West Seattle, Washington
Busy night Tuesday for community meetings, as has long been the case for second Tuesdays. Here are our notes from the Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting, held in person at Admiral Church, facilitated by ANA president Joanie Jacobs:
TRAFFIC: One of the two major topics of discussion was too-fast traffic on SW Admiral Way east of California. The curve in particular is a spot for periodic crashes that take out and/or damage poles and landscaping, or worse. ANA’s Dan Jacobs noted a 2021 SDOT survey that has shown many cars way over the speed limit in the area – a thousand drivers per day at 50+ mph+, 100 at 60+ mph, at least 1 per day at 80+ mph. They’re hoping to work with SDOT about what if anything can be done to try to slow down drivers on that stretch.
CONCERT SERIES: With Hiawatha Community Center unavailable for another summer, ANA has to decide whether to try to have one or more summer concerts at an alternate location. They’ve been looking at two possible locations, Hamilton Viewpoint and the Lafayette Elementary playground. Concert-series coordinator Stephanie Jordan said both would have increased production costs. In discussion, ANA thought Lafayette was a more promising location, particularly for accessibility via either car or bus, but also for access to other businesses – the ability to grab a picnic dinner at a grocery deli or restaurant and walk over, for example. Play facilities for younger kids, which don’t exist at Hamilton, also were an appealing aspect.
What remains to be decided is whether they’ll try to host one event with multiple bands or three events with one band each. (The pre-pandemic concert series was one band per night on six Thursday nights.) So watch for updates later this spring.
OUTDOOR MOVIE: Side note, ANA and Admiral Church plan to present an outdoor-movie night on the church grounds this summer.
NO POLICE: SPD is usually represented at these meetings but wasn’t last night after all.
Watch connecttoadmiral.org for updates between ANA meetings.
Though the Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Council isn’t meeting this month, if you have questions for local police, you have two opportunities on Tuesday night. Precinct leaders are expected at both the Admiral Neighborhood Association and Fauntleroy Community Association‘s monthly meetings, 7 pm Tuesday (March 14th). Admiral meets in-person only, at Admiral Church (4320 SW Hill); Fauntleroy meets in person with online/call-in options, at Fauntleroy Schoolhouse (9131 California SW). There’s a potential third option when Alki Community Council meets at 7 pm Thursday (March 16th) at Alki UCC (6115 SW Hinds) and online, as they too often have an SPD guest, but their agenda isn’t out yet.
Some community groups continue to meet online, some have moved to “hybrid” (in-person and online) meetings, and a few have gone back to just meeting in person, Tomorrow, the District 1 Community Network will meet in-person for the first time in three years. It’s a coalition of community advocates and organization/group representatives from around West Seattle and South Park, now ready to broaden the reach since the district has grown too. Everyone interested is invited to attend. D1CN is meeting at 7 pm Wednesday (March 1st) at Neighborhood House High Point, 6400 Sylvan Way SW.
Two big events are ahead for the Fauntleroy Community Association, as discussed at the FCA board’s February meeting. One is open right now for helpers to join in – here’s the announcement, for both volunteers and participants:
The Fauntleroy Community Association is presenting its 2023 Spring Egg Hunt on April 1 from 1:00 to 4:00 at the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse. To have it on one day at one location is a new – and better, we think – format.
All are welcome, so bring the kiddies and baskets to collect eggs with treats inside. This is a no-candy event. When finding the eggs, post your photos on social media with a tag #FCAEggHunt. Any plastic eggs that you cannot reuse may be dropped off at the booth out front that day or returned later to the schoolhouse.
We need volunteers to come and have fun at a stuffing party or to hide eggs that day. Call or email Candace Blue, at 209-401-8406 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
FCA is also preparing for next month’s Food Fest, the annual membership meeting, held at The Hall at Fauntleroy (9131 California SW), 6-8 pm Tuesday, March 21st. FCA’s David Haggerty told the board that planning is going well – some local eateries have signed up to provide bites for attendees and he’s working on a few more. He’s also lining up community organizations and agencies to be there. If you live and/or work in Fauntleroy, make plans to be there.
This month’s meeting included a few other discussion topics. Operations Lt. Dorothy Kim was there from the Southwest Precinct, to which FCA had expressed concerns about enforcement of the RPZ now that vehicles are no longer getting permits to display, but instead just having plates registered, meaning that unless you’re an officer with a license-plate reader, you can’t tell the difference between authorized and unauthorized vehicles. There’s no real solution for now, as Parking Enforcement Officers currently aren’t on duty overnight, which is when the RPZ’s “permit-required” hours fall.
FCA’s Catherine Bailey, leading the meeting, also noted that the group had yet to hear back from SDOT on followthrough from the December walkaround with director Greg Spotts.
The Fauntleroy Community Association board meets second Tuesdays at 7 pm, with community members welcome to attend, in-person at the schoolhouse or online (info at fauntleroy.net).
Today was scheduled to be the last day for answering the city survey that kicked off work on the South Delridge Action Plan. However, checking its start page reveals it’s been extended through February 28th. We discovered that while preparing to write a preview about community council HPAC’s monthly meeting coming up this Wednesday (February 22), which will include guests discussing the SDAP, described a month ago as intended “to develop a vision for the future of South Delridge, which includes parts of neighborhoods such as Westwood, Roxhill, Highland Park, Delridge, and White Center … (to) help the City support community and focus investments in the coming years.” If you haven’t already answered the survey, go here to find links in 4 languages; attendance info for Wednesday’s 7 pm online HPAC meeting is here.
Six months after appointing Greg Wong as Department of Neighborhoods director, Mayor Harrell moved him to deputy mayor. Six months after that, the mayor has just announced a new DoN nominee. From today’s announcement:
Today, Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell announced that he will appoint Jenifer Chao to serve as the next Director of the Department of Neighborhoods (DON). Chao, a community engagement leader, currently serves as the Deputy Director of Strategy and Administration in the City of Seattle’s Finance and Administrative Services.
Working with the City of Seattle since 2009, Chao has built a reputation as a community collaborator and strong voice for equity and opportunity for youth and historically underserved communities. Chao previously served on the Department of Neighborhoods’ Outreach and Engagement team, where she focused on developing strong and trusted relationships in the Chinatown-International District (CID) through work on the CID Community Vision Workgroup and Sound Transit 3 planning. Chao also served as the Interim Director of the Office of Civil Rights’ Race and Social Justice Initiative and worked in the Human Services Department where she supported the Seattle Youth Employment Program.
Outside of her service at the City, Chao served five years at the Seattle non-profit Neighborhood House, where she supported people looking to achieve their long-term education and employment goals.
Read the full announcement – with quotes from Chao, Wong, and Harrell – here. As with other department-head positions, this one will require City Council confirmation.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
There was a lot to talk about when HPAC, the community coalition for Highland Park, Riverview, and South Delridge, convened its first 2023 meeting online Wednesday night.
Transportation was the big topic. The photo above shows SW Holden from 12th SW to 11th SW. The former intersection is getting a pedestrian-activated signal, and SDOT was going to as a result remove the flashing beacon at the latter – until local advocates convinced them not to. That responsiveness was something on which they complimented the night’s marquee guest, SDOT director Greg Spotts. He started work just as what HPAC called “two and a half years of hell’ – the West Seattle Bridge detour – was ending. HPAC co-chair Kay Kirkpatrick, facilitating the meeting, told Spotts that SDOT was very responsive to the area’s needs and concerns during that time.
Spotts then offered a few opening remarks. “I’ve developed a real passion for West Seattle,” though he decided to live, carlessly until at least this fall, in South Lake Union. He’s done 100+ field visits with community members around the city, four mornings a week, every week. (In West Seattle, those have so far included Fauntleroy and Alki.) His first day at work in Seattle started with.a visit to the West Seattle Bridge. He talked about the Alki response to reckless driving – installing features including speed humps. He also talked about the rapid response that created a bike detour when the low bridge broke down in last month’s ice storm. Spotts said his theme for SDOT for 2023 is “Delivery fast and flavorful, in concert with our values.” He said he told the mayor in his July 1st job interview that he wants to end the days of telling communities what they’re getting by pointing to lines on a map, and start “co-creating” projects instead.
Then he listened to myriad concerns raised by attendees.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Three topics dominated this month’s Alki Community Council meeting: The Harbor Avenue RVs, the Stone Cottage’s future, and the Alki Point “Healthy Street.”
ACC president Tony Fragada facilitated the meeting, held hybrid-style – in person at Alki UCC and online – on Thursday night; we covered it via Zoom.
(WSB photo, earlier this week)
HARBOR AVENUE RVs: Alki-area residents who have been demanding action from the city to make the RV residents move say they’re not getting it, while the roadside encampment grows (it’s up to 12 RVs and trailers, plus associated vehicles including an old school bus and a truck full of wooden pallets, at last count). Discussion with SPD’s night-shift commander Lt. Nathan Shopay focused on what police can and can’t do. If crimes are being committed, call 911. If you’re just upset that they’re there, police can’t do anything about that. There is still an interdepartmental city team meeting weekly – Lt. Shopay says he attends that meeting – and they discuss the status of various encampments around the city, but he says they’re “inundated” with demands for action. Nonetheless, he says, keep reporting concerns via Find It Fix It and sites will move up the priority list. This area’s new point person for LEAD, Michelle McClendon, jumped in to talk about outreach done with RV residents like those on Harbor. She said their methods include “motivational interviewing, trauma-informed … this does not happen overnight.” They “assess each person’s needs” – some qualify for permanent supportive housing, for example. But she reminded attendees that even if they offer someone services, they can’t be forced to accept the offer. As for the perennial issue of enforcing the 72-hour parking rule, Lt. Shopay was asked if bringing Parking Enforcement Officers back into the Police Department would help; Most likely, he replied, though it’d not clear yet how long that will take.
STONE COTTAGE SITE SEARCH: Almost a year and a half has passed since the historic Stone Cottage was moved from its location at 1123 Harbor Avenue SW because of then-imminent (since stalled) development.
(August 2021 reader photo by Rachel)
It remains in storage on Port of Seattle land while the preservationist volunteers who worked to save it tackle the next task: Finding a permanent home. Two of those volunteers, Mike Shaughnessy and Deb Barker, came to the ACC meeting with an update; Shaughnessy recapped the effort to date, and pre-pandemic progress with a proposal that they fix up the Stone Cottage and then donate it to Seattle Parks and Recreation – a proposal that he said was gaining traction until COVID shut down everything down and set back many Parks projects, Now, in addition to that, Parks is under new leadership, with recently appointed Superintendent AP Diaz, so they are “starting from scratch … taking a ‘Hail Mary’ approach” to pitch the project again. If Parks doesn’t want it, they’ll find a site. Whatever happens, the “Save the Stone Cottage” effort will soon go into Phase 2.
ALKI POINT HEALTHY STREET: SDOT hasn’t made a final decision on the permanent “design” for the stretches of Beach Drive and Alki Avenue north/east of 63rd SW. As shown during a community meeting in November (WSB coverage here), they’re looking at a variety of traffic-calming features. A few community advocates recently hosted SDOT director Greg Spotts for an unpublicized visit to the area. They said he was particularly interested in the idea of restricting parking adjacent to Constellation Park, saying he talked about Stonehenge in the UK once allowing parking so close to the historic stones that it took away from the attraction. Their contention is that the Healthy Street doesn’t need added features such as traffic circles and chicanes – they think the city should just focus on emphasizing traffic calming at the entry points (63rd/Beach and 63rd/Alki). They also want to see some parking preserved for area residents as well as for visitors; the 63rd/Beach area is particularly problematic, it was noted. ACC members agreed to send a letter of support to the city.
NEXT MEETING: The ACC meets third Thursdays most months, in-person and online; watch alkicommunitycouncil.org for updates.
The areas served by the community coalition HPAC – Highland Park, Riverview, South Delridge – have been through a lot of transportation issues in recent years, particularly the two and a half years of traffic overload from the West Seattle Bridge closure detours. But the reopening of the bridge didn’t solve everything. If you live/work/study/do business in those areas, check out HPAC’s first meeting of 2023 this coming Wednesday (January 25), when guests will include new SDOT director Greg Spotts, visiting to hear about the area’s transportation concerns and ideas. Another guest of note: Michelle McClendon is the new LEAD project manager for the Southwest Precinct area, and she’ll be there to talk and hear about public-safety issues. And HPAC co-chair Craig Rankin will talk about the new West Duwamish Greenbelt Trails map, reported on and discussed here last month. One more hot topic: The city’s Comprehensive Plan update, which the meeting announcement points out “has numerous implications for the future way our community grows. Notably the plan lists our area as one with a high risk of displacement.” All this and more is part of HPAC’s agenda for 7 pm Wednesday, online. Attendance info, via video or phone, is in the full announcement on HPAC’s website.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Two major topics and several quick updates highlighted the Morgan Community Association‘s quarterly meeting last night. MoCA president Deb Barker facilitated the online meeting.
SKATING AT MORGAN JUNCTION PARK ADDITION: The site north of Morgan Junction Park has “been such an eyesore for so long,” why not do something with it? That’s the contention of the community members who went rogue and built a makeshift skatepark last year. This was a hot topic at the last MoCA quarterly meeting in October; last night, MoCA again heard from the West Seattleites who turned the long-vacant site into an unofficial skatepark and are campaigning, as “Let The Kids Skate,” for that use to be included in the permanent plan. (The site’s been owned by the city for almost nine years, but its development as a park stalled during COVID.) One supporter, John, said Parks asked them for concepts to incorporate a “skate dot” into the pre-existing design for the park addition. Another, Zac, presented some of their ideas. Parks has shut down use of the community-built features on the site, but it might be another six years until the park is developed, though; they contend that’s too long to wait while the site sits vacant. They think the south part of the site is the best spot for a skate dot – the north end has some conflicts with neighboring residents, although they contend that could be mitigated. He showed some concepts:
Truly activating the site could be a draw for Morgan’s growing business district too, they contend – reasons to come and stay, rather than leaving – so they hope business owners will get excited about the idea too. Zac said the group likes Option 3 best. It would include features that don’t exist at current skating areas in West Seattle. Here’s a closer look:
He said their rough schematics would be pretty easy to use to springboard to a cost estimate – and that community fundraising is one option. Their next steps include soliciting community feedback, as well as Parks’ commitment to redesigning the site. Community support is vital – this group is all-volunteer, and if they don’t have support, they’re not going to keep pushing it indefinitely, they said. The site, meantime, is awaiting soil remediation, but Let The Kids Skate has been told that’s not imminent – no contract’s been awarded.
Among those on hand for the meeting was Matt Johnston, a West Seattleite who’s been involved in past skatepark projects, including development of a citywide plan to which he says Parks is “still beholden.” This site is not on the plan, but Alki and Hiawatha are, for example, and Johnston said that the city’s been known to remove one location and add another if that works. “They should be interested in opportunities to do what they said they were going to do,” he said.
2023 MORGAN JUNCTION FESTIVAL: MoCA’s Michael Brunner presented a recap of past years as the group looks ahead to bringing back a full-day festival for the first time since before the pandemic. “It takes a lot of work,” he noted, and that includes lots of volunteer power. Here’s some of what it’s entailed in the past:
A date hasn’t been finalized yet – June 18th is a leading candidate – but planning meetings need to start soon. Here are some of the roles with which they welcome assistance:
If you can help make this festival happen, email@example.com.
FUTURE EV SITE: Environmental cleanup of the site at 42nd/Morgan was completed in November. Barker said they’d asked Seattle City Light questions including whether the site could be used before development. Yes, with conditions, she was told.
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN UPDATE: If you haven’t yet been to a meeting for input and information about this citywide plan, an online meeting is set for January 30.
DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITY: 6007 California SW, proposed for a four-story mixed-use project, is “on hold … stalled over funding issues,” Barker said she was told by a project team member … 6314 41st SW, a 34-apartment project, is still going through land-use review … The California/Brandon Aegis Living proposal, as we’ve reported, goes before the Southwest Design Review Board on February 2nd.
NEW BUSINESS: West Seattle Wonder Dogs is now in Morgan Junction (6040 California SW). Proprietor Erika Abrahamson says, “We’re really loving the new location.” Their offerings include dog day care and training.
PREPAREDNESS: As discussed at the last meeting, Gatewood Elementary will have a special emphasis on this during this month’s Parent Education Night, as a sort of pilot for future wider-community meetings.
FRIENDS OF MORGAN JUNCTION PARKS: This group is planning an April volunteer-work-party event for Morgan Junction Park and will be seeking volunteers.
MoCA BOARD: Openings remain, including the vice presidency. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if interested.
NEXT MEETING: April 19th, 7 pm, likely still online.
Earlier, we mentioned the Morgan Community Association‘s quarterly meeting coming up Wednesday; also ahead this week, the Alki Community Council‘s monthly meeting Thursday (January 19th). This is a hybrid meeting, both online (info here) and in-person (Alki UCC, 6115 SW Hinds) at 7 pm. The agenda isn’t finalized but they’re hoping to have a Southwest Precinct representative – both Alki Avenue reckless driving and Harbor Avenue encampments are recurring topics.
Next up in this month’s round of neighborhood-group meetings is the Morgan Community Association, which meets quarterly. MoCA’s online meeting is Wednesday (January 18th) at 7 pm. Topics on the agenda so far include updates on the Morgan Junction Park addition site, the future electric-vehicle-charging site, and this year’s plans for the MoCA-presented Morgan Junction Community Festival. The meeting is happening online only; video and phone attendance info is in our calendar listing.
One last community-meeting report from this past week: The Admiral Neighborhood Association met Tuesday night at Admiral Church. ANA’s new president Joanie Jacobs led the meeting. Parks and police were two major topics. For the former, Hiawatha’s status tops the list – both for general community interest, and because the ANA’s long-running summer concert series happens there. Parks didn’t send a rep to the meeting, but ANA leadership has been in contact. As reported here last month, the community center’s long-planned upgrade project isnn’t expected to start construction before May, and that would keep Hiawatha closed until early 2024. ANA’s Dan Jacobs, who’s been communicating with Parks, says the play-area move and playfield turf-replacement projects are other complicating factors. The play area, like the community center, has gone into another round of delays, he was told, and plans are currently in “revisions.” Concert-series coordinator Stephanie Jordan is looking for help scouting for alternate locations and planning. The concerts might be in a different format if they do happen – possibly even a one-day music festival.
(ANA president Joanie Jacobs and Southwest Precinct Lt. Nathan Shopay)
Seattle Police did have a representative at the meeting, Southwest Precinct night-shift commander Lt. Nathan Shopay. He noted that Admiral overall remains one of the quietest areas in Seattle’s safest neighborhood. As has been the case at other neighborhood meetings, he was asked about staffing – still a challenge – and also talked about a new version of the four-day schedule that’s being implemented for officers. No updates on specific incidents, but regarding emphasis patrols, he said he’s still placing some officers in the Don Armeni Boat Ramp area on Friday and Saturday nights to try to deter street racers and other stunt drivers.
Other notes: The ANA Adopt-a-Street cleanups will be revived – can you pitch in? Message ANA to volunteer … West Seattle Grounds (2141 California SW) is collecting sock donations through the end of the month – drop off packages of new socks for Operation Nightwatch’s work with unsheltered people … The Southwest Seattle Historical Society is continuing to open the Log House Museum (61st/Stevens) one day a week, noon-4 pm Saturdays, for visitors. … Watch connecttoadmiral.org for neighborhood updates between meetings.
Busiest week of the month for meetings – here are toplines from last night’s monthly meeting of the Fauntleroy Community Association board.
FERRY DOCK PROJECT: No new developments in planning for the Washington State Ferries dock/terminal replacement. Meantime, FCA has sent letters and petitions of support – with more than 700 signatures – to urge the City Council to renew its longstanding opposition to expanding the doc when it’s rebuilt. This week’s WSF community meetings were also mentioned (we just covered the first one, held at noontime today, and will publish our report later today; you can sign up here for the 6 pm Thursday meeting).
SDOT WALKING TOUR FOLLOWUP: What happens next after their tour four weeks ago with SDOT director Greg Spotts (WSB coverage here)? They haven’t heard anything yet.
NEW TRANSPORTATION CONCERN: In addition to fees going up this year for Restricted Parking Zone permits, the city is no longer issuing stickers to permit holders – your license plate will go into the system, and that’s it. So how will someone know to report a violator? it was asked. (Not to mention, it was pointed out, the restricted time period in the Fauntleroy RPZ is 2-5 am, and currently Parking Enforcement Officers aren’t on duty during those hours anyway.)
SAVE THE DATE: The annual Fauntleroy Food Fest – the FCA’s annual general-membership meeting, with attendance incentives including tastes from local eateries – is currently set for March 21st at The Hall at Fauntleroy (9131 California SW).
BOARD RECRUITING: They’ve had some attrition lately so will be going to the community soon to recruit new members.
The Fauntleroy Community Association board meets at 7 pm second Tuesdays most months, and anyone with an interest in Fauntleroy is always welcome, in person or online.
If you have questions for police – a neighborhood concern, ongoing problem, unsolved case – you can attend both or one of these community meetings in the week ahead:
ADMIRAL NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: 7 pm Tuesday (January 10th), Admiral Church (4320 SW Hill). ANA says a Southwest Precinct rep will be there.
WEST SEATTLE CRIME PREVENTION COUNCIL: 7 pm Thursday (January 12th), Southwest Precinct (2300 SW Webster). Much of this meeting is set aside for community Q&A. If you can’t go to the precinct, our calendar listing has info on video or call-in participation.
The District 1 Community Network is the first local organization having a public meeting in the new year, 7 pm Wednesday (January 4th) online, D1CN is a coalition of West Seattle and South Park community advocates who gather to address area issues; everyone interested is welcome to join in. Draft agenda items for this meeting include the South Park flooding situation and the ongoing work toward updating the city’s Comprehensive Plan. Video and call-in information can be found in our calendar listing.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The Admiral Neighborhood Association‘s every-other-month meeting tonight featured reps from two city departments that handle the bulk of the most contentious community issues, SDOT and SPD – not to give presentations, but to answer questions on whatever attendees wanted to talk about.
The meeting was facilitated by ANA vice president Joanie Jacobs (who’s rising to president as a result of tonight’s elections – more on that later) at Admiral UCC Church.
SOUTHWEST PRECINCT POLICE: Lt. Mike Watson opened by asking if anyone had any questions. Jacobs said she knew multiple businesses had experienced burglaries, including an Admiral restaurant just a few days ago. What can they do? “Look out for each other,” he said, for starters. Camera video is helpful. So are signs such as “this area is being video-monitored.” He noted he was asked at a past meeting about catalytic-converter thefts, so he brought that stat – 2,120 citywide so far this year – West Seattle is averaging 40 or 50 a month. They can be sold for up to $350. Toyota Prius, Honda CR-V, Lexus RX-400, Honda Element are all popular targets. Don’t try to confront a thief – people have lost their lives doing that – call 911. Someone else brought up street racing, and neighbors who don’t have valid license plates. Street racing should be reported, Watson said, because there’s a regional task force working on it. Then another person asked about expired tabs. Watson mentioned they’re not allowed to pull people over for them. But a parking-enforcement officer can cite a parked car for expired plates/tabs. What about the double shooting on Alki? The victims both survived, but no one’s been arrested. From the SPD dashboard, he cited some West Seattle stats – robberies are up 18%, aggravated assault up 12%, motor-vehicle theft up 43%, 105 shots-fired incidents so far this year. Cars are usually stolen to commit other crimes, he noted. Despite all that, “West Seattle is the safest part of the city – by far. … You can feel safe here.” (He attributes that in part to strong block watches.) One last question: How’s police staffing? “Down 450-500,” he said. One attendee thanked Lt. Watson for excellent service from officers who responded when he was in a car crash recently.
SDOT: Introduced as being there on a “fact-finding mission” was Matt Beaulieu, there to listen to questions. He was accompanied by Danielle Friedman from the Department of Neighborhoods. First issue, trying to cross Admiral’s south side. There are no crosswalks for several blocks south of the business district, residents pointed out. A resident near the Admiral Way Viewpoint totem pole mentioned crashes from speeding drivers, An SDOT traffic study was mentioned as having found 40 as the “average” speed in the area – “so that means 5,000 drivers are going 60.” The resident who mentioned it has long agitated for traffic calming there. Another attendee brought up the graph of survivability at various speeds. Another attendee talked about the crossing at 47th/Admiral having been installed after a deadly crash, but not getting heeded because “it’s in an odd spot.” What about speed cameras? Some recent laws might loosen up the current restrictions on school zones only, “Photo enforcement is a powerful tool, but you install it and hope it fails” because people stop speeding, Beaulieu said. Friedman mentioned that the recent study of West Marginal Way, blocking off a southbound lane to simulate the conditions during the future protected bike lane, really resulted in slower driving.
What does it take to get something installed? Most of it is based on collision history, when they decide where to spend money, Beaulieu said. So for starters, make sure crashes get reported to police, because otherwise SDOT has no data to refer to. He also noted that they’re studying the best way to deal with arterials. And be sure to contact SDOT directly – maybe they can’t help initially, but your problem will at least be on their radar.
Another question: Aren’t traffic deaths up since Vision Zero began? Beaulieu acknowledged, “We are not trending to zero.” Isn’t it making things worse? The attendee had worked on a school safety committee and requested a four-way stop but said SDOT was resistant – yet now there are new 4-ways and crosswalks by West Seattle High School and Madison Middle School. Aa for VZ in general, Beaulieu mentioned one of the first actions new SDOT director Greg Spotts had decreed – a “top to bottom” review of the program, in hopes of figuring out why it’s not working.
Another resident near 39th/Hanford, close to a new crosswalk, noted that the intersection has numerous crashes each year, some taking out utility poles. Can you put speed cushions on arterials? That’s an “evolving practice” too, said Beaulieu.
Also mentioned – gratitude to SDOT for repaving much of California north of Admiral. (Though there was some puzzlement on why one particular block was skipped.)
ELECTIONS: The meeting ended with a chance to nominate and vote on leadership for net year. Elected to lead ANA in 2023 (and shown left to right in photo above):
President Joanie Jacobs
Vice President Stephanie Jordan
Secretary Carrie McCann
Treasurer Bridgett Markillie
They were the only nominees, and were elected in unanimous approval of the slate.
(Board members, committee leads, and an adopt-a-street coordinator are other roles in the ANA, and they’d love to have more community participation.) Voting was open to members, who pay a $25 annual fee to belong.
P.S. ANA has a business membership program too – $50/year – and plans to more actively promote local businesses. Businesses are donating $25 gift cards for a raffle at ANA meetings, and Mission Cantina donated one for tonight – the winner was drawn before meeting’s end.
EVENTS: This Saturday, Admiral Church is hosting a Christmas Market (as featured in our calendar and West Seattle Holiday Guide). West Seattle Grounds (which Jacobs manages) has launched a toy drive – that will be in our Holiday Guide shortly – and donors get a discount. She also mentioned the Festival of Trees gala at Brookdale Admiral Heights.
SUMMER CONCERTS: After missing three years for the pandemic and venue unavailability, the 2023 concert series will happen one way or another, either Hiawatha if it’s available by summer, or Hamilton Viewpoint. “Our goal this year is that IT WILL HAPPEN,” Jacobs vowed.
NEXT MEETING: ANA is having general meetings every other month, so the next one is likely on the second Tuesday in January, which will be January 10, 7 pm at Admiral Church (4320 SW Hill). Watch connecttoadmiral.org for updates.
It’s been a busy few months in Admiral, from the first-ever Admiral Junction Funktion to business-district trick-or-treating, and now it’s time to get ready for the winter holidays. It’s also time to look ahead to next year, while addressing current concerns, and that’s all part of what the Admiral Neighborhood Association plans to do at its next general community meeting, 7 pm Tuesday (November 15) in-person at Admiral Church (4320 SW Hill). Here are agenda highlights:
* Representatives from SDOT to listen to some Admiral specific traffic and road related issues.
* SW Precinct representative to give an update
* Our election of officers for 2023
* Other neighborhood updates
Bring your questions/comments – or just go watch/listen – all are welcome. ANA’s general community meetings are every other month; here’s our report on the last one in September.
We covered two community meetings last night – here are two brief notes from the first one, the Fauntleroy Community Association‘s monthly board meeting:
TRANSPORTATION: FCA invited new SDOT director Greg Spotts to the neighborhood for one of his “walking tours,” and he accepted. He’ll be visiting next month. Ferry-related traffic is always high on the list of Fauntleroy community concerns, so that’s likely to be a central topic.
FALL FESTIVAL REPORT: FCA doesn’t present the Fauntleroy Fall Festival but does support it, and received a report last night on the October 23rd event, the first full-fledged Fall Festival since 2019.
(WSB photo from last month’s festival)
About 2,000 people attended over the course of the afternoon. A new feature, the bunny “petting zoo” (above), was a hit. Some of the volunteers are already interested in next year; the date’s not set yet but will be soon.
The Fauntleroy Community Association meets second Tuesdays, 7 pm, most months, at Fauntleroy Schoolhouse; updates and info can be found at fauntleroy.net.
Last month, new SDOT director Greg Spotts talked with the West Seattle Transportation Coalition (WSB coverage here); now, he’s scheduled as the spotlight guest for this month’s meeting of HPAC, the community council for Highland Park, Riverview, and South Delridge. Got a question about which way the transportation policy in the city is going? This is your chance to ask – or just to listen to what he has to say, with so many transportation issues having emerged or intensified in the HPAC neighborhoods during the bridge closure. The meeting will be held online at 7 pm Wednesday (October 26th); video/call-in info is on the HPAC website, along with details of what else is on the agenda. All welcome.
WEDNESDAY UPDATE: HPAC says Spotts had to cancel due to a conflict.
Here’s what was discussed at last night’s quarterly meeting of the Morgan Community Association, held online and facilitated by MoCA president Deb Barker.
‘MORGAN MINUTE’ QUICK UPDATES: Barker recapped the September 24th Lowman Beach shoreline-restoration celebration (WSB coverage here) … The MoCA board still has an opening for vice president … MoCA still hopes to honor a former board member, the late Eldon Olson, with some kind of tribute – maybe a bench – in the area (though Seattle Parks doesn’t offer those commemorative opportunities any more) … The former Ivy Court mixed-use building at 6525 California SW has undergone remodeling and has a new name, The Morgan … Beveridge Place Pub will host musician Joshua Dennis as part of next month’s West Seattle Art Walk, 6-7:45 pm November 10th.
WHAT’S NEW IN MORGAN JUNCTION: Marcella Andrews introduced herself and her new business Transform Pediatric Physical Therapy. Among their offerings are 12-week treatment packages as well as group classes and camps. They help “any child who’s a little bit different from other children” and utilize a gym setting as well as a garden setting (with chickens) in a converted garage.
POLICE: New night-shift Lt. Nathan Shopay introduced himself. No one had questions for him but he said that since taking over the shift command, he’s noted a startling wave of gunshot calls all over the city. Right now the staffing level averages 10 officers a night “which is usually enough” but if there’s one big call, suddenly that occupies everyone. As Barker stressed, with Lt. Shopay vigorously agreeing, it’s vital to file a report about any and every kind of crime that happens; he stressed that the department is data-driven in terms of assigning resources so if they don’t hear about everything, they don’t know what’s going on. He shared his email address for community members with night-shift concerns: email@example.com
MORGAN ELECTRIC-VEHICLE CHARGING LOT: We’ve covered this previously (here and here). Seattle City Light had three reps at the MoCA meeting with an update on the project at 4118 SW Morgan, a substation site until 2002. Construction is scheduled for late 2023, so it will be vacant and bare for another year – that’s in part because there’s a long lead time for ordering the necessary equipment. SCL’s Jacob Orenberg said environmental cleanup at the site should be finished before month’s end; it began (including tree removal) last month. He showed an updated site layout:
The driveway will now open onto SW Morgan rather than Fauntleroy or the alley on the site’s east side. The site will likely have “passive drainage” as well as incorporating CPTED principles. Answering questions about expected traffic, it’s likely to start at 22 users and eventually grow to as much as 80.
That’s a tiny fraction of the current daily traffic on the streets bordering the site. Based on other sites, they expect usage to be focused between 7 am and 10 pm. What’s next: Design documents will be finalized in the next few months and permits will be sought early next year; the station should be open to the public by early 2024.
SCL’s Victor Couto then answered more questions that had been asked previously. The Junction EV-charging station is the most popular in the city, with about 13 sessions per day, averaging about half an hour each. (Along with South Seattle College [WSB sponsor], it’s one of only two public fast-charging stations in West Seattle.) None of SCL’s current charging stations has as many chargers as this one will have – the highest number currently is 4 (this one is planned for 8 “second-generation fast chargers” which should last about 10 years).
Other questions included whether any temporary uses might be considered during the year before construction starts – food trucks, for example? Orenberg said he didn’t know but would inquire. Who will be dealing with non-charging customers – people using it for parking, camping, or? Couto said generally SCL security, which would “work with local resources.” Security would only be scheduled to visit once a month unless needed. The site will remain fenced (as it is now).
EARTHQUAKE PLANNING: Cindi Barker continued her series of MoCA presentations focused on a community plan beyond simply “show up at the hub.” That includes working with The Kenney (WSB sponsor), Gatewood Elementary, and local businesses about how they can be assisted in the aftermath of a disaster. They had a productive meeting with the school, which would work in an “incident management” mode with the principal serving as “incident commander” if catastrophe struck. They’ll be talking next with the PTSA, likely next month. They haven’t been able to engage with The Kenney yet.
MORGAN JUNCTION PARK ADDITION: This long-“landbanked” site north of Morgan Junction Park has become a source of contention in recent weeks, while it continues to remain vacant after development money “went away,” as Deb Barker put it, during the pandemic. As noted here, local skaters have turned it into an unofficial skate park The Seattle Park District‘s proposed budget would restore funding – but possibly not for several more years, Meantime, as has been discussed for many months, funding does exist for environmental cleanup at the site, removing concrete and contaminated dirt and bringing in new soils, seeding it, maybe creating some simple trails until actual park development happens. But, she said, we’re now in the season when sites like this can’t be dug up and exposed – so the remediation work won’t happen before spring. Mike Schwindeller of Seattle Parks said that despite what we’d been told just a few weeks ago, the site likely won’t be opened to the public until summer – digging could start in early spring but hydroseeding and grass establishment would likely stretch to summer.
Schwindeller said they’ve heard about the desire for skating features and they’ve also heard from neighbors upset about the noise, Parks is removing skate features and says they’d be open to revisiting design that could lead to integration of a “skate dot” when the park is developed.
Josh Radick, who launched the petition drive to try to save the unofficial skatepark, spoke, saying the skatepark started with “a local dad” mentioned the empty “slab” at the park site. They started cleaning up the site, “threw a few ramps down,” and said “we got a lot of love.” People donated materials, even immediate neighbors. Kids “started showing up … it was kind of empowering,” and they hoped to create something playful, small, with learning opportunities, not as big and intimidating as Delridge. They eventually poured concrete to build a ramp, and joy ensued. “We really want to be sure this is a thought-out, active space,” not just another “piece of grass with a couple benches.”
He handed off to Zac Corum, who said this has all led to a coalition led to parents who want more opportunities for beginning skateboarders. They really want to focus on getting active use into the design before the park is (eventually) built. They cited opportunities they see for the short run and long run.
Corum also said it’d be helpful to get information on the true health risk of the site right now. They asked for MoCA’s help, and had suggestions for using the site both post-cleanup and longer term.
So where do things stand? Schwindeller said they’re going to continue to try to “secure the site” – so far, Barker said, all they’re seeing is zipties on the fence and pieces of paper warning against unauthorized use. “Your methods are jokes,” she said flatly. She also pointed out that MoCA asked years ago to activate the site – so now there’s activation, and Parks is trying to shut that down, so “frustration” has resulted.
What does “skate dot” mean? she asked. “Skateable features integrated into the site, not a big bowl,” for example, said Schwindeller. The supporters warned that “mixing use” could wind up in injuries and skateboarders don’t want that.
So what’s next? Revising the design, Barker observed, would require a whole new public process – which had happened years ago, resulting in the existing design.
Attendee John Kinmouth wondered if there’s some middle ground that could be reached to permit interim use of the site. Is there any way to “follow other DIY traditions in the community, where they’ve been allowed to continue?” he wondered.
Cindi Barker recalled the bruising 2007-2008 battle to try to get skating incorporated in the Myrtle Reservoir Park dessign (here’s a sample of our coverage). She said that basically, rather than asking MoCA to shoulder this, the supporters themselves need to marshal neighborhood support and work with Parks. And she voiced disappointment that the skaters hadn’t come to MoCA sooner, “The bone you gotta pick is with Parks – when you work that out,” they’ll be happy to support it.
“We’re not going to go back to square one” with the old design, promised Schwindeller. He said they could bring in a “sub-consultant,” maybe someone like Grindline, to work on possibilities. There was also talk of surfacing this to new Parks Superintendent AP Diaz. The discussion concluded with a suggestion from Deb Barker that a meeting be set up sometime soon to hash through everything.
DEPARTMENT OF NEIGHBORHOODS: Rosa Garcia, now filling in as community-engagement coordinator, introduced herself and offered to help as a liaison between community members and city departments.
NEXT MEETING: MoCA meets quarterly, so the next meeting is January 18 – 2023!
-Tracy Record, WSB editor
Safety and stormwater were hot topics as HPAC – the community coalition for Highland Park, Riverview, and South Delridge – met online this past Wednesday night.
SOUTHWEST PRECINCT: New third-watch (nighttime) commander Lt. Nathan Shopay was a guest. He was surprised to find how busy it is “deep into the night” in West Seattle/South Park – it’s the quietest precinct but still busy. “We augment a lot – a minimum amount of officers we have to get to (via volunteers) to get to 10 officers a night.” He said they run many “emphasis patrols,” including Westwood Village, and extra staffing for gun violence. He says cross-precinct dispatches to or from South Precinct are common. “Our priorities are … enough officers to serve the community (plus handling) shots calls, anything gun violence related, and we’re still going after all our violent offenders.”
16TH SW SAFETY: With the increase in RVs along 16th SW near South Seattle College (WSB sponsor), crime/safety concerns, said an attendee who works at the college. “I’m at a crossroad where I don’t know what to do with the situation.”
Summer’s over and community groups that went on summer hiatus are reconvening. Next one: HPAC – the community coalition for Highland Park, Riverview, South Delridge – meets Wednesday (September 28th) night online. Transportation (farewell, bridge-detour traffic) and safety – an SPD rep is expected to be there – are hot topics. So is the West Duwamish Wet Weather Storage Facility that’s being planned in the area. All are welcome – more details, and the info for attending by video/phone – can be found here.
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