Bowing to local business pressure — and what it predicts will be a radically transformed transportation corridor thanks to the $120 million, 2.3-mile Madison Bus Rapid Transit project — the Seattle Department of Transportation has updated its long-delayed plans for improvements to the First Hill Streetcar following pushback business owners and Mayor Jenny Durkan’s office. Despite complaints about the elimination of left-turns and the addition of red paint for a transit-only lane, SDOT still plans to alter traffic signals and implement a transit-only lane — eventually.
“Complex intersections where other vehicles might be making a left turn or otherwise blocking the intersection slows down the streetcar,” SDOT representative Ethan Bergerson said.
Last year, CHS reported on SDOT’s plans for potential changes to the First Hill Streetcar route to make the streets more efficient for the rail transit and, hopefully, boost ridership. But Capitol Hill businesses — led by the now-disolved Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce — and the mayor’s office pushed back on the proposals and the project has been stuck in neutral since.
SDOT officials say the department has since made changes to traffic signals and turns on Yesler in an effort to speed up that section of the First Hill Streetcar. Adjustments included restricting left turning vehicles from east and westbound directions during peak afternoon traffic times at Yesler and Boren, restricting left turning vehicles at Yesler and 12th, and synchronizing traffic signals at Yester and 14th.
Officials say SDOT now plans to make similar adjustments to the Broadway section of the streetcar, implementing changes as soon as this fall. Continue reading
Miller Community Center (Image: CHS)
Seattle’s community centers provide a lot of simple but important things to their neighborhoods including recreation and meeting space. But they could also help the city develop strength and resilience in a future of extreme weather and in emergencies like a giant earthquake.
Seattle City Light is partnering with Seattle Parks and Recreation to implement a first of its kind solar microgrid at Capitol Hill’s Miller Community Center.
The microgrid involves more than solar panels as a battery energy storage system and microgrid controls will also be installed.
The planned system will provide backup power storage necessary to keep the community center functioning during windstorms, power outages, and other emergency events.
“The project will empower a community to recover quickly from unplanned emergency events and gain technical knowledge on the installation and operation of a microgrid system,” Seattle City Light says about the project. “Analytics from the microgrid resiliency project will allow the City of Seattle to research and develop similar technologies.” Continue reading
Last summer, the mystery of Capitol Hill’s mystery soda machine became mysteriously more mysterious when the mysterious machine mysteriously… vanished. One year and one week later, there is still no trace of the machine beyond its surprisingly robust social media campaign. And, while the clues are pretty much everywhere you look in the machine’s Instagram updates and around its previous home on the sidewalk of E John, the mystery remains.
While SDOT’s improvements to sidewalks along the John and Thomas corridor overlapped with the machine’s disappearance, construction concluded in December 2018, and the former home of the beloved late 20th Century-style soda machine outside Broadway Locksmith remains vacant.
“Wherever it is, we wish it well and hope that it is having a safe and fulfilling journey,” said Ethan Bergerson, SDOT’s media relations lead. Continue reading
After Seattle City Light’s previous efforts to install an electric vehicle charging station on Broadway were curbed, the organization is proposing to build a similar EV charging station in the Central District.
The charging station would be implemented on East Olive St between 21st and 22nd Ave as part of the City of Seattle’s pilot program to add EV charging stations throughout the city. The pilot program is part of the Drive Clean Seattle Initiative, which hopes to provide more EV charging stations as an incentive for people to drive EVs, aiding the city in meeting its carbon neutral goals.
If the chargers are built, two fast chargers will be located along the curb while two existing street parking spots will be converted to “EV charging only” spaces.
The average EV charging session lasts between fifteen and thirty minutes, so drivers would be limited to an hour of parking at these spaces. Continue reading
Love City Love’s new home below Stumptown (Image: Love City Love)
Love City Love’s fantastic journey of art and community across Seattle will bring the venue to yet another new Capitol Hill home.
With its move was marked by the disappearance of its neon sign that used to light up the former American Artificial Limb Co. space on E Pike, the nonprofit has created a new event space and art gallery under Stumptown Coffee on 12th Ave. At its new location, Love City Love will continue to house a variety of creative endeavors.
“Love City Love is an all inclusive art and culture hub. It is designed to bring all people together, connect, inspire, activate, and push cultural criticism of the status quo,” said founder Lucien Pellegrin who spoke to CHS as a representative of the collective. “Love City Love supports individuals who continue the conversation of how to re define culture, what do about our new found technology crisis, and how to create more spaces fostering human interaction and authentic connection.” Continue reading
Celebrate the 4th of July by drinking English ales
Capercaillie Pub will continue Machine House Brewery’s quest of serving English beer on E Jefferson. The new project is a result of a shift in ownership, and the pub will be taking over the brewery’s bar space, making a few smaller changes in addition to the name change and change in ownership.
“Our vision is the Capercaillie will be a neighborhood pub featuring cask ale, and a place where people can hang out and feel comfortable,” said Alex Brenner, the pub’s owner, “I really like the layout of the space, the staff are great with customers, and the beer we serve is spot on.” Continue reading
June’s Capitol Hill Art Walk was “Queer” — the scene at Vermillion
The implosion of the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce won’t mean the end of one of its most visible neighborhood promotions. Organizers of the monthly Capitol Hill Art Walk say they are ready to walk on with the event that melds local businesses and the neighborhood’s art scene with help from the Capitol Hill Block Party.
“It’s always a good time. Attendees will see people they know or meet new people. There’s no Seattle freeze on the art walk, as people are friendly and social at these things,” said Jeanine Anderson, who co-produces the art walk with Ghost Gallery owner Laurie Kearney.
Now the event’s official fiscal sponsor, the Block Party first became involved with the art walk in 2015, providing monthly support for the event. The combination of financial donations and management made the art walk’s quick transition between fiscal sponsors possible, preserving its ability to promote showcased art. Meanwhile, Block Party’s donations help pay organizers for their time, compensate artists who designed the walk’s posters, and provide funding for advertising and paper maps highlighting businesses showcasing art. Continue reading
The Shell station on 17th and Madison has a new parking lot-mate, Logan’s Espresso. The walk-up — and drive-thru — coffee stand located in the corner of the parking lot opened earlier this month and is trying to catch the attention of foot and car traffic on the corner with its plant wall and neon pink sign.
“I thought Logan’s would be great because there are not a ton of walk-up coffee places in Capitol Hill. I love coffee, and I love the idea of people bonding over something as small as getting a drink,” said Courtney Dabbagh, owner of Logan’s Espresso.
Frederick L. Brown, author of The City is More Than Human, says your Capitol Hill houses and apartment buildings were once favorite grazing spots of dairy cows roaming the pasture in the late 19th century.
“It’s really important to think about the kinds of relationships people have had with animals where you live. History helps people recognize our choices create change,” Brown tells CHS, “I think that allows people to think more clearly about the kind of choices they make today about how to live with animals.”
Brown will appear Friday night “to speak on the animal history” in a discussion with the Capitol Hill Historical Society’s Tom Heuser at Elliott Bay Book Company starting at 7 PM.
According to Brown, understanding the history of animals in Capitol Hill provides insight to understanding how industrialization has historically impacted livestock farming in the greater Puget Sound region. Brown paints a picture of Capitol Hill’s transition from rural to urban, comparing of records of old animal ownership laws, institutions such as riding academies and stables, and cow herding laws with Capitol Hill and the rest of Seattle’s contemporary pet and leash laws. Continue reading
The Pike Place Tea with Grass Jelly at Bobabucha (Image: Bobabucha)
As spring turns into summer, the teen blocks of E Pine have added some new Pacific-flavored food and drink options including a new sibling to Poke Bar and a new hybrid cafe specializing in the wonders of both kombucha and boba.
Bobabucha Cafe opened Memorial Day weekend on the corner of 15th and Pine in the storefront formerly inhabited by Honor Coffee.
“We want this place to be somewhere people can come hang out. Boba and kombucha have been around for a while, but people have recently started to catch onto them, so Bobabucha is dedicated to both drinks,” Matthew Chaw, son of cafe owner, Linda Chaw, said. Continue reading