Two days after the city cleared the mostly RV camp site along SW Andover/28th SW, eco-blocks were installed this morning. The neighbor West Seattle Health Club announced before the sweep that to “avoid re-encampment, the West Seattle Health Club is partnering with our neighboring businesses to place eco-blocks of cement along the surrounding area.” After a tip early this morning, we passed around 7:30 am and found two workers in the neighbour’s outfit Nucor complete the placement, which they said they had started about two hours earlier.
Blocks are also in place along the west side of 28th.
As camping was illegal – although it was not enforced for over six years – so is it. We asked SDOT about it Thursday and spokesperson Ethan Bergerson answered:
Seattle City Code 15.04 states that it is illegal to place any object or structure in a public place without first obtaining a written permit. SDOT does not issue permits to obstruct public streets, sidewalks or parking spaces with concrete blocks, as this can cause issues such as overflowing parking onto adjacent streets, blocking access to services public areas, conflicts with other transportation needs, or accessibility barriers that violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Also, the desire to prevent others from using a public space is not a valid reason for applying for a permit per se.
Blocks like these have been installed in other areas of the city, however, either after the sweeps or as a precaution. Some are also in place along part of a once heavily camped area of 1st Avenue South in the southeast of West Seattle.