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.”