Welcome and Introductions: Vice President Chas Redmond began the meeting. President Deb Barker had a conflict this evening. MoCA officers Eldon Olson and Sean Gamble were also present. Meeting attendees introduced themselves. MoCA public information officer Cindi Barker was also present.
Announcements and Updates:
April 23 and 27 is Lincoln Park Clean-up Day & Nature Day. That is a Tuesday (6:30PM-8:30PM) and a Saturday (10:30AM-2:30PM, at southern end of Lincoln Park, where there will be many activities).
City Disaster Drill and Morgan Hub Activation Day will take place on May 11 (which conflicts with West Seattle garage sale day). This will take place over at Morgan Junction Park. Boy Scouts and the ham radio club will participate. The drill will need actors to participate in imaginary emergencies. It will be fun.
May 18 is Morgan Junction Spring Clean Event. We are looking for folks to volunteer for a couple hours for picking up at the triangle parks and the different intersections. Sidewalk sweeping, trash pick up, and potentially tree removal. We meet at 10AM at Morgan Junction Park.
Report on Morgan Mural Restoration: The mural is fading and flaking off the cement wall. The owner is interested in keeping the mural. We are working on locating the artist, Bruce Ricket of Nova Scotia. An attendee believes that Bruce has passed away. We would like to restore the mural in a way that respects the integrity of the mural.
The Street Maintenance Division Fund: SDOT says that curb work is scheduled for certain areas.
Announcement: With sadness, we learned of the passing of our friend Toby Weymiller. Toby was president of MoCA in 2003-5 and brought a great spirit to our neighborhood, until he and his wife Maiko moved to Japan. His obituary reads “Toby Eric Weymiller, a man who followed his dreams and was always passionate about making a difference, passed away on Friday, March 29th from injuries sustained in an avalanche. At the young age of 43, Toby lived the life of most men twice his age. He loved nature, the mountains, his family and his friends. Toby is survived by his wife, Maiko, his father Sinclair Albert, and three brothers, Allen, Peter and Paul.
SDOT Presentation by Mike Ward, PE: Mike passed out maps of the work done along California and Fauntleroy Intersection regarding the bus bulbs for the Rapid Ride C Line. Most of this work was done by the end of last summer. SDOT worked with City Light to get the shelters and signs working. SDOT didn’t change the striping or canalization at that time. But the bulbs do cause changes in traffic flow. Some of the westbound traffic on Fauntleroy attempted dangerous turns around the stopped buses by passing in the opposing traffic left-hand turn lane. The SDOT solution for this dangerous situation is the installation of a 25-foot long curb barrier. Mike was asked what data was used to make the decision to install the curb bulb, and what data was being gathered after installation to either confirm effectiveness or to confirm other complaints about wait times behind stopped buses. His operations counterpart was not able to attend the meeting and Mike said he would get back to MoCA with information on those questions. Mike was not aware of the sources or nature of the data regarding the traffic problems. MoCA had a question about what it would take for SDOT to admit that it made a mistake in locating the Rapid Ride bulbs so close to the intersection. The location has created enormous congestion problems during high traffic times. Additionally, other buses have blocked traffic by stopping along the bulbs. Often times the Rapid Ride is sitting at these locations for minutes at a time, up to 4.5 minutes, instead of the promised estimate of 30 seconds at a time. This is a problem. SDOT is attempting to work on some of these issues by putting in a different stop. Mike expects that there is little chance of SDOT admitting that a mistake was made in locating the stops.
Murray/Lowman Beach CSO Update: Doug Marsano with King County talked about the project for reducing storm and wastewater overflow from contaminating Puget Sound. Firefighters recently did some training on the buildings. Live burn training will not be done due to hazardous materials in the buildings. The City has given permits for removing the material from the buildings. The work on removing the materials is expected to take about 6 weeks. Then the buildings will be taken down, recycling as much material as possible. The County has to begin construction on the storage tank by the end of 2013. Construction fencing will go to the property line. By July, Doug should have a better idea on the construction timetable. Doug will check with operations as to whether a standby generator will be onsite during the interim. MoCA suggests asking Doug back to October for an update. By the way, the Barton Pump Station is also going pretty well. Some clay deposits are causing some hurdles.
West Seattle Bike Connections: Don Brubeck is here to start a conversation about Greenways in West Seattle. Greenways groups have been started all across Seattle. These are grassroots organizations that want safe and healthy neighborhood streets that work for everyone who needs to use them, including walkers, bicyclists, and drivers. Streets can promote good health in the community by being beautiful with healthy trees and encouraging people to walk and enjoy the streets. The people who live on these streets are the deciders, although it is a question as to how this may be harmonized with the Bike Master Plan and other citywide plans. You can see more information about this on the Sustainable West Seattle website. See also westseattlebikeconnections.org and www.seattlegreenways.org/neighborhoods/west-seattle. There is a proposed Brandon east / west GREEN superhighway that can potentially be developed. An attendee raised the concern about reckless bicyclists causing chaos on our streets. West Seattle Bike Connections is definitely involved in bicycle training and safety. The City doesn’t provide any money for this. There are concerns about the dangers of trucks, cars, and bicycles sharing the streets.
City Design Guideline Update: Cindi Barker spoke about the update process. On Monday, April 29, there will be a public hearing at council chambers at 6PM. Back in 2007, the Morgan Design guidelines were put together by a committee of planners, architects, and Cindi. The document described the Morgan Junction Urban Village and the Morgan Junction context and priorities. In 2010, the City did a revision that had issues. Now in 2013, the city started the revision process again. The City did an accurate transfer of the Morgan Junction committee’s concerns. But there were some deletions, which included Morgan Junction context. The City says that this is put into the reference guide. But the reference guide’s authority is ambiguous. Developers might ignore it or be confused. The Morgan Junction context includes small-town feel, a comfortable human scale, appealing with landscaping, good for walking, a vital commercial district, and an enhancement of this community that celebrates its relationship with Puget Sound. So an issue is that design guidelines and the Morgan Junction context have been removed from the guide. Cindi’s proposal is that the Morgan Junction-specific design guidelines be put back into the Morgan Design guidelines. They have the potential to provide good guidance for developers.
Cindi also talked about pedestrian-friendly enhancements along California from Graham down to Fauntleroy. This is beautification work, benches, trees, and bike stands. There will be engagement with the residents and local businesses.
Formation of “Friends of Morgan Junction Park” (and other Morgan beautification projects: MoCA is putting out a call for volunteers interested in forming a group to help with the maintenance and beautification of Morgan Junction Park and perhaps other green areas around Morgan Junction. Several people expressed interest in volunteering. MoCA welcomes more volunteers to loop themselves into the formation of Friends of Morgan Junction Park(s). The group is also looking for leadership. Please contact Deb if you are interested in helping or being a part of the group. This is a great opportunity if you are interested in urban forestry and the beautification of Morgan Junction.
Morgan Junction Community Festival: Chas spoke about the upcoming festival. It will be at Morgan Junction on June 22, 2013. It will be great fun. The festival will include great music bands, Bubbleman, the Bite of Morgan, the Bark of Morgan, food trucks, Young-at-Art, and other events that will make it a great festival. The festival needs volunteers! The volunteers can help to set up the festival and help keep festival-goers safe while crossing California Avenue.
Slate of Officers Vote: The incumbent board was re-elected by attendees to the board members’ current positions, unopposed: Deb Barker, president; Chas Redmond, vice president; Eldon Olson, treasurer; Sean Gamble, secretary.
Next MoCA Meeting is on July 17, 2013 at 7:00 PM at The Kenney, 7125 Fauntleroy Way SW, Room #2.
Remember to Save the Date:
June 22, 2013, The Morgan Junction Community Festival.
President Deb Barker began the meeting. MoCA officers Chas Redmond, and Sean Gamble were also present. Cindi Barker, who does community information work for MoCA, was also present.
Bicycle Master Plan Update
Sara Zora with SDOT updated everyone on the Bicycle Master Plan Update. Here is the background: In 2007, Seattle City Council adopted the Bicycle Master Plan. The focus is on making the city better and safer for bicycling. Part of the Plan is to designate bicycle lanes. Now we are shifting the way we look at bicycles in order to encourage more people of all ages to ride their bicycles, commute to work, and enjoy their neighborhoods. We can use neighborhood streets and residential greenways to encourage these goals.
Many bicyclists expressed their concerns with the lanes and the rules of the road not being well understood by some motorists. SDOT would like to do a better job of educating our roadway users in how to safely use our roads and lanes.
SDOT wants to incorporate best international practices in creating a bicycle-friendly city. This involves increasing safety, connectivity, equity, livability, and bicycle ridership. Copenhagen offers a great model for bicycle practices that Seattle can consider. The update should have a good vision and implementation process. SDOT wants to do a better job in lower income areas. SDOT would like to receive comments on its draft network map of bicycle lanes.
We are in public engagement, Phase 2, right now. SDOT will be seeking grants and state and federal funds to develop these goals. SDOT is developing a data-driven strategy that involves creating Neighborhood Greenways, which are non-arterial enhanced streets, and upgrading streets with bicycle lanes, buffered bicycle lanes, and creating off-street multi-use trails. SDOT is creating a connected network throughout the city.
Sara presented a large map of the draft bicycle network for SW Seattle. You can see the SW Seattle Bicycle Map here:
New Morgan Junction Park: Chip Nevins with Seattle Parks informed MoCA that Parks is still working on getting estimates on the possible clean up costs of the property north of Morgan Junction Park (“Short Stop” property). Acquiring and cleaning up the property would expand the existing green space in the heart of Morgan Junction. The possible clean up costs would affect the purchase price. Parks should be on track to have progress on this Parks project by the second half of the year.
Workshops for Neighborhood Matching Fund: The workshop is this Thursday, January 17. The city puts on workshops for teaching folks how to apply to funding sources for grants.
“Gathering of Neighbors”: At the new Chief Sealth Galleria on Saturday, May 4, from 9 to noon, there will be a leadership council in a town hall meeting format for discussing what communities can do with community members with mental issues to help them, to work with agencies, and so forth, to explore what can be done at the grassroots level. From noon to 3 will be the community festival with booths and entertainment.
Status of Funding Applications
Cindi spoke on the NPF $12,000 grant, which will combine with trees from another fund. The grant will provide sidewalk benches and bicycle racks. We will talk with neighborhood business owners to learn what will make Morgan Junction better. The grant is roughly along California and crosses the Junction. This is the idea phase now. Please let us know any ideas you have.
Chas Redmond spoke on the Festival Grant of $1,200. MoCA successfully applied for a grant that funds neighborhood festivals. This grant will help to pay for the talent at the festival. Remember that our festival is on June 22 this year.
Deb Barker spoke on the Bridging the Gap NSF grants. MoCA submitted two applications for NSF last month, although neither was recommended for approval. One application, named “California Avenue Corridor Conditions,” sought road improvements for California Avenue potholes between Graham and Holly. Another application sought road-crossing safety improvements at these intersections: SW Graham from California Ave SW to Fauntleroy Way SW; SW Morgan from 42nd Ave SW to 35th Ave SW; and SW Holden from California Ave SW to 25th Ave SW. MoCA plans to resubmit portions of these applications to the Neighborhood Park and Street Fund (NPSF). The deadline is February 4. MoCA proposes to focus on the most pressing issues in the new round of applications.
There was one Morgan Junction-area application that was recommended for approval by the SW District Counsel: an alley improvement by Morgan Junction Park. Another West Seattle project recommended for approval is a sidewalk improvement by Arbor Heights by 100 and 106. And a third was the Admiral road crossing improvements (a pedestrian-activated signal and a sidewalk installation).
Murray / Lowman Beach CSO
Doug Marsano updated everyone on the CSO project. King County manages tap water and sewage and storm overflow water. The same set of pipes is used for both storm water and sewage water. Usually, this is not a problem. But several days per year this is a problem during heavy rain, when the system is stressed beyond capacity and can cause environmental damage in the form of run-off into the Puget Sound. The improvements are designed to protect the Puget Sound environment.
The improvements, which include many design considerations, are also meant to reflect the values of the community. The CSO will include a hidden million-gallon storage tank. The site plan will have trees and look like a park. A main concern of the community was to reduce any industrial feel of the site. Another concern was to improve and incorporate view taking of the scenery. A third concern was to calm nearby traffic patterns. And fourth, the plan should create continuity between the CSO and the neighborhood. The site will be an open-use space for the community. Eventually, the trees around the CSO will grow up and cover the structures. The wall design has been broken up to reduce any slab-like feel. The green roof will have an alpine meadow-like appearance. There will also be a pedestrian throughway. The walls along the walkways are designed by an artist and will involve very durable rammed-earth construction. The artist designed ecological continuity throughout the site. The public space will have a rain garden that will use storm water. Trees will be set back from the sidewalk.
Now the focus is on obtaining permits and then deconstructing the buildings, which involves saving and reusing many old building materials. Deconstruction should be started within the next few months. It will be expensive to remove the known asbestos from the buildings. Salvaging will also be involved. The artist will coordinate the salvaging process. This should be finished by the end of April. The bid process for the construction will involve several steps and may require until the third or fourth quarter to be completed with construction beginning at that time. The construction may be finished in mid to late 2016.
The community input was invaluable to this process. Doug thanked MoCA and the West Seattle Blog for all the help. The design process went through several reiterations and improvements. Doug will be back in April to update the community. Here is a link that gives additional information:
June 22 is the date for the Festival this year. MoCA has started doing the planning and will be meeting monthly. There are groups for planning music, kids events, food. You can suggest local musicians who can play at the Festival. 2012’s festival had bad luck with weather. We also needed more volunteers. Please volunteer. We are hoping that this year will be much better than last year’s festival, which didn’t have enough volunteers and also had unlucky weather. This year, we very much need volunteers to help set up in the morning and then take down in the evening. This is really important and will be much appreciated. This year will shape up to be a great MoCA Festival.
Tree Ambassador Projects
Sean Gamble spoke on the end-of-the-year Tree Ambassador projects in Morgan Junction. Deb did a lot great pruning at the tree triangle by the Juneau-Fauntleroy bus stop. We also had a lot of volunteers to help the tree triangle by the Morgan-Fauntleroy bus stop by Thriftway. We cleaned the site, pruned, spread mulch, and planted new cherry trees. The cherry trees should look great when they blossom in the springtime. The Seaview area has gotten a lot of new street trees along Juneau, Raymond, Graham, and other streets, thanks to Tree Ambassador efforts. Everyone is encouraged to think of new tree planting projects for Morgan Junction. Please submit your ideas for tree-planting projects. We can help neighbors plant trees on their own property. We can also help with planting new street trees along tree planting strips. We can also potentially work on clearing public areas of invasive species. The Tree Ambassadors can get free trees, tools, and mulch for tree-planting projects. Please bring your ideas to Deb or Sean for collaboration.
Police Advisor Committee: Please volunteer and get in touch with Eldon if you are interested in participating in the SW Police Advisory Board. A new member is needed to represent the Morgan Neighborhood.
Pothole Patrols: Please call in the potholes and report their existence so they can get fixed. (206) 684-ROAD is the phone number to call and report potholes. It may be best to call in the daytime and talk with a live person.
CNC Committees: These committees meet monthly and are looking for volunteers: Education; Transportation; Budget; Neighborhood Matching Fund; and the Neighborhood Planning Committees. Anybody who is a member of a neighborhood association can join one of these committees. Please contact Chas for more information if you are interested in volunteering. The Transportation Committee is currently grappling with density issues and an up-zoning issue. The next meeting is at Room 370 at City Hall at 7 PM on January 28.
MoCA Festival 2013: Please volunteer for our festival this summer on June 22.
MoCA 2013 Election
The officers will be up for election at the next meeting in April. A proposed slate of officers for 2013 is as follows: Deb Barker, President; Chas Redmond, Vice President; Sean Gamble, Secretary; and Eldon Olson, Treasurer. Anyone in attendance is entitled to vote and run for office. Please attend and vote!
The next meeting will be held at The Kenney at 7 PM on April 17, 2013. The address is 7125 Fauntleroy Way SW, Room 2.
**Save the Date**
June 22, 2013 is the Morgan Junction Community Festival!
Here is an additional announcement to the Morgan Junction Community:
A PASSIONATE MISSION Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network volunteers donate thousands of hours year-round responding to reports of live and dead marine mammals, establishing perimeters and protecting resting harbor seal pups, educating the public about our fragile marine ecosystem and visiting classrooms, doing health assessment of animals and delivering animals for necropsy.
Learn more about the organization, seals and sea lions, and NOAA’s NW stranding networks on Seal Sitters’ website at www.sealsitters.org. For what’s happening on the beach, please visit www.blubberblog.org.
If you see a seal pup on the beach, stay back, keep dogs leashed and away at all times and call your local stranding network.
Seal Sitters always needs dedicated volunteers and holds several trainings a year. If you're interested in joining, please check the website (www.sealsitters.org/news/events_and_training.html) for information or to be placed on a contact list for upcoming trainings.