On Thursday, September 27, all branches and locations of the Seattle Public Library will be closed for a staff in-service day. Books may be returned at the drop locations.
As of this week Metro Transit has added more bus trips to the University of Washington for the start of fall quarter classes. There are other changes in bus schedules and routes, and beginning on Saturday, September 29, all fares will be collected upon boarding the bus. Watch for slow-downs as the riders adjust to the new fare collection system. Another big adjustment is that the Ride Free Area in downtown Seattle is ending, so fare collection will take place at the start of all bus rides, even in downtown.
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.
(This originally was posted on the The Future of 35th website.)
Here in NE Seattle and other Seattle neighborhoods north of NE 85th Street, the most frequently heard answer to this question is “more sidewalks.” While sidewalks is certainly a critical component of walkability, the more complete answer is more complicated. Traffic calming, destinations to walk to, land use, pedestrian scale lighting, ADA-accessibility, maintained vegetation, and numerous other design elements go into making a neighborhood more walkable.
How do I know this? Well, I was at the most recent Coffee Talk in a series of Coffee Talks that the 35th Ave NE Steering Committee are putting on thanks to the Washington Chapter of the American Planning Association’s Community Planning Assistance Team (CPAT).
On Thursday, March 22nd, Paula Reeves with WSDOT, Kevin O’Neill with SDOT, and Lisa Quinn with Feet First shared their thoughts on walkability and the importance of proximity at our 2nd Coffee Talk. The presentations and following discussion was exceptionally useful for those neighbors and 35th Ave NE Steering Committee members that came. In case you missed it, have no fear, you can relive the Coffee Talk (in far-from-high-definition and minus the delicious coffee and donuts provided by Top Pot) here:
Download the presentations in .PDF form below:
Don’t miss the 3rd Coffee Talk, “Design at a Human Scale. A Primer on Urban Design Concepts and City of Seattle Design Review Guidelines,”on Thursday, April 26th from 7-8:30PM at Wedgwood Presbyterian Church (Fellowship Hall). The speakers will be John Owen with Makers Architecture and Urban Design and Cheryl Sizov, Senior Urban Planner with City of Seattle DPD.
Metro Transit will be on snow routing Tuesday
Continuing snow, icy road conditions may result in some bus trip and route cancellations.
King County Metro Transit is remaining on snow routing countywide overnight and on Tuesday, Jan. 17. And, with continuing snowfall forecast, there could be some bus trips or routes cancelled on Tuesday. Conditions could also change throughout the day on Tuesday depending on the timing and location of the snowfall.
Before traveling, riders should check www.kingcounty.gov/metro/snow for the most current status of Metro service.
Last Friday, Publicola reported on potential changes to METRO should a 2-year, emergency $20 vehicle license fee not pass the King County Council by a 2/3rds margin, a threshold that was imposed on the KC Council as a result of an agreement reached during conference between the State House and Senate transportation committees. Should this bill not pass the KC Council, which it doesn’t look like it has the support for, the bill would likely have to go to a public vote. The proposed changes to METRO discussed in last Friday’s Publicola article would only occur should the KC Council or public vote fail to pass the two-year, emergency $20 vehicle license fee.
Today, the Seattle Transit Blog reports today that while the proposed cuts are far from final, it does layout policies that METRO would use to make up for the 600,000 service hours METRO would have to cut. Relevant to Wedgwood, this could mean eliminating Route 68 that serves 25th Ave NE and converting Route 71 into a shuttle service to U. District. Here are some of the proposed changes to NE Seattle described detailed in a MS Excel sheet linked to today’s Seattle Transit Blog post.
|U. District/NE Seattle
||Change to service
||Operate between Sand Point and U. District only.
||Operate between Northgate and Seattle CBD
||Operate full-time and through-route with Route 36
||Operate as shuttle to U. District via Thackeray/Latona
||Operate between Northgate and U. District
||New route between Northgate, U. District and Seattle CBD
||Add evening/midday/Weekend service to make up for loss of Route 72
||Operate all-day on weekdays to make up for loss of Route 73
The Seattle School District has released their transportation map for elementary and K-8 schools for the 2011/2012 school year. According to the district’s website:
In the new transportation plan, transportation eligibility for attendance area elementary and K-8 students will be based on transportation zones.
Students within the transportation zone and outside the walk zone for a school will be eligible for District-provided transportation.
Students outside their immediate transportation zone, but within their extended intermediary boundary, can walk to an attendance area school for bus pick-up if they live within a safe walk zone (up to one mile). Otherwise, they walk up to a 1/2 mile to a regular neighborhood stop. This is a temporary option to extend transportation for two (2) years (2011-12 & 2012-13).
- Transportation Zones will include the entire attendance area of a school
- Transportation Zones will extend to areas within a 1.25 mile radius from the school and within the middle school service area
- Walk zones to schools will still apply.
Here are the transportation maps for Wedgwood area elementary schools.
Earlier this month, we first reported thanks to a tip from a concerned neighbor about changes that were being considered by METRO to Route 65. Both the Laurelhurst Blog and Seattle Transit Blog have picked up on this story too. Now METRO has added more information about this possible change to their website and are asking for feedback through April 8th. They even have a survey for you to fill out.
Based on the information on METRO’s website, the changes wouldn’t go into effect until October 2011 at the earliest since there are some improvements at a couple intersections that would need to occur to accommodate the revised route. METRO is looking at completing these intersection improvements in conjunction with Children’s Hospital and SDOT.
The Seattle Transit Blog is a fantastic blog for transit related information and coverage, as the blog name would suggest, despite the fact that they can’t spell “Wedgwood” correctly. Several folks have shared comments on this revision both for and against the changes. Some suggest that the revision makes a lot of sense to support the new growth and Children’s Hospital and provide a reasonable route for Wedgwood & Meadowbrook Children’s employees to get to work other than driving. Others, however, seem to think that the revised route through an area with little projected ridership would not justify the increased time (approx. 2-3 minutes per route) and the subsequent costs to serve that route.
So, what do you think? Feel free to leave your comments here, but make sure METRO hears from you if you’re in support or oppose this revision.
It was brought to our attention recently that Route 65 serving Wedgwood may change. Signs started popping up along the current route, along 35th Ave NE between NE 55th Street and NE 45th Street. Instead, from 35th Ave NE, the southbound route would turn east down NE 55th Street, turn south of 40th Ave NE, and then west along Sand Point Way. Service in Wedgwood and elsewhere would not be changed. The intent is to improve transit service to Children’s Hospital.
It appears that this revision has been planned for some time since a comment on Page 41 opposing the revision of both Route 65 and 30 run along 40th Ave NE in the Children’s Livable Streets Initiative – Final Report, which was finalized in January 2011 and which included a public workshop in November 2010. The Livable Streets Initiative was created by Children’s Hospital as part of their Major Institution Master Plan approval. However, we aren’t sure when these signs were first posted, but the comment period formally ended on February 18th, 2011.We have emailed METRO to see if/when this route revision would occur and if there are other changes to bus services in Wedgwood. We will update this post when we hear back from them.
So, what’s your thought about this service change? Will this improve transit service in Wedgwood or not? Let us hear what you think.
UPDATE: I recieved an email back from METRO regarding the revision and their public outreach on the revision to date. See a map of the proposed revision HERE. The following additional detail is provided by METRO.
“Route 65 would make all existing stops along NE 55th Street and Sand Point Way NE. We have not determined the exact location of stops along 40th Ave NE as of yet, but expect to add at least one pair of stops near NE 50th Street as well as a northbound stop just after the bus turns off of Sand Point Way NE.
Our initial outreach has been targeted at the area of the greatest impact (stops in the section that would be missed), however, we are likely to do some additional outreach to riders in general through the Web Alerts program. But we wanted to give the riders that would be most impacted the first shot at feedback and also give them more personalized attention that would otherwise be possible if we engaged with all riders of the route. So while the “deadline” for comments was 2/18, we will continue to gather comments and feedback from all customers or potential customers.
Regarding the actual proposal, we estimate that the additional time to serve Children’s Hospital would be about three minutes. There are some capital improvements at intersections that need to take place before we can safely operate on the revised route. Given the fact that capital improvements can take some time, I don’t expect that the revision could take place before October at the earliest and more likely in 2012. The main thrust behind the proposal is to serve the large number of employees, volunteers and visitors who live in Wedgwood and Meadowbrook who commute to Children’s Hospital. Ridership along the portion of 35th Ave NE that would be missed is relatively small (see the attached map) so we feel the route can attract more riders by serving Children’s Hospital. The fact that Children’s Hospital is expected to grow substantially while the area along 35th Ave NE is not expected to grow only adds to the reasons for a revision.”
Some Wedgwood bus routes are on holiday schedule and have reduced trips throughout December 27th – 31st. The affected routes include Route 64, 65, 68, 242, and 372. As a result, these routes have fewer trips than normal weekday schedules but more trips than weekends. Please refer to their holiday route schedule, which you can access here. On New Years day, all routes will be running on Sunday schedules.
Please plan accordingly.