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14 Park and Street Fund proposals include Cal Anderson lighting, Pollinator Pathway

(Image: Joe Wolf via Flickr)

(Image: Joe Wolf via Flickr)

Exactly how community bodies like the East District Council fit in the future District 3 framework may not have been entirely worked out but the neighborhood representatives still have some important responsibilities. Tuesday night, the EDC will hear from finalists with projects proposed for parts of the $2 million in Neighborhood Park and Street Fund grants available in 2015. The fund can be used for projects up to $90,000 to fund park or street improvements.

Included in the roster are several ideas that have come up in recent CHS coverage including a proposal for funds to trim Cal Anderson’s trees and improve lighting to make the park safer and extending the area’s “Pollinator Pathway” infrastructure to connect to Cal Anderson.

Tuesday’s meeting starts at 6 PM in a 12th Ave Arts conference room if you want to stop by to support the applicants and check out the council’s prioritization vote. Three ideas will make it through with, believe it or not, the Mayor’s office holding the final decision based on feasibility.

Here are the ideas up for consideration around the East District and Capitol Hill:

  1. Cal Anderson Park — Lighting and tree trimming in the park
    Safety issues in Cal Anderson Park are a primary concern for the neighborhood. The Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce has been awarded a grant from the Office of Economic Development (OED) to fund a lighting plan for the Park. We have discussed the funding with Eric Freidli, Deputy Superintendent. Eric’s only caution was that community expectations around infrastructure projects remain realistic, given the amount of maintenance and infrastructure improvements in current Park planning. With that in mind, our intention in applying for this grant is to be helpful and proactive in this process. While the renovation of the Park completed in 2005/2006 was created w/ Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) standards, the past 10 years have shown that the landscaping and lighting plan could use further attention. Our goal is to spend 2015 thoroughly exploring the options for a safe, active, public space with lighting and landscaping improvements with monies from the OED grant and use the Neighborhood Streets and Parks grant monies, if awarded, to help implement that work.
    We are requesting this grant to implement recommendations that would suggest maintenance and/or repair of lighting, as well as landscaping or tree trimming that help create clear sightlines and safe spaces. For example, the lighting areas to the North ring of the Sun Bowl has been overshadowed as the trees have grown, creating a very dark area between the pathway, playground space and Sun Bowl area. It is our understanding that the original lighting plan as proposed had more extensive lighting in this area, as well. We’d like to revisit that original proposal and see if there are exiting elements in said proposal that could be strengthened and/or incorporated. A new CPTED review for the Park will provide much needed attention to the safety elements of the design and we believe that that review – with the funded lighting study in hand – will go a long way as a community benefit in creating a better, safer public interaction (and perception) of this beautiful space.
  2. Eastern edge of Cal Anderson Park
    Install pollinator pathway. The subject of this proposal is the second Pollinator Pathway. Created in partnership with Bergmann, it will connect four important green spaces with 2.5 linear miles of native pollinator-friendly gardens. We are beginning pre-design and pre-development for a Pollinator Pathway to run north from the Seattle University campus along 11th Avenue to its terminus at Volunteer Park. Part of the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict initiative. For this first construction component of the 11th Ave. Pollinator Pathway we propose planting pollinator-friendly gardens at the eastern edge of Cal Anderson Park, mitigating the thin grassy areas between street parking and the sidewalk. We would work with Sarah Bergmann in designing these new gardens prior to their installation.
  3. Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 5.18.29 PM12th Ave E and E Denny Way
    Study and design intersection improvements at 12th & Denny such as a cheap refuge island to allow people walking to cross one lane of traffic before having to cross the other direction and signs to improve access for people biking
  4. Denny between 11th Ave and 12th Ave E
    In the longer term, we’d like to see our residential streets adjacent to Cal Anderson Park be declared a residential Slow Zone, once the program is ready. This would enable a tranquil, parklike setting to extend beyond the park’s geographic boundaries, and address our safety concerns from high-speed cut-through traffic. As a first step, we are proposing that Denny between 11th and 12th receive speed humps and/or other traffic calming measures that actively enforce a safe and comfortable 20 mph speed, as drivers come off of 12th at speeds unsuitable for a quiet residential street. (Denny is currently not slated for Greenway treatments until 2019 under the BMP implementation plan).
  5. 10th Ave E and E Thomas ST
    There is a misaligned, blind ’T’ intersection at the corner of 10th Ave E and E Thomas St. that drivers and pedestrians are coming into conflict with each other everyday. It is in front of our cafe which has outdoor seating and is potentially very dangerous for them if 2 cars should collide and veer into our area – which comes close to happening every day. Installing stop signs, curb bulbs, traffic circles or a parklet in tandem with a 1 way street designation Southbound for 1 block (or local access only n.bound) could alleviate the situation.
  6. Melrose Promenade
    Our group has been working for nearly five years to develop and implement a community-generated plan to make the entirety of Melrose Avenue, from East Pike Street on the south to Lakeview Boulevard East on the north, a safer street. We completed an extensive community visioning process, funded by the Seattle Neighborhood Matching Fund program and in coordination with the Seattle Department of Transportation and the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation, which focused in part on how to make the exact intersection of Melrose, Minor, and Pike safer. In coordination with our neighbors, we produced a series of community-supported strategic interventions and enhancements. These include: – “Necking down” the curb line at this intersection to increase the predictability of auto movement; – Incorporating more pedestrian-oriented lighting to both improve visibility but also to change people’s psychological experience of this space, increasing awareness of the shared nature of the street; – Distinctive paving materials at the pedestrian crosswalks to improve drivers’ awareness of pedestrians and cyclists, and to encourage more predictable pedestrian traffic patterns – Implementing a curbless festival street – Signage identifying this area as the gateway to the Melrose Promenade corridor and signifying the unique character of this particular location
  7. Miller Neighborhood Association
    Repave E Thomas between 17th Ave E and 20th Ave E. Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 4.27.54 PM
  8. Madison between Minor and Boren
    Repair to sidewalk at this location
  9. E Boston Ave and E McGraw St on west side of 24th Ave E
    Repair sidewalks at this location
  10. E Lynn on 24th Ave E
    Street improvement s at this location. 1) Sidewalk planters 2.) Design consultant to map these improvements to an overall strategic improvement plan and design for the Montlake business district in partnership with the city.
  11. E Lynn and E McGraw
    Curb bulbs at this location
  12. E Harrison St between 32nd Ave E and Lake Washington Blvd E
    We propose a community design process to come up with a simplified, intuitive and easy ­to ­navigate configuration for the Lake Washington Blvd / E Harrison St / 37th Ave E intersection​a​nd to select among modern traffic calming options for the E​Harrison Segment in front of The​Bush School.
  13. 39th Ave E to Garfield St Greenway Implement the Hillside Drive Greenway
    McGilvra Elementary School students in the western half of the school attendance area do not have a safe walking or biking routes to school, forcing physically capable children to become dependent on being either driven or bussed to school.
  14. E Harrison St and Boyer Ave along Lake Washington
    Provide $50,000 to design the Neighborhood Greenway segment between E Harrison St and Boyer Ave E along the Lake Washington Loop signed bicycle route that can be implemented when implementation funds become available.


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16 thoughts on “14 Park and Street Fund proposals include Cal Anderson lighting, Pollinator Pathway

  1. RE: Idea #5: I have lived at the intersection of 10th Ave E & E Thomas St for 34 years, and I cannot remember there EVER being a car accident there. Perhaps there have been a few in that time, but I’m sure that SDOT records would corroborate my impression.

    Apparently, Cafe Solstice is pushing for the changes…..their concern for their customers is admirable, but we can’t be spending taxpayer money for unnecessary changes when there is only a potential for a problem, and not an actual danger.

  2. Bob, that’s the same reasoning the City gave for not taking urgency about fixing the downtown bike lane on 2nd Ave – looking at lagging safety indicators rather than leading safety indicators. And that mindset is how Sher Kung died.

    Instead, cities like ours (thankfully) now use industrial safety models (look for near-misses and indicators that a crash will occur) rather than waiting for citizens to be killed or maimed to fix a problem: (if you didn’t study industrial safety as a physician)

    • (specifically, that 2nd was bad, but nobody was dying or being really severely hurt, so there was no urgency to fix it.)

      Until, of course, someone was preventably killed.

    • Unfortunately she was struck and killed by a distracted driver. A driver who was texting and talking while driving. Just because we can put guardrails on things doesn’t necessarily mean they’re needed and are no compensation for distracted driving.

      Some of the ideas are good, some are excessive.

      • So you’re saying that we can’t design infrastructure to be safer to vulnerable road users when drivers make mistakes?

        I’m sorry, but there are (quite literally) tons of research studies all over the world, including Seattle, that prove beyond any shadow of a doubt that this is not the case. Full stop.

        Or are you saying that the lives of people walking and biking aren’t worth the effort?

        As an aside, the Swiss Cheese model (or Reason model) kinda explains all this, although it’s (again) more for industrial safety but is finding uses in transportation.

        Basically, distracted driving here is only deadly if you designed the road not to be tolerant of human error in the first place.

      • Sorry but distracted driving is not a mistake and I don’t believe we should redesign our systems to account for peoples lack of responsibility. We should be enforcing their accountability and not make excuses for them or systems easier for them.

        She would be alive today had it not been for this drivers texting while driving.

      • Actually, redesigning our traffic systems to minimize the negative impacts of people’s “mistakes” seems like precisely what we SHOULD be doing, because you can’t really hold someone accountable for their “lack of responsibility” until after they’ve already done the damage. Creating infrastructure to mitigate or even potentially eliminate said damage, even IF a mistake is made ensures that people who AREN’T responsible for other people’s actions don’t have to suffer the consequences.

      • ” Creating infrastructure to mitigate or even potentially eliminate said damage, even IF a mistake is made ensures that people who AREN’T responsible for other people’s actions don’t have to suffer the consequences.”

        Where does that end, though? And at what actual cost to everyone to mitigate the potential or theoretical acts of an individual against another individual?

        It really doesn’t end, and that’s the problem. You can’t solve for every contingency. People can accidentally cross lanes, so we should put dividers between lanes. We should wall off pedestrian areas because they might be hit by cars or walk into traffic. Bike lanes should be walled off, etc. Would any of these be good ideas? Maybe. Would they make our roads look like slot cars tracks? Definitely. Would it cost millions of tax dollars? Definitely. Would that tax money be better served fixing existing infrastructure or adding new transit? That’s a discussion worth having.

        It sounds harsh to say it may be worth someone’s life, but it’s not literally saying that because the threat is theoretical, and you can’t protect people against every most outcomes.

    • Eli, I think the problems on 2nd Avenue (clearly dangerous) were very different than the situation at 10th & Thomas (clearly not dangerous, as evidenced by 34 years with no accidents). The old saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” applies here.

      I’m all for detecting a risky intersection/street, and doing something about it, but it’s a matter of prioritizing. Industrial safety models sound like a great tool for doing this. But, how can the City become aware of “near-misses”?

  3. More lighting is great and welcomed and unless we have some round the clock friendly but proactive police foot patrols Cal Anderson will continue to be a sanctuary for crime. It will still continue to attract negative elements because they know there is no policing..

    • I do agree that the police should be welcomed more often, especially when the park is supposed to be closed, but I don’t welcome more lighting! There are already too many lights. (The new LED street lighting adds an eerie and artificial glow as well.)
      I was in the park today in the area they propose to butcher up with their pruning saws. It’s one of exactly two areas where you get the feeling that you are catching a glimpse of the primeval garden, a welcome relief from the rest of the park, which looks like it was hit by a bomb.

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