A look at the Capitol Hill numbers from the first week of Seattle’s bike share

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Source: Pronto/Image: CHS

Some 500 rides per day were taken on Seattle’s new Pronto bike share with about 42% of those traveling around Capitol Hill in the system’s first week of operations, the nonprofit’s director Holly Houser tells CHS. CHS got a look at the data and found out where around Capitol Hill people rode the most in Week 1. We also took a tour of our own to visit each of the dozen new Pronto stations around Capitol Hill and First Hill.

One Capitol Hill station ranked among the top five busiest in the first week. Here are the city’s top 5 busiest Pronto stations: 3rd & Pike, Harrison & Broadway, Pier 69, REI Flagship Store, Occidental Park. The second most popular Hill station at 11th and Pine near Cal Anderson Park came in 6th.

Pronto and Seattle Department of Transportation planners will evaluate usage patterns over the coming months. If the first week of the new system is indicative, there appear to be three key stations on Capitol Hill with the bikes at Broadway and Harrison, 11th and Pine and 15th and Thomas figuring into the bulk of about 1,700 trips in the Capitol Hill area in the first week of the system’s use.
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The system launched on Monday, October 13th with a Pioneer Square ceremony and celebratory rollouts in the Central Seattle neighborhoods the bike share currently serves including South Lake Union, the U-District, and Capitol Hill. For an $85 annual membership, Pronto bikers can take unlimited 30-minute or less rides. Daily passes and tourist-friendly options are also available. There are currently 50 stations around the city with plans to add more in the Central District in 2015. Pronto is also now part of the Spotcycle app available for Android and iOS. The app shows station locations and how many bikes are available at each.

In an unscientific CHS reader survey, 63% of Capitol Hill respondents said they planned to use Pronto at least a few times per year with around 32% of those who answered proclaiming at least monthly intentions to put the Sounders-green bikes to use.Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 4.35.10 PM

The most common destination for those who plan to use the share most frequently will be “going out for meals or drinks,” according to our responses.Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 4.52.52 PM

By the way, the most common answer under “other” for frequent users was a variation on “it’s fun to ride a bike.”

CHS had some fun of our own earlier this week on an attempt to tour the dozen Pronto stations that serve Capitol Hill, 12th Ave, and First Hill within the system’s 30-minute time limit. We didn’t come anywhere close and another attempt to “relay” by switching bikes at each station also didn’t work out well when we discovered the system’s “three to five minute” check-in buffer. But once we quit racing, the ride on the cruiser-style bikes with a tricked-out internal gear system went mostly smoothly. They’re easy bikes to get going but we definitely recommend finding a low traffic environment to warm up in if you haven’t been on a bike in a bit. Even if you have, getting used to navigating the Hill with only seven gears takes a little time. Other features like the bike’s gradual braking also might take some adjustment as will, for many riders, the seat height. Still, in a pinch or on a commute, the bikes seem like a useful tool to have in your arsenal and should be a pleasant option on your trip for “meals or drinks.” Enjoy!

Blotter | ‘Persons of interest’ caught on camera in $2k Capitol Hill apartment burglary

The "persons of interest" in an October 16th daytime apartment burglary on 19th Ave E (Image: Q13Fox.com)

The “persons of interest” in an October 16th daytime apartment burglary on 19th Ave E (Image: Q13Fox.com)

See something others should know about? Email CHS or call/txt (206) 399-5959. You can view recent CHS Crime coverage here.

  • 19th/Mercer burglary: Thieves made off with nearly $2,000 in stolen goods in a burglary of an apartment inside the 19th and Mercer building last Thursday. The SPD report on the daytime break-in is below. A local TV station posted this picture of the alleged burglars caught by a security camera.Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 2.38.03 PM Continue reading

In Capitol Hill tech M&A, Redfin closes deal for 12th Ave’s Walk Score

Team Walk Score in front of a familiar Capitol Hill landmark (Image: Walk Score)

Team Walk Score in front of a familiar Capitol Hill landmark (Image: Walk Score)

Employees may not buy flashy new cars in celebration but there are probably going to be at least a few pairs of fancy new shoes on display around 12th Ave this week after Capitol Hill-headquartered start-up Walk Score’s big deal with Seattle-based online real estate company Redfin:

The real estate brokerage today is announcing the acquisition of Walk Score, a 10-person Seattle company that ranks millions of addresses across the country based on their walkability, bikeability or proximity to public transportation. It does this on a scale of 1 to 100 by measuring the distance from a specific addresses to certain neighborhood amenities, such as schools, restaurants, libraries and coffee shops.

Walk Score creates technology to measure walkability, bikeability and proximity to public transportation. You can check out your address’s score here. In 2012, the company secured a $2 million first round of financing.

The tie-up, Mobilisafe CEO Giri Sreenivas points out, marks the second recent successful “exit” for tenants of the Hunters Capital-owned Ballou Wright building on 12th Ave:

Continue reading

Death and density: 40,000 and counting make Lake View their eternal Capitol Hill home

"Cemetery crows" (Image: Kate Clark via Flickr)

“Cemetery crows” (Image: Kate Clark via Flickr)

Mother Damnable turned to stone before she came to Capitol Hill. Mary Ann Conklin, who ran one of the city’s first hotels, and likely one of its first brothels, earned the name Mother Damnable for her foul mouth and the name Madame Damnable for her side job.

She’d been buried in what was a city cemetery and is now Denny Park after her death in 1873. By 1884, Seattle leaders had decided to turn the cemetery into a park, and relocated the bodies, including Conklin’s. When her remains were moved, the legend at the time said it took six men to lift the casket. In doing so, the lid popped open, and it appeared as if she had been perfectly preserved and turned to stone.

Conklin has one of the more colorful stories surrounding those buried at Capitol Hill’s Lake View Cemetery, but it is far from the only one. Continue reading

Garfield High protesting teacher cut in district budget process

Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 8.45.22 AMAn annual Seattle Public Schools budgeting process that inexplicably plays out mid-school year is meeting a more heated reception than normal this fall as the district exercises what interim superintendent Larry Nyland calls increased “resource stewardship.”

Thursday afternoon, students, faculty and staff are planning a walkout to protest the planned cut of a teacher at Garfield High School, the only public high school serving Seattle’s central neighborhoods:

The timing of the walkout, 1:50 pm, symbolizes the impact of cutting one core teacher at this late date. Core classes fill to a capacity of 30 students total 150 students per full time teacher. This means that 150 students will have holes in their schedules during the day–roughly 10% of the student body.

The protest is calling for the district to reverse its decision to cut the Garfield teacher.

For SPS, the annual adjustments — even as they come after the school year has already started — are typical business: Continue reading

On the List | Seattle Lit Crawl, Hilloween carnival, 15th Ave E costume crawl, Weavers’ Guild sale

(Image: CHS)

(Image: CHS)

A week of Capitol Hilloween celebrations begins this weekend with a furry flurry of costumed good times for trick or treaters of all types.

Before you put that costume on, however, plan to make a stop or three at the third annual Seattle Lit Crawl. The Lit Crawl will bring some 64 writers and artists out for 21 readings at venues across First Hill and Capitol Hill, along with a over a dozen more folks acting as hosts. The full schedule is here.

Also Thursday, you can do your civic duty by attending the monthly EastPAC community crime meeting at Seattle U.

The centerpiece on an only kinda drizzly Saturday will be the return of the annual Hilloween carnival in Cal Anderson:

Hilloween, Capitol Hill’s favorite kid-friendly Halloween event returns Saturday, October 25thand it’s sure to delight kids of all ages. From 12:00pm to 3:30pm mini-firefighters, tiny princesses, and itty-bitty zombies alike will be tricked and treated to music, candy, prizes and plenty of fun age-appropriate activities. The carnival begins at Cal Anderson Park on Capitol Hill (1635 11th Ave) and include musical performances by The Not-its! and Eli Rosenblatt. Families will enjoy carnival games, a magic show, jugglers, balloon twisters, face painters, stiltwalkers, a couple bouncy houses and Fonzie the Performing Dog all underneath a big top tent. At 3:30 the Chaotic Noise Marching Band will once again lead a costume parade around the park and onto Broadway for trick-or-treating with participating merchants. And to top the day off, kids in costume can get a free slice of pizza at Pagliacci’s. For more information and event schedule visit www.caphilloween.com.

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During Hilloween, make sure to stop by Umpqua Broadway for a “haunted bank laboratory.” And trick or treating.

More grown-up Halloween fun follows Saturday night with a costume pub crawl on 15th Ave E.

Also Saturday, E Madison’s Bottleneck Lounge celebrates its annual Teeny Tiny Pumpkin Brew Festival when all of its taps are dedicated to to pumpkin brew — and, this year, even a pumpkin cider.

More Halloween fun? 19th Ave E’s Cone & Steiner hosts a Sunday pumpkin carving party.

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Tougo Coffee owner ready to open charcuterie and wine spot Bannister next door at 18th and Union

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(Image: Bannister)

(Image: Bannister)

The Central District’s one-block commercial stretch along 18th Ave at E Union is one of the quaintest and most neighborhood-y around. Since 2007, Tougo Coffee has anchored the stretch as a neighborhood hangout. Now owner Brian Wells says he’s hoping to cultivate the same sense of community one door down at Bannister, his new charcuterie-wine-cocktail venture.

Wells tells CHS he’ll hold a reservation-only soft open starting October 24th and a grand opening on November 1st.

On the menu, Wells said to expect fine cheese, cured meats, olives, made-in-house pickles, and a full bar.

The restaurant is named after Edward Mitchell Bannister, a 19th century artist Wells said he has long admired.

Wells started his coffee career in Boston in 1991. He moved to Seattle in 1996 and spent most of his time in the service industry. In 2010 CHS reported on financial and tax troubles at Tougo. The 18th Ave cafe closed temporarily while Wells fundraised to pay back business taxes in order to renew his license. Since, Wells shuttered his Westlake Ave location. Wells said these days everything is going swell at Tougo and he’s ready for the expanded business venture. Continue reading

‘Scrunched’ on Capitol Hill

Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 11.11.05 AMMaybe it’s a sign of fatigue in people’s interest level after years of debate — CHS’s first major examination of aPodment-related development came way back in the summer of 2012 — but this epic Politico examination of Seattle’s microhousing is worthy of more attention on Capitol Hill.

For one, you’ll learn more about the people behind the debate…

Like Jim Potter:

The roots of micro-housing in Seattle can be traced to a single developer named Jim Potter. At 6 foot 6, he was the movement’s Johnny Appleseed, an imposing presence with a booming voice, an aggressive businessman who owned properties up and down the state of Washington. But his true claim to fame, at least in the Seattle real estate world, was his compulsive study of the city’s zoning code.

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Day of anti-police protests planned with marches on Capitol Hill’s East Precinct — UPDATE

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UPDATE 4:18 PM by Sumedha Majumdar: A group of about 30 protesters marched from Garfield with chants of “Hands up, don’t shoot” and “Being black is not a crime” before assembling in front of the East Precinct around 4 PM. “We the community will police the police,” one speaker said, addressing the crowd and the group of police officers assigned to the protest. Streets in the area were partially closed but the rally has been peaceful and there have been no arrests.

"We belong together. We wanna be the the best we can be for you but when you start breaching the law and breaking the law, we have to do something. We can't just turn a blind eye and I hate to tell you this but this is what I tell my kids. Just because you're Black doesn't give you the right to do something wrong and then jump up and say they did this because I'm Black. We need more people who understand what is going on in the Black community." -- East Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis, addressing the crowd

“We wanna be the the best we can be for you but when you start breaching the law and breaking the law, we have to do something. We can’t just turn a blind eye and I hate to tell you this but this is what I tell my kids. Just because you’re Black doesn’t give you the right to do something wrong and then jump up and say they did this because I’m Black. We need more people who understand what is going on in the Black community.” — East Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis, addressing the crowd

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Original report: The heartiest of activist souls will take to the drenched streets of Seattle’s Central District and Capitol Hill Wednesday afternoon and into the evening as part of protests against “police brutality and harassment of youth of color in Seattle.” The Garfield High School Black Student Union’s March for Ferguson begins at the 23rd Ave school at 3:30 PM. Organizers tell CHS the plan is to march to SPD’s East Precinct headquarters at 12th and Pine. Meanwhile, the annual October 22nd anti-police rally and march will again gather at Seattle Central starting at 5 PM and also is planned to include a march on the East Precinct. Continue reading

Seattle’s bus funding ballot measure *could* resurrect the 47 with sales tax hike and car tab fee

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The 47 taking its final run. (Photo: CHS)

After months of warning, Metro’s funding woes finally came to Capitol Hill’s doorstep in September when the the 47 bus was discontinued along with 28 other routes around the regional bus system.

Seattle Transportation Benefit District Proposition 1 asks Seattle voters if they want to buy back some of those services in Seattle and improve existing routes with a $60 annual vehicle license fee and .1% sales tax hike. If enacted, the measure is expected generate around $45 million annually for the hamstrung bus system.

Some of those funds could be used to restore Rt. 47 and others that were among the lower performing routes in the system, though the plan does not spell out which routes would get funding. Those decisions would likely be left up to the City Council. The group Yes For Seattle Transit has identified several existing Capitol Hill-area routes that would likely be improved or expanded, including routes 2, 8, 9x, 10, 25, 43, 48, 49, and 60. Continue reading

City has failed to enforce paid sick leave, says auditor report

Mike McGinn signs paid sick leave into law in 2011 at Plum Bistro (Photo: CHS)

Mike McGinn signs paid sick leave into law in 2011 at Plum Bistro (Photo: CHS)

In 2011 when Mayor Mike McGinn signed mandatory paid sick leave into law on Capitol Hill, it was hailed as a major progressive victory and a crowning achievement of his administration. Then there was that small bit about actually putting it to work.

From when the law went into effect in September 2012 to December 2013, workers made 143 valid complaints about paid sick leave enforcement, but a recent report found none of those resulted in fines on employers or anything more harsh than an advisory letter. Continue reading

Metrix Create:Space celebrates five years of DIY tech on the Hill

"Soldering is easy" (Image: Metrix)

“Soldering is easy” (Image: Metrix)

(Image: Metrix)

(Image: Metrix)

Most of the year you can walk the north end of Broadway barely hearing a peep from Metrix Create:Space – a DIY haven for robotic tinkering — outside of the occasional churning of machines and project chatter but last Friday  the business celebrated its fifth anniversary of being with a rambunctious crowd of makers, geeks and the people who love them filling the subterranean space.

Illuminated with green laser tubes — and free booze — the crowd included Boeing and Google employees, the DIY techs, students and a couple of noobs.

“I’ve met a lot of really great people… seeing them through a portion of their life, being a part of that is the most rewarding thing,” owner Matt Westervelt said. Over the past five years he’s seen a shift from clientele simply exploring, to those utilizing the space as a work station while at the same time promoting exploration and learning. Continue reading

‘Too Capitol Hill to Schmapitol Hill’

We don’t know what this means! But tonight’s edition from (soon to be resident in 12th Ave ArtsWashington Ensemble Theatre’s “exciting new literary event series” (as of 2012) sounds fun! (probably!) Also, we don’t know how you get an un-free ticket but, reportedly, you can get a “free ticket” by posting a picture “of you in your favorite Cap Hill place” here:

(Image: WET)

We don’t know who these people are (Image: WET)

The super cool kids from Washington Ensemble Theatre are back with a brand new stupid smart Six Pack Series! This time we’re holding a mirror up to nature, letting ALL the world be a stage, and poking some much needed fun a the hipster haunt we call home

<<< SIX PACK SERIES: TOO CAPITOL HILL TO SCHMAPITOL HILL >>>

And because you can’t appreciate “the hill” from one place alone we will be taking you on a tour of Capitol Hill. That’s right: hold on to your norm core Nikes, your kimonos, and your air plant necklaces, and jump on a tour of the magical land of street dogs, Manny’s, and the future home of the Bellevue douche bags you dated in high school.

You want a free ticket? Post a picture of you in your favorite Cap Hill place on this invite and we’ll save you spot on the tour/party bus.

Meet at St. John’s at 8:30 pm on Oct 21, 2014 and come on tour with the super fabulous and fine Hillebrities:
Sarah Galvin
Kim Selling
Yussef El Guindi
Wayne Rawley
Lillian Ruth Nickerson
Noah Benezra

If nothing else, it will be good practice for Thursday night’s LitCrawl.