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She’s back! Seattle’s favorite SpokesSalmon has moved to West Seattle

Sal the Salmon in her new West Seattle community. Photo Credit: Sal for SDOT

Seattle’s SpokesSalmon, Sal, is back and has moved to West Seattle!  

You may remember Sal from her SpokesSalmon debut in 2019 when she was getting out the word to #FlipYourTrip and to commute car-free at least once a week to downtown Seattle. 

Sal moved to West Seattle right before the closure of the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge.  

The bridge closure and the pandemic really got her thinking about the best ways to get around the city. Now, she’s on a mission to help her fellow West Seattleites think about other ways to get around.  

When we learned about Sal’s move, her love for her new community in West Seattle, and her mission to help her neighbors rethink the way they travel – if they can! – we just had to catch up with Sal to hear what she’s been up to! 

So Sal, we haven’t seen your face on any buses lately! What have you been up to?

HELLO, SEATTLE! Your friendly SDOT SpokesSalmon, Sal, is back! I’m excited to be reporting from my new island home, West Seattle. It’s an island, right?  

In the words of a great t-shirt I saw in a dream, “Life’s a beach,” and I’ve been exploring all of the best local hangs and meeting my neighbors.  

What brought you to West Seattle? And remind us, what neighborhood are you living in?  

I’m living in High Point! Figured, if I’m a fish out of water, I might as well be living on the highest rock on the island.  

Why’d I move here? Good people, good food, tight communities, and we’re surrounded by water. We’re living the island life here – yet we’re just an easy bus ride away from downtown. 

Not gonna lie though, I was pretty PO’d when the West Seattle Bridge closed last year – I loved the view of the sunrise behind the city on my morning bus ride into town. The view from the bus on the low bridge is still fine, and I get to check on my friends in the Duwamish, but it’s just not the same! 

What’s your favorite place to hang out in West Seattle? 

It’s hard to say! I love everything so much, it makes my cold blood warm.  

I’ll try to keep it brief: the Duwamish Trail and Duwamish Longhouse, Lincoln Park, Alki Beach, Hamilton Viewpoint, Camp Long, West Seattle Bee Garden, Westcrest Park, Seattle Chinese Garden, River City Skate Park, riding the water taxi, and all the junctions. I JUST LOVE IT ALL!

If you’re a foodie like me, there’s so many great places to eat, like Jones BBQHusky DeliOsprey Bistro, and Jemil’s Big Easy – to name just a few. I love to support our local businesses and strike up physically-distanced conversations while people wait to pick up their takeout.

It sounds like youre loving your new home! Can you tell us a little bit about what you’re hearing from your neighbors? 

My neighbors are great. People have told me directly, and through my daily scroll of the West Seattle Blog comments, how tough it’s been to get into town since the high bridge closed.  It’s true; traveling on and off the island isn’t as easy as it was when the high bridge was open and the detour routes have a lot of cars on them. SDOT is doing a lot through Reconnect West Seattle to support safety and mobility in the meantime. 

I, on the other fin, am excited to have the chance to spread my favorite message about flipping your trip!  

Oh yeah? Tell me about #FlipYourTrip! 

#FlipYourTrip and get around car-free!

There are so many other ways to get around without cars (like swimming, biking, busing, scooting, strolling, speed walking, jogging, running, carpooling, vanpooling, water taxiing, swimming, ferrying, skipping, skipping backwards, skateboarding, roller skating, roller blading, soap box derby racing, and uh, did I say swimming?)    

There are tons of benefits from using these other ways to get around. Example A: If more people #flip, that’ll mean less detour traffic through South Park, Georgetown, Highland Park, Riverview, South Delridge, and other neighborhoods along the detour routes to the 1st Ave Bridge. Did you know kids live in these neighborhoods? Like, a lot of them! And less cars on the road means less air pollution, less cut through traffic, and safer streets. Yes please!

My second-favorite message to share with fellow West Seattleites? Stay local! I mean, why leave our island paradise if you don’t have to?   

I know life has been tough with the pandemic and bridge closure. While SDOT works to reopen the bridge in 2022, we can also set the stage for a more neighborhood- and environmentally-friendly future. We can all help reduce our impacts to our neighbors along the detours and leave the roads clear for essential workers. Fortunately for me, I think island life is the dream! 

Your energy is so inspiring! We agree, West Seattle and the Duwamish Valley are wonderful places to spend time, and you can get to many places without using a car. What’s your advice for people who typically drive?

If you can, flip your car trip! Sometimes, people have to drive to get where they need to go. Trust me, I get it. That’s why it’s so important that all of us who have other travel options should do our part so that people who don’t have a choice can get where they need to go more easily. 

For tips to flip your trip, check out SDOT’s new West Seattle and Duwamish Valley Travel Options portal

The portal’s six sections provide information about the different modes of transportation people can use to travel to and from West Seattle and the surrounding areas. Click on a mode of travel to find trip planning tools, maps, tips for getting around, and other resources to help you navigate safely using that mode. SDOT is constantly adding new materials, so keep checking back! 

As you think about flipping your trip: keep in mind that King County Metro plans to incrementally increase passenger limits during the next six months. On April 17, Metro will modify passenger limits to 40% of pre-COVID capacity (50% of seated capacity). Further, the Spring/Summer water taxi sailing schedule begins April 19.  

Metro is also offering 2 free months of vanpooling for West Seattle commuters.  If you’re looking to shorten your commute via access to the Spokane St Swing Bridge (low bridge) save money, share the responsibility of driving, and more, a vanpool group is an efficient and sustainable way to do so. This promotion has been extended through the end of August! 

Remember: Both vanpooling and taking transit allow you to use the low bridge! 

Will we see you around? 

You can’t miss me! I’ll be biking, scooting, rolling, flipping, skipping, skating, and busing all over West Seattle! If you’re a fellow West Seattleite, drop me a line sometime to share your fave local hang (I mean ‘drop me a line’ thing PURELY figuratively!).  

I’ll be sharing my travels and hangs with my neighbors on SDOT’s Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. See you there! #FlipYourTrip 

We loved catching up with Sal the SpokesSalmon and are excited to hear more from her in the coming weeks and months. Here’s a little throwback to 2019 where Sal talked to Seattle commuters about better ways to get to and from downtown. #SeattleSqueeze