Use an RPZ to exclude RVs? Harbor/Alki residents meet with city reps regarding that and 18 other priorities

(WSB photo: Some of the 7 RVs and assorted vehicles seen on Harbor Ave. Monday)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Would an RPZ be a better tool to discourage RV encampments on Harbor Avenue?

Creation of a new Restricted Parking Zone is one of the steps that residents of Harbor and Alki Avenues tried last night to get a panel of city officials to commit to taking. More than 60 people gathered in the sanctuary of Admiral Church for a promised progress report on concerns that local advocates had taken to the city in recent months. Chief among them: The return of RVs a few months after the August sweep.

But that’s just part of the 19-item wish list that they’ve been pursuing, titled “Top Priorities to Tackle Crime, RVs and Encampments, and Dangerous Streets” – see it here. Part of the purpose of last night’s meeting was to get updates. Here’s who was on the city panel:

Left to right, SPD Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Martin Rivera, night-shift commander Lt. Nathan Shopay, operations Lt. Dorothy Kim, SDOT’s Bill LaBorde, Parks and Recreation‘s Tom Van Bronkhorst, and West Seattle/South Park City Councilmember Lisa Herbold. As they presented updates, most – though not all – of the audience questions were held until afterward; many had been solicited via cards handed out as attendees arrived.

The meeting was facilitated by area resident Mike Gain, who along with others in a “leadership group” had met previously with city reps.

Gain told attendees that the city officials “have been very responsive to all our requests,” and expressed hope that we can “get things the way we want them.” He said the organization started with a condo meeting back in August, with Lt. Kim there. “It was very informative … and got us to realize they’re here to work with us as a neighborhood, listen to our wants and needs,” with the perception that collective action could make a difference. “We all need to become kind of the squeaky wheel (and) complain to the right people to get something done. We feel our government officials need to take care of us … We expect laws to be enforced. We’d like to see everything treated the same, equally. … And we’d like to see consequences for people who break our laws.” He mentioned multiple break-ins at his building “not to mention businesses and (other) residences.” He also contended that the Alki Trail is unsafe – an August sweep briefly changed that, but then RVs returned. “Encampments and RVs really are magnets for crime.”

The leadership group last met in October, he said, and the city officials asked them for a ranked priority list on which they could report back. So that’s what last night was about.

First up was Capt. Rivera, who addressed several of the points on the priority list: How to strengthen response to crime? “We’re a very very data-driven organization.” This area is the W1 district and might have 1 to 2 officers per shift. They either respond to 911 calls or do proactive work. There are also emphasis patrols – “individuals, on overtime usually, tasked to (attend to) a hot spot.” Those patrols also can be set up with “extra” people. Keep calling in, he urged, and that’ll help with staffing. Regarding crime related to RVs/encampments: “I disagree with the contention that 90 percent of people in RVs are criminals,” he declared. Some are, but, he believes nowhere near that many. He noted that the night shift has had emphasis patrols focused on areas including Alki and Don Armeni Boat Ramp. “We’ve had a lot of emphasis out there, a lot of people contacted out there, our people are out there engaging,” But “we need to build probable cause” before action can be taken.

Gain retook the podium and noted that regarding the RVs, yes, some seem to be homes, but others don’t seem to be occupied, “and for the life of us we can’t figure out why that’s allowed … most of us are compassionate people … (but) we just want laws to be enforced.” He then thanked SDOT for the newly installed speed humps and raised dividers, introducing LaBorde, who said “what we want to see now is what difference … those make.” Further action could include parking restrictions and more restriping. The group’s wish list included enforcement cameras; LaBorde explained that most are for school zones and red lights. New authority granted by the Legislature this past year requires a lot of study, new city ordinances, plus collaboration with SPD and the camera vendor, and “so far no one in the state” has tried it yet. Meantime, SDOT’s Vision Zero analysis will start coming out in January/February and that will start to shape the analysis, too. The wish list also included changes in scooter policy; LaBorde said that’s something that SDOT hasn’t taken on yet, and would require working with the scooter companies. Regarding further restrictions on overnight parking, with a request to start those at 11 pm: “We have some reluctance … we don’t want to restrict people from enjoying the area …” LaBorde said. “We want to see how the traffic calming works” first. Also, he pointed out that Parking Enforcement officers aren’t currently available overnight.

Next was Van Bronkhorst from Parks. He noted that he’s on the city’s Unified Care Team, a multi-departmental task force that coordinates homelessness response and meets at least once a week. They talk about encampment prioritization, among other things. Speaking about the Harbor/Fairmount cleanup earlier in the day, he noted that crews used an excavator and dealt with 10 tents, one structure, and at least 6,000 pounds of debris. They’ve ordered “no camping” signs and will regularly inspect the area, but if people see campers there again, he urged them to report via Find It Fix It. He said the Green Seattle Partnership plans a restoration effort in that area.

Regarding prioritization, he explained how that works with the UCT: Reports about encampment sites lead to inspection, Sites are ranked with points based on a variety of criteria, not just complaints. This one was prioritized because of the “large amount of debris.” Right now they’re dealing with more than 700 active encampments and it “takes time” to reach a resolution. Regarding RVs, he mentioned the Seattle Public Utilities-administered remediation programs – providing services, doing debris removal – he listed three of those in the area over the past month, totaling almost six tons. But, he stressed, it’s legal to own, drive, live in RVs – the time limits are the issue.

Regarding Don Armeni, he said that closing gates on both driveways nightly might cause more problems than it solves, such as keeping boaters from using the ramp early in the morning if a Parks staffer wasn’t available to open the gate. No final decision has been made, though

Next, Councilmember Herbold, who first clarified that “as a councilmember I am a legislator – I don’t enforce the law, set priorities, or determine the penalties. … I can’t say, for example, ‘you must go remove that RV’ – we have laws on the books … city departments have to prioritize their resources.” She said the citywide RV count in September was 267 – “the departments are taking complaints from all across the city and trying to use an objective way to determine the impacts … the struggle is enforcing the laws because of a lack of resources.” Herbold explained that the council has allocated money for “RV safe lots” but the city has yet to spend it – the money’s been transferred to the King County Regional Homelessness Authority and that a contract has been issued to LIHI to site, build, operate, and manage them. LIHI currently is “in the challenging phase of trying to (find) locations,” likely one in the city and one outside. Again, she said, the council authorized the money starting in 2020 but those to whom it had been allocated hadn’t spent it. She also noted that the new city budget has more money for the Unified Care Team and that it will shift to a more geographic focus rather than citywide (as previously reported, it’ll be split into regional teams).

Regarding street safety, she said the council wants to work next year to use the new legislative authority for speed-camera enforcement beyond school zones, and she promised to work in early 2023 “to designate this area as a drag zone” to enable speed cameras.

QUESTIONS/ANSWERS: This phase of the meeting began after almost an hour. First question, if SPD is ‘fully funded” as has been repeatedly reported, why doesn’t the SW Precinct have detectives, Anti-Crime Team officers, etc., any more? Herbold clarified that “fully funded means SPD has all the money it needs to hire everyone – so the problem is a hiring problem.” She contended that most police departments around the nation – and other lines of work, including 911 and SFD – have more vacancies than ever. “I don’t make the deployment decisions for the department” but from her conversations with chief Diaz re: specialty units, “he made the decision to reduce staffing in some specialty units so he can put as many people on patrol as possible.”

It was pointed out at that point that the wish list also demanded “remove illegally parked RVs, vans, trailers, trucks, and cars from city streets ASAP!” Rivera said, “That’s the mayor’s office’s (responsibility)” said Rivera. “We’re not tasked with that. … If there’s any criminality we are tasked with that.” Van Bronkhorst said, “Part of the issue has been getting Parking Enforcement Officers out there when we do removals.” He explained that removals have to be preceded by a lot of outreach, And that’s labor- and time-intensive. A series of complaints about RVs jutting out into the road ensued. “That’s a straight-up Parking Enforcement question,” declared Rivera. He urged patience.

They’ve been patient, Gain noted, saying some of these issues go back five years. “Sooner or later we gotta come up with solutions that are gonna work.” Enforcing parking laws would be a major step toward a solution, he said.

Another attendee said that Harbor Ave greenbelt encampments are “criminal enterprises” and not ‘homeless villages,” so why aren’t police addressing those? Van Bronkhorst said it’s hard to tell which residents of an encampment are engaged in crime and which are not. “We know that SPD does this kind of work [encampment raids] – they’ve reported busts on SPD Blotter,” interjected Herbold. In some cases, she added, encampment residents are being preyed on – they are victims. “It’s really important to realize that people living homeless are many times more likely to be victims of crime.” She also noted that SPD can’t talk about investigations that are in progress, so as not to “tip their hand.”

Back to street safety: What can be done to make crosswalks more safe? LaBorde said more signage is on the way for the new speed-hump areas. Flashing beacons might be possible eventually but there’s a supply issue..

Shortly after that, things got a bit contentious. It started when an attendee said he’s concerned the meeting will not result in action. He asked for a show of hands regarding who has problems with RV parking; just about everyone raised their hands.

What do they have to do to get an RPZ? Herbold said it’s not legislative – it’s something SDOT would have to do. “No excuses!” yelled another attendee. LaBonde said there’s a way to request one online, and he believes there’s already been a request. But, he warned, what’s being requested is not generally in SDOT’s wheelhouse – RPZs are usually to “ensure better access tp a business district, to ensure parking in the neighborhoods,” not to exclude certain types of vehicles. The attendee countered that this is an access issue because in his view the RVs are keeping people from coming to West Seattle to do business or visit. LaBorde said that RPZs would affect some residents too, adding that it takes a few months to implement – a study and outreach would be required.

“We have four times the traffic of Fauntleroy and they have an RPZ!” someone else called out.

Another attendee said that they believe police have more authority to remove vehicles than they use, that an oft-cited court ruling was related to the cost of getting it back. “All we have to do is enforce the Seattle Municipal Code. I guarantee you that every one of those vehicles qualifies as a junk vehicle under the Seattle Municipal Code. They’re illegal vehicles, parked illegally, and all we have to do is enforce the Seattle Municipal Code.”

Another attendee said she’d been attacked by someone from an RV that had no tags/plates and where she used to live in another state, that was qualification for immediate towing. That’s an issue for the PEOs and Unified Care Team, said Lt. Kim. Capt. Rivera also stressed a separation of enforcement .. if it’s a vehicle that’s abandoned with no plate, PEOs will handle. If someone’s living in it, that goes through the UCT, he said. LaBorde also emphasized the separation of responsibilities. “We are getting to those day-to-day complaints, it may take longer than it used to,”he said. Van Bronkhorst explained that when an RV is towed, there’s an inspection process to look “for specific health and safety issues, and if it doesn’t meet the criteria … it’s (scrapped).”

The attendee who was intent on the RPZ said “so you’re saying SDOT has not made a decision to go that route.” “Yes.” “But it’s something this group that lives on that street would desire … it gives the police another tool … (so) what is keeping you from making that decision?”

LaBorde replied, “It’s a fairly blunt instrument in that it’s going to impinge on not only (lawbreakers) but .. other people who may need on-street parking … who are doing completely appropriate behavior.” “But the residents want it,” insisted the attendee. LaBorde countered that in many parts of the area, parking already is restricted between 1 and 5 am, and there’s not parking enorcement available overnight anyhow.” The attendee said, “But you said there’s a study. … Do the study.”

Herbold pressed the point, “So if there’s an RPZ, but no overnight enforcement, what would that accomplish?”

Further back and forth had an attendee trying to drill down on “who owns the process?” “The mayor’s office,” said Rivera.

One person then tried to change the topic, saying she has an Alki business and was shocked not to have not heard gun violence brought up yet. Lt. Shopay then took the mike. “In the last month and a half we’e tried to put emphasis units on Alki and Harbor, starting in the middle of October, on an overtime basis, I saw some immediate results – quicker response to violent crimes – in November we ramped it up, hit the diagonal parking, Don Armeni, Alki hard, I had 25-30 officers volunteer for that … in that time there was a significant decrease in our 911 calls … this has been kind of an experiment … I’m looking for some feedback to see if this has made any difference – do I need to change where I’m putting my people?” He also explained that the patrols’ goal has been to “clear people out” rather than to make small-time arrests which would accomplish less by tying up officers on paperwork.

“Is this a staffing thing or budget thing,” asked an attendee. “Staffing,” replied Lt. Shopay.

Another attendee who lives across from “the diagonal parking” said it makes a “huge difference” that police are there. She continued, “Nobody wants draconian laws to be passed, nobody has a lack of compassion for homeless people, what we’re dealing with is public nuisance … it affects values, it affects tourism, it affects all the things we try to be good at … it’s incumbent upon all of us that public and private nuisance, which becomes common nuisance, be rectified.”

Applause ensued.

“It’s easy to just say we’re done and give up,” summarized Gain. as the meeting concluded, “but that’s not what we’re about, we have to solve these problems.”

106 Replies to "Use an RPZ to exclude RVs? Harbor/Alki residents meet with city reps regarding that and 18 other priorities"

  • Lucy December 13, 2022 (1:17 pm)

    Create a safe space for RVs to park.  Use a piece of city owned property for them to park and have water and electricity hook ups.  Provide trash/recycle collection bins.  Have it fenced in with security at night.  It certainly can’t cost more than what we spend now on the cleanups and damage to private and public lands.  Then, as folks get settled, we could send social workers and public health folks out to help those who want help.  No more parking on public streets.  

    • Heather December 13, 2022 (2:11 pm)

      I believe there is/was a designated RV parking in SODO.  And I recently read that the city is spending $2 million to designate a safe RV area through the Low-Income Housing Institute.

      • WSB December 13, 2022 (2:21 pm)

        Which is in the story. (The LIHI contract to come up with a safe lot)

      • Question Authority December 13, 2022 (3:12 pm)

        Yes there was, and it was a hot mess strewn with haphazard vehicles, garbage and unnecessary and unneeded possessions.  It failed because there was no known rule enforcement and it started to look like a set from Mad Max, my wife worked across the street and I feared for her safety.  LIHI is a poor choice as manager as they have a habit of just perpetuating the homeless housing problem as the blank checks keep being written.

  • Alki Dad December 13, 2022 (1:26 pm)

    It is currently illegal to park on the same for more than 72 hours in row.  What makes people think the city will enforce an RPZ any better?

    • Chemist December 13, 2022 (11:36 pm)

      It’s also illegal to park a vehicle over 80 inches wide overnight unless it’s in an industrial zone.  Doesn’t quite help if Parking Enforcement won’t be active to enforce it, although the threat of enforcement might go a long way to encourage following the law.  Many law-abiding people people pay bus fare because there’s a chance they’ll get caught for fare evasion.

      11.72.070 – Commercial and large size vehicles.No person shall park a vehicle on any street or alley, except in an Industrial Zone as defined in Title 23, between the hours of midnight and six (6) a.m. if the vehicle is a truck and/or trailer or other conveyance which is over eighty (80) inches wide.

  • Question Authority December 13, 2022 (1:41 pm)

    The limits have finally been reached and citizens are rising up against the City’s poor decisions and demanding action, it was inevitable and calling out Herbold’s part in all this quite fitting.  Compassion and programs do exist but allowing those who refuse help and bring crime, filth and public safety issues has to stop being coddled by do gooding ninnys.  Where’s all that funding going anyways?

  • MM December 13, 2022 (1:42 pm)

    Why can’t they put a sign that says No Overnight Camping with a steep fine and tow them away and enforce it everyday!!!!!!  They have obviously broken the 72 hr rule – Tow and destroy the RVs. End it!

    • Ron Swanson December 13, 2022 (2:57 pm)

      Uh, because of that pesky fourth amendment that says you can’t just go seizing people’s homes.

      • OneTimeCharley December 13, 2022 (6:46 pm)

        The impounding isn’t illegal. Charging a high amount to get the “home” out of impoundment is. Keep towing them every 72 hours, charge 1.00 a day to get them back out, rinse repeat until the “homes” literally fall apart.

        • Derek December 14, 2022 (8:44 am)

          Why are you wanting to punish the poor so badly?

      • WS Res December 13, 2022 (7:23 pm)

        It’s terrible when the law protects people that others want it to punish.

      • tim December 14, 2022 (7:40 am)

        uh, the home is where one pays property taxes.

        • Derek December 14, 2022 (11:56 am)

          Part of the problem with the housing crisis right here. Need to allow mobile living. 

  • Mr J December 13, 2022 (1:46 pm)

    “Tell me you don’t want to see poor people without telling me you don’t want to see poor people.” That’s my takeaway.I also agree with Lucy, the amount of funds wasted on cleanup could go to transitioning people into better situations. 

  • Runner December 13, 2022 (1:54 pm)


  • Citizen Sane December 13, 2022 (2:09 pm)

    As one attendee noted: “Why can’t we just enforce the laws”? Why indeed? We seem to have two sets of rules in this town: one for the law-abiding, tax-paying citizens, and one for vagrants (and that seems to pretty much be ‘Do whatever you want’. We simply cannot have a city with multiple rule books, with the one you’re held to depending on your socioeconomic status. Exempting the so-called ‘homeless’ infantilizes them, and does no one any favors. These are not hapless waifs here; most of these are canny, resourceful people who have lived this lifestyle for years. At this point it’s a choice. 

    • K December 13, 2022 (5:29 pm)

      It’s amazing that people would rather spend tens of thousands of dollars per person to feed, clothe, and house them in JAIL, but balk at the idea of spending even a fraction of that housing them under any other conditions.  Treating homeless people like human beings isn’t going to take anything away from you.  Sheesh.  They’re people.

      • OneTimeCharley December 13, 2022 (6:56 pm)

        Even more amazing is that some folks think that being poor is a free pass and allows for trespassing, public indecency, littering, vehicle violations, public drug use, etc. etc. etc. Keep it simple. Break a law, go to jail. They will eventually figure it out and move to the nearest jurisdiction that ISN’T jailing them for ignoring laws. It’s that simple really. Do we need a new jail to accomplish this? Let’s do it! When do we break ground?

      • Kyle December 13, 2022 (8:52 pm)

        The king county regional homeless authority has a $164M budget for solving homelessness this year. People are more than happy to spend money to help solve the problem. The results we are seeing from these government experts have been abysmal.

        • Admyrl Byrd December 14, 2022 (12:12 pm)

          Ding ding ding ding…we have a winner…..Kyle!  And I don’t think this includes the amounts the city spends as well.

        • K December 14, 2022 (10:05 pm)

          Omg, you’re SO close to getting it…  The money is being thrown at sweeps and punishment, when it has been proven to death that these DO NOT WORK.  The issue is not about funding, it’s priorities.  If city and county leaders would give up the asinine sweeps for proven solutions (housing), it would make an actual difference.  As long as the “solutions” are driven by the feelings and wants of those not experiencing homelessness rather than the needs of people who are, we’re going to keep throwing money away and not solving anything.  Sweeps don’t work.  They never have and never will.

          • OneTimeCharley December 15, 2022 (9:57 am)

            I counter that they do, and always did, while we were doing them. I am extraordinarily happy that they have resumed and can already see the results. As someone once said on here, I want to live in Beverly Hills, but am unable to afford it. Should I get an RV and go live there surreptitiously in their public spaces? Nope. Should I expect to be welcomed if I did? Nope. Will living this way in an area that I cannot afford be sustainable? Nope. Will it ever be? Nope. Should I blame the community for this failure on my part to see the obvious? Nope.

  • Jim December 13, 2022 (2:24 pm)

    A restricted parking zone is ridiculous! Stop punishing everyone for the actions of a few and crack down on these people in their dilapidated RVs that there’s no way they can be street legal in the condition that they’re in

    • Oakley34 December 13, 2022 (8:31 pm)

      I’m also against an RPZ.  I’m a WS resident and very frequent user of this area for parking (long walks from Duwamish Head to Alki and back) and and RPZ would punish this sort of recreational use.  Existing parking limits (if enforced) should be sufficient.

  • Admiral Rob December 13, 2022 (2:34 pm)

    But, that’s not my department…Jesus! Come on! This is a huge issue. Somebody actually DO SOMETHING!

  • Chris December 13, 2022 (3:19 pm)

    I drove around Seattle last week to see what is happening with known illegal RV parking areas. The majority of them have been cleared. In fact, a very large camp of RVs on Elliot Ave by Fuji Bakery was newer than our RVs on Harbor Ave, and they are now gone. When the West Seattle Freeway reopened RVs immediately took over W Marginal Way near Northwest Custom Interiors and the area around it. All of them are gone now and we still have RVs on Harbor Ave. Why is it possible to move those RVs from industrial areas so quickly, but we have to jump through all these hoops to remove them from a residential area. It all seems very fishy! I actually think the RVs on Harbor Ave are not trouble makers, but this type of thing always atracts trouble to the area. It just does! 

    • nwpolitico December 13, 2022 (4:30 pm)

      Not to mention Marginal Place getting cleared only to have the chop shop replaced by another one six weeks later.

    • Jethro Marx December 13, 2022 (9:19 pm)

      Look, you had barely mentioned it and someone already made off with a third of the letters ‘t’ in your attempt at ‘attracts.’

  • The Earl December 13, 2022 (3:31 pm)

    6,000 pounds of trash picked up and removed.. a population that needs to be  held accountable.

    • Jon Wright December 13, 2022 (4:31 pm)

      That’s great that you want to hold that “population” accountable. How, specifically, do you propose that happens? Do you want to put them in jail for littering? Courts are clogged and jails are full. There are already complaints about violent offenders going free as a result. Do you want to fine them $10,000 for contempt/trespassing/illegal parking? If they had the means to pay fines, they probably wouldn’t be living in RVs. Do you want an armed posse to force them to pick up garbage “or else”? Have them publicly flogged or subject to some other unconstitutional punishment? Not sure what’s left. It’s easy to talk all high and mighty about accountability, not so easy to implement.

      • North Admiral Neighbor December 13, 2022 (7:59 pm)

        They should be offered the chance to do community service and clean it up but if they refuse then yeah nothing wrong with throwing them in jail for their destruction of the environment.

        The vast majority of us would gladly pay higher taxes if it went toward adding more court and jail capacity to get these folks the help they actually need.

        The cruelest thing we can do is to continue to allow them to live in dangerous conditions such as in an RV or tent where they are exposed to both the dangerous weather elements and lack security against potential criminals. Homeless folks are very likely to be targets of criminals.

        • J December 13, 2022 (10:05 pm)

          You would gladly pay higher taxes to jail people, but not house them? Because jail is ‘help’? Do you know how many people are stuck outside because they’ve been ‘helped’ by jail and now can’t get jobs or apartments due to their record? I think you and I have very different ideas of help. 

          • Jort December 14, 2022 (7:21 am)

            That’s because they don’t want to actually “help,” they just don’t want to look at visible homelessness, and the only ready-built, ready-to-go option is incarceration. I can understand the logic for these arguments: for these people, the greatest crime is being victim to looking at visibly homeless people. If all these RVs were parked in a place where nobody can see them (for example, a “safe lot”), nobody would care about this. In the meantime, jail is easy, there’s a social and practical structure in place to use it, meanwhile building housing and addressing root causes is mentally and structurally challenging. People want easy solutions: jail seems easy, and a solution, when really it’s not.

          • DJ December 15, 2022 (9:24 pm)

            this has nothing to do with “helping” anybody. its about maintaining a clean and safe city for the taxpaying and law abiding citizens to enjoy, including my my three year old and one year old children, without fear of picking up a dirty needle or getting fecal matter on their hands when they touch a tree in the park. its really that simple.

  • MG December 13, 2022 (5:22 pm)

    So after reading this I think I’ve come up with a solution.Tonight I’m going to get my camping gear out, set up my tent on the Alki Trail in front of the RVs, and leave my valuables out front.  I’m thinking my generator, bikes, my car keys, a bunch of nice jewelry would be a good start  Then, when I’m robbed, which I will be since they have chosen to do so twice at my home with no conviction, maybe then we can classify these folks as criminals and move their lovely “homes” from our community.  Any of these panelists wanna camp out with me tonight?  I’ll bring the marshmallows. Oh also, any of these people that are really homeless because they don’t have jobs, I’m hiring.  I have lots of work and pay well.  Just comment below with your email address and I will reach out.  A simple pass of a drug test and I’ll set up an interview. Matt

    • WS Res December 14, 2022 (9:34 am)

      If you truly think it’s an appealing lifestyle, go for it.  Also, if you’re hiring: do you pay enough for someone to afford a 1-BR apartment locally on 1/3 of their total income?

      • Mike H. December 15, 2022 (7:14 am)

        I had a roommate until I was 35.  It wasn’t fun, but paid the rent. I could have also moved to Moses Lake and lived all by myself.  No one is forced to live in a specific area of the US.

  • Eddie December 13, 2022 (6:34 pm)

    WSB – Correct me if I’m wrong, but this story strikes me as the longest posting ever. If not, it’s gotta be in the top 3 or 4.Keep up the good work!

    • WSB December 13, 2022 (9:17 pm)

      No, just the first long one in a while, because there are still relatively few in-person community meetings to cover. Those, I can write “as it happened” notes; for online meetings, I more often take notes by hand, which are much shorter. More concise, too, although in this case, even if TL:DR for some, it’s a topic of such widespread interest, others might find value in reading exactly who said what, in detail. – TR

  • SeattleNeighbor December 13, 2022 (6:46 pm)

    Why do the hard working tax payers get ticketed by parking enforcement for senseless things like failure to display tabs but others can have broken down vehicle surrounded by trash, claim it’s their home & aren’t held to the same laws? It’s unjust and I think those who have been ticketed by Seattle Parking enforcement should band together with s class action lawsuit against Seattle parking enforcement & their imbalanced enforcement of parking laws! 

    • KBear December 13, 2022 (9:14 pm)

      If you’re a “hard working tax payer” then why would you have missing vehicle tabs? Also, many poor and homeless people work hard and pay taxes. Even the ones that park on your street. 

      • Admyrl Byrd December 14, 2022 (12:16 pm)

        I thought they stopped enforcing tabs because it too unfairly impacted the people who weren’t paying them.

        • Odd son December 14, 2022 (4:07 pm)

          Byrd, Police wont pull you over for it but a PEO can technically still write a ticket on a parked vehicle.

  • Eddie December 13, 2022 (7:46 pm)

    Sounds like a fair amount of fingerpointing at the Parking Enforcement organization. 

  • WSEnvironmentalist December 13, 2022 (8:01 pm)

    In July 2022, several neighbors and I phoned 911 regarding a troop of 3 attempting to break into storage at a Harbor Ave condo complex.  We made 3 separate phone calls before 2 SPD officers arrived.  As we stood on the sidewalk talking to SPD, I pointed out a drug deal occurring 1/2 block N on Harbor and asked the officer to do something.  His response was that he could not as City Council does not authorize that type of action.  AND the dealer and buyer could clearly see the SPD vehicles yet continued their deal.  Frankly, I am really tired of the buck passing and finger pointing by City Council, SPD, out reach groups and the mayor’s office.  Sooner or later something really bad is going to happen to one or more legal residents on Harbor/Alki and what will the powers say or do?  Nothing, other than “we’re really sorry and we are doing everything we can.”   Baloney!!! Law and order in Seattle should become a movement similar to Times Up, BLM, and Me Too.  We are a racial, ethnically and ideologically diverse city so there is no toe stepping in pursuing a movement to demand that “we” receive the services and protections that we pay for and expect of our city administrators and service providers.  Maybe would should have our WA Residents’ attorney, Bob Ferguson, initiate and investigation into how the City is spending our money.  Civil action might be our only option.

  • Rhonda December 13, 2022 (9:38 pm)

    So, an RPZ where tourists, residents, and late-night Alki visitors will be ticketed and transient, derelict, illegally-parked RVs will be ignored. Got it.

  • Don’t punish the rest of us December 13, 2022 (9:57 pm)

    No RPZ- It would punish the rest of us for infractions of the very few. Alki residents are not the only folks dealing with rvs – figure out another way that can be applied to all areas.

  • Jort December 13, 2022 (10:34 pm)

    The single greatest correlating factor to homelessness —  in any city, in any situation, in any climate — is the affordability of housing. The more expensive the housing, the more homeless people you have. There is not a correlation with higher incidence of mental health issues, or with drug abuse, or with “liberals” or political makeup of the region’s governance. The single greatest issue is the cost of housing. Don’t like RVs? Time for affordable housing. (Jail is not affordable housing, it’s just you as a person wanting to exact punishment and vengeance for your own emotional satisfaction. It solves nothing, this is not debatable.) If you do not like looking at RVs, then you need to talk to your politicians about building more affordable housing in this city. This is not complicated. An RPZ does not eliminate homelessness. A sweep does not fix this. SCREAMING about “Lisa Herbold” does not fix this. These people are not going to just disappear. Land and homeowners in this city have reaped unprecedented financial windfalls, seeing enormous, unbelievable growth in their home values. That’s why you have homelessness, and that’s probably why you are all so desperate to find ANYTHING to make this go away, anything, of course, except the one thing that we know matters most: building affordable housing. “But where will they park!” “No light rail, cars only!” “My home value will go down!” “I want to save this tree instead of providing housing!” We are all making intentional choices to perpetuate this nightmare. We are all culpable in the root causes. And nothing you can do in the world will solve it, not jail, not sweeps, not anything — except, of course, going to the root issue: building more housing.

    • Anonymous Coward December 14, 2022 (6:46 am)

      “The more expensive the housing, the more homeless people you have.”  So that explains  why Mercer Island has so many more homeless people (as a percentage of their population) than West Seattle!

      • Jort December 14, 2022 (10:34 am)

        I encourage you look at this issue with the nuance and introspection it deserves. 
        The “PIT” count is the Point-in-Time homelessness count done nationally.

        • Mike H. December 15, 2022 (7:19 am)

          You should be sent back to statistics 101 before you think those R^2 values are making your point.Expensive cities in Europe don’t have visible homelessness.  But it’s not a problem local governments can solve.  They tinker at the margins, and look at the results.

    • Lucy December 14, 2022 (7:02 am)

      I disagree 100%.  Until you can prove to me these folks are actually gainfully employed and honestly cannot afford housing within a reasonable commute from said job, you’re making excuses for a population more inclined to drug abuse and criminal behavior.  

      • Mickymse December 14, 2022 (5:00 pm)

        This is one of the more recent, more highly publicized ones that come to mind… Here you go:

      • aa December 14, 2022 (9:53 pm)

        I have a full time job, good pay, benefits, the whole deal. And I cant afford to live in Seattle and  have any left to save for even the basic financial security.  I choose to live 20 minutes away and try hard to save what I can. I am one of the lucky ones.  The only way I could live in Seattle would be to live in one of those horrible micro-hell 200 sq. ft. boxes and have nothing in my bank account which would leave me one step away from homeless. 

    • Mike H. December 14, 2022 (8:50 am)

      Jort this is simply untrue and naive.The folks in broken out RVs, dealing with addiction and broken lives, aren’t going to switch from an RV if we build enough housing and rent goes from $2500 to $1500.Further, if rental returns go down, developers will respond by moving their money elsewhere.While it has some effects on the edges, and I’m all for more housing, the affordable housing card is just “big developer” advocacy and it won’t make any difference for this problem at hand. Sure we should have more housing, but we’re full of it if we think that solves drug addiction.  That’s the actual problem. Don’t do drugs kids.

      • Jort December 14, 2022 (10:25 am)

        Does homelessness lead to crime? Or does crime lead to homelessness? Can you be certain you know the answer to that? Can you find research that supports that?

        Why do places with more crime have fewer homeless people? Why do places with more drug addiction have fewer homeless people?  

        I’m impressed that you acknowledge the root of the opposition to affordable housing: that people are afraid they won’t make as much money if housing becomes more affordable. Maybe you should explore that thought a little deeper? Maybe engage in some deep thinking on it. 

        • Mike H. December 15, 2022 (6:53 am)

          I’m all for switching from capitalism but it isn’t happening any time soon.The demand for housing, a good we all need, at below market rate is infinite. We pat ourselves on the back with administrative taxes and programs, but it’s a lottery for some and a big charade.I’d rather live in Malibu, but I can’t afford it. I can’t go pitch a tent there and claim to be “a member of the community.”. 96% of the US land mass has cheaper housing than the city of Seattle. If Seattle businesses can’t find anyone to hire for low wage jobs, they innovate or pay more. The market at work.I agree we’ve distorted the market with limiting housing, but new housing and utility upgrades are not cheap at all, as someone who works in the industry.  We need to stop enabling junkies, open up zoning, and enforce existing laws that we have agreed to through the political process.  That’s it.  

          • Jort December 15, 2022 (10:16 am)

            So America is the only capitalist country in the world? Other countries around the world are all communist, and that’s why they don’t have homelessness? It is very telling that some people interpret “build more affordable housing” with “the end of capitalism.” It’s telling in the sense that it means people view increasing property values as more important than housing people. In fact, as you note, most people would rather engage in massive forced displacement/migration as a “solution.” These are the values most people are espousing. That the “free market” – in housing, in jobs, in wages, in development, in policy, in transportation, in planning – means the only possible solutions are either jailings or forcible dispossession and relocation. Got some news for ya, buddy: there are “free markets” all over the world that more successfully handle homelessness as a societal responsibility through policy. Maybe we should engage in some deep thinking about why our version of the “free market” here, in America, isn’t able to do the same as others. These are challenging thoughts! Maybe don’t be so quick to accept unchallenging, childlike “solutions” as the only options. 

    • Frog December 14, 2022 (11:38 am)

      Credit to Jort, he has very artfully drawn the box out of which Seattle progressives could never find their way.  The rigid thinking is self contained, and unassailable from within itself.  He wins.  There is, of course, a whole other scary-large discussion outside the box, but don’t think it could happen in WSB comments.  Just a couple of hints:  correlation is not causation.  Homeless are not all the same; there are several distinct segments.  There is plenty of cheap housing in the USA, just not in Seattle.

      • OneTimeCharley December 14, 2022 (3:23 pm)

        Please don’t forget the question that always remains perpetually unanswered: If we were to solve homelessness, drug addiction and housing affordability, how are we going to provide those solutions for all the people who will come here simply because we found the solution?

        • Jort December 14, 2022 (11:16 pm)

          That question, unlike the questions, “How long can we lock up the people in RVs?” and “What is Lisa Herbold doing to remove these RVs?” is actually a good question. How can we solve this locally without attracting and accepting the burden from the rest of a nation unwilling to make the same investments? Seattle cannot compel or even encourage action currently even from its own regional partners, who complain about the exact same things (“Where will they park?” “No affordable housing in my neighborhood.” “That’s a SEATTLE problem, not a Redmond problem.”). Not to mention the rest of a nation that, let’s face it, isn’t going to be as forward-thinking on these issue as Seattle potentially could choose to be. But is that an excuse for doing nothing? Is doing nothing even acceptable? Again, these are challenging questions without easy answers. I do truly wish people would at the very least accept this. But, then again, I imagine it really is quite the little adrenaline rush to screech out some stupid, thoughtless comment about “Lisa Herbold” for the 1,000th time. Gee, that’ll do the trick.

    • skeeter December 14, 2022 (3:46 pm)

      Jort states “These people are not going to just disappear.”  But in certain areas homeless people do disappear.  From Kirkland.  And Redmond.  And Bellevue.   Seattle housing is expensive.  But it’s downright cheap compared to Kirkland.  But Kirkland has virtually zero (visible) homelessness.  If I go set up a tent anywhere in the city limits of Kirkland I guarantee it’ll be gone in 24 hours.  I doubt a broken down RV would last 12 hours.  If high housing costs cause people to be homeless, the burden is not being shared equally.  

  • uncle loco December 14, 2022 (5:48 am)

    This isn’t a housing problem. This is a fentonal/ meth/ heroin/ problem.

    • Mickymse December 14, 2022 (5:09 pm)

      The data is pretty clear that homelessness is not as high a percentage in places where the fentanyl problem is greater. The data is also pretty clear that homelessness is not as high a percentage in places where the poverty level is higher. What is abundantly clear is that homelessness is higher in big, liberal, coastal cities because they have HOUSING AFFORDABILITY problems. And, surprise, in places where White, liberal, homeowners like to proclaim how much they care about helping people but where they generally oppose siting services in their neighborhood, near their children’s schools, or increasing density which will “ruin” the character of their neighborhoods.   

      • Mike H. December 15, 2022 (7:04 am)

        If you want to repeal the GMA and have cul de sacs to the cascades please do so.Have you been to the southeast?  Housing is cheap because it’s all culdesacs, sprawl, and retention ponds.You get what you pay for in this life.

  • James December 14, 2022 (6:38 am)

    I pulled this data from a news article on Q13 FOX in case anyone wants to throw stones of political bias:

    In Washington state the fair market for a two-bedroom rental is $1,629. To avoid this level of rent and utilities without paying more than 30% of income on housing, a household must earn $5,430 a month ($65,161 annually).That means the average Washingtonian would need to make $31.33 per hour (working full-time) to afford a two-bedroom apartment.

    A two-bedroom apartment in West Seattle is $2,787 – $5,474. The average food service worker in Seattle makes $33,484 annually. If you earn $27,200 annually and live alone, you qualify for the low-income housing program. You can quickly see the disparity between working full-time and trying to afford rent in Seattle. There is nuance missing in these discussions because the loudest ones are shouting for impossible panacea because of some romanticized nostalgia that no longer exists.

    • Al King December 14, 2022 (1:43 pm)

      James. Hate to tell you but I rent a 2 bedroom on Alki for $1,800 a month.  I don’t need to live in a trendy new apartment. Why do those people need to be subsidized??

      • James December 14, 2022 (5:25 pm)

        And how much do you earn?

  • WSEnvironmentalist December 14, 2022 (8:46 am)

    OMG, JORT!  Your ideology must be included as one reason there is homelessness.  I’ll make you a deal.  We make a date for you to come down to my house on Harbor Ave and they we can walk together past the RVs and encampments.  We can interview “the residents” and ask if they have jobs.  We’ll ask why they choose to live on Harbor and Alki.  Of course, this depends upon whom we find “living” inside the RVs.  Are the RVs storage lots for piles of pallets (see the WSB pic), are they full of propane (2 RVs have exploded in 13 months – nice big fire balls in close proximity to humans), are they gateways to chop shops, or are they drug dealers?  And while you are visiting the neighborhood and in particular, my house, you can help me pick up the used needles, human poop, beer cans, etc that we find pretty much everyday in our driveway.  After you become educated you can reconsider your ideology for correctness of facts not just espousing stuff you’ve read on SM.

    • stephanie December 14, 2022 (5:30 pm)

       I live in one of these Rvs posted and yes I and my husband work full time the guy behind us works when he gets a job as a mechanic and the other guy is 100 percent disabled was given three months to live . There are no drug delears or crimes because of us here and it is a industrial zoned area we do our best to keep it clean and apooogize if we have done anything 

  • Scarlett December 14, 2022 (8:54 am)

    Jort is correct, of course.  We should be able to agree that housing is the single greatest problem effecting millions of Americans, here and across the country.  Not just for those in homeless encampments and RV’s, but those who are working and simply cannot afford a roof over their heads.  This is a crisis in America but we’re all looking to place the blame elsewhere, or put the responsibility on someone else’s shoulders.   We all live in homes with no mirrors. 

    It has produced some strange and awkward political bedfellows, too  Those who want to taxidermy their neighborhood in one of those static glass ball scenes  from the 1950’s, team up with those who favor trees over human beings.  It’s nauseating.   

    But I think many here simply don’t understand the magnitude of the housing problem and that for millions upward mobility is just a cruel dream.  

    • Jort December 14, 2022 (10:19 am)

      Just as it is with the illogical psychological attachments people have with automobiles that cause them to have blinders, so too is it with housing. The psychology is challenging, but not impossible, to examine. If I were to take a guess at it (untested by research) I would say that there are strong psychological associations with the relatively recent (last 50+ years) American emphasis on societal individualism (pull up by your bootstraps, poverty is a personal moral failing, individual, atomistic empowerment is the single most important consideration in the framework of “freedom,” the generation of wealth through individual long-term property investment far beyond its real value in providing shelter, etc., ). I think these factors play in to peoples’ reactions (always reactions) to homelessness (and cars!). If you view the world purely through “we are individually responsible for the world around us” mindsets, then, yeah, I can imagine you view an RV on the street as an individual failing, likely worthy of imprisonment!

      We even see this exemplified in Seattle’s personally-driven obsession with individual responsibility on recycling. Our trash-sorting contributions are minuscule compared to the impact of business decisions intended to maximize profit at the expense of the environment. But boy, do we sure feel good because we each make a difference, right?

      But, as I always say, we only need look outside our very own borders to realize that what happens in Seattle and in America does not happen across the globe. Other countries have people with drug addictions, and with mental health issues, and with high costs of living. Primarily in America (and, less so, other Anglo-related countries) do we see the massive issues related to housing and homelessness. Europe doesn’t have fewer homeless because they’re all locked up (America has by far the highest incarceration rate and numbers on the planet without exception). It’s because Europe understands the societal benefit of social policy, rather than prioritizing the individual at the expense of others. The states with the highest rates of mental health issues, like West Virginia, also have the lowest rates of homelessness. Why might that be?So, yeah, no easy answers, only things people don’t want to hear. Easy “solutions,” though … yeah, lots of those. It hasn’t worked for 200 years but perhaps now we will finally jail our way to freedom. Above all, there is a true lack of desire to be introspective, and certainly not to acknowledge societal culpability. So many “In This House We Believe” liberals would be shocked to realize they’re living the embodiment of hard-right individualism as an ethos, right here in bright-blue Seattle. But they are. 

      • agree December 14, 2022 (1:42 pm)

        I agree with just about everything in Jort’s description of the “bad guy”.  But I’m unapologetically moderate conservative and I don’t have one of those ridicuous “we believe” signs.  For sure agree with individualism.  It’s hard to imagine the colorless pathetic world Jort envisions.  Extreme soviet communisim comes to mind.  I’ll pass.

        • Jethro Marx December 14, 2022 (6:11 pm)

          We are not asked for our thoughts on being an individual, we just are one. Living one’s life as if we are, or could become, some collective consciousness is just dumb. Mercy is far greater than disdain, when it comes to dealing with humans.

  • Tiny Deadpan December 14, 2022 (10:06 am)

    I’m wondering if the people they were discussing were invited. The pic of the crowd looks like a bunch of well-dressed neighbors hanging out in a warm church while the people they want to “do something about” are OUTSIDE… maybe we should invite those people to the conversation as well. At least they would be warm for a few hours.

    • WSEnvironmentalist December 15, 2022 (6:46 pm)

      Dear Tiny Deadpan:  Obviously, you do not live on either Alki or Harbor Ave.  All legal residents, including renters and owners, received written invitations in their USPS boxes.  So, if you lived here with a mailbox, not in an RV or an encampment, you would have been invited to attend the meeting.  And the pic was a snapshot of attendees  not the full compliment.  As for those who “live outside” it is their choice to live rent and tax free on a city street and inside a City of Seattle property while the rest of us pay to clean up their garbage, poop, and drug paraphernalia while dealing with druggies overdosing or getting so high/crazy that late at night they run down the middle of Harbor Ave  screaming.  Of course, that is before they attempt to break into our house multiple times per week.  And for the record, our family has owned this property since 1954.  We should not have to move in order to go outside for a walk.

  • Scarlett December 14, 2022 (10:38 am)

    These “capitalist” platitudes about working hard and not doing drugs as the ticket to middle-class prosperity are banal and nauseating.  No, actually, the ticket to middle-class prosperity is largely determined by what family you are born into and the assets that are waiting for you.   How many of you would  be huddled under a tent if you didn’t have a financial cushion.  Go peddle your childish, magical fables elsewhere.  

    • wscommuter December 14, 2022 (11:50 am)

      Interesting; a lot of simplification to fit a narrative in your two posts.  No doubt, some folks have a leg up in life if born into wealth and privilege.  Not nearly as many as you pretend, but sure, that happens for some folks.  But most of us – myself included – weren’t given anything and we had to work for what we have.  Nothing wrong with that either.  And there is no doubt that some folks have the deck stacked against them for economic, societal and racial reasons.  Agree there too.  Except, and here’s that pesky truth thing, except that an awful lot of folks who face a stacked deck nonetheless manage to avoid becoming addicted to fentanyl or some other substance.  Yes, I readily agree there is a shortage of affordable housing and I fully support taxing me more to pay for more housing.  However, too many folks here, including you apparently, want to overlook the equally – and perhaps more serious – factor that drug addition (which include alcohol) is absolutely correlative with being homeless.  So we need to fund way more treatment programs and sobriety assistance (see comment above about raising my taxes).   Pretending that this complex problem can be reduced to an anti-capitalism rant (or equally stupid, anti-crime rant) is at best naive and fully counterproductive.  

    • Al King December 14, 2022 (12:24 pm)

       Scarlett/Jort. Who exactly will pay for all this “affordable housing” Will your dream of very low rents be permanent?? Will those you move out of rv’s or tents be allowed to live there forever or will you at some point make them move? Who will pay to build all this cheap housing? What proof do you have that the subsidized housing costs won’t be passed on to the rest of us?? As for me: retired on fixed income renter. Unusual in that i live within my means and hold myself accountable for my finances. I don’t wave a victim card.

      • WS Res December 14, 2022 (3:46 pm)

        Do you ask these questions about jails?

        • Al King December 15, 2022 (11:06 am)

          WS Res. I will, after you answer my question.

  • Che' Leon December 14, 2022 (10:42 am)

    Who is going to replace Ms. Herbold ?  We are looking forward to positive changes and democracy in action. I was at the meeting. It was great to see neighbors and old friends from the area.

    • WSB December 14, 2022 (11:32 am)

      We’re checking daily, but so far no one has filed an intent to campaign (fundraise), which is often a first step. But it’s early – the filing deadline is in May.

  • time December 14, 2022 (10:53 am)

    Housing: Eliminate property taxes on rentals. Make them exempt. That should lower the rent by about $700 a month.

    • Admyrl Byrd December 14, 2022 (12:25 pm)

      So owners making income (and assumably profit) off of renting to others shouldn’t be taxed while homeowners just working to pay their mortgage and have a roof over their heads should? Renters not burdened by their fair share of property taxes (because, you know, know income tax thingy) would make even more skewed decisions on levy votes.The logical end to that is no one in their right mind would own a home, they’d all rent, and – with the exemptions in place – city tax coffers would fall off a cliff.   But yeah, we could try that!

    • Rhonda December 14, 2022 (1:08 pm)

      Eliminating property taxes on rentals would create an epic, historic shortfall of revenue into the city, county, and state budgets. Property owners would simply pocket that money or put it back into their operating funds instead of lowering rents. Most apartment complexes are owned by large corporations. It’s likely any tax savings would go towards raising salaries for their employees and stocks for their shareholders.

    • Sadoutcome December 14, 2022 (2:00 pm)

      So that apartment that is now $1300 a month will be $600 a month. That’s awesome, and would surely house many people, but do you think that addicts are going to be able to come up with an extra $600 every month? These are folks that literally put every cent they have into: first, more meth or fentanyl and second, some food and beverages to keep alive. And that is who is mainly living in the tents and RVs. Oh, and the ones selling said drugs:

  • Mj December 14, 2022 (1:06 pm)

    Scarlett – my old man grew up on the wrong side of the rail road tracks, a religious minority and dirt poor and through hard work made it to the middle class.  It is still possible for people to work their way into the middle class.  

    Jort – there is work force housing available, aPodment units can be rented for about a $1,000/month.  Ample $20/hr or more job opportunities exist that make the rent affordable, about 30% of the monthly income for a person working full time at $20/hr.

    • K December 14, 2022 (9:56 pm)

      They are not “available”.  The wait lists for affordable units are months to years long.  We need more housing, period.  The places you don’t see people living in RVs are places where there are enough housing units to match the number of people who need housing, regardless of the socioeconomic or political conditions of the city or the people living there.

    • Scarlett December 15, 2022 (8:20 am)

      MJ:  Upward mobility does not just consist of “surviving” it is being able to put something aside for the future so one can rest their bones, hopefully.   Otherwise, this is called “serfdom.” Yes, i have a grandfather who was a real life rag to riches – an orphan who started a successful agricultural business by sheer tenacity became a stellar member of the community – but that’s NOT everyone, and maybe not you nor me either.   I am sick and tired of fables from both sides of the political spectrum, frankly.   

  • J December 14, 2022 (2:52 pm)

    “….he stressed, it’s legal to own, drive, live in RVs…”Yes. But I wonder about the safety of those RVs. If they’re not safe, they need to be ticketed or impounded. Might be safe while sitting there, but they eventually are moving somewhere using the streets that we all use. Not to mention are they insured, as required by law for all vehicles?The point: seems like there are a lot of laws that could be enforced that would help temper the problem. Important: they are homes for someone, so there needs to be options. “We’ll take you to…” “We’ll help move your things to…” But enabling squalor needs to stop. For the good of us all.

  • Peter S. December 14, 2022 (5:16 pm)

    @ Anonymous Coward.   That’s a very good point.  I’ve heard Broadmoor and Medina have the very same problem with outsized numbers of urban campers for their respective neighborhood populations.  Interestingly, I spend a fair amount of time on the other side of the mountains (Cle Elum, Ellensburg, etc.) and have yet to see a single tent or broken-down RV on public property, even though I know for a fact that plenty of poverty and drug abuse exists in those communities, and the food bank (Hope Source) is heavily utilized.  Places that some commenters here have referred to as redneck sh1tholez, but somehow manage to avoid looking like an EPA Superfund candidate.   I guess they’re just not as “compassionate”.    

  • Nick December 14, 2022 (5:49 pm)

    It’s so easy to say all these things when you have a job and money.  Do you really think that a person can afford his or her own apartment on a $17 dollar an hour job?  And not to mention the price of good just went up 40.  We all assume that all these people are drug addicts and have mental problems.  The truth of matter is this is just going to get worst, really bad.   So what about you what do you think you will do if your job and all your money is gone and you have no family to help you? Let’s see what you will say then.

  • Auntie Flame December 14, 2022 (6:26 pm)

    Sweet dreams all of you…tomorrow is another day. Thanks for the blog posts!

  • Betaman December 14, 2022 (7:19 pm)

    It’s very simple WE TOLERATE IT, then try to figure out how to fix it.  Go to any other large city in every state as they all have drug and mental health issues.  The cities that tolerate this lawlessness have problems (Seattle and Portland in the NW) the cities that don’t tolerate it don’t have the RV/tent encampment issues (but still have homeless people).  In the past month I have been in Boston, St Louis, and Anchorage, they all have homeless issues but nothing like the encampments we see in Seattle.  The more we “give” the more these people (who are smart) take advantage….. who is the fool in this situation? #stephanie, I’d be curious as to why you can’t find an apartment/housing to rent/buy with 2 working people?  If “Seattle” zip codes are too expensive commute, I did it for years.

  • Taeya December 14, 2022 (8:21 pm)

    My son has moved to San Francisco for college. There are RVs parked not that far from campus and I was concerned about the situation there. But what is different between San Francisco and Seattle is they do enforce the 72 hour rule. And they do street cleaning every two weeks, and the streets have to be totally empty for this cleaning. These laws and the enforcement of them, does allow people to live in their RVs as long as they can run and be moved. I think we’re all aware that RVs are homes for a group of our citizens by choice or by necessity. However, those that are so dilapidated that they have become unsafe and health hazards should not be allowed. If the RV has to be moved every 72 hours and every two weeks for street cleaning it solves the problems of the very rundown RVs, they will be towed.  But those that are in running and working order can continue to use them.  Basically, we should just enforce laws that are already on the books.

    • Mike H. December 15, 2022 (7:09 am)

      This is the simple answer. Not more laws and rules that won’t be enforced. 

  • Alki Jack December 15, 2022 (7:27 am)

    Many have said don’t sweep the RV’s and campers. That is easy to say if they are not across the street or just down the street from the beautiful beach condo you bought several years ago for retirement. No Sweeps as long as they are not across the street from your house where you and your children live or in an area that you used to like to go for early morning walks like Jack Block Park. Why not just use all the elementary school parking lots? It’s one of those, as long as it’s not right on my street/neighborhood, it is OK things.

    • K December 15, 2022 (5:50 pm)

      They are across the street from me, and I’m telling you sweeps don’t work.  They’ve been swept off my street, and come back as soon as a sweep happens on another part of the peninsula.  If you actually lived anywhere near the RVs you’d watch the same thing happen.  There is a ton of data showing sweeps don’t work, but you can also look out your front door to see we’re just throwing tons of taxpayer money at shuffling homeless people around.  It doesn’t work.

  • gooudaman December 15, 2022 (8:51 am)

    Has anyone seen the guy in the RV down there that takes his giant weed plants out for sun everyday? They’re really living hard. They get to do whatever they want, while normal people are held hostage. 

  • OneTimeCharley December 15, 2022 (9:29 am)

    Maybe I can share a bit of much needed insight. A large percentage of the homeless come to the cities for drugs. Drugs exist in rural areas for sure, but once an individual ceases to be a “functional” addict in their rural setting, and their life spirals out of control, they migrate to the cities looking for “opportunity”. In these cases, “opportunity” consists of anonymity, escapism, increased charity, more lucrative panhandling, more effective theft, etc., but mostly they are just looking for another “high” and the “high” supplier in their small town (and their families, former employers, churches, etc.) all have finally said “no” to them. So they come to the city looking for “opportunity”, just like our predecessors did so long ago, except today it means fentanyl, meth, cocaine, and huffing lord knows what out of a paper bag, all while scratching a “living” in public spaces by begging, conning, stealing, pilfering, etc. Let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that our community is callous and uncaring. In fact, as shown above, it’s our propensity towards compassion and understanding, along with vastly increased “opportunity”, that dooms us to the never-ending stream of resource needy folks. If the places these folks left were as “compassionate” as we are, then the individuals never would have left their original communities, homes, families, social structures to begin with. Why would they?

  • Andros December 15, 2022 (1:06 pm)

    Here is a really good story with lots of data points regarding this discussion. I know it’s from Vox, which is left leaning, but they cover a lot of ground on a process that does work.

  • Steph December 15, 2022 (2:26 pm)

    There used to be low income mobile home parks and housing but the governments had them restricted and eliminated. This whole thing was engineered to degrade society. I’m about ready to move because it’s so unsafe I’m afraid to be in my own yard now, let alone on the streets.  This summer I had an interaction with 2 homeless people five blocks away that gave me the willies. They both murdered people within weeks.  Could easily have been me.  Now there’s a person who has built a towering shelter of stolen materials right on Roxbury! He comes out to break into homes and to steal more materials and who knows what.  Been reported repeatedly but no one has done anything for months. I feel sorry for the homeless but I feel just as sorry for me, having to carry pepper spray even to go in my yard! Deciding if they break in it’s just over.  And I pay exorbitant taxes for what?!

Sorry, comment time is over.