Author Archives: Lake City Live

Thursday vigil held for girl killed crossing street in Pinehurst: lots of broken hearts and a spectacular rainbow

Thursday evening’s vigil for 17 year-old Sandhya Khadka was an event filled with sadness and broken hearts. The accident on 5th Avenue Northeast at Northeast 115th Street claimed the life of the recent immigrant as she crossed the street on her way to school at North Seattle Community College.

She was killed at an intersection where neighbors have advocated for a crosswalk. They have cited the large number of people that cross there to access the Number 41 bus line. Documents show that in 2013 their proposal was denied because Seattle’s Department of Transportation said it didn’t meet crosswalk criteria.

A petition was passed around at the vigil, but mostly people were there to mourn a young life cut short.

Just as dozens of people gathered to begin the vigil, a spectacular double rainbow arced overhead.

Her roommate Shraddha Kakshapati told the Seattle P-I that the rainbow represented Khadka’s happiness at seeing all the people gathered for her.

“That’s her. It was her smile. She was smiling,” said Kakshapati.

The rainbow was captured in the P-I photo below. You can see more coverage in the P-I by clicking here.

A double rainbow arcs overhead during a vigil for Sandhya Khadka, a 17 year-old student killed while crossing 5th Avenue Northeast while on her way to school at North Seattle Community College. She was hit by a truck while crossing near Northeast 115th Street. (Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com, used with permission)

A double rainbow arcs overhead during a vigil for Sandhya Khadka, a 17 year-old student killed while crossing 5th Avenue Northeast while on her way to school at North Seattle Community College. She was hit by a truck while crossing near Northeast 115th Street. (Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com, used with permission)

Stretch of 35th Ave NE to be closed for six months as Thornton Creek ‘reshaped to prevent chronic flooding’

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Seattle Public Utilities share the following information on Wednesday about a coming six month closure of 35th Avenue NE next to Nathan Hale High School.

Beginning as early as May 5, part of 35th Avenue Northeast will be closed for approximately six months while the city’s longest creek is reshaped to prevent chronic flooding and restore habitat for threatened salmon and other species.

For years, the confluence of the North and South branches of Thornton Creek, just east of 35th Avenue Northeast, has been prone to flooding. High waters have frequently inundated nearby homes, Nathan Hale High School and Meadowbrook Community Center and closed the road to traffic.

To fix the problem, Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) will remove an undersized culvert under 35th Avenue Northeast and realign the existing creek channel through a new two-acre flood plain. The wider channel and flood plain connection will help native fish habitat by spreading out and slowing the peak flows of Thornton Creek.

Additionally, the project will construct a new bridge under 35th Avenue Northeast slightly north of where the creek currently runs.

To perform the work, it will be necessary to close a section of 35th Avenue Northeast, between Northeast 110th Street and Northeast 105th Street, for about six months. 35th Avenue Northeast will be open only to local access traffic, including access to the Meadowbrook Community Center from the south.

Traffic will be detoured from 35th Avenue Northeast to Lake City Way Northeast via Northeast 110th Street and Northeast 95th Street. Detour signs will be in place prior to the closure.

Southbound Metro buses (Route 64 and 65) will be detoured to Lake City Way Northeast via Northeast 110th Street and Northeast 95th Street. Northbound Metro buses will be diverted to Sandpoint Way Northeast via Northeast 95th Street and Northeast 110th Street. As the closure date approaches, more information will be found at http://metro.kingcounty.gov/alerts/.

Historically, the Thornton Creek Confluence Reach was 170 acres of partially forested wetland that included most, if not all of the low-lying property now occupied by the Meadowbrook Playfield, Nathan Hale High School and Meadowbrook Pond west and east of 35th Avenue Northeast.

SPU is working with federal scientists (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries Science Center) to measure project performance by comparing existing conditions with post-construction changes in flood plain storage, habitat conditions and biological response (abundance and diversity).

Along with the ecological benefits of restoring stream and flood plain processes to the Thornton Creek Confluence Reach, the project will reduce the City’s operating costs at nearby Meadowbrook Pond by reducing the frequency of dredging needed at the Pond (currently averaging every three to five years).

Learn more about Seattle Public Utilities’ Thornton Creek Confluence Project by clicking here.

Vigil planned for 17 year-old student struck by car, killed in NE Seattle

Sandhya Khadka was the only child of her parents.  Sandhya left Nepal in the past year to come to Seattle and to attend school.  Her dream was to become an accountant. (courtesy photo)

Sandhya Khadka was the only child of her parents. Sandhya left Nepal in the past year to come to Seattle and to attend school. Her dream was to become an accountant. (courtesy photo)

Sandhya Khadka, a native of Nepal, left her home country in the past year to come to Seattle where her father lives. She came to the U.S. to attend school. Her dream was to become an accountant.

That dream abruptly ended on Monday morning when 17 year-old Khadka was struck and killed by a truck, while on her way to school at the intersection of NE 115th Street and 5th Avenue NE in Pinehurst.

She was hit by the truck while crossing 5th Ave NE, on her way to catch the 41 bus to get to school and work at North Seattle Community College.

The Seattle P-I reports:

A green Ford Ranger headed south about 8:20 a.m. on Fifth Avenue Northeast hit the pedestrian while she was crossing west at the intersection of Northeast 115th Street.

Seattle Fire Department medics responded and declared the girl, 17, dead at the scene.

A drug recognition expert evaluated the pickup truck driver, per protocol, but determined the driver was not impaired. The driver was released at the scene.

On Thursday night, a candlelight vigil is planned for the young girl, the only child of her parents. The family would appreciate your attendance.

The vigil will be held at 7:30 p.m. at the intersection of NE 115th Street and 5th Avenue NE in Pinehurst.

Her father, Sahadev Khadka, lives in Seattle and her mother is in Nepal.

Sandhya’s family will have some extra candles, but encourage those who join them to bring candles with them. They hope to honor Sandhya and to “create awareness so that no other young person has to die again.”

The Seattle P-I reported that In recent years, neighbors have advocated for a crosswalk at that intersection. The P-I reported:

A proposal in 2013 by neighbors cited the number of people that cross there to use the number 41 bus. However the Seattle Department of Transportation denied the proposal and said the intersection did not meet criteria for a crosswalk.

Remember, what you put in that drain does go somewhere

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Now that weather is warming, people are cleaning winter grime off their cars and pressure washing the moss off of their homes.

But remember, all that chemistry you are including in the wash solution does not just disappear once it goes down a drain. Often it will drain into our urban streams and lakes.

A neighborhood resident that lives near Lake Washington sent us this photo Monday. It shows foam from what appears to be soap coming out of a culvert, about to enter Lake Washington.

A resident uphill was later discovered to be using a pressure washer.

Northeast Seattle’s Thornton Creek is among Seattle’s most damaged streams, with dangerous levels of fecal coliform bacteria discovered in the water. And much of the runoff from our community drains into Lake Washington and in some areas into the creek. You can read more about the damage to Thornton Creek here in this post.

EarthCorps organizes vounteers for Jackson Park Trail cleanup

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Volunteers gather up ivy and invasive species along the Jackson Park Trail.

Local volunteer groups, including Girl Scouts and area church members, joined with EarthCorps members and the Green Seattle Partnership to clean up and restore areas around the Jackson Park Tail on Saturday.

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A side trail from the Jackson Park Trail to the Jackson Park P-Patch is shown.

The community-based group Friends of Jackson Park Trail has been working hard to maintain the new urban trail and improve the health of the forest with monthly cleanup events every third Saturday. But their efforts were joined by dozens of new volunteers during the April 12th cleanup.

The Jackson Park Trail includes approximately 2.2 miles of off-street trail along the perimeter of the publicly-owned Jackson Park Golf Course. About 50 bird species have been seen along the trail that features an area along Thornton Creek.

EarthCorps has started a program to manage volunteers helping along the trail. Their first year of work in 2014 will include removing invasive plants and later planting native plants in the wintertime.

EarthCorps supplied gloves, tools, water, light refreshments and volunteer education during the work party.

Another pair of Earth Day weekend work parties have been organized for April 19th and April 22nd.

You can find more volunteer opportunities at the park by checking here.

Lake City Starbucks moved into trailer during remodel

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The Starbucks Coffee on Lake City Way near NE 120th Street has moved into a small trailer as the store kicks off a major remodel.

The coffee shop can be a buzzing spot some evenings, with dozens of people camped in the location’s comfortable chairs, doing school work, using the Wi-Fi or socializing.

But the seating area is now a few outdoor chairs under umbrellas in what used to be the parking lot. A chain link fence surrounds the store as construction crews take over the location.

Walk up and drive up service continues at the location, but the comfortable atmosphere is now a construction zone.

The project is expected to take about two months.

Meeting to discuss relocating bus stop in front of Romio’s scheduled for April 16th

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The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and King County Metro Transit (Metro) are seeking community feedback on a proposal to relocate the bus stop currently in front of Romio’s Pizza. SDOT and Metro will present this proposal at the North Seattle Chamber of Commerce’s public lunch meeting, April 16th, 1pm at the Elliott Bay Brewery on Lake City Way.
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This proposal responds to outreach from the Lake City community to the City of Seattle and King County regarding loitering and safety concerns at the northbound bus stop on Lake City Way in front of Romio’s Pizza.

This led to conversations between SDOT and Metro with representatives of the North Seattle Chamber regarding bus stop relocation. SDOT and Metro recognize that relocating the stop could improve access to transit and pedestrian safety as well as alleviate the loitering and safety concerns highlighted by the Chamber.

At the meeting on the 16th, SDOT and Metro will discuss the factors that influence selection of bus stop locations, including:

• Stop spacing (Are stops placed at regular intervals along the corridor?);
• Transfer points (Are stops placed to facilitate transfers to intersecting routes?);
• Lane position (Do buses stop within a travel lane, or do buses pull out of traffic to stop?);
• Lighting
• Adjacent businesses
• Shelter
• Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design
• Pedestrian safety
• Law enforcement
• Art

Metro and SDOT want to coordinate effectively with business and community interests, as they assess whether relocating the stop will alleviate some of the concerns that have been raised with the current location. Please encourage everyone you can to attend this meeting.>

Lake City awarded funds, welcomed into ‘Only in Seattle Initiative’ program

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray makes the announcement on Tuesday. (courtesy photo)

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray makes the announcement on Tuesday. (courtesy photo)

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced Tuesday that Lake City will become part of the Only In Seattle Initiative.

Lake City was awarded $30,000 by the program to hire Brian Douglas Scott consulting to formulate a strategic plan for the Lake City business district. The Only In Seattle Initiative is a multi-year program with multiple steps for Seattle neighborhoods to strengthen and improve their business districts.

“This investment in neighborhood business districts is critical to our city,” said Mayor Ed Murray in a statement. “Healthy business districts equate to thriving businesses, stable jobs and overall success for our city.”

City data shows that small businesses employ 72-percent of the local workforce and contribute 35-percent of the city’s business tax revenues, totaling $55.4 million. Local neighborhood business districts are the incubators for many of the city’s small businesses, the statement said.

Some of the strategies used by the Only In Seattle program include:

  • Business and retail development (supporting businesses, enhancing business mix);
  • Marketing and promotion (events, social media, district advertising);
  • Clean and safe (graffiti removal, dumpster free alleys, lighting);
  • Streetscape and appearance (catalytic development projects, façade, public art); and
  • Business organization development to sustain the effort, including participation of an existing
  • Business Improvement Area (BIA) or exploration to form one.

New funding was also announced for other neighborhoods involved in the program. Including Lake CIty’s $30,000 award, the total award across the city announced Tuesday is $2 million.

The goal of the program for Lake City would be to create a self-sustaining Business Improvement Area (BIA) and to strengthen Lake City businesses.

You can read more about the program below:

Download (PDF, 359KB)

PHOTOS: Lake City Way Traffic Safety Project kickoff

The Lake City Way Traffic Safety Project sign is unveiled. (LCL photo)

The Lake City Way Traffic Safety Project sign is unveiled. (LCL photo)

The Lake City Way Traffic Safety Project kicked off on Friday, March 28 with a safety walk and sign unveiling at the intersection of NE 125th Street and Lake City Way.

The Lake City Way Traffic Safety Project is a joint effort between agencies and citizens to improve safety along Lake City Way from Northeast 78th Street to NE 145th Street. The team is comprised of three teams —engineering, enforcement and education— that will identify problems and develop action plans using short term, low cost solutions to reduce serious injuries and deaths.

The Friday event featured officials from the Seattle Department of Transportation, Washington State Department of Transportation, Seattle Police Department, Washington State Patrol, and Seattle City Councilmember Sally Clark.

Community members marched with signs, socialized and unveiled a large street sign that will inform drivers of the project and enhanced traffic enforcement. Probably the most exciting moment was when two dozen motorcycle cops and officers in cruisers launched form the event to begin a blanket of traffic enforcement. You can see photos of the event below.

Marchers are pushed to the edge of the crosswalk by a car. (LCL photo)

Pedestrians are pushed to the edge of the crosswalk by a car during the event. (LCL photo)

Members of the Free Wheelers participate. (LCL photo)

Members of the Free Wheelers participate. (LCL photo)

Students from Nathan Hale High School participate. (LCL photo)

Students from Nathan Hale High School participate. (LCL photo)

Washington State Patrol Troopers pose for a photo at the event. (LCL photo)

Washington State Patrol Troopers pose for a photo at the event. (LCL photo)

Nathan Hale students and other community members participate. (LCL photo)

Nathan Hale students and other community members participate. (LCL photo)

A sign written in Arabic is held up. (LCL photo)

A sign written in Arabic is held up. (LCL photo)

A sign in Spanish is held up. (LCL photo)

A sign in Spanish is held up. (LCL photo)

Nathan Hale students and other community members participate. (LCL photo)

Nathan Hale students and other community members participate. (LCL photo)

City Councilmember Sally Clark speaks. (LCL photo)

City Councilmember Sally Clark speaks. (LCL photo)

Washington State Patrol troopers and Seattle Police officers begin enhanced traffic enforcement. (LCL photo)

Washington State Patrol troopers and Seattle Police officers begin enhanced traffic enforcement. (LCL photo)

Lake City Way Traffic Safety Project kickoff scheduled for Friday, March 28

Flyer announcing the Lake City Way Traffic Safety Project.

Flyer announcing the Lake City Way Traffic Safety Project.

You may have already noticed the billboards, flyers or walkers carrying signs in recent months along Lake City Way. But on Friday, March 28, The Lake City Way Traffic Safety Project will formally kickoff with an event on Lake City Way.

Neighborhood residents march on Lake CIty Way on November 12, 2013. (LCL photo)

Neighborhood residents march on Lake CIty Way on November 12, 2013. (LCL photo)

The project is a coordinated effort between the community, the City of Seattle, the Washington Traffic Safety Commission and the Washington State Department of Transportation. The project will bring engineering improvements, extra enforcement, and greater safety awareness to the busy Lake City Way traffic corridor.

Corridor Safety Projects are one of the tools employed by the WTSC to achieve the agency goal to end traffic deaths and injuries by 2030. There have been two other traffic safety projects in Seattle, Rainer Avenue South and Aurora.

Data compiled for Lake City Way from Northeast 78th Street to NE 145th Street between January 2007 and December 2011 show that on this 3.7 miles stretch of roadway there have been:

  • 717 crashes (143 per year)
  • 21 serious and fatal crashes (4 per year) and
  • 438 total injuries (88 per year)

At 3:30 p.m. there will be a walk along the street and at 4 p.m. the project will launch at Chase Plaza on the southwest corner of 125th and Lake City Way.

The LCW Traffic Safety Project task force is organized into three teams —engineering, enforcement and education— to identify problems and develop action plans using short term, low cost solutions designed to reduce serious injuries and deaths.

You can learn more about the project by clicking here.