Safety 1490 results

TUESDAY: Safety advocacy @ West Seattle Bike Connections

A new month means a new round of community meetings, and the newest announcement we’ve received is from West Seattle Bike Connections. They’re meeting online tomorrow night (Tuesday, October 4) and welcoming anyone interested in attending. WSBC’s Kate Wells says they plan to “discuss how to advocate for safer streets during the city’s budget process, learn how to get involved in the Seattle Transportation Plan, and more.” Info for how to attend/participate is in our calendar listing.

VIDEO: At second ride in memory of Robb Mason, roadside promises of safety action

(Riders arriving at Spokane Street site)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

“Robb should still be here.”

So said one of the bicycle-affixed signs seen tonight when Seattle Neighborhood Greenways‘ memorial ride for Robb Mason arrived in the area east of the West Seattle low bridge where he was killed by a hit-and-run driver two and a half months ago.

And so said speakers including Mr. Mason’s widow Claudia.

This was the second ride in his memory, after Critical Mass Seattle. That one was just two weeks after his death, yet despite the passage of time, the one tonight was more emotional, and more resolute. City officials including SDOT’s new director were there this time, promising action; Mayor Bruce Harrell even had spoken to the riders before they left City Hall Plaza and headed this way. But Claudia Mason’s words were the most powerful of all, not only in remembrance of her husband, but also with a message to his as-yet-unapprehended hit-run killer:

After she spoke, riders rang bicycle bells, the gentle ringing rippling across the roadside crowd of more than 100. Another sound heard too often during the gathering was that of speeding cars.

The next speakers, local advocates, pleaded for action – Kate Wells of West Seattle Bike Connections, saying the city did not act boldly enough during the bridge’s shutdown to make travel safer for all modes, but needs to now; Erica Bush from Duwamish Valley Safe Streets, noting the area’s unique transportation characteristics, insisted that freight, pedestrian, and bike safety can co-exi

Others who spoke included Gordon Padelford, SNG’s executive director, saying Seattle can solve big problems – like the bridge – and certainly can fix the safety conundrum; the city’s executive general manager Adiam Emery, who reiterated the commitment to safety goals; and SDOT’s traffic engineer Venu Nemani, who did the same. Then the person in the best position to effect change took the microphone, new SDOT director Greg Spotts, who said safety is now job one for everyone in his department and won’t be siloed any more:

When the speeches ended and riders started talking logistics for getting back home – safely – we spoke briefly with Padelford, to ask if his group had any immediate recommendations for safety at the scene of the crash that killed Robb Mason. He cautioned that the exact circumstances aren’t known but one thing is – chronic speeding in the corridor, Measures to address that, such as speed humps and raised crosswalks, could be considered, he said.

Meantime, as Claudia Mason said in hopes the hit-run driver would hear, “You can’t hide forever,” and if that driver’s family/friends know what happened, they shouldn’t bear the burden of keeping that secret. Tips can be called in to SPD’s Violent Crime Hotline, 206-233-5000.

READER REPORT: Schmitz Park hazard

Another reader report with an alert for parkgoers – this time from Rosalie Miller, whose park visits often have yielded photos featured on WSB. This time, her photo serves as a warning:

East entrance off 49th near Schmitz Park Elementary. It’s a large pothole. More cracks in the trail on both sides of the hole. This has been reported on Find It Fix It app.

We’ll check with Parks tomorrow to see if they’ve addressed it yet. The forested park has had hole trouble in the past; back in April, we reported on the rescue of a 4-year-old from a “mud hole” at the park.

FRIDAY: Second memorial ride for Robb Mason, killed in as-yet-unsolved hit-run

(WSB photo, July 29: ‘Ghost bike’ silhouetted during Critical Mass gathering)

More than two months have passed since the hit-run crash east of the low bridge that killed Robb Mason, a West Seattle massage therapist riding home to Magnolia. No arrest reported in the case yet. Critical Mass Seattle paid tribute to Mr. Mason with a memorial ride two weeks after his death, and now Seattle Neighborhood Greenways will do the same this Friday (September 30th). The group is inviting people to either ride with them from downtown or meet them at the collision scene. From the announcement:

Robb Mason was killed while biking home to his wife Claudia in July. He was a loving husband, a caring friend, and gentle soul.

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. Last year was the deadliest year on Seattle’s streets since 2006, with 30 lives lost. This year is shaping up to be just as tragic.

As we laid out in an open letter to the mayor this summer, these deaths are preventable with proven solutions that his administration can implement now.

Join fellow safe street advocates, the new SDOT Director Greg Spotts, a representative from the Mayor’s office, and Claudia Mason and family and friends in a memorial ride on September 30th to honor Robb Mason’s memory, and raise awareness of the need to invest in traffic safety improvements on the streets of Seattle.

Those riding from downtown are asked to meet up by 5:30 pm Friday at City Hall Plaza, 600 4th Avenue. RSVP requested but not required – go here.

READER REPORT: One solution for deterring swooping owls

This is the season when we hear of owls swooping down on unsuspecting runners/walkers. Sarah emailed to share her deterrence discovery:

As a WSB reader and an avid morning runner I have both read about AND experienced the territorial owls of West Seattle. I hesitate to say “attack” since I am the one running through owl territory, but after four separate incidents (in four completely different locations!) I was desperate for a solution. I love running in the early mornings and as it gets dark earlier, I know I’m going to run into the problem again.

Well, I tested a bunch of different things and waited a full year before writing to you just to make sure my solution worked.
I started wearing an owl mask on the back of my head. The fact that it’s an owl isn’t really what makes it successful, but that it looks like I have eyes on the back of my head. Owls won’t attack/swoop anything head-on. It is absolutely a silly solution, but since I’ve started wearing it (September of last year, after I was attacked by an owl at Lincoln Park) I haven’t been swooped at once!
I’m sure there are some other runners/early morning walkers that could use this tip!

As we’ve noted in the past, you can learn about owls – and why they “attack” – via this state Fish and Wildlife Department fact sheet.

FOLLOWUP: 26th/28th/Andover/Yancy protected bike lane complete

First, six years of RVs … then, eco-blocks … now, a protected bike lane. SDOT says the bike lane installed from SW Andover and 26th to Yancy/Avalon is complete, now that the post installation is complete.

The announcement to what had been dubbed the “SW Andover Collaboration Team,” which included the two major businesses along Andover, was forwarded by City Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s staff. It’s only been a month since the full plan emerged, which in turn was less than two months after the long-running RV encampment was cleared.

FOLLOWUP: Closed structure at Alki Playground removed, won’t be replaced before school rebuild

(Texted photo)

2:19 PM: Thanks for the tips and photos. The closed/fenced-off play structure at Alki Playground has been removed. Seattle Parks had said they’d do that before the start of the school year; the educators’ strike apparently bought them some extra time. The play structure was taken out of service in early August; Parks told us afterward that a “safety inspection revealed a major structural issue with the wood decking.” At the time, they hadn’t decided what would happen once it was removed – whether it would be replaced before Alki Elementary closed next year for its rebuild – so we have an inquiry out to see if that decision’s been made yet, and will update when we hear back.

3:08 PM: Parks spokesperson Karen O’Connor says, “We are coordinating with Seattle Public Schools for the play area to be renovated and the structures replaced during the school rebuild between 2023-2025. We will not be replacing the play structures that are being removed before the new school is rebuilt. Some of the play equipment will remain and is not being removed.”

FOLLOWUP: Speed humps finally planned for Alki Avenue

After years of community requests that the city do something to deter speeding on Alki Avenue SW, SDOT is finally going to try speed humps, as hinted back in May. Christopher tipped us this morning about the sighting of outlines for the future installations; we photographed this set on Alki just east of 63rd SW, and driving Alki/Harbor to look for others, spotted another set of outlines on Alki just west of 57th SW. We then asked SDOT about the plan; here’s the reply from spokesperson Madison Linkenmeyer:

Two speed humps are being installed on Alki Ave SW later this month where there is high pedestrian crossing activity. The locations are between 63rd Ave SW and 62nd Ave SW and another one between 58th Ave SW and 57th Ave SW. We’re also installing on Alki Ave SW some in-lane crosswalk warning signs that say “State Law Stop for Pedestrians within Crosswalk.”

These speed humps and signs came through the Vision Zero program in coordination with the Seattle Police Department and Seattle Fire Department.

Official community notification of the impending installation is scheduled for next week.

FOLLOWUP: 1 more week for early closures at Alki Beach

(SPD car at Alki, early evening, May 27th)

Just in case you lost track – Labor Day is one week away. And that’s the date announced as the end of a second year of “piloting” early closures at Alki Beach Park (as well as Golden Gardens in the north). So we checked with Seattle Parks today to ask if that’s still the plan. Short answer: Yes. Parks spokesperson Rachel Schulkin confirmed to WSB that the city is “on track” to go back to 11:30 pm closures after Labor Day. The 10 pm closing time has been in place since Memorial Day weekend. Last year, Parks made the change in July after two notable incidents, a deadly shooting and a chaotic social-media-organized gathering that drew thousands. This year has been devoid so far of anything comparable, though ongoing complaints of street racing and other disorder have continued.

P.S. At the start of the season, Parks promised to evaluate the pilot, including community feedback. The survey they opened at the time appears to still be open.

1 to hospital after fiery rollover crash on West Marginal

SFD and SPD responded to what was described as a rollover crash in the 5400 block of West Marginal Way SW just after 2 am. SFD says that after rolling onto the railroad tracks, the car caught fire, but firefighters and police got all five people out safely. SFD tells us that only one was taken to the hospital, a 22-year-old woman, in stable condition when transported, Three others reported no injuries and a 22-year-old man was evaluated but declined to be transported.

Short-lived ‘rescue extrication’ call on Harbor Avenue

That crash on Harbor Avenue by Don Armeni Boat Ramp was briefly dispatched as a “rescue extrication” call a few hours ago, but all units were dismissed within three minutes when it was determined no one was trapped and no one was injured. As our photo shows, the primary need at the scene was for cleanup.

ENCAMPMENTS: What the city is saying about the North Delridge cluster

(Photo from email sent to city)

In the past two and a half months, the city has cleared longrunning West Seattle RV encampment sites, including 26th/28th/Andover, West Marginal Place, and the northbound side of Harbor Avenue, as well as the tent encampment at Rotary Viewpoint Park/West Seattle Stadium. But the cluster of encampments in North Delridge’s 26th/28th/29th/Juneau/Brandon area remain, even after high-profile area crimes including a murder (though we still don’t know if last week’s sexual assault was related, as police have not released anything more about the suspect whose arrest they announced Friday). We’ve been cc’d on numerous email chains initiated by area residents, some of which initially drew city replies, but more recently have not. Concerns the residents voiced include not just the aforementioned crimes but also fires and ongoing problems from illegally parked vehicles and items obstructing streets to stolen cars being stripped, plus a recent discovery of registered sex offenders in the area.

We asked the city’s homelessness-response spokesperson Linda Robson about the area at the end of last week. She told us, “An inspection team was sent to the 26th/Juneau/28th/Brandon area (Friday, August 19th) to get an up-to-date assessment. The Unified Care Team database currently lists a handful of reported encampment sites in the general area that have been somewhat fluid, so getting a current and accurate assessment of the larger area will be the first step for the team when it comes to doing any kind of remediation or site removal work.”

We also emailed West Seattle/South Park City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, with whom people upset about the encampments are now trying to arrange a meeting. We asked if the situation was even on her radar, as we haven’t seen it mentioned in her weekly newsletters. She replied that it’s “very much on my radar.” She also had been told about the Unified Care Team’s assessment. She added: “I share the concern about safety, especially given the fire, shooting death, and rape in recent weeks. In late July I spoke with the SW Precinct Captain about this location, before the fire.” She noted that, as we reported three weeks ago, there had been some city response at 26th/Juneau. And she said, “The Precinct Captain also told me how people living unsheltered in the area had helped in the shooting investigation, leading to the identification of the murder suspect for arrest.” As for the sites’ status, Herbold wrote, “Once specific locations come to the attention of the City: the City’s Unified Care Team assesses them and prioritizes them for a response, which could range from providing outreach and cleaning services, to scheduling a removal. I have advocated for clarity about criteria so the public can have the opportunity to understand how sites across the city are prioritized for action.” Asked how she’s responding to constituents’ concerns, she attached an example exchange from early August with a North Delridge resident (not one of the chains we’ve been cc’d on) voicing similar concerns. Her response included information on how to report encampment-related concerns plus this caveat “Because encampments reported to the City may not be prioritized for a City response, my office also conveys concerns from constituents about specific locations to local outreach workers who are funded to work in District 1, who visit residents to offer resources, referrals and information. There is no guarantee that 1) the individual will be at the encampment when the outreach worker initially visits, 2) appropriate indoor shelter is immediately available, or 3) referrals will be accepted in the short term.”

So it appears the next step on the North Delridge encampment cluster is whatever decision the Unified Care Team makes. We’ll be following up. (We also have an inquiry out about the RV encampment along 16th SW by South Seattle College, which has grown.)

FOLLOWUP: ‘Last to go’ RV gone from westbound side of Harbor Avenue

The number of RVs on the westbound (northbound) side of Harbor Avenue has been shrinking in recent weeks, as we noted when we reported two weeks ago that the city said another “remediation” was planned. The “No Parking” signs went up for this week; as of last night around 6:30 pm, the remaining RV on that side – somewhat notorious for its pot-plant patch – was still there. As of midday today, multiple area residents emailed us to report, it’s gone. Wrote one, “The black RV on Harbor Ave was last to go. It is surreal seeing the street as it should be.” We were out at the time those notes came in so we went over to verify. As seen in our video above, no RVs remain on that side. Just beyond the end of our clip, two remain on the eastbound side just east of Fairmount, along with a decommissioned school bus that’s been in the Harbor/Beach Drive area a while.

UPDATE: PCC/Luna building declared safe after Seattle Fire hazmat response for CO2 problem

4:29 PM: A Seattle Fire “hazmat response” is arriving at the Admiral building shared by PCC Community Markets (WSB sponsor) and the Luna Apartments. Firefighters have told dispatch they’re evacuating the building. SFD says they’re investigating “reports of a hazardous-materials spill.” Updates to come.

(Added: This photo and next by Christopher Boffoli)

4:33 PM: They’re asking police to close California SW while they continue investigating. They’ve just told dispatch that one worker reported hearing “a loud boom in the room that supplies the refrigerant system.”

4:46 PM: Incident command has told dispatch that a team is getting “suited up” to go inside, which should take about 15 minutes. … In the meantime, in case you’re wondering, the zone of concern has NOT spread to Hiawatha/WSHS. SFD is staging Stevens, by the McDonald’s. Note that the California SW closure is rerouting buses for now.

(Added: Photo by Patrick Sand)

5:06 PM: A two-person “entry team” is going in. SFD confirms to our crew at the scene that the initial report was of a carbon-dioxide problem in the refrigeration area.

5:11 PM: They’ve just told dispatch they’ve confirmed it’s a CO2 problem and they’re working on a shutoff plan.

5:14 PM: And now they report verifying “very low levels” of CO2, and will start working on a “demobilization” plan.

5:25 PM: Our crew at the scene reports they’re also checking the garage to be sure the air is safe there. Meantime, the street likely will remain closed at least another hour, we’re told.

5:29 PM: Incident command has just reported SFD has “mitigated the source” and the apartment residents are being allowed back in. We don’t yet know the store’s status.

5:50 PM: SFD confirms the entire building has been deemed safe. No injuries. And SFD has just given the clear for California to be reopened.

6:05 PM: Metro says buses have resumed. PCC is open but not currently selling refrigerated items.

FOLLOWUP: What led to play-structure closure at Alki Playground

(Texted photo)

Last week, signage and caution tape went up around a play structure at Alki Playground, one day after readers told us the structure had been fenced off without explanation. When we inquired with Seattle Parks , they said only that the closure followed a “recent play-area safety check.” On followup, they’ve offered a bit more of an explanation:

The safety inspection revealed a major structural issue with the wood decking. This play structure is long overdue for replacement. We plan to remove the wooden structure prior to this school year. We are working with Seattle Public Schools on a replacement plan.

The playground is a Seattle Parks facility but used by students at adjacent Alki Elementary, which is scheduled close in one year for a reconstruction project.

FOLLOWUP: The plan for SW Andover, post-sweep/eco-blocks

(WSB photo: Looking east on SW Andover late this afternoon)

We reported Monday on the removal of dozens of eco-blocks that had been placed along SW Andover and 28th SW after the city swept the longrunning RV encampment there in June. This afternoon, we finally have the full SDOT explanation of what happened and what’s planned for the area:

The eco-blocks were removed by the business that placed them. Following protocol, SDOT sent a warning notice after the concrete blocks were placed due to the lack of an approved street permit. The correspondence led to a productive conversation in which the business took responsibility for setting them and agreed to remove the eco-blocks at their own expense. During discussions, we shared plans for paving the street and discussed how the curb space and right of way currently work for businesses in the area.

New pavement being added on the north side of SW Andover Street creates space for a westbound protected bike lane, the option to leverage the paving project, and fill a gap in our bicycle network. This concept resonated with those with whom we spoke. Crews are also making drainage and landscaping improvements, which is why you noticed dirt removal. The paving of SW Andover St between 26th Ave SW and 28th Ave SW is currently scheduled for August 8-11. The paving repairs damage that may have occurred due to increased traffic during the West Seattle Bridge closure.

The bike lanes will be on both sides of SW Andover St, between 26th Ave SW and 28th Ave SW, and bike enhancements could be potentially added to SW Yancy St. The design is at about 50%, and we expect installation to be this fall. There will be no impacts to travel lanes. However, some parking and loading zones will be impacted and removed. The Bike Master Plan recommends a Neighborhood Greenway treatment. Due to the industrial nature of the area and for the comfort and enhanced safety of those biking, we are installing a protected bike lane (PBL). The Levy to Move Seattle is funding the bike lane design.

SDOT says the paving will be complete this week; the schedule for building the bike lane is not yet finalized.

FOLLOWUP: SW Andover eco-blocks removed as new phase of cleanup begins

12:20 PM: Thanks for the tip. Dozens of “eco-blocks” placed in the aftermath of the SW Andover/26th/28th RV encampment sweep almost two months ago are gone, and city crews are back in the area today. They told our photographer that they’re there to remove some of the soil as the next phase of the cleanup.

As our top photo shows, SW Andover is blocked in the area, and crews expect to be there until about 2 pm today. Before the sweep, West Seattle Health Club said they’d been told of a proposal to build a bike lane along that stretch of Andover; the person who tipped us today said a crew member told them about a plan for pedestrian/bike infrastructure. We’re asking SDOT if that’s true, as well as seeking further details of what’s happening today, and will add whatever we hear back.

4 PM: We’re still waiting for additional info from SDOT. Meantime, Newell Aldrich in Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s office tells WSB, “CM Herbold has been in touch with SDOT since June about potential extension of the bike lanes on Andover beyond the existing portion between Delridge and 26th. She received confirmation from SDOT that they do plan to install bike lanes there beyond 26th and Andover to 28th, and beyond. We haven’t seen a design yet. The Seattle Bicycle Master Plan includes connections on 28th, then Yancy to Andover.”

ENCAMPMENTS: City’s plans for Harbor Avenue; aftermath of West Marginal Place and 26th/Juneau sweeps

We’ve continued to ask the city about West Seattle encampment sites, and have new replies from the mayor’s office regarding three:

HARBOR AVENUE SW: As of late this afternoon, only three RVs were on Harbor, spread over several blocks east of Fairmount. That’s down from as many as 11 a few weeks ago. The mayor’s office tells WSB that the area “is scheduled for remediation later this month,” though they won’t give an exact date, saying the “calendar changes frequently.” The response continues:

Last week the city began working with partners at REACH and Union Gospel Mission with the goal of helping as many people as possible connect to shelter and resources. For example, outreach teams can help people in inoperable vehicles by purchasing batteries, gas and other resources. The HOPE team and other city workers are also advising owners to regularly move vehicles to avoid warnings and citations.

We also asked about the results of two recent sweeps reported here:

WEST MARGINAL PLACE: This cul-de-sac abutting the bicycle/foot path west of the low bridge was swept this past Tuesday. The mayor’s office says, “Parking enforcement officers observed 17 vehicles before the cleanup occurred (three RVs, one motorcycle, and 13 other vehicles). Many of the vehicles were moved voluntarily prior to the cleanup event and three vehicles were impounded (the motorcycle and two other vehicles; no RVs were impounded from this site). About 7,000 pounds of debris was removed during the cleanup event.”

26TH/JUNEAU: The only aftermath response on this cleanup last Monday was, “Our records show there were two people living at that site, and that two people received referrals for shelter.”

Part of Alki Playground suddenly closed

(Photo sent by Ashley)

Thanks to everyone who emailed after discovering fencing had gone up around the southwest part of the Alki playground on the north side of Alki Elementary. It’s a Seattle Parks site, so we inquired this morning and just got replies saying this sign would be posted this afternoon, explaining the play area was closed “after a recent play area safety check” and adding, “We are working with Seattle Public Schools to address the future of this site.” However, the replies we received did not elaborate on what safety issue was discovered, so we’re asking that on followup. Seattle Parks has closed several play structures in recent years because of various safety concerns; one of them, Lincoln Park’s south play area, is still closed after five years.

P.S. One issue in the play area’s future obviously will be the Alki Elementary rebuild, scheduled to start construction in about a year.

FOLLOWUP: West Marginal Place encampment swept

For a second consecutive day, the city has swept a longrunning West Seattle encampment. As mentioned here last night, the city said a sweep was planned for the West Marginal Place cul-de-sac encampment, adjacent to industrial businesses and the bike/foot path west of the low bridge. “No parking” signs were in place, effective today. And this morning, the sweep happened. We took the photo above a short time ago, after a neighbor’s tip. A city crew that was packing up when we arrived said they’d been there since 8 this morning and would be back at a future date for additional cleanup such as vegetation work. While this encampment wasn’t one of the biggest in the area, it had grown in recent weeks, and been the scene of multiple fires (we covered one in November). A fluctuating number of RVs have been parking there for at least six years.

ENCAMPMENTS: City crews at 26th/Juneau; gunfire at 26th/28th/Brandon; West Marginal Place plan

Updates on three encampments in eastern West Seattle:

26TH/JUNEAU: As reported here, the 26th/Juneau encampment – site of a deadly shooting in June – was posted Friday with notices it would be swept as soon as today.

The photo shows various city vehicles we saw there around midmorning; they were in the greenbelt, with entry taped off, so what they were doing wasn’t in view. We went back after 1 pm and all were gone. We’ll be following up tomorrow to see if that was the extent of what’s planned.

Meantime, the city confirms that other area encampments are on their radar.

26TH/28TH/BRANDON: Inquiries we made about this site last week were bounced between Parks, SDOT, and the mayor’s office. From that last stop, here’s what mayoral spokesperson Jamie Housen told WSB about the camping in the area of 26th/28th/Brandon:

The City is also aware of these sites and has conducted periodic inspections. … The general area of the south side of Greg Davis Park has a handful of sites that have been logged in our database over the course of several months. The Unified Care Team will continue to do trash mitigation in this area and keep an eye on the site.

We’ve also been CC’d on one neighbor’s ongoing correspondence with the city regarding that area, much of which has been handled through SDOT parking enforcement. Today, the neighbor noted that there’d been gunfire in the area just before midnight last night, and said police found two shell casings. The gunfire report is verified in the SPD weekend summaries, saying the evidence was found in the roadway on Brandon between 26th and 29th, but officers didn’t find anyone who saw what happened.

Then tonight, we received a note from another area resident who believes an encampment’s encroachment onto the road contributed to a hit-run she witnessed:

At about 5:45 tonight while traveling east at 30th and Brandon I noticed a young boy walking west on Brandon on the opposite side of the road. I then noticed a vehicle traveling west and watched in horror as it hit the little boy. He was thrown up onto the hood of the car and in spite of me honking. screaming and waving at the driver she glanced at me and kept right on going. The little boy got up from the ground and went running eastbound on Brandon but I was unable to determine what happened to him when he got to 26th. I think he was running because he was in shock.

Folks when traveling on Brandon please take care, especially near the newest homeless encampment which is where this happened. Drivers treat this stretch of roadway like it is a main arterial with plenty of room to pass in each direction past pedestrians. It is not and the encampment encroaches on the road way as well.

I hope that little boy is ok. I’ll be thinking about him and his poor parents tonight.

There were no medical calls to that area but there was one in that timeframe to the Louisa Boren STEM K-8 parking lot about a child hit by a vehicle. The call closed very quickly; SFD says a 10-year-old boy was evaluated and “did not require transport” but does not have information on whether the collision happened in the lot or might have been the one on Brandon.

WEST MARGINAL PLACE: This encampment is on a cul-de-sac that abuts the bicycle/foot path west of the low bridge. The reply to our inquiry about its status: “Yes, the City is aware of this site, and while we do not provide remediation dates in advance as the calendar changes frequently (…) it is scheduled for remediation in the next several weeks.” One neighbor says he was told that could happen as soon as this week; no-parking signs are up for tomorrow through August 30th, citing “work crew” as the reason, but no sweep-alert notices are in view in the area, as would usually precede a sweep.

VIDEO: Bicyclist’s widow tells Critical Mass memorial riders ‘We should be safe’

(WSB photos/video)

Two weeks after her husband was killed by a hit-run driver east of the West Seattle low bridge, Claudia Mason stood near the site tonight, holding his photo, speaking to more than 100 people gathered in his memory.

As shown in our video, most arrived by bicycle, the transportation mode <strong>Robb Mason was using on July 15th to head home from his work as a massage therapist at a West Seattle clinic. Tonight’s monthly Critical Mass activism ride became a memorial, beneath the utility pole that holds a “ghost bike” tribute:

Riders gathered at Westlake Park downtown before heading southwest. At their destination, they were met – and applauded – by Mr. Mason’s widow, friends, and West Seattle bicyclists. Standing along busy Spokane Street, drowned out at times by the evening traffic, Claudia Mason – noting that she’s a rider too – spoke of the need for safety improvements:

Her husband was savvy and hyper-aware, she said, so “if it could happen to Robb, it could happen to anyone.” After she finished speaking, a voice called out, “We’re so sorry.” Bike bells were rung in support. Then riders placed flowers and candles beneath the pole holding the “ghost bike”:

One rider commented on how well-placed the “ghost bike” is, high on the pole; another agreed while lamenting, “I wish they weren’t needed.”

The driver who hit Robb Mason still hasn’t come forward or been found; police have still not said anything beyond that it was believed to have been a white or silver sedan. If you have any information, call the SPD Violent Crimes Tip Line, 206-233-5000. Meantime, friends have launched crowdfunding to support Claudia Mason, as we reported earlier this week; find that here.

FOLLOWUP: ‘Ghost bike’ at site of deadly hit-and-run

Thanks to Eddie for sending the photo. A “ghost bike” memorial is now up over the site where a hit-and-run driver killed a 63-year-old bicycle rider Friday night, along SW Spokane east of the West Seattle low bridge. The two-decades-old tradition is explained here – hundreds have been placed around the world to “serve as reminders of the tragedy that took place on an otherwise anonymous street corner, and as quiet statements in support of cyclists’ right to safe travel.” Police have not yet reported an arrest in the case; on Friday night, they said the driver was in “a white or silver sedan” and that they “fled the scene” eastbound after hitting the victim. If you have any information for police, you’re asked to call the Violent Crimes Tip Line at 206-233-5000. The incident number to refer to is 2022-183308.