It is only three blocks but Pike readied for big, bike-friendly one-way change on Capitol Hill

A rendering of the plans for Pike (Image: Waterfront Seattle)

(Image: Waterfront Seattle)

The Seattle Department of Transportation says it is time to begin the transition that will change Pike and Pine between the waterfront and Capitol Hill into one-way streets.

Pike, you’ll go first.

“As early as” this Saturday — depending on weather and the construction schedule — westbound vehicle access to Pike on Capitol Hill between Terry and Bellevue will come to an end.

“This is the first step in making Pike and Pine streets one-way from 1st Ave to Bellevue Ave, Pike St one-way eastbound, and Pine St one-way westbound,” the city says. “Westbound bike travel on Pike St will remain accessible during construction until improved routing to Pine St is established.” Continue reading

Driver in I-5 collision that killed Capitol Hill Black Lives Matter demonstrator pleads guilty


The driver in the July 2020 I-5 crash that killed a Capitol Hill Black Lives Matter protester and severely injured another demonstrator has pleaded guilty.

CHS reported here on the impending trial for Dawit Kelete, now 30, after repeated delays. Kelete’s attorney’s reached a plea agreement with King County Prosecutor in which the defendant admitted guilt to one count of vehicular homicide, a count of vehicular assault, and a count of reckless driving. The sides also reached an agreement on a sentencing recommendation for six years in prison and another year and a half probation. The sentencing is scheduled for September.

Summer Taylor died in the crash and Diaz Love was sent to the hospital with serious injuries in the collision that was captured on video and further inflamed the volatile situation in the city in the wake of the forceful clearance of the CHOP protest camp on Capitol Hill in July 2020. Continue reading

Three years later, delays continue in trial for driver in I-5 collision that killed Black Lives Matter demonstrator

(Image: @nowah_j)

Tuesday marked three years since a driver hit and killed one person while seriously injuring another during a demonstration that blocked I-5 through downtown Seattle at the height of the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests. The legal process to try the man behind the wheel that night continues after years of delays.

Summer Taylor died in the crash and Diaz Love was sent to the hospital with serious injuries in the collision that was captured on video and further inflamed the volatile situation in the city in the wake of the forceful clearance of the CHOP protest camp on Capitol Hill.

According to court records, the latest trial date for driver Dawit Kelete is set for later this month but the start has been delayed repeatedly over the past year. Kelete pleaded not guilty to charges of vehicular homicide, vehicular assault, and reckless driving in the weeks following the tragedy.

Earlier this year, it was agreed he was competent to stand trial and that a defense of diminished capacity could not be used. Though he passed a sobriety and breathalyzer test after the crash, prosecution and court records show Kelete has suffered from opioid addiction.

Meanwhile, his defense has also battled over alleged contamination of blood test work executed by the state crime lab. Continue reading

Regional Homelessness Authority says progress in sweeping encampments from along I-5 in Seattle

An I-5 camp (Image: City of Seattle)

Local officials say a program to fund removal of encampments from state property along I-5 has successfully cleared three camps in Seattle including one near the base of Capitol Hill at the Olive Way onramp to I-5.

The King County Regional Homelessness Authority announced the latest “successful encampment resolution this week under Gov. Jay Inslee’s Right of Way Safety Initiative and its $144 million in statewide funding for the removals along the busy freeway up and down the state. The KCRHA says the state has already provided $13.8 million in funds for “the first round of encampment work in King County.”

The latest clearance under the program moved 75 people “previously living unsheltered” at I-5 and Dearborn to “shelter, lodging, inpatient treatment, and housing resources,” the KCRHA said, touting its “intensive six-week” process to provide outreach and clear the camp. Continue reading

SPD investigating after man dies from injuries in Hubbell Place encampment assault

Seattle Police say they are investigating a Thursday, July 28th assault at a Hubbell Place encampment below I-5 as a homicide after the victim later died of his injuries.

According to SPD, the 32-year-old man suffered a head injury in an assault at the camp that Thursday afternoon and was transported to Harborview where he died Monday.

Police are looking for more information about the incident. Call the SPD Violent Crimes Tip Line at 206-233-5000 if you can help.


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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