Mayor Pete has come through. Monday, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced $187 million in federal funding for four bus rapid transit projects — San Bernardino, California, Ogden, Utah, Everett, Washington, and right here on E Madison in Seattle:
The City of Seattle Department of Transportation will receive a $59.9 million allocation for the Madison Street BRT project, a 2.3-mile east-west BRT line operating diesel-electric buses along Madison Street spanning from downtown Seattle in the west to the Madison Valley neighborhood in the east, with connections in First Hill, Capitol Hill, and the Central Area. It will connect people to hospitals, schools, businesses, and other destinations as well as to dozens of bus routes, the First Hill Streetcar, and ferry service at the Colman Dock Ferry Terminal.
The federal money helps put the $134 million Madison bus rapid transit project on path for its planned 2024 start of service of the Metro RapidRide G line, a 2.3-mile, 10-station route connecting the waterfront through First Hill and Capitol Hill to Madison Valley.
The final designs for the BRT route’s major overhaul to the Madison corridor’s streetscape were finalized last year. You can check out a block by block look at the changes below.
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Purse heist: A Thursday afternoon heist at a Madison Valley luxury consignment shop netted a team of thieves thousands of dollars in merchandise. According to the SPD report on the ripoff, a group of three males entered the Refind store in the 3100 block of E Madison just before 3 PM and told an employee they were “just browsing” as they began picking up items off the shelves. The employee said she asked, “Can I help you find something?” “Yes,” one of the males replied as he grabbed more items and the three ran for the door, according to the report. The store employee managed to head off one of the trio and grab a jacket but was smashed in the face as she struggled with the thief. The employee “grabbed the pants of the suspect as he was trying to get up and he picked up one of the gucci handbags he had dropped and turned around and slapped [the woman] in the face with it,” police write. The three bandits were reported fleeing the area in an old Chevy sedan last seen speeding from the area. According to police, the thieves targeted Gucci purses and Chanel clothing in the heist. The employee did not suffer serious injuries. A search for the suspects was not successful. Police say the reported value of the items stolen is more than $5,000. Continue reading →
Terrible scene. Sound of someone uncontrollably wailing in sadness. Seattle Fire and SPD waiting to lift vehicle. Neighbor says van in picture is regularly parked on this street and appears to have been struck by Fedex truck pic.twitter.com/TxabheIoPd
Police believe a young child was playing inside a family van parked in front of a Madison Valley home when the three-year-old was thrown from the vehicle and killed Sunday afternoon after its was struck by a driver in a FedEx delivery truck.
Police say they and Seattle Fire were called to the scene just off MLK just before 4:45 PM and found a young child believed to be around 3 years old who had suffered a major head injury in the crash. The responders attempted CPR but the child died at the scene, SPD says.
SPD detectives believe the driver of the FedEx truck struck the parked van the child had been playing in.
“When the collision occurred the child was thrown from the vehicle,” the SPD brief on the terrible incident reads.
A neighbor said the large delivery-style van was regularly parked in front of the house. It could be seen pushed partially into a driveway Sunday following the crash, its sliding door still open as Seattle Police and Seattle Fire waited at the scene.
Police say a drug recognition expert tested the FedEx driver but did not find signs of impairment.
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Seattle Police took one person into custody after a man was stabbed in the back outside the Bailey-Boushay House care facility at E Madison and MLK early Thursday.
Seattle Fire and SPD were called to the scene around 6:15 AM to the reported stabbing by a known individual. The victim was treated at the scene outside the facility and rushed to the hospital. We don’t have further details on the victim’s condition.
Police located the suspect at his tent in a nearby park where he was taken into custody without incident.
Schmidt’s friends and family watched via videoconference due to COVID-19 restrictions
The man accused of murdering Devan Schmidt pleaded not guilty Thursday morning in an emotion-packed hearing that comes more than five years after the 29-year-old woman’s death.
Eric Sims was taken into custody and charged with second degree murder late last month in a sudden whirlwind of activity in the case after the 47-year-old agreed to provide a sample that investigators say matched DNA found on the victim.
CHS reported on Schmidt’s death and inconclusive findings from the medical examiner that left her case in a sad limbo for years as her family pushed for the investigation and justice.
Thursday morning, Sims cried out and tried to leave King County Superior Court Judge Patrick Oishi’s courtroom as Schmidt’s sister made a statement against a bid to lower Sims’ bail from $2 million to $50,000. Addressing the courtroom via video as an advocate carried her laptop near the bench so Judge Oishi could better see and hear, “Please keep Mr. Sims here,” Lia Kendall said, “so that I, my mother, and my children can just sleep a little more comfortably tonight.” Continue reading →
Police have arrested a man suspected in the 2015 death of Devan Schmidt.
The 47-year-old was booked into King County Jail Thursday afternoon as part of a homicide investigation, according to jail records.
The suspect has not yet been charged. Bail was denied.
Five years ago this month, the 29-year-old Schmidt was found dead in the Madison Valley home she shared with roommates. The medical examiner said circumstances around her death were “concerning for homicidal violence,” and asphyxia “could not be ruled out.” The county investigator also noted “superficial blunt force injuries” to Schmidt’s head, torso, and limbs, but authorities were ultimately unable to determine a cause and manner of death. Schmidt’s family said drugs found in her system complicated the investigation.
Derrick Levasseur, the host of a true crime series that featured Schmidt’s death last year with cooperation of the victim’s family and local investigators including SPD Detective James Cooper, announced the arrest Thursday night: Continue reading →
In the digital age of music streaming, vinyl records just won’t die. With record sales reaching their highest revenue level since 1988, Capitol Hill and the nearby have sustained a few shops that have survived long enough to cash in on the resurgence. And sometimes, something new comes along.
Selector Records and Apparel opened earlier this month off the beaten track on E Madison.
After eleven years DJing in Hawaii, Seattle native Sherman Crawford moved back home with the goal of opening a record store business. “I always had a dream of having a record store and that opportunity fell into my lap with this building,” he said. This building, located on 23rd and Madison, previously housed Looters Records. Crawford stumbled upon the store and moved in upstairs. When the record store closed, Crawford took over.
A music lover his whole life, Crawford first began collecting records and cassettes when he was eight years old. But the real beginning of his music addiction came in 1992 when he attended a rave and discovered the world of underground techno and dance music. “I was enthralled by the energy of the music and became obsessed,” Crawford said. As his fascination and love of the music grew, so did his record collection.
That music became the inspiration for his store. “When I came back from Hawaii I saw a void. There were no other stores focusing on underground techno music, especially new releases, and I wanted to fill that void,” said Crawford. Continue reading →
Seattle YIMBYs are still basking in the fuzzy afterglow of victory in the expansion of the city’s Mandatory Housing Affordability plan and upzoning in its densest neighborhoods. But there is one District 3 front in the city’s war over development where neither side is ready to declare a winner even though it seems the battles could finally be over.
In late February, the Seattle Hearing Examiner ruled in favor of developer Velmeir Companies that its plans for a six-story, mixed-use apartment building, anchored by a new PCC grocery store in the heart of Madison Valley were in line with the State Environmental PolicyAct. Community group Save Madison Valley had asked the examiner to reverse design review approval and the city’s determination on the project’s environmental impact and require the development to undergo new rounds of costly, time consuming review,
An $85 filing fee — and lots of billable hours — is holding up a Madison Valley mixed-use apartments and PCC grocery project but the long, drawn out Seattle process to develop the property might finally be set to move forward.
Conflict between a community group attempting to use the State Environmental Policy Act as a defensive blanket and developer Velmeir Companies will come to a head by December as the city’s Hearing Examiner is slated to make a decision on an appeal against the project.
Save Madison Valley, a group aimed at maintaining the area as a “single family home neighborhood,” has been working, it says, to ensure that Velmeir commits to mitigating the environmental impacts of its 82-unit, mixed-use six-story development at 2925 E Madison.
The project passed through the first stage of the design review process finally in January 2017 after a relatively rare three sessions in front of the board. The design from Meng Strazzara was fully signed off on last September — but the project isn’t yet close to breaking ground.
Save Madison Valley is asking the Hearing Examiner to reverse the design review decision and the city’s determination on the project’s environmental impact and require the development to undergo new rounds of costly, time consuming review. It’s a strategy cut from similar cloth to the legal fight holding up Seattle’s Mandatory Housing Affordability program that has cost the city plenty in legal fees — and maybe 717 affordable apartment units.