It’s a tragedy that heroin addiction destroys so many lives in Seattle. Discarded needles add another sad layer to the problem. A push from Seattle Public Utilities started in February 2016 can’t help with the addiction but officials say it is helping make streets safer by collecting some 2,000 used needles a month:
In its first 15 months of operation, Seattle Public Utility’s pioneering Sharps Collection Pilot Program has collected and safely disposed of 32,012 hypodermic syringes, improving both the safety and cleanliness of the city’s neighborhoods. Since February, people disposed of 26,647 syringes in nine SPU sharps disposal boxes around Seattle. (See attached map.) Another 5,365 needles have been removed from public property since the program began, in August 2016, in response to 1,113 complaints. Complaints were filed online, with the City’s Find It, Fix It app, or phoned in to (206) 684-7587.
Officials say the one-of-a-kind Seattle program is part of a group of test initiatives related to clean streets and safety. Continue reading
We’ve counted each vote and checked it twice! And, now is the moment you’ve all been waiting for: the announcement of vote results for Your Voice, Your Choice: Parks and Streets!
- Capitol Hill: Crossing Improvements at I-5 Exit on to Olive Way (Cost: $75,000, Total Votes: 240)
- Central District: Traffic Calming on 17th Ave S between E Yesler Way & S Jackson St (Cost: $15,000, Total Votes: 200)
- Judkins Park: Improved Connections to Judkins Park from S. Dearborn St (Cost: $90,000, Total Votes: 173)
- Capitol Hill: Crossing Improvements at 19th Ave E & E Denny Way (Cost: $83,000, Total Votes: 171)
As a bonus, while Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) reviewed ideas submitted by Your Voice, Your Choice participants, it ran the projects through its program priorities and was able to fund additional traffic calming and pedestrian improvement projects in underserved neighborhoods throughout the City. SDOT will work with communities to announce, design, and implement these projects in the upcoming year.
To provide some context to the results above, with $2 million to spend on park and street improvements, we allotted a maximum of $285,000 per City Council District. After the top projects in each district were selected by voters, there was $233,019 remaining in the budget. These dollars were used to fund one additional project in the three districts with the highest voter participation (Districts 1, 2, and 5).
You will also note that the number of funded projects varies per district. This is because the fund allotment is based strictly on overall cost and not the number of projects. The funding for these projects will be included as part of the Mayor’s 2018 Proposed Budget, and the work will begin in 2018.
This is the second year we have asked residents to weigh in on how to spend a portion of the City’s budget. Last year the focus was on youth, and this year anyone over the age of 11 could participate. We are blown away by the response with 7,737 community members voting for projects in their neighborhoods! We are so grateful to everyone who participated:
- The community members who kicked things off in February by submitting 900 ideas for projects.
- The community members who participated on the Project Development Teams.
- The Vote Champions who mobilized their communities.
- The educators in Seattle Public Schools who made sure students’ voices were heard.
- Our Community Liaisons who were out in force with translated ballots in Arabic, Chinese, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
- The amazing City staff at libraries and community centers who facilitated in-person voting.
- And, of course, you the voters!
(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
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: 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.
(Image: @Cascade_Kelli via Twitter)
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
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
(Image: @donghochang via Twitter)
(Image: @donghochang via Twitter)
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
Often 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
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 E. Pink, 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