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Permanent Bus Pathway to Open for West Seattle/Downtown Buses; SPD Arrest in Alki Shooting; Legacy Business Nominations; Seattle Planning Commission; Constituent Email Report

Permanent Bus Pathway to Open for West Seattle/Downtown Buses

King County Metro and SDOT have announced that, beginning on February 22nd, buses that formerly traveled between West Seattle to Downtown on the Alaskan Way Viaduct will access Downtown through Alaskan Way and Columbia Street. This is the permanent travel path planned for buses, and comes with the planned completion of two-way bus lanes on Columbia Street Downtown.

This will be an important improvement for many District 1 routes, including the RapidRide C Line, 21 Express, 37, 55, 56, 57, 113, 120, 121, 122, 123 and 125. Buses will no longer travel through the temporary routes on SODO or 1st Avenue. Planned bus stop locations are shown on the map below.

The C Line and the 120 (planned for conversion to the RapidRide H Line in 2021) carry a combined total of about 20,000 riders each day.

The next step will be the completion of dedicated transit lanes on Alaskan Way between South King Street and Columbia Street in lane 2021. Here’s a link to King County Metro and the SDOT Blog releases.

SPD Arrest in Alki Shooting/Public Safety Update

Many thanks to SPD for their work to arrest a suspect after last weekend’s late-night shooting at Alki Beach.

Gun violence affects our communities, not only in Downtown, but throughout Seattle. There is no one action that will end violence in our community.  All jurisdictions must work together.  The City’s 2020 State Legislative agenda states, “We support common sense, responsible solutions to reduce gun violence, including efforts to limit high capacity magazines and expanding gun free zones, and we believe that local governments should have the ability to regulate firearms or weapons to ensure the safety of their communities in accordance with local circumstances.”  If you want to learn more, contact the Alliance for Gun Responsibility at the link here.

During the last few years, SPD has conducted emphasis patrols in the Alki neighborhood during warm weather months; the Council approved funding in 2020 to ensure emphasis patrols continue.

Community Service Officers (CSOs) will begin work in coming months. CSOs are unsworn officers who can prioritize community services associated with law enforcement such as crime prevention and non-emergency tasks, and free up SDP officers for 911 response.

Reinstatement of the CSO program has been a Council-driven initiative and the Council, after providing funds in 2017 for the 2018 budget, has been keenly interested in the deployment model for these CSOs.  The Council, in 2018, passed Budget Action 38-5-A-2, “SPD Report on CSO Program Development and Implementation.

The CSO program re-launched in April with 10 officers and two supervisors; the jobs were posted in May for application.

The Mayor subsequently proposed adding an additional 5 CSOs and a supervisor in the 2020 budget, which the Council approved. The proposed 2020 budget notes, “The five officers and supervisor will expand the CSO team to 18 which will allow the teams to be based in precincts.”  I know that some have suggested that a full third of CSOs should be based in a downtown storefront to address public safety issues in the Westlake area.  I will continue to be an advocate for distribution of this important new resource to Southwest Precinct communities, with deployment based upon needs and defined by crime data.

Reminder: Legacy Business Nominations are Due in One Week

Small, locally-owned businesses are the heart and soul of District 1’s beloved neighborhoods.  Do you have a favorite local business that you believe deserves city-wide recognition?  Show your love and nominate them here by Valentine’s Day, Friday, February 14th.

The Office of Economic Development will select one business from each of the seven Council districts.  To be eligible, a business must be an independently owned, for profit business, in continuous operations for a minimum of 10 years in Seattle, and have fewer than 50 employees, including the owner.  Winners will receive public recognition at an awards ceremony, and small business support services.

I was thrilled to champion this program after the idea was brought to me by a District 1 resident.  Let’s honor the resilience of our beloved businesses and recognize their contribution to our communities’ cultural vibrancy, our local economy, and our sense of place.  Learn more and nominate your favorite District 1 business here.

Seattle Planning Commission Openings and Upcoming Open House

The Seattle Planning Commission is seeking new applicants. The Commission advises the Mayor, City Council, and City departments on planning goals and policies as well as advising on land use, zoning, transportation, and housing issues. The Commission is made up of 16 members.

Specifically, the Commission lacks a District 1 representative, so I’m reaching out and asking you to apply if this is a commission you might be interested in serving on. Commissioners are volunteers who serve three-year terms with the opportunity to serve two terms.

If you have questions, would like to speak to current Commissioners about their role, or would like to apply please contact Vanessa Murdock, Executive Director at 206-733-9271 or via e-mail at Vanessa.Murdock@seattle.gov by February 28.

Additionally, there’s an open house on February 13 from 5 – 6pm at City Hall in room L280.

January Constituent Email Report

Constituent correspondence is a very important task in my office. My staff and I spend time every day helping you improve our community, whether that’s by getting you help from a city department with our constituent case management services or giving you information about legislation that the Council is considering. The unshaded categories and numbers are problem-solving emails answered in January, what I refer to above as “case management services.”  The shaded categories and numbers are emails answered in January related to policy or legislation that the Council is considering.

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