Compromise reached in long debate to reopen short Capitol Hill path

(Image: CHS)

Describing the solution as a unique one-off — not precedent-setting — officials finally have a back-to-school plan to reopen the Lowell Elementary S Path — the short, curving pathway connecting Federal and 11th Ave E that has been fenced off since the start of last school year due to safety concerns over homeless camping and drug use.

“It’s a little bit of a special snowflake,” Seattle Department of Transportation’s Genesee Adkins tells CHS.

The path joins a South Seattle school playground that doubles as a public park and a West Seattle school’s daily closure of a neighborhood street to allow safer student movement among the few unique agreements forged by SDOT with Seattle Public Schools over restricting access to the public right of way.

Officials expect the path to be reopened in time for the start of the school year in September. No property is being acquired and no money will change hands. “There is no change to the right of way,” Adkins said. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Community Post | Your Voice, Your Choice Results — Four District 3 Projects

From SDOT

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!

DISTRICT 3  

  • 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!

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

Part of SDOT’s Broadway safety fix will also roll out across Seattle: a head start for walk signals

We gave the coming Broadway “all way walk” the headline but one of the safety improvements coming to the busy area around Capitol Hill Station will be part of a simple but hopefully effective change to pedestrian crossing signals across Seattle:

At intersections where the city knows accidents are likely, SDOT will preemptively add what Murray called “pedestrian-friendly signals” — walk signs that allow pedestrians into an intersection before drivers’ light turns green, giving walkers greater visibility — and traffic lights with left turn signals, which reduces conflicts between left-turning cars and pedestrians (or trucks) heading straight through an intersection. By adding leading pedestrian signals at 40 intersections citywide, Kubly said, the city expected to reduce crashes by 50 percent at those intersections.

After SDOT analysis, the re-timed signaling will be deployed at the busy Broadway/John/E Olive Way intersection to give pedestrians an advance walk signal before drivers get a green light. SDOT is also planning to add left turn lanes on John and E Olive Way to help better control vehicular traffic flow.

Dongho Chang, city traffic engineer, said pedestrian collision reports including near misses contributed to the decision. “Pedestrian-wise we hear about a lot of close misses,” Chang said.

The department found the majority of collisions were left-turn related from east and westbound drivers on Olive and John. Drivers heading north or south on Broadway didn’t experience many left turn collisions but did have a few rear-ending incidents.

SDOT is planning to implement the changes before summer.

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

Pac Man

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

After a 21-month road diet, first phase of 23rd Ave work complete

DSC00851The new, post road-diet 23rd Ave is now open.

The Seattle Department of Transportation began construction on the first phase of the three-phase project in June 2015, closing the road to northbound traffic between Jackson and John streets.

The newly designed road has gone from two lanes in each direction to one lane in each direction, with a center turn lane. It’s also been widened near bus stops, to allow cars to get past buses as they load and unload passengers. Continue reading

Last chance to submit your $90K District 3 parks & streets idea

Screen Shot 2017-02-25 at 10.07.40 AM

D3, bringing up the rear

Seattle has turned to its citizens to decide how $2,000,000 in street and parks projects should be divvied up around the city — and District 3, your district, has been relatively quiet.

You have another day to change that. Your deadline is Sunday, February 26th.

Of the more than 600 ideas submitted this month for sidewalk repairs, new crossings, speed humps, curb bulbs, park benches and tables, traffic circles, and sidewalk designs in the Your Voice, Your Choice Parks & Streets process, District 3 representing Capitol Hill, First Hill, Montlake, Madison Valley and Madison Park, part of Eastlake, and the Central District was bringing up the rear with around 8.3% of the submissions as of Saturday morning. You can see the latest overall tallies here. Continue reading

If it has the cash, Seattle Public Schools wants to buy Lowell Elementary S Path

Still closed

Still closed

Seattle Public Schools is preparing a proposal that would allow the district to purchase and presumably close the “S Path,” the winding, odd little stretch of City of Seattle right of way that connects Federal and 11th Ave E that has been fenced off since the start of the Lowell Elementary school year over concerns about drug use and homeless camping.

The path may be short — but the route to the planned purchase will be a long one. And neighbors who miss their shortcut through the block might be happy to know that, at least for the short term while any proposal makes its way through City Hall, the path would likely have to be reopened and the fences that have blocked it off in recent months, removed. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Why this hole in Broadway was glowing green Friday night

dscf1989 There were worries of a large Capitol Hill sinkhole opening up in the street but, fortunately, a sewer inspector, a tow truck driver, a gaggle of police, a patient driver, and some lime green marking dye were all it took to get things stabilized Friday on Broadway just north of Roy.

Seattle Fire was called to the scene in the 700 block of Broadway E just after 4 PM to a report of a sinkhole in the area. It turned out to be a relatively puny thing, about two feet by three feet. But that didn’t stop a car from getting a tire stuck in the small collapse. That set off a wet and rainy night of sorting out what to do and just how much danger the collapsing pavement might pose if the soppy situation worsened. Continue reading

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