Human of the Week

Ok, we all know the real heroes have been on the front lines fighting the virus…but there are individuals deserving some thanks for making our local bubble a bit better.

Anyone that walks up or down Jacobson Road lately knows the hazard of keeping a safe 6’ from other walkers, joggers, and dogs while not getting run over by vehicle coming around a corner. The upper portion of the road only has a sidewalk on the north side. That’s if you want to call the disappearing sliver of walkway a sidewalk at all due to the ever encroaching ivy and weeds. As to the shoulder between the sidewalk and vehicular traffic, a six inch white line!

Well, our Human of the Week has been working to make things better up there.


This humble human’s not looking for recognition so no need to enlarge the pic to zoom in on his identity 😉

I caught our human trimming back the holly and hedges on the south side of the street carving out some room for pedestrians to use both sides of the road near the top. After thanking him for the effort I found out he also weed whacks over a hundred yards of the notoriously bad north side starting at the fire hydrant on the top corner. He says “I just want to give people some room!”.

If you have a person you’d like to nominate for Human of the Week (aka HOW) please contact our Chief Editor, contact info is at the bottom of this blog.

Scupper, reporting for the BDB

Walking the newly closed Beach Drive for Stay Healthy Streets

This morning, after writing about a portion of Beach Drive being closed, my hubby (aka our intrepid reporter, Scupper) and I decided to check out the newly closed road along Constellation Park. I actually did not expect the closure to include Alki Avenue to 63rd (the intersection by Cactus).


Vehicle traffic was definitely reduced. Gone are the cruisers and car clubs hanging out along the sidewalk.


64th was the only side street that I noticed was blocked.


This stretch of Beach Drive is no stranger to cars peeling out. The City has tried passing noise ordinances for this area but I doubt it’s been successful. Neighbors we talked to are pretty pleased with this stretch being closed.


I don’t know if I’ve ever seen open parking on a warm sunny day along Alki Avenue.
The closure stretches all the way from Alki Avenue at 62nd to Beach Drive and 62nd. There were still a handful of cars (possibly residents), driving along with bicyclists, skateboards (some motorized) and all sorts of wheeled contraptions mixed with people walking or jogging in the street.

It’s a new experience to walk down the street…it’s a bit liberating. It’s also a lot easier to keep the “safe six” feet away from others.  There are a lot of cars from residents along Alki Avenue to Beach Drive where there are condos, apartments and street parking for houses. This stretch is still very popular (and may become even more so) with bicyclist and joggers. If you’re wearing ear-buds, you may need a shoulder-mounted-rear-view-mirror!

It will be interesting to see how this evolves as bicyclist and resident cars, service/delivery vehicles and rule-avoiders are now dealing with people walking in the Mayor’s new “Stay Healthy Street”.

Please stay safe and be kind! This is a new experience for all of us.

Lincoln Park and Alki Beach Closed this weekend

Mayor Durkin has announced Seattle’s 15 largest parks will be closed this weekend in an effort to assist with social distancing, including Lincoln Park, Alki Beach and West Seattle Stadium. The closure begins on Friday, April 10, 2020 at 11:00 pm and the parks will reopen on Monday, April 12, 2020 at 4:30 am.

From the Mayor’s statement:

“These are the beautiful weather days we crave all winter, but we are living in unprecedented times and the Governor’s order isn’t stay out – it’s stay home. Seattle’s frontline medical workers,  vulnerable residents, and displaced workers need you to stay home. While Seattle is expecting near perfect weather, friends and families should not have family or friend outings, picnics or gatherings in parks. Stay home unless you need to go to an essential job or business.  If you need to take a walk in your neighborhood, be smart and don’t help create a crowded place. Too many friends, residents and families are continuing to gathering for picnics, BBQs, basketball games, and group walks.  Because we still are in danger of a spike in infections, hospitalizations and deaths we have to keep doing out part. Easing up on social distancing too early will put more people at risk, could overwhelm our health care system, and could delay the reopening of businesses. Stay home, and if you must leave your home, be smart, follow social distancing guidelines by stay at lease six feet from everyone and wear a mask” said Mayor Jenny Durkan. “Our collective effort has made an impact flattening the curve, but we must continue or face even greater and longer term consequences.”

I’m concerned that the closure of these popular parks are only going to push more people to Beach Drive, which already seems more crowded with runners, walkers, bicyclist and walkers… and according to this study, 6 feet may not be enough distance from people who are walking, running or biking.

And while I’m at it… can folks please stop spitting and emptying their noses (aka snot rockets) in public areas? We walk Beach Drive and local parks and have seen all sorts of people doing this. I personally think even if we were not in the middle of a pandemic that this is a disgusting practice – but we definitely should be doing this right now. Rant over! 🙂

We hope you have a happy and healthy weekend!

If a tree falls in the forest…RUN for your life!

I probably shouldn’t be making light of this… my husband, aka our intrepid reporter Scupper, was almost struck by a giant mature maple just moments ago. He was walking our dog on the Mee Kwa Mooks trail when he heard the tree starting to crack. He and our dog literally started to run for their lives. No sooner did the cracking start, the tree came down just missing them.


As one of our neighbors say, hubby used up one of his nine lives by and our dog narrowly escaping this.

Mee Kwa Mooks is filled with mature trees, including end-of-life, maples. It’s not unusual to walk the trails and have to step over recently downed trees. This is the first time (hopefully the last) where we’ve experienced this close of an encounter.

We will be reporting this to the parks department to see if they can target dangerous trees.

Stay safe, friends!

Back at the Beach Drive Speed Bumps

Measuring the Beach Drive “cushions”.

A crew from the City of Seattle are out this morning measuring the newly reinstalled speed bumps along the 4700 block of Beach Drive. I tried to talk to one of the gentlemen who seemed to be supervising, however he was less than chatty. He told me the group is there to measure “tolerances”. As I was not able to pry another word out of him, I’m assuming this was to see if if the humps can be raised higher while allowing emergency vehicles to “tolerate” the bumps.

I told him that the neighbors would really like to see more done on this stretch of Beach Drive as it’s often difficult to cross the street and unsafe with how some drivers use it as a freeway to and from Alki. I pretty much just received a blank stare. Maybe next time I’ll bring them coffee. 😉

A few days ago, KOMO4 news addressed the speed cushions and how the neighborhood is less than impressed with the effectiveness. It’s my guess that their coverage is what dragged the City back to the bumps.

Bumps, humps or cushions, it doesn’t matter to me what the term is, we need more done to stop the speeding and the passing that is constantly taking place in our neighborhood. Two nights ago, while walking our dogs, a neighbor and I witnessed two cars passing two cars flying north on Beach Drive. If someone would have been trying to cross the street, they would have had nowhere to run to get out of the way.

I hope that it doesn’t take a serious accident to have the City take real action to make Beach Drive a safer road for all of us. I don’t think that raising the cushions an inch is going to help deter the speeders – especially when they just scoot to the center of the road where the slope is lower (as it’s intentionally designed for emergency vehicles).

Is it time for our neighborhood to create a community organization to address issues like this?

Ahhh…. the Traffic Calming Speed Bumps

The long awaited speed bumps are being installed along Beach Drive between SW Angeline and Beach Drive Terrace SW.

We can all take a deep breath and relax with total faith knowing that these traffic calming improvements are going to slow down the speeders.

 

Or will they? They don’t appear to be enough to slow down a Suburu appearing to go the speed limit prior to flying over the bumps. So why are the bumps so minute?

Beach Drive is considered a main road and the new asphalt bumps are apparently as high as they are allowed for emergency vehicles.

We’ll see if the speed bumps provides Beach Drive any calm with the increased summer time speedy cruisers.

Potential Barking Dog Report: Wind, Waves and High Tides predicted for tomorrow

We have been keeping an eye on our mobile aps, WindAlert and PredictWind, which are both indicating that we could be in for quite a storm tomorrow morning. This, of course, coincides with very high tides of 12.8 feet at 7:00 am tomorrow morning.

Check out the tides predicted for tomorrow and how it potentially pairs with the wind forecast.

Here is the Puget Sound and Hood Canal Marine Forecast (last updated at 2:41 am):

 FRI  S wind 20 to 30 kt. Wind waves 3 to 5 ft. A chance of rain  in the morning then rain likely in the afternoon.

 FRI NIGHT  S wind 15 to 25 kt easing to 5 to 15 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft subsiding to 2 ft or less after midnight.

If this forecast holds, we think there’s a strong potential that we could experience waves slosh over our bulkhead… especially if the wind direction leans to the southwest.

Last but not least, we’ve used a picture of a howling golden retriever for our “barking dog” reports warning of potential weather issues. We thought you might like to see our retriever in action.

Hitch dedicates this song to his favorite gal, Indie.

Are you ready for more snow?

This morning we decided to drive to Lincoln Park before the next winter storm hits. Beach Drive was overall in good condition to drive with sporadic spots of ice (we do have all wheel drive). The north parking lot at Lincoln Park was closed. The south lot was open and icy.

The National Weather Service recently updated the forecast with a Winter Weather Advisory starting at 4:00 pm today and a Winter Storm Watch beginning on Monday.

UPDATED: 1153 AM PST Sun Feb 10 2019

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 4 PM THIS
AFTERNOON TO 4 AM PST MONDAY…
…WINTER STORM WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM MONDAY MORNING
THROUGH TUESDAY AFTERNOON…

* WHAT…Snow expected late this afternoon and tonight with
accumulations of 2 to 4 inches likely. Heavy snow accumulations
of 5 to 10 inches are possible Monday afternoon and Monday
evening before precipitation possibly mixes with freezing rain,
rain or sleet.

* WHERE…Portions of west central Washington.

* WHEN…For the Winter Weather Advisory, from 4 PM this
afternoon to 4 AM PST Monday. For the Winter Storm Watch, from
Monday morning through Tuesday afternoon.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Travel could be very difficult to
impossible.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A Winter Weather Advisory for snow means periods of snow will
cause primarily travel difficulties. Expect snow covered roads
and limited visibilities, and use caution while driving.

A Winter Storm Watch means there is potential for significant
snow, sleet or ice accumulations that may impact travel. Continue
to monitor the latest forecasts.

For the latest road conditions in Washington state, call 5 1 1.

I am seeing the “s-word” in the forecast until Saturday! Please note the NWS advisory above does cover well beyond Seattle… hopefully we won’t wind up with as much snow as it looks possible. If we were to receive the highest amount of snow as predicted in the forecast below, we’d wind up with over a foot of snow by Tuesday!

The snow does make some people happy.

High Wind Warning and High Tides

We have a high wind warning that goes into effect in about an hour that will coincide with high tides. There are a lot of mixed forecast tonight that are being hyped over various media outlets. We always prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

This was issued at 6:39 P.M. from the National Weather Service:

...HIGH WIND WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 10 PM THIS EVENING TO 10 AM
PST SUNDAY...

The National Weather Service in Seattle has issued a High Wind
Warning, which is in effect from 10 PM this evening to 10 AM PST
Sunday. The Wind Advisory is no longer in effect.

* WIND…South to southwest wind 20 to 35 mph with gusts 45 to 55
mph. A brief period with gusts to around 60 mph is possible
during the peak of the storm overnight.

* SOME AFFECTED LOCATIONS…Hoquaim, Forks, Tacoma, Seattle,
Bremerton, and Friday Harbor.

* TIMING…South to southwest winds will rapidly develop late this
evening then ease around daybreak Sunday. For most of the area,
the strongest winds will occur in the early morning hours on
Sunday. In the central Puget Sound region, including Seattle,
the peak winds are expected between 2 AM and 4 AM.

* IMPACTS…Winds may down trees and cause power outages.
Dangerous cross winds will be possible on east-west oriented
roadways including I-90 and SR-520 across Lake Washington.
Temporary structures and fences may be damaged. Loose or
unsecured objects may be displaced.

High tide is predicted at 6:16 am to be 12.18 feet.


Here is the Wind Alert current prediction (subject to change, of course!)

Puget Sound Marine Forecast:

Puget Sound and Hood Canal-
831 PM PST Sat Jan 5 2019

GALE WARNING IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 AM PST SUNDAY
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 6 AM PST SUNDAY THROUGH
SUNDAY AFTERNOON

TONIGHT
E wind 15 to 25 kt becoming S 25 to 35 kt after
midnight. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft building to 4 to 6 ft after
midnight. Rain likely in the evening then showers after midnight.

SUN
S wind 25 to 35 kt easing to 15 to 25 kt in the afternoon.
Wind waves 4 to 6 ft subsiding to 2 to 4 ft in the afternoon. A
chance of showers.

It’s quite possible that this could be a big storm… but as far as flooding, we’re leaning towards that we’ll have impresive splash come over and might have to fire up the pumps between 4:00 am – 6:00 am but it won’t be significant based on the reports we review for our personal reference. This is probably a good time to remind our readers that we are not weather forecasters – we are just your neighbors sharing information that we use for our purposes.

High Tides and Winds

It looks like we’re in for another windy day. With a wind advisory in effect until 4:00 pm today and an extra high tide of 12.59 feet at 10:32 this morning.

Here’s the current (8:08 am) Wind Alert forecast. If we do see gusts in the 40s around high tide, it’s quite possible we’ll see some water coming over the bulkhead.

 

The Puget Sound Marine forecast has a small craft advisory until 10am this morning (last update 2:41 am).

 TODAY  S wind 20 to 30 kt rising to 25 to 35 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 3 to 6 ft. Rain.

 TONIGHT  SW wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind becoming NW 10 to 20 kt N  part in the evening and SW 10 to 20 kt S part in the evening.  Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. A chance of rain.

National Weather Service (4:00 am update).

...WIND ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT FROM 7 AM THIS MORNING TO 4 PM PST
THIS AFTERNOON...

* WIND...Southerly 20 to 35 mph with gusts 45 to 50 mph.

* SOME AFFECTED LOCATIONS...Port Townsend, Everett, Bremerton,
  Seattle, Tacoma, La Push, Ocean Shores, Westport, and Hoquiam.

* IMPACTS...Winds may snap weak branches that have not been
  pruned by recent storms, produce isolated power outages, and
  make the driving of high-profile vehicles difficult.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A Wind Advisory means that winds of 35 mph are expected. Winds
this strong can make driving difficult, especially for high
profile vehicles. Use extra caution.

We’re not sure if this is going to be a “Barking Dog Report” event where we think there will be flooding along Beach Drive… just something to keep alert about at this point… and we will be past high tide in just over two hours.

Stay tuned!