Another viewpoint on the Beach Drive Stay Healthy Street

Recently we received Councilmember Lisa Herbold’s newsletter addressing the potential permanent closure to the stretch of road along Alki Point. It has been roughly one year since the streets along Alki point have been closed.

From her newsletter:

“The vast majority of people contacting me are very interested in making the Alki Keep it Moving Street a permanent “Stay Healthy Street” which would result in roads being closed to through traffic. Neighbors have surveyed users of the Keep it Moving Street over the last few months. You can see some of their results in the graph below.

Honestly I find it hard to believe that there was zero opposition to the survey that was done by the neighbors who will benefit from the street being closed to traffic. Just check out the comments on West Seattle Blog’s post and you’ll read from people who are not in favor of the permanent closure. There is no viable place for parking should one need or want to drive to visit the park with parking already limited in surrounding neighborhoods. This seems to benefit those who live closest to the closed street along Alki point and is a disadvantage to those who rely on transportation to go to Constellation Park or Alki Light House.

We live on Beach Drive south of the proposed permanent stay healthy street. We’ve walked our dog along that stretch of park for the past 8 years nearly every day. Through the past year, it has been nice to be able to stay 6’ away from others while walking this stretch during the pandemic. But now, vaccinations have put people back onto the several sidewalks that line the stretch. The street appears to have served it’s purpose and is now reaching historical normalcy.

Over the years, we have spoken to several neighbors along that stretch of Constellation Park and sympathize with them over the car clubs that inhabit the parking strip along the park, crank their tunes, leave garbage behind & rev their engines. Being in close proximity to Alki point is a very well known risk to living there.

It’s our opinion that that this Summer phenomenon is not the 100% reason this neighborhood has rallied together in effort close the street off permanently to these street racing enthusiasts. Problem is, we’re starting to inherit these enthusiasts along Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook about a half mile south. The park has just received an overhaul with additional lower sidewalks that mirror the physical layout of the Alki Keep it moving site along Constellation Park. As soon as the temporary fencing is pulled out of the newly constructed seawall section of Emma Schmitz Memorial, the neighbors along this stretch fully expect to have the same issues our neighbors to the north have experienced for the last 5 or so years.

Moving a problem is not a good solution. The vaccination efforts are working to restore the stretch along Constellation Park to it’s prior status as a public thoroughfare near busy Alki Beach. Perhaps consistent traffic/parking enforcement is the answer.

Beach Drive Exclusive: 4th of July Boat Parade!

We have been informed that the first annual 4th of July Boat Parade will by cruising along the shores off Beach Drive this afternoon. The parade is sponsored by Alki Yacht Club and The Mortgage Porter.

Any neighbor with a boat that can cruise 4 knots (we will make accommodations for slower craft) is welcome to tag along. The parade will start at 2:30 pm today in front of the volly ball courts at Alki and make it’s way around Alki Point, ending at Lincoln Park.

The most decorated vessel will win a Alki Yacht Club burgee. Runner up will receive a commemorative 2020 Mariners baseball schedule magnet.

 

 

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.

No Vaccine for West Seattle Commute

After we all successfully flatten the curve on the covid virus, KEEPING the curve on the West Seattle Bridge will be the next hurdle to deal with.

Photo credit to Westside Seattle

SDOT has been busy with mapping out major detour routes funneling drivers to the 1st Avenue South bridge and beyond as the lower bridge is reserved for emergency, port and busing (not sure how strong the argument is gong to be for car owners to opt for cramming into buses on the heals of a pandemic i.e. more cars). Among other routes they’re missing will be the inevitable morning migrations south along Beach Drive and Alki Avenue. I can see traffic cops pulling double shifts at Endolyne Joe’s as Beach Drivers and ferry traffic tangle to get south via Barton & Marine View Drive.

Beach Drive Blog has taken the liberty to amend SDOT’s detour map to highlight what we envision.

With no timeline being offered on bridge repairs, I’d be begging my employer for the night shift!

 

Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog

Possible Water Spout on Puget Sound

Yesterday one of our neighbors captured video of what looks like the beginnings of a water spout off the shores of Alki Point.

Video credit: Barb Howell

Other neighbors contacted us as well inquiring about the water wind wonder on Puget Sound. We don’t have any meteorologist in our household…but this certainly looks spouty to me!

Sea lion #11?

Yesterday, yet another sea lion has drifted upon the shores around West Seattle. This one conveniently floated around the rip-rap sea wall right into the Don Armeni Boat Ramp. Although this sea lion wasn’t immediately pronounced “shot” by the person performing the necropsy, odds are pretty good according to recent history. Robin Lindsey of Seal Sitters informed me that it would be a couple of days following X-rays to determine cause of death.

Seal Sitters tape off latest victim.

The following video was taken yesterday afternoon , December 4th as a crew of folks worked to turn the large mammal over for examination. I can tell you now that it’s good practice to stay upwind!

 

Scupper. reporting for Beach Drive Blog

Good Bye, Bart!

It was brought to our attention that the “Bart Simpson” house on Alki Point has been listed for sale.

The home has a fresh coat of exterior paint which covered up the fun painting of Bart doing some graffiti on the home.

If you look real close, you can barely see where Bart entertained passers by for years.

Hopefully the new owners of this Alki home will be fans of The Simpsons so that Bart can return!

Ay carumba!

 

Damage to the Blue Glass House’s Art

We were driving along Alki this afternoon when we were surprised to see that the beautiful blue glass tree has been knocked down.

We have no idea why or how this happened…just saddened to see it in this state.

Hopefully it can be repaired and upright soon for all to enjoy.

Highly anticipated Cyclone Donald not so HUGE

 

Looked just like another beauty day on Beach Drive around 2:00

storm-2-oclock

Things began to change up a bit at 3:00 on the horizon and you could see the water starting to churn up on the other side of the Sound due to easterly winds…

storm-3-oclock

 

White caps starting to form just after 4:00 and the tide looks a hell of a lot higher than the tables suggest (11.9). I’m guessing that there’s a bit of coastal flooding adding to the height…

storm-4-oclock

 

First burst of wind at 4:40 and finally seeing the rollers coming in from Tacoma at 5:00…

storm-5-oclock

 

Almost 6:00 and only a few slurps over the bulkhead.Looks like we dodged a bullet as far as flooding is concerned on Beach Drive SW. Now it’s time to kick back & enjoy the show with a hot toddy.

King County Foot Ferry aborts docking at Alki and other Mother Nature Mayhem

We have very strong northerly winds this afternoon along with higher tides. King Tides officially started this afternoon and continue through the 27th for November.

Late this afternoon, the King County Ferry opted not to dock at Alki after two attempts. Video credits to Scupper.

Passengers were waiting on the Alki dock hoping they’ll get a refund for not being able to board.

Thanks to Michele, a friend of Beach Drive Blog for sending us these pics!

nov 24 wind kite

And this photo of the seas crashing up to what is typically a sandy beach with a park, picnic tables and fire pits. Quite spectacular!
nov 24 seas over table

Here’s some videos I captured of this afternoon along Alki. Please pardon my shaky hands.

This north of the volley ball pits with the kite surfer.

This is by 61st and Alki.

 

This is at the end of the park as it heads towards Alki point, looking back towards Seattle.

This person braved the waves (see the person in the mist to the right).

2015-11-24 14.58.13

I’m so glad that I was able to witness this event and hope the home owners along Alki weathered this okay and are safe.