BIZNOTE: Shadowland changes

Two readers emailed us to report that they had heard Shadowland in The Junction would be discontinuing its regular slate of events including pub-quiz trivia and DJ Night soon. They were worried it was a sign of more change to come. So we went over to ask. No, manager Heather told us, not a sign of anything ahead – they are doing fine as a restaurant and bar and have decided to focus on that since attendance at events had slipped, and features such as trivia are abundantly available elsewhere. Shadowland (4458 California SW) is in its 12th year.

YOU CAN HELP! 2 Combat Arts Academy events Saturday to support West Seattle Food Bank

Combat Arts Academy (WSB sponsor) proprietor Sonia Sillan announces, “2 events are happening on Saturday in support of the West Seattle Food Bank and our annual January food drive.” All the money raised by both will support WSFB, because CAA coaches are donating their time. First event is a Women’s Self-Defense and Empowerment Workshop for ages 13+, 11 am-1 pm Saturday at CAA’s North Delridge location (5050 Delridge Way SW), by donation ($30 or 30 non-perishable food items)- preregister here ASAP! Second event is Parents’ Night Out, 6 pm-9 pm at CAA’s Burien location (115 SW 153rd), also by donation (also $30 or 30 non-perishable food items) – preregister here ASAP!

POST-VIADUCT PM COMMUTE #4: Thursday afternoon/evening updates

(SDOT MAP with travel times / WS-relevant traffic cams / Water Taxi schedule, other helpful info HERE)

4:09 PM: We’re watching the pm commute again.

4:21 PM: WSDOT reports heavy volumes on both directions of I-5 through the region. The West Seattle Bridge is still sluggish eastbound (that’s a most-of-the-day thing now).

4:39 PM: Some trouble for those headed back this way from the Eastside – WSDOT reports a crash partly blocking the westbound I-90 exit to SB I-5.

4:57 PM: It’s raining – this morning’s real rain was mostly pre-commute, but this time it’s happening right in the heart of the travel time. Be safe.

5:08 PM: SDOT reports a crash at 16th/Roxbury.

5:37 PM: In comments, Jen reports “Semi blocking right WB lane under the upper bridge right before Avalon exit.”

6:21 PM: We’ve been listening to scanner traffic with a crash involving a Metro bus and wires down off SB 509 at 128th in Burien, and now a texter has mentioned it. Just an FYI if you’re headed in that direction – we haven’t seen any indication how/whether it’s affecting highway traffic.

6:28 PM: Just heard from a caller that this is affecting people trying to get onto SB 509 there. And Burien Police just tweeted:

6:47 PM: We weren’t on today’s media conference call due to a conflicting story interview (unrelated) but tomorrow we’re planning to cover a #Realign99 construction-zone tour and briefing. Any unanswered questions about how that’s going, let us know – thanks!

7:24 PM: A King County Sheriff’s Office photo from the 509/128th crash:

KCSO also says that “the driver of the white pickup truck is under arrest on suspicion of DUI.” He also was taken to the hospital with serious injuries.

Also: Today’s project update and other notes from WSDOT, including the morning West Seattle Water Taxi tally – under 1,000 for the first time this week but still triple last year’s ridership.

Who sailed where in 2018? Washington State Ferries reports ridership hit highest level in 16 years

(WSB file photo – M/V Tacoma in Elliott Bay, with Duwamish Head in the background)

West Seattle is unique in the Washington State Ferries system as home to the city’s only WSF dock in a residential area (Fauntleroy). So you might be interested in the 2018 ridership report just released:

Thirty-four times the population of the city of Seattle – that’s how many people Washington State Ferries carried in 2018.

Annual ridership on the nation’s largest ferry system increased by more than 225,000 last year to nearly 25 million, its highest level since 2002.

“Our ridership is up 10 percent from five years ago and it’s forecast to grow another 30 percent to all-time highs over the next 20 years,” said WSF Assistant Secretary Amy Scarton. “In order to support this projected demand with reliable service, our recently released 2040 Long Range Plan calls for 16 new vessels by 2040.”

The largest jump in 2018 came on the Southworth/Vashon route, where ridership was up 8.8 percent, or a gain of nearly 17,000 customers over 2017. This is the third year in a row that the biggest percentage increase has been on a route serving Southworth, as people move to more affordable housing in South Kitsap County.

WSF customers took more than 161,000 trips aboard state ferries last year, travelling nearly 1 million miles – enough to circumnavigate the earth 36 times.

2018 route-by-route ridership highlights

· System total: Customers up 0.9 percent from 2017 to 24.7 million, vehicles up 1.1 percent to 10.8 million.

· Seattle/Bainbridge Island and Bremerton: While it remains WSF’s flagship terminal servicing the most customers throughout the system, there was a year-to-year drop of nearly 60,000 total riders (0.6 percent) passing through Colman Dock. Vehicles down 2.3 percent on Bainbridge Island route, up 3 percent for Bremerton.

· Edmonds/Kingston: Second highest total ridership with customers up 2.2 percent. Biggest year-to-year increase in total vehicles, going up nearly 40,000 (1.8 percent).

· Mukilteo/Clinton: Welcomed system’s fourth Olympic class ferry, Suquamish, to the route in the fall. Busiest route for drivers with vehicles up 1.5 percent and customers up 1.7 percent.

· Fauntleroy/Vashon/Southworth: Customers up 1.4 percent and vehicles up 1.5 percent, led by the Southworth/Vashon segment, which had the largest year-to-year percentage growth with customers up 8.8 percent and vehicles up 6.8 percent.

· Anacortes/San Juan Islands: All-time record ridership with customers up 1.4 percent and vehicles up 1.5 percent.

· Point Defiance/Tahlequah: Customers up 2.9 percent and vehicles up 3.7 percent. Ridership up more than 250,000 from low point in 2008.

· Port Townsend/Coupeville: Customers up 4 percent and vehicles up 3.8 percent. Ten-year ridership increase of more than 350,000.

· Anacortes/Sidney, British Columbia: Slight drop due to a two-week suspension of the route due to vessel breakdowns with customers down 0.7 percent and vehicles down 1.8 percent.

· Route-by-route ridership numbers: Available on the second page of WSF’s Fact Sheet.

· Additional highlights: See more in WSF’s 2018 Year in Review.

UPDATE: Seattle Fire response on east side of The Junction

12:30 PM: The “full response” initially dispatchd to an apartment building in the 4700 block of 40th SW is because of what SFD says so far is a “light odor of smoke” on the 3rd floor. The log shows (updated) seven units on scene checking it out.

12:40 PM: The incident log shows most of the units have been dismissed.

READER REPORT: Work at 35th SW/SW Dawson signal’s future location

The photo is from Stephanie at 35th SW and SW Dawson (by the entrance to Camp Long). She reports:

They are starting the work for the traffic light. I spoke with the survey team; the plans show four light bar posts.

SDOT announced the long-requested “full traffic signal” for 35th/Dawson as part of the “35th SW Phase 2” work first outlined here last April. Last fall, SDOT said crossing improvements at three 35th SW intersections including Dawson would start as soon as November, but then announced an indefinite postponement. We’ll be checking on whether they have a construction timetable yet.

5 for your West Seattle Thursday

(Ruby-crowned Kinglet, photographed by Mark Ahlness, shared via the WSB Flickr group)

Highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, all happening tonight:

ALKI COMMUNITY COUNCIL: 7 pm at Alki UCC, with topics including SR3 (as previewed here) and how HALA MHA could affect Alki. All welcome. (6115 SW Hinds)

BILL DAVIE: Singer/songwriter performs at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm, no cover. (5612 California SW)

THURSDAY TRIVIA: 7 pm and 8 pm, two rounds at Great American Diner and Bar. Free! Prizes! (4752 California SW)

‘CLUE,’ NIGHT TWO: Your second of three chances to see this year’s West Seattle High School student-directed production, “Clue.” The dark and stormy night begins at 7:30 pm in the WSHS theater. Support student drama with your $10 admission at the door. (3000 California SW)

AT PARLIAMENT TAVERN: Onstage tonight, it’s GEMS with special guests Alex Westcoat and Jeremy Grant Buller, 9 pm: “Double drums/double synth Livetronica quartet and guest will take you to outer space!” 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)

SEE INTO THE FUTURE … via our complete calendar, which also has more of what’s up for today and tonight.

SHUTDOWN SURVIVAL: WestSide Baby’s offer for federal employees’ families

Another local nonprofit is offering help to federal employees and their families who are not getting paid because of the shutdown. This time, it’s WestSide Baby. Here’s the announcement we received:

WestSide Baby is offering families affected by the government shutdown free diapers and wipes on a walk-in basis.

“We already know many families in our community are unable to afford all the tangible basics. No more families should be without clean, dry diapers for their baby just because they are not receiving a paycheck during the shutdown,” says Nancy Woodland, WestSide Baby’s Executive Director

Families affected by the furlough should come to WestSide Baby anytime during their open hours to receive diapers and wipes while the shutdown continues. Please bring proof of government employment. Hours and location information available on their website.

WS Baby’s headquarters in White Center, 10002 14th Ave SW, is the closest to West Seattle. (It’s also where you can donate diapers and wipes if you would like to ensure there are plenty for the federal families and the thousands of others the organization helps.)

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Thursday AM watch, fourth post-Viaduct weekday

(SDOT MAP with travel times / WS-relevant traffic cams / Water Taxi schedule, other helpful info HERE)

5:30 AM: Good morning! The change in the weather has arrived – but it’s not raining hard outside, just misting – so far. No incidents reported in our area.

5:55 AM: As with the previous three mornings, the bridge looks busier earlier.

6:13 AM: And even busier now. (Here’s a screengrab for the record.)

6:20 AM: Our crew, heading shortly for Water Taxi watch for the fourth day, reports it’s NOT raining right now. Warmer than recent mornings – 46 degrees.

6:40 AM: If you commute regionally and rely on WSDOT travel times – they’ve been coping with an outage but are now back, here.

6:50 AM: First report in from our crew at the West Seattle Water Taxi dock – rough couht ~70 on the boat that’s about to take off.

7:11 AM: Still nothing out of the ordinary to report. (added) Covered waiting area at Water Taxi dock still not needed, since the rain has yet to resume:

7:28 AM: By our count, about 150 on the Water Taxi that’s just taking off.

7:39 AM: Water Taxi usage is down this morning. Fewer triple-digit runs by our count; 79 on this one. Back on land watch, no train or low-bridge trouble this morning, unlike yesterday … so far.

7:58 AM: Just tweeted by BNSF, whose only tweet during yesterday’s 45+-minute blockage was to tell pedestrians to get off the tracks:

8:06 AM: Low bridge busy eastbound right now. Here’s a moment-in-time screengrab. No maritime openings logged so far this morning.

8:19 AM: One last Water Taxi count on our watch before our crew oves on – 77 for the 8:15-ish run. Remember that the extra service is here for two months, all the way until the 7-day-a-week schedule kicks in at the end of March, so lots of time to try it if you haven’t yet but could.

9:02 AM: Morning four of “Viadoom” hasn’t seemed very doomy. This tweet seems to corroborate:

We’re moving on to other news atop the page – so much to catch up on – but will continue to update here if any notable morning situations arise, plus we’ll be on PM watch again, with the weather projected to get wetter/breezier by then.

10:02 AM: Low bridge closed to surface traffic a few minutes ago, for the first time this morning. (Update: The closure lasted 11 minutes.)

SCREENING: ‘Crazywise’ at Highland Park Improvement Club on Friday

“It’s a mythology to think there’s the ‘normal’ and the ‘abnormal’.” So says one of the people you’ll hear from in the feature-length documentary “Crazywise,” directed by Phil Borges and Kevin Tomlinson. It’s screening at Highland Park Improvement Club this Friday night (January 18th). For $10 at the door, you’re invited to:

7:00 PM: Mix & Mingle (light hors d’oeuvres provided, beverages for purchase)
8:00 PM: Screening of CRAZYWISE
9:30 PM: Discussion & Q&A w/ Director Phil Borges

About the Film:
What if a psychological crisis was seen as having the potential to be a positive transformative experience, instead of a “broken brain”? Human-rights photographer Phil Borges witnessed how indigenous cultures around the world often identify “psychotic” symptoms as an indicator of shamanic potential. Back in the US, Phil follows two young Americans diagnosed with mental illness.

HPIC is at 1116 SW Holden.

Remembering Paul F. Gaige, 1940-2019

The family of West Seattle native Paul F. Gaige is sharing this remembrance with the community:

Paul Fritz Gaige
05/28/1940 – 01/13/2019

Paul Fritz Gaige went to Heaven filled with light and joy to be in the presence of his Savior at 9 pm on Sunday 01/13/19 at Columbia Lutheran Home in Seattle.

A West Seattle native, Paul was a Boy Scout in 1952 and was included in a Time Capsule event at Alki Beach’s Statue of Liberty constructed as part of a national campaign to recognize the 40th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America. This time capsule is to be opened in 2052.

Leaving West Seattle HS early, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1957 and served on the U.S.S. Frontier in Long Beach, CA, San Diego, CA, Australia, and Okinawa, Japan. He then relocated to San Jose, CA in 1962 and 10 years later became an Insurance Investigator in Hong Kong. Returning to Seattle in 1974, Paul had a career at Bethlehem Steel Mill in West Seattle and learned the art of Kung-Fu in Seattle’s Chinatown. After the Steel Mill closed down, he returned to college and became a Graduate of Seattle University with a degree in Criminal Justice while an active member and President of the Honors society. In the 1990s he began a new career as the Director of Social Services Program for DARP, a Drug, Alcohol and Recovery Program in Pioneer Square, Seattle changing the lives of thousands of people, assisting with housing and resources to stay safe and sober. The Seattle Union Gospel Mission’s “Ed G” remembers Paul Gaige’s work at DARP as a program that “broke most people’s hearts” as it “was for the ultimate broken men dying of alcoholism.”

His mother was Mrs. Glenavier Cady Marks Gaige (1917-1997), active in the West Seattle Eagles and Eastern Star and wife of Mr. Judson Melvin Gaige (1908-1976), former Boeing Supervisor who also enjoyed being active in the Eagles Club and Freemasons in the 1950s through 1970s.

He is survived by two sisters, Nancy Gaige Jones and Gail Gaige Cochran, a niece in Boston, a niece in Texas, a nephew in Germany, 5 children (Michael Gaige deceased in 1974) former wife Elena, 7 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild.

In lieu of flowers, we ask that you make an online donation to the Seattle Union Gospel Mission or volunteer at your local homeless shelter in his remembrance.

His son Nick Gaige would like to thank the the staff at Columbia Lutheran Home, Overlake Medical Center in Bellevue, ICU at Issaquah Swedish Hospital, Veterans Administration Seattle, VA RN Jacqueline Hurd, VA Dr. Simha Reddy, VA Social Worker Kim Brown, Providence Hospice team RN Pamela Simpkin and Social Worker Chisako Wells, who took great care of him in his final season of life.

Special thanks to Pastor Jon Smith of City Church/ Churchome Seattle, Traci Jones with Champions Centre Tacoma/Bellevue, Law Offices of Jenny Ling PLLC, Carol with CookiesByCookies, Karl Kamakahi with LeafChews Seattle, Chaplain Mary Lindberg and Rev. Earl Grout of Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in Seattle.

Funeral services will be held at Miramar National Cemetery in San Diego.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to

Learn about SR3 @ Thursday’s Alki Community Council meeting

(Photo by David Hutchinson)

Maybe you’ve noticed that distinctive vehicle in and around West Seattle. Find out more about the organization behind it at tomorrow’s Alki Community Council meeting. Here’s the announcement:

The next regular monthly meeting of the Alki Community Council will be held Thursday (1/17) at the Alki UCC Church, 6115 SW Hinds, 7–8:30 pm.

Included on the evening’s agenda will be a presentation by Casey Mclean, Executive Director and Veterinary Nurse of SR3 (SEALIFE Response, Rehab and Research). The group’s mission is to improve the health and welfare of marine wildlife in the Pacific NW, and one of the ways they are doing that is by building the first rehab center dedicated exclusively to marine animals in this region. Current plans are for the facility to be located on Harbor Avenue south of Salty’s.

Casey assisted with and performed necropsies on a number of the shot California sea lions that washed ashore in West Seattle late last year.

SR3 is online at Also on tomorrow’s ACC agenda: Two HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability items affecting Alki.

POST-VIADUCT PM COMMUTE #3: Wednesday afternoon/evening updates

(SDOT MAP with travel times / WS-relevant traffic cams / Water Taxi schedule, other helpful info HERE)

3:45 PM: We’re on PM commute watch now. Trouble spot reported by Jim Edwards:

SB West Marginal way down to one lane approaching Highland Park Way. Construction material spill (chunky mud) covering Left GP and left turn lane. Sweepers and Commercial Enforcement on scene.

4:39 PM: No incidents of note but general assessment, I-5 traffic is heavy both ways.

4:56 PM: Not an unusual alert from Washington State Ferries, but since we’re tracking the PM commute: “There is an estimated 60-minute wait for drivers departing Fauntleroy due to heavy vehicle traffic boarding the vessels.”

5:27 PM: And now, no extended wait. … The “low bridge” is closed right now so maritime traffic can pass through. Remember that the PM period when the Coast Guard agreed to limit bridge openings is 2-5 pm.

5:44 PM: After about 20 minutes of being closed to surface traffic, the low bridge has reopened.

WEDNESDAY UPDATES: From today’s post-AM-commute media Q&A call – train trouble, construction progress, gratitude …

From today’s daily media conference call with transportation-agency reps:

THE TRAIN DEBACLE: SDOT’s rep on the call, Matt Beaulieu, says they’re still sorting out what exactly factored into this morning’s BNSF blockage on lower Spokane Street (tracked in our morning traffic coverage). He and Metro rep Jeff Switzer acknowledged that the agencies were not given a heads-up by BNSF that the blockage was about to happen – their first word, Beaulieu said, was from police on the ground, who helped divert traffic away from the blocked section of lower Spokane as best they could. They’re “still working on the relationship,” he said, saying they “did make a connection today” and are in “a dialogue.” We had asked SDOT’s Heather Marx about BNSF coordination during last week’s pre-Viaduct-closure City Hall briefing, and she had said that, unlike the limited low-bridge openings deal with the U.S. Coast Guard, they had no deal with BNSF.

METRO AND WATER TAXI: Switzer noted the delays caused by the train situation, and otherwise described delays systemwide as ranging between 10 and 35 mites this morning. Overall, more riders are catching buses earlier. They’re also seeing increased call volumes at Metro’s call center, so if you call with a question and hear what might be a long wait time, there’s an option to request a callback rather than waiting on hold.

(WSB photo from Seacrest this morning)

The Water Taxi had another triple-last-year day on Tuesday, with 2,520 riders overall, but still plenty of capacity, both on the boats and in the temporary Pier 2 free parking.

CONSTRUCTION PROGRESS: WSDOT‘s Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program deputy administrator David Sowers said the on- and off-ramp areas at Royal Brougham have been “completely excavated,” and that the offramp to Dearborn – which isn’t projected to be ready to open until at least a week after the tunnel does – “continues to progress very well” too. Today they’re paving the Dearborn connection to 1st Avenue, where part of the south end of the elevated Viaduct was demolished last weekend; striping work was on today’s agenda too. The dry weather has been “very helpful” and they’ve completed most of the needs-to-be-done-in-dry-weather work – but if the rain that’s expected tomorrow and beyond isn’t a major deluge, the work “will not be affected.” Sowers also invited everyone to keep checking out the construction cams.

YES, THAT WAS A CAR ON THE VIADUCT … but not an unauthorized car, explained WSDOT’s Laura Newborn – it was a security vehicle. Please stay off the Viaduct until the planned February 2-3 celebration, WSDOT reiterates.

COMMUTE TRENDS OVERALL: Today, around the region, saw trends similar to Monday and Tuesday – people traveling earlier, and higher travel times than usual in the earlier hours as a result. Tomorrow’s expected rain could affect things dramatically. But otherwise, keep up the good work, all stressed – “people are doing a little bit of everything” and that’s what’s really helped, some buses, some light rail, some Water Taxi, some time-shifting, some working from home, it’s all adding up, and particularly if you can keep doing things differently, you’re making it a little less hellish for those who absolutely can’t.

Goodwill launches pickup service for part of West Seattle

Almost four months after its dropoff spot closed because of impending redevelopment, Seattle Goodwill has just announced it has launched pickup service in part of West Seattle – zip codes 98116, 98126, 98136 (updated) 98146. (Here’s a zip-code map.) “The simple act of cleaning out your closets and donating to Goodwill will help others with free job training and education programs,” says Goodwill, which will make pickups between 9:30 am and 2:30 pm, on days you can schedule in advance by going here. The items have to be left outside your residence; the driver can’t go inside. Also, if you want to schedule a donation pickup for a business, school, or church, they ask that you call instead – 206-583-8099. Here are the guidelines for how to get your donations ready.

8 for your West Seattle Wednesday

(Photo by Jim Borrow – 10 am view from Upper Alki)

Busy morning so our highlight list is a bit late, but it’s all happening tonight:

FREE GROUP RUN: Celebrate one more night of good weather by running with West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor). Meet at the shop at 6:15 pm. No charge. (2743 California SW)

KIWANIS OPEN HOUSE: 6:30 pm at the Senior Center of West Seattle:

Members of the Kiwanis Club of West Seattle invite you to our OPEN HOUSE. It promises to be an evening of camaraderie, refreshments, and information about the role of Kiwanis in our community. Please join us to learn how you can help local children through an established international organization. Program starts at 6:30 and ends by 7:30 PM.

(4217 SW Oregon)

YOUNGSTOWN TALKS LIGHT RAIL: Residents of North Delridge’s Youngstown neighborhood organized a community-specific briefing with Sound Transit, 7 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. (4408 Delridge Way SW)

MORGAN COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION: 7 pm quarterly meeting at The Kenney (WSB sponsor) – agenda information is in our calendar listing. All welcome. (7125 Fauntleroy Way SW)

WORDSWEST LITERARY SERIES: 7 pm at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor)!

We’re hosting exciting young writers E. J. Koh and Juan Carlos Reyes, who will muse on “Past and Future Selves”: the intangible apparitions that haunt our everyday lives. Our Favorite Poem will be provided by local physical therapist Fawn Coussens, whose business is located in the Junction next to Than Brothers Pho.

Free, all welcome. (5612 California SW)

OPEN MIC: Sign up at 7, perform at 7:30 at Great American Diner and Bar. Alan Sobel hosts. Free. (4752 California SW)

‘CLUE’ AT WEST SEATTLE HIGH SCHOOL: As previewed here Tuesday, tonight’s your first of three chances to see the student-directed production at WSHS, 7:30 pm curtain, $10 admission at the door. (3000 California SW)

PARLIAMENT TAVERN TUNES: Tonight at 9 pm, Grateful Dead Jam! “Core quartet with guests and surprises! Come early to sign up.” No cover. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)

THERE’S MORE … see it all on our complete calendar.

VIDEO: Seattle Police report breakthrough in last year’s Luna/Anchor Park-area murder

(June 2018 WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli)

Seattle Police have just released a video that says they’ve made a breakthrough in last June’s murder of 22-year-old Jonathan C. Pecina near Luna/Anchor Park. Pecina was stabbed to death after what police described then, and again now, as an argument with someone else. In this new video updating the case, SPD has a direct message to the killer: “This case will never go away. We have your DNA.”

They are also still seeking more tips, via the Homicide Unit office at 206-684-5550, or their tip line at 206-233-5000.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Wednesday AM watch, third Highway 99-less weekday

(SDOT MAP with travel times / WS-relevant traffic cams / Water Taxi schedule, other helpful info HERE)

5:30 AM: Good morning! No incidents to report so far on this third post-Viaduct weekday morning.

5:39 AM: Someone just texted (we’re at 206-293-6302) to report a helicopter over/near east West Seattle. Flight tracker and radio communication verify it’s just the TV helicopter (the one shared by 4/5) monitoring traffic again, and it’s now headed away, northward. …Noted a few minutes later while monitoring TV, 7’s helicopter (which doesn’t show on trackers) is still here.

5:47 AM: Weather, by the way, still dry. First possibility of any rain is this afternoon, more likely it’ll hold off until tonight.

5:50 AM: We’re tweeting bridge snapshots this morning, since the live cams don’t archive. Getting busy!

6:25 AM: Commenter J reports 4th Ave. exit bus ramp has lots of violators, no police monitors this morning. Meanwhile, we’re headed to the Water Taxi dock shortly to see how that’s going. And here’s the latest bridge snapshot for the record. Even busier.

6:42 AM: After we mentioned the 4th Ave. ramp situation on Twitter, Nichole tweeted back that she saw police getting into position nearby. … For the first time this week, we’re hearing about a train delay on the surface under the bridge. We asked SDOT about this last week – bottom line, they say BNSF didn’t make any commitments to changing policies during Viaductlessness.

6:54 AM: West Seattle Water Taxi dock seems quieter this morning, according to our reporter, who’s just arrived, his third morning there. 100 on most-recent run. Earlier #’s not available yet. (Water Taxi schedule, shuttle schedule, other info all here!)

7:07 AM: Just under 100 on most-recent Water Taxi departure. Meantime, bike commuting remains up; West Seattle-residing Seattle Times transportation reporter Mike Lindblom reports via Twitter that the counter on the bridge shows 137 so far this morning, and that the bridge trail has been de-iced “but nearby asphalt still frosty.”

7:16 AM: Here’s the surface-Spokane train-related jam (we took a screengrab of a nearby camera that’s one of those featured on our full traffic-cams page):

7:28 AM: Direct link to “live” camera here. We’re watching it to see when the train is finally clear – but that hasn’t happened yet. … Related alert for Route 50:

7:39 AM: Commenter Moon Kitten advises, “You can get around the train hold up if you go up E Marginal and cross over to 1st Ave on Hanford! I was stuck as well and went up E Marginal and crossed over to 1st Ave… then back down S on 1st.”

7:45 AM: Train finally cleared in the last few minutes:

(At 7:40 am, it was still there – 7:43 am as per timestamped image, gone.)

7:55 AM: In the meantime, per the Twitter log, the “low bridge” was just open for 17 minutes. Not a good morning for surface (non-high bridge) traffic overall. The openings 7-10 am were supposed to be limited to the largest vessels, so we’re going to check what just passed. (Update: Can’t tell from

8:01 AM: Sunrise beauty shot from our Water Taxi dock crew, featuring the MV Doc Maynard:

8:12 AM: The train stop has been the morning’s biggest headline in the area. In the big picture regionally, WSDOT reports “NB I-5 backup into SEA longer than normal.”

8:16 AM: Newest numbers from our Water Taxi watcher: 74 at 7:50 am, 156 at 8:05 am.

8:19 AM: Just dispatched, police to a crash reported at Delridge/Findlay. Cars in center lane, per scanner, no serious injuries.

8:38 AM: Trouble at the east end of the Roxbury corridor – SFD dispatch to a car-fire call, SDOT tweets “collision on 1st Ave S at Olson Pl SW blocking all SB lanes and NB right lane.”

8:51 AM: Bridge still busy (here’s another moment-in-time screengrab for the record and later comparison).

8:54 AM: The 1st/Olson/etc. situation may be an issue for a while. Reader just texted this photo:

So beware, if you are headed through the east end of the Roxbury corridor, to/from South Park and/or the 509 intersection there. (Added – a closer view that also shows a school bus apparently involved.)

SFD has been cleared and no medic units involved so apparently no serious injuries.

9:13 AM: SDOT says one southbound lane is getting through at the 1st/Olson/Myers scene … Our Water Taxi dock crew is back. Here’s a pic of the temp Pier 2 parking lot:

9:51 AM: Most-recent update from SDOT was that most lanes were open again at the Olson/Myers/1st scene. We’ll be following up on the crash later. … Eastbound bridge still busy; here’s the latest addition to this morning’s moment-in-time screengrabs so we have comparisons for future dates.

10:05 AM: Crash reported at California/Juneau. Two SFD units dispatched.

10:25 AM: That crash involves a car on sidewalk plus a truck. 1 person to hospital. Photo to come. SB side of California; traffic getting by in center lane.

11:25 AM: There’s the pic. On our way back from post-traffic-watch errands, we passed the scene again; truck gone, car being towed. SDOT sent an Incident Response Team truck, too.

HALA UPZONING: See the 10 changes suggested for West Seattle’s part of the plan

ORIGINAL REPORT, 11:58 PM TUESDAY: More than tbree years have passed since then-Mayor Ed Murray proposed the upzoning plan eventually named HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability,to affect commercial and multifamily property citywide, as well as other property in the city’s “urban villages.” Now it’s moving toward a final vote, expected in mid-March. First, councilmembers will consider potential amendments to the plan. Wednesday morning at 9:30 am, they will look at 10 amendments proposed for West Seattle, as well as 1 for South Park, plus dozens in three other City Council districts. From the agenda documents, here are short descriptions of the 10 amendments proposed to modify what HALA MHA upzoning would otherwise do in West Seattle:


Intersection of SW Carroll St and Beach Dr SW
Do not rezone the Residential – Commercial node at the intersection of SW Carroll St and Beach Dr SW.

That’s the area by Weather Watch Park, best known businesswise for La Rustica.

1-2 through 1-6

Single-family zones within the West Seattle Junction Residential Urban Village: Modify all proposed rezones from Single-family within the West Seattle Junction Urban Village to Residential Small Lot.

Otherwise, the single-family-zoned areas there are slated for upzoning to Lowrise 1.


West Seattle Junction Residential Urban Village: Triangle Area
Increase proposed maximum heights of Neighborhood Commercial zones within the Junction triangle area from 75′ to 95′.

The Triangle area went through its own planning process early this decade.


Area west of Fauntleroy, south of SW Graham Street
Reduce the proposed zone designation in the Morgan Junction Urban Village south of SW Graham Street and northwest of Fauntleroy Way SW to a less intense Lowrise multifamily zone designation.

That would be LR2 instead of LR3.


Area bounded by SW Barton, Barton Pl SW and 21st Ave SW
Reduce the proposed zone designation within the Westwood-Highland Park Urban Village in the area generally between SW Barton Pl and Delridge Way SW from Lowrise multifamily to Residential Small Lot.

Here’s an explainer of RSL and other zoning designations.


26th Ave SW between SW Barton & SW Roxbury ST
Reduce the proposed zone designation within the WestwoodHighland Park Urban Village along 26th Av S from Lowrise multifamily to Residential Small Lot.

(Close-up maps for each proposed amendment are toward the start of this document from the meeting packet.) The council will discuss these, and the amendments proposed for three other council districts, at Wednesday morning’s meeting (9:30 am, City Hall, live coverage as usual via Seattle Channel) with more discussion planned February 8th. An evening public hearing is planned February 21st, and then the council is scheduled to vote on amendments February 25th.

ADDED WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON: The video of today’s council committee meeting is now available online.

Extreme Risk Protection Orders explained, plus community concerns and police updates, @ West Seattle Crime Prevention Council

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

If you have a crime/safety trouble spot to surface to local police, the monthly West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting is the place. Just a handful of community members showed up tonight. Here’s what they heard, and said:

CAPTAIN’S UPDATE: Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis gave the “2018 synopsis” including a reduction in crimes against people, but a small increase in property crime – +2.8% – that would have been worse if not for stepped-up action. As he does at every WSCPC meeting, he pleaded for community members to “help us help you,” including by not leaving items in cars, reporting everything that does happen, and surfacing “ongoing issues.”

UPDATE ON HAMILTON VIEWPOINT ASSAULT: Capt. Davis was asked about the assault we reported last Saturday at the North Admiral park. It wasn’t a random attack, he said, but instead was an altercation with a “specific story line” and the person who wound up with a “bump on his head” had been “drinking heavily.” No arrest reported.

Read More

CRIME WATCH: Stolen burgundy Jeep Cherokee

Stolen-vehicle report from Kris: “My Jeep was stolen from Top Hat overnight. 1998 Jeep Cherokee, burgundy, plate # 767-ZZV. Email to:” And of course call 911. (Stolen cars are often brought across the city/county line, in both directions, so we’ll publish North Highline reports like this one when we get them.)

Get a ‘Clue’! West Seattle High School production starts Wednesday

You’ve played the game – now see the show! This year’s student-directed production at West Seattle High School, “Clue,” opens tomorrow (Wednesday) night, the first of three nights you can see it (January 16, 17, 18), 7:30 pm curtain each night. Isabella Hale is directing; tickets are $10 at the door, no reservation required.

(That promo is student-produced too, by Jonah Elbaum.) Find out more at WSHS is at 3000 California Avenue SW.

POST-VIADUCT PM COMMUTE #2: Tuesday afternoon/evening watch


(SDOT MAP with travel times / WS-relevant traffic cams / Water Taxi schedule, other helpful info HERE)

4:05 PM: Good afternoon! We’re watching the PM commute again today. No specific issues right now. Most recent regional overview from WSDOT: “Travel times are pretty tame at the moment.”

4:49 PM: All’s still well. Keeping an eye on downtown too. And the forecast – now a “slight chance of rain” tomorrow morning, a little higher chance Wednesday afternoon, then “likely” on Thursday.

5:40 PM: Bus report tweeted by Randy:

5:51 PM: If you are headed OUT of West Seattle, heads-up – just heard a dispatch for a two-car “blocking” crash on the eastbound high bridge. Exactly where, haven’t heard, but hope it’s off to the side as the drivers are reported to be “arguing with each other.”

6:05 PM: Police were unable to find the crash scene, so apparently they moved on.

6:16 PM: If you head this way on 4th Avenue S., heads up about a Seattle Fire response at 4th/Stacy (map) just south of downtown. “Burning pile of debris” is the report. Reportedly on the north side of the street so SB traffic not too likely to be affected.