West Seattle, Washington
For the sixth year, Seattle University is conducting the annual Public Safety Survey citywide. As explained here, the goal is to collect “qualitative and quantitative data about perceptions of crime and safety from those who live and/or work in Seattle.” (Here’s how local 2018 results were described in 2019, for example.) While the survey is conducted independently of SPD, the department does get a report on the results, which are used to help shape micro-community policing plans, among other things. The survey is available in 11 languages, linked here. If you don’t have time for it today, it’ll be open until the end of November.
(WSJA recording of Tuesday’s online meeting)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The “hygiene station” blamed as a trouble magnet at Junction Plaza Park won’t be there forever.
That’s the only bit of news that emerged from Tuesday afternoon’s online community meeting with city reps, who refused to acknowledge that safety concerns in the area have escalated since its installation in May, and did not promise solutions.
There were repeated mentions that the city Navigation Team had visited the park – without any mention that Mayor Jenny Durkan has suspended the team, after the City Council‘s vote to cut its funding.
The meeting was organized and hosted by Lora Radford, executive director of the West Seattle Junction Association (which helped raise money for the park’s completion a decade ago).
“This is not a discussion about criminalizing homelessness,” Radford clarified at the start – it was meant to be a discussion about what’s happened since the hygiene station went in at Junction Plaza Park in xx.
As reported here last Thursday, a public meeting is planned Tuesday afternoon (online) to discuss safety issues at Junction Plaza Park (42nd/Alaska). In addition to the panelists mentioned Thursday, more city reps will participate – City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, Mayor’s Office senior adviser Tess Colby, Department of Neighborhoods’ Tom Van Bronkhorst, Seattle Public Utilities’ Bill Benzer. Q&A is planned during the 2 pm meeting, and advance questions are also welcome (comment below). Connection information for attending the meeting is on the WSJA’s webpage about the ongoing park problems.
(SDOT recording of Wednesday’s meeting)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Without grocery stores and other major services in Delridge, the area’s few east-west connections are lifelines.
But placing “diverters” at two spots along the 26th SW greenway would hamper residents’ access to two of those connections.
That’s a message SDOT heard repeatedly during Wednesday night’s meeting to explain, and hear opinions on, the revived proposal for installing the diverters, with two additional options – banning through traffic to make that section of 26th SW a “Stay Healthy Street,” or something else to be determined.
Three weeks ago, we reported on the West Seattle Junction Association‘s plea to the city regarding escalating concerns at Junction Plaza Park (42nd/Alaska). Days later, WSJA received a reply from the city (scroll down this page to read it) that noted cleanup crews and outreach services but did not address public-safety concerns. So next Tuesday (October 13th), at 2 pm, WSJA takes the next step, with a community meeting (online) including city participants. You are invited to watch and/or participate. Panelists confirmed so far include Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Sina Ebinger, Precinct Liaison (City Attorney’s Office) Joe Everett, and Aaron Burkhalter, project manager with LEAD, which will be expanding into parts of West Seattle including The Junction. Connection information is on the WSJA’s webpage about the ongoing park problems.
Two FYI’s primarily affecting bicycle riders, but of potential interest to all:
TRAIL WORK ON FRIDAY: Just received from SDOT:
Tomorrow, SDOT will be performing maintenance on the Alki Trail near the Chelan Café. Crews will be trimming trees and other vegetation that is encroaching the trail. Work will begin in the early morning and continue throughout the afternoon.
There will be minor impacts for people biking, walking, and rolling on the trail. Crews will need space on the trail to work, so the trail will be narrowed temporarily, which will slow the movement of pedestrians and bike traffic just west of the Chelan Café for about half a mile. There may also be a short, outside lane closure on SW Spokane St between Delridge Way and Harbor Ave SW to complete all the trimming.
As explained by SDOT, “The Safety Stop allows people biking to legally treat stop signs as yield signs when no other traffic is approaching and when they have slowed to a reasonable speed. Washington will be the fifth state to legalize these stops, joining Idaho, Delaware, Arkansas, and Oregon.” This covers e-bikes as well as non-electric bikes, but does NOT change the rules for scooters. SDOT’s explanation also notes:
For everyone’s safety, people biking must still fully stop at:
Stoplights, including stoplights in bike lanes
Stop signs on school buses
Stop signs at railroad crossings
The Safety Stop is supposed to reduce collisions, injuries, and driver confusion about right-of-way.
Also from West Seattle/South Park City Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s weekly update, new information on options SDOT is considering for the future of what’s currently a “Keep Moving Street” on both sides of Alki Point. Three weeks ago, SDOT announced those sections of Beach Drive and Alki Avenue would keep their no-through-traffic status at least until King County moved to Stage 3 of COVID-19 recovery. Nearby residents have been collecting petition signatures in support of making it permanent, as Herbold notes in her update, saying she “support(s) the continued efforts of constituents advocating for a permanent Stay Healthy Street.” She says she contacted SDOT with questions about the status and in reply, the department told her five options are under consideration:
1. Return to previous street operation
2. Convert to a neighborhood greenway, changes would include:
-Stop signs at intersecting streets will be added where they currently operate as neighborhood yield intersections (64th Ave SW, Point Pl SW, 64th Pl SW, 64th Ave SW)
-Additional traffic calming so that spacing of speed humps and raised crosswalks is approximately every 300 feet
-Approximately 3-4 speed humps or speed cushions would be added.
-Connectivity to the citywide bicycle network would be enhanced through the addition of sharrow pavement markings and wayfinding signs.
3. Upgrade to a permanent Stay Healthy Street, changes would include:
-All of the neighborhood greenway enhancements listed above
-Street Closed and Stay Healthy Street signs at every intersection with durable materials
4. Upgrade neighborhood greenway with additional space for walking adjacent to beachside curb.
-All of the neighborhood greenway enhancements listed above
-Removal of parking and delineation (tuff curb and post) of additional space for walking adjacent to the existing sidewalk adjacent to the beach
-Increased space for walking would be adjacent to park beach only, not continuous where buildings are between roadway and beach.
5. Convert street to operate as one-way northbound for vehicles, providing shared walking and biking space adjacent to beachside sidewalk
-Delineation of a continuous shared walking and biking space adjacent to the existing beachside curb (8’ to 15’ wide)
-Continuous shared walking and biking space would connect from the existing Alki Trail to the end of the Alki Point Keep Moving Street.
-Adjustment of the roadway to operate as one way northbound for vehicles, preserving parking primarily adjacent to east/south curbs.
Herbold says SDOT assured her the street’s status wouldn’t change “until the community engagement process concludes and there is a final determination regarding a permanent configuration.” There’s no elaboration on exactly what the “community engagement process” entails, but the Stay Healthy/Keep Moving Streets project webpage has a contact email: StayHealthyStreets@seattle.gov.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Junction Plaza Park just passed its 10th anniversary. In those 10 years, it’s been the site of many celebrations and gatherings, including the annual community Christmas tree lighting.
Right now, it’s a source of concern.
Since the city installed a “hygiene station” there four months ago, though it already maintains a public porta-potty a block west, the West Seattle Junction Association has been receiving reports of what it summarizes as “escalating violence and drug use in the park.”
Out of “the continued frustration of our citizens, coupled with the escalating violence, compounded by zero response (or accountability) from Human Services,” WSJA executive director Lora Radford has just launched a webpage meant to call public attention to some of those concerns and ask for community support in seeking a city response.
One example of the escalation of trouble in and near the park: The recent rampage at the QFC across the street, for which a suspect has been charged and remains in jail. But that’s just one incident mentioned in some of the anecdotes and observations posted on the page so far. While trash and discarded needles are mentioned, so are concerns about personal safety:
“… while I was sitting on a bench in the park trying to comb my dog, a young man approached me and accused me of staring at his girlfriend, then promptly flashed a large knife at me and told me to leave the park.”
“… There was a police response as a belligerent and violent man was accosting his fellow transients but also two innocent men who were literally just walking by on the sidewalk.”
“… We have had instances of our tenants being verbally accosted while trying to cross the street at that location and an instance where a colleague was chased by one of person s congregating in the park.”
The WSJA’s page makes it clear that it’s fully aware that the big picture involves “significant health, economic, and social challenges” and services are needed. But in the meantime, it’s concerned about safety – of the vulnerable people in the park as well as others in the area. It is asking all those with concerns to contact the Human Services Department (info). So far, after previous contacts, the only response from the city is a reply that just acknowledged the concerns and added:
You are correct that providing mental health and drug addiction counseling services is a broader question that needs to be addressed city-wide.
The Hygiene Station program team includes representatives from the Human Services Department (HSD), Seattle Public Utilities (SPU), Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR), Office of the Mayor, Finance and Administrative Services (FAS) and Department of Neighborhoods (DON). Many team members are also working on COVID-19 and homelessness response issues and policies.
Aside from that acknowledgment a week ago, nothing, says Radford. So here’s how you can help if you have concerns too:
When you observe illegal behavior or see drug and mental illness issues in the park – first and foremost, please call 911. Please do not engage with the persons.
Send an email to Human Services. Together, we can work to elevate the need for more mental and drug counselors at the park. Let’s get people to the services they need, and support accountability:
Copy/paste into the send line of your email
Tom.VanBronkhorst3@seattle.gov; Frank.Coulter@seattle.gov; Bill.Benzer@seattle.gov; Tess.Colby@seattle.gov; Lisa.Gustaveson@seattle.gov; Donna.Waters@seattle.gov
Or Call Human Services
Tom Van Bronkhorst
Other business districts in the city have similar concerns; WSJA recently joined with some of its counterparts in this letter to the city. An excerpt:
We ask you take small businesses and the owners, employees, customers, and adjacent residents into consideration when assessing the public safety needs for the constituents of this city. Seattle is at a crossroads and is choosing its path forward. It’s time for us to ask our leaders, both legislative and executive, to find a way to work together to achieve what they essentially agree on: a reimagined municipal social contract—especially around public safety—that protects and lifts up all of us. Confronting and dismantling systemic racism and providing a safe environment for our neighborhood business districts are not mutually exclusive; indeed, they rely on each other completely.
For the Junction Association, the bottom line is at the end of its new page: “Join us. It’s time for action.”
Thanks to the Lincoln Park neighbor who sent the photo and report. If you usually walk/ride into the park via the north entrance at the south end of Beach Drive, you’ll find that tree blocking the way. No one was hurt, the neighbor says, but a car was damaged.
A week and a half after a sizable sinkhole opened in the middle of Admiral Way, SDOT has set the date for permanent repairs. Just got word from SDOT’s Kari Tupper that “we are going to be working on the road repairs on Admiral Way and also working on two nearby Seattle Public Utilities water cut repairs on Tuesday and Wednesday (9/8-9/9), right after the holiday … the crews are expecting to maintain one lane of traffic in each direction throughout the days of work.” Pending those repairs, the sinkhole’s been covered by a steel plate.
Thanks to Blake O. for the photo from Stevens/44th, just west of PCC. Blake was parked nearby and saw this upon return: “A giant branch had fallen off an old tree, landing on nearby cars. I was parked one car length away. I don’t know any information other than, it had happened around 8:50 pm today, 9/3. Neighbors think it was just an old tree No one was hurt. There was no wind or any other outside force that they know of.” We heard a related dispatch, so authorities are aware; we don’t know whether the tree’s been cleared.
That flipped-car crash near the top of the east Admiral Way hill is from KH, who reports: “A car was speeding down Admiral, around the curve at the intersection of Olga and Admiral. The car was swerving, hit the embankment, and flipped over. ” By the time we got to the scene less than an hour after the 6:25 am callout, it was clear. We are following up with SFD and SPD.
ADDED: Photo above is by Veronika. SFD says no one was treated.
Received today from the state Fire Marshal’s Office – a potentially life-saving reminder:
The Washington State Fire Marshal’s Office advises residents that home furnishings have changed over the last few decades from natural materials to synthetic materials. Synthetic fabrics, padding, glues, and resins in newer furnishings burn hotter, faster, and produce more toxic gases and smoke than natural materials.
Studies have shown that room fires with older, natural materials get hot enough to reach “flashover” (the point when all of the materials in the room ignite) in about 30-45 minutes. Whereas newer synthetic materials reach flashover much quicker, in about four to eight minutes.
Additionally, when natural materials burn, the smoke includes hydrogen, carbon, and carbon monoxide. When synthetic materials burn, additional toxic gases including benzene, formaldehyde, and hydrogen cyanide are created.
This means that it is now more important than ever for families to respond and escape quickly in the event of a fire.
· Residents should be sure that their home has operable smoke alarms installed in every bedroom and in the hallways on each floor of the home.
· Plan and practice a home fire escape plan. Be sure everyone has two ways out of each room.
· Check doors for heat before opening them. If the door is hot, use another way out.
· In a fire emergency get outside immediately, and never go back inside the home.
· Smoke is poisonous. Stay low and get outside immediately. Never go back inside.
· Gather at a designated meeting place and call 911.
Here’s a video with a side-by-side comparison of how natural and synthetic furnishings burn.
Even as the Reconnect West Seattle feedback process continues, Highland Park already has had some traffic-calming measures in the works. Last week, Cindy sent us a photo of a sign that’s already installed and waiting along 9th SW – though the speed bumps it mentions aren’t in place yet:
We checked with SDOT on the installation status, and they sent us the map above, saying, “We have completed installing all of the traffic calming measures everywhere except 9th Ave SW, which we are still working to schedule.” As noted on the map, the 9th SW installations are planned as “speed cushions” – here’s the difference, as explained by SDOT:
Speed humps are designed to slow traffic speeds on low volume, low speed streets. They are a solid hump across the travel lane and are installed near streetlights where they will be visible to people driving and biking.
Speed cushions are typically installed where average speeds are 5 mph higher than the speed limit. Speed cushions leave space for emergency vehicles to pass through quickly and are used on designated fire and emergency routes on residential streets.
This project also included the Highland Park Way/Holden traffic signal that was rush-installed right after the West Seattle Bridge closure, after local residents had worked for years to get safety upgrades at that intersection.
P.S. If you live/work/travel through the area, be sure to give your feedback on the neighborhood-specific list of more potential projects, before July 31st.
It’s not even dark, and people are illegally setting off fireworks, scaring those you can’t calm with an explanation – particularly pets. The Seattle Animal Shelter‘s advice for helping your pets this time of year (published last year, but unfortunately perennially relevant) is here, with advice such as “Leave pets at home and inside,” “Create a home sanctuary,” and “Identification is essential.” No matter what you do, your pet might still bolt if s/he gets the chance; if you lose or find a pet, remember that we have had a Lost/Found Pets page on WSB for 12 years – send us info (email@example.com or text 206-293-6302) and a photo, if available. But no matter how much care you take with pets, there are still animals affected because their “home sanctuaries” are those same outdoor spaces where people are setting off explosives – our beautiful birds, for example. Thanks in advance for your consideration. (WSB shop cat Miles, 20 and declining, thanks you too.)
Regardless of whether the city decides to repair or replace the West Seattle Bridge, it has to be stabilized. SDOT just announced that contractor Kraemer North America will move this week from staging to stabilizing. The first phase of that work has to be done even before the stuck Pier 18 bearings can be tackled, SDOT says:
The first step of this stabilization work will be to construct and attach movable work platforms to the underside of the bridge so that crews can safely access the exterior of the bridge girders while they work on measures intended to slow cracking. In order to secure the hanging platforms, crews will use a precision hydro-demolition technique to excavate existing holes which held up platforms when the bridge was being built and were then filled with concrete decades ago. Crews will open up more than 100 of these holes, which will take a minimum of 2 weeks. Once the holes have been exposed, the work platforms can be hoisted up from a barge in the river below using roadway-mounted electric winches.
When the work platforms are secure, the team will be able to work from both the top and underside of the bridge, and move forward with the stabilization measures. The first stabilization measure will be to install carbon fiber wrapping around the bottom of the bridge in areas where strengthening is required and inside some of the girders most affected by cracking. The initial carbon fiber wrapping work will likely begin as soon as late July and take approximately 10 weeks to install.
Once the carbon fiber wrap is in place, we can begin installing steel tendons inside the bridge. When the steel strands are in place, we will begin to tighten them to achieve the required tension that will support the bridge and, along with the carbon fiber wrap, help slow cracking. Work to install and tighten the steel tendons will likely take one to two weeks to complete.
More details – and graphics – are in SDOT’s full update here.
P.S. Wondering how much all this will cost? City Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s latest weekly newsletter includes this: “A memo received from the City Budget Office … notes ‘SDOT estimates 2020 costs for bridge repair to be $22.8 million. To help fund 2020 costs for emergency repair work, SDOT will take on additional debt supported by an interfund loan in 2020. More funding will be required in 2021 and 2022’.”
You’ve already likely been hearing the booms for a couple weeks now, but be aware, the annual peak fireworks season is about to begin, with fireworks stands opening today in unincorporated King County. This year could be worse than usual because most big public shows were canceled. As noted on our partner site White Center Now, fireworks sales are allowed in the unincorporated area daily through the 4th, but using them is only legal on the 4th, and only in that area – they’re illegal in the cities north and south, Seattle and Burien. Yes, we know, there’s usually little enforcement. So if the illegality of fireworks doesn’t convince you not to use them, how about the fact they killed a man last year?
South Park isn’t waiting for SDOTs “mitigation plan” to take action to try to slow down traffic detouring through the neighborhood because of the West Seattle Bridge closure. The photos were sent by Robin Schwartz, who explains:
Folks are VERY concerned with speeding, especially on side streets. We are working on immediate/free actions to raise awareness and impede speeding. The (next) photo is a planter put up in “bump-out/curb bulb” at 5-way intersection [just southwest of the bridge]. Cars and trucks have begun driving right through it so we are trying to block it. The rest of the pictures are “slow down” signs that we will put putting up around the neighborhood on Saturday.
South Park is one of the areas that will get a list of projects to vote on starting July 6th as part of a “neighborhood traffic-mitigation plan” related to the WS Bridge closure – the other three are Georgetown, SODO, and Highland Park/Roxhill/South Delridge/Riverview.
P.S. Here’s what South Park neighborhood advocates requested in a letter to the city two months ago.
At noon this Friday, your phone may go off with a test alert that’ll be related to the West Seattle Bridge Emergency Response Plan. Here’s the announcement:
On June 26 at 12 p.m., the City of Seattle Office of Emergency Management will send a test message through the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system. The alert will only be sent to those who have opted in to receive local test messages through WEA, and to a small geographic area under and near the West Seattle Bridge. The message will state: “This is a test of Wireless Emergency Alerts by the City of Seattle. No action is required.”
The national WEA system is an essential part of the City’s emergency preparedness and response. This public safety system allows customers who own compatible devices to receive geographically targeted, text-like messages alerting them of imminent threats to safety in their area. The most common example of these alerts is the “Amber Alerts” sent by Washington State Patrol that directly ping mobile phones.
Though not predicted, the City has emergency plans in place to use the WEA and AlertSeattle systems among other methods to notify people under or near the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge in the event of an immediate collapse. The City has successfully used the system several times in 2020, though it’s important to test the geographical capabilities of the system to ensure the correct area is targeted. Twenty volunteers from Seattle’s Office of Emergency Management Auxiliary Communication Services will stage in locations on and surrounding Harbor Island during the test to confirm receipt of the message. Results will be collected by Seattle OEM to determine the reach of the system.
Mobile phone users who are in the geographical area and would like to receive the test message must take steps to enable the option on their phone. The capability of a phone to receive local test messages depends on the brand and model, as well as phone carrier. Review the instruction manual for the phone for information on how to enable this feature. Basic information for Apple and Android Phones is below:
· To turn it on: Enter *5005*25371# and tap the green phone icon. You’ll get an alert that says “Test alerts enabled.”
· To turn it off: Enter *5005*25370# and tap the green phone icon. You’ll get an alert that says “Test alerts disabled.”
· Go to “Settings” > “Apps and Notifications” > “Advanced” > “Wireless Emergency Alerts” and then switch “State/local test” option to ON.
Members of the public are encouraged to proactively sign-up for AlertSeattle to receive emergency notifications from the City of Seattle: alert.seattle.gov.
Two and a half weeks after a slide and water leak on the slope in the 1200 block of Alki SW – at which time Seattle Public Utilities told us the leak appeared to be on private property – an update from SPU spokesperson Sabrina Register:
On May 31, Seattle Public Utilities and Seattle Parks and Recreation responded to reports of a landslide from City property that affected private property at 1200 and 1210 Alki Ave SW. Staff have been working to assess whether the slide was the result of natural causes or caused by water. As moving water was found at the site, the City has been trying to determine the source of that water since the slide occurred.
Shortly after the slide occurred, SPU began checking upslope pipelines and systems for leaks and other damage and SPR evaluated the site for hazard trees. SPR will return to remove hazard trees when the site is made available. During its testing, SPU discovered a broken water service at one home above the slide zone, which was shut down. No other water leaks were discovered.
When the water outflow did not diminish, SPU continued to look for leak sources, including examining development patterns and their potential impact on drainage, and possible subsurface groundwater movement. SPU also conducted tests on water samples which showed elevated fecal coliform levels, indicating a possible sewer leak or another source such as animal waste.
Based on the fecal coliform levels, SPU had all upslope sewer mains inspected by CCTV. The inspection turned up a defect in a nearby 8- inch combined sewer line. While It is not currently known whether that defect is related to the landslide, SPU is planning for prompt repair of that sewer defect.
The Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections has dispatched Building inspectors to the site to evaluate the slope stability and the impacts to existing buildings and adjoining properties. No visible damage was observed.
We’ll be checking on the timeline for the promised repairs, as well as the building impacts.
The citywide curfew is now canceled. Here’s the announcement just in from the mayor’s office:
After meeting with community leaders today, Mayor Jenny A. Durkan and Chief Carmen Best announced that the citywide curfew will end effective immediately. The curfew was originally recommended by the Seattle Police Department as a way to aid in crowd control and preserve public safety after violence on Saturday. However, the Mayor and Chief chose to rescind the curfew following feedback from community leaders and protestors who wanted to ensure no peaceful individuals who were demonstrating were arrested. The Seattle Police Department did not make a single arrest for violation of the curfew.
“These last few days have been deeply trying, and have caused a level of sadness, anger, and frustration from the community that makes crystal clear: At the City, we can work together to make changes,” said Mayor Durkan. “On Saturday, we first implemented the curfew as a tool to help the Seattle Police Department disperse peaceful crowds, keep vulnerable people in their homes, and preserve public health and safety. However, community leaders made it clear that wanted to ensure peaceful demonstrations could still occur and ensure there was no disruption for our workers, and small business owners. Throughout the day, we have seen peaceful demonstrations, and Chief Best believes we can balance public safety and ensure peaceful protests can continue without a curfew. Effective immediately, the curfew is no longer in effect in the City of Seattle. For those who are demonstrating, please keep making your voices heard peacefully.”
The City of Seattle will send a notice of the terminated curfew via Alert Seattle, which sends notifications directly to residents’ mobile phones. The City encourages all residents to sign up for Alert Seattle to receive notifications directly to their mobile device.
5:41 PM: Will there be a curfew again tonight? That’s one of the questions we expect will be answered at the briefing that’s just begun with the mayor and chiefs. We’ll add notes as it goes.
The mayor opens by saying she wanted to be sure to acknowledge the reason for the gatherings and protests – the killing of George Floyd, the inequities in our country. “We must make real and durable change. .. from economic justice to civil justice to criminal justice … These protesters’ demands must be our demands.”
5:52 PM: The mayor is speaking at length about concerns regarding police use of force, and also talking about changing policies that have led to additional concerns – “mourning badges” covering badge numbers, body-worn cameras not being used during protests.
6:06 PM: The police chief now takes the microphone, also reminding everyone that this is all about “the murder of George Floyd.” She says 86 people have been arrested in the past few days, which she says have been “very different” events than what SPD has seen in the past. She also says officers’ response on Capitol Hill last night will be reviewed.
The chief says a 9 pm-5 am curfew will be in place through Saturday.
6:20 PM: They’re in Q&A. The mayor is asked if SPD will be targeted for cuts because of the COVID-19 budget crunch; she says “every department” has been asked to look for savings.
What’s the point of the curfew? they’re asked. The mayor said it was recommended by Chief Best, who says it’s part of “us(ing) every tool that we can …” and to have it as a “fallback if needed.”
The event wraps at 6:27 pm.
8:05 PM: Here’s the news release with curfew details and a link to the actual order:
– Mayor Jenny A. Durkan today signed an Emergency Order to place a temporary citywide curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., each night between Tuesday, June 2 through Saturday June 6. During these hours, residents and visitors should remain in their home to the extent possible and should refrain from traveling in and through the entire City of Seattle. The curfew is intended to prevent violence and widespread property damage, and to prevent the further community spread of COVID-19 through continued gathering. The City encourages all residents to sign up for Alert Seattle to receive notifications about the curfew directly to their mobile device.
“Speaking with protesters today and hearing the voices of community, demonstrations can and should safely continue to speak out against injustice. This conversation and social movement must continue,” said Mayor Jenny Durkan. “At the recommendation of Chief Carmen Best, a curfew is critical that we protect their ability to peacefully protest and we believe this new curfew time will allow us to keep these protesters and the community at large safe.”
“The right to free speech is something we all honor and cherish as Americans. Meeting with community members and demonstrators today who came together to express their grief, anger, frustration about the murder of George Floyd was a reminder of how important the first amendment is,” said Chief Carmen Best. “I do not take the implementation of a curfew lightly, but I believe it is necessary—it’s a tool that helps us ensure public safety. We ask that residents who want to gather, continue to do so peacefully.”
The Mayor implemented a citywide curfew on Saturday, May 30 as pockets of demonstrations quickly escalated downtown and in surrounding neighborhoods, and fires proliferated. The Seattle Fire Department (SFD) was temporarily unable to safely access multiple fire incidents. The Seattle Police Department (SPD) has made zero arrests for curfew violation, and it will continue to be primarily used as a tool to encourage crowds to voluntarily disperse and keep streets and roads accessible for first responders to reach emergencies.
All residents should keep in mind impacts to roads and transit service could make it more difficult to get home. The City encourages residents to follow @kcmetrobus, @SoundTransit, @SDOTtraffic, and @wsdot_traffic on Twitter for updates on transit service and road closures. King County Metro and Sound Transit are both operating at reduced services because of COVID-19, so residents should check updated schedules regularly.
The City hopes that with additional notice, businesses and residents can plan accordingly for curfews over the next three days. The City is continuing to broadcast information about the curfew early and often, in multiple languages.
The temporary curfew does not impact people who need to commute to work during these hours, people experiencing homelessness, people in a medical emergency or people in a dangerous situation, first responders, health care workers, and the news media. In addition, the curfew does not require businesses to close while it is in effect, though businesses may close at their choosing.
Thanks to the tipster who texted that photo – West Seattle’s Fire Station 37 (35th/Holden) is now home to Ladder 13 as well as Engine 37. Four weeks ago, the city announced that extra SFD apparatus and crews would be stationed on this side of the Duwamish River because of the West Seattle Bridge closure – L13 in West Seattle, and Medic 26 at Station 26 in South Park. SFD spokesperson Kristin Tinsley confirms to WSB that both additions have arrived at their new locations, but their crews will be training for a few days before they’re fully ready to respond. (Our tipster says that for L13, for example, that’s 20 more people, to cover all shifts.)