SDOT Completes the City’s First Buffered Bike Lane

Buffered Bike Lane before

Bitter Lake Community gets enhanced street that better serves all users.

SEATTLE – The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has just put the finishing touches on the city’s first buffered bike lane. The completion of the buffered bike lane, on N 130th Street from Greenwood Avenue N to Linden Avenue N, has been long-awaited by the Bitter Lake Community and is one of a number of roadway improvements recently made there by SDOT. The complete street makes travel safer for everyone whether on foot, bike or in a car. 

In addition to two vehicle travel lanes (one eastbound and one westbound) and the buffered bike lane, SDOT also installed a new curb bulb at the marked crosswalk at N 130th Street and North Park Avenue N in front of the Bitter Lake Community Center. Now that the rechannelization has been completed the final stage of the project will be to build a pedestrian refuge island at this crosswalk. 

Buffered Bike Lane After

The first such enhanced bike lane in Seattle, the buffered bike lane is a five-foot-wide bike lane that is buffered by a 2 ½ – foot striped “shy zone” between the bike lane and the moving vehicle lane. This design makes movement safer for both bicyclists and vehicles. With the shy zone, the buffered lane offers a more comfortable riding environment for bicycle riders who prefer not to ride adjacent to traffic. This system allows motorists to drive at a normal speed; they only need watch for cyclists when turning right at cross-streets or driveways and when crossing the buffered lane to park.

The changes to improve safety, pedestrian access and bicycle usage along the N 130th Street corridor are part of SDOT’s Pedestrian Master Plan and Bicycle Master Plan implementation and were funded by the voter-approved Bridging the Gap transportation initiative.

2008 PARKS AND GREEN SPACES LEVY OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE MEETING – May 24, 2010

At it’s regular monthly meeting last night, this group of about 18 citizens met to discuss the status of projects undertaken with Levy funds to date, learn about the need for additional funding for a major project in Belltown, and receive the funding recommendations of the Department’s staff for this year’s Opportunity Fund projects. Staff presented a visual package showing each of about a dozen proposals for which they recommend funding and another dozen that they said was “on the bubble.”

Our request for approximately $387,000 to upgrade our Bitter Lake Reservoir open space wasn’t among the staffs’ recommendations. The only investment in our Broadview/BitterLake/Haller Lake area proposed by staff would be to purchase a small piece of land that would bring about “Carkeek Park Unification” for $240,000.

In speaking with a Department of Parks and Recreation staff person this morning, we learned that all of the 95 proposing groups will have an opportunity to make a two-minute pitch to the Oversight Committee in June. We’ll most likely do so and

In the meantime, our stalwart hard-working Richard Dyksterhuis, after reviewing the recommended projects, had this to say:

It looks like Old Seattle wins out again. SDOT – Utilities – City Light -Safety and now Parks. If it is below 85th Street  the  real, lots of dollars, flow to areas existing prior to 1954.

 Someday we will be acknowledged as being part of Seattle.

I still think we should elect our Councilmembers by District. Our 55,000 residents above NW – N NE to 145th must have a Councilmember looking after our multiple, long negelcted needs for fairness and equity. King County has districts; the House in DC has Districts; even the School District has sub-districts.

Our 56 years without a designated thinker, negotiater and spokesperson must come to a representative solution.

 Follow the money! It does not go to Lesser Outer Seattle North and Northwest.

 Happy, but very careful, Walks!

Richard L. Dyksterhuis

 Will keep you posted…

Pat Mccoy, Broadview Community Council Board

Updates on Our Community Meetings

     

Captain Robin Clark

 

     

Broadview Community Council Meeting

 

May18,2010    

About 50 community members attended the May 18 Broadview Community Council meeting where Captain Robin Clark North Precinct Commander Seattle Police Department, Sergeant Dianne Newsom Community Police Team Lead and Neil Hansen Crime Prevention Coordinator answered questions about public safety issues.  Captain Clark urged people to call 911 when they see suspicious activity.  Sergeant Newsome described the role of the Community Police team, and urged people to contact her with concerns about chronic crime problems.  Neil Hansen urged blocks that don’t have a block watch to call him to come out and help organize one.  Captain Clark reported that although the spike in residential burglaries in Broadview has flattened down to the “normal” level, the involvement of community members in crime prevention and reporting suspicious activity is still important.    

Will Murray Board Member

     

Upcoming events at the North Precinct

 

Open House and Picnic at the North Precinct    

July 10,2010 1-4    

10049 College Way North    

Food,music and Precinct Tours sponsored by the Seattle Police Foundation   

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   

What You Need To Know About Residential Sellers

 

By Ed McKenna   

 Seattle City Attorney Office   

 We’re all familiar with residential sellers, also known as solicitors, traveling salespersons, or door-to-door salespersons.   What you don’t know about them however, might just hurt you.    

 I recently received a phone call from a family member of an elderly resident.  The family member explained that the prior week, a solicitor knocked on the door, and proceeded to talk the elderly resident into an expensive burglar alarm system.  The elderly resident signed a contract that not only provided for the installation of the alarm, but also included an expensive monitoring fee, far in excess of that normally charged by reputable alarm companies.  What’s more, the contract included expensive penalties for early termination and even costs for the removal of the alarm at the end of the contract.  Was there a violation of the law in this situation?  Probably not.  What’s that have to do with public safety?  Plenty.    

 Most of us feel comfortable at our homes. Our homes are our castles, and many of us don’t mind opening the castle gate to perfect strangers, whether they sell scout cookies, magazines, newspapers, frozen steaks, brushes, vacuum cleaners, or alarm systems.  Many are legitimate.  Most are not.  Some are simply dangerous.  A quick Google search for  ‘traveling sales crews” gives reason to pause before opening your door to strangers.  Web titles such as “Magazine solicitor nabbed in sex case”, “Magazine salesman assaults resident who refused purchase”, “Salesmen suspected of burglary, forgery”, “Magazine salesman convicted of assault”, “Three arrested for deceptive sales”, “Magazine salesman pleads guilty to rape”. The list is endless.  Like other major cities, Seattle also has its share of crime attributable to residential sellers.  Just recently, an elderly Wedegwood resident was assaulted and home burglarized by two persons who claimed to be residential sellers.      

 Vanloads of sales persons travel the circuit through the United States. Each year, I’m told stories of crime attributable to some of these persons.  Even when arrested, they simply bail out and skip town, never to be seen again to answer for their charges.  Misdemeanor warrants are not extraditable, so even if arrested in another state, they won’t be returned to Seattle.  How do you know whether the solicitor at your door has a criminal history or is a wanted criminal suspect?          

 What can you do to protect yourself?  Don’t open your door to strangers is the obvious answer.  Install a “peephole” so you can see who is at the door.  If you don’t recognize the person, either inquire of their business through the door or simply don’t respond if you don’t recognize the person.   

 Most of us have signed up for the national “do not call list” so why should you have to listen to a sales pitch in your door.  Fortunately, Seattle has a law designed to stop residential sellers before they pester you.  Seattle Municipal Code section 6.260.050 provides that it is illegal to gain admittance to property for the purpose of selling at any residence bearing a sign stating “No Solicitors”, “No Peddlers”, or words of similar effect.  If a solicitor violates the sign and continues on your property, it could constitute the crime of criminal trespass.  Likewise, if you simply tell a solicitor to leave and they continue to try to sell, they are trespassing.  Call 911 to report the incident.    

 Seattle has many other laws regulating residential sellers.  For instance, sellers cannot sell after 9:00 p.m., they may not make deceptive or untrue statements, and they must, with limited exceptions[1], possess a residential sellers license, or a residential sellers agent card issued by the City.  Many solicitors carry flashy cards around their necks in an attempt to look official, but very few are legitimate.  In fact, a recent check revealed only four businesses had licensed residential sellers in Seattle.    

 Let’s say that you’re caught in a moment of weakness and decide to purchase some snake oil from a door-to-door salesperson.  After reflecting on the fast-talking salesperson and your lighter wallet, you decide you were taken advantage of.  What can you do?  Fortunately, there is some assistance.  Under most circumstances, the law provides a 3-day cancellation period.  You must cancel in writing no later than midnight of the third day after the sale, other wise you’re on the hook and obligated to complete the transaction and pay the contracted amount.  Of course, if you already ate those scout cookies, this provision doesn’t apply.    

  For more information, contact the City’s Revenue and Consumer Affairs department at 684-8484              


 

[1] Exceptions include newspaper (not magazine) sellers, perishable food sellers (candy) utility agents, and home sales parties.  _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 

Scott Ringgold from Seattle Dept. of Planning and Development

Great turn-out   

March 13,2010   

Some skepticism was voiced at the community meeting. The City Vision of 2020 for Broadview-Bitter Lake – Haller Lake was written in 1999 with very little follow-up.  What will make the New Plan different?   

Scott Ringgold has his work cut-out for him.   

   

Taking a look at the proposed parks in Broadview 

   

Thank you for your hard work…and just maybe we will get some of that Seattle Park Levy Opportunity Fund.   

  

Walkability Gains Ground

Hi Richard,
I wanted to let you know that we enjoyed the Seattle Sketcher article and sketch about you and Linden Avenue yesterday in the Seattle Times!  I’m sending along an attachment with the article in case you want to save it or forward it to others.

Happy walks!
-Sue and Jim Jensen
Seattle

Problem Hotels on Aurora Closed

Problem Motels on Aurora Ave. N Closed

Below is the news release from the City of Seattle

NEWS ADVISORY

SUBJECT:   Aurora Motels Plead Guilty to Criminal Tax Evasion
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:   
4/28/2010  12:30:00 PM
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Kimberly Mills  (206) 684-8602

 

Four Aurora Avenue motel corporations entered guilty pleas on Tuesday to criminal tax violations in Seattle Municipal Court. Under terms of the plea agreements, two of the troublesome motels, the Isabella and Italia, will be sold within four months or leased to non-profit groups for use as low-income housing or emergency shelter.

The unusual and creative disposition of the original 180 criminal counts of failure to file tax returns and failure to pay city-owed business tax was the result of a negotiated settlement between the City Attorney’s Office and the defendants, Dean and Jill Inman, and the four motel corporations that the Inmans control as corporate officers. Their motel properties — the Seattle Motor Inn, Fremont Inn, Wallingford Inn, Italia and Isabella motels — consistently account for a majority of calls for police service to the roughly 26 low-cost motels along Aurora Avenue North.

“This result is a win for residents along the Aurora Avenue corridor, demonstrating what’s possible when neighbors collaborate with SPD and this office to take back the streets,” City Attorney Peter S. Holmes said.

According to the agreement that Municipal Court Judge George W. Holifield approved, each of the four motel corporations pleaded guilty to five counts of failure to file tax returns (for 20 counts total). Although the prosecution requested suspended sentences with financial penalties, the Court imposed two-year deferred sentences instead, including $1,000 in court costs. The court deferred imposition of the maximum penalty of $25,000 for each case on condition the corporations not commit future criminal violations and pay court costs. In addition, the Italia & Isabella Corporation agreed to sell or close these two motels within 120 days. If not sold, all residential use must cease unless the motels are leased to a non-profit organization and used for low-income housing or emergency shelter. The Inmans agreed with the court’s authority to impose the sale or closure condition.

Dean Inman pleaded guilty to one count of failure to file tax returns. He received a two-year deferred sentence on condition that he commit no criminal law violations and he agreed to the sale or closure of the two motels. Prosecutors agreed to continue the case against Jill Inman as long as she commits no criminal law violations. She also agreed to the sale or closure of the two motels. If she complies with the agreement, charges against her will be dismissed.

Since the charges were filed last year, all of the defendants have complied with the law by filing and paying their taxes to the city (more than $4,000) and have otherwise complied with city license requirements. A fifth Aurora motel controlled by the Inmans, the Seattle Motor Inn, has since been closed.

“Dismissing criminal charges against the Inmans and their corporations wasn’t going to happen,” said Edward McKenna, the assistant city attorney who handled the case. “We were fully prepared to litigate all 180 counts until the Inmans closed the Seattle Motor Inn and then agreed to close the Italia and Isabella motels.”

The Inman motels have drawn many complaints from both police and the community because of criminal activity occurring or emanating from them.

Holmes warned that the more than $100,000 in fines that the court deferred could be revoked and jail imposed on the motels’ owners if they violate conditions of their sentences. “We’re hopeful these cases have a lasting impact and won’t result in further legal action,” he said.

Neighborhood Plan Update Video

 

Please watch this video. Information on how the City is planning on working with the communities on their Neighborhood Plans.

When you open the link you will see the video screen and a menu on its right.  Scroll down the menu and click on the Neighborhood Plan Update link in the menu to go directly to the start of the discussion of the advisory committee. 

http://www.seattlechannel.org/videos/video.asp?ID=2331025

Broadview Tapped for Neighborhood Plan Update

The City has announced that the Broadview – Bitter Lake – Haller Lake neighborhood plan will be updated in 2010.  Below is the press release.

City of Seattle


Mike McGinn, Mayor
NEWS ADVISORY
SUBJECT:   2010 Neighborhood Plan Updates
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:   
1/28/2010  5:00:00 PM
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Aaron Pickus  684-4000

2010 Neighborhood Plan Updates

SEATTLE – Mayor Mike McGinn and the Seattle City Council announced today that the Rainier Beach and the Broadview-Bitter Lake-Haller Lake neighborhoods will begin an update of their neighborhood plans in 2010.

The neighborhood plan update process is a unique opportunity for community members to address local priorities.

Councilmembers Mike O’Brien and Sally J. Clark along with Deputy Mayor Darryl Smith will work with neighbors to address recent growth, infrastructure, housing affordability, and other neighborhood concerns. The Department of Neighborhoods and the Department of Planning and Development will facilitate the updates.

“The Neighborhood Plan Update process is an exciting opportunity for these two communities,” said O’Brien. “Recent and future transportation investments in both communities will be an important factor to consider in these updates. I look forward to working with these neighborhoods to fully utilize the new investments as a catalyst for improving housing, open space, jobs, and cultural amenities that make neighborhoods great places to live. ”

In Rainier Beach, there will be a review of potential growth around the light rail station, with a focus on improving the commercial core and enhancing involvement of traditionally underrepresented communities.  The Broadview-Bitter Lake-Haller Lake Neighborhood Plan Update will consider ways to take advantage of the anticipated bus rapid transit service arriving in 2013. The challenges resulting from recent growth in the Bitter Lake urban village will also be addressed.

“I’m excited for the Rainier Beach and Broadview-Bitter Lake-Haller Lake neighborhoods to re-open their neighborhood plans for tuning up,” said Clark. “Both are terrific communities with affordable housing, incredible parks and new challenges when it comes to smartly taking advantage of transit.”

“I’m looking forward to working with Councilmember O’Brien, Councilmember Clark and these great communities to see how best we can build our city together,” said Smith.

These two neighborhood plans were chosen to be updated based on a review of the criteria established in Ordinance 122799, the information collected through status reports and associated community outreach, and a review of the recommendations from the Neighborhood Plan Advisory Committee.

Pedestrians to drivers: Back off!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Last updated 11:56 a.m. PT

photo
Brandy Sebron-Kelley, right, holds up a sign which details how she was hit by a car at North 130th Street and Linden Avenue North while in a crosswalk and in her wheelchair. Sebron-Kelley was joined by Steve Rice, playing the accordion, and others during a protest by residents of nearby senior communities at North 130th Street and Aurora Avenue North on April 3, 2009. (Photo: Joshua Trujillo / seattlepi.com)

City to unveil master plan after call for more crosswalk safety

By CASEY MCNERTHNEY
SEATTLEPI.COM STAFF

A couple of women used walkers to cross Aurora Avenue North at North 130th Street. Three others had motorized wheelchairs. Several protesters were in their 70s.

It wasn’t a typical demonstration, but the issue of pedestrian safety spans age brackets.

“I sure as hell wouldn’t want anyone else to go through what I’ve gone through,” said Brandy Sebron-Kelley, 69, who was among the demonstrators last month. “I’m in more pain than I ever imagined I’d be in.”

Sebron-Kelley was one of 468 pedestrians hit by motor vehicles in Seattle last year — in her case, last November at 130th and Linden Avenue North. She said a car turning right didn’t see her and the accident has caused months of pain.

“People just need to be more aware of pedestrians,” she said. “We don’t have bumpers.”

Richard Dyksterhuis marches in the crosswalk with a sign during a protest by residents of nearby senior communities at North 130th Street and Aurora Avenue North on April 3, 2009. The residents were in the intersection trying to draw attention to the dangers that pedestrians, especially seniors, face while on the streets of Seattle. (Photo: Joshua Trujillo / seattlepi.com)

That was the point of the protest — to make city leaders take notice of people saying crosswalks aren’t safe enough.

This week, the city is expected to unveil its Pedestrian Master Plan, which was outlined in a City Council resolution in 2007 — the year Mayor Greg Nickels and the City Council said pedestrian safety was their top priority.

“The goal of the Pedestrian Master Plan is to establish a strategic road map for enhancing pedestrian activities throughout the city,” Department of Transportation spokesman Rick Sheridan said. “It will focus on a number of key elements such as promoting pedestrian safety and promoting healthy lifestyles. It has a number of different elements it works to improve on.”

Seattle police, echoing some of Sebron-Kelley’s concerns, say some drivers are ignorant of pedestrian safety concerns.

On April 24, police conducted a sting on Stone Way North and North 41st Street, watching for drivers with little regard for walkers.

Three patrol cars were in the area and six motorcycle officers were visible, department spokeswoman Renee Witt said. Three officers and a sergeant were in plain clothes trying to cross the street.

“Some people completely disregarded the speed limit and safety,” said Witt, who watched the operation for about an hour. “One lady was on her cell phone and speeding. It was pretty interesting to see how it all unfolded and see how clueless people can be.

photo
A car continues to roll into the crosswalk, bumping a marcher as Brandy Sebron-Kelley, in yellow, and other members of nearby senior citizens’ residential buildings protest in the crosswalks at the intersection of Aurora Avenue North and North 130th Street. Sebron-Kelley was previously hit by a car at North 130th Street and Linden Avenue North. (Photo: Joshua Trujillo / seattlepi.com)

“The crosswalk was clearly marked. There were no alibis.”

That’s one reason Witt said the department planned 10 operations this year.

“When you hit people’s pocketbooks, that’s then they start listening,” Sebron-Kelley said. “Drivers need to be treated fairly, but as a pedestrian who has been hit, I know what it feels like.”

Between 2005 and 2007, 23 pedestrians were killed by vehicles in Seattle, according to the city. About 1,500 more people were hit by vehicles, in several cases suffering debilitating injuries.

Once an archer who had a 50-pound pull on a bow, Sebron-Kelley said she can now barely lift her arms because of damage to her rotator cuffs. She said she has short-term memory problems and, because she didn’t take an initial settlement offer, insurance hasn’t paid for medical costs.

“I think a lot of things need to be corrected, and the way crosswalks are set up is ridiculous,” she said. “I want to campaign to have no right turn on red on every corner and a special light so (pedestrians) can be treated fairly.”

The city optimized traffic signals on busy corridors such as Aurora Avenue North in accordance with standards approved by the Federal Highway Administration in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices and other associated guidelines, Sheridan said. City traffic codes also come into play.

Even with that work, city officials say there’s a major obstacle: They can’t engineer against reckless human behavior.

“Drivers need to think of the other person,” Sebron-Kelley said, a few hours after getting an injection of pain medication. “We feel like a damn target.”

MORE INFORMATION

If there are traffic signals that raise concerns for motorists, bicyclists or pedestrians, they can highlight those for SDOT by calling 684-ROAD.

Casey McNerthney can be reached at 206-448-8220 or caseymcnerthney@seattlepi.com.

Gasoline Alley, the forgotten part of Aurora Avenue

By Gabriel Campanario
(reprinted from The Seattle Times)aurorarichard050209m.jpgMay 2, 11:13 a.m. [View larger] [Map]

Some people complain about the poor urban planning around Aurora Avenue and its current state, some believe it’s beyond repair and some actually do something about it. Meet 82-year-old Richard Dyksterhuis, a former school principal turned activist. He is the force behind a group of neighbors who meet every first Saturday of the month to clean up along Aurora and are committed to improve things. After seeing this sketch I posted last week, they invited me to join them and learn of their thankless mission.

auroracleanup050209m.jpg
May 2, 10:39 a.m. [View larger] [Map]

As he kept reaching for trash along the side of the road, Richard walked me around and pointed to multiple instances where sidewalks don’t meet the code or simply don’t exist. He is especially critical of the situation between 125th and 145th streets, a stretch of Aurora he calls “Gasoline Alley.” It has three used car lots, nine places to change oil and tires and five major auto dealers. Between 135th and 145th there’s not even one traffic light. When he started his activism about seven years ago he was told by the Seattle Department of Transportation that putting them in would “impede the flow of vehicular traffic,” which is exactly what needs to happen, he says. “This road gets county money, state money, federal money, but somehow that money goes somewhere else,” he said.

(Original link to article: http://blog.seattletimes.nwsource.com/seattlesketcher/2009/05/04/aurora_meet_the_activist.html)