CM Sally Bagshaw at a greenway in Portland.
Northeast District Council Monthly Meeting – February
Thursday, February 7th, 7-9PM
Wedgwood Presbyterian Church (Fireside Room – UPSTAIRS)
The Northeast District Council (NEDC) is a coalition of neighborhood organizations, including the WCC, that meets monthly to discuss matters that effect NEDC member neighborhoods or the City as a whole. At tomorrow’s meeting, the NEDC meeting will feature a 1 hour panel discussion (7:20ish-8:20ish) on neighborhood greenways, like the new greenway on 39th Ave NE. The panel speakers will include:
The NE Seattle Greenways group has identified a network of greenways and pedestrian/bike improvements to improve the connectivity and safety of Seattle’s bike infrastructure. This information was used, in part, as part of the Seattle Bike Master Plan Update. A map of these greenways is included below.
The NEDC generally meets the first Thursday of every month. Every meeting is open to the public. If you would like to make a comment though or be on the meeting’s agenda, notification is required ahead of time.
View NE Seattle Greenways in a larger map
Happy New Year! Going out for a walk is a good way to start the New Year, and near Wedgwood there is a year-round walking and biking route available, the Burke-Gilman Trail. The Trail started out as a railroad route back in the 1880′s and was used to reach resources, especially coal and timber, in eastern King County. In the 1970′s a group of Wedgwood neighbors thought of obtaining the railroad right-of-way as a walking and biking trail. The Wedgwoodians got organized and worked hard to achieve their goal, and the Burke-Gilman Trail officially opened in 1978. Today work goes on continuously at the Trail, including volunteer groups such as Friends of the Burke-Gilman at Sand Point who put in native plantings.
The latest work going on at the Burke-Gilman Trail is the Seattle Children’s Hospital Livable Streets Initiative. Seattle Children’s has committed to spend nearly $4 million on transportation improvements in northeast Seattle as part of their Major Institution Master Plan. Projects include northeast Seattle’s first Greenway along 39th Ave NE, and corridor improvements to the Burke-Gilman Trail to increase safety for all users. The goal is to make the neighborhood more walkable and bikeable. The Trail benefits health by making outdoor walking accessible, and the Trail helps reduce pollution by providing an alternative to driving. One Open House was held in December to show the concept for a Trail Connection which Seattle Children’s is building at the corner of Sand Point Way NE and 40th Ave NE. Mark your calendar for the final concept Open House on Saturday, February 2.
In process is a new traffic signal on Sand Point Way NE at 40th Ave NE with a Trail Connection so that workers and visitors can get to Children’s via the Burke-Gilman Trail. The traffic signal and redesigned intersection at 40th and Sand Point Way will make it safer to cross. Advanced technology such as video detection will adjust the pedestrian signal time. Traffic will be able to move more quickly if the signal detects that pedestrians have already cleared the intersection.
(This originally was posted on the The Future of 35th website.)
Coffee Talk 4: ”Place-making and Successful Streetscape Features” – Thursday, May 24th, at Messiah Lutheran Church (Fellowship Hall – Downstairs) from 7-8:30PM. Speaker: Brice Maryman, SvR Design
What creates that sense of place and provides a comfortable pedestrian environment, safe for all ages and abilities? What softens the urban environment, establishes a transition between street and storefront, and unifies one part of the neighborhood with another? Some of this can be done with thoughtful consideration to the pedestrian environment and providing the amenities throughout a right-of-way. This is one of the design elements that NE Seattle residents are considering as part of the 35th Ave NE neighborhood planning efforts.
This Thursday, we are excited to have Brice Maryman from SvR Design, a firm renowned for their streetscape design (among other disciplines) to introduce this subject to the community and share some thoughts on what can be done to 35th Ave NE.
Thanks again to Top Pot Doughnuts for their support and providing delicious coffee and baked goodness for the Coffee Talks. Make sure to put the remaining Coffee Talks on your schedule:
- Coffee Talk 5: ”Density and its Benefits” – Thursday, June 21st, at Messiah Lutheran Church (Fellowship Hall – Downstairs) from 7-8:30PM – Speaker: Catherine Benotto, Weber + Thompson Architects
- Coffee Talk 6: “Financial realities of development. Incentivizing successful development” – Thursday, July 26th, at Wedgwood Presbyterian Church (Fellowship Hall – Downstairs) from 7-8:30PM. – Speaker: Ellen Miller-Wolfe, Economic Development Director for the City of Kirkland
- Coffee Talk 7: ”The Trade Offs of Land Use Planning” – Thursday, Aug 23rd , atMessiah Lutheran Church (Fellowship Hall – Downstairs) from 7-8:30PM – Speaker: Erin Christensen, AIA, LEED AP ND, Mithun
UPDATE 1: HERE is the link to the presentation materials used during the District’s 3 community meetings in April 2012 regarding the BEX IV Capital Levy. Of particular note, slides 7 and 8 show a projected increase of over 800 seats in elementary and almost 900 seats in middle school by 2020. The presentation materials also project an increase of $4 – $225 additional cost per year, per home owner depending upon which action alternative the District chooses.
The public elementary and middle schools in NE Seattle and around Wedgwood are packed and enrollment continues to grow. This isn’t news (see HERE, HERE, and HERE). The Seattle Public School District (District) has been working on capacity management planning for some time now with periodic public meetings with each new iteration of their plan. K-5 enrollment projections for the Eckstein Service Area, shown on Page 3 HERE, estimate 570 more students by the 2015-2016 school year (4,029 students in 2011/2012 to 4,599 students in 2015/2016). As a result of this surging enrollment, the District feels as though portables alone cannot solve the demand and a new school is necessary. So, in February 2013, the District is planning on including construction of a new K-8 school on the Thornton Creek Elementary School site as part of the Building Excellence IV (BEX IV) Capital Levy.
This past Saturday, I spoke with Harium Martin-Morris, the School Board Member for District III (Wedgwood’s district). Mr. Martin-Morris emphasized the need for this new school at this particular site. The specific details for the new school are not yet known, but it is proposed to be a K-8 school for 650 to 800 students (per conversation with Mr. Martin-Morris). The new school would be an Attendance Area school while the existing Thornton Creek School would continue as an Alternative School. While we have not seen any site plans for the new K-8 school, Mr. Martin-Morris explained that the school would generally be located where the current ball fields are located.
The District has begun the environmental review for three different action alternatives along with a No Action alternative within its Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement. Under each action alternative, the new K-8 school is included. The Wedgwood Community Council is still collecting information on this proposal and has decided to refrain from endorsing or opposing this proposal. Instead, the WCC will only attempt to provide accurate information to the community from both sides so parents and neighbors can make their own decisions.
As part of the project’s environmental review, the public comment period ends this Friday, May 25th.
Written comments in regards to the Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement can be sent to the following address:
Noel Treat, SEPA Responsible Official
John Stanford Center for Educational Excellence
2445 3rd Ave. South
Seattle, WA 98134
or by email to: email@example.com
We will provide more details and updates as we get them. In the mean time, let us know what you think about a new school on the Thornton Creek Elementary site.
Photo courtesy of the Cascade Bike Club
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you may have missed the fact that May is Bicycle Month in Seattle and tomorrow is the big Bike To Work Day, sponsored by F5. Not only will folks around Wedgwood be biking to work, but thanks to the super-human efforts of those behind Walk.Bike. Schools!, hundreds of kids will be biking to school and may be lucky enough to run into the Bike Fairy!
One of the perks of the annual Bike to Work day is there will be stations set up across the City offering free swag (I think that’s Latin for “stuff”), advice, tune ups, encouragement, and other important motivation.
In Wedgwood, the Seattle Audubon (8050 35th Ave. N.E.) will be hosting a Bike to Work station from 6-9AM. Bike maintenance will be provided by Wedgwood’s own Russ Steele, former owner of Wedgwood Cycle. Stop by for coffee, giveaways and prizes for bird-related bikes!
So, if you’re planning on riding your bike tomorrow, stop by the Seattle Audubon, say “Hi” to Russ, get a quick adjustment, and perhaps win a prize or two. See the map below for a complete list of Bike To Work stations across the region!
View Bike Month Activities & Bike to Work Day Stations in a larger map