The results will be sent to the Department of Neighborhoods and we will follow up with them to work out an action plan from the city. Stay tuned.
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Neighborhood residents came out to celebrate on Saturday after improvements on 33rd Avenue NE were finished recently. The project was completed in 2012 but the celebration was planned for spring, when the newly-planted vegetation would bloom.
A ribbon cutting and parade of residents celebrated the improvements on the road behind Value Village and one block off Lake City Way. The road, like many in Lake City, was inhospitable to pedestrians before the improvements. This despite a concentration of people living in the immediate vicinity, including many children, elderly and disabled people in wheelchairs.
The project was paid for with Bridging the Gap funds after a Neighborhood Matching Fund grant helped pay for design of the project.
The project was taken up by community leaders who advocated for funding and guided the effort after recognizing a need in the area. The improvements include new sidewalks, drainage, curbs, lighting and landscaping.
A community fair with tasty desserts and sandwiches provided by the Lake City Bakery followed the ribbon cutting and parade.
The City of Seattle’s Department of Transportation said the changes “improve the pedestrian environment by providing a landscaped buffer from traffic; improve drainage and lighting as well as traffic calming the street.” A future project might include a mid-block crosswalk and Greenways elements to further calm traffic.
Photos below show the newly improved area (left) and how it looked before the improvements (right).
Lots! Since January, the Lake City Community Center has been under new management. While the building itself looks much the same, the operations inside are expanding and changing.
One exciting change is that the Lake City Community Center staff is working with the University YMCA to begin offering programming at the center this summer. To kick it off, the Y is hosting a “Y Showcase Event” on June 1st, 1-4pm at the Lake City Community Center. This free drop-in event will offer sample Zumba, Yoga, Barre, and Salsa classes with concurrent free childcare. There will also be a drop-in hip-hop production studio for teens.
Give Your Feedback!
The Y would like your feedback as they plan for future Lake City programming. Please take their Lake City YMCA Program Survey. It takes less than 5 minutes and will help the Y in determining various programs, childcare, and pricing for the Lake City neighborhood.
Communication and the Arts
The Lake City Community Center (LCCC) also now has an active website, including descriptions of upcoming events and a linkable calendar. Just today at the center, a group of homeschoolers was enjoying this sumi brush painting lesson with artist Yvonne Palka.
Coming up on June 15th is a mosaic class with Nancy Cubbage, a mixed media fine artist and Lake City local. Ms. Cubbage will be offering a series of different mosaic classes for youth, teens and adults at the community center. Visit the LCCC website and sign up to create a beautiful birdhouse like the one pictured here.
But wait… There’s more!
A new Cultural Arts Program is also in the works at the Lake City Community Center. Called The ARTery, this group’s vision is to create and support artistic opportunities for everyone in Lake City. Visit their website here to learn more.
Seattle is a city that loves dogs. However, those dogs do not seem to love our postal carriers.
The United States Postal Service released its 2012 U.S. Postal Service Dog Attack City Rankings and Seattle was #2 for the most dog attacks on mail carriers. The ranking is not one that we can be proud of.
In response to the ranking that our pooches are rather aggressive with their teeth, the American Veterinary Medical Association responded with a guide on how to prevent dog attacks. The info was timed to coincide with National Dog Bite Prevention Week.
Since Lake City loves its dogs, we figured we’d share the AVMA suggestions here. And of course these suggestions do not just apply to folks wearing blue and bringing you your bills and packages.
●Don’t run past a dog. Dogs naturally love to chase and catch things.
●Never disturb a dog that is caring for puppies, sleeping or eating.
●If a dog approaches to sniff you, stay still. In most cases, the dog will go away when it determines you are not a threat.
●If you are threatened by a dog, remain calm. Don’t scream or yell. If you say anything, speak calmly and firmly. Avoid eye contact. Try to stay still until the dog leaves, or back away slowly until the dog is out of sight. Don’t turn and run.
●If you fall or are knocked to the ground, curl into a ball with your hands over your head and neck. Protect your face.
Hopefully we are all responsible dog owners and keep our pups under control. But if you ever find yourself threatened by a pooch, stick to the tactics above and your risk of being bitten will be reduced.
Community organizers and residents of Lake City Court and Lake City House would like to invite you to join them this Saturday from 10AM to 1PM on 33rd Ave NE (meeting between the apartment buildings) for a dedication and parade celebrating the completion of final adjustments to 33rd Ave NE.
Street improvements for 33rd Ave NE, a long neglected street within the Hub Urban Center in Lake City, were first proposed in the North District Neighborhoods Plan adopted in 1999. In 2007 a kickoff event, sponsored by the 33rd Ave NE Vision Group, began a long process of surveys, scoping meetings, and design discussions.
In 2009 Department of Neighborhoods awarded a matching grant that funded a full neighborhood design planning process for 33rd Ave NE by SVR. That final design plan was used in 2010 to obtain funding from Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) from the “Bridging The Gap” levy funds. The levy funds were used to install a new sidewalk on the west side of 33rd Ave NE between NE 125th and NE 130th Street. It was also used to organize street parking, address drainage and stormwater runoff issues, add street lighting, and install planting strips and beds to make 33rd Ave NE safer for pedestrians.
More details are at http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/btg_nsf_large_33.htm
Last summer in 2012, SDOT completed the project, and planted the trees and shrubs later that fall. Final adjustments were completed last month to improve wheelchair safety. The trees are looking greener now with their new leaves. It is time to officially dedicate this street and celebrate improved safety for all those who use it on foot, by bicycle, in scooters or wheelchairs, and in all other non-vehicular modes of transportation.
Here is the planned schedule for the celebration:
10:00 am – Local community and business displays, children’s activities
11:00 am – Speakers give a brief history of the project, and thank our supporters
11:30 am – Ribbon Cutting and “Get Moving” Parade Decorate your cycles, wheelchairs, scooters, yourself! And join us in an official stroll down our new sidewalk.
12:00 noon – Light lunch with snacks from around the world, and sweet desserts.
There will also be a “Yarn Bomb” art installation by the Lake City Court Knitters Club!
This project was funded by Seattle Department of Transportation & Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. Event was organized by Lake City Community Council, Seattle Housing Authority Lake City Court & Lake City House, the Seattle Mennonite Church, & the North Seattle Family Center.
Lake City Community Council meets monthly and addresses community issues in the core area between NE 120th and NE 130th from 35th Ave NE to Lake City Way. All meetings are open to the public. Call 206-367-4635 if you need further details or want information about our upcoming projects, OR find us on Facebook at Lake City Community Council.
Just as Lake City has once again taken up the issue of the need for a public toilet —versus the toilets often becoming a haven for negative behaviors such as drug dealing and use— Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn is hoping to bring a new type of public toilet to Seattle neighborhoods that deal with public urination and defecation. The Mayor is hosting a public meeting today, May 15th, to share details about use of a new kind of public toilet in Pioneer Square.
The “Portland Loo” is a public toilet that Atlantic Cities said “was built to be as inhospitable as possible.” The semi-private environment discourages lingering and are made of steel. They do not have a mirror or sink inside and they have an open air feel about them as people on the outside can see feet when someone is inside.
Portland seems to love its loo. From Atlantic Cities:
The soulless receptacle for bodily waste has its own blog, Twitter account and Facebook page. When a loo hater set one ablaze last June, Facebook denizens flocked to its defense. “The Portland Loos rock! What other city can boast public restrooms that are fire proof. ” wrote Laura Mears, while Charlie Clint chimed in with, “I’m always sending someone to use one of these – and it’s great to hear how sturdy they are! (woo hoo).”
The Mayor specifically is working to bring the Portland Loo to Pioneer Square. But the need in Lake City is similar. Pioneer Square is also one of the other few public locations with a city-funded, semi-permanent Port a Pot, like the one at the Lake City Mini Park.
From the Mayor:
There is an ongoing need in many neighborhoods for safe, accessible public restroom facilities. One neighborhood in particular has been active and vocal about the need for this service – Pioneer Square.
To address the need, City departments partnered with the Alliance for Pioneer Square to map current publicly accessible restrooms and identified a big gap in the middle of the neighborhood where the need is greatest. We analyzed several alternatives and concluded the best option was the regionally famous Portland Loo, which is designed specifically for the needs of urban neighborhoods.
If a Portland Loo was installed in the Mini Park, it still wouldn’t solve the problem brought up by many residents about having a highly-visible toilet in the most visible area of a neighborhood searching for an identity. The Port a Pot currently there is one of the most obvious features of an area already struggling with litter, loiterers and increasingly empty storefronts.
You can see more photos of the Portland Loo below.
On Wednesday, May 15th the Lake City Community Council will hold a meeting where the public can come learn about the proposed Virgil Flaim Park SkateSpot and potential funding for it from the Seattle Parks and Open Spaces Levy.
Staff from the YMCA will also talk about new programs being considered for the Lake City Community Center. At the meeting you can provide your feedback on these programs, and suggestions for other YMCA supported activities.
The Community Council will also be inquiring about YMCA support of the new summer youth basketball program for the park property on 33rd Ave NE, and about the potential for a YMCA center in Lake City.
Come learn and share your ideas and suggestions.
What: Lake City Community Council Meeting
When: Wednesday, May 15, 2013, 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Where: Seattle Mennonite Church, 3120 NE 125th Street, in the Community Room
Free parking in the back on the north side of the church
A large tree fell onto power lines at the intersection of NE 125th Street and Roosevelt Way in the Pinehurst neighborhood. The tree in the roadway completely closed Roosevelt Way and limited traffic on NE 125th Street to two lanes after it fell. The tree and closure was causing backups in the area.
Seattle City Light was not reporting outages related to the downed lines, which bent the poles supporting the stop lights over the intersection. The lights were still functioning, even though they were just feet from the ground.
More photos below:
The following post comes from Douglas Park Cooperative, who is working with the North Seattle Chamber of Commerce and other organizations to gauge public opinion of the highly-visible Port a Pot in the Lake City Mini Park. Please fill out their survey below as the data will be presented to the Seattle Parks Department. Also, feel free to leave comments on this post.
The Lake City Mini Park sits in the heart of Lake City’s business district at the corner of 125th and Lake City Way. Visually, the park consists of a paved area, an archway and a Port a Pot.
Lake City businesses and property owners would like the Port a Pot to be removed. They cite ongoing health and safety issues associated with it, including public urination and defecation —despite the availability of the Port a Pot in the center of the Lake City business district.
Homeless advocates have said in the past that the Port a Pot is the only place some have to use during the night.
A survey is being conducted to find out what the Lake City public would like to see happen with the Port a Pot. Both the park and the Port a Pot have a storied history. Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with the Port a Pot’s background before completing the survey. More info about the Port a Pot is below the survey.
Prior to 2003, the Lake City Mini Park included a water feature, plantings, and structural features. These provided quiet spaces at a busy intersection. However, they also provided limited visibility. Criminal and nuisance behaviors (drug use and dealing, public inebriation, urination and defecation) were a regular daily occurrence.
In 2003, the city spent $340,000 to redesign the park. During the redesign phase, the primary concern was how to reclaim the park from negative behaviors. The city’s solution was to remove all features that blocked visibility – hence the wide concrete open area that exists today.
When the park’s redesign was completed, the negative behaviors returned to the park. Lake City businesses documented a significant increase of human feces and urine found on their business doorsteps daily. The business community requested a Port a Pot be installed at the Lake City Mini Park to help end this public defecation/urination.
Around the same time, the Mennonite Church (located one block away on 125th) welcomed homeless individuals to use their church property. The Mennonites installed a Port a Pot on their property, but later removed it. The Mennonite Church continued to expand their work with homeless, many with addiction issues. They opened a drop-in facility for homeless individuals near the corner of 125th and 33rd Ave and are currently working with Community Psychiatric Clinic to provide a new and enlarged homeless drop-in facility.
Today, the issue of public defecation and urination in Lake City’s business district continues, even as the Port a Pot sits available. Businesses adjacent to the park report routinely cleaning urine and feces from their properties. Eye witness accounts document open urination and defecation within yards of the Port a Pot, as well as drug dealing associated with the Port a Pot.
There are only three other permanent Port a Pots in Seattle, one of which is in a business district – Pioneer Square. The service contract on the Port a Pot costs the City of Seattle $7,800 per year
30 years already? It’s true!
The Nathan Hale High School class of 1983 is planning their high school reunion for September 21, 2013, 6 p.m., at The Garage, 1130 Broadway Ave, on Capitol Hill in Seattle.
Event info can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/events/168580583301977/
More details, including fees, are yet to come, but the date and time are confirmed. Organizers said to check the Facebook page to keep up with the latest reunion news.