MYERS WAY: Cleanup crews remove fencing, pool from encampment

(WSB photos)

This afternoon, state and local cleanup crews were at the encampment across from the Arrowhead Gardens senior-living complex on Myers Way in southeast West Seattle. After photographing what they were doing, we asked WSDOT how exactly today’s work fits into the “resolution” plan detailed at a meeting Tuesday night (WSB coverage here). Here’s what WSDOT’s Brian Nielsen subsequently said in an email update:

As mentioned on Tuesday evening, last Friday WSDOT posted notice at the Myers Way encampment sharing that all operable vehicles needed to move off the site, urging individuals who have challenges moving their vehicles to reach out to outreach teams on site for assistance. Work wrapped up yesterday to place barrier to eliminate access for any new vehicles to the site. The City of Seattle also posted “No Parking” signs on both sides of Myers Way.

This is a very important step in WSDOT and our partners’ work to manage access and inhibit growth within the encampment. We also know there are inoperable vehicles that will likely remain onsite and will be addressed once the encampment is resolved.

I’m also glad to share that the pool and associated wood fencing has been removed. I know this garnered a lot of attention and for many was a symbol of how firmly entrenched this encampment was. We were able to successfully provide housing for the individual associated with these structures. Related to some of our discussion Tuesday evening, this individual was not initially interested in moving, but felt differently after working with the outreach team.

In coordination with the City of Seattle, a significant amount of debris and trash removal also occurred today, allowing for better access and sight lines as well as removing potential flammable material. Ongoing trash pickup will continue.

Also from Nielsen’s update: “While the timeline to resolution doesn’t have exact dates, it is one based on proven results. The (state Right Of Way Safety Initiative) has successfully addressed 30 encampments statewide with over 800 housing offers matched to people’s individual needs. Of those, 694 people remain in their housing options – that’s an 85% success rate in keeping people living indoors.”

11 Replies to "MYERS WAY: Cleanup crews remove fencing, pool from encampment"

  • Joe July 21, 2023 (7:23 pm)

    It should have never gotten to this point. This is a testament on how ineffective our city and state leaders are. We need change badly. 

  • Alki resident July 21, 2023 (8:45 pm)

    They started moving in back in November. I was mortified, fast forward a murder but zero arrests and they’ve likely coddled the murderer and asked if he wants housing. Sickening 

  • Frances berge July 21, 2023 (9:04 pm)

    If they had come when we first asked them too it would have been a much easier and safer clean up job for everyone involved. Another example of politicians not listening when they are told about a problem.

    • 1994 July 21, 2023 (11:05 pm)

      I support your thinking Frances Berge but that would make no sense to the homeless agencies that depend on the homeless for their agencies next budget cycle.  And a lot of government funding goes to those agencies so rocking the boat by timely removal of illegal camps would mess the whole thing up! Yes I believe in helping the less fortunate but some of this just seems to be a money suck!  The social safety net is available to those who want the assistance but seems like most of these ‘campers’ are wanting to do their own thing.

  • WS Res July 21, 2023 (9:28 pm)

    Great work, team. Thank you for moving forward in a way that is most likely to get folks the help they need and get them inside to stay.

  • Josh July 22, 2023 (9:35 am)

    Complain when things don’t happen fast enough. Complain when they do but not in just the way you like. Complain that complex issues take time to resolve effectively. Just complain. 

  • Samara July 22, 2023 (4:03 pm)

    I really hate the people like the ones commenting you’re all inhumane self-centered NIMBYs I hope you find your compassion or karma shows you what it’s like to have nothing then be stomped out by the powers that be…

    • Billy July 22, 2023 (8:25 pm)

      @Samara I completely agree. So many people have lost empathy and compassion. Also, many are just a paycheck away from being homeless themselves.

    • Appalled July 22, 2023 (11:30 pm)

      You’re holding the mirror backwards. 

  • Boop July 22, 2023 (5:54 pm)

    There was a pool at this location?!  Why?

  • Wow WS July 24, 2023 (6:28 am)

    Drove by this yesterday and it’s just as disgusting as ever. 4 vehicles all parked along the main “entrance” of this encampment. One of which someone was nodded off with the door open. Another with a truck bed full of stolen items. When will this end? 

Sorry, comment time is over.