Election update: Proposition 1 still losing after 2 vote counts; county leaders say ‘we will carry out the will of the voters’ and cut Metro

April 23rd, 2014 Tracy Posted in Metro, Politics, White Center news 1 Comment »

The second round of results is out for Proposition 1, the transit/roads money measure on Tuesday’s ballot, and “no” is still leading, by nine percentage points. Current tally:

No – 224,441 votes, 54.51%
Yes – 187,324 votes, 45.49%

County leaders have issued a news release saying that they’re now making plans for Metro cuts. County Executive Dow Constantine: “We gave the voters a choice, and presented a proposal for saving Metro Transit and maintaining our roads. They have chosen a reduced level of service, and we will carry out the will of the voters. Tomorrow I will transmit legislation to the King County Council to reduce service by 550,000 hours and eliminate 72 bus routes.” The County Council’s Transportation, Economy and Environment committee will have public hearings on the plan before taking final action by the end of May. Here’s the draft version of the 550,000-hour reduction:

It leaves more routes unchanged than the original proposal, and would be phased in between September 2014 and September 2015. Still on the list of routes to be eliminated: 21, 22, 37, 57. Route 113 was on the deletion list in November but is on the “would be unchanged” list now.

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Something to say about Metro money measure? Evening hearing February 4th

January 28th, 2014 Tracy Posted in Metro, Transportation, White Center news Comments Off

If you have something to say in person about the proposed ballot measure to raise money to hold off Metro cuts and help roads, with a car-tab fee and sales-tax increase, be at Union Station (401 S. Jackson) in downtown Seattle on Tuesday, February 4th, for the only night hearing – 5:30 pm sign-in, 6 pm testimony. The County Council expects to decide February 10th whether to send a proposal to voters in April.

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Metro-cuts update, crime report @ North Highline Unincorporated Area Council’s January 2014 meeting

January 12th, 2014 Tracy Posted in Metro, North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off

By Tracy Record and Patrick Sand
White Center Now co-publishers

With no money solution in sight yet, the first round of Metro service cuts is rolling forward, and it was the centerpiece topic at Thursday night’s meeting of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council.

These are the changes that would take effect in June, when the county runs out of money from the state meant to mitigate effects of Highway 99 construction – even though that construction is far from over, and county leaders suggest that transportation in this area will be affected through at least 2019, between the tunnel, the Viaduct demolition, surface Alaskan Way construction, seawall work, and more.

The King County Council’s Transportation Committee will look at the proposed cuts Thursday afternoon at 1:30 pm, and will also be briefed on proposed creation of a “transportation benefit district” to raise money locally to make up for some of what is expiring.

The June service-change proposal (eliminated and reduced routes) for this area, still pending council approval, includes total elimination of Route 113, whose service area includes White Center:

As noted by Metro’s Doug Johnson and DeAnna Martin at the meeting, other effects in this area would include service reductions for routes 60, 120, 121, 122, 123, 131, and 132.

Also at the meeting, County Councilmember Joe McDermott, who said the “transportation benefit district” – authorizing a car-tab fee and sales-tax increase – could go to voters as soon as April, and isn’t just for Metro money, but would also raise $50 million for roads. There’s been no good news from Olympia regarding a transportation deal, and that’s why this all is moving forward.

In addition to the County Council committee meeting this week, there’s also a big event with the West Seattle Transportation Coalition which, as WSTC board member Amanda Kay Helmick told NHUAC on Thursday night, considers North Highline to be an integral part of the area too. At 6:30 pm Tuesday at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW), representatives from city, county, and state government will comprise a panel with Q/A about local transportation issues, and as WSTC has been noting, a big turnout will underscore local concerns.

Also during Thursday’s NHUAC meeting, the monthly crime/safety briefing with King County Sheriff’s Office Deputy BJ Myers. He mentioned an uptick in car thefts/prowls and auto-parts thefts around the Top Hat area in the past month, and said KCSO is targeting that with a special emphasis. But the heart of White Center itself does not have anything out of the ordinary going on, and December 2013 stats, Deputy Myers said, look a lot like December 2012. Several attendees asked him to check on graffiti-vandalism concerns.

For more information about NHUAC, check out its website at northhighlineuac.org.

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Metro’s potential cuts on the agenda at first 2014 meeting of North Highline Unincorporated Area Council

December 29th, 2013 Tracy Posted in Metro, North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off

Still no solution to the Metro money mess – with some White Center/West Seattle cuts looming even sooner than the rest of the region – so the centerpiece item on next month’s NHUAC agenda is all the more important. From president Barbara Dobkin:

Just a reminder – The North Highline Unincorporated Area Council (NHUAC) will be holding their January meeting on Thursday, January 9. We are pleased to be hosting representatives from King County Metro, who will provide information on potential service cuts. A total of 600,000 annual service hours, or 17% of the current Metro system could be eliminated. The impact from these cuts will be devastating to both drivers and Metro riders. It is important to let your voice be heard – so please join us for this important discussion.

Metro Representatives will be on hand starting at 6:30 – our regular meeting will begin at 7.

Stay tuned for more details.

NHUAC Meeting
When: Thursday, January 9, 6:30 pm
Where: North Highline Fire Station (1243 SW 112th)

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White Center Weather Watch: Friday snow updates

December 20th, 2013 Tracy Posted in Highline School District, Metro, Weather, White Center news Comments Off

5:13 AM: It’s snowing, as predicted, and expected to continue into the late morning. We’ll publish major updates here, including roads, transit, and schools, as we get them.

5:53 AM: Trouble on Olson Place already, per the scanner – a bus partly blocking at 3rd.

6:07 AM: Highline Public Schools has just tweeted that it’s CLOSED for the day.

7:10 AM: Metro buses are all on snow routes.

7:27 AM: Remember that King County is plowing fewer roads – although the snow is not so heavy that this is likely to be a major problem, this time. Also – an added school closure in White Center: West Seattle Montessori is closed.

3:13 PM: Metro is back to regular routes.

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Potential Metro cuts: Transit takeaways ahead, if funding’s not replaced

November 7th, 2013 Tracy Posted in Metro, Transportation, White Center news Comments Off

(What the bus network in this area would look like AFTER the cuts, IF they have to be made – click for full-size view)
A big media briefing earlier today followed up on the one back in April warning that big chunks of Metro funding were expiring – remember the Congestion Reduction Charge, and Viaduct mitigation money? At that time, county leaders warned that without action by the Legislature, major Metro cuts could ensue. That action hasn’t been taken yet (though a special session starting today brings some new hope) so Metro has unveiled specifics. There are many details in our as-it-happened coverage on partner site West Seattle Blog; in addition, you can go to this special Metro website to find route-by-route information and a lot more. They’re about to start a round of community meetings, and the schedule includes one in the West Seattle/White Center area: Youngstown Cultural Arts Center in North Delridge, 6 pm December 3rd.

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Metro service change September 28: White Center, Shorewood effects

September 19th, 2013 Tracy Posted in Metro, Transportation, White Center news Comments Off

Details of Metro‘s next “service change” are now available on its website, including changes to Route 22, which will no longer loop through Shorewood, and Route 120, which is adding service. The changes can be seen by clicking the route numbers on this page; below, the same text you’ll get by doing that:

For Route 22:

Route 22 will be extended further west and south in Arbor Heights. It will operate a counter-clockwise loop via SW 100th St, 44th Ave SW, Marine View Dr SW, SW 106th St, 39th Ave SW and 35th Ave SW to SW 106th SW and regular routing to the Alaska Junction. It will no longer operate a clockwise loop via 26th Ave SW, SW 106th St, 35th Ave SW and SW Roxbury St in Shorewood.

The schedule will be adjusted for the added running time of about 7 minutes.

For Route 120:

On weekdays, one northbound trip to downtown Seattle leaving the Burien Transit Center at 10:34 pm and two southbound trips to Burien leaving 3rd Ave & Virginia St at 10:33 and 11:39 pm will be added. On Saturday, four northbound trips at 7:27 am and 5:36, 6:07 and 6:37 pm, and four southbound trips at 9:08 am and 6:38, 7:08 and 10:54 pm will be added. The northbound trip leaving the Burien Transit Center at 7:20 am will be revised to leave 8 minutes earlier at 7:12 am.

On Sunday, a northbound trip at 6:32 am and a southbound trip at 10:54 pm will be added. The northbound trip leaving the Burien Transit Center at 6:11 am will be revised to leave 10 minutes earlier at 6:01 am.

Metro’s info page also includes sections with information on which days this fall will include holiday-related changes. Metro says printed timetables will be available this Friday, and that you should be able to preview changes right now using the online Trip Planner.

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Tonight: Libraries, buses, KCSO on North Highline Unincorporated Area Council agenda

June 6th, 2013 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, Libraries, Metro, White Center news Comments Off

You’re invited tonight – 7 pm, North Highline Fire District HQ at 1243 SW 112th, as the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council takes on this busy agenda:

7:00 pm Call to Order – Flag Salute – Roll Call –
Approval of Agenda – Approval of Minutes
7:05 pm Public Announcements
7:10 pm Public Comment
3minutes for Individuals
5 minutes for Groups

7:15 pm Election of Officers

7:20 pm Bill Ptacek, King County Library System Director

7:40 pm Deanna Martin, Community Relations Planner
King County Department of Transportation

8:00 pm Deputy William Kennamer, King County Sheriff’s Office
Special Operations Section

8:10 pm Committee Reports

8:15 pm Unfinished Business/Old Business
• Jubilee Days
• Storefront Deputy Petition

8:20 pm New Business
• Napa Building – 16th Avenue

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If it snows – will bus riders be stuck? Reader’s letter

January 29th, 2013 Tracy Posted in Metro, White Center news Comments Off

An anonymous White Center Now reader shared this:

Here’s an email I sent to KC Metro Transit:

Last year, Route 128 ran on the incorrect Snow Route. It traveled along SW Roxbury St. and 4th Ave SW, avoiding the correct Snow Route along 8th Ave SW and SW 108th St.

This stranded some thousands of people for two days in a row. Those affected included the Boys & Girls Club and community center, King County Library, Nia Apartments senior housing, Greenwood development residents, a large elementary school, a county public health facility, White Center Food Bank, and all residents and businesses in this area.

1) Why did this happen?
2) What will happen this time around?

Thank you for your attention to this problem.

Forecasters say the chances of snow this winter are dimming – but that won’t make the reported problem go away. We’ll let you know what we hear about followup.

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Transit reminder: Metro on ‘reduced weekday’ schedule today

December 24th, 2012 Tracy Posted in Metro, Transportation, White Center news Comments Off

If you’re taking Metro today, remember that it’s on “reduced weekday schedule” – that’s today, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, while on Tuesday (Christmas Day) Metro will follow the Sunday schedule.

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Wednesday morning, Metro’s in White Center so you can ‘Have a Say’

February 8th, 2012 Tracy Posted in Metro, White Center news Comments Off

‘Have a Say’ is the theme for Metro‘s comment-seeking process, under way right now after the transit system went public last week with a revised version of the changes it would like to make this September. Metro reps were at the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting last Thursday, as reported here, and this morning they will have an information table – for you to offer feedback and ask questions – starting at 10 am at the White Center Food Bank.

Meantime, in case you missed an overview of the proposed changes, Metro circulated a White Center (and points south)-themed news release today – read on: Read the rest of this entry »

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Metro changes, WestSide Baby on the agenda for North Highline Unincorporated Area Council this Thursday

January 29th, 2012 Tracy Posted in Metro, North Highline UAC, WestSide Baby, White Center news Comments Off

From North Highline Unincorporated Area Council president Barbara Dobkin, the agenda for, and a preview of, this Thursday night’s meeting:

Deanna Martin from King County Metro Transit will be providing updates on the scheduled transit service changes to White Center and beyond. Additionally, questions regarding safety at bus stops along 15th Avenue, as well as the 2-zone fare issue, will be discussed.

We also welcome Nancy Woodland, Executive Director, WestSide Baby, who will update the community on what is happening at WestSide Baby, as well as the “homeless summits” that she has been heading in White Center.

Metro’s revised proposal for fall “restructuring” is due out no later than this Wednesday, so that will be a particularly timely discussion. Click ahead to see the agenda in full: Read the rest of this entry »

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Woman hit by bus, but not seriously hurt

October 22nd, 2011 Tracy Posted in Metro, west seattle, White Center news 2 Comments »

(Photo by Deanie Schwarz for WCN/WSB)
As first reported on partner site West Seattle Blog: The Roxbury/Delridge/15th intersection was closed for a short time tonight after a bus hit a woman. The response by Seattle Fire and Police was initially major because the woman was reported to be trapped under the bus, but it was determined that she was not trapped after all. She was taken to the hospital but not reported to have serious injuries. The intersection is open again now (as we publish this at 9:34 pm).

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Downtown bus stop might be removed – county soliciting comments

July 23rd, 2011 Tracy Posted in Metro, Transportation, White Center news 1 Comment »

We published this Friday on partner site West Seattle Blog and it turned out to be a hot topic. If you take the bus between downtown and White Center, you might want to speak out while the county is taking comments:

King County Metro Transit and the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) are evaluating options to improve traffic flow and transit operations on Columbia Street near the Alaskan Viaduct onramp.

One suggestion is to close the bus stop located on Columbia just east of Second Avenue. It currently serves as the last stop for passengers leaving downtown on Metro routes 21 Express, 54, 55, 56 Express, 113, 120, 121, 122, and 125. If this bus stop closes, riders will need to walk four blocks to Third Avenue just south of Seneca Street to board or exit.

This closure is one of several concepts being considered, and Metro and SDOT are seeking initial feedback on the potential impacts to riders and the general public. They are asking people to provide comments about the possible closure of this stop by Friday, Aug. 12. Send email to: customer.comments@kingcounty.gov with Columbia/2nd Ave in the subject line , or call 206-553-3000.

Even if this bus stop remains open, it may be necessary to temporarily close it without prior notice due to traffic conditions. If that happens, Metro staff and signage will direct bus riders to board buses at the stop on Third Avenue south of Seneca Street.

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White Center weather/school info for Thursday morning

February 24th, 2011 Tracy Posted in Holy Family, Metro, Schools, Weather, White Center news Comments Off

6:04 AM: Holy Family School is closed; Metro has some buses on snow routing (the latest list is here). More info as we get it.

6:44 AM: Kennedy High School in Burien is closed.

8:56 AM: The weather is supposed to improve, though since it’s going to be really cold – teens, potentially – tonight and tomorrow night, the snow that’s here may linger a while.

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MLK Day: Transportation changes, and more

January 17th, 2011 Tracy Posted in Holidays, Metro, White Center news 2 Comments »

Metro’s on a “reduced-weekday” schedule for the holiday. Most government offices/facilities are closed – no school, no mail; banks are closed too. MLK Day is also a Day of Service for many, and King County United Way tells us White Center-headquartered WestSide Baby is one of those places, with volunteers helping out at its newly expanded HQ today.

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King County roads/Metro Transit bad-weather-preps briefing under way now

November 1st, 2010 Tracy Posted in Metro, Transportation, White Center news Comments Off

Right now on cable channel 22 or online (kingcounty.gov/council), you can watch a briefing by King County Department of Transportation leaders – both roads and transit – regarding their preparations in case of bad-weather road trouble this winter. (KCDOT director Harold Taniguchi opened by joking that they ordered today’s heavy rain to coincide with the briefing.) One thing they’re stressing, particularly for bus riders, is to sign up for alerts – details on that, and links, are in a news release posted this morning on the county website – find it here.

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Metro announces changes for White Center, West Seattle coming up

September 24th, 2010 Tracy Posted in Metro, Transportation, White Center news 2 Comments »

Metro‘s next “service revision” has some changes for White Center and West Seattle riders – including some trips being dropped entirely – and late tonight, the details came in. Read on for Metro’s full announcement of which routes will be affected: Read the rest of this entry »

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Heads up, White Center bus riders: Upcoming ramp closure will affect you

May 10th, 2010 Tracy Posted in Metro, Transportation, White Center news Comments Off

While the upcoming closure of the 1st Avenue South ramp to the westbound (high) West Seattle Bridge won’t affect White Center drivers as much as their WS counterparts, for bus riders, it’s a different story. The ramp closes permanently one week from today, as the Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project enters a new phase. Our latest update over at WSB includes links to the bus routes expected to be affected, plus detour maps.

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Upcoming Seattle project to affect White Center bus riders, too

April 19th, 2010 Tracy Posted in Metro, Transportation, White Center news Comments Off

Metro notes that some bus riders from/to White Center will be among those affected when the Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project ramps up to its next phase in mid-May. Read on for the official news release they have just sent out: Read the rest of this entry »

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