West Seattle, Washington
Updates tonight on three traffic signals in West Seattle, after we checked in with SDOT:
12TH/HOLDEN: The new pedestrian signal at this intersection is taking shape, and you may see crews there again this weekend. SDOT spokesperson Ethan Bergerson tells WSB, “We have completed three of the curb ramps and are pouring concrete for the final curb ramp today. We have also begun installing the signal poles. The remaining steps will be to finish installing the underground power conduit across the road, installing electrical equipment, and painting the crosswalk. We’ll be working at this intersection this weekend and next weekend, so anticipate some travel delays.”
We got that news after asking SDOT about two intersections where “temporary” signals are to be replaced with permanent installations:
DUWAMISH LONGHOUSE: SDOT’s Sara Zora had told the Bicycle Advisory Board at its meeting last week that the permanent installation here may not happen until next year. So we asked for more information. Bergerson replied, “Finalizing the schedule will require more coordination with our rail partners. The work to install new traffic signal equipment has already been completed, and we are now working to finalize an agreement with the railroad companies so that we can move forward with paving work around the railroad tracks. This would include creating a smoother transition from the street to the sidewalk on the eastern side of the crosswalk and building more room apart from the bike trail for people to wait for the signal.”
HIGHLAND PARK WAY/HOLDEN: You probably recall this “temporary” signal going up at lightning speed days after the West Seattle Bridge closure in March 2020, with promises that a permanent one would replace it. That’s getting closer, Bergerson tells us: “We still expect to begin construction on the replacement Highland Park Way SW & SW Holden St traffic signal this summer. We will build new curb ramps and curb bulbs at all four corners of the intersection, repaint the crosswalks, replace the wooden signal poles with more durable metal poles, and add underground vehicle detection equipment.” And as we’ve reported previously, public art is going up there too – a giant Steller’s Jay.
If somebody you love is a Krispy Kreme fan – or maybe you yourself can’t resist the glazed treats – here’s a Valentine’s Day deal. The Madison Middle School PTSA is selling Krispy Kreme donuts again, for pickup outside the school on Valentine’s Day afternoon. You need to get your order in by 8 pm Saturday night (February 11th). Here’s the link for ordering – $15/dozen. If you just can’t commit in advance, they do expect to have some donuts available for walk-ups (cash or PayPal). Donut pickup will be 3:30-4:30 pm Tuesday (February 14th) outside Madison, 3429 45th SW.
With that video, you can preview the title performance planned for a concert by The Byrd Ensemble tomorrow night (Saturday, February 11th) at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in West Seattle. The chamber vocal ensemble will perform composer John Sheppard‘s “Media vita” – “In the Midst of Life” – with the program also including music by Arvo Pärt, Eric Whitacre’s setting of “When David Heard,” John Tavener’s “Song for Athene,” and more. The Byrd Ensemble is sponsoring WSB today and tomorrow to ensure more know about the concert and to offer a 30% discount – buy tickets online and use the code WSBLOG30. The concert begins at 7:30 pm Saturday; the venue is at 4139 42nd SW. (Not familiar with The Byrd Ensemble? Learn about the ensemble here.)
This year’s primary and general elections will include two Seattle Port Commission seats. The first campaign announcement is from Fred Felleman, the longest-serving commissioner, who’s seeking a third 4-year term in Position 5. He was first elected in 2015 with 58 percent of the vote, then reelected in 2019 with 72 percent. He says he’s hoping “for the opportunity to continue advancing the Port’s triple bottom line focused on commerce, community, and climate.” His background is in marine conservation, and he notes that in the past few years, “the Port continues to make unprecedented investments in infrastructure such as Terminal 5 and the new international arrivals facility, in addition to tens of millions for community programs while advancing its climate goals 10 years early.” You can read his full announcement here. Felleman, a Ballard resident, is the first to send a campaign announcement for this seat, which is elected in a countywide vote; it’s early in the season, with the formal Filing Week not until mid-May, and the primary on August 1st.
That distant texted pic is the only photo we have, but multiple readers report another submarine sighting off West Seattle earlier this afternoon. This time, the submarine was inbound, headed for Bremerton. One reader said, “Looks like a Los Angeles class, not the Ohio class that departed yesterday.”
A two-part advisory/update from SDOT regarding the low bridge:
Between 1 AM Saturday, February 11 and 5 AM Wednesday, February 15, maritime vessels will have limited access under the Spokane St Swing Bridge to navigate the Duwamish Waterway. We do not expect impacts to people driving, walking, or biking.
During this time, only one span (side) of the bridge will swing open and close for maritime vessels on the Duwamish Waterway.
-East bridge span single openings: 1 AM Saturday, Feb. 11 through 1 AM Tuesday, February 14
-West bridge span single openings: 1 AM Tuesday, Feb. 14 through 5 AM Wednesday, Feb. 15
We’ve been communicating with the U.S. Coast Guard and mariners about this work, which will limit when some larger vessels can pass through.
This change is necessary for us to remove the bridge’s hydraulic pumps for routine maintenance. These pumps push hydraulic fluid to the bridge’s cylinders, allowing the cylinders to swing the bridge open and close for maritime vessels.
How the bridge is performing since turn cylinder repairs in January
After completing repairs and reopening the Spokane St Swing Bridge on January 13, the bridge is operating as expected and the turn cylinder we removed is being analyzed to determine the next steps for refurbishment.
We have more work planned for 2023, including rehabilitating the east-side lift cylinder and upgrading the bridge’s control and communications system.
(WSB photos. From left, Madison librarian Stacia Bell, Climate Clock creators Aidan Busby and Lola Thaler, teacher Robin Russell)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Talk about follow-through.
While in 8th grade at Madison Middle School last year, two students collaborated on a project so ambitious, they continued work on it even after the school year ended and they moved on to high school.
Now the result has a prominent place in the Madison library, where it presents a simple but powerful message to everyone who visits.
That’s the Climate Clock designed and built by Lola Thaler and Aidan Busby. They returned to Madison to install it a few weeks back, and now it presents a continuous two-part message. “It’s not a doomsday clock,” they are quick to tell you. You could in fact describe it as an anti-doomsday clock – the countdown shows the time remaining for emissions-elimination action to limit the planet to 1.5 degrees (C) of warming. So you can look at it as “cup half full” – there’s still time. The second number, chosen from other possibilities, shows the percentage of global energy use that’s renewable – another cause for hope, as that number rises (though slowly so far).
Not only did Lola and Aidan plan, design, and build the climate clock – he did the programming – they got funding for it; Lola applied for – and received – a $200 grant from the Madison PTSA.
This was a “Social Change” project originated while they were in teacher Robin Russell‘s class. Lola happened onto the concept of a climate clock while doing research. They could have ordered one. But the teacher suggested, “Maybe you could make your own.”
Aidan says he heard about the project and jumped in – “I thought it would be interesting to build.” He was the tech expert for the project, both hardware and coding.
Then they talked with Madison librarian Stacia Bell about setting it up in the library. She says this is the first time she can recall a student project seeking and obtaining PTSA funding. She’s proud to host it: “It’s become a topic of conversation.”
For teacher Ms. Russell, she remains impressed at how much time Lola and Aidan put into it – and how they saw it through. Finding the time was a challenge, the students admit – Aidan’s family was out of town for the summer, and Lola recalls it required “short bursts of work.” Aidan put dozens of hours into the coding, “including debugging.”
As for the clock’s message, it’s serious business to both. “I think we need to make serious changes,” Aidan observes, especially “better energy choices … solar, nuclear.” Lola sees the big picture – personal changes can only go so far, and beyond them, “it’s frustrating that it’s just a few big corporations doing most of the damage.”
Last year she also gave a Climate Clock presentation in the citywide Environmental Slam, held online in May.
The ultimate message is to challenge the status quo. “If we are to go on with business as usual, the goal won’t be met in time,” says Lola. So raising awareness is imperative. “The most important thing is educating others,” Ms. Bell agrees.
And that’s the lesson of students’ Social Change projects, Ms. Russell says: “That each person CAN make a difference.”
If you want inspiration to make a difference yourself, more information is available at climateclock.world (which also features additional metrics of ongoing world action).
Two weeks after we first told you about the big change ahead for Morgan Junction’s only gas station, it’s happening – Shell‘s out, Mobil‘s in. The station and its mini-mart have been closed all this time, and we haven’t found anyone yet who can tell us the planned reopening date, but for everyone who’s been asking, here’s a sign that the transition is proceeding. This will be the only Mobil-branded station in West Seattle.
(Great Blue Heron, photographed by Jerry Simmons)
Here’s what’s happening for the rest of your Friday!
SCRABBLE CLUB: Come play 12:30-1:30 pm at Margie’s Café in the Senior Center of West Seattle (4217 SW Oregon).
BOOK CLUB FOR ADVENTUROUS READERS: 1:30-2:30 pm at the Senior Center of West Seattle (4217 SW Oregon).
NORTHWEST WINE ACADEMY: Tasting room on the north end of the South Seattle College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor) campus is open 1-6 pm Fridays (and Saturdays).
FREE INDOOR PLAYSPACE: Toddler Gym weekday afternoons at the Salvation Army Center (9050 16th SW), ages 2-6, 3:30-5 pm.
DIAMOND STUD PARTY: 4-7 pm. RSVP to Lauren’s Jewelry Store (local independent small business and WSB sponsor) in Westwood Village to attend! For other shopping at the store beyond diamond studs of all sizes, Lauren notes, “Popular items: New diamond flexi tennis bracelets of all carat weights. Great gift options $300 and under.”
AFTER-SCHOOL MAGIC LEAGUE: Weekly 4-6 pm event for 12+, $5 per player – learn about and play “Magic: the Gathering” at Meeples Games (3727 California SW)
SPAGHETTI DINNER: Join the West Seattle High School Key Club for spaghetti and fun tonight, 6-8 pm – info (including ticket details) here. Enter through the school’s north entrance. (3000 California SW)
DRAG SHOW AT KENYON HALL: 7 pm all-ages show – the first Kenyon Hall Cabaret (7904 35th SW). Before the show at 6 pm, 21+ people are invited to a cocktail party to meet the queens next door at Locol (7902 35th SW).
LIVE AT C & P: Songwriters’ Showcase at C & P Coffee (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor) 7-9 pm. No cover!
AUTHOR READING: As noted here, West Seattle writer Ari B. Cofer has published a new book, “Unfold.” Tonight Ari reads at Elliott Bay Book Company on Capitol Hill, 7 pm. (1521 10th Ave.)
LAUGH UNTIL YOU DIE: Play Mafia with comedians at Meeples Games (3727 California SW), 7 pm. Costumeds encouraged! Tickets still available when we checked just before publishing today’s list.
AT THE SKYLARK: 7 pm, 21+ show, with Man Plus, Dopatonin, i-90 Fiasco. (3803 Delridge Way SW)
‘AN ENDLESS SHIFT’: Third week at ArtsWest (4711 California SW; WSB sponsor) continues tonight, 7:30 pm. Get your ticket(s) here.
Something to add to our calendar? email@example.com – thank you!
(From presentation on Seattle Transportation Plan presented to Pedestrian Advisory Board earlier this week)
Reminder today from SDOT – its second phase of community input to shape the Seattle Transportation Plan has a week and a half left:
The STP is our commitment to building a transportation system that provides everyone with access to safe, efficient, and affordable options to reach places and opportunities. We need your help to create this plan.
Second phase of engagement continues through February 21
No matter how much time you have, how you participate, or how much you share, your input is valued. We want to hear from you! Share your feedback using the below options by Tuesday, February 21.
Have 10-20 minutes? COMMENT ON FIRST DRAFT TRANSPORTATION MAPS
Have 5 minutes? REVIEW OUR VISION, GOALS, AND OBJECTIVES
Have 1 minute? SELECT THE FUTURE YOU WANT TO SEE
Have 10 minutes? TELL US WHAT ACTIONS YOU LIKE
Between February 21 and the beginning of Phase 3, you can always email us at STP@Seattle.gov or call us at 206-257-2114.
Among other things, the plan will be used to shape the proposed successor to the current city transportation levy.
6:03 AM: Good morning! It’s Friday, February 10th.
Mostly cloudy, showers, breezy, high around 50. (Thursday’s high was 57, seven degrees above normal for the date.)
TODAY’S TRANSIT STATUS
–Metro is on its regular schedule, but still canceling some trips, as its fleet is not back to full strength yet, so keep watching notification channels such as @kcmetroalerts.
-Regular schedule for the West Seattle Water Taxi.
–Washington State Ferries‘ Triangle Route continues on a two-boat schedule, and M/V Issaquah is back in service, so capacity is restored; check here for alerts/updates and use Vessel Watch to see where boats are at.
Delridge cameras: Besides the one below (Delridge/Oregon), cameras are also up at Delridge/Genesee, Delridge/Juneau, Delridge/Orchard, and Delridge/Henderson.
High Bridge – the camera at the top:
High Bridge – the view from its southwest end (when SDOT points the 35th/Avalon/Fauntleroy camera that way):
Low Bridge – looking east to west:
1st Ave. S. Bridge – the south route across the river:
Highway 99: – the northbound side at Lander.
MORE TRAFFIC CAMS: See all working traffic cams citywide here, most with video options; take a quick look at West Seattle and vicinity-relevant cameras on this WSB page … Are movable city bridges opening for vessels? Check the @SDOTBridges Twitter feed.
If you see a problem on the bridges/streets/paths/water, please text or call us (when you can do it safely, and after you’ve reported to authorities if needed) – 206-293-6302.
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