Category: Announcements

2014 WSTC Board Elections

In May 2014, the West Seattle Transportation Coalition will hold it’s first ever Board elections, as detailed here in our by-laws. The rules and voting will work like this.

What is the WSTC Board?

  • The board is made up of eleven seats, numbered 1 through 11. This reflects the initial number of interim volunteer board members that stepped up in our inaugural meeting.
  • The Board members make all high level decisions for the WSTC as needed on behalf of it’s memberships and endorsers, subject to our by-laws and customs.
  • All Board members must actively serve as members of a WSTC Committee.
  • Terms are typically two years.
  • The Board elects it’s own officers of Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer. Officer terms are one year.
  • The Board is typically present at each General Meeting, and there is usually a “working” meeting of the Board once per month for 90 minutes.

Who can run for the WSTC Board?

Anyone who lives or works in our boundaries. The area is West Seattle, South Park, Harbor Island, White Center, North Highline — anything west of the Duwamish River south to Burien. Also, anyone who is a member of groups, organizations, companies or institutions in those areas, may announce that they want to run for a Board Seat. If your status changes and you no longer qualify after being elected, you will step down from the Board.

How do I run for the WSTC Board?

  • You need to come to our February 11 or March 11, 2014 meeting and declare what Board position you wish to run for.
  • By a deadline of March 15, 2014, you must provide to the WSTC a photo and a statement of up to 500 words for our website.
  • By April 1, 2014, the WSTC will publish online all candidates, their positions, photos and statements.

What WSTC Board positions are open in 2014?

  • As this is our first-ever election, ALL eleven positions are open.
  • Following 2014 we will run even numbered positions on even numbered years and odd numbered positions on odd numbered years.
  • Anyone running for odd positions (#1, #3, #5, #7, #9, #11) in 2014 will serve one year until 2015.
  • Anyone running for even positions (#2, #4, #6, #8, #10) in 2014 will serve two years until 2016.

When are the 2014 WSTC Board elections?

  • The elections will be held in our May 13th, 2014 meeting.
  • Voting is by secret ballot. At least two people who are not running for office will count votes.
  • Voting is decided by simple majority.

Who can vote in the 2014 WSTC Board elections?

  • To vote, you must be a Member, with the same geographic requirements that Board members have.
  • To vote, you must also have signed into at least one meeting or event of the WSTC in the preceding calendar year.

For the 2014 WSTC Board elections, this means you must have signed into one of the following events or meetings:

  • September 10th, 2013 inaugural meeting.
  • October 15th, 2013 meeting.
  • November 12th, 2013 meeting.
  • December 10th, 2013 meeting.
  • January 14th, 2014 Q&A Panel.
  • February 11th, 2014 meeting.
  • March 11th, 2014 meeting.
  • April 8th, 2014 meeting.

When are the Officer elections?

The Board, in the current rules, will elect their own Officers for one year terms, again by simple majority secret balloting.

When will the new WSTC Board take office?

The new Board and it’s Officer take office with our June 10th, 2014 meeting, replacing the outgoing original Interim Board.

Update on our January 14th event at Youngstown

We have a late update on the event for tomorrow. The West Seattle Transportation Coalition regrets to inform you that we will no longer be joined at this event by Charles Knutson of Washington State Governor Jay Inslee’s office on January 14.

Governor Inslee called for a special meeting between leaders of both parties in Olympia for Tuesday, January 14th, focusing on transportation. As a result, Mr. Knutson had to cancel several engagements in Seattle to stay at the capitol, including ours. The Governor’s office is currently attempting to arrange for a high level WSDOT representative to attend in their place, who will be briefed on the questions we have provided.

Due to the technical nature of some of the questions the WSTC will be asking attendees, they were provided ahead of time for research, with the request for written responses for publication for after the event. The Governor’s office is still working to provide us full written responses to our questions, as planned.

Chris Arkills from Executive Constantine’s office, Andrew Glass Hastings from Mayor Murray’s office, and City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen are still attending. Everyone here at the WSTC looks forward to seeing all of you at this important event, as we finally tackle the longstanding issues that have gone idle for too long.

Event details:

Q&A Panel about West Seattle transportation issues with the offices of Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, King County Executive Dow Constantine, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, and City of Seattle Councilmember Tom Rasmussen.

Date: January 14th, 2014
Time: 6:30pm-9:00pm
Location: Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, Thelma Dewitty Theater, 4408 Delridge Way SW, Seattle, WA 98107

WSTC January Q&A Panel, more details

The West Seattle Transportation Coalition (http://www.westseattletc.org) in October 2013 issued a call to action from the offices of Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, King County Executive Dow Constantine, then Mayor Mike McGinn and then Mayoral candidate Ed Murray, and City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen.

West Seattle, unique to all other regions of King County, faces up to 27% transit cuts due to the current funding crisis in Olympia that special sessions of the State Legislature were unable to overcome. The rest of King County faces only 17% cuts. In addition, West Seattle faces the impending removal of the SR-99 Viaduct, our main avenue to reach downtown Seattle. With the Seattle deep bore tunnel drilling project increasingly behind schedule with the discovery of steel pipes left behind a decade ago from a previous WSDOT project, our situation has grown even more complicated. Our circumstances and geography leave us with few obvious mitigation options as a community around these problems.

On January 14th, 2014 at 6:30pm, we will host a Q&A Panel with various levels of government in response to these issues, and to see what can be done, in a live event.

The West Seattle Transportation Coalition will be joined by the following:

  • Charles Knutson, Senior Policy Advisor to Washington State Governor Jay Inslee.
  • Chris Arkills, Transportation Policy Advisor to King County Executive Dow Constantine.
  • Andrew Glass Hastings, Transit and Transportation Advisor to Seattle Mayor Ed Murray.
  • Tom Rasmussen, Seattle City Councilmember and Chair of the City’s Transportation Committee.

The event will be held at the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 4408 Delridge Way SW, in West Seattle, in the Thelma Dewitty Theater. The event will run from 6:30pm to 9:00pm. The West Seattle Transportation Coalition has provided to each attendee a list of 7 to 10 questions, and will be following up with each for full answers, for publication after the event. The West Seattle Transportation Coalition will cover 3-5 questions with each attendee on January 14th, as time permits.

Event details:

Q&A Panel about West Seattle transportation issues with the offices of Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, King County Executive Dow Constantine, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, and City of Seattle Councilmember Tom Rasmussen.

Date: January 14th, 2014
Time: 6:30pm-9:00pm
Location: Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, Thelma Dewitty Theater, 4408 Delridge Way SW, Seattle, WA 98107

Join our discussion e-mail list, WSTC Talk!

The West Seattle Transportation Coalition has created an email list, talk@westseattletc.org! This mail list is mostly for transportation issues, but any West Seattle related discussion is fine if people want to use it for that! There is no other peninsula-wide mail list currently and no other transportation-focused e-mail list in the Seattle area. The list is brand new, so there aren’t many subscribers, yet. Get in on the ground floor.

To join the list, go here: http://www.westseattletc.org/wstc-talk

Enter your name and e-mail address, and then click confirm on the e-mail you get. Just send an e-mail to talk@westseattletc.org to start a discussion!

The WSTC is hosting a Q&A Panel with government officials

On January 14th, 2014 at 6:30pm, the West Seattle Transportation Coalition (WSTC) will be hosting a Q&A Panel with the offices of State of Washington Governor Jay Inslee, King County Executive Dow Constantine, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, and Seattle City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, who chairs the City Council’s Transportation Committee. This will be a panel Q&A with the WSTC moderators asking questions of each level of government about our transportation issues.

This will be relevant to everyone living in Seattle’s District 1, as well as our neighbors in District 2, District 7, White Center, Seacrest, and North Highline. Please plan to attend. The event will be at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 4408 Delridge Way SW, Seattle, WA 98106.

For the Facebook event page, please click here.

WSTC Winter 2013 Listening Tour Dates

The West Seattle Transportation Coalition needs to hear from you! Are you unhappy with our current transportation system, situation, and options? Come tell us what you’re upset about, and learn about the WSTC, our mission, and what we’re doing. What you come and tell us at this Listening Tour will directly affect how we interact with and pursue issues with the City of Seattle, King County, Washington State, and the Federal government.

“We’d like you to tell us what works and what doesn’t work about transportation in West Seattle; what do you think can be improved, or what do you think is needed,” said WSTC Outreach Chairperson Deb Barker.

The Listening Tour schedule is:

  • December 14, 2013 from 12-2pm at Barnes & Noble Coffee Shop, Westwood Village, 2600 SW Barton
  • December 15, 2013 from 11-1pm at Cupcake Royale, 4556 California Ave SW
  • December 21, 2013 from 12-2 at The Feedback Lounge, 6451 California Ave SW
  • December 22, 2013 from 12-2 at Zatz a Better Bagel, 2348 California Ave SW
  • December 29, 2013 from 12-2 at Uptown Espresso, 3845 Delridge Way SW

The WSTC announces it’s by-laws and Board elections

After many late night working meetings, a lot of draft versions, and much feedback, on December 1oth, 2013, the WSTC’s Interim Board finalized and ratified our initial by-laws. To read them in full, go here to our new by-laws page. Here are the high level basics:

  • WSTC formed September 24, 2013 by unanimous consent of 40+ community leaders.
  • Groups and people grant us their permission to speak on their behalf for transportation issues.
  • Positions, issues, etc. all derive from those endorsers in aggregate – the WSTC is an executor.
  • WSTC covers the “big stuff”, peninsula wide or multi-neighborhood transportation issues.
  • Board and it’s officers work on and with committees to get results to those issues.

WSTC structure:

The basic flow and structure of our organization is this:

wstc structure 1

WSTC Board elections:

Starting in the December 10th, 2013 meeting, any Member–who lives in, works in, or serves on an organization in our boundaries (all of West Seattle, South Park, Seattle’s new District 1, White Center, North Highline (the county, south to Burien, west of the Duwamish River)–can run for a place on our board or vote in Board elections if they’ve come to at least one general meeting of the WSTC.

Here are the basics of how the elections will work:

  • Terms are two years. Officer terms are one year.
  • There are 11 board seats/positions.
  • All 11 positions are up for election in May 2014.
  • Each board seat is numbered, and future elections will be in odd/even numbered years in May of every year. Positions #1, #3, #5, #7, #9, and #11 would be up for election in 2015, 2017, and 2019. Positions #2, #4, #6, #8, and #10 will be up for election in 2016, 2018, and 2020.
  • You must declare in-person, in our December 10th, February, or March meetings. You need to announce which position you want. By March 15th you must provide a photo and written statement up to 500 words, both for our website.
  • Normally January would be available for this, but our January 2014 meeting will instead be our special transportation event with guests.
  • Elections are in May 2014’s general meeting, by secret ballots.
  • To vote, you must be a member and must have “signed in” at at least one general meeting/major event in the preceding year before that May. For the May 2014 elections, this means the October 2013 meeting, November 2013, December 2013, January 2014, February 2014, March 2014, or April 2014.
  • Our current Interim Board serves until June 1st, 2014.
  • The new incoming permanent Coalition Board takes over June 1st, 2014.
  • Between May 2014’s election and June’s general meeting, the new Board will elect it’s officers by secret ballot.
  • All Board members must serve actively on at least one committee (but does not need to chair a committee).

If you are interested in joining the West Seattle Transportation Coalition as a regular volunteer, you can check our volunteer page here.

If you are interested in serving on the WSTC Board, please review the by-laws, and we hope to see you in a general meeting (here is our general meeting schedule) by March 2014 so that you can declare! Remember that our January 2014 general meeting has a completely full agenda with a special event, so you have until February 2014 or March 2014’s meeting to decide.

Questions about the incident today disrupting traffic on the SR99 Viaduct and future mitigation of such issues city-wide

This morning just after 6:00 AM, a van spun out and hit the guard rail on the northbound lane and crashed. It took the City of Seattle nearly two hours to get this cleared up. Multiple reports came in from hundreds of people of traffic backed up in every direction, from the stadiums back to the middle of West Seattle, all the way south past the 1st Avenue South Bridge. In short, it was a completely non-managed fiasco, and it was over the past several weeks at least the fifth time there was a major commuter transportation disruption for the West Seattle peninsula, between accidents and mistakes by government agencies. Reports across the news media and in various comment sections (and SDOT web cams) showed backups and damage from the event continuing well past 10:00 AM.

We saw nearly four hours of systemic disruption from a single crashed van that merely needed to be towed. On a weekday, there is no excuse for why the city could not get this cleared swiftly. The crash took place, as the crow flies, less than a half mile from Seattle’s City Hall and mere blocks from downtown. If we cannot service a critical north-south commuter corridor in the heart of our urban core for hours, things need to be addressed and remediated from a very high level.

In light of this, the West Seattle Transportation Coalition mailed this morning to City of Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn; Mayor-elect Ed Murray; Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, chair of the City Council’s Transportation Committee; and DeAnna Martin, Community Relations Planner from King County Metro. We asked them the following five questions:

Hello,

We are mailing in regards to the events today on the Viaduct which affected all commutes from West Seattle and points south. This was today’s event:

http://westseattleblog.com/2013/12/traffictransit-today-frozen-friday-updates

We have had now, approximately, four out of the last six commute days with extraordinary events and anger is clearly beginning to boil over with the public over the ongoing nature of these issues and  our limited, declining transportation options in West Seattle.

In order for us to transmit an explanation to our very large membership of up to 68,000 individuals, could the following be answered?

1. Why did it take two hours for a tow truck to clear an accident from the northbound viaduct this morning, when the accident happened at the height of rush hour?

2. If this was a situation where no third party tow truck was available in a timely fashion, what is the city willing and prepared to do to ensure that there will be one available in an extremely timely and highly efficient fashion going forward?

3. If this was a situation where the tow truck itself had to “fight” its way through the traffic jam itself, is there a protocol for SPD to escort safely the tow truck from the opposite direction to quickly and efficiently clear the scene?

4. If there is no such protocol as described in question #3, why not, and what steps are required for this to happen in all future incidents?

5. What sort of immediate communication was issued to Metro drivers ordering them to re-route and bypass the Viaduct, and what time was that done?

We look forward to a prompt answer to each question and steps taken to permanently ameliorate the process for these events. Seattle–not just West Seattle–has a number of critical transportation choke points in our various bridges. There must be a clear, defined, ruthlessly enforced and funded process for addressing these issues as they arise. Failure to do so and failure to address this would be unacceptable for the following reasons:

  •     It transfers tremendous personal costs in both lost time and lost money to commuters.
  •     It transfers directly financial costs in income lost for hourly employees, particularly low-income and working class employees, and those reliant upon child care.
  •     It passes tremendous costs forward and onto employers and businesses in terms of lost productivity, sales, and revenue.
  •     It allows for massive systemic disruption of our entire transportation and mass transit infrastructure, inconveniencing and passing those costs to citizens and employers across the city. As, in this case, Rapid Ride C from West Seattle is delayed for two hours, so is every Rapid Ride D that services north of the Ship Canal.

All this completely unnecessary disruption and harm to tens of thousands, for want of a single tow truck.

Thank you for your continued service and partnership.

We plan on following up on this and pursuing it until we have answers to each of the five questions in full, and until all five answers are publicized here. After the levels of raw frustration and anger we saw displayed today, the neglect in planning for West Seattle’s peninsula and residents in transportation matters has gone well past the point of reasonable patience on our part. There is no legitimate reason for us to have to wait any further for solutions.

If you would like to help us work on these issues, please check our page on volunteering, or you can simply “Like” us on Facebook here to keep updated.

South Park has joined the Coalition

The West Seattle Transportation Coalition is very happy to announce that our neighbors in the South Park Neighborhood Association (SPNA) have joined! The SPNA represents up to 5,200 South Park residents, and the WSTC will work with them to advocate on transportation related issues.

They join with the Delridge Neighborhood District Council, Genesee-Schmitz Neighborhood Council,  Morgan Community Association, Alki Community Council, the West Seattle Junction Neighborhood Organization, the Highland Park Action Committee, North Delridge Neighborhood Council, the Westwood/Roxhill/Arbor Heights Community Council, and the Admiral Neighborhood Association in endorsing our growing coalition. Today, the WSTC now helps represent up to 68,600 peninsula residents on transportation related issues and advocacy.

We are working together to improve long overlooked and long overdue transportation issues in our area. How can you help us?

  • See who endorses us: please click here for a list of all the groups and individuals who have joined the WSTC since our September 24, 2013 inauguration.
  • Come to a meeting: click here for meeting schedule information, to come to a meeting.
  • Endorse us: click here to join the coalition as an endorser and help improve transportation in the West Seattle peninsula.
  • Volunteer: click here to join our team of over twenty volunteers that are on committees and teams of the WSTC, working to implement change and forward progress for where we live.

The West Seattle Transportation Coalition is a Peninsula-wide organization working to address transportation and mobility issues for Seattle’s largest constituency. Representing more than 100,000 people living and working in the 10 square mile area between the Duwamish River and Puget Sound, these community leaders, advocates, business owners, and residents are working to address transportation and commuting challenges we face in our area. What challenges?

Would you like to know more? 

West Seattle appears to support Light Rail!

Areas under review by Sound Transit for Light Rail.

Areas under review by Sound Transit for Light Rail.

There seems to be a strong hunger in West Seattle for Light Rail expansion to, and through, West Seattle.

On November 21, members of the West Seattle Transportation Coalition attended an information hearing held by Sound Transit about the revision process for their long-range plan. Prior to this, virtually all the feedback we have heard either through the WSTC or through our various West Seattle community groups was overwhelmingly in support of and in favor of expanding Light Rail to West Seattle.

At least one community group which has endorsed the WSTC (Westwood/Roxhill/Arbor Heights Community Council) had conducted a Facebook survey of their membership to see if they favored Light Rail. The public results as of November 26 are 24-0-1 in favor of Light Rail to West Seattle (using a Yes-No-Maybe format). That is for one sample a 96% approval rate. While at the event, Sound Transit spokespeople told the WSTC that of all the West Seattle resident responses they have received in their survey that ended on November 25, the approval rate was at 94% as of November 21.

In response to this, the WSTC has drafted and sent the following letter of support to the Sound Transit comment feedback process on November 25, based on this apparently unambiguous overall support for Light Rail in our community:

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