By Tracy Record
Editor of the West Seattle Blog
That Morgan Community AssociationLast night’s quarterly meeting began with an issue that has become more urgent than ever in West Seattle after two traffic fatalities in less than three months:
(WSB photo, May 6)
CALIFORNIA/FINDLAY CHANGES: The town’s semi-new traffic engineer Venue Nemani was at the online meeting to discuss improvements at California/Findlay following the crash that killed the 30-year-old Nicholas Wolf in May as he crossed the street north of the intersection on his way to his home. SDOT It was recently announced that the crossing on the south side of the intersection would be upgraded from flashing skylights to a pedestrian-activated “half signal”.
Nemani noted that the intersection falls in the middle of nearly a mile of no-signal California and that it is one of the few no-signal RapidRide stations nearby.
Nemani said the intersection was already on SDOT’s radar – Rejoin West Seattle wanted California SW to be reviewed for additional pedestrian improvements that could be completed by the end of this year, so they were talking about curb bulbs for NW and SE corners. Then on May 6, the death occurred north of the junction where – according to the initial police report – a teenage driver traveling northbound at 80-55mph on a rainy night struck and killed Mr Wolf, then fled the scene, but his father returned with him. The incident “has kick-started our conversations” about safety improvements at and near the California/Findlay intersection, Nemani said. He acknowledged that the constantly flashing CROSSWALK sign tends to be ignored. He said the crossing meets the thresholds for signal installation. For example, the zebra crossing on the southern leg will be expanded. It typically takes about two years between decision and installation, but they are speeding this up by using existing power poles and power already installed – so it will be very similar to the signal at Fauntleroy/Findlay (nearby). Fairmount Park Elementary School). The side street stop signs will remain in place, he said. Four different programs contribute to the funding.
They are also aware of other aspects such as B. Concerns about speeding – “when the environment around the road doesn’t communicate naturally to slow down … it’s an open invitation to go faster.” Nemani said SDOT has “a lot of conversations” about arterial acceleration around the city and is working working on “developing a playbook”. They’re now analyzing the impact of changing the speed limit – it didn’t seem to affect the big speeders, but it did affect the smaller speeders. So the question now is, “how can they change the nature” of the roads. In California/Finlay, they propose a concrete median 50′ south of the intersection to “cut off the visual perspective of California… and encourage motorists to approach the crosswalk at a slower speed.” You’re also looking at curb bulbs with paint and posts on at least two corners. All of this should be completed by the end of the year. In response to a question, he said construction would likely take a few weeks at most, likely on weekends.
All this is destined for the crossroads, but death happened in the north. Could any improvements have prevented what happened? Nemani was also asked. He said various things could be done in “safe systems” mode – a system that recognizes that people can make mistakes, but those mistakes shouldn’t be fatal.
Other, shorter topics:
LOWMAN BEACH: “It’s done!” exulted the MoCA President Deb Barker . MoCAs Michael Bruner showed some new photos of the completed levee removal/stream and beach restoration project.
Barker said the city is planning a “grand opening ceremony” on a Saturday in September. Beach naturalists and competitions are part of what is in the works.
Speaking of reopening…
WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE REOPENING: The Celebration Planning Coalition (of which MoCA President Barker is active) has launched a new website at westseattlebestseattle.org to “welcome people back to West Seattle”.
EARTHQUAKE PREPARATION: For the third MoCA meeting in a row Cindi Baerker – who is active with the Neighborhood Emergency Communication Centers – was present to take up this issue. The Goal: A Morgan-specific plan and figuring out what its priorities should be. Instead of presenting data, the meeting discussion here focused on guidance on planning priorities. Gatewood Elementary School, The Kenny (WSB sponsor) and the Business District topped the list.
MORGAN JUNCTION FESTIVAL POSTAL MURDER: “Short and sweet and beautiful,” Deb Barker described the two-hour festival on June 18 (WSB coverage here) that included what was likely to happen The bubble manlast appearance ever.
FAUNTLEROY DOCK LETTER: The MoCA voted to adapt the template for a letter Fauntleroy Community Association sends to Washington State Ferries regarding docker replacement project.
MORGAN MINUTES: Morgan Junction attends next Art Walk in West Seattle, 5-8 p.m. Aug. 11. … MoCA seeks new vice president, as Phil Tavel resigned after many years in office. Interested? firstname.lastname@example.org … ArtsWest has offered a special price on tickets to his next play.
Two new companies in the Morgan area were briefly given the spotlight:
Moon Room: Hannah Roberts came to the MoCA meeting to talk about their new store at 5902 California SW (pictured here when they opened almost four months ago). Oil diffusers, jewelry, crystals, art prints. “We really enjoy the neighborhood.” She says “imagination” is at the heart of her vision for the “wellness place” – “imagination is such a healer”. She hopes to add some classes in the fall – singing bowls, sacred geometry and more.
MINUTEMAN PRESS: Matt also came to the MoCA meeting to talk about his relatively new business, new ownership for what was Olympic pressure at 6047 California SW. He is a former Boeing Employee. He says he is grateful for the warm welcome in the community. Deb Barker thanked Matt for his shop’s work on the posters for this year’s Morgan Junction Community Festival.
NEXT MEETING: MoCA meets on the third Wednesday of January, April, July and October, so the next meeting is October 19, 7pm online.