You can help save the 17th Ave E ‘impound notice’ community bench — UPDATE

Neighbors have a plan to save the bench on the sidewalk along 17th Ave E that nobody is quite sure who owns but the city says need to be fixed up if it is going to stay in the right of way.

“This bench is used and beloved by many in our small neighborhood of Capitol Hill, and if we don’t restore it the city will take steps to get rid of it,” neighbors write. “Thank you in advance for any support you can give to help us keep the bench for all to use in the neighborhood!”

You can add your donation here.

The effort is hoped to raise $2,500 to “replace the wood slats, dowels and metal bolts with the help of a contractor, and place a permanent receptacle for trash on it as well.” Continue reading

An update on Seattle’s ‘Vision Zero’ street safety efforts


With reporting from SCC Insight

Earlier this week, the Seattle Department of Transportation gave the City Council an update on the city’s “Vision Zero” initiative to achieve zero annual traffic fatalities. The bad news is that there has been little progress in the last several years. The good news? SDOT has some new ideas for how to change that.

According to the preliminary 2018 figures, Seattle had 14 traffic fatalities, and 170 serious injuries on its streets. That’s 14 human tragedies that we should all grieve for. But, while it is little consolation, that makes Seattle one of the safest cities in the country on a per-capita basis when it comes to traffic fatalities.

As for the trends, above are two charts that SDOT shared Tuesday. Continue reading

This Capitol Hill traffic circle probably isn’t really home to Seattle’s first ‘photo enforced’ stop sign

Either HB 1793 to make it easier for cities like Seattle to use traffic cameras to enforce more than just intersection and speeding laws is moving faster through the halls of Olympia than most legislation… or somebody around the traffic circle where 20th Ave E meets E Crescent Dr is getting a good laugh.

Either way, drivers are now coming to a full stop. Continue reading

22 projects that could make Seattle District 3 streets and sidewalks safer

You have until Friday to help winnow the field of Neighborhood Street Fund community proposals for improving streets and sidewalks across District 3.

The annual process allocates funding to projects identified by citizens and often includes efforts with relatively significant budgets of $100,000 or more. Work to make John/Thomas intersections safer from Capitol Hill Station to Miller Park is one recent example of a Neighborhood Street Fund-boosted project. Continue reading

Pike/Pine protected bike lanes? Take the survey to help reshape the ride up and down Capitol Hill

(Images: Alex Garland/Capitol Hill Housing)

Quick, before the Seattle urbanists muck it up. Capitol Hill Housing is proclaiming the first big community workshop on shaping protected Pike/Pine bike lanes a big success and organizers are collecting feedback on some of the design questions and opportunities that emerged in the October session.

CHS reported here on the effort to bring biking advocates, urbanists, neighbors, and business representatives together for a planning session to set the early tone and framework for a much needed effort to create safe cycling infrastructure between Broadway and downtown. Continue reading

How would you redesign the Neighbours Alley?

The alley between Broadway and Harvard Ave — the Neighbours Alley

As Capitol Hill becomes an even more crowded and busy place, the neighborhood is finding ways to put more of its space to use.

The alley connecting Pike to Pine just west of Broadway is set for a transformation hoped to enhance the neighborhood and surrounding streets. Tuesday night, you can help start work on redesigning the Neighbours Alley:

Neighbours Alley Workshop

Continue reading

With John/Thomas corridor work underway, 2019 will bring $2.2M Safe Routes to School pedestrian improvements across Capitol Hill

Guess what? What’s safer for students will also be safer for everybody crossing 15th Ave E (Images: CHS)

Students walking to Capitol Hill’s Lowell Elementary and Meany Middle School should be greeted by a number of safety improvements on their way to school next year.

The Safe Routes to School program is administered by the Seattle Department of Transportation with an eye toward making it easier and safer for children to walk and bike to school. In a 2016 report, program officials touted 18 projects at schools around the city. Projects range from installing speed bumps to rebuilding or installing sidewalks and other pedestrian safety enhancements.

In the coming year, SDOT projects it will make improvements at 31 schools around Seattle. Capitol Hill will get in on the program with a grab-bag of safety measures on streets and at intersections around Lowell and Meany, which may begin construction in the summer of 2019. Continue reading

Ready for ‘period of maximum constraint,’ Seattle rolls out Rapid Response Team to keep streets clear — UPDATE

(Image: Seattle.gov)

Seattle may need some guidance on making faster, smarter street investments but Mayor Jenny Durkan’s new team is set to clean up some of the messes along the way.

Set to be unveiled by the mayor Wednesday in South Lake Union, the city’s new Rapid Response Team is planned to “help quickly clear debris and vehicles” from the city’s streets “so people and goods can keep moving, and help ensure that Seattle can make the most of its existing streets as we grow.”

The new squad is powered by five “Response Team trucks” dedicated to the cause and armed with “tools needed to clear debris and vehicles, help stranded drivers, and to guide traffic around incidents, using sirens, red lights, variable message and bright pink ‘Emergency Scene Ahead’ signs.”

While it’s a bit like buying Liquid Plumr when you need new pipes, the team is coming together as Seattle enters its “period of maximum constraint” with major projects like the Washington State Convention Center expansion, the closure of the Viaduct, waterfront construction, and the end of bus service in the Transit Tunnel conspire to further clog Seattle streets.

A full announcement from the mayor’s office on the new team is below. Continue reading

MASS transit: Move All Seattle Sustainably coalition forms to push for faster, smarter street investments

A bike rider resorts to the sidewalk to navigate busy Boren (Images: CHS)

The community has taken the lead in shaping protected bike lanes on Pike and Pine — and a coalition of community groups is taking the lead in calling on Mayor Jenny Durkan to “transform” Seattle’s transportation system. Meet MASS — Move All Seattle Sustainably:

Seattle needs to dramatically transform its transportation system for multiple reasons— many of which are already reflected in Seattle’s adopted goals. Our Climate Action Plan calls for carbon neutrality by 2050, and transportation is 60% of our current emissions; the recent IPCC report reminds us of the catastrophe awaiting us if we do not act immediately to reduce carbon emissions. Vision Zero calls for zero traffic deaths or serious injuries by 2030. In addition, our streets in the urban core are already failing to move people and goods adequately, equity and access to jobs require lower-cost options for people to get around, and our city’s overall economic health depends on a safe, green, and equitable transportation system.

Continue reading

To boost the Seattle dream of an electric car in every affordable garage, public charging stations being added across city, including one on Capitol Hill

(Image: Seattle.gov)

Elon Musk wouldn’t be pleased with the delivery timeline but Capitol Hill is lined up to host one of the city’s 20 planned public electric car chargers hoped to, um, jumpstart the adoption of electric vehicles in Seattle and make the automobiles more accessible.

Seattle City Light is making plans to install 18 more of the DC Fast Chargers for electric vehicles at 10 to 15 curbside and off-street locations across the city one of which will be located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.

“We feel that as a public utility we have a responsibility to our ratepayers to invest in and implement solutions that support sustainability,” Jenny Levesque, community outreach manager for Seattle City Light, said at Monday’s Pike/Pine Urban Neighborhood Council meeting. Continue reading