Mayor’s tour talks crime, yes, but also trash, blocked sidewalks, dark streets — Where are your Capitol Hill Find It, Fix It spots?

Citizens -- and the mayor -- on patrol (Images: CHS)

Citizens — and the mayor — on patrol (Images: CHS)

This woman had an idea to fix something at Broadway and Pine -- so the tour and Capt. John Hayes stopped to listen

This woman had an idea to fix something at Broadway and Pine — so the tour stopped to listen

The TV cameras were there for the Pike/Pine “crime spike.” But Wednesday night’s Capitol Hill Find It, Fix It walk with the mayor and several top city officials was mostly about things like streetlights, dumpsters, and blocked sidewalks.

“This is not about one night of safety this is about building relationships with the departments,” Mayor Ed Murray said at the conclusion of the walk, the eighth and final his office organized over the summer.

Pike/Pine business owner -- and dad -- Dave Meinert talks with Chief O'Toole

Pike/Pine business owner — and dad — Dave Meinert talks with Chief O’Toole

While the TV crews pressed in tightly for SPD Chief Kathleen O’Toole to reiterate her strategy for Pike/Pine emphasis patrols and data-driven policing, City Hall representatives including the head of Murray’s Department of Transportation, his Seattle Fire Chief, and City Council member Sally Clark waited patiently for the walk to leave the park and make a handful of stops between 12th Ave, E Pike, and Broadway to hear from community representatives about some of the issues — and opportunities — the neighborhood is facing.

  • Homelessness: At 11th Ave’s Central Lutheran where Community Lunch On Capitol Hill serves meals to hundreds of homeless people every week, Pastor Cindy Salo told the assembled city officials, police, and community members that this had been “one of the most difficult summers” in terms of the numbers of homeless she is seeing. Earlier this year, CHS reported on the increasing amount of trespassing enforcement around Capitol Hill to move homeless campers along. The mayor has pledged $1.5 million in his 2015 budget plan for more services to serve the city’s homeless population.IMG_6177
  • 12th Ave Arts: The tour then took to the sidewalks of 12th Ave before spilling into the intersection at 12th and Pine for Capitol Hill Housing’s Michael Seiwerath’s bullhorn-aided update on the 12th Ave Arts project, the $47 million $38 million, 29,000 square-foot development creating 88 affordable apartment units, office space, retail space and a theater facility above parking that will also be utilized by Seattle Police’s East Precinct. To fit the Find It, Fix It theme, Seiwerath presented the building as a “fix” to the old problem of an underutilized police department parking lot. We’ll buy it.IMG_6198
  • Pedestrian issues: At the same intersection, an SDOT representative made the case that his department is working hard to improve pedestrian access around construction sites. While he probably should have made his presentation on 11th Ave, there has been progress on Capitol Hill thanks to the SDOT Construction Hub project. CHS wrote about the Capitol Hill hub here and we’ll have more soon on the program that is working to better coordinate issues between developers, contractors, business owners, and neighbors. The next drop-in meeting is Friday, by the way. If you can’t make it, the link has information for contacting the coordinator via email. Do it.
  • Garbage: At Pike/Broadway, we talked…. dumpsters. Not super exciting. But, yes, Pike/Pine overfloweth with both trash and trash receptacles.
    We suspect the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce was the most excited about this particular agenda item. Earlier this year, the “business improvement area” it runs for the Broadway area was expanded by about a block but there is interest in a larger expansion — to manage services like garbage clean-up, graffiti removal, and the like — to Pike/Pine.
  • Cal Anderson safety: Both Seattle Central president Dr. Paul Kilpatrick, standing across from his Broadway campus, and Chamber director Michael Wells, just outside the west entrance to the park, talked about efforts to increase safety around Cal Anderson. Nagle Place is dark and scary, Wells said, and people he knows won’t walk it at night. The street’s lighting and lighting throughout the park is being looked at for an upgrade. Meanwhile, you’ll probably see more trees and bushes being cut back to help eliminate any shadowy corners. Maybe more effective will be efforts like those of the Cal Anderson Park Alliance to keep the park busy with activities like the Capitol Hill Garage Sale Day. CAPA representative Rachael Brister said the group is looking for more volunteers. September 27th, there will be an ice cream social at the park’s Shelterhouse starting at 2 PM. You can stop in to “find out how you can become a Seattle Parks and Recreation volunteer.” Or you can just sign up here. Click on “Online Green Space Application” and, under “Assignment Preference,” choose Cal Anderson Park. Meanwhile, a Parks representative also said, though the summer concierge is gone, the department has brought in a sports field coordinator to help make the transition between hang out space and game time smoother on Bobby Morris field.

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East Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis knows what side his Cupcake Royale is frosted on

East Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis knows what side his Cupcake Royale is frosted on

If the tour didn’t make it to your neck of the Capitol Hill woods, you can fill out a form or download the Find It, Fix It app here to let the city departments know about issues on your street. CHS is going to ask for Harvard Ave’s potholes and pavement to be smoothed — during construction on the main drag, it’s the bounciest Broadway biking detour… ever. What other Capitol Hill Find It, Fix It spots should we know about?

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19 thoughts on “Mayor’s tour talks crime, yes, but also trash, blocked sidewalks, dark streets — Where are your Capitol Hill Find It, Fix It spots?

  1. All of Broadway! The sidewalks are impossible. If there isn’t a sidewalk cafe taking up most of the sidewalk making it impossible for more than one person to pass at a time, then there is a tree truck that makes it a trip hazard. Or both! If we are going to have all those sidewalk cafes then get rid of the parking and add more sidewalk space for people to actually walk on! And all of those a-frames in front of The Alley! I bet none of them have permits!

    • I am annoyed by all those signs, too, but they are probably legal as long as they belong to an adjacent business, and are not blocking the sidewalk. I’m not sure, but I don’t believe a permit is required for such signs.

      If you really want to register a complaint, the best place to start would be the Customer Service Bureau at 684-2489.

  2. The sidewalk on Pine Street outside Seattle Central wasn’t great this morning. A security guard was standing there telling people to watch out for the blood on the sidewalk. Yikes.

  3. I got no problems with Harvard. 10th and 11th on E Pike should have traffic lights, Pine crossing from Cal Anderson should have a pedestrian bridge.

  4. The actuated crosswalk signal on Harvard & Pine causes many dangerous crossings for pedestrians. Actuated crosswalks in high foot traffic areas invariably create problems between vehicles and people.

  5. The chain link fence and peeling paint on Union clearly must appeal to those who live across the street in those brand new apartments- instant urban grit. The broken glass from the cars’ windows only adds to the urban charm. Wish I had that view. Do those business owners just give up after one weekend?

    Archeologists will have a field day 100 years from now. What a pit!

  6. Nagle Place is horrifying at night, especially the stairs/walkway to Broadway. It probably doesn’t help that SC’s building along Nagle is essentially a blank wall from there to the funeral home parking lot, which isn’t much better.

  7. If the city puts more money into the homelessness services on CH, won’t more homeless come to CH? When will they stop kidding themselves and do something that actually solves the problem and get rid of the homeless in our area as opposed to making it easier for them to stay? If you think the increase in homelessness is because of a lack of services than you’re as crazy as the addicts that live in our parks.

    • It’s like feeding the birds then wonder why so many birds? Seattle response: we need more bird food and shelter!!! It’s only human nature to use the lizard brain once all else has been fried or does not work.

    • I agree, Blah99. The city, and the residents which give cash to panhandlers, are enabling the homeless/transients to continue to live the street life. Most of the public money should go into shelters, so that homeless people lose the often-repeated-but-not true argument that shelters are always full. And also into transitional housing programs, to get them off the streets altogether…..not only for the benefit of the neighborhood, but for the people themselves.

      If we continue the same ol’ approach to “helping” the homeless, we will continue to see scores of them on our streets.

    • I do agree but I think they’re coming up to CH because it’s where the sweet crack is, not because of the $5 they made panhandling. I don’t know what the solution is but I used to think smoking crack on a city sidewalk was illegal. This week it took the police 2 phone calls and over 48 hours to break up a meth camp on the sidewalk of Boylston and Howell, even when we mentioned that there were kids around and we saw them smoking actual crack. I don’t know, maybe I’ll call Phoenix Jones next time?

  8. It’s nice to see the folks in charge of SCCC acknowledge the safety issues in the neighborhood, especially those that are adjacent to their campus. I can’t wait for some action to follow, and for Nagle to get some more lighting and less sketchy.

    I stopped taking evening Spanish classes at SCCC after getting chased down the sidewalks by gangbangers and aggressive panhandlers after I left each class. Also got tired of missing steps in Saturday dance classes because we students were too distracted by fights, sex and drug deals happening outside the gym windows that overlook Nagle and Cal Anderson.

    • Same for the dumpsters on Harrison, between Broadway and 10th. A whole block of restaurants all have them there, and while there may not be a better place for them, the restaurants should at least be forced to keep the area as neat as they can and keep the dumpsters back. They block the whole sidewalk, trash gets left outside of dumpsters, and it attracts all sorts of vermin who scatter it more. It also happens to be right next to a handicap accessibility entrance to a building, forcing them to navigate through trash and vomit inducing smells to even enter the building.

  9. Yes, that is a chronic trouble spot, but it actually has improved in the past 2 months. Of course, a lot of the problem is the street vagrants using that area as a campground and as a toilet. But the other major problem is that some of the businesses were overfilling their containers (to save money on servicing costs), and leaving the lids up……the crows would inevitably get into the trash and spread it around on the pavement. But lately, those businesses seem to be behaving more responsibly. The area is still a mess, but less so than in the past.

  10. The building at the NW corner of Olive and Denny is a disaster. Covered with graffiti and falling apart, the owner has clearly given up all pretense of cleaning and maintenance. The old Bus Stop space is especially bad. I know businesses have tried to rent that space and the owner has just flaked out on them. It’s a shame as it could be a beautiful, classic old building in a great high foot traffic area.