In preparation for $10M overhaul, Freeway Park considered for Seattle landmarks protections

(Image: City of Seattle)

Part of the city’s connective tissue between Capitol Hill, First Hill, and downtown, and a possible first piece of a puzzle in someday capping I-5’s route through Seattle with parks, commercial development, and housing, Freeway Park could soon be an official landmark.

The Seattle Parks space’s nomination for protections of its 1970s era design and municipal brutalism will go up for consideration in front of the landmarks board Wednesday.

David Graves, a strategic advisor for the parks department, said it was time to consider the protections following its 2019 placement on the National Register of Historic Places and as the city gears up for a $10 million overhaul of the unique — and uniquely challenged — park.

Graves said the pandemic-delayed upgrades are now planned to begin early next year when the project is put out to bid in early 2023. “We will be working with the Landmarks Preservation Board to make sure all improvements are consistent with the landmarks designations,” Graves said. Continue reading

Police search for suspect after reported Bellevue Place crossbow assault — UPDATE

Seattle Police and Seattle Fire were called to Bellevue Place after a person was shot in a reported crossbow attack in a tent in the green space along the Melrose Trail above I-5.

SPD confirmed the attack and said a man had been injured by a crossbow bolt in the 800 block of Bellevue Pl E.

UPDATE: Police say arriving officers “found a man with a crossbow bolt sticking out of his chest.”

Continue reading

King County Regional Homelessness Authority gives report on how Seattle shelters weathered snow and ice — Meanwhile, Melrose/Olive onramp reportedly planned for sweep

The King County Regional Homelessness Authority says Seattle’s overnight shelters were able to stay below maximum capacity during late December’s bout of ice and snow including Seattle’s “coldest day in 23 years.”

The report delivered at Wednesday’s Seattle City Council meeting of the body’s Public Assets and Homelessness Committee said the city’s six overnight shelters with 374 beds operated between 65% and 77% full during the freezing holiday week from December 23rd to January 3rd. Its regional numbers with a total of 27 sites and 290 beds outside Seattle reported totals around 80% capacity during the same period.

Meanwhile, organizers say the encampments along Washington State Department of Transportation property at the Melrose and Olive onramp to I-5 have been targeted for clearance. CHS has asked WSDOT and the city’s Human Services Department for more information. Continue reading

State OKs more ambitious plan for Pike overpass street and bicycle improvements

With the weight issue resolved, the sidewalk expansion and concrete planter boxes are back in the plans for the overpass

By Ryan Packer

A key segment of the $39 million plan to remake Pike and Pine Streets between Pike Place Market and Capitol Hill will proceed as it was originally envisioned. That project, now formally called the Pike Pine Streetscape and Bicycle Improvements project but which will likely continue to go by the catchier name Pike Pine Renaissance, is one facet of the larger Seattle waterfront revamp and is on track to start construction next fall with plans for a 2024 opening.

This summer, we reported that the plan to connect and upgrade bicycle and pedestrian facilities on both of these corridors had hit a snag on the I-5 overpass along Pike. The Washington State Department of Transportation, which controls the bridge, had determined that expanded sidewalks and concrete planter boxes to separate the bike lane would put too much weight on the bridge structure.

Now the project team has announced that the original design will proceed as envisioned. “The feasibility of adding weight to existing older bridges is based on a complex quantitative structural evaluation,” SDOT project manager Thérèse Casper said in a written statement. Continue reading

Seattle freeway encampments to be cleared as rock throwing incidents bring surveillance flights, arrests

A small surveillance plane buzzed large circles around Capitol Hill and the Central District early Thursday morning as crews prepared to remove encampments above the I-90 and I-5 interchange area in the core of Seattle after weeks of rock and debris throwing incidents freeway endangering motorists.

The continued surveillance and camp removal follows the East Precinct’s arrest Tuesday of a man for throwing rocks at cars just before rush hour near the eastbound onramp to I-90 from Rainier Ave S. The arrest is one of at least five the King County Prosecutor’s office says have been taken into custody in recent weeks for the bizarre and dangerous acts. A sixth person was taken into custody but released, officials say, after the Washington State Patrol determined the suspect “was not the person they thought he was.”

Tuesday’s incident required an “help the officer” alert to be issued as police sped to the scene as the suspect began fighting during his arrest by WSP. Seattle Police says “a loaded 9mm magazine” fell from the man’s waistband as he was being apprehended. The area and nearby encampments were searched but a weapon was not located. Continue reading

911 | Pike/Pine Friday night gun arrests, I-5 crisis closure, truck takes out utility pole on 23rd Ave E

See something others should know about? Email CHS or call/txt (206) 399-5959. You can view recent CHS 911 coverage here. Hear sirens and wondering what’s going on? Check out Twitter reports from @jseattle or tune into the CHS Scanner page.

  • Gun arrests: Seattle Police reports an eagle-eyed officer busted a pair of men on firearms violations after seeing one pass a handgun to the other near Cal Anderson around 11:15 PM Friday:
    Officers working in the 1000 block of East Pine Street at 11:15 pm Friday saw what they believed to be a man handing a firearm to another man. The officers investigated further and as they approached the man with the gun placed it into his pocket. The police discovered that the man with the gun is a convicted felon and prohibited from possessing a firearm.
    SPD says officers confiscated the Ruger pistol and arrested both men, one for firearms violations the other for unlawful carrying of a handgun.
  • I-5 crisis: Two lanes of both northbound and southbound I-5 were closed Sunday morning through downtown Seattle below the Olive Way overpass as Seattle Police and Seattle Fire responded for a person in crisis and threatening to jump. The person was talked off the overpass, and taken to the hospital for observation as the situation was resolved with no reported injuries.
  • 23rd Ave E closure: The 23rd Ave/24th Ave curve at Turner Way E was closed for hours Sunday afternoon and early evening after a pick-up truck left the road and smashed through a utility pole, requiring an emergency response from crews to repair the damage and stabilize wires. The incident which began before 5 PM dragged out for a few hours as the work was completed. There were no reported injuries.

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Midnight I-5 crash leaves semi dangling over Colonnade Park — UPDATE

A late night crash on I-5 echoed across lower Capitol Hill with the sound of screeching metal as a semi truck and trailer was left dangling above Eastlake’s Colonnade Park between the northbound and southbound decks of the freeway early Thursday morning. Continue reading

Remember that f#!cking plane flying over Capitol Hill during last summer’s protest? Here’s what it was up to

In early June in the first days of Seattle’s summer of Black Lives Matter protests and the formation of CHOP, a strange, noisy, seemingly endlessly circling airplane added to the peculiar tension building on Capitol Hill.

Thanks to Seattle criminal defense attorney Nacim Bouchtia, we can now get a look at what that Cessna 206 was up to in the air above the neighborhood.

Bouchtia filed a public records request with the Washington State Patrol for video surveillance recorded by the plane this summer including its long, droning loops above Capitol Hill. Those videos have now been uploaded to Youtube here.

CHS reported on the plane and WSP’s assistance to law enforcement on the ground during early June protest activity around the East Precinct: Continue reading

I-5 arrests part of Seattle MLK Day 2021 as thousands march from Central District

Seattle’s MLK Day 2021 celebrations Monday were a reflection of the times with marchers stepping off from the Central District socially spaced and masked and a protest effort that branched off and brought traffic to a stop on I-5 generating headlines across the country.

“BLM protesters arrested, cited with blocking Seattle freeway on MLK Day,” Fox News reported, wringing its hands with concern over “the acronym for Black Lives Matter” being painted across the traffic-snarled freeway.

There were 12 people arrested and at least two cars impounded, the Washington State Patrol reported. UPDATE: None of the dozen were booked into jail, the WSP tells CHS. The King County Jail refused the bookings, according to a state trooper spokesperson. We have not yet confirmed why they were not accepted. UPDATE x2: The refusals fall under current restrictions to reduce the number of people being held at the King County Jail during the ongoing pandemic.

Thousands more marched from 23rd Ave’s Garfield High to downtown in the city’s annual showing in respect to the slain civil rights leader. Continue reading

Driver in Summer Taylor vehicular homicide case ordered released from jail as case moves slowly toward trial

The man charged with vehicular homicide after he hit and killed activist Summer Taylor on I-5 has been ordered released from jail and placed on home detention despite being held on bail of $1.2 million.

According to court records, Dawit Kelete was ordered released after a bid from his lawyers to allow the defendant to go under house arrest and electronic monitoring as he awaits trial.

Kelete pleaded not guilty to charges of vehicular homicide, vehicular assault, and reckless driving after he crashed into a Black Lives Matter protest on I-5 on July 4th, killing one demonstrator, and badly injuring another. Continue reading