Luna Park – West Seattle Blog… West Seattle news, 24/7 Wed, 15 Aug 2018 08:02:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 What’s next for Avalon Way rechannelization/ repaving project after open house Thu, 07 Jun 2018 05:20:21 +0000

One more meeting from last night to tell you about – the open house for the SW Avalon Way rechannelization/repaving plan. No new information emerged – it was meant as a chance to comment on and ask questions about what SDOT recently revealed, the “30 percent design” version of the project.

Above center is Luna Park entrepreneur John Bennett, who is concerned about parking – while the proposal has changed from an early version that removed dozens of spaces uphill, where now a weekday 6-10 am transit lane is proposed, this one takes out a dozen spaces on the west side of Avalon, and Bennett fears The Shack coffee shop will be especially hard-hit. Councilmember Lisa Herbold has been working with SDOT to try to minimize the parking loss; above left is her legislative assistant Newell Aldrich (Herbold was at the HALA hearing a few miles away).

Also there, West Seattle Bike ConnectionsDon Brubeck (second from left above). The design incorporates protected bike lanes on what is a fairly busy route to and from the “low bridge” as well as Alki. Various concerns along the corridor included helping buses move more smoothly and dissuading drivers from using side streets. There were also requests for turn signals at the Avalon/Genesee light. Here’s an “aerial view” of what’s in the 30 percent plan, as previewed here last month:

WHAT’S NEXT: Project spokesperson Adonis Ducksworth says that after this open house for the 30 percent design, they hope to have the project up to 60 percent for another round of commenting in the fall. Construction is expected to happen next year, starting in the spring. Along with rechannelizing Avalon as shown here (PDF), the project will repave it all the way from the bridge to where it ends at Fauntleroy, along with 35th SW south of Avalon to Alaska – where reconstruction is needed due to water damage – and Alaska from 35th to 36th too. Beyond last night’s open house, here’s your chance to comment through June 24th – an online survey about the project.

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AVALON REPAVING/RECHANNELIZATION: See where the SDOT plan’s going, one year later Fri, 18 May 2018 18:02:57 +0000

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

SDOT has unveiled its new in-progress plan for the SW Avalon Way repaving/rechannelization project, one year after it first came to light.

This time last year, SDOT had a community meeting after announcing it would repave/rechannelize Avalon plus a few blocks of 35th “after the Fauntleroy Boulevard project.”

Though Fauntleroy Boulevard is on hold pending Sound Transit light-rail decisions, SDOT confirmed this week that the Avalon/35th plan is moving ahead, and the project zone has expanded a bit. We met with two key members of the project team, project manager Bill Clark and communicator Dan Anderson, to get the rundown on what’s now in the plan.

Before we go any further – take note that SDOT does plan an “open house” community meeting, and a mailer; the former is set for June 5th in The Triangle, the latter will be on its way to project-area mailboxes soon (see it here now).

The project now calls for repaving the entirety of Avalon, from where it begins at Fauntleroy, to where it ends at Spokane. Plus, along with the stretch of 35th between Avalon and Alaska that’s to be repaved (and in some spots rebuilt), the repaving also will extend a block onto Alaska west of 35th.

As for the rechannelization, you can see the cross-sections above, and aerial views below – major points on Avalon remain the elimination of the center turn lane and the addition of protected bicycle lanes. And some street parking spaces will be eliminated. Anderson says, “We couldn’t find (a configuration) that did not remove any parking.” He says that in addition to their discussions with Luna Park businesses, Councilmember Lisa Herbold met with SDOT and asked what they could do to come up with a compromise. So here’s a change: You might recall that originally, street parking was going to be removed stretching uphill toward Yancy; now, that area will be an extension of the transit lane, 6-10 am weekdays, but will be open to parking the rest of the time. A dozen spaces will be removed on the west side of Avalon, starting along the retaining wall just south of SW Spokane, and in front of some of the Luna Park businesses.

This, Anderson explained, is to make room for the protected bicycle lane and also to improve visibility from the side streets. They’ve done studies, he says, and the peak parking utilization – the only time things might get crunchy – is 11 am Saturdays. Meantime, the public parking between The Shack and Luna Park Café – which, he points out, is public right-of-way, the SW Orleans “street end,” not private property – will not be changed. Here are aerial views of the rechannelization:

The sometimes-confusing connection to SW Manning isn’t changing, either. (If you’re still confused, no, motorized vehicles cannot turn left from there.) They will be working with businesses on how this all affects loading zones.

Across the street from there, if you are riding a bicycle downhill, “we’re going to build a ramp and jump onto a wider sidewalk that will become a multi-use path,” Anderson adds.

That side of the street also will see some tree removal, and the non-Rapid Ride bus stop will be moved closer to the bridge. As for crossing at Spokane/Harbor/Avalon, they’re synergizing/coordinating with the Neighborhood Street Fund project that’s planned to make safety improvements.

Speaking of crossing – the crosswalk by Luna Park Café, removed a decade ago, is not going to be brought back. The project team says the street is just too wide at that spot, plus it’s close to the existing signalized Spokane crosswalk.

Back to the paving aspect of the project, a few other notes from our briefing: The SW Genesee hill stretching east from Avalon will get special treatment so vehicles have a little more traction. The section of 35th that’s involved south of Avalon will be reconstructed, not just rebuilt. This has a lot to do with last year’s water break:

(WSB photo, December 2017)

Clark explained, “It’s a mess” because the water flowed under the street, toward the stadium, “blew out a lot of sediment …it’s still wet under there.”

With that work, the cumulative timeline for the project could stretch beyond a year, SDOT says, because their optimal work season is the April to October window. But they don’t have a timeline yet, aside from knowing that the work won’t start sooner than April 2019, and that it has to be complete by fall 2020, which is when what Clark calls “another big one” – work related to the Delridge RapidRide conversion – will be in progress.

While they’re working on that segment of 35th, they’re also planning on pedestrian-crossing islands at the stadium entrance – no marked crosswalk, but “refuge” to make it safer for the people who invariably cross there. And the sidewalk between SW Oregon and SW Snoqualmie will be replaced.

They’re “studying” the 35th/Avalon intersection for possible safety improvements. And since the Avalon repaving will now stretch all the way to Fauntleroy, “we’re looking at that too.”

You’ve no doubt got questions. SDOT hopes to see you at the June 5th open house so you can get answers – 5:30-7:30 pm at American Legion Post 160, 3618 SW Alaska.

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BIZNOTE: Luna Park Café’s unexpected 1-day closure Wed, 09 May 2018 23:03:26 +0000 Thanks for the tip. Luna Park Café confirms they’re unexpectedly closed for the rest of the day/night because of water trouble. They explain that Seattle Fire was doing some hydrant testing nearby and that left them with brown water that’s not expected to clear for some hours, so they had no choice but to close. They hope to reopen for regular hours at 7 tomorrow morning.

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EARTH DAY: Start your Sunday at Harbor/Avalon Sun, 22 Apr 2018 02:12:57 +0000 Start your Earth Day with some help around the spot where Harbor Avenue, SW Avalon, and Spokane Street meet. Tools, gloves, coffee, snacks provided! In case you haven’t already seen it in the WSB calendar, here’s the reminder from organizer Roxane Rusch:

You are INVITED to Our Neighborhood EARTH DAY Harbor Avalon work party!!!!!!!

This is a work party to celebrate Earth Day and maintain the work completed through our Neighborhood Street and Park fund grant project.

Please join our party and help us positively and uniquely brand this West Seattle gateway area for all to enjoy!

Don’t worry about RSVP’ing if you haven’t already – just show up to help!

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FOLLOWUP: 2 Neighborhood Street Fund projects going out to bid Mon, 12 Feb 2018 09:02:44 +0000 Almost a year and a half after they were chosen for funding, two Neighborhood Street Fund projects proposed by West Seattleites are going out to bid. A notice in today’s Daily Journal of Commerce announces that the city is seeking bids on a package of five NSF projects meant to improve walking and biking safety, two of which are in West Seattle – the Chief Sealth Walkway Improvements and the Harbor Ave. SW/SW Spokane St. Intersection Improvements Project. The notice says bids will be opened March 7th; we’ll be checking with SDOT on the anticipated construction schedule.

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FOLLOWUP: Nucor working ‘to mitigate the problem’ that’s caused recent booms Fri, 12 Jan 2018 00:06:10 +0000 Management at the Nucor steel mill in northeast West Seattle says they’re “working … to mitigate the problem” that’s caused startling booms in recent days. The one reported here on Saturday evening, after hearing from readers, was such a jolt, some said, they didn’t think it was from the plant because they’d never felt anything like it. We talked this afternoon with Nucor’s environmental manager Patrick Jablonski. He explained that this can happen “when we add wet scrap metal into our furnace … I think we are particularly vulnerable to it because of our climate; it happens more often in the wintertime.” He said Nucor is “certainly not happy” about this, and is trying to find out why it’s happened repeatedly in recent days, so they can work “to mitigate the problem.” Jablonski also told WSB, “We’ve worked over the years to minimize it … As far as I know, we are the only mill that built a large canopy to keep the rain off the scrap in our scrapyard … We’ve developed additional procedures over the years.” But that doesn’t get all the rain – or snow, if the scrap was brought over the mountain passes – off the steel, and when the wet scrap metal goes into the furnace (which is on the north side of the main building), the evaporation happens quickly and loudly. No one was hurt, he added. Some commenters asked about contacting the plant in case of an incident; you can call the general number, 206-933-2222, around the clock – if it’s after-hours, security can get in touch with someone to check into it, Jablonski said.

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DEVELOPMENT: Next chance to comment on 32-townhouse project at 3257, 3303, 3315 Harbor SW and 3252 30th SW Wed, 27 Dec 2017 04:21:09 +0000
(‘Conceptual’ rendering by Lemons Architecture, from April 2017 Design Review presentation)

Just one West Seattle project on the city-circulated Land Use Information Bulletin published today – but it’s a four-parter. The project [map] has four addresses:

3257 Harbor SW (7 units, 7 parking spaces)
3303 Harbor SW (9 units, 9 parking spaces)
3315 Harbor SW (8 units, 8 parking spaces)
3252 30th SW (8 units, 8 parking spaces)

The project passed the first phase of Design Review back in April (WSB coverage here), which meant the developer was cleared to go ahead and apply for land-use permits. They have now just done so, which is the reason for the notices published today, opening a new public-comment period until January 8th (each address above is linked to the notice that in turn includes a “how to comment” link).

NEXT STEP: The second round of Design Review – no meeting date yet.

BACKSTORY: In 2014, a different proposal for the site – 80+ apartments – passed the first round of Design Review, but went idle, and in November 2016, we found this then-newly filed townhouse plan.

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WEST SEATTLE HISTORY: Luna Park documentarian’s request Wed, 12 Jul 2017 00:22:37 +0000

That’s West Seattle’s legendary, short-lived and long-gone Luna Park, circa 1910, from the Seattle Municipal Archives. If you have any Luna Park memorabilia/photos, Michael Falcone is hoping you’ll help:

I’m working on a documentary on Luna Park (amusement park 1907-1913) and would like to put out a call for any photographs/materials relating to the park and/or early West Seattle. I will be at the High Point Library Sunday, July 16th from 1-3 pm in the High Point Meeting Room for people to come by with any materials they would like to see included in the documentary.

I will have a laptop, scanner and camera present in case people allow me to copy images at that time. I am working with SW Historical Society in part on this project and seeking a Seattle CityArtists grant with the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture.

If you have questions, you can reach Falcone through his website.

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TLC for LP: Dozens of volunteers @ Luna Park work party Sat, 27 May 2017 22:29:26 +0000
(First two photos by David Whiting)

More than three dozen volunteers weeded, cleaned, and mulched in the Luna Park area this morning. Toward the right side of the top photo is Roxane Rusch, who organized the work party as part of the preparations for a Neighborhood Park and Street Fund project on its way to the area. SDOT-provided river rock is part of the landscaping preps, too:

At right, above, Luna Park Café owner John Bennett was among the volunteers, and he shared the next two photos, starting with City Councilmember Lisa Herbold pulling weeds:

So when you next ride, walk, or run through the area, you can appreciate the volunteer work – and if you would like to help, watch for word of the next work party.

(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)

The original vision for the future city-grant-funded work … with the way paved by volunteer help … is in this WSB story.

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TOMORROW: Start your holiday weekend @ Luna Park work party Fri, 26 May 2017 20:40:51 +0000 Reminder if you haven’t seen it in the calendar yet – you’re invited to start your weekend by helping clean up the Luna Park area tomorrow with neighbors, businesses, and city Tree Ambassadors. Organizer Roxane Rusch says it’s “another in a series of work parties to ready the site for the receipt of a Neighborhood Street and Park fund grant that your neighborhood councils, associations, and groups have generously endorsed. We are working with SDOT on final plans.” As the flyer says, meet at Luna Park Café (2918 SW Avalon Way) at 9 am Saturday. The work party is scheduled until noon, but even if you can just give an hour or two, your help will be welcomed.

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YOU CAN HELP: Local stylist going to Cambodia to help fight trafficking Sun, 15 Jan 2017 03:24:33 +0000 This isn’t a request for much – $10 each from 400 people will make it happen.

Ola Salon in Luna Park “is in the midst of a campaign to send one of our stylists to Cambodia to have a direct impact on changing the life of formerly sex-trafficked youth. Over the next 2 months, we need to raise $4000 to make this happen,” says Ola proprietor Rachel Karlin. They’re working with the organization Justice and Soul. Stylist Julia Durfee has been accepted into the J&S program to provide training to people at risk of trafficking and is planning to go to Cambodia in April. If you are interested in helping, you can do it through this GoFundMe page.

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FOLLOWUP: Luna Park water-break repairs under way Wed, 30 Nov 2016 19:50:42 +0000 20161130_110526_hdr

Following up on the Luna Park-area water break reported here last night – here’s how Seattle Public Utilities spokesperson Ingrid Goodwin replied to our inquiry this morning:

Water crews are back out this morning repairing the 8-inch water main. Last night crews responded to the break and throttled the main until they could return today. Customers may have noticed a diminished volume in their water service last night.

Currently water is shut down and crews are fixing the pipe. We expect to have the repair complete and water back on by 3 pm today. About 9 water services are impacted by the shutdown.

We just checked with Luna Park Café and they are open, no water trouble, so it’s apparently NOT affecting the mini-business district there.

P.S. Thanks to original tipster Stephanie for the photo above.

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UPDATE: Water break in Luna Park area Wed, 30 Nov 2016 05:22:14 +0000 img_7686

9:22 PM: Though it’s a rainless night, water is rushing downhill in the Luna Park area under the West Seattle Bridge. We checked it out after a tip from Stephanie. A Seattle Public Utilities worker was checking it out along 30th SW, uphill and west of Avalon Way; he told us an SPU crew would be on the way over after fixing an unrelated break downtown. We have a message out to SPU to find out more, including whether anyone is without water service because of the break.

10:37 PM: Haven’t heard back from SPU, so we might not get any followup info until tomorrow.

1:52 AM: Thanks to commenter SEW for an update – not fixed yet.

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TRAFFIC ALERT: Crash in Luna Park area Fri, 11 Nov 2016 00:26:36 +0000 4:26 PM: Thanks for the text – police/fire response at Avalon Way and Orleans (map) because of a crash, and at this time of day, that could be trouble. We’re en route to look.


4:39 PM UPDATE: Just went by. Crashed car and police car are in eastbound lane of Manning by the Luna Park commercial building. A tow truck is on the southbound Avalon shoulder.

4:46 PM: The scene has just cleared. Police tell us the driver of the car that had to be towed is being checked for a possible broken ankle; the other driver was not hurt.

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West Seattle weekend scene: Harbor/ Avalon/ Manning volunteers, cleaning & planting Sat, 05 Nov 2016 20:12:48 +0000 avalonclean3
(1st two photos by WSB’s Patrick Sand)

The organizers of this morning’s Harbor/Avalon/Manning work party said “rain or shine,” and they meant it! In the final hour, we found hardy volunteers under and around the bridge, cleaning up the area as well as planting trees and ferns.


Don Brubeck from West Seattle Bike Connections sent the next photo – reporting that WSBC had three volunteers joining in, as the group planted five 5 Hogan’s Cedars:


As mentioned in the announcements of this work party and one earlier in the year, this work is part of the preparation for a beautification project next year funded by a city matching-fund grant (volunteer work counts toward the “match”).

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