations/reroute alerts.
No changes in ferries (check here for alerts/updates) or West Seattle Water Taxi service. WSF joins other services in free rides for youth starting Saturday.
TODAY: In South Park, a drainage project is closing S. Holden St. between W. Marginal Way S. and 5th Ave S. weekdays through October 14th.
THIS WEEKEND: WSDOT‘s “Revive I-5” work will close the southbound I-5 exit to the westbound West Seattle Bridge all weekend, starting at 7:30 tonight. Meantime, here’s SDOT’s weekend plan:
This weekend, we’re completing paving work as part of the Reconnect West Seattle program.
On Saturday and Sunday from 7 AM to 4 PM, we’re paving a section of Sylvan Way SW between SW Orchard St and SW Sylvan Heights Dr. Traffic will be maintained in both directions; however, please anticipate minor delays.
On Saturday, we’re replacing concrete panels at the intersection of 34th Ave SW and SW Barton St. We expect to start this work around 7 AM and conclude by 3 PM. On Sunday, we’ll have traffic control in place, so people do not drive on the new concrete panels while the concretes cures. Please navigate the area with caution.
On Saturday, from 7 AM to 4 PM, we’ll be installing a new crash cushion on SW Spokane St in the vicinity of 11th Ave SW that will impact the eastbound directions. We will be working on the eastern end of Harbor Island, where eastbound Spokane St splits into three ramp options. There will be a detour in place. Please anticipate delays while traveling in the area.
High Bridge – here’s the lone reactivated camera atop the span.
Low Bridge: Open to anyone who wants to use it.
1st Ave. S. Bridge: For those still finding it more convenient.
Highway 99: Whichever bridge you’re using to get to it, here’s a look at northbound traffic on 99 at Lander.
All currently functional city traffic cams can be seen here (new URL), many with video options; West Seattle and vicinity-relevant cameras are also on this WSB page … Are movable city bridges opening for vessels? Check the @SDOTBridges Twitter feed.
If you see trouble on the roads/paths/water, please text or call us (when you can do so safely) – 206-293-6302.
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