Someday, there will probably be a pedestrian-only “festival street” in the heart of Pike/Pine. For now, there are other pedestrian issues to be solved on E Pike including what to do about one of the most infamous set of dumpsters in all of Capitol Hill.
In a briefing last week to the Seattle City Council, the director of the Office of Economic Development was talking trash about the corner of 11th and Pike:
Pike and 11th Dumpster Removal – James Kelly and colleagues in SPU have been meeting with community and business leaders on Capitol Hill to address the dramatic accumulation of dumpsters at 11th and Pike due to intensive redevelopment that is occurring in the neighborhood.
The concentration of dumpsters has led to safety, hygiene, and aesthetic concerns and necessitated a convening of all the interests to work out a solution. With the support of the Capitol Hill Chamber, a play [sic] was agreed upon that involves movement of containers by Big Mario’s Pizza, Bimbo’s Cantina, Café Vita, and Pettirosso. Options given to business owners include going to dumpster free pickup of garbage bags up to three times a day.
For a variety of reasons, perennial streetscape issues like Pike/Pine’s dumpsters are increasingly on City Hall’s radar. Along with concerns over increased street crime, the trash was a focal point in Mayor Ed Murray’s “Find It, Fix It” walk through the neighborhood last fall. Whether it’s new technology like the Find It, Fix It app, increased awareness about doing more to improve the pedestrian, biking, and transit environment around the neighborhood’s incessant construction (the city is currently searching for a new Street Use Division Director), or an increasingly “hyperlocal” political environment, issues like trash and potholes are hot stuff at City Hall.
According to Miki Sodos of Pettirosso, businesses in the area that previously used the 11/Pike dumpster have had to pony up to eliminate the eye — and sometimes nose — sore. “We had to move our bins to smaller bins with multiple pickups a week,” the cafe owner tells CHS. “And now we have to pay [net lease] on the trash space within the building plus extra charges for pickup. We’re paying about 300 extra per month now.”
Still, Sodos said she, too, is happy to see the dumpsters off E Pike. “I completely support getting those dumpsters out of that area, it was such an eyesore and really hurting Hothouse’s business, but if you know about any free deal let me know!”
The change possibly bumps up the dumpsters used by businesses including the Comet and Lost Lake at 10th and Pike to the position of the most interesting trash receptacles on Capitol Hill. And, yes, those hot topic dumpsters are already on the radar down at City Hall.