VIADUCT CLOSURE, DAY 6: Wednesday morning traffic/transit coverage

(SDOT MAP with camera/incident links; OFFICIAL #99CLOSURE INFOSITE; ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

5:05 AM: Good morning! It’s the sixth day of the two-weeks-or-so Alaskan Way Viaduct closure. The state is now posting early-morning tunneling updates as well as late-morning and mid-evening, and as of this morning, the tunneling machine has gone 148 feet of the 380-foot stretch that will get it clear of the Viaduct’s underside.

If you are using the Water Taxi this morning, and driving to Seacrest, you have a new reason to try the Pier 2 parking, which still hasn’t been even half-utilized – there’s an added no-parking zone in the area, on the inland side of the street across from Don Armeni, ~20 or so spaces off-limits 8 am-5 pm for the next three weekdays for utility-related work on the project that’ll be at the ex-Alki Tavern site. There’s also a morning event in the area – the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce‘s annual awards breakfast bringing ~200 to Salty’s (WSB sponsor).

5:32 AM: So far this morning, no incidents, and the bridges/roads are still relatively quiet. Transportation authorities are hoping you’re not going back to your regular departure time – stretching the commute across a wider timespan is key to getting through the closure period.

6:07 AM: Trouble on the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth ferry run – from WSF, “The 5:45 am sailing from Vashon (was) cancelled due to a shortage of Coast Guard documented crew. Replacements have been dispatched. The Issaquah will resume service with a late 6:10 am sailing from Fauntleroy.”

6:15 AM: The high bridge is all brake lights, as the camera view above shows.

6:20 AM: We’re checking in on the Water Taxi again this morning – here’s the first run leaving Seacrest:

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95 passengers on this run (the 6:15 to downtown).

6:31 AM: If you’re using surface streets to head to the north side of downtown or beyond, be forewarned there’s a big fire response on 1st Avenue in Belltown (at Lenora) right now. (update) The call has been updated to Western/Lenora, where Western is closed off right now for the SFD response.

6:51 AM: 156 on the second Water Taxi run, up from 144 yesterday, but still leaving with 100+ empty seats. The bridge remains jammed. See the comments for some early bus reports. And if you have a question about how things are going traffic/transit-wise – please comment, or e-mail us at editor@westseattleblog.com – we’re going to this morning’s 11 am briefing downtown with reps from all the key departments and we’ll do our best to get an answer.

7:11 AM: Update on the Harbor Avenue parking situation mentioned earlier – Just heard from West Seattle architect Tim Rhodes, our contact on the project in the 1300 block Harbor, with whom we spoke yesterday after local resident Carolyn pointed out the new no-parking signs. He says, “Our project has agreed with SDOT to hold on the required utility investigation work on the west side of Harbor Avenue and do the work on weekends for the time being to lessen any impacts to the the street parking. We know that this will help the neighborhood with parking during this difficult viaduct closure.”

7:16 AM: Weather update – a little bit of drizzle.

7:38 AM: Admiral Way update from Jeff via Twitter:


Water Taxi update – 218 passengers on the 7:15 run.

7:48 AM: 159 on the 7:45 West Seattle-to-downtown Water Taxi run, substantially down from yesterday. Sorry we missed the alert on the low-bridge closure – according to @SDOTBridges (which remains linked atop this story so you can check it directly), it was closed to surface traffic 7:31-7:45 am.

8:16 AM: Washington State Ferries warns that Issaquah, on the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth run, is still half an hour behind. You can check on it via Vessel Watch. Meantime, as you can see in the cameras we feature above (refresh the page any time for the newest image), 1st and 4th are about as busy as the bridge. If you can go to work much earlier than usual, you’re probably in the best position to beat the jams until the Viaduct closure is over.

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SEATTLE’S FUTURE: 20-year ‘comprehensive plan update’ goes public

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How should our city handle its next 20 years of growth?

The 575-page proposed answer to that question is now public – the updated “comprehensive plan” proposed by Mayor Murray.

With the recommended plan’s release, it heads to the City Council’s Planning, Land Use, and Zoning Committee (whose members include our district’s Councilmember Lisa Herbold). This is the first major comprehensive-plan update since 2004. One of its key points is an echo of what happened a decade before that, in the city’s first such plan: “The urban village strategy is this Plan’s approach to managing growth. … The City intends for each of these areas to see more growth and change over time than other commercial locations or primarily residential areas, and together they will accommodate the majority of the city’s expansion during this Plan’s life span.”

The announcement from the mayor’s office – which you can see in its entirety here – includes:

Seattle 2035 includes goals and policies, including those that:

· Guide more future growth to areas within a 10-minute walk of frequent transit
· Continue the Plan’s vision for mixed-use Urban Villages and Urban Centers
· Monitor future growth in greater detail, including data about racial disparities
· Increase the supply and diversity of affordable housing consistent with the Mayor’s Housing Affordable Livability Agenda (HALA)
· Update how we measure the performance of the city’s transportation and parks systems
· Integrate the City’s planning for parks, preschool, transit, housing, transportation, City facilities and services

futurelandusemap

Our area has four urban villages – which are part of the list of neighborhoods in the section of the report that includes highlights from neighborhood plans. You can search that section for each of these:

Admiral
Delridge (not an urban village)
Morgan Junction
West Seattle Junction
Westwood/Highland Park

The plan spans many topics, from off-street parking to potential North Highline annexation. As the announcement observes, “Forecasts suggest that over the next twenty years, Seattle will need to accommodate 70,000 additional housing units, 120,000 more residents, and 115,000 additional jobs.” This would set a framework for doing that. The plan “and related legislation” will go to the PLUZ Committee later this month, the announcement says. The comments that went into it were gathered in a variety of ways, including meetings like this one in West Seattle last November.

SOCCER: Highline Premier FC open training session Wednesday for ’07/’08 boys; Highline Select tryouts for three groups next Monday

Soccer player(s) in the family? Two notes tonight – first, about an open training session tomorrow for one group of potential Premier players, and second, tryouts next week for two groups of potential Select players. First:

The Highline Soccer Association (HSA) currently represents more than 4,000 youth soccer players from the communities of Des Moines/Midway, Sea-Tac, West Highline, and West Seattle. The Association is made up of two Recreational Soccer Clubs (the West Seattle Soccer Club and the Highline Soccer Club), a Premier Soccer Club (the Highline Premier Football Club), and a Select Soccer Program (HSA Select).

Highline Premier FC, the highest level of training in the HSA, is hosting an open training session tomorrow, May 4, from 6-7:30 pm, at Walt Hundley Field in West Seattle, for boys born in 2007/08. Families with boys in this age group are encouraged to come out for a kick around, meet the coaches, ask the managers questions about the club, and let the boys have some fun and test their skills. For more information, contact Jessica Pierce at 206-200-8333.

Meantime, the HSA Select program continues its tryouts next week. On Monday (May 9th), girls born in 2004 try out 5-6:30 pm at Walt Hundley, where boys born in 2003 and 2004 try out 6:30-8 pm that same night. Full details on the tryouts can be found here, including how to register for tryouts.

Walt Hundley field is at 34th SW/SW Myrtle in High Point.

West Seattle Crime Watch: More Westcrest Park car break-ins

westcrest

That photo is from Nancy, one of two smashed-in vehicle windows she noticed at Westcrest Park Off-Leash Area late today. We’ve had other reader reports lately, and the SPD crime-report map shows nine car-prowl reports in the general Westcrest vicinity in the past month, though that’s likely an undercount, since some don’t report it and some file online, which takes a while to work through the system. While an SPD “car-prowl prevention” one-sheet mentions calling 911, Nancy says today’s victims tried that and were pointed to the non-emergency line, where they gave up while waiting (as we’ve been reporting, the call center has fewer 911 lines while renovations are under way and calltakers are in temporary quarters).

Don’t leave anything in your car; you might not be as “lucky” as one recent victim, whose backpack and wallet were stolen from her car – also via window-smashing – while she was walking her dogs; the backpack was found tossed aside at 14th and Barton, according to the finder, who contacted us while trying to locate the owner. The victim told the finder that hundreds of dollars were run up on the cards in her wallet before she got them canceled.

VIADUCT CLOSURE, DAY 5: Afternoon/evening commute updates for Tuesday

(SDOT MAP with camera/incident links; OFFICIAL #99CLOSURE INFOSITE; ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

4 PM: The return trip is already under way – this update came in via Twitter a few minutes ago:


Other notes as we start the pm-commute coverage:

Tunnel contractor tells media on conference call that the under-Viaduct tunneling is “going very well” (our story includes drone video inside tunnel and machine)

-All sides of 30th/Yancy/Avalon intersection are open; SDOT says crews will be back Friday to stripe the new crosswalk, likely midday & short-term

-Added no-parking zone on Harbor, inland side of street, mostly across from Don Armeni, next three days 8 am-5 pm, attributed to construction company (working to find out more – thanks to Carolyn for the tip – UPDATE: Project rep says it’s “utility investigation” work that has to be done before they can finally get a demolition permit for the ex-Alki Tavern-and-vicinity site)

5:02 PM: Crash at 37th/Andover is blocking Andover both ways, per scanner. Also, there’s a fire alarm – but no fire visible, per arriving SFD crews – at 3250 Avalon Way.

6:35 PM: Commenters are still reporting delays with the southbound bus reroutes on Lander. We’ll be asking about that at tomorrow’s megabriefing downtown with reps from the county, state, and city, regarding how traffic/transit is going. Meantime, some numbers from this afternoon’s Water Taxi runs from downtown to West Seattle, via the KCDOT – a capacity run at 5:15 again:

Preliminary ridership for peak commute Tuesday evening, leaving Pier 50:

4:45 pm: 191 riders (last Tuesday was 51)

5:15 pm: 278 riders (1 did not board) (Last Tuesday was 101)

5:45 pm: 186 riders (last Tuesday was 60)

8:32 PM: Latest progress report on tunneling – 131 of the 380 feet it’ll take to get to the point where they’ll reopen the Viaduct. Here are the details as well as traffic recaps from the afternoon/evening.

A Child Becomes Preschool: Welcome, new West Seattle Blog sponsor

Today we’re welcoming a new WSB sponsor, A Child Becomes Preschool. Here’s what they’d like you to know about who they are and what they do:

achild

We have been educating preschoolers in the Admiral area of West Seattle since 1989. We’ve evolved from a small in home school to three age-specific classrooms that support students ages 2 1/2 – 3, 3 – 4, and 4 – 5. We approach teaching and learning with a child-centered philosophy knowing that preschoolers operate on a wide continuum as they develop skills and stretch their cognitive abilities. We believe this time is critical in a child’s educational journey as skills that are built during these years will carry them onto successes throughout a lifetime.

A Child Becomes Preschool creates a warm and nurturing learning environment that is mindful of each student’s unique qualities and focuses on building social and emotional skills like self-regulation, trust, empathy, and conflict resolution. Our program uses themes that integrate science and social studies into the curriculum. These themes carry through play, literacy, experimentation, art, and song as students develop cognitive and reasoning skills.

We pride ourselves on hiring and maintaining highly qualified teachers who teach from the heart, understand the importance of emotional intelligence, and continue to evolve in their education with ongoing study in early childhood development. We love what we do!

A Child Becomes Preschool offers summer camps for both preschool- and school-age students. These camps are a continuation of our learning philosophies and most importantly make learning fun!

If you’re interested in preschool for your child, call our office to schedule a tour – 206-932-4642. You can register now online for summer camps.

We are members of Washington Association for the Education of Young Children (WAEYC) and National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Visit our website to learn more about who we are and what we offer: www.achildbecomes.org

We thank A Child Becomes Preschool for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.

FOLLOWUPS: West Seattle illegal-tree-cutting investigations; work planned at East Admiral site

Two notes today on the investigations of illegal tree-cutting in north West Seattle’s Duwamish Head Greenbelt:

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(March photo by WSB’s Christopher Boffoli)

35TH SW ‘CLEAR-CUT’ SITE: No word of charges against anyone yet, but City Councilmember Lisa Herbold shared an alert that there will be “activity” the next two days at the site off the 3200 block of 35th SW, where cutting apparently done in January came to light in March. She says, “As part of the City’s investigation into the cutting of City trees near 3200 35th Ave SW, a contractor will remove blackberry bushes from the site on May 4th and 5th. The removal should reveal whether there are additional stumps, and will also help prepare the site for eventual restoration.”

ADDED 10:12 PM: Parks spokesperson Dewey Potter provided a few more details, saying the contractor “… will bring a large machine called a Spyder to the site of the trees cut … A crew from Kemp West will use the machine to clear the dense blackberries from the site. … The City’s investigation of the incident continues.” The work could start as early as 7 am.

(back to original report) SUNSET/SEATTLE SITE: As first reported here last Friday, the city also is investigating illegal tree-cutting on a Parks-owned slope beneath a popular unofficial roadside viewpoint. The investigation came to light because of a letter sent to area residents, asking if they had information on the cutting, believed to have been done in February. We subsequently had asked Parks how many trees they believe were cut; spokesperson Christina Hirsch now tells WSB that they’re expecting the number after a city arborist visits the steeply sloped site this week for an assessment.

UNDER-VIADUCT TUNNELING PROGRESS: ‘Going very well’

(Added: Newly released WSDOT video recorded by a drone inside the tunnel and tunneling machine)

12:06 PM: “Tunneling is going very well.” So said Chris Dixon of Seattle Tunnel Partners, the state’s contractor on the Highway 99 tunnel, during a media conference call wrapped up a short time ago. He said there’s been no problems – “no adverse effects, no settlement, no movement” either with the machine or with the ground through which it’s tunneling and the first Viaduct “bent” under which it’s gone. As for the distance they’ve gone – 117 feet so far, of the 380 that will get them to the other side of the Viaduct’s underside – he said it’s about what they’ve expected. We’ll have full details in a bit.

12:30 PM: More details from the call: They’ve now mined 17 “rings” since leaving “Safe Haven 3,” the stop before going under the Viaduct. The “bent” under which the machine has gone is numbered 98W – “W” for west, and it’s now under 97W, with 96E next, “the column in the intersection of Yesler and Alaskan Way … after we pass that, (they go under) 95E, the foundation on the east side.” The next one is the one to which the machine gets within 15 feet, as much mentioned prior to this phase of tunneling. They’re expecting to average about 4 rings a day but Dixon warned not to be alarmed if a day shows less progress than that, because they are stopping the machine here and there along the way for maintenance and for replenishment of the soil conditioners they’re using while moving ahead – the first day of this phase was 1 ring, then three on the 30th, seven on the 1st, and six yesterday.

Its average speed, Dixon said, is 30 millimeters per second, with the capacity to go twice that fast, and indeed they expect to go faster once the machine is past this phase – averaging six rings a day in the next phase. In response to another question, he stressed again, “we’re right where we anticipated we would be.” And he said they’re far enough out of “Safe Haven 3” that there’s no longer any concern of a sinkhole or other disturbance atop that area.

No traffic updates, since this focus was on the tunneling itself, but WSDOT did say, don’t get complacent and go back to your old ways – “please find different ways to be out there ‘off peak’.”

P.S. We’ll again have special afternoon/evening commute coverage here on WSB, starting around 4 pm. In the meantime, the commute conversation continues in comments following our Tuesday morning coverage.

What’s up for the rest of your West Seattle Tuesday

For the rest of your Tuesday – highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar and inbox:

DINE OUT FOR HUNGER: As mentioned in our look at West Seattle and White Center beneficiaries of today’s GiveBIG, you can help the White Center Food Bank by going to four WC food establishments – Full Tilt Ice Cream, Noble Barton, Proletariat Pizza, Zippy’s Giant Burgers – that are donating part of their proceeds today. Go here for details before deciding where to go!

DINE OUT FOR BASEBALL: 6-9 pm tonight, eat at Talarico’s in The Junction and part of the proceeds will help the West Seattle High School baseball team. (4718 California SW)

WEST SEATTLE BIKE CONNECTIONS: 6:30 pm at HomeStreet Bank (WSB sponsor) in The Junction, it’s your monthly chance to get involved with the local bicycle-advocacy group. (41st SW/SW Alaska)

BICYCLE COMMUTING 101 FOR WOMEN: West Seattle Cyclery has a session 7:30-8:30 tonight, followed by a test ride on Saturday morning, 8 am-10 am. Topics will include:

• Rider Safety
• How to get downtown
• What to wear
• What gear to take
• Basic bike maintenance

Free, at WS Cyclery in The Junction, followed by another session and test ride next week. (4508 California SW)

WEST SEATTLE QUILTERS: 7 pm at the Senior Center of West Seattle. (California SW/SW Oregon)

MORE … on our full calendar!

VIDEO: Gray whale off West Seattle

(Video by Rick R)

That’s reader video of a gray whale seen off Brace Point this morning – likely the same whale that was moving slowly through the center of Puget Sound last Saturday. As Robin Lindsey of the Seal Sitters Marine Stranding Network reported, authorities went out to assess that whale’s health on Saturday, but they have yet to make a statement on what they found. This time of year, gray whales still in Puget Sound might be ailing and/or hungry. One died off north Vashon last month. The reader who sent the video and photo this morning said the whale was heading slowly north toward the Fauntleroy ferry dock at the time.

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We have since heard from someone who saw it off Lincoln Park. Updates if and when we get them – and if you are out on the water, remember that you have to stay at least 100 yards away.

VIADUCT CLOSURE, DAY 5: Tuesday morning commute coverage

(SDOT MAP with camera/incident links; OFFICIAL #99CLOSURE INFOSITE; ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

5:04 AM: Good morning! Welcome to Day 5 of the two-weeks-or-so closure of the Alaskan Way Viaduct while the Highway 99 tunnel machine goes beneath it. Our expanded morning-commute coverage starts with some numbers:

106 feet: How far the tunneling machine has gone as of about an hour ago, since its restart last Friday
2,047 bicycle trips: New record for the counter on the low bridge, set yesterday as of 5:45 pm, 200 more than the old record on 5/14/15 per Don Brubeck of West Seattle Bike Connections
1,189 West Seattle Water Taxi riders: Morning commute total Monday, more than triple the previous Monday’s ridership. (Still lots of room at the Pier 2 park-and-ride lot, so try it if you need parking! – info here.)

5:21 AM: If you have been using I-5 northbound *south* of the West Seattle Bridge, this is NOT the time to do it – big emergency response at Albro for a rollover crash [traffic cam here] blocking the two center lanes.

6 AM: That crash has now cleared to the shoulder, but – again, this is SOUTH of the West Seattle Bridge, so it won’t affect you if you’re going to NB I-5 *from* the bridge – miles of backup will take a while to clear. No other incidents in this area so far in the early going.

6:22 AM: As we’ve seen the past two weekday mornings, the (high) bridge is getting busier earlier. General advice from commenters’ commute stories has been to time-shift. Meantime, we just heard from co-publisher Patrick Sand at Seacrest – no number yet for the 6:15 am West Seattle Water Taxi run due to some communication problems but they’ve put out cones to improve the line organization:

IMG_4322

6:29 AM: 125 for the first Water Taxi run, up from 87 yesterday.

6:53 AM: The high bridge is in full-usage mode. The Water Taxi’s 6:45 run had 144 people, only two more than yesterday. Also just in, a new final count for Monday bicycle trips across the low bridge – 2,525. (Check our daily calendar preview around 9:30 am for your next chance to get training, if you’re thinking about trying bike commuting soon.)

7:03 AM: Scanner reports “3- or 4-vehicle collision at 3261 Avalon Way,” police and medics en route. That’s just east of 35th. If you’re on a bus or otherwise in passenger mode and go by, please let us know what you see.

7:09 AM: Jennifer reports “nothing there,” which explains why the SFD callout has already closed.

7:24 AM: 208 riders for the 7:15 am Water Taxi run, down a bit from yesterday’s 221. They’re working to speed things up in a variety of ways – not just line organization as mentioned earlier but also sending staffer with ORCA Card reader down the line while people wait:

payment

Thanks to the texter who sent us an informal count from on board in case we didn’t get an official one!

7:40 AM: 1st Avenue South is “congested” per scanner – we’re listening to SPD discussions of logistics to try to address traffic trouble spots while the Viaduct closure continues. They’re describing 4th Avenue NB as looking “real good,” meantime.

7:54 AM: 192 on the Water Taxi run at 7:45, down twenty from yesterday.

8:03 AM: Avalon trouble reports: For one, @allonsy says there’s a “broken-down C Line at 35th and Avalon.” A little further north/east, we’ve had reports of cars in the bus-only lane. And Chris sent this photo from the Luna Park area:

chrisavalon

Chris explained, “In the picture you can see people making illegal left turns by Luna Park Café. This is a problem for people who have been waiting in traffic legally. While waiting in the queue I saw at least 20 cars cut in front.” Via Twitter, the SDOT Traffic Ops Center says they’ll make sure SPD knows Avalon might be in need of enforcement.

8:22 AM: 177 for the 8:15 Water Taxi run, only two-thirds of what it was yesterday.

8:48 AM: 4th Avenue has slowed down considerably, according to reports we’re hearing. So if you’re leaving late and headed that way, allow extra time.

8:50 AM: 134 on the Water Taxi run that’s under way now, up from 120 yesterday. We’re leaving the dock but our commute watch continues.

9:07 AM: From the scanner – stalled vehicle on the eastbound bridge before the 4th Avenue exit. A tow truck is en route.

9:14 AM: The “low bridge” (Spokane St. Swing Bridge) has just closed to surface traffic so vessel traffic can get through, first closure this morning.

9:42 AM: The bridge closure is over.

GiveBIG Update: West Seattle, White Center list, as tech trouble leads to one-day extension

(UPDATE: Due to technical trouble with the Seattle Foundation’s new site earlier, GiveBIG is extended through Wednesday)

ORIGINAL REPORT, 4:56 AM: Until midnight tonight, your donation(s) to local nonprofits can go further during the Seattle Foundation‘s annual GiveBIG event.

If you’ve donated on GiveBIG day in the past – this is important: This year, they’ve changed how it works, if you want to help multiple organizations/groups – instead of going to multiple individual special donation pages, just go here and add as many recipients and donations as you want, and the total payment will be a single transaction.

But you CAN go to individual pages – the GiveBIG-specific donation links (not the same links as years past) for the locally helping/locally based organizations on the official list are below. If we’re missing anyone in WS/WC, please e-mail editor@westseattleblog.com and we’ll add.

· Alki United Church of Christ
· Arts Corps
· ArtsWest
· Association of Latino Professionals For America
· Blue Earth Alliance
· Camp Fire Central Puget Sound
· Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association
· Denny-Sealth Performing Arts
· Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition/Technical Advisory Group
· Duwamish Rowing Club
· Duwamish Tribal Services
· Empower Mentoring Program
· Environmental Coalition of South Seattle
· Explorer West Middle School
· Fauntleroy Children’s Center
· FEEST
· Free2Luv
· Friends of All-City Band
· Friends of the Animals Foundation
· Furry Faces Foundation
· Gender Diversity
· Highland Park Elementary PTA
· Highline Schools Foundation for Excellence
· Holy Rosary Parish School
· Irish Reels Film Festival
· Killer Whale Tales
· King County Library System Foundation
· Kol HaNeshamah
· Legal Counsel for Youth and Children
· Navos
· Northwest Center
· Opera On Tap Seattle
· Our Lady of Guadalupe School
· Plumbers Without Borders
· Pongo Publishing
· Providence Mount St. Vincent Foundation
· Reel Grrls
· SafeFutures Youth Center
· Seattle Adaptive Sports
· Seattle Glee Clubs
· Seattle Green Spaces Coalition
· Seattle People of Color Salon
· Seniors Creating Art
· Shine Bright
· South Seattle College Foundation
· Southwest Seattle Historical Society
· Southwest Youth and Family Services
· STAGEright
· STEM K-8 PTA
· Technology Access Foundation
· The Cabiri
· The Kenney Foundation
· The Mission to Seafarers – Seattle
· The Nature Consortium
· The Phffft Company
· the Service Board
· The Village of Hope
· The Whale Trail
· Totem Star
· Transitional Resources
· Twelfth Night Productions
· Vivace Chamber Players
· West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network (link takes you to Seattle Neighborhood Group; write WSBWCN in the comments)
· West Seattle Community Orchestras
· West Seattle Food Bank
· West Seattle Helpline
· WestSide Baby
· Westside Unitarian Universalist Congregation
· Wheelchairs for Nigeria
· Whit Press
· White Center Community Development Association
· White Center Emergency Food Association [WC Food Bank] · YES Foundation of White Center
· YMCA of Greater Seattle [then write in West Seattle to designate for local Y] · Young Shakespeare Workshop

Again, you can also go here and start entering organizations’ names – if they’re part of GiveBIG, they’ll show up in the dropdown, and if you want to donate to more than one, just use the button on the form to keep adding.

P.S. At least one special event locally as part of GiveBIG – you can support the White Center Food Bank (which is in the GiveBIG system as the White Center Emergency Food Association) via Dine Out For Hunger, with four popular WC spots donating part of today’s proceeds – info here.

ADDED 4:26 PM: GiveBIG has now extended until midnight Wednesday night, after tech trouble with the Seattle Foundation’s new website led to slowness and crashing. Meantime, we’re adding a few more local nonprofits who’ve let us know they belong on our list.

West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day countdown! 12 days away

With the Viaduct closure and lots of other breaking news, it’s been a few days since our last update on the 12th annual West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day for a few days! The countdown is on – 12 days until Saturday, May 14, 9 am-3 pm, when more than 330 sales of all sizes, all over the peninsula, will bring neighbors, friends, and families together for one big fun day of person-to-person recycling. We hope you’ve set aside at least part of the day to see who’s selling what in your neighborhood, if not beyond.

Registration closed five days ago so we could get going on the map, which will be available (here and at westseattlegaragesale.com) one week in advance, so look for it next Saturday. Checking the listings after the list was finalized, we’ve seen an amazing array of items for you to explore – including lots of kid stuff, home decor, furniture, kitchenware, and so many unusual items we’ve made note of while going through the list … somebody’s selling a car, somebody’s selling a scooter, two sellers have outboard motors, lots of art, one seller even has 500+ vinyl records … Some sales are fundraisers; some have lemonade and bake sales on the side; some are for businesses, schools, youth groups … moving sales, “just moved” sales, “just married” sales, downsizing sales … and of course the multi-seller sites at Hotwire Online Coffeehouse and C & P Coffee Company (both WSB sponsors). Just wait till you see the map/list.

If you’re a seller, watch for an update from your coordinators in a few days. And start telling your family, friends, social-media circles all about your sale and WSCGSD in general, if you haven’t already! Any questions or concerns, e-mail the special WSCGSD mailbox, garagesale@westseattleblog.com.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Case of the self-illuminating flasher, and more

Three reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch – first, from a reader in Westwood:

Just to put people on alert, the noises around your garbage cans might not just be raccoons…

Flasher (freak sicko) sharing one source of his insecurities late Saturday night near intersection of Cloverdale & 34th Avenue SW.

Between 1 and 2 a.m. on Saturday night (technically Sunday morning, May 1) a half hour of what I thought were raccoons messing around the garbage cans in the pitch dark outside my window, turned out to be a flasher exposing himself, etc. The distinction between raccoons and pervert was ultimately revealed when said Freak climbed on a garbage can and illuminated the . . . proceedings with a flashlight. Police came, Flasher gone, People can be very weird. Per police: keep blinds and curtains closed at night, motion sensor lights are a good idea, call police, & don’t go outside to investigate on your own.

Also on Sunday … an attempted car prowl in North Admiral. This was sent on behalf of the victim by a neighbor:

(Sunday) morning at 7:30 am, she stopped a guy trying to break into her friend’s car on 45th Ave. SW (between Holgate and Massachusetts). The guy was in a silver car with black convertible top (maybe). Heavy built, possibly Samoan, mid to late 20s with a beard. Wearing a hat (not baseball cap). She could not see his license plate…

He was trying to access the trunk of her friend’s Toyota Corolla parked in front of her house.. she yelled at him and he casually sauntered back to his car. Nothing was stolen.

They’re wondering if anyone else saw this suspect.

And from Qiong:

Hi, we parked on 59th & Lander about 3 hours (Sunday, May 1st from 11 am to 2 pm). Our windshield wipers were stolen.

Also from that area of Alki, we’re still working on a followup to Saturday night’s shooting. SPD media relations was not able to get us the report narrative today. Once we have it, we will also be pursuing SW Precinct comment on staffing plan for future weekend nights.

VIADUCT CLOSURE, DAY 4: Afternoon/ evening commute coverage for Monday

(SDOT MAP with camera/incident links; OFFICIAL #99CLOSURE INFOSITE; ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

4 PM: We’re launching afternoon/evening commute coverage, headed for West Seattle and vicinity, since it’s only the second weekday of the tunneling-related precautionary closure of the Alaskan Way Viaduct and patterns are far from settled. We’re watching and listening for incidents and anything else of note. Special request: If you’re taking the Water Taxi home, let us know how things are looking, as we aren’t able to get to the downtown dock today – editor@westseattleblog.com, text or voice 206-293-6302, or Twitter @westseattleblog – thanks!

4:27 PM: First report from the Water Taxi dock downtown – big line – “get there early,” advises the texter. Photo (thanks!):

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Also, KCDOT is making new A-boards to help point people to the added parking areas on the West Seattle waterfront in the morning (see our pictorial how-to if you’re confused or haven’t done it before). And we have an update from WSDOT – they’ll be adding another daily progress report: “We will update the Bertha tracker around 4:00 a.m. (this is newly added), 11 a.m. and 8 p.m.”

Incident: Crash at 4th and Royal Brougham (stadium zone).

4:45 PM: SFD has closed out of that incident. Now there’s an SFD response on 1st at Walker (added, “light smoke from a transformer”). Note that we have 1st/4th cameras up at the top.

5:12 PM: Scanner: “4th Avenue SB is now clear.”

5:30 PM: Two updates – multiple reports that 5:15 pm Water Taxi from downtown was a full house, some have to wait for next run. But meantime, if you’re thinking of Water Taxi’ing tomorrow, the Pier 2 parking lot is still underutilized – 32 vehicles today, room for 200. Across from 7-11. Look for new signage.

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Second update – crash at 1st/Columbia in the heart of downtown, blocking southbound. So if you’re coming from there or north of there, find an alternate route until you’re further south.

5:40 PM: Not on the 911 log, so apparently no injuries, but SDOT’s Traffic Ops Center reports a crash at 4th/Lucile in SODO.

5:52 PM: Comments and tweets suggest a challenging bus commute again this afternoon. (Added) Also via Twitter – capacity sailing for 5:45 pm Water Taxi.

6:14 PM: If you’re headed south on 99 before the closure zone – warning, there’s a “car fire” call described as Aurora to Denny, sounds like a bus.

8:48 PM: Commute reports are continuing in comments. Meantime, WSDOT’s evening progress report is up – 91 feet so far for the tunneling machine. We have updated the report originally published here around noon.

West Seattle development: New 80-apartment proposal for 2222 SW Barton

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A new development proposal has just turned up in the city files for a site southeast of the north side of Westwood Village: It’s an early-stage proposal to replace a fourplex at 2222 SW Barton with an 80-unit complex. This would require Design Review, according to an online notation. Last year, we reported an early-stage 32-unit proposal for what was in the system at the time as 2221 SW Barton Place, but that project seems to have vanished from the files, and the preliminary site plan for this project appears to encompass that adjacent site, under the name (or at least, working title) Barton Terrace Apartments. The project is proposed for four stories “with partial basement” and no offstreet parking (not required, given the nearby transit). The architect identified on the site plan is Playhouse Design Group.

‘Evidence of housing discrimination’ alleged in test results from 23 properties citywide, including 3 in West Seattle

Three West Seattle properties are among 23 citywide that are accused of having shown “evidence of housing discrimination” in testing conducted for the city. We asked for the list of accused properties after receiving this news release from the city Office for Civil Rights:

The Seattle Office for Civil Rights (SOCR) has filed 23 director’s charges of illegal discrimination against 23 different property owners after a new round of fair housing testing showed evidence of housing discrimination.

“Housing discrimination is real in Seattle – not something that just happens in other places,” said Seattle Mayor Ed Murray. “These test results tell us that we still have work to do to achieve fair housing in Seattle.”

The testing revealed that prospective renters experienced different treatment from Seattle landlords across all three categories that were tested: familial status, disability, and use of a federal Section 8 voucher.

To address housing discrimination citywide, the Seattle Office for Civil Rights (SOCR) will reach out to landlords and renters, including working with community partners to hold workshops for both landlords and the public.

Testing discovered evidence of different treatment

SOCR conducted a total of 97 tests, focusing on three different groups protected under fair housing laws.

Test findings revealed:

· Familial status (32 tests): 2 charges / 31% of all tests showed evidence of different treatment.

· Disability (33 tests): 6 charges / 64% of all tests showed evidence of different treatment.

· Section 8 voucher (32 tests): 13 charges / 63% of all tests showed evidence of different treatment.

SOCR also filed 2 additional charges (national origin and marital status) based on information that emerged from two of the tests.

SOCR contracted with the Northwest Fair Housing Alliance in Spokane to coordinate the testing, which was conducted by telephone and e-mail. To test for hearing disability, testers used Washington State’s free Telecommunication Relay Service. Testers posed as prospective renters, so the different treatment they experienced depended on the information they received from landlords and the questions they were asked.

For familial status, some landlords provided less information about rental units to testers who said they had children then they did to testers who indicated they did not have children. One manager advertised for “professional tenants only.” Testers found that some landlords’ occupancy standards (the number of people legally allowed to occupy units of specific sizes) were too restrictive: for example, requiring a maximum of two people for a 2-bedroom apartment.

In the disability tests, some landlords refused to allow a service animal, refused to waive pet fees, or hung up repeatedly when they received a call from the Washington State relay service.

Some landlords refused to respond to applicants who mentioned using a Section 8 voucher or simply turned away Section 8 applicants. Other landlords refused to consider adjusting their leasing policies to consider Section 8 applicants.

“We have filed 23 charges where the differences in treatment were undeniable,” said Patricia Lally, Director of the Seattle Office for Civil Rights. “These test results are not isolated incidents – they demonstrate patterns of behavior that have profound impacts on people’s lives.”

SOCR sent letters to all tested property owners and management companies informing them of their individual test results, and has offered to meet with managers whose test results showed some evidence of discrimination to evaluate their rental process and to help them improve their policies and procedures.

Fair housing outreach to address housing discrimination

The Seattle Office for Civil Rights will launch a new round of outreach and public engagement to address housing discrimination in Seattle, including free training to property management staff on request, and working with community partners to provide fair housing workshops for organizations and the general public.

“It is unfortunate that SOCR testing revealed that some renters face additional barriers to housing, but this also illustrates an opportunity for the City and rental housing industry to partner in offering fair housing education for landlords,” said Rental Housing Association of Washington (RHAWA) Executive Director, Melany Brown. “We believe that organizations such as RHAWA can be an asset to the city, and raise the standards for the entire industry.”

How fair housing testing works

Fair housing testing uses paired testers posing as prospective renters to measure differences in the services they received from leasing agents, as well as information about vacancies, rental rates, and other conditions. The matched pairs of testers have similar rental profiles in every respect except for the protected class being tested – that is, family status, disability and use of a Section 8 voucher. Test sites were selected at random from all geographic areas of the city, and were conducted from September to December, 2015.

The Office for Civil Rights receives $50,000 in City funding to conduct testing on an annual basis. In-person paired testing in 2014 revealed discriminatory housing practices based on race, national origin, sexual orientation and gender identity.

The three West Seattle properties on the list of 23 are Willow Court at 6901 Delridge Way SW, City Watch Apartments at 4744 41st SW, and a house at 5018 35th SW. We don’t yet have details of specific allegations against those properties; if you have something to report about them or any other properties, please get that information directly to the Office for Civil Rights, 206-684-4507.

P.S. The “director’s charges” process is explained starting on page 11 of this document.

VIADUCT CLOSURE, DAY 4: Almost twenty percent of the way

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11:49 AM: We’re just off what will likely be a daily media conference call with WSDOT and others as the Highway 99 tunneling closure of the Alaskan Way Viaduct continues. Topline: The tunneling machine has now made it through 78+ feet of the 380+ feet that it will take to get to the other side of the underside of the Alaskan Way Viaduct, and that’s getting close to twenty percent of the way, points out WSDOT’s deputy program administrator, Dave Sowers. Its cutterhead is indeed beneath The Viaduct, between columns 98 and 97, to be specific.

12:06 PM: WSDOT asked reporters to hold off on most technical tunneling questions until tomorrow’s conference call, when they expect to have contractor Seattle Tunnel Partners represented on the call. So that left traffic. They’ve made “a lot of little adjustments,” said a WSDOT traffic engineer, not only the ones mentioned in yesterday’s online progress report – more parking restrictions on 4th to keep more of the roadway open for traffic flow, and protected left-turn signals on 1st at Horton and Hanford – but also changes in signal timing today on 1st and 4th.

Aside from the Water Taxi numbers we’ve been reporting firsthand from Seacrest today, they don’t have any other data yet on how many more people are using transit, but, said Jon Layzer of SDOT, they are “trying to get information.” Overall, the assessment: “So far, progress is encouraging at the moment,” but they say it’s too soon to try to estimate or speculate whether the under-the-Viaduct tunneling will be done early, on time, or otherwise.

8:45 PM: The evening tunneling update is up – 91 feet now, and 14 rings. Next update, around 4 am, and WSDOT plans to continue updating one to three times a day here. We have updated the graphic atop this story to the WSDOT map that shows the new numbers.

Turkey on the loose? West Seattle sightings

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10:53 AM: We usually feature bird photos with our daily calendar update – but this sighting is too unusual to time-share with other subject matter. We’ve received two reports, with photos, of a bird seen in West Seattle, with both readers describing it as a turkey! Above and below, photos that Jodi Steele took in Lincoln Park on Sunday, south of the north play area:

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And before we could publish Jodi’s sighting, another one just arrived in the WSB inbox from George Capestany, south of Me-Kwa-Mooks, who wrote, “This is a rare sighting. This morning at 9:30. Just walking around the neighborhood”:

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So is it really a turkey? BirdWeb doesn’t include King County in their habitat.

7:35 PM: Commenters have a variety of opinions on what exactly this bird is. Meantime, we have an even-closer photo courtesy of JoDean, who says her daughter took it at Lincoln Park on Sunday:

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Let us know if you see it!

Today’s your last chance to comment on Sound Transit 3 draft plan. Here’s what the West Seattle Transportation Coalition heard

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

If you still haven’t told Sound Transit what you think about the draft ST3 plan – which includes a light-rail line to The Junction, in 2033 – today is your last chance: 5 pm tonight (Monday, May 2nd) is the (slightly extended) deadline.

Not sure what to say? Here’s what happened when Sound Transit reps talked with the West Seattle Transportation Coalition last Thursday night, two nights after their one-and-only draft-plan meeting in WS:

Read More

VIADUCT CLOSURE, DAY 4: Monday morning traffic/transit watch

(SDOT MAP with camera/incident links; OFFICIAL #99CLOSURE INFOSITE; ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

5:03 AM: Good morning! We’re back on early traffic/transit watch for the second weekday of the Alaskan Way Viaduct closure. That includes the Water Taxi (which has its first run from Seacrest at 6:15 am) and low-bridge closures, if any (Friday morning’s commute had just one). No incidents so far. If you missed the weekend progress reports, after the expected slow start, the tunneling machine had gone a tenth of the under-Viaduct distance as of Sunday afternoon.

5:40 AM: The bridge is getting busier, as you can see in the camera views above. Still no problems. Forecast high today is 20+ degrees above normal – going into the 80s.

6 AM: SDOT notes that NB I-5 through downtown is getting busy. E-mail from Kristina reminds us of an update on some West Seattle road work – SW Yancy has reopened at Avalon as of Friday, but 30th SW was still closed on the south/east side of the intersection. We’re checking with SDOT today on how much longer work is expected to last.

6:15 AM: High-bridge backed up already, as John points out:


Taking the bus? Despite the Friday afternoon delays on Lander, Metro is not making changes so far. Today we will also again have an afternoon/evening traffic/transit watch with updates on how it goes. No sports in SODO tonight, though – the Mariners are on the road @ Oakland.

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(Sunrise over early Water Taxi arrivals – photo by J. Leddy – thank you!)

6:28 AM: Our crew at Seacrest reports the Water Taxi’s first run was a little busier than last Friday – 87 passengers this morning, compared to 78. But there’s still room for MANY more (capacity 270+). We meantime asked what happens if the free shuttle runs late. During peak commute periods, WT reps tell us, the boat does not wait for the shuttle, though during off-peak periods it can wait a few minutes if it gets word of a delay.

6:51 AM: Bridge is backed up all the way to the 35th/Fauntleroy entrance, so allow tons of time if you have to use it any time soon. Meantime, 6:45 am Water Taxi passenger count was 142, up from Friday’s run at 124, but still lots of room, and remember the extra parking at Pier 2 (across from the 7/11) if you’re driving.

7:03 AM: Just getting going? Summary so far: No incidents. People leaving early – bridge already jammed. Water Taxi usage up a bit but lots of room remains, and it’s a beautiful day for a boat ride (see our crew’s 6:45 am photo here). Atop this report, we’ve added 1st Ave. S. and 4th Ave. S. cameras by request since those streets are carrying so much more traffic during the Viaduct closure.

7:31 AM: Definitely a busier commute than Friday, as many expected it would be. Water Taxi update from co-publisher Patrick Sand monitoring the situation at Seacrest – 221 for the 7:15 run, up from 180 on that run Friday. (Added: Carolyn Newman‘s overview photo of those who lined up for it:)

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And we have an update on the shuttle problems that some riders have reported. The county acknowledges “driver error” which included a “missed stop.”

7:45 AM: Texter reminds us that the 15th/Holden light for the Delridge-Highland Park Greenway is now activated, just a bit east of signalized 16th/Holden, and says backups have resulted.

8:02 AM: Thanks to everyone who’s reporting how their commute went. At the Water Taxi dock, we’ve learned that the 7:45 run had 212 passengers (was 180 on Friday). Via Twitter, we got a question about whether they’re maxing out on bicycles yet. No, the WT reps tell us, but if they did hit the full 26-bike capacity of the rack, they can still fit another half-dozen or so here or there around the boat. On the roads – still sloooooooooooow going.

8:20 AM: Try the bus! Josh tweeted this:


8:25 AM: First crash reported this morning in this general area – 1st Ave. S. and East Marginal Way. Haven’t heard yet on injuries or traffic effects.

8:33 AM: Almost capacity for 8:15 am Water Taxi sailing – 255 passengers. Spirit of Kingston (the old WT) has just come over for an unannounced extra run.

kingston1

Meantime, if you’re at the dock and noticed the SFD emergency response going by – automatic fire alarm at Salty’s (WSB sponsor) nearby, BUT the arriving crews found NO problem so they’re being dismissed.

8:50 AM: More commute reports in the comments, and on Twitter, suggesting that the later going today was much faster than Friday.


This is a lot like what happened during 2011’s “Viadoom” – the real trick here in the days ahead will be, don’t go back to your old ways – keep up with the alternatives/changes, so everything gets spread around.

8:55 AM: 120 on that run with the Spirit of Kingston, which basically became the 8:45 Water Taxi, our crew says, since the near-capacity crowd on the 8:15 run pushed its departure back. (Added: KCDOT clarified in e-mail: “The Doc Maynard had 255 riders on the 815am sailing, which left late at 828am. To help serve customers, we did this: Our Spirit of Kingston boat was done with the extra 99Closure trips to Vashon, so it was brought over to make sure the scheduled 845am departure from West Seattle left on time, and left carrying 131 riders (capacity is 147). It operated kind of like a standby bus does for Metro, maintaining the published schedule. It was not providing an added trip, just a reliable one. It is a back-up plan we can use when we need to help service stay on schedule, but only works when the boat is available. It had the capacity for the riders who needed it.”)

9:17 AM: Earlier, we mentioned the 30th/Yancy/Avalon project, and that we were checking its status with SDOT. The reply:

SW Yancy St is now permanently open. The crews will return to stripe the crosswalk across SW Avalon Way, which will require very short-term lane closures. We will send out an email update to our listserv later today with these details, once the schedule is confirmed.

VIADUCT CLOSURE: West Seattle Water Taxi usage so far, by the numbers

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(WSB photos from Friday morning)

As we get ready for the second weekday of the Alaskan Way Viaduct closure, the West Seattle Water Taxi usage numbers so far are just in from the King County Department of Transportation:

West Seattle Water Taxi estimated ridership highlights (seven-day service)

April 29, 2016: 3,018 total riders vs. 963 riders on April 22, 2016.

Fullest trips: 236 and 219 passengers at 5:15 p.m. and 5:45 p.m.

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Friday AM Peak (6:15-9:15 a.m.): 922 riders vs. 301 riders on April 22, 2016.

Friday PM Peak (3:45-7 p.m.): 1,471 riders vs. 423 riders on April 22, 2016.

April 30, 2016: 3,075 total riders, including one sold-out trip at 3:30 p.m. after the Sounders game, compared to 871 riders on Saturday, April 23, 2016.

May 1, 2016: 1,656 total riders, compared to 240 riders Sunday, April 24, 2016.

The WS boat Doc Maynard was NOT sold out for any of the Friday commute runs – it holds more than 270 passengers – so there’s room for more people to try it out. If you’re riding your bicycle, the boat’s rack holds 26 bikes:

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If you’re parking a motor vehicle the added lot at Pier 2 (across from the 7-11 at Harbor/Florida) was significantly underutilized – park there about 20 minutes before your sailing, and catch a free added shuttle to the dock. Just remember the lot is locked between am and pm commute periods. Get complete info on the West Seattle Water Taxi and its Viaduct-closure-related changes by going here.

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