Capitol Hill Community Post | Don’t Call Us

Seattle bike attorney Bob Anderton doesn’t want your business, Capitol Hill.

But with just under 10 percent of its residents reporting that they commute by bike, it’s not surprising that Anderton’s firm, Washington Bike Law, takes a lot of calls from the neighborhood’s cyclists.

Anderton believes that drivers should be presumed to be at fault whenever they hit a bicyclist or pedestrian – it just makes sense to put the bulk of responsibility on those who can inflict the greatest pain and suffering. But the unfortunate reality is that, under current state and local laws, if you do get hit, not only will you have to contend with injuries, you may also face an uphill battle trying to prove it wasn’t your fault.

So, here are few tips in advance of Bike Everywhere Month — things that people riding bikes as well as driving cars can do that may help you avoid some of the most common types of collisions.

Dooring is when someone — driver or passenger — opens the door of a motor vehicle into oncoming traffic. Both the Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) and Revised Code of Washington (RCW) prohibit opening a door into oncoming traffic “unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so.”

So, don’t ride in the door zone unless you have to. Of course, that is easier said than done: cyclists are allowed to take the full general lane, but even if you’re keeping up with the flow of traffic, or riding just a little slower than people are driving, you’re probably going to get honked at, or maybe even punishment passed.

“We had one client who had what seemed like a really good theory,” Anderton says. “She would ride close to parked cars, but she would always look inside to make sure that nobody was going to open a door. She ended up getting doored by a woman who was crouched down in her seat to grab her bag and who threw her door open while she was still crouched down. Nothing is fool-proof, even if you aren’t a fool.”

If you drive — or ride — in car: The most recent update to Washington State Department of Licensing now recommends opening a car door using a really simple technique called the Dutch Reach.

A left hook is when an oncoming driver turns in front of traffic that is traveling straight. The law says that left-turning drivers (including bicyclists) have a duty to yield to all oncoming traffic. “Liability for left hooks is usually pretty easy to prove,” Anderton explains. “But, the point of impact between the vehicles can strengthen or weaken a case. If you hit the back of a car that turned in front of you, you arguably had more time to react than if the front of the car hits you. If it’s night and you are not using a light, then arguably the driver may have had good reason not to see you.”

If you drive: Left hooks typically happen at higher speeds, and result in more severe injuries. Be especially vigilant about looking for people walking or riding bikes before making your turn.

A right hookis when a driver turning right strikes a bicyclist who is continuing forward. Turning traffic must yield to traffic traveling straight, even if you are going in the same direction. And, SMC prohibits drivers from driving in the bike lane unless they are turning or parking. But there are a lot of variables and different laws that can come into play here.

Liability is usually pretty clear if the driver passes a person riding a bike and cuts them off. It is less clear when traffic is backed up and a bicyclist is riding on the right side of the lane passing cars. prohibits drivers from driving in the bike laneSMC specifically allows bicyclists to pass on the right when it is safe to do so. That last bit “when it is safe to do so” allows drivers (or their insurance companies) to assert that, since they hit you, it wasn’t safe to pass.

If you drive: “Many of the right hooks we’ve seen are because drivers who want to be good Seattlites and stay out of the bike lane until the last minute,” Anderton says. “What drivers should actually do, counterintuitively, is drive in the bike lane for the last half block or so. You have time to look and make sure nobody is there.” Ultimately, slowing down and looking for someone on a bicycles – as well as pedestrians and anyone rolling around town – is going be a lot less stressful than hitting someone, regardless of who is ultimately found liable.

The “when it’s safe to do so” example is just one of many illustrating that the law – even when it ostensibly favors them – is not always friendly for people on bikes. “People always ask, ‘Can I sue for this?’” Anderton says. “Sure, you can, but it might not be a good suit. ‘Can I get a ticket for this?’ Sure, but it might not be a legitimate ticket. You can always make an insurance claim or fight a ticket, but you can’t undo getting in a crash and what you want is to not be in a crash.”

“And you need to use your own judgement, not the law. Because the law sometimes says dumb things. So if you are entitled to do something or even you are not permitted to do something, protect yourself if you can. The first rule of the road is: don’t hurt yourself.”

Washington Bike Law hosts its first Happy Hour on April 18 at Optimism Brewing. The bike lawyers will talk tips for defensive bicycle riding and safer driving, what to do if you witness or are a victim of a crash, and the basics of liability and insurance.

Don’t Door Me! Image by Stephen Schildbach

Capitol Hill Community Post | Public Notice Conover House Landmarks Nomination

From the Department of Neighborhoods

NOTICE OF PUBLIC MEETING OF THE LANDMARKS PRESERVATION BOARD to consider Landmark Nominations for the Following Properties:

 Conover House 1620 16th Avenue

 The Landmarks Preservation Board will consider this nomination at its meeting on Wednesday, May 15, 2019, at 3:30 p.m. in Seattle City Hall, 600 4th Avenue, Floor L2, Room L2-80 “Boards & Commissions”.  Continue reading

Capitol Hill Community Post | Everybody’s Watching: A Seattle Based Sitcom

We’re making a half-hour comedy called, Everybody’s Watching, about the dreams you don’t give up on. Think Community meets Silicon Valley with a hint of Scrubs. The script is written. The actors are cast. The camera is ready. Now we just need to finance our pilot episode — that’s where you come in!

The humans of The Everybody’s Watching Team work in the tech industry for Amazon, General Assembly, Tableau, Microsoft, and [and many more tech giants]. By night, we’re actors, film makers, writers, and directors holding onto hope that the dream of doing work you love, isn’t dead.

We believe this half-hour comedy contains a story that will resonate with many people living and working in a big city — especially Seattle. Everybody’s Watching follows Rob, a Program Manager at the Seattle-based tech giant, Microzon. Even though Rob has a “cool” job, it means nothing to him more than a paycheck. Rob wants to break free of his lifeless corporate job to live out his dream of becoming an actor. But the very corporate job that allows him to live a comfortable lifestyle and fund his passion is also the same corporate job that hinders him from pursuing it.

But the show is not about Rob’s pursuit of acting; it’s about his pursuit to pursue acting.
Rob’s full time job is constantly keeping him from pursuing his acting dream. His perseverance for his passion forces him to live a double life. The more Rob fights the oppression of the corporate structure he’s trapped inside of, his two lives merge more and more together creating a series of extraordinary conflicts that turn normal circumstances in his work and everyday lives into exaggerated theatrical genre-twisting performances.

So, watch our pitch video and dive into the story that we’re hoping to tell. Go watch it! Literally, it will take 3 minutes and 25 seconds from start to finish. Learn more about the campaign and join the team here —>

Capitol Hill Community Post | Communal Passover Seder

On Friday, April 19th, Chabad of Capitol Hill will be hosting an upscale Communal Passover Seder. Come and celebrate the Holiday of Freedom with an authentic traditional Passover Seder in the spirit of family and community. Complete with a gourmet Passover dinner, hand-made Shmurah Matzah and four cups of delicious Kosher wine. Experience the Haggadah (story of the Exodus) with traditional songs, stories and spiritual insights.

Space is limited, reservations are necessary. If you have any questions please contact Rabbi Levi at (206) 898 9361 or Email
To RSVP and for more info click here.

Capitol Hill Community Post | Father seeks sanctuary at Seattle’s Saint Mark’s Cathedral

From Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral
Jaime Rubio Sulficio, father, husband, and community leader, has been received into Sanctuary at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in Seattle. He has a United States citizen son and is married to a U.S. citizen. He seeks a legal remedy that would allow for a stay of deportation to Mexico and allow for the reuniting of his family. He sees the prospect of permanent separation as immoral, arbitrary, and unjust, causing long-term hardship to his wife who faces health challenges and inflicting emotional trauma for his son, a tender six years of age. Going into Sanctuary was not an easy choice. “It’s difficult to be apart from my family. I can’t imagine not being able to see my son and wife. I will stay in Sanctuary while we find a legal remedy for my situation,” states Rubio Sulficio.

The Dean of Saint Mark’s Cathedral, The Very Rev. Steven Thomason shares the Cathedral’s decision to accept Jaime into Sanctuary: “From our faith teachings, we are instructed to care for our neighbors as ourselves and to offer hospitality and kindness to people in need. Such as is the case for Jaime. We will stand with Jaime and his family until he is granted the opportunity to return home and restart his construction business.” Continue reading

Capitol Hill Community Post | New Chef at Tango Restaurant and Rumba

Alan’s deep appreciation for Spanish cooking began as a child living in the Canary Islands. At only age six, he began taking an interest in both the kitchens and dining rooms of his family’s hotels and restaurants, and visiting the farms and fishing piers from which his family sourced fresh local ingredients. This paved Alan’s path to quickly earning his place as a member of the managing & creative teams behind the world’s most innovative & celebrated restaurants, such as Alinea, Topolobampo and Frontera Grill. The professional growth he experienced during those years in Chicago was exponential, and led Alan to begin designing & building thermal circulators for sous vide. He received celebrity endorsements and his products were showcased on television while chefs competed in Bravo’s Top Chef series, Top Chef: Masters series, and PBS’s Mexico: One Plate at A Time. Enamored with the Pacific Northwest, Alan decided to seek opportunities to learn from some of the region’s most notable farm-to-table chefs. Now the Executive Chef of both Tango Restaurant & Lounge and, sister bar, Rumba, Alan’s journey has brought him back to island cooking and into the Spanish kitchen once again.

Capitol Hill Community Post | WANTED: Witnesses To Capitol Hill Lyft Crash Into ‘The Highlander’ Condos

The victims of a serious Lyft accident on Capitol Hill in Seattle have retained Davis Law Group to represent them in possible legal action accident against the at-fault driver who caused the December 2018 collision. The attorneys for the victims are asking that any persons who saw this incident or residents of The Highlander complex who may have come upon the scene after the crash that may have photos or videos to contact to contact the law firm.

See complete details, accident photos, contact information, etc. visit:

Photo: Investigation photo of Lyft vehicle at the tow yard

Capitol Hill Community Post | Seattle’s ‘Libraries for All’ plan

From Mayor Jenny Durkan

From story time to summer learning programs to adult learning classes, The Seattle Public Libraryadvances equity, education, and opportunity for all who call Seattle home. We are lucky to have 27 safe, welcoming locations throughout Seattle for residents of all ages and backgrounds. And we know that when we invest in libraries, we invest in opening doors to opportunity and equity.

In 2018 alone, The Seattle Public Library locations:

  • Hosted more than five million visitors;
  • Circulated almost 12 million items;
  • Helped more than 13,000 people through adult learning programs like English as a Second Language, Adult Education Tutoring, and Ready to Work;

  • Helped more than 45,000 kids who participated in last year’s Summer of Learning; and,

  • Hosted more than 1,100 homework help sessions.

With the 2012 Library Levy set to expire at the end of this year, we must act to sustain and enhance our libraries. If we are going to build a city of the future, we need to build libraries of the future. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Community Post | Project Update: Lowell-Meany Safe Routes to School

From the Seattle Department of Transportation

What’s happening now?
Design is nearly complete and we are coordinating with Seattle Public Utilities (SPU)  on the installation of a new water main as part of the improvements at E Harrison St and 15th Ave E. The water main improvements are designed to provide a more resilient drinking water system. To complete the work, water outages must occur and will be coordinated with affected residents, businesses, and property owners in advance. We anticipate the impacted area will be 14th Ave E to 17th Ave E, from E Roy St to E Thomas St. The timing of this work is contingent on the overall timing of construction, which we will have more information about as soon as spring, once a contractor is on board. For more information and answers to frequently asked questions about the water main work, check out our Water Shutdown FAQ.

Continue reading

Capitol Hill Community Post | Community meeting to share details on 162 19th Ave Redevelopment

Kamiak Real Estate is in the early planning stage for a new four-story project at 162 19th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122 (between Fir and Spruce Streets). The Developer and Architect will host a community meeting on March 14 from 5:30-6:30pm at Washington Hall (153 14th Avenue, Seattle WA 98122). The purpose of this meeting is to encourage community input and share early design concepts for the project.

If you have any questions or input related to this project or event, please send us an email to Any information collected via this email address may be subject to public disclosure.

Additional Project Details:

-162 19th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122
-Developer Contact: Scott Lien
-EDG Project Number: 3033732-EG
-Site Area: 6,400 square feet
-Height: 40-50 feet approximately (4-5 stories)
-Project Square Feet: 17,000-19,000
-Use: Apartments
-Earliest potential start date: Late 2020
-Construction Duration: 12 months estimated