WEST SEATTLE WEEKEND SCENE: ‘Sidewalk reveal’ in west Gatewood

Some parts of the city don’t have sidewalks – and some parts have sidewalks that are unusable because they’ve been covered in overgrowth. That’s the situation in west Gatewood, near Westside Unitarian, where volunteers calling themselves the Seattle Street Fixers are working right now.

You’re welcome to help – they started at 44th/Othello [map]. You can see some of the other places they’ve cleared by scrolling through here.

24 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE WEEKEND SCENE: 'Sidewalk reveal' in west Gatewood"

  • wsn00b December 18, 2022 (2:12 pm)

    Nice work. The nearby stretch of NB 44th Ave SW between Austin and Othello is also mostly neglected by homeowners that sit higher up on the ridge and don’t use 44th. The sidewalk is unusable due to damage, overgrowth, and is littered quite often.

    • Jason December 18, 2022 (3:53 pm)

      Feel free to join the group and propose it.  It helps a lot if you take photos so people know what’s going to be undertaken. https://groups.google.com/g/seattle-street-fixers

      • Del December 18, 2022 (5:32 pm)

        The link doesn’t work Jason. 

        • WS Res December 18, 2022 (7:07 pm)

          Worked for me – I can’t access group content but could send a request to join.

      • Joe Z December 19, 2022 (10:09 am)

        Fantastic work! Signed up for the group and hope to help in the future! 44th SW is a good suggestion. I think the biggest bang for the buck in terms of usage would be SW Jacobson Rd near the top of the hill. The city came by with their brush trimmer this summer but the sidewalk is still mostly covered in dirt, forcing people to walk too close to a busy arterial. 

  • Odd son December 18, 2022 (2:51 pm)

    Volunteers are great but don’t people know this is the responsibilty of the homeowner or property owner? This never should have been allowed to get this bad. File a Find it fix it or report on seattle.gov. But maybe filing a report wasn’t successful? 

    • Jason December 18, 2022 (3:50 pm)

      The property owner here is an elderly old couple.  They came out and helped and gave us hot cider. While it’s great to say “it’s the property owners responsibility” this ignores the reality of our aging population of homeowners that quite literally can’t do this themselves. The city clears roads, it’s time for the city to clear sidewalks too.

      • Morgan December 18, 2022 (4:50 pm)

        I’m grateful to be in a city people care enough to help their neighbors without government appeal on everything….thank you.

      • Al King December 18, 2022 (4:51 pm)

        Jason. Love the “they’re too old to live there if they can’t keep the sidewalk clear” commenters.  Of course, they’ve exempted themselves from that “rule”….sigh…

        • Odd son December 18, 2022 (9:57 pm)

           Al, I didn’t say that. Please don’t put words in my mouth. 

    • Anne December 18, 2022 (3:56 pm)

      People either don’t know-or just don’t care. So many sidewalks are obstructed by overgrowth on parking  strips-or vegetation hanging over walls so far down one can’t walk upright on sidewalk-or both. 

    • Auntie December 18, 2022 (8:41 pm)

      Sometimes those reports ending up getting the homeowner fined (daily) when they are unable to fix it themselves. Perhaps giving them the information for these volunteers before calling the city down on them might be nice.

      • StuckInWestSeattle December 19, 2022 (11:19 am)

        I think all sidewalks should be maintained by the city myself. I think its often unfair to criticize homeowners as was pointed out above. This is a public safety issue and therefore this should be a city responsibility. I actually would like to also see a lot more sidewalks installed and rules against mailboxes in the middle of them and blocking them with trash and other bins. Go up 23rd ave sw then hang a right on 21st Ave SW and you get examples of both. I prefer the productive aspect of the volunteers and will myself sign up to help.

        • newnative December 19, 2022 (3:19 pm)

          I agree. My main issue with leaving it to private owners is the inconsistency in care. In North Admiral, we have patches of sidewalk that are regularly kept clear by homeowners and business owners then patches of wet leaves, trash, glass. With the snow and ice it’s the same and makes it hard to walk around. 

  • AMD December 18, 2022 (3:47 pm)

    I had great success with using Find It, Fix It to get a homeowner to clear brush away from a sidewalk that had become completely hidden.  If you have issues with sidewalks in your neighborhood, try this first.  It’s the owner’s responsibility to keep the brush trimmed to make the sidewalk accessible.

  • Mj December 18, 2022 (5:14 pm)

    Jason – it is the property owners responsibility!  The City needs to enforce the SMC.  Property owners with challenges can higher help.  This could provide opportunities for local teens to work for some pocket money.

    • Al King December 18, 2022 (8:37 pm)

      MJ. City should hold homeowners accountable for not following code. Do you follow all codes??? Do your neighbors/family members follow all codes to the letter??

      • Anne December 19, 2022 (7:24 am)

         You’re right -not everyone always follows  city codes-(shoveling snow is an example.) Many times physical disabilities -age limit or other factors prevent compliance. I agree with poster below-the City should be on top of this with an easily accessible list of resources to help them. Many have the means & ability but unfortunately just don’t care-hopefully -a warning  issued via find & fix  will help motivate them -if not -yes a fine. Bottom line: Sidewalks must be accessible. 

  • Neighbor December 18, 2022 (8:43 pm)

    The sidewalks need to be accessible. ADA. This limits people’s safety and autonomy when there isn’t a clear path.  The city should be on top of it with a deadline and a list of resources if the owner is not able to manage it. It is nice that the community group could be one option for people who really can’t do it on their own. 

    • IMHO December 18, 2022 (9:40 pm)

      I truly wish the critics would turn themselves into volunteers…our community would be a better place

  • WSHS62 December 18, 2022 (10:20 pm)

    Kudos to the Street Fixers, you sure know how to bring the joy.  

  • Mj December 18, 2022 (10:20 pm)

    Al – yes I keep my sidewalk accessible. 

    One of my neighbors is from Chicago he typically is the first one to clear snow and ice.  BTW in Chicago if you do not clear the snow and ice they fine you!  

  • othello December 18, 2022 (10:24 pm)

    I add my wish that people would live responsibly, are considerate of others and follow the laws that were established for the protection everyone.  
    Our community is strongest when neighbors act in consideration, not neglect.  
    Even if no longer enforced, our responsibilities remain.  
    The remarkably sad thing to see from the photos, is that the steep yard above the retaining wall is overgrown with decades of ivy and will immediately grow back over the wall onto the sidewalk. 

  • K to the F December 19, 2022 (7:48 am)

    Before and after. Great work, team!

Sorry, comment time is over.