About calhoun


Clear Alleys Program for Capitol Hill?

The City is instituting the Clear Alleys Program (“CAP”) on March 30th, along with all the other changes to garbage/recycling services.  CAP will make it mandatory for those who store containers/dumpsters in the public right-of-way (alleys, sidewalks, planting strips) to give up their current containers and instead use purchased bags that will be picked up several times a day.  This will apply to businesses as well as apartments/condos, but only within a designated area (Pioneer Square, Downtown, Belltown).  The laudable goal is to make alleys cleaner so that people might actually walk through them, and to decrease all the antisocial activities that now take place near dumpsters.  If you want more detail about this program, go to http://www.seattle.gov/util/Services/Garbage/For_Commercial_Customers/ClearAlleyProgram/index.htm.

The bad news is that Capitol Hill is not included in CAP, for now anyway.  However, there is a little good news…the City will be choosing one additional neighborhood to “opt-in” to the program in 2009, and our neighborhood is a definite possibility.  I’m not sure who will be making this decision…but probably the ultimate choice will be by the Acting Director of Seattle Public Utilities (SPU).  Once the neighborhood is chosen, and according to the person I spoke with at SPU, there will then be an “election” of sorts with the affected businesses/apartments/condos voting yes or no.  A simple majority will decide if the CAP is then instituted for the designated area.  In other words, to go “dumpster-free” will not be on a business-by-business basis…it will be mandatory for the entire neighborhood to participate (but only for those locations storing containers in public space).

I’m sure that other neighborhoods will be vying to “opt-in,” so I think it would be very helpful if those who care about this issue would “lobby” SPU for Capitol Hill to be chosen.  Please call (206)-684-3000 (the main number for SPU) and ask to speak with someone directly involved in CAP.  Thanks!

Great Public Art!

Someone has wonderfully installed some great public art…yellow butterflies, made of metal, attached to utility poles. I have seen these in several locations west of Broadway E along Summit E and Belmont E, but hopefully they are in other locations as well. I wish I had a picture to post, but I am one of those rare individuals who doesn’t own a camera.

I think this is an outstanding example of true art, e.g. that which adds color and beauty to the streetscape, and which is devoid of any self-aggrandizement or advertising….as opposed to graffiti, all of which is just vandalism, or postering, which can be OK initially but quickly becomes a mess because the postering regulations are ignored.

To whoever created and installed this wonderful art: THANK YOU a million times!