Category Archives: News, etc.

Road construction projects come to Lake City Way

  
Two large construction projects have come to Lake City Way. They will likely impact traffic as equipment and workers take to the roadway.

The first started in early June at the intersection of Lake City Way and 24th Avenue NE. From the Seattle Department of Transportation:

Pedestrians and bus passengers will soon benefit from improvements now underway near the busy intersection of 24th Avenue Northeast and Lake City Way Northeast. A contractor working for the Seattle Department of Transportation is constructing new sidewalks and other street elements to improve safety, and expects to complete the work in about three months. The project includes sidewalks, a curb bulb, curb ramps, a new crosswalk, an upgraded traffic signal, and improvements to a bus stop and storm drainage, many of which were recommended by the community.

The project at 24th Avenue was identified through the Lake City Way Traffic Safety Project.

The second significant project is happening farther north at the inyersection of Lake City Way and NE 145th Street. It started June 12th. Again, from SDOT:

This project, intended to improve safety for all travelers, includes new curb ramps (southeast and southwest corners), roadway pavement panels, storm drainage improvements and an upgraded traffic signal.

Over the summer, contractors will remove and replace the existing curb ramps, upgrade signal poles and conduct electrical work. During construction, the contractor will reduce lanes, relocate the bus stop and detour pedestrians on an as-needed basis.

The crews will typically work from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. with possible work on weekends. SDOT expects the project to be completed in mid-August, weather permitting.

Two new restaurants coming to Lake City

A pair of new restaurants appear to be opening soon on Lake City Way in the Rekhi Building. We knocked on the doors of both but no one answered from behind the covered windows. We looked up permit info from the City of Seattle but there wasn’t much available.

The first restaurant is Mo & Lu Pasta Co. Rumor is that the business will open around the end of June. It will offer another addition to the increasingly diverse selection of food in the Lake City core.

The second restaurant is 2C Thai Bistro & Spirits. Both will be welcome additions to the neighborhood.

(LCL photo)

(LCL photo)

(LCL photo)

(LCL photo)

Seattle City Council supports use of eminent domain to reclaim formerly public beach

The saga of the small beach at the end of NE 130th Street —formerly the only public water access for a 5.5 mile stretch on Lake Washington shoreline— continues.

The beach at the end of NE 130th Street. (LCL photo)

Adjacent property owners sued to secure ownership of the property, because of what has been described as a legal loophole, and won. The ruling was upheld by an appeals court and they now own the small stretch of shoreline.

The beach had previously been public for 82 years. Community members have fought back by organizing and rallying to return the property to the public. Momentum within the movement to return the small piece of property to the public has now spread aross much of Northeast Seattle.

(You can read about the case in previous coverage here, here and here.)

Now in the most recent development, all nine Seattle City Council members have signed a letter to Mayor Murray, stating that they support the use of eminent domain to reclaim the NE 130th Street Beach for the public.

A petition with over 2,400 signatures was part of the effort to sway the councilmembers.

“This fight is not over. It is possible that eminent domain litigation may take months or even years, unless a settlement is reached. But we will prevail in the end, and the NE 130th Street Beach will be a public park forever, as everyone intended back in 1932,” said a statement from members of the Save the Beach campaign.

Stairs leading down to Lake Washington offer messages about the beach. (LCL photo)

You can see the letter from the Seattle City Council below.

Download (PDF, 386KB)

It’s market season! Lake City Farmers Market opens June 11

(LCL photo)

(LCL photo)

The much-loved Lake City Farmers Market will be back, starting on June 11th. The market runs every Thursday through October 1st, from 3-7 pm.

The market welcomes back many of their farmers and food artisans – and a few new vendors for 2015. New vendors include:

  • Deiros Artisan Chocolate
  • Fresh & Wild Seafood (starting mid-August)
  • Jikoni (authentic West African Food)
  • Lowercase Brewing, Mariposa Farm, White Heron Wine
  • Mt. Baker Berry Farm
  • Napkin Friends (Latke press sandwiches – food truck on rotating schedule)
  • Yellow Belly Farm (honey)

On opening day market visitors will find sweet, luscious strawberries, cherries, crisp fresh lettuces, beautiful heads of broccoli, crunchy carrots, and dozens of other vegetables. Kittitas Valley Greenhouse will have ripe heirloom tomatoes, and there will be plenty of fresh basil on the farm tables.

The market is also hosting a full schedule of fun events for kids and grown-ups, including a free cooking class with chef/author Amy Pennington on June 18, the Cherry Pit Spit Contest on July 2, and the Zucchini 500 car races on Sept 3. You can find events calendars and farmer/vendor lists on the market’s website here.

High-speed, fiber optic lines being installed in Lake City

Utility crews install fiber optic lines in the Olympic Hills neighborhood. (LCL photo)

Utility crews install fiber optic lines in the Olympic Hills neighborhood. (LCL photo)

You have likely seen the utility work in Lake City in recent weeks. Crews from CenturyLink have been hanging high-speed fiber optic lines from utility poles and threading them under streets. The new fiber cables are part of a CenturyLink project to bring high-speed broadband Internet to much of Seattle.

CenturyLink has not announced when the system in northeast Seattle will be on-line, but the infrastructre is now being put in place. Lake City has long suffered from a lack of Internet options and arguably poor service from those that we have here. The company is not without its own criticism from customers and government agencies, but it will be the first company to offer residentail customers Internet at gigabit speeds.

The Seattle Times in 2014 reported what kind of fees a customer could expect to pay for the gigabit Internet. From the Times:

CenturyLink will charge $110 per month for gigabit service for the first year, or $80 if bundled with a voice plan, DirectTV service or a Verizon wireless plan. There’s also a $60 installation fee, a $20 activation fee and a $7 per month modem fee. After the first year the standalone rate jumps to $152, which will limit its appeal and uptake.

You can learn more about the CenturyLink “gigabit” Internet here.

Hellbent Brewing opening soon in Lake City

Hellbent Brewing's new tanks are shown. (LCL photo)

Hellbent Brewing’s new tanks are shown. (LCL photo)

Lake City is starting to become a beer destination. Elliott Bay Brewing Co. and The Beer Authority already attract a healthy crowd from across north Seattle to their successful establishments. Add to that list Lake City’s soon to open Hellbent Brewing Company.

Hellbent Brewing's future location is shown on Lake City Way. (LCL photo)

Hellbent Brewing’s future location is shown on Lake City Way. (LCL photo)

The future brewery has been under construction since October of 2014, but just now, as an illuminated sign has been installed and brewing equipment can be seen inside, has the project become obvious along Lake City Way.

The tasting room. (LCL photo)

The tasting room under construction. (LCL photo)

The brewery is a project by partners Brian Young, Jack Guinn, Chris Giles and Randy Embernate. The roughly 7,500 square-foot space across Lake City Way from Fred Meyer will feature a tasting room, an upper level lounge with games including pinball, pool tables and televisions.

The interior is accented with aged and reclaimed wood, steel and wrought iron. The tasting room features a pair of gorgeous, milled madrone trees as the bartop.

One of the business partners owns the building, which previously was a manufacturing business and decades ago was said to be a Chinese restaurant.

Hellbent will have a tavern license and will feature rotating food trucks in their back lot. They also eventually hope to have a patio area for use during warm months. A cold storage facility will take up part of the rear of the property.

The upstairs lounge is shown under construction. (LCL photo)

The upstairs lounge is shown under construction. (LCL photo)

Hellbent is in the final stages of construction and the business’s owners hope to be open in about one month.

You can take a virtual tour of the Hellbent Brewing in the video below.

Below the Hellbent team made a fun video showing some of the construction.

‘Private property’ signs go up at formerly public beach on Lake Washington

"Private property" signs recently went up at a beach that for nearly 80 years was public.

“Private property” signs recently went up at a beach that for nearly 80 years was public.

“Private property” signs were recently staked into the ground of a piece of waterfront property that for nearly 80 years was used as public access to the water of Lake Washington. Marks on the ground show where a sign that was announcing improvements planned by the City of Seattle was dragged away.

Lake City Live has been following the controversy and the court’s ruling that gave ownership of the property at the end NE 130th Street to the adjacent property owners. You can see our coverage here and here.

Neighbors advocating to keep the land public have been organizing via a Facebook group. They are asking the City of Seattle to condemn the property so it can be returned to public use. And in a Wednesday report, KIRO/7 said that the effort seems to be gaining traction with City of Seattle leaders.

KIRO/7 visited the site on Wednesday and filed this report. In the video below they try to talk to one of the property owners without success.

Mayor Ed Murray, Seattle DOT, Seattle PD launch traffic safety initiative at Lake City Library

Mayor Ed Murray in front of the Lake City Library

Mayor Ed Murray in front of the Lake City Library

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, Seattle City Council members and officials from the Seattle Police Department and Department of Transportation announced “Vision Zero Seattle” during an event outside of the Lake City Library on Thursday afternoon.

Vision Zero Seattle is a program with the aim of ending traffic deaths and injuries in Seattle.

From the Mayor’s office:

While Seattle is consistently recognized as one of the safest cities in the country, more than 10,000 traffic collisions occur each year. In 2014, 3,449 injury collisions were reported to the Seattle Police Department. Fifteen people died in traffic crashes, including five who were walking or riding a bike.

At the core of Vision Zero is the belief that death and injury on city streets is preventable. The Vision Zero approach emphasizes smarter street designs – forgiving streets that account for human error. When paired with targeted education and enforcement, the effort will save lives.

The effort will include:

Pedestrians run across State Route 522, aka Lake City Way. (LCL photo)

Pedestrians run across State Route 522, aka Lake City Way. (LCL photo)

  • Reduce the speed limit in the downtown core to 25 mph by the end of 2015.
  • Improve safety at 10 high-crash intersections downtown by eliminating turns on red lights, installing leading pedestrian intervals to give walkers a head start, eliminating dual turn lanes and other engineering improvements.
  • Install 20 mph zones on residential streets in up to ten areas near parks and schools with documented collision histories.
  • Enhance safety on arterials — like Rainier Avenue S, 35th Avenue SW, Fauntleroy Way SW and 5th Avenue NE where 90 percent of serious and fatal collisions occur — by installing speed reductions, radar speed signs and enhanced street designs.
  • Add twelve new school zone safety cameras in six school zones to improve safety for kids as they make their way to and from school.
  • Add seven miles of protected bike lanes, more than 40 crossing improvements and 14 blocks of new sidewalk to make travel safer across all modes.
  • Conduct targeted enforcement throughout the city for school, pedestrian and bike safety, along with enhanced DUI enforcement.
  • SDOT and SPD will work together to educate people in advance of these patrols, so everyone will expect enforcement and better understand the rules of the road.

The Seattle Bike Blog reports that this is the second time City of Seattle leaders have gathered press for an announcement to end traffic injuries and deaths. The previous plan announced, the Road Safety Action Plan, had a similar goal. From the Seattle Bike Blog:

Since that plan, the city has launched a brilliant and successful school zone speed camera program, which slows down traffic and helps to fund safety projects like Safe Routes to School. The city also crafted a new Bicycle Master Plan.

But more must be done. Will the new Vision Zero plan be bolder? Will there be serious funding? Stay tuned for details.

Hip Hop and healthy food Tuesday at Lake City Presbyterian Church

Hip Hop Green Dinner

Hip Hop Green Dinner

Want to see some “groundbreaking Hip Hop performances” and eat a healthy meal?

Lake City Presbyterian Church is hosting a Hip Hop Green Dinner on Tuesday, February 10th at 5 pm.

What Happens at the Hip Hop is Green Dinner?

The Green Dinners serve as a unique way to reach out to the community to deliver a vegan dining experience geared towards urban youth and young people who identify with Hip Hop culture. The dinners are designed to be a perfect combination of information and entertainment. By breaking bread and sharing information in a relaxed and entertaining environment, the Hip Hop Green Dinners help youth and their families make the connection between their diet, lifestyle and their health.

1. A beautiful dining presentation
2. To taste some of the best vegan food available in their area
3. To witness some groundbreaking Hip Hop performances and meet the artists involved
4. To meet and learn about healthy eating and living from leading health professionals
5. To network with agencies, organizations, businesses and individuals in their area who can help them transition to a healthier lifestyle

Click here to register and learn more.  The Green Dinner will be held at the Lake City Presbyterian Church (3841 NE 123rd Street).  There is only room for 150 people, and seats are limited.

Here is a video explaining previous Hip Hop Green Dinners.

Flyer below

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35th Avenue Northeast reopens after months long closure

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After a seven-month closure, 35th Avenue NE has reopened to traffic. The road will still have periodic lane closures as finishing touches are put on the Thornton Creek Confluence Project. The reopening of the road will allow for the return to normal of Metro routes 64 and 65.

We drove the route soon after it was announced that it was reopened. The road surface still needs some obvious work as uneven surfaces make for a rough ride in spots. But the project significantly transformed and improved the route for Thornton Creek. The new culvert and flood plain will be put to the test on Saturday evening after the National Weather Service issued a flood watch for King County

The project included:

  • Landscaping.
  • Completion of a new two-acre floodplain and meandering channel for the creek.
  • A new bridge where 35th Avenue NE crosses Thornton Creek.
  • Improved fish and wildlife habitat.