Today, the Westwood/Roxhill/Arbor Heights Community Council sent the following letter to the City of Seattle about Roxhill Park.
December 17, 2013
Mayor Elect, Ed Murray
Seattle City Hall
600 4th Ave
Seattle, WA 98104
Dear Mayor Elect Murray,
Roxhill Park is located on the Southern border of West Seattle across from the area’s largest shopping center. It is a natural peat bog with thousands of native plants and the head of Longfellow Creek – a beautiful gem within the City. In November 2012, a new playground and skate park were built with Community volunteer time and materials, a Department of Neighborhoods grant and the Parks Levy. Since its official opening in April 2013, Roxhill Park is constantly busy with Neighborhood families.
However, along with more minor offenses such as theft, fighting, drinking, illegal camping, littering and the constant battle with graffiti; Roxhill Park has seen the following serious crimes:
- December 12, 2013 – A 12 year old girl reportedly raped
- November 3, 2013 – A parent has a knife pulled on him at the sandbox at 2:00 pm
- October 14, 2013 – A man is beaten almost to death on a path on the South side of the Park
- October 10, 2013 – Two people are stabbed on the Northern edge of the park
- January 25, 2013 – Four 13 year olds are robbed by an 18 and 16 year old with a shotgun
The increase in crime has coincided with Metro Transit’s designation of this area as a transit hub. Although a transit hub is appreciated, Metro has failed to be a good neighbor. We have asked them on several occasions to address the following:
- Bus layovers on Barton St create a visual barrier into Roxhill Park
- Lack of proper lighting along the bus stop (which extends to 29th Ave SW)
- Lack of consistent clean up at the facility
- Lack of proper planning for bus layovers – buses are also lined up along 25th Ave SW creating visual barriers into and out of Westwood Village
- Lack of Metro Transit Police patrolling the Hub
- The effective cut off of services in White Center – DSHS, Salvation Army & the food bank
Our Community Council has been engaging our neighbors, SPD, Parks, Metro Transit and local businesses on ways to address the problems we are seeing in the Park, and many have responded with help. However, as a Community, we are frustrated with the lack of sustained progress in reducing crime. We can understand a lack of funding, but what we can’t understand is a lack of priorities.
One thing is certain: We are fed up and we need help.
This Community is vibrant. We are diverse, tolerant, caring and civically minded. We take ownership and responsibility for our Neighborhood and everything in it. It is our unequivocal expectation that our Elected officials and agencies do the same.
Tom Rasumussen, City Council Member
Sally Bagshaw, City Council Member
Dow Constantine, King County Executive
Joseph Kessler, SW Precinct Captain, SPD
Dave Jutilla, Metro Transit Police
Carol Baker, Seattle Parks Department
Officer Jonathan Flores, CPO with SPD
Officer Jon Kiehn, CPO with SPD