Progress and proposals for the planned Olympic Hills Greenway on 27th Avenue NE will be unveiled during an open house, Thursday, March 13 at the Lake City Library.
The open house starts at 6 p.m. and a presentation begins at 6:30.
The City of Seattle elicited responses to the intial proposal for the greenway. A greenway basically takes an existing roadway and puts bikes and pedestrians on par with automobiles via design and safety enhancements. A greenway is planned for 27th Avenue NE and parts of 25th Avenue NE.
Last summer SDOT hosted a public meeting and gathered input on building the greenway, and input received then has influenced the project. “Based on feedback and our evaluation we have identified the most promising route and are excited to share recommended traffic safety improvements with you,” said an announcement received by neighborhood residents.
The proposed Olympic Hills Greenway
The Seattle Police Department reported that an explosion Monday night in Lake City was caused by an operation to extract THC from marijuana in the 3000 block of NE 135th Street. The explosion moved a wall of the home back 3 inches.
Butane can be used to extract THC, the mind-altering element in marijuana, which then creates a highly concentrated substance used to vaporize or ingest. If the Monday explosion was caused by the process, it would be one of at least two explosions in recent weeks caused by the process. The other that made headlines was in South Seattle.
Seattle police said the man’s Lake City house “will definitely need some repair work” after the refrigerator exploded in the house. There were no injuries.
Seattle Police and Seattle Fire responded to a report of an explosion in the 3000 Block of NE 135th Street last night around 9:30 pm. When officers arrived, they contacted the 37-year-old resident, who told investigators that his refrigerator had exploded. Officers suspected that this occurred while he had been extracting the THC from marijuana, and the man confirmed that. The explosion broke four windows and moved the back wall of the house three inches. Detectives from the Arson/Bomb Squad (ABS) responded and took over the investigation. This remains an active investigation.
A broken fiber optic cable knocked out Internet and cable to thousands of customers in Lake City during a wind storm Saturday night. As of 11:30 am on Sunday, a representative from Comcast was unsure how long it would take to restore service, reported the Seattle Times.
Vice President of Communications for Comcast Steve Kipp told the Times in an email:
“Our repair crews could not begin their work until this morning because, due to safety reasons, they had to wait for Seattle City Light to complete its repairs first.”
So if you were hoping to watch a movie on Netflix during this gloomy day you may be out of luck. (Yet if you are reading this, then you have some kind of Internet service.)
Perhaps today is a good day to grab an old fashioned book or newspaper and curl up with a cup of tea.
It seems all the Greenwood regulars — and a host of new customers— found Aloha Ramen in Lake City.
A resident of Greenwood recently lamented that neighborhood’s loss of one of Seattle’s most popular noodle houses.
The restaurant in Lake City is actually larger than the former Greenwood spot.
But it seems all of its regular customers found Aloha Ramen on its opening night Friday in Lake City.
The Japanese noodle house, now nestled in the shopping center at the intersection of Lake City Way and NE 127th Street, was packed just hours after opening its doors for the first time here.
Customers took most of the parking spaces in a lot usually wide open with empty spots. Dozens of people packed into the small shop with a line stretching out into the parking lot.
The business moved from Greenwood into a strip of businesses that has struggled to attract tenants. The addition of the new bustling business may act as an anchor to attract more businesses there.
Aloha gets consistent high marks for its food and has plenty of glowing reviews on social review site Yelp. It is consistently regarded as one of the best ramen spots in Seattle.
Now in Lake City, the restaurant is adding to our growing list of excellent dining choices.
Note: We usually give restaurants a few days to work out issues before writing about an opening. But the line out the door and the packed parking lot made this opening much more newsworthy.
A fire Thursday night injured a homeowner in Pinehurst in the 800 block of NE 123rd Street. Flames were shooting from the roof of the home when firefighters arrived. The scene brought out dozens of concerned neighbors that looked on as dozens of firefighters knocked down the flames.
Friday the Seattle Fire Department reported that the fire was caused by unattended food on the stove.
More from Seattle Fire:
At 5:41 p.m. a smoke alarm alerted the lone resident of the home to a fire in his kitchen. The automatic fire alarm alerted dispatchers at the Fire Alarm Center to the fire at a 2-story home with basement in the 800 block of NE 123rd Street. When firefighters arrived, flames were shooting out of the first floor kitchen, up along the side of the house, through the roof and out the windows of the first floor of the home. The flames also spread to trees and bushes on both sides of the house. The fire threatened a neighbor’s home.
Through their aggressive actions, firefighters were able to contain the fire to the house of origin and prevent it from spreading to the neighboring houses. A challenge to firefighters was the high load of combustible materials stored both inside the home and around the surrounding property. It took approximately 50 minutes to completely extinguish the fire. However, several hot spots flared up through the evening. An engine company stayed outside the home throughout the night for a Fire Watch to ensure the flare-ups were quickly extinguished.
When firefighters arrived they found the lone occupant outside the home with burns to his arms suffered while he tried to extinguish the flames. Medics treated the man in his 60’s for minor 2nd and 3rd degree burns. He declined transport to the hospital but opted to have a relative drive him to Harborview Medical Center
The investigators determined the home was a complete loss. The damage estimate is $250,000 to the structure and $100,000 to the contents.
Photo courtesy Seattle Fire
A 63 year-old woman driving a Volkswagen Beetle was trapped in her car after it drove across all lanes of Lake City Way and crashed into a building near NE 110th Street. She was transported to Harborview with serious injuries.
The accident was first reported at 2:20 p.m.
As of 4:30 all lanes of Lake City Way were closed as officers investigated the scene.
The road reopened about 4:40 after being closed for more than two hours.
The building hit houses the Community Psychiatric Clinic. The building was being inspected after the accident to make sure it was safe to enter.
The photos below were tweeted by KIRO/7 reporter Alison Grande:
The car went off a rock embankment at Public Storage, across four lanes and hit the building, said Grande.
At about 4:40 p.m. Carolyn Hall Jensen from KING/5 tweeted that the road was open.
The photo below is courtesy of KIRO/7′s helicopter.
The accident scene, courtesy KIRO/7
A clipping from Jeffrey Linn’s Islands of Seattle map shows the hypothetical Lake City Bay and Thornton Bay, the result of the melt of all global ice sheets. (Click image to see full map)
You may have seen this map being shared in the last few days on social media.
Jeffrey Linn has created a unique look at Seattle. His “Islands of Seattle” shows what our city would look like if polar ice sheets all melted, raising the sea level —significantly.
While not something that is expected to happen in the next few millennia, a climate event of this magnitude, and the topography of North Seattle, would change Lake City Way into Lake City Bay. Cedar Park would become Cedar Heights Island and much of the Thornton Creek watershed would be underwater.
From Linn’s post on the University of Washington’s The Whole U blog:
This map is based on real-world information—I created the Seattle sea levels from publicly-available LiDAR data, rendering the rise of the seas in 10-foot increments for the animation, starting at the current shoreline, and ending with the 240-foot level. The Islands of Seattle poster was rendered at 240 feet of rise, which is roughly what would happen if all the world’s ice sheets melted.
Now this extreme event is not something to cause you to worry that your yard may be underwater in thousands of years. But it is an interesting look at what our small slice of the globe could look like in the distant future.
Linn said in his post:
I don’t know how long it would take for this to happen. One estimate says roughly 5,000 years. If this is accurate, then our descendants living with this level of sea rise would look back on our time in the same way that we might look back on the Early Dynastic Period of Egypt. The time of the pharaohs would be closer to us than the time of the Seattle Archipelago. So, although we should all be very concerned about the effects of climate change, including the resulting sea rise, don’t base your next apartment rental decision on this map.
You can view Linn’s map in much more detail here on his site.
A pedestrian island being installed on NE 125th Street at the intersection with 20th Avenue NE has promoted questions from Lake City residents. Some say the island makes using the turn lane difficult there. Others say the island is an obstacle that will likely damage cars.
Changes on the road have prompted much controversy in recent years as it was rechanneled from four car lanes to the current configuration of two travel lanes, a turn lane and two bike lanes.
Recently Brian Dougherty from SDOT provided the following answers about the island to the community.
Why did the crosswalk at 20th Avenue NE and NE 125th Street get marked?
There were no marked crosswalks across NE 125th Street between 25th Avenue NE and 15th Avenue NE – a distance of nearly half-mile. The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) marked the crosswalk and installed school crosswalk signs to make crossing the street easier, to improve pedestrian connections between neighborhoods, and to make the crossing safer and more appealing to existing and potential transit users. There are bus stops, a church and a child care center located at this intersection. The walk zone for Olympic Hills Elementary extends south of NE 125th Street and this marked crosswalk provides families living in the Victory Heights neighborhood a safer, more direct option for crossing NE 125th Street on foot.
Why is SDOT installing a pedestrian safety island at the marked crosswalk?
The island improves safety by providing two-stage crossing of NE 125th Street. This two-stage crossing gives people a place to stand and wait in the middle of the street where they are less exposed to moving traffic. Additionally, since the crossing may be used by families walking to Olympic Hills Elementary, SDOT is providing this additional safety feature to give families a safer way to cross the street.
Will this island restrict left turns at the intersection?
The pedestrian island has been designed to accommodate vehicles, including cars, SUVS, pickup trucks and delivery trucks, turning on and off NE 125th Street without hitting the island. Vehicles will have to slow down in order to access the turn pocket, which is a safety feature.
What are the benefits of this new pedestrian island?
Crossing the street can be a complex task for pedestrians. Pedestrians must estimate vehicle speeds, adjust their own walking speeds, determine adequacy of gaps in traffic, predict vehicle movements, and time their crossings appropriately. Drivers must see pedestrians, estimate vehicle and pedestrian speeds, determine the need for action, and react.
Raised medians and pedestrian refuge islands allow pedestrians to cross one direction of traffic at a time. This significantly reduces the complexity of the crossing. Federal Highway Administration research shows pedestrian islands have a 46 percent reduction in pedestrian crashes. Similar research found a reduction of motor vehicle crashes by 15 percent. These islands also visually narrow the street, reducing the number of people exceeding the speed limit.
Medians are especially important at transit stops. Transit stops are frequently located along busy streets. Providing medians can make these crossings safer and more appealing to existing and potential transit users.
Will there be additional enhancements to the pedestrian island?
At this time no additional enhancements are planned. SDOT plans to evaluate the crosswalk again in 2014 to determine if additional safety enhancements are needed.
Construction has started on a new sidewalk on the south side of NE 130th Street between 25th Avenue NE and 28th Avenue NE. The stretch of sidewalk will connect existing sidewalks and will provide a safer route for pedestrians walking between Olympic Hills Elementary and the Lake City Library and Community Center. Currently pedestrians must walk in the street to travel between the facilities.
The project includes building a new concrete sidewalk and planting strip on the south side of NE 130th Street between 25th Avenue NE & 28th Avenue NE. The project will also install new trees, ground cover and additional street lighting. The total cost for the project is expected to be around $735,000. It is expected to be complete in March.
SDOT applied for and received a grant from the Washington State Department of Transportation to build the sidewalk. The grant also includes funding for education and encouragement of walking and biking to school, additional traffic enforcement and formal evaluation of arrival and dismissal patterns at the school. SDOT’s partners in these efforts include Feet First, Cascade Bicycle Club, and the Seattle Police Department.
Construction was originally planned to start in 2013 but was delayed. Last summer neighbors rallied and helped a senior resident remove part of an elaborate garden she built that was along the route of the planned sidewalk. The sidewalk link is infrastructure that some longtime residents say they have been requesting for decades.
Joyce Hsu’s “Flyways.” Click image to see more about art project.
The sidewalk construction project will include a public art element. “Flyways” will be an installation by artist Joyce Hsu and is described as a free standing carousel of northern flicker birds mounted on top of a metal pole. It is planned to be installed at the intersection of NE 130th Street and 28th Avenue NE.
“It is my intention to create an artwork that is playful in look and field so as to attract the attention of school kids in addition to becoming an icon in the neighborhood,” said the artist in her proposal. Click here for more info on the art installation.
Click here for more information on the sidewalk project.
Neighbors try out the new crossing flags
Walking just got a little bit safer in Lake City, thanks to families who attend Olympic Hills Elementary School. New safety flags and flag buckets have been installed at 30th Ave NE and NE 137th St to help increase pedestrian visibility at that intersection. The bright orange flags were decorated in both English and Spanish by Olympic Hills Elementary students. The project is just one part of a Safe Routes to School Grant the school received from the WA Dept. of Transportation.
Neighbors identified this intersection as a particularly difficult one along 30th Ave NE, where cars often speed and there’s little pedestrian infrastructure. It’s also located in Little Brook, a high-density micro-community sandwiched between 30th Ave NE and Lake City Way. The area falls just on the cusp of the Seattle School District’s cut-off boundary for bussing, leaving many kids in Little Brook with a long walk to school. The Seattle Dept. of Transportation has promised to mark a crosswalk at this intersection, tentatively scheduled to be completed by the end of January.
A Walking School Bus on its way to Olympic Hills Elementary
A parent-led Walking School Bus has traveled this route regularly throughout the school year. Other Walking School Busses are active in the area too. Families participate weekly, meeting each other at designated locations throughout the neighborhood then walking to school together. Feet First, a non-profit organization promoting walkability, has been partnering with Olympic Hills on this and other projects. If you’d like to help out, there’s an MLK event planned for January 20th. Volunteers will gather to help clean up obstacles on one of the Oly Hills walking bus routes. For more information, contact email@example.com or call 206.652.2310 ext. 5.
The Safe Routes to School funding supports education and walk-to-school campaigns like these. Funding will also go to the construction of a new sidewalk, curb and street trees on NE 130th between 25th and 28th. Construction is just beginning and will provide a walkway connecting Olympic Hills Elementary to the Lake City Branch Library and Lake City’s retail core.