Safety 1362 results

FOLLOWUP: What’s happened since end-of-year Junction crash

(WSB photo, December 30th)

On December 30th, we reported on that mid-afternoon crash at Fauntleroy/Oregon. SPD sent out the Traffic Control Investigation Squad to investigate, as one driver was seriously hurt and taken to the hospital. Here’s what has happened since then: The 36-year-old woman driving the white vehicle was cited for a red-light violation, and faces $190 in fines. For the driver she hit, the crash’s aftermath is far more costly. The victim’s daughter Emily, a local grocery-store worker, says that her mom is “struggling with broken ribs, a head injury, and deep bone bruising. We found out from my mom’s doc that she has a severe concussion from the accident and her cognitive thinking has been altered, affecting her energy, movements, and moods greatly. The total recovery time is about 6 to 8 months!” She started a crowdfunding account for any community members interested in helping.

FOLLOWUP: Construction starts soon for 35th/Graham signal and second phase of West Seattle Neighborhood Greenway

Four and a half years after 35th/Graham was mentioned as the potential site of a new signal, it’s about to become reality. SDOT announced today that work will start this month on Phase 2 of the West Seattle Greenway, including the pedestrian/bicycle signal at 35th/Graham. This phase goes from High Point to The Junction, from SW Graham to SW Edmunds, using 38th SW, SW Findlay, and 42nd SW (as first discussed in 2017). The map shows both phases:

The work at 35th and Graham will start seven years after the second of two deaths there, separated by seven years – pedestrian James St. Clair in December 2013 and bicyclist Susanne Scaringi in September 2007.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Arson investigation; pickup stolen (update: found!); truck prowled; prevention information

Two West Seattle Crime Watch reports, plus this month’s Crime Prevention Newwsletter:

ARSON INVESTIGATION: From the SPD Significant Incident Report summaries – SFD logged this Monday morning incident as a fire-alarm call at Cal-Mor Circle (6420 California SW):

On 01-04-2021 at 0135 hours, unknown person(s) started a fire on the exterior-facing door frame of a residential apartment unit in the Morgan Junction area of West Seattle. The fire was small, did not spread, and was extinguished after the smoke detection system alerted staff. Nobody was injured. The building did not need to be evacuated. Seattle Fire responded to ensure the fire would not restart. SFD determined the fire was suspicious and called for a fire marshal, who determined that the fire was intentionally set and took over the investigation. The fire marshal made the notification to the SPD’s Arson Bomb Squad.

(added 12:49 pm) PICKUP THEFT: Just in, from Cindi in Upper Morgan:

Stolen last night (January 8), sometime after 7:00 pm, from near SW Morgan St and 37th Ave SW, our Ford F250 long-bed pickup, somewhat distinctive because of the large antenna mounted on the front bumper. There is also an equipment box and a 5th-wheel trailer hitch in the bed. It was secured with a club. License plate NVISCOM, burgundy in color. Police report has been filed

Call 911 if you see it (or any other known stolen vehicle). SUNDAY UPDATE: Found in White Center.

(back to original roundup) TRUCK PROWL: Via email from Tom, “I live on the 7500 block of 15th Ave SW and on Thursday (1/7/2021) morning I awoke at 6:10 am to the alarm on my truck parked on the street, in front of my house going off. It had looked as if someone had tried to pry open/wedge the driver side door, which sent off the alarm. A friend of mine going to work at that time, said she saw someone walking quickly south toward SW Holden. Nothing was taken and the prowl was reported online to SPD.”

PREVENTION INFORMATION: Vehicle prowling is among the subjects of this month’s newsletter from Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Danner:

(If you can’t read the newsletter embedded above, here it is in PDF.)

Wondering why it takes so long to fix some streetlights?

In the dark, often-rainy heart of winter, a nonfunctioning/malfunctioning streetlight stands out. Right now, West Seattle has more than 20 of them. After a question from a reader, we looked into the current state of streetlight trouble-reporting and repairs. Above is a screengrab from the Seattle City Light streetlight-repair tracking map. Once a streetlight’s been reported, it gets categorized at one of three levels. The most-common type in our area currently, marked by red dots on the map, generally will take a while to fix, the map explains, because: “The streetlight is failing due to issues within the streetlight’s electrical system. … These repairs require engineers to assess and design a solution to fix the streetlight’s electrical system.” Since so many nonfunctioning West Seattle lights are shown in that category, we asked SCL spokesperson Julie Moore to elaborate on what those “issues” tend to include, and whether that means repairs will take months rather than weeks. Here’s her reply:

The most common “issue” is often related to old equipment that needs to be brought up to current standards. As the note on the streetlight tracker says, these kind of fixes require additional time and effort as engineers must assess and design a solution, then it must go through permitting, crew scheduling and construction within the City right-of-way. Another issue that can sometimes prompt this type of solution is wire theft; however, this has not been as prevalent an issue in 2020 as in recent years.

Yes, these “red ticket” repair jobs can take much longer to complete than simple fixes for the reasons described above. Please also be aware that City Light is experiencing significant resource challenges and a growing backlog for certain work, including streetlight repair and new service connections, at this time. Several factors combined created this situation, including a pause in work in response to Governor Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order earlier this year, other COVID-related impacts to our operations staffing model and vacancies, as well as competing priority projects and unplanned essential work. Depending on the complexity of the project, we estimate timelines for completion are weeks or even months longer than in the pre-COVID world.

You may have noticed the pop-up note when you first visit the streetlight tracker site: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Seattle City Light is prioritizing essential critical infrastructure work and doing work in a way that minimizes service disruptions to customers. Crew availability is limited to emergency streetlighting repairs, so we apologize if there is a delay with your request.

We will continue to prioritize emergency repairs to address public safety concerns. Our goal is to meet or exceed our customer expectations and it is disappointing when we do not. We are working on near- and long-term improvements to address the backlog and reduce project timelines.

Some repairs can be completed more quickly, so keep reporting nonfunctioning streetlights – check the map first to see if someone has already made a report – click on a dot to see the address and pole # to verify it’s the same one. There are multiple ways to report a problem – this online form, the Find It Fix It app, street.light@seattle.gov, or 206-684-7056.

HAPPENING NOW: Seacrest pier closed as floating crane works on Water Taxi dock

December 4, 2020 10:45 am
|    Comments Off on HAPPENING NOW: Seacrest pier closed as floating crane works on Water Taxi dock
 |   King County Water Taxi | Safety | West Seattle news

(WSB photos unless otherwise credited)

As we’ve been reporting, the pier at Seacrest is closed today, and West Seattle Water Taxi afternoon/evening service is canceled, because of dock work. American Construction‘s big floating crane got busy right after the morning commute.

The crane is there to replace a section of the floating dock, the one that holds the passenger ramp to/from the dock. King County Metro explains, “This float is listing to one side, likely caused by water retention from failing pile guide mounting bolts. This listing is causing further issues with the passenger ramp connection, the ramp’s rollers on the float end, and the float’s connection to (another float).” The problem factored into a recent WT service interruption when emergency repairs were needed

The old float is 320 square feet; the new float is 448 square feet, and three kayak floats are also being taken out to make room for it. Metro says $300,000 was budgeted for this and it’s expected to be $60,000 under that. The pier itself isn’t being altered but it’s closed for safety, since the crane is hoisting items over it. Seattle Parks, which owns the pier, is hoping to reopen it Saturday afternoon.

(Photo tweeted by @kdarbyart)

The Water Taxi is expected to be back in service Monday morning; Metro will confirm that on Sunday.

LAST CALL: Seattle Community Safety Survey closes tomorrow

November 29, 2020 4:07 pm
|    Comments Off on LAST CALL: Seattle Community Safety Survey closes tomorrow
 |   Safety | West Seattle news

If you haven’t yet answered Seattle University‘s sixth annual Public Safety Survey – tomorrow’s the last day. As noted when we published this year’s announcement last month, 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.) Seattle U does the survey independently of SPD, but provides the department with a report on the results, which are used to shape/update micro-community policing plans, among other things. The survey is available in 11 languages, linked here.

FOLLOWUP: City removes ‘hygiene station’ from Junction Plaza Park in West Seattle

7:18 PM THURSDAY: The northeast corner of Junction Plaza Park is empty tonight. That’s where, for the last six months, a city-placed “hygiene station” had stood. The West Seattle Junction Association had long been asking the city to remove it, saying – as we reported in September – a small park in a struggling business district wasn’t the right place for it. Both residents and businesspeople said it had created dangerous conditions and spoke of being harassed or threatened by people hanging out and camping in the park because of it; police were summoned to the park many times to deal with disturbances.

The city had remained noncommittal about potential action, even at an online community meeting three weeks ago (WSB coverage here). But today, the portable toilets and sink were removed. We didn’t hear about this in time to ask the city Human Services Department for comment (which we’ll do tomorrow); WSJA executive director Lora Radford says she was told it’s been moved elsewhere in the city. Her reaction to the removal: “This was never about criminalizing homelessness, but more about the quality of life that was diminished for people experiencing chronic drug and mental health challenges. No one belongs in a tent as a permanent shelter, or in parks, or on sidewalks. To use public green space as an acceptable form of housing is shortsighted and dangerous. Thank you to all the West Seattleites who took action; together communities can force change.” The city placed another “hygiene station” in West Seattle, in the parking lot of the Salvation Army center in South Delridge, but to our knowledge there’ve been no complaints about it. The Junction, meantime, still has a permanent city-funded portable-toilet installation about a block west of the park, on SW Alaska just east of 44th SW.

Side note: The Junction removal comes one day after the mayor announced a proposal to expand programs to clean up trash in parks and on streets.

8:26 PM FRIDAY: Our inquiries to the city were answered late today – primarily, what happened to the hygiene station components removed from Junction Plaza Park. The lead department is not Human Services, but rather Seattle Public Utilities, whose spokesperson Sabrina Register tells us:

The handwash station located at Junction Plaza Park was relocated to 44th and Alaska to enhance hygiene services at the existing sanican. Both the sanican and the hand-wash station will receive daily cleaning and re-stocking by City vendors. In addition, Seattle Parks and Recreation staff will conduct daily visual inspections to ensure the station is in good working order.

The two sanicans at Junction Plaza Park were removed and will be relocated to another location which has yet to be determined. The siting team maintains a list of locations requested by other City departments and community members. The new site will be chosen following the same siting criteria as past hygiene stations. These criteria include high need, absence of redundancy, on or adjacent to City property, does not pose access barriers for facilities or private property, and ease of closing post COVID-19 response.

SURVEY: Your annual chance to comment on community crime, safety, policing

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.

VIDEO: City reps attend Junction Plaza Park safety meeting without acknowledging escalating problems

(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.

Read More

QUESTIONS? Panel set for Tuesday discussion of Junction Plaza Park safety. What would you ask?

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.

VIDEO: Diverters, Stay Healthy Street, or something else? 26th SW options – and opinions – discussed

(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.

Read More

FOLLOWUP: Community meeting Tuesday to seek solutions to Junction Plaza Park problems

(WSB photo, September)

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.

2 BICYCLING FYI’S: Trail work Friday; ‘safety stop’ law now in effect

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.

SAFETY STOP: Thanks to the readers who emailed to suggest we note this – the new Safety Stop” state law (sponsored by West Seattle-residing State Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon) is in effect as of today.

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.

FOLLOWUP: SDOT’s options for future of Alki Point ‘Keep Moving Street’

(WSB photo, Beach Drive “Keep Moving Street” in May)

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.

‘It’s time for action’: West Seattle Junction Association’s plea to the city about park problems

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

cc: Lora@wsjunction.org

Or Call Human Services
Tom Van Bronkhorst
Office: 206.233.3954

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.”

Tree down by north Lincoln Park entrance

September 9, 2020 4:27 pm
|    Comments Off on Tree down by north Lincoln Park entrance
 |   Safety | West Seattle news

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.

FOLLOWUP: Here’s when SDOT plans permanent repairs for Admiral Way sinkhole

(WSB photo, August 26th)

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.

READER REPORT: Tree trouble in Admiral

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.

UPDATE: Flipped-car crash on Admiral

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.

SAFETY: State Fire Marshal’s FYI about furnishings

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.

FOLLOWUP: Highland Park traffic-calming, round 1, almost done

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.

FIREWORKS: Remember to protect pets

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 (westseattleblog@gmail.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.)

WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE CLOSURE: Stabilization work about to start

(SDOT photo: Hydra-Lift Under-Bridge Inspection Platform that’ll be used in stabilization work)

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’.”