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.
|click to enlarge|
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
Saturday’s open house for the Lake City Visioning project was a great success. The event drew some 75 people (on a sunny day) to review the work of UW Architecture and Planning grad student Katy Haima on a vision for redevelopment of the Pierre family properties on Lake City Way.
Katy displayed her work in 3 stations, looking at Land Use and Programming; Urban Design and Density; Open Space and Circulation. A brief questionnaire helped attendees state preferences and generate their own ideas based on broad concepts and specific examples. Mapping exercises were set up, and Katy and other students gave brief presentations. There was also a display of some of the work of the Landscape Architecture students who recently worked in Lake City on creating and linking open spaces.
This event was an important milestone in the ongoing work by neighbors and by facilitators like Katy to create a vision for the future of Lake City Way. Katy’s work brought many of us closer to understanding how we can participate in the transformation of our community.
There will be more opportunities to work with Katy as she finalizes her project—and more ways to be involved as we get closer to redevelopment. Stay tuned.
Neighborhood website Families for Lake City has a good post on the new Jackson Park Golf Course perimeter trail. We decided to visit the new trail with our camera on Monday (photos above and below).
The new 2.2 mile trail is a perfect spot for an evening stroll, a place to walk your (leashed) dog or take the kiddos on an urban adventure. In fact, on Monday there were dozens of people, pets and children walking, running and exploring on the new path.
The Families for Lake City post says that area residents have been “so eager to utilize the trail that Dept. of Parks and Recreation (DPR) staff decided to implement a ‘soft opening.’”
Even though the trail is still being tweaked and finalized pedestrians are allowed access to the entire loop. Garrett Farrell, DPR’s manager for the trail project, said that a formal opening will be scheduled for late spring or early summer. The finished trail will also include an art component created by Celeste Cooning which has not been installed yet.
The trail is made of compacted gravel with steps to help get up steeper areas.
You can read more about the trail in the FFLC post, including information on how to become involved in helping maintain the new public asset by clicking here.
More photos of the wonderful new trail below.
|Janine Blaeloch gives a presentation during the meeting.|
|Lake City Baptist Church on 125th and 25th|
|Eating / sleeping quarters on lower level of church|
The City of Seattle has partnered with the Washington Traffic Safety Commission and the Washington State Department of Transportation to launch a multi year Corridor Safety Project on Lake City Way. This program will be similar to the recently completed Aurora Traffic Safety Project.
The goal of the project is to reduce collisions by 25% along LCW from 75th to 145th by:
The Taskforce has met twice to date now – On Wednesday, January 16th and Wednesday, February 13th at the Lake City Community Center from 4 to 6 pm. The Taskforce will be meeting for 6 months to come up with an action plan.
At the first meeting, a presentation of the collision data was made. It showed what kinds of collisions were happening, where they happened, what time and conditions, age of involved parties, whether cyclists or pedestrians were involved, and if there were fatalities or injuries. The data showed that LCW has a higher rate of collisions than similar corridors.
At the second meeting, there were three break out groups to identify issues related to enforcement, education, and engineering. The results will be made public soon and will be posted on this site.
The next meeting time and date is to be announce for mid March. It will be a bus tour down LCW to look closer at the locations identified as having issues.
If you would like to be involved on the Taskforce, or just receive updates, please contact the project manager ( Jim Curtin ) at firstname.lastname@example.org