West Seattle, Washington
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
However long it takes to get West Seattle a main cross-Duwamish arterial again – from a year and a half for repairs, to up to 10 years for something new – some local neighborhoods have to deal with thousands more drivers passing through every day.
What more can/will be done to lessen that impact? SDOT reps talked with HPAC, the community council for Highland Park, South Delridge, and Riverview, last Wednesday night. More than 30 people attended the online meeting, led by acting HPAC chair Craig Rankin. The discussion happened in two segments:
Winter is approaching and times are tough for many families. As we’ve reported before, local PTAs are trying to help their students and families get by. Broader community help is appreciated when possible. If you can help, here’s what the Highland Park Elementary PTA hopes you can help with:
Highland Park Elementary PTA is hosting a non-perishable food, kids’ winter clothing, and gift card drive. Highland Park Elementary is a West Seattle Title 1 school. It has one of the most diverse student bodies in the state.
Are you cleaning out closets or are you ready to purge last year’s kid coats, gloves or scarves? If you have items to donate, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Pickup of items can be arranged in West Seattle. Items that will be accepted are non-perishable food items and new and gently used kids’ winter clothing.
Donations to purchase food and gift cards for Highland Park families, can be made to PayPal at email@example.com.
Food boxes and clothing will be distributed to Highland Park families starting next week. Gift cards will be made available throughout the school year for those in need.
That’s a framegrab from the new SDOT traffic camera at Highland Park Way and Holden, which was increasingly busy before the West Seattle Bridge closure, and has since become even busier as the epicenter of detour-route traffic, Future improvements are part of what HPAC will talk about with SDOT tomorrow night (Wednesday, October 28th), 7 pm online. Here’s your invitatian:
Join us Wednesday, as SDOT planners check in with Highland Park, Riverview & South Delridge residents, to report back to the larger community on what was heard on the Home Zone walks of October 20-21, and collect additional feedback from community to develop a proposed Home Zone plan.
A Home Zone plan involves the entire neighborhood working together to prioritize improvements that calm traffic and improve pedestrian mobility and neighborhood livability during the impacts of the WSBridge detour routes. We will also hear a brief update on the progress of Highland/Holden intersection planning work. Meet your neighbors and help build a safer, more user-friendly community. Log in virtually here:
Meeting ID: 894 0739 2875
Call into the meeting: 253 215 8782
One month ago, SDOT told WSB that a traffic camera for busy West Marginal Way/Highland Park Way would be activated shortly. We checked the Travelers Map every day – no camera. So this week we finally asked SDOT whatever happened to it. Seems it was installed and sending images, but the icon hadn’t been added to the map. Now that’s fixed. There are actually two cameras visible by clicking on the map icon (we’ll of course be adding them both to our West Seattle Traffic Cameras page ASAP), but note that neither has video – just still images – to enable video cameras there, they have to upgrade to a fiber connection, which is under investigation. While we’re talking about SDOT’s map, they asked us to remind you about several useful but hidden features you can access by clicking the “map controls” bar on the left side:
You can use that area to add features to the map such as current travel times and any messages currently displayed on dynamic-message signboards along the roads – plus bridge openings and railroad crossings.
P.S. Next chance to hear from and talk with SDOT about bridge-traffic-related projects is 7 pm Wednesday (October 28th), when they’ll be at the online meeting of HPAC (the community council for Highland Park, Riverview, and South Delridge). Connection information is on this page (scroll to Highland Park community check-in meeting).
(Seattle Municipal Archives photo of what’s described as the Highland Park-Burien line’s Hillside Station – possibly in Riverview – 1915)
What is currently a busy bridge-detour route now, with thousands of cars passing each day, held trolley tracks a century ago, and Highland Park Improvement Club is honoring that with its newest streetside sandwich-board art. The four boards, installed this afternoon along SW Holden east of 12th SW, say this to westbound drivers/riders/passersby:
Those traveling eastbound will see H-P-I-C.
And yes, the boards are secured:
The artists also put together the display we showed you back in August.
The streetcars that traveled nearby were part of the Highland Park-Lake Burien Railroad, in service from 1912-1929.
Thanks for the tip! The former market at 7789 Highland Park Way has a new owner. And if you’re guessing the site is headed for redevelopment, given that so much of it is happening nearby – wrong. The new owner is local entrepreneur/preservationist John Bennett, who owns Luna Park Café as well as other properties in West Seattle, Georgetown, and South Park. We contacted Bennett after the tip that he’s the new owner, to ask about his plan. His reply:
I have had my eye on this property for awhile. It came on the market and I was able to purchase it. The Highland Park area is changing and growing, and it seemed like a perfect spot for a neighborhood coffee shop, deli, or cafe. It has parking and great outdoor seating area under a giant maple tree. We have been working on the building and hauling away truckloads of garbage. I will be looking for someone to lease it and start a business. As I have done in West Seattle and Georgetown, I will be searching for a business that will make the neighborhood a better place. Anyone interested can contact johnbennettproperties.com or call the office at 206-933-1950.
The market there closed almost two years ago. Last year – before the site went back on the market – there was a plan for Crowfoot Café to take over the space. That stalled, and we were never able to find out why.
Also happening today, a celebration at 16th/Holden in Highland Park! Here’s the announcement we received this morning from proprietor Michelle:
BedHead Coffee has reached our first year of business. Today we will have specials and (hot) dogs between 10 am and 12 pm. Melton’s BBQ will be smokin’ next door. 1513 SW Holden. Come by, say hi, and get a dog.
They expected to hear mostly about side streets, but heard a lot about arterials too – including another one that, like Sylvan Way previously, had been overlooked in earlier traffic-mitigation plans: Dumar Way. It’s a busier-than-ever route taking people from Delridge/Orchard to 16th/Austin, just north of SW Holden on the path to the 1st Avenue South Bridge.
HPAC is the community council for Highland Park, Riverview, and South Delridge, so the focus was on that part of the Reconnect West Seattle plan, which already has these prioritized projects:
The SDOT reps noted that another arterial that was asked about, Roxbury, is addressed in the plan, to some degree. But that street and Dumar are not getting enough attention, residents countered. “They’re underrepresented,” noted Donna Burns.
Also discussed, the Home Zone program, SDOT’s relatively new umbrella name for side-street traffic calming, explained here. SDOT hopes to gather small groups of residents to walk some of the cut-through-plagued streets to get up to speed on where this help is needed. They promised two groups – one north of Henderson, one south.
SDOT’s Sara Zora, who is now the mobility manager for the Reconnect West Seattle program, stressed that RWS is not the be-all end-all of mitigation plans, but just a first installment of sorts, as they continue learning about neighborhood priorities.
Kay Kirkpatrick coordinated the HPAC meeting; community participants included two members of the West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force, which met earlier in the day – Colleen Desmond, who represents the area, and Deb Barker from the Morgan Community Association and WS Transportation Coalition. Kirkpatrick also noted the recent announcement of Stay Healthy Blocks and said that if anyone is interested in HPAC support – since the application is limited to community groups and nonprofits for starters – let them know. And if you are interested in one of the Home Zone walks, contact HPAC via its website.
HPAC meets at 7 pm fourth Wednesdays most months – watch hpacws.org for updates.
That’s the full Reconnect West Seattle “implementation plan” from SDOT. Got questions? Wednesday, join HPAC – the all-volunteer community coalition for Highland Park, Riverview, and South Delridge – in a conversation about what RWS will bring, and other upcoming projects. Beyond that, HPAC plans to “discuss how we want to work with the City to mitigate traffic impacts going forward” and will get a “preliminary introduction to the Home Zone concept – steps that will be taken to keep our area safe, walkable and connected during the WS Bridge reroute traffic.” The meeting is online at 7 pm Wednesday; teleconference/phone information is on HPAC’s website.
P.S. HPAC’s Executive Committee has openings, including chair, with longtime leader Gunner Scott having just stepped down after five years of service. Be at Wednesday’s meeting to talk about that too.
Two more West Seattle Crime Watch reports today:
WESTWOOD VILLAGE GUN INCIDENT: We didn’t hear about this at the time, but have received two notes since, including Karen‘s firsthand report:
Two young men were fighting outside of the Hair Masters salon today at approx 3:45 pm. The fight quickly escalated as one man pulled out a gun and was waving it around. Employees and customers went inside the bathroom and stayed there until the police arrived (five of us were in the bathroom). Not sure if both men were arrested, or just the one with the gun. Police arrived VERY quickly and de-escalated the situation within a minute or so. Not sure what started the fight.
HPIC SIGN TARGETED AGAIN: Volunteer Rhonda reports the Black Lives Matter sign on the Highland Park Improvement Club fence has been vandalized again: “This is the third time we have had this happen. … Luckily we have another sign to replace it with. … This seems like these vandalism attacks are escalating. I plan to report it to the police.” This time somebody painted a phrase in yellow paint that could be interpreted as a death threat.
1:09 PM: On its way to the Seattle Police evidence room as of a short time ago – what’s believed to be one of two vehicles sought in connection with the Monday hit-run homicide near Longfellow Creek that killed 34-year-old Derrick Lacomb. A WSB reader spotted the damaged car along SW Thistle near 13th SW this morning and contacted us as well as police. Here are two photos the reader sent – the covered-over front light was a telltale feature:
Once police got there for a look at the car, they radioed in that it indeed appeared to be the one they were looking for, so they impounded it. We are checking to see if the other one (as seen in Wednesday’s report) has turned up yet.
4:50 PM: Thanks to the texter who pointed out an SPD update we missed, that the other vehicle was found late yesterday.
Above are artists Kay Kirkpatrick, Judith Camann, and Kelly Lyles, who – along with Monica Cavagnaro – have just unveiled Highland Park Improvement Club‘s first “outdoor sandwich-board art display.”
They describe “Drive By and Sign Hi” as a “Burma Shave Ad-inspired recycled creation … a multimedia, multicultural, multilingual piece created to amaze and amuse your WS Bridge Detour route drive.”
It’s on the north side of busier-than-ever SW Holden, right outside HPIC (between 11th and 12th SW), and expected to be up into September.
8:53 PM: For the fifth time in 11 nights, the Evening March protest group is in West Seattle again tonight. Last night, they were in North Delridge, outside City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda‘s home; before that, dating back to Friday, July 24th, they’ve been to the homes of City Councilmembers Lisa Herbold in Highland Park and Lorena González in The Junction, as well as County Executive Dow Constantine in west Admiral. Each of those elected officials came out to talk with them. Tonight, they gathered at and just left from Highland Park Elementary, which might mean a return to Herbold’s home. A livestreamer with them is being featured here. Updates to come.
9:22 PM: They are at Herbold’s house and she is coming out to talk with them – for the second time in a week and a half.
9:42 PM: She’s seated on the pavement talking with the group’s leaders. Main topic is what happened when armed neighbors blocked them from going to SPD Chief Carmen Best‘s house in Snohomish
last Saturday night. (added) Herbold noted that in her work as a community organizer in other states many years ago, she had organized protests at the homes of “people in power.”
10:03 PM: The conversation turned to the council’s proposed SPD cuts/changes and Herbold is explaining why they can’t cut as drastically and quickly as activists want. (added) As other councilmembers have told the group, the process of determining next year’s budget starts in six weeks, and that’s where they might be able to do more.
10:24 PM: The conversation has wrapped up.
10:55 PM: They’re now marching back to the school, where they started the evening. (Cars and bikes caravan with them.)
ADDED: Here’s the video that Malcontentment Tango streamed, including the conversation with Herbold.
The photo and report are from the Highland Park Improvement Club:
Please Help – Someone has stolen the BLM banners from the Highland Park Improvement Club fence – we have recovered half of them but are still searching for the rest. The piece we have was found around 14th & Thistle. Please email with any leads – firstname.lastname@example.org
HPIC is a nonprofit community organization headquartered in a century-old building at 12th and Holden, and has been busy even with the pandemic putting gatherings on hold, offering free food for families, among other things.
Even as the Reconnect West Seattle feedback process continues, Highland Park already has had some traffic-calming measures in the works. Last week, Cindy sent us a photo of a sign that’s already installed and waiting along 9th SW – though the speed bumps it mentions aren’t in place yet:
We checked with SDOT on the installation status, and they sent us the map above, saying, “We have completed installing all of the traffic calming measures everywhere except 9th Ave SW, which we are still working to schedule.” As noted on the map, the 9th SW installations are planned as “speed cushions” – here’s the difference, as explained by SDOT:
Speed humps are designed to slow traffic speeds on low volume, low speed streets. They are a solid hump across the travel lane and are installed near streetlights where they will be visible to people driving and biking.
Speed cushions are typically installed where average speeds are 5 mph higher than the speed limit. Speed cushions leave space for emergency vehicles to pass through quickly and are used on designated fire and emergency routes on residential streets.
This project also included the Highland Park Way/Holden traffic signal that was rush-installed right after the West Seattle Bridge closure, after local residents had worked for years to get safety upgrades at that intersection.
P.S. If you live/work/travel through the area, be sure to give your feedback on the neighborhood-specific list of more potential projects, before July 31st.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
This month’s meeting of the community council for Highland Park, Riverview, and South Delridge was mostly an open discussion of what’s been problematic since the West Seattle Bridge closure turned up the volume on traffic along routes to the 1st Avenue South and South Park bridges.
Highland Park Way SW – particularly the hill between SW Holden and West Marginal Way SW – is a lot busier since the West Seattle Bridge closed (three months ago today). Part of the hill is a bit more usable, thanks to volunteers. Don Brubeck from West Seattle Bike Connections sent the video, with this explanation:
While we’ve been waiting for SDOT and SDON to reveal a glimpse of their neighborhood traffic plans and engage us in discussions about biking and walking improvements for the neighborhoods most affected by the West Seattle Bridge closure, several people from Highland Park Action Committee, West Duwamish Greenbelt Trails Group and West Seattle Bike Connections have being doing DIY improvements on Highland Park Way. We uncovered a long-buried and forgotten sidewalk that links the West Duwamish Trail to the trails in the greenbelt that go up to South Seattle College and other trailheads.
P.S. As previewed here Monday, HPAC is talking about detour traffic tomorrow night.
The message can be large, like on the skyline (above) or the street (below) ,,,
… or simple, like a sign you hold. You have two chances to do that this week – Scott (who also sent the street-mural photo above) sends this announcement – he and neighbors at Puget Ridge Cohousing are organizing Black Lives Matter sign-waving events at 16th/Holden this Tuesday and Thursday (June 23 and 25), 4-6 pm both days.
The neighborhoods served by HPAC – Highland Park, Riverview, and South Delridge – are among those for which the city promises a mitigation plan for bridge-detour traffic. HPAC will talk about it – and listen – this Wednesday night. The announcement:
Let’s Talk About Upcoming SDOT Mitigation Projects Process for Our Neighborhoods!
HPAC Community Listening Session – Join Us This Week!
Join us this Wednesday, June 24, 7-8 pm .for a community listening session around the increasing West Seattle Bridge detour traffic through our neighborhoods and ideas we have for mitigation projects. We will also share what we know about the upcoming Project Prioritization Process.
We will have at least two members of the West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force who represent our area in attendance to hear from the community.
The meeting is open to all but due to Zoom capacity we will prioritize attendees from Highland Park, South Delridge, Riverview, and Roxhill.
See the HPAC website for information on how to access the meeting.
Highland Park Elementary said goodbye to its 5th-graders tonight with a sendoff like no other. Not only did it have bananas, it also had a snake …
That’s Milo the snake, in attendance because the students wanted to see him. The ceremony was both drive-up and walk-up:
The future middle-schoolers each got a bag containing crafts, some reading, and their diploma.
And if all that wasn’t exciting enough on this sunny evening outside the school …
… they even had live music!
Three more school-related reminders:
— Genesee Hill School (@GeneseeHill) June 18, 2020
Tonight, Highland Park Elementary is celebrating its 5th graders with a drive-up/walk-up event in front of the school 5-6:30 pm.
Historic Highland Park Improvement Club has continued to be a community hub despite operational constraints during the pandemic. And it’s getting some TLC, too. The update is from HPIC trustee Kay Kirkpatrick:
While we are closed due to the Stay-Home Order, activity continues at the Highland Park Improvement Club.
As readers may know, we are helping distribute food to children and families in need Monday – Friday from the club parking lot. (11 am-1 pm)
In addition, we are taking advantage of the down time by doing some long-needed building repairs using a facilities grant from King County 4Culture.
On Saturday, our contractor team from Metis Construction, a worker-owned company here in Seattle, landed and staged a re-enforcing roof beam into the center of our 100-year-old building. Taking advantage of a brief break in the rain, they lifted and fed this 3500-pound steel beam from the parking in through the side of the historic hall.
Inside, they will be lifting it into place over the next couple of weeks to stabilize the roof support structure, and get the club building ready for whatever the next 100 years throws at us.
In “normal” times, HPIC (at 12th/Holden) is a nonprofit community hub for a wide variety of activities and events – classes, celebrations, meetings, more.