News City Tries to Lock Down Jail Site
posted by June 4 at 12:33 PMon
Next month, the city will hold a series of meetings to discuss their plan for a new city jail. Right now, the city is looking at four sites in West Seattle, Interbay and Haller Lake, and neighbors are already organizing to keep the jail—which would only be used to hold people for misdemeanor crimes—out of their backyards.
Due to overcrowding at the King County Jail, Seattle needs needs to build its own facility by 2012. Last month, the city announced four sites—at 11762 Aurora Avenue N, 1600 W. Armory Way, Highland Park Way Southwest and West Marginal Way, and
9501 Myers Way S—which could end up being the home to a seven acre jail.
Neighborhood groups in West Seattle—who’ve received support from King County Councilmember Dow Constantine and State Rep, Sharon Nelson—and Haller Lake have already sent out fliers or held meetings to rally the troops. Strangely, Magnolia residents have been surprisingly quiet about the Interbay site.
As I’ve said, the Aurora site seems like a good bet. SPD’s North Precinct needs to be rebuilt—it’s slowly sinking into the bog it was built on—and jail sites in Interbay or West Seattle just don’t seem to have the transportation infrastructure in place to deal with the number of people who will be dumped out of jail on to the street every morning.
The meeting schedule is as follows:
Thursday, June 26, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Aerospace Machinists Union Hall A, located at 9125 15th Place S. – focus: West Marginal Way and Myers Way sites
Saturday, July 12, from 9 a.m. to noon, in the Wellness Center at North Seattle Community College, located at 9600 College Way N. – focus: Aurora site
Saturday, July 26, from 9 a.m. to noon, in the Brockey Conference Center at South Seattle Community College, located at 6000 16th Ave. S.W. – focus: West Marginal Way and Myers Way sites
Wednesday, July 30, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall, located at 225 Mercer Street – focus: Interbay site.
Finally, I’ve gotten a few emails pointing out the irony of the city’s search for a sprawling 7-acre site when we’ve also been pushing a pro-density message. Yeah, it’s kind of funny, but the reason the city’s doing it is because single-floor jails are supposedly cheaper and safer to operate. That’s it.