West Seattle, Washington
Three reports in West Seattle Crime Watch:
PROWLER CALL LEADS TO STOLEN CAR: What we have on this so far is via radio exchanges – we won’t be able to get the report before Monday: In North Admiral, someone called 911 around 7 am after reporting seeing a suspected prowler outside a neighbor’s home. Police arrived and, before too long, found the suspect. They also found, in a dead-end alley, a Subaru reported stolen in Pierce County (our photo above shows a tow truck taking it away). We’re watching the jail register to see if the identified suspect shows up there.
CAR, PHONE, WALLET REPORTED TAKEN BY ROBBERS: After seeing an early-Friday-morning call classified “armed robbery” on the SPD Twitter log, we requested the report. It says a man called police around 2:45 am from the Junction 7-11, saying a man and woman had robbed him of his vehicle, phone, and wallet about 45 minutes earlier. The report says the man appeared “highly intoxicated” and told police he had come over the West Seattle Bridge but didn’t know the area well, so he pulled over to get out of his car to smoke a cigarette and figure out where he was and where he was going. A woman came up to ask for a cigarette, he told police, and then a man came up and knocked him unconscious; when he came to, his car was gone. He said it was a blue 1999 Pathfinder but he didn’t know the plate number because he’d acquired it recently from his aunt. Police tried some searches but couldn’t come up with a match. The victim declined medical assistance and said he’d make the stolen-vehicle report later (we’re not seeing a Pathfinder on @getyourcarback so far); police arranged a ride home for him.
PACKAGES TAKEN: Mark in Admiral shared these videos from 11:20 am Wednesday:
Mark reports, “A primer black Pontiac sedan pulled in front of our house in North Admiral. We had just had packages delivered and sitting on our front porch. One suspect got out of the passenger side, came up to our front porch and took the packages. He returned to the vehicle and they drove away. Suspect is white, about 5’9”, dark hair, wearing a black t-shirt, charcoal sweats, and sneakers.” The first clip shows the package removal; second clip shows the vehicle. Info? Let police know.
From the beaches to the businesses, something for everyone today/tonight. Here are the highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
FREE TAI CHI AT THE BEACH: Second Saturday of the season for Lao-Shi Caylen Storm‘s free Tai Chi at Alki, 9 am, by Statue of Liberty Plaza. (61st SW/Alki SW)
COMMUNICATORS’ DISASTER DRILL: 9 am-noon, you’re invited to observe in the south-side field at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor), one of multiple sites citywide where the Seattle Auxiliary Communications Services has a disaster drill, “Operation Spring Break,” simulating the immediate aftermath of a major earthquake, this morning. (6000 16th SW)
HEALTHY KIDS DAY: 10 am-1 pm at the West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor) in The Triangle. See all the activity highlights in this preview from earlier this week. Free, all welcome, nonmembers as well as members. (36th SW/SW Snoqualmie)
WEST SEATTLE JUNCTION DAY OF GIVING: 10 am-6 pm, ~30 West Seattle Junction shops and restaurants will be donating part of their proceeds to nonprofits – see who’s participating and which nonprofits they’ve chosen by going here. Also note that while Thunder Road Guitars (WSB sponsor) is participating, their storefront is closed – they’re at the Tacoma Guitar Festival today and will be donating part of what they sell while there.
FREE SHREDDING/E-CYCLING: 10 am-1 pm in The Junction’s northeast parking lot, presented by West Seattle Windermere. (Off 42nd SW between SW Oregon and SW Alaska)
INTERNATIONAL TABLETOP GAMING DAY: 10 am-midnight at Meeples Games, come for a scheduled event and/or open gaming! Our calendar listing has the lineup as well as a reminder that they’re collecting nonperishable food for the West Seattle Food Bank. (3727 California SW)
(added) DRUG TAKE-BACK DAY: 10 am-2 pm, Southwest Precinct – drop off your unwanted/expired prescription drugs to get them safely out of your home. (2300 SW Webster)
GREEN HOME TOUR: Four West Seattle stops are part of the Northwest Green Home Tour today – all listed, with addresses, in our calendar listing. 11 am-5 pm. Free.
WELCOME ROAD WINERY’S SPRING RELEASE WEEKEND: 1-5 pm at Welcome Road Winery (WSB sponsor): “Enjoy noshes paired with our new summer-ready releases, including a Malbec fit for BBQ and our new Semillon.” More info here. (3804 California SW)
PRINCESS ANGELINE NATIVE TEA PARTY: 1-3 pm at the Duwamish Tribe Longhouse and Cultural Center, “Native & English teas, cakes, and finger sandwiches with a lump of sunshine. Your hostess is Princess Angeline’s great-great-grand-niece, Cecile Hansen,” Duwamish Tribe chair. Music too. (4705 W. Marginal Way SW)
EXPLORE THE SHORE AT LOW TIDE: 1:51 pm, -2.4′ low-low tide. But don’t be sad if you miss it – next month we’ll have some -3′ low-low tides.
FREE SELF-DEFENSE CLASS: 3:30 pm at Seattle Integrated Martial Arts, “donation-based with proceeds going to organizations and services helping women deal with and prevent sexual assault.” (4159 Fauntleroy Way SW)
MUSIC NIGHT OUT FOR DENNY/SEALTH: 5:30 pm at Fauntleroy Church, dinner, auction, and music to celebrate and raise money for Denny International Middle School and Chief Sealth International High School musicians – details in our calendar listing. (9140 California SW)
BELLS OF THE SOUND: The popular handbell group presents a jazz concert at Tibbetts United Methodist Church (WSB sponsor), 7 pm. (3940 41st SW)
‘BYE, BYE BIRDIE’: 7:30 pm curtain time for Seattle Lutheran High School‘s production of the classic musical, in the gym. (4100 SW Genesee)
A NIGHT OF SINGER-SONGWRITERS: 9 pm at Parliament Tavern, Abby K (CD release!), Amanda Navares, Jared Mitchell & The Wingtips perform. $5 cover. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
SCOTT MX TURNER: Live music at Whisky West, 9 pm. No cover. 21+. (6451 California SW)
See even more on our complete calendar! And an advance reminder …
2 WEEKS TO WEST SEATTLE COMMUNITY GARAGE SALE DAY: Saturday, May 13th, is the big day – with 310+ sales of all sizes, all around the peninsula, signed up to be on The Map, which will be available one week from today! Watch for our next preview later today.
It started in 2014 with the West Seattle Transportation Coalition‘s list of priorities. In January 2015, when then-City Councilmember (and West Seattle resident) Tom Rasmussen chaired the council’s Transportation Committee, he announced a West Seattle Bridge Corridor Management Task Force; in September 2015, he presented a “whitepaper” with recommendations.
Some have been put into place.
Last year, the council got a progress report, and asked SDOT to study four possibilities for addressing congestion factors, as noted in the last paragraph of District 1 City Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s update here.
Now, the results of that request are out, in the form of SDOT’s “West Seattle Bridge Corridor Congestion Management Study,” made public by Councilmember Herbold. (If you can’t read it in the embedded version above, here it is in PDF.)
It addresses goals for the upper bridge and lower roadway – not just the low bridge, but the entirety of lower Spokane Street all the way east to Airport Way.
For the upper bridge, the goal is to reduce crashes, improve responding times when they do occur, and “improve operations capability on alternate routes.” The report says 50 crashes happen each year, on average, on the upper bridge.
For the lower corridor, the goal is to “manage a roadway that experiences frequent and unpredictable disruptions as the ‘normal’ operating condition,” and managing truck queues on Spokane St. The report notes averages of five 12-minute low-bridge openings each day. The report notes the “federal mandate” for maritime traffic to maintain priority and does not recommend “restricted opening hours” for the bridge. (However, the recommended Duwamish Waterway User Group might discuss voluntary limits, the report says.)
Also noted: A daily average of 67 train crossings between 1st and 4th on Spokane. And it acknowledges the low bridge/roadway as “the only pedestrian and bicycle train connection” between West Seattle and SODO, with connections to downtown.
The recommendations, in descending order of their estimated costs:
*Enhance alternative routes (to change traffic flow during incidents) via ITS – $6.6 million
*Smart traffic signals and ITS for Spokane St. – $6 million
*Active Traffic Management System on the high bridge – $5.4 million
*Construct Refuge Pullouts – $2.5 million for one, $5 million for two
*Swing Bridge Delay Information System – $950,000
*24/7 traffic-operations center for SDOT to get information out – $875,000
*Rail Crossing Delay Information System – $600,000
*Raised pavement/striping – $250,000
*Establish Duwamish Waterway User Group ($0)
*Terminal 5 Queue Management System and Port/City agreement to ban truck backups on Spokane St. ($0)
The Active Traffic Management System would include “overhead signs capable of posting advisory speeds, variable speed limits, and warning messages approaching backups or queues at targeted locations. … This would be similar to the system installed on I-5.”
Refuge Pullouts would be spots where responders could “push disabled vehicles or vehicles involved in collisions … to restore traffic in the corridor.”
The Swing Bridge Delay Information System and Rail Crossing Delay Information System would involve adding cameras and messaging signs that would include countdowns for how much longer conditions might last.
Not recommended: “Median gates” that could be used to facilitate U-turns on the high bridge if a serious incident led to a blockage. They wouldn’t improve response times or safety. Also not recommended, striping a “fire lane” on the high bridge; this is a longrunning practice in New York City but those researching for the West Seattle Bridge Corridor Report were told they weren’t a good idea for various reasons.
The study includes an extensive discussion of what might happen when “modernized” Terminal 5 reopens, regarding truck backups. We’ll take a look at that in a separate report. Meantime, Councilmember Herbold says that regarding the suggested actions, “I’ll be looking for ways to work with SDOT to implement these recommendations.”
Volunteering is often described as “lending a hand.” A multigenerational group of women did just that today at WestSide Baby in honor of National Volunteer Week. Among them: centenarian and “knitter extraordinaire” Virginia Carmichael, a volunteer visiting from The Kenney:
She and others from The Kenney visited to drop off hand-knit items for babies in need. WestSide Baby says she “has been knitting as much as one baby sweater per week for 5 years for WestSide Baby.” Several other residents from The Kenney “regularly create garments and quilts to keep their littlest neighbors safe, warm and dry,” explains Jess Sweetman of WS Baby.
The knitters’ creations were exhibited at The Kenney recently before being taken to WS Baby. Virginia says she’s volunteered all her life, going back to her days as a Girl Scout. She told WS Baby that she likes to keep busy and “benefits as much from making the sweaters as the children who receive them.”
The announcement of today’s donation visit also quotes WestSide Baby executive director Nancy Woodland (at right in the second photo above) as saying, “We are so excited to celebrate these very dedicated and talented volunteers and everything that they do to support kids in our community. We are privileged to be a part of an incredible community of support made up of over 1,800 volunteers who dedicated over 18,000 hours of service last year. Volunteering benefits our entire community.”
Thinking about volunteering for WestSide Baby? Here’s how.
This month’s West Seattle Chamber of Commerce After Hours event brought local business reps to HomeStreet Bank (WSB sponsor) in The Junction – above, from left, are Chamber CEO Lynn Dennis, branch manager Nam Le, and Chamber board president Paul Prentice. The Chamber honored HomeStreet as Emerging Business of the Year in 2016, and is days away from celebrating this year’s winners of the Westside Awards. We checked today and some tickets remain for the awards breakfast next Thursday (May 4th), 7:30 am at Salty’s on Alki (1936 Harbor SW; WSB sponsor) – here’s where to register.
Three biznotes tonight:
JUNCTION DAY OF GIVING TOMORROW: One more reminder that most West Seattle Junction businesses are donating part of their proceeds to local nonprofits tomorrow, 10 am-6 pm, during the annual Junction Day of Giving. Each nonprofit has chosen a beneficiary – right now, the list is at 30 participating businesses, 20 beneficiaries, and you can see it all here. Look for balloons marking participants!
THUNDER ROAD GUITARS GIVING FROM THE ROAD: While Thunder Road Guitars (WSB sponsor) is listed as a participant, their storefront at 4736 California SW will be closed tomorrow because TRG is attending the Tacoma Guitar Festival at the Tacoma Dome. But they’re still giving, “from the road” – proprietor Frank Gross says, “We DO still plan on participating in the West Seattle Junction Day of Giving and will be donating 10% of our sales Saturday the 29th to the Southwest Seattle Historical Society. Be sure to stop by and see us at the show this weekend!” (It’s open 9:30 am-5 pm tomorrow, 10 am-4 pm Sunday.)
DRUNKY’S TWO-SHOE BBQ OPENS IN WHITE CENTER: It’s opening night for the second location of Drunky’s Two-Shoe BBQ, in White Center. We stopped by less than an hour ago and the wait was already an hour. Photos are on our partner site White Center Now.
From Tara: “A white work van with a blue and orange CM Heating logo on the side was stolen from 40th and SW Thistle. License plate # B70402C. Last seen at 8:30 pm Thursday.” If you see it, call 911.
Just tweeted by Seattle Police: 44-year-old Paul D. Story, charged in last month’s boathouse-burglary case along the Duwamish River, is back in custody. It’s been two weeks since SPD circulated his photo, asking for help finding him; that in turn was one week after we reported he had been charged in connection with a break-in at a marina on the Duwamish River. That March 22nd incident drew more attention than most burglaries after Story jumped into the river and swam under the boathouse to try to evade police. He was taken to the hospital, then to jail, but released five days later because charges hadn’t been filed. SPD says they arrested him today in SODO after a tip; the arrest warrant that’s been out for him carries a bail amount of $100,000.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
First, Delridge in 2015 …
Then, Roxhill/Westwood in 2016 …
Next, Highland Park in 2017.
Though it was semi-announced in early February, the date wasn’t set until very recently: Thursday, May 25th. The start time and route are not set yet. Those will be discussed at a series of meetings starting next week, according to two city/AmeriCorps reps who coordinate the Find It, Fix It Walks. Lemmis Stephens and Paige Madden came to HPAC’s meeting to talk about preparations for the event, starting with a public planning meeting next week. And they got an earful of skepticism and concerns, much along the lines of – “so, we find it, AND we then have to fix it?” from people who already spend much of their time volunteering for community-improvement projectsRead More
A safety alert has been sent to Chief Sealth International High School and Denny International Middle School families. It’s signed by principals Aida Fraser-Hammer of CSIHS and Jeff Clark of Denny IMS, who just sent it to us:
We want to share with you information regarding an incident that was reported this morning involving one of our scholars on her way to school.
At approximately 8:35 am, a 12th grade female scholar reported that she had been followed by an older-model blue van from Delridge and Trenton as she walked toward school today. She reported the incident to Chief Sealth staff right away, who notified the police. The Seattle Police Department is investigating the incident.
The safety of our scholars is our top priority. We will continue to collaborate with the Seattle Police Department and Seattle Public Schools Safety and Security to help monitor the surrounding area before and after school.
You can help your children stay safe by talking to them about personal safety. Tips to discuss are:
Walking in pairs or groups and being aware of their surroundings at all times.
Leaving for school at times where there are high levels of pedestrian traffic.
Immediately reporting anything suspicious to trusted adults (school staff and family members).
Keep earbuds off and expensive phones out of sight.
We’ll add PDF copies of the letter in English and Spanish momentarily.
When the city announced that Camp Second Chance in southeast West Seattle would become a “sanctioned” encampment, part of the agreement was to set up a Community Advisory Committee. It’s now in place, and Polly Trout from CSC operator Patacara Community Services has sent this public invitation to its upcoming meeting:
Our next Community Advisory Committee Meeting for Camp Second Chance on Myers Way will be Sunday, May 7, 2-4 pm. We will meet at camp at 9701 Myers Way S. This will give everyone a chance to see recent improvements to the camp, like our potable water cistern and electricity! If the weather is fine and we have enough chairs, we will hold the meeting at the camp. If the weather is foul or we are short on chairs, then after the camp tour we will move to an indoor location.
That location is TBA, she says; the meeting is open to all. See the full announcement here (as Trout mentions in it, this is separate from the May 15th city-convened meeting announced earlier this week, which is also intended to address Myers Way issues outside CSC).
Thanks to everyone who has written to let us know about this. A woman hit and killed by a driver downtown this week was a West Seattleite, a mom of two, beloved by many. Adriana Brown was only 36 years old, and described as “a fierce friend, an amazing coach, a brilliant trainer, a supportive co-worker, and a truly authentic person.” That description, and the photo at right, are from the GoFundMe page set up to help her family with immediate needs and to help meet a family goal Ms. Brown had set, a college fund for her daughters. In just a few days, the fund already has received a tremendous response. We have a request out to the fund’s organizer for any more information that can be shared.
Been wondering about the status of the Murray Combined Sewer Overflow Control facility across from Lowman Beach, with construction crews gone but fences still up? We requested an update yesterday, and received this today:
With restoration work complete, King County’s contractor will remove fencing around the facility site during the first week of May. The public staircase will be open once the fencing is removed. The fencing around Lowman Beach Park will remain in place through the spring until the grass is established.
King County will raise the height of some sections of railing on the facility roof to enhance site security and safety. You may see temporary barriers in place until this update is complete. The staircase will remain open to the public during this work.
SAVE THE DATE!
Community celebration & facility tours
Saturday, June 10
10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Murray Wet Weather Facility
The County will host a community event on Saturday, June 10 to celebrate the completion of the project and to thank you for your continued patience during construction. Please stop by to:
· Take a tour of the facility (tours inside the facility building are limited to those ages nine and up)
· Learn about how the facility and underground storage tank protect water quality and public health
· Share your feedback about the project and construction process
The heart of the facility is a million-gallon underground-storage tank to hold overflows during storms, which previously would have spilled into Puget Sound. It’s been operational since last November. Construction began more than three years earlier, with the demolition of residential buildings that were previously on the site.
(Boeing photo: KC-46A’s first flight, September 2015)
Just got the heads-up on this from King County Department of Transportation spokesperson Brent Champaco, who says you might hear/see these aircraft tonight, since Boeing Field is just east of West Seattle:
The Boeing Company is scheduled to conduct a flight test of its new KC-46 Pegasus refueling aircraft Friday night at King County International Airport/Boeing Field.
The KC-46, accompanied by a Navy F-18 jet, is scheduled to depart at 6 p.m. Both aircraft are scheduled to return at approximately 11 p.m.
This flight test is weather-dependent and is subject to change.
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
WHITE CENTER LIBRARY GUILD PLANT SALE: Gearing up for gardening? Noon-4 pm, the White Center Library Guild‘s fundraising sale offers plant starts and gardening books, at the library. (1409 SW 107th)
LOW-LOW-TIDE SEASON: First minus-two-foot-plus daytime low-low tide of the year, 1:03 pm, -2.3 feet. Even lower tomorrow!
LIVE MUSIC AT SALTY’S ON ALKI: New Orleans jazz with the Dave Holo Trio, 5-8 pm. (1936 Harbor SW)
RECEPTION FOR STUDENT ARTISTS: 5:30-7:30 pm at ArtsWest, come meet the high-school student artists whose work is on display in “Exploration and Manipulation.” (4711 California SW)
LIVE MUSIC AT C & P COFFEE: Siggie the Vintage Man, solo acoustic Americana, 7-9 pm. (5612 California SW)
‘FIRST DATE’: Opening night for Twelfth Night Productions‘ new play, 7:30 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center: “When blind date newbie Aaron is set up with serial-dater Casey, a casual drink at a busy New York restaurant turns into a hilarious high-stakes dinner.” (4408 Delridge Way SW)
‘FROZEN’: This “Tony Award-nominated play about a serial killer and two women who track him down” continues at ArtsWest, 7:30 pm. (4711 California SW)
LIVE MUSIC AT PARLIAMENT TAVERN: Four bands play hard rock, metal, punk, 9 pm. $5 cover. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
LIVE MUSIC AT THE SKYLARK: The spotlight is on Seattle women musicians tonight, 9 pm. $7 cover. 21+. (3803 Delridge Way SW)
6:59 AM: Good morning. No incidents reported in/from West Seattle right now.
LOOKING AHEAD: Two SDOT reminders for Monday – first, they want to be sure you know about May Day demonstrations; second, remember that Fauntleroy Expressway overnight closures (west end of West Seattle Bridge) for streetlight work are set to start Monday night.
Thanks to Chief Sealth International High School for again inviting us to stop by during the annual Multicultural Night celebration! We were there for two groups’ performances tonight – above, the East African Dance group; below, dancers from the Van-Lang Vietnamese Cultural School:
The celebration also featured food, and smiles:
This year’s theme was “Pass the Plate: Positivity and Peace.”
With the rain record we’ve just set, it’s almost humorous that there wasn’t a drop in sight when RainWise threw a party today at Peace Lutheran Church in Gatewood, in honor of the “green stormwater infrastructure” that has lessened the load on the combined-sewer system in the area, to reduce the chances of overflows into Puget Sound.
The church is in what King County refers to as the “Barton basin,” where combined-stormwater overflow control has been put into place via projects like this as well as the county-installed raingardens and bioswales in nearby Westwood and Sunrise Heights a short distance to the east.
Here’s a map showing green-stormwater-infrastructure projects around Seattle and King County.
8:23 PM: Thanks for the tips – we’re headed to the reports of police and a helicopter in The Junction. More when we get there.
8:34 PM: It was the King Co. Sheriff’s Office helicopter Guardian One, and they’ve tweeted that the call was a “possible robbery” at the 76 gas station north of The Junction.
8:39 PM: Police tell our photographer that they are questioning two people right now in connection with what started as a “disturbance.” It was reported as a “verbal disturbance” with the clerk at the gas station. NOT a robbery. No injuries. Guardian One was not called out specifically for this, police tell us – they just happened to be in the area and offered to help search if/as needed.
ADDED 10:28 AM FRIDAY: We requested the police-report narrative and have transcribed it below. (The names were redacted by SPD before releasing the narrative, which is standard procedure for both victim and suspect names in reports.)
Officers responded to the AD Food Mart/76 Station at 4001 California SW, for a report of a strong-arm robbery that had just occurred. The caller reported several suspects in a physical fight with the clerk. Radio also advised there was an open one and they heard what sounded like a slap and the RP cursing and “sounding scared.” The call was updated by Radio that 5 suspects were seen running in the area of California and Dakota. Arriving officers located a group of subjects running in the area of California and Dakota and were able to detain three of them. They reported that the other two suspects fled NB and WB from California/Dakota.
While officers continued to check the area and set up containment for a K9 track, the three detained suspects advised that they had not stolen anything and that the clerk had come at them with a bat. Additional responding officers were directed to the original scene to interview the clerk.
They later advised that there was a substantial language barrier, but they were able to determine that the clerk had recognized the suspects from a previous incident, where items were stolen and a rock was thrown at a store window, causing damage. He reported that the boys had come in the store and became hostile with him when he told them to leave. He said they began yelling and cursing at him. He further reported that one of the suspects had spit on him and that one of them also hit a rock against the window after leaving and then pulled his hand back as if he was going to throw the rock at him through the window.
The victim (name redacted) was transported to the location of the detained suspects for a show-up. He positively identified one of the males (name redacted) as the suspect who spat on him. He also positively identified one of the males (name redacted) as the suspect who had hit the rock against the window and threatened to throw it at the victim. The third male suspect (name redacted) was positively identified by the victim as having been in the store and cursing at the victim, but that was all.
When advised that the victim had identified him as the suspect who had spit on him, (redacted) denied the incident and said the victim might have mistaken him for one of the at-large suspects, who he said looks just like him. (redacted) stated he knew the suspect by the name (redacted) and that he knew him from the Hiawatha Community Center. (redacted) stated they look similar and have the same hairstyle. (redacted) identified the other at-large suspect as a boy he knows as (redacted), also from the Hiawatha Community Center.
After it was determined that a robbery had not occurred, a K-9 track was not conducted. The outstanding suspects were not located.
The report concludes by saying that all three of the juveniles who were detained were turned over to the father of two of them (the mother of the third asked him to bring her son home), and that a sergeant “screened the incident and arrests at the scene.”
Five months after voters passed Sound Transit 3 – a $54 billion package including a promise of light rail to West Seattle by 2030 – agency leaders declared today that they are “pushing the ‘go’ button” on that and other parts of the system expansion. We went downtown this afternoon for a media briefing preceding the Sound Transit board‘s afternoon meeting at which the draft System Expansion Implementation Plan was officially unveiled.
The speakers in our video of the 21-minute briefing were, in order, ST board chair Dave Somers (Snohomish County Executive), CEO Peter Rogoff, and board vice chairs Marilyn Strickland (Tacoma Mayor) and John Marchione (Redmond Mayor).
Though much of what they said involved generalities about the overall plan, we did get some specifics, particularly as they discussed the importance of “collaboration” with the jurisdictions in which they’ll be building. So, we asked, what kind of collaboration is required with/in the city of Seattle? Rogoff offered one example: A single environmental review for West Seattle to Ballard – even though the two segments will not be completed together; Ballard has a five-years-longer timetable (and will require a new tunnel through downtown). Toward that end, ST has already issued a Request For Qualifications for a key role in the West Seattle to Ballard planning – described in the news release accompanying the briefing as “a consultant (who) later this year will support kicking off planning for light rail between West Seattle, Downtown Seattle, and Ballard.” That solicitation is summarized here; bids are due May 17th.
Overall, ST3 will quintuple the size of the transit network, and Rogoff said they are figuring out everything they can do to facilitate and accelerate it – such as co-locating project teams who might otherwise have been spread out between multiple buildings.
Back on Monday night, we reported that SDOT had suddenly announced it was starting outreach for paving projects on SW Roxbury and SW Avalon that could start “as early as 2019.” We promised a followup, after sending some questions back to the SDOT spokesperson Dan Anderson, who sent the announcement, and here’s what we’ve found out: First, we asked why Roxbury and Avalon (with a few blocks of 35th SW immediately south) were next up, as opposed to, say, 35th and/or Delridge.
The factors SDOT considers when prioritizing paving are:
*cost and cost effectiveness of treatment (weighing preservation opportunities against street reconstruction)
*traffic volume (including transit, freight, pedestrian and bicycle)
*grants and other leveraged funding opportunities
*utility coordination and grouping locations for efficiency
*citizen complaints and claims
*equity and geographic balance across the city
A focus of the Move Seattle Levy paving plan is transit. SW Avalon Way is a critical link for high-capacity transit to SW Spokane St and the West Seattle Bridge ramps. On SW Avalon Way, we’re considering reconstructing the portion of the street where the buses operate and resurfacing the remainder, which sees mainly light vehicle traffic. That makes the project attractive from a cost effectiveness standpoint. SW Roxbury St is a busy east-west link for residents in the south part of West Seattle. It is also a critical part of the Westwood Village transit hub routing.
We also asked specifically about the condition of the road in the two areas now planned for repaving “as early as 2019”:
SW Roxbury St is in very poor condition and it ranks at the bottom of major arterials in West Seattle along with 35th Ave SW and Delridge Way SW. SW Avalon Way’s condition is poor, but the rehabilitation is very attractive from a benefit/cost standpoint. With the projects we’re launching now, we’re working to improve SW Roxbury St, SW Avalon Way, and the highest-traffic segment of 35th Ave SW.
A key principal of pavement management is applying the right treatment at the right time, and taking advantage of opportunities to preserve existing pavements, which costs far less (4-7x), rather than allowing streets to deteriorate to a condition level where they need to be reconstructed.
Our Move Seattle Levy paving plan is a balance of preservation, where we extend the life of existing streets with overlays, seals, or panel replacements, and reconstruction of critical corridors. A good example can be seen in SDOT’s 2017 paving plan. We’ll be reconstructing the north end of 3rd Ave downtown in concrete to support the heavy bus traffic there. Meanwhile, on 4th Ave S between S Spokane St and Royal Brougham Way S, we’ll extend the life of the existing pavement structure by removing the old layers of asphalt and resurfacing with new asphalt.
With a long backlog of needs and limited funds, we have to make difficult choices about which streets get paved. We understand that some might feel that 35th Ave SW, Delridge Way SW, or another street should be paved before SW Avalon Way or SW Roxbury St. Those of us who work daily on paving wish there was more funding for paving and wish we could start work tomorrow on every street with a paving need. A large city like Seattle has a lot of competing priorities for limited funding.
Roxbury was originally projected for 2021. So it might be moved up two years. We asked what factors/conditions will determine if it does get moved up.
We have a 9-year paving budget and project list that corresponds to the Levy to Move Seattle funding period. Individual project costs are estimated up-front based on planning-level details and won’t be truly known until contracts are bid and the projects are closed after construction ends. Major projects are bid on and built by private contractors under City oversight. A significant variable in how many projects we can build and when is what contractors will bid. If bids are favorable, we may be able to do more. If not, less. Being a 9-year timeframe, there’s more uncertainty in out years than this year about how much construction costs will fluctuate. There are also unknowns in any major construction project that add to budget after groundbreaking.
Depending on these factors, we may have the right amount of budget for 2019 to pave SW Roxbury St. If not, it would be paved later than 2019.
This project, being a full reconstruction of the street in concrete, will be more expensive and complex than a partial asphalt grind and overlay project like SW Avalon Way. That’s why we’re saying SW Roxbury St is pending funding availability and we’re not for SW Avalon Way.
While we’re talking money – we asked about the cost of these projects. Anderson said Roxbury is estimated at $13.1 million, Avalon at $7.1 million, and the three blocks of 35th south of it at $4.8 million.
So, we asked, what about Delridge? Is any repaving scheduled for the north section (the south half was repaved back in 2013), especially relating to the Route 120 conversion to RapidRide in 2020?
We recognize there are paving needs on Delridge Way SW and are conducting a pavement assessment this summer. We’ll use the report and preferred RapidRide concept to identity paving priorities along the street that are also financially feasible.
That was it for our Q/A, for now. As mentioned in our first report, SDOT says it’ll have community meetings about both the Roxbury and Avalon projects in the next month or so. In the meantime, there’s an online survey about Avalon, here, and one promised soon for Roxbury.