Learn how to advocate for Capitol Hill street safety on Sunday

(Image: Capitol Hill Ecodistrict)

(Image: Capitol Hill Ecodistrict)

Capitol Hill residents interested in making Seattle safer for bicyclists and pedestrians can learn how to advocate for safety improvements on Sunday at Street Safety & Transportation Action Day.

Advocacy training will take place from 2 to 3 p.m. at 12th Ave Arts. After that, attendees will get to put their training to use doing business outreach in the area for two hours.

Alex Brennan said the idea for the event came from issues identified by Capitol Hill Renters Initiative members.

“One thing that’s come up is traffic safety — safe walking and biking, so we’ve been thinking about what’s a good way to get renters plugged into those issues locally,” he said. Continue reading

98 or so ideas for Capitol Hill and Central District streets and parks

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The city asked for ideas, and the people have responded.

The first phase of the Your Voice, Your Choice program wrapped up in February, and brought in 894 ideas about how to spend $2 million across the city on smaller infrastructure projects – those with a budget of $90,000 or less. About 11% of the ideas came out of City Council District 3, centered on Capitol Hill and the Central District. Tuesday night, the penultimate effort to winnow that list down to a manageable eight projects gathered in the Central District at the Douglas Truth Library. Here are some of the District 3 safe streets and open space ideas they were wrangling.

The largest single category on Capitol Hill and the Central District seemed to do with either making it easier for people to cross streets, or forcing cars to slow down. Continue reading

Safe and Sane Gardening Practices

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Safe and Sane Gardening Practices: How to minimize drudgery and spend more time enjoying your garden. We have all planted things we wish we hadn’t or we planted a perfectly nice plant in the wrong place. Perhaps we didn’t realize that the 6′ tall and 6′ wide on the plant label was for ideal growing conditions and now what? Does mulching really prevent weeds? Is there a nontoxic way to keep slugs out of my lettuce? Get your gardening questions answered. And finally where to go for information and inspiration.

Joan Helbacka has been a Master Gardener since 1997. She has gardened with some success and some failures for over 40 years.

Silhouettes to mark deadly crash locations across Capitol Hill, Seattle

Seattle is marking the World Day of Remembrance with a citywide effort to remember pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers who have died or been injured on the city’s streets.

Volunteers and friends and family who want to remember the loved ones lost will gather at the E Pike Victrola on Sunday before heading out across Capitol Hill and the Central District to mark the places in our neighborhoods where people have died in traffic collisions in the decade past.

Since 2006, 234 people have been killed and around 2,400 have been seriously injured in traffic crashes, the SNG group says. Nearly 30 collisions occur on Seattle’s streets daily.

Sunday, SNG says families and groups plan to distribute 234 white silhouettes to place at crash locations around the city. The Capitol Hill group will meet Sunday at noon at Victrola E Pike before heading out to place three silhouettes. Other silhouettes will be placed between now and then so that they’re in place by Sunday, organizers said. Continue reading

Slow down: Belmont/Bellevue gets its crosswalk — Plus, speed limits lowered on Broadway, Pike, Pine, more

Changes around Capitol Hill streets will hopefully make things a little safer for everybody as a crosswalk project the city says was already in motion before a fatal collision was installed and new speed limits were rolled out across the city.

Election Day morning, CHS found a Seattle Department of Transportation work crew putting the finishing touches on a ladder style crosswalk to hopefully provide safer passage where Bellevue meets the sloping, speedy tilt of Belmont Ave E on the northwest corner of Capitol Hill. A few in the crew admitted installation had been more harrowing than most as some drivers sped down the steep hill while others seemed determined to get a head of steam going on their way up to make it to the top. “This should be a one-way street,” one worker told CHS. A sign to alert drivers to the crosswalk was also going to be installed, another crew member said. A separate “curb buffer” marking was also added along one side of Bellevue where parking was already prohibited. Continue reading

City adding crosswalk at Capitol Hill intersection where fatal collision occurred

The headline above is not entirely accurate. The intersection where Max Richards was struck and killed by a driver at Belmont and Bellevue in September was already a “crosswalk,” a crossing where it is legal and should be safe to cross the street on this sloping hillside below Broadway. The Seattle Department of Transportation is now adding a painted crosswalk and curb buffer to make the area safer.

We have asked SDOT for more information about the markings and why this configuration of elements was chosen. UPDATE: SDOT says the marked “ladder style” crosswalk and the curb area markings will be the extent of this update to the streetscape where the collision occurred. Signage including the iconic “walking person” will be added to help drivers be aware.

SDOT’s Matt Beaulieu tells CHS an assessment of the area’s need for a crosswalk was already underway before Richards’s death. A second analysis began in the wake of the tragedy to look at other possible changes for the street. Beaulieu said that the count of pedestrians who cross at the intersection met the threshold for crosswalk installation and the volume and speed of drivers in the area was sampled “to determine what else would be appropriate.” At this point, Beaulieu said the new markings and signs will be the extent of the additions. Expect the work to be completed later this month provided enough dry days for the paint job.  Continue reading

John/Thomas intersections from Capitol Hill Station to Miller Park selected for major pedestrian improvements

screen-shot-2016-10-29-at-11-05-59-amOften overshadowed by the more bustling sections of Capitol Hill, the “John and Thomas corridor” is nonetheless a crucial pedestrian and transit passageway through the neighborhood. Thanks to a community-initiated proposal, 11 intersections in the corridor between Broadway and 23rd Ave are on deck for a $1 million pedestrian safety upgrade paid for by the Seattle Neighborhood Street Fund.

The proposal from David Seater, a volunteer with Central Seattle Greenways, calls for installing curb bulbs along all the corridor’s un-signaled intersections. It was recently approved by the Neighborhood District Council, setting up a final vote at City Council.

“I walk along John/Thomas frequently and have been frustrated with how unsafe and difficult it can be to cross at any of the intersections without signals,” Seater said. Continue reading

Community remembers man struck by motorist, calls for safer streets during memorial walk across Capitol Hill

Capitol Hill residents, activists, and their dogs took a walk on Sunday carrying signs with a photograph of Max Richards who died after being struck by a motorist on September 21.

“To feel that the community is concerned is very special,” Marilyn Black, Richards’ wife, told CHS about the outpouring of support.

Central Seattle Greenways organized the walk to remember Richards and bring awareness to their call for safer streets in the city.

Her neighbors have embraced her, Black said, bringing her food and words of comfort, but it still doesn’t feel real that Richards, 79, is gone.

Richards died after being hit by a driver as he walked his dog across Belmont Ave E near Bellevue Place EPink, the dog, was unharmed. The collision remains under investigation by Seattle Police.

Prior to Richards’ death, Black said she had concerns about pedestrian safety in Seattle, especially compared to their previous home in Melbourne, Australia. She even mapped out what she thought was a safe night-time walking route with her husband. But he liked to explore, she said, and only followed the map a few times. Continue reading

Walk for Max, Sunday at Bellevue and Belmont

(Image: Central Seattle Greenways)

(Image: Central Seattle Greenways)

Max Richards was out for a walk with his dog Pink on the morning of September 21st when he was fatally struck by a driver. Sunday, neighbors and safe street advocates will gather at Bellevue Pl E and Belmont Ave E for a walk to honor the life of the 79-year-old and to talk about how to make the area safer for walkers, riders, and drivers:

Memorial Walk for Max Richards
Sunday, October 2nd, 1 to 3 PM
Bellevue Pl E and Belmont Ave E
Max Richards was killed crossing at Bellevue and Belmont on Wednesday morning, September 21. Max was walking his dog in a legal crossing. We want to make sure this crossing and every crossing in Capitol Hill is safe for people who walk.
Continue reading

As city studies Capitol Hill street where man fatally struck by driver, neighbors call for urgent action

dsc07349Neighbors and Seattle’s City Hall have begun the process of doing something about the conditions that led to the death of Capitol Hill resident Max Richards who died last week after being hit by a driver while crossing the sloping street at Belmont Ave E and Bellevue Place E.

Completing a legislative process begun long before the 79-year-old was killed, Seattle safe streets advocates celebrated the City Council’s passage Monday afternoon of new rules that will drop the speed limit by five miles per hour to 25 MPH on many arterials across the central city including Broadway, Pike, Pine, and Madison. Meanwhile, the speed limit will drop to 20 mph on 2,400 miles of non-arterial streets across the city. Under the approved changes, around 500 new speed limit signs will be installed. The city would then enter a warning period before police officers begin enforcing the new speeds. The move is part of Mayor Ed Murray’s Vision Zero plan to end traffic deaths by 2030. Continue reading