Alki Public Safety & Health Survey; South Park Town Hall; SPU Water System Demand; Survey: New Park in the Junction; Lisa in the News

Alki Public Safety and Health Survey

As a beachside neighborhood and regional destination, the Alki neighborhood and nearby areas face unique public safety and health challenges, from Beach Drive to the West Seattle Bridge. Residents, community groups, and visitors from elsewhere have expressed concern about the public health and safety impacts of a growing number of motor vehicle-related issues and behaviors.

The summer may almost be over, but community members have asked me to ask you to help us prioritize for the remainder of the summer and plan for next year which vehicle and driver behaviors listed below are of greatest concern.  If you live, work, or play at Alki, please consider completing the Alki Public Safety and Health Survey. Your input will help influence community awareness, guide policy, and assist long-term planning and enforcement priorities. Results will be shared with the Seattle Police Department and Seattle Department of Transportation.

The survey includes links to the relevant City laws.

Issues I’ve heard about include speeding, cruising, noise, vehicle racing and others, including the following points:

  • Speeding: Research indicates slower vehicle speeds increase pedestrian safety. Pedestrian safety is very important in an area simultaneously serving as a place to live, shop, work, and recreate.
  • Cruising: cruising generates traffic congestion, air pollution, noise, and can hinder emergency vehicle responses
  • Vehicle noise: exhaust noise from vehicles with modified mufflers, compression brakes that are not effectively muffled (can be a sign of poor brake maintenance), screeching from rapid acceleration (does not include rapid braking to avoid imminent danger), and sound systems.
  • Non-visible front and rear license plates and vehicle window tinting hinder the ability of the public and officers to rapidly identify vehicles and individuals when needed
  • Vehicle idling: long-term idling can result in air pollution.

The survey allows you to note any additional issues you’d like to bring up.

South Park Public Safety Town Hall August 29

The Department of Neighborhoods has released a flyer for the August 29 South Park Public Safety meeting, that I wrote about last week, copied below:

South Park Public Safety Meeting

Many thanks to the Department of Neighborhoods for organize the meeting after my request to SPD last month.  I’m also looking forward to hearing an update about the work of a Task Force of South Park residents that Councilmember Gonzalez and I asked the Executive to convene last November.  Their recommendations regarding the public safety and vitality of South Park will help us in the upcoming September budget discussions.

SPU Water System Demand

With the record-setting dry spell, I reached out to Seattle Public Utilities to get a better understanding of our water supply conditions.  In summary, they explained that despite the lack of rain, reservoir storage is actually at the average amount for this time of year because water consumption in the last two decades is below where it used to be several decades ago, thanks to the ongoing water conservation program. The lower water demands help “stretch out” our water supply for many years to come.

SPU Water Demand

Below are their responses in full.

  1. Given the recent record-setting dry spell does SPU have any concerns regarding the reservoir levels?
    • Water supply conditions are in good shape. In fact, our reservoirs are still a bit above their long-term average levels for this time of year. That’s due to two factors:
      • The very wet and cold winter and spring, and
      • The way we’ve operated the water system to refill the reservoirs in the spring.
  1. Was there any proactive conservation or did consumption see an uptick as in past years?
    • At this point, we are not seeing the need for people to use water any differently than they normally do.
      • We have an ongoing water conservation program and always encourage customers to use water wisely.
      • Customers can go to our website, for ways to use water wisely.
      • The website has a “Lawn & Garden” tab that might be of particular interest right now since many customers use extra water in the summer to irrigate their lawns and gardens.
      • We did use some social media outreach due to media interest directed to SPU.
    • For the next few months, especially if it continues to be very hot and dry:
      • We always monitor, operate, and make short- and long-term plans for our water supply system every day.
      • If we see the need for customers to start using water any differently than they typically do, we will make sure to let everyone know as soon as we see the need.

Survey for New Park in the Junction

The Department of Parks and Recreation is designing a new park at the West Seattle Junction land banked site at 4723-4731 40th SW.

Here’s a survey they are asking community members to fill out.

Parks will be holding a public meeting and open house at the West Seattle Farmer’s Market on September 10, as follows:

Sunday, September 10, 2017
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
West Seattle Farmers Market
44th Ave SW & SW Alaska St, 98116

Here’s a flyer for the meeting.

Herbold in the News

  • Here is a link regarding a news article this week about a letter I sent to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos regarding working conditions in the “gig economy” following this morning’s meeting of Whole Foods’ shareholders and subsequent vote to approve deal with asking that he convene a national conversation with other employers in the gig economy and labor advocates to address the issues that plague the unregulated “gig economy” to plan how employees can be treated as well as customers, engaging with employees not as data, but as people with real needs and real lives. Not as a metric. I wrote: “If the gig economy is indeed here to stay, you have a responsibility to participate in a conversation about fair work, schedules, and livable wages.”
  • Here’s a link to an article about my idea for a new disclosure requirement when real estate purchases or investments are made through limited-liability companies.  The issue of all-cash investments being made in real estate for purposes of tax evasion and money laundering is such a real issue in other cities that it may have a potential impact on housing supply and affordability.  The US Treasury credits this NYT multi-part series for new policies starting in 2015  requiring disclosure of all-cash real estate purchase in each LA, Manhattan, and Miami.    I favor an approach requiring disclosure in a manner that will not “foment racial bias or resentment” done “in a way that is facially neutral about the national origin” of the buyers.  The King County Assessors’ response said I requested his assistance in “identifying the national origin of investors.”  This was not at all my request.
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