I just heard that some kind of neighborhood group up here has made a stink about Zoo Lights. Are you kidding me? We live 3 blocks from the zoo and I can't wait to go see it. Hey all you complainers - GET A LIFE! Go drive your Prius' to a new neighborhood, you pissed off old washed up hippies-turned-elitists.
I'm officially embarrassed to live on Phinney Ridge(25 posts)
What is the complaint? Too bright, electricity usage, traffic? I don't understand people getting complaining about neighborhood events like this.
Strange, what could you possibly complain about?
Xmas light displays are always magical during the holidays and it brings in revenue for the Zoo and neighborhood businesses.
I can't wait to go see it.
Not to mention my guess is both the zoo and zoo lights program were there before the people complaining.
Maybe the complainers ought to move to Monroe. Wait though, there's a fair there I think. Sedro Wooley?
Does anyone know the reasons for the stink? Are they concerned about parking? The animals? Something else?
Here's a forum post outlining at least one neighbor's complaints: http://www.phinneywood.com/forum/topic.php?id=76272.
I will say that having passed by Zoo Lights before it opened, the portable lights added to the parking lot were comically bright -- probably a painful surprise for the people who live across the street.
Reported on KIRO 7 two Sundays ago. According to the Phinney Ridge Community Council, the lights will cause traffic and parking headaches.
I think folks who say things like,
Go drive your Prius' to a new neighborhood, you pissed off old washed up hippies-turned-elitists.
are more of an embarrassment to the neighborhood then those that may / or may not have a valid complaint
Well said, RichY.
That corner of Woodland Park should be either a zoological park or an amusement park--not both. It saddens me how few of these posts seem to take into account the animals with their extraordinary senses that 'live' in the park. It strikes me the animals are all too often an afterthought when really they're the main event and should be treated as such.
We went to WildLights on Wednesday for the members preview event. For those concerned about the impact of the lights on the animals, the lights are actually not near most of the animals. They are set up in the field where the ZooTunes concerts take place, and then north along the path to just past the carousel, and south to Zoomazium. I think the only animals around that area are the penguins, and they were not in their enclosure when we were there. There are also some lights set up in the portion of the old Day/Night exhibit that no longer houses any animals. And, the only animals we could see while we were there for WildLights were the animals in the Day exhibit (e.g., snakes and turtles); there were no special lights in that area.
Overall, it was a nice event, but we thought Garden D'Lights at the Bellevue Botanical Garden is a more impressive and artistic display. I will say that parking looks like it may be difficult -- it was quite crowded for the members' preview (of course, it was the first day in weeks it wasn't pouring).
I'd be more concerned about the strange men that live in the park. Saw one put the Phinney Market sign out into Phinney Ave tonight.
I am one of the persons who has complained. I live directly across the street from the entrance to the zoo.
The Zoo did not have the courtesy to notify ANY neighbor that I know of that they were even planning a 40 night long event. I only found out a few weeks ago thanks to an email from the Neighborhood Center.
A zootunes concert has, on occasion, put the immediate vicinity in gridlock, not to mention the parking issue. I don't have off-street parking. I also don't have a prius - just an old van, small children and an elderly parent to taxi about. Some of the projected numbers the Zoo put out for their Wildlites nights far surpassed a sold out concert. Granted, this has not happened yet - the weather has sucked for one - and many people have not heard about it yet. ( Wonder why? They didn't tell anyone until it was a done deal! )
I wrote and asked questions once I found out about it. I never received any answers.
I am concerned about the parking, but even more, I am concerned that an ongoing public event which is bound to have an impact on the surrounding neighborhood was pushed through whatever channels it went through with NO PUBLIC INPUT.
It is a fun thing to do, it has created jobs - a member of my household got a job there - it hopefully will bring people to patronize other local businesses (the pie shop! yeah! ) ... and that is all good... but
REMEMBER.... this is the same zoo that tried to build a 4 story PARKING GARAGE.
In any case, it is happening. I hope it doesn't bother the animals.
How long have Zoo Tunes and Zoo Lights been going on? I'd say it stands to reason that any time you live near an attraction, there could be consequence. Heck, we live near a church/school that puts on annual events that involve singers/bands (can hear it as I try to sleep), draws crowds so people are parked illegally on our street, and have rides so the sound of children screaming permeates whatever tranquility is left. It's a relatively small inconvenience and we choose to live where we live so it's really on us to go elsewhere if it's that bad. It's bad enough, too, living near apartment buildings.People seem to have more cars than spaces provided, and many times those apartment people block part of our driveway. It's not just zoo traffic that messes things up, sometimes it's your neighbors too.
What would be so horrible about a parking garage for the zoo? It might stop the cluster of people slowing up to look for places to park, the cars have to go somewhere. Is there a better way? If so, what would that be?
Jeb29, from WPZ web:
Introducing Seattle's first ever winter lights festival at the zoo! WildLights features wild animals and wild places recreated in thousands of sparkling LED lights.
The Zoo has a bit of a history of NOT working with the neighborhood on events, parking and so on, I think that is why some folks are upset.
Ah, thank you RichY. I did a bit of searching but overlooked the obvious.
@Jeb29 - a parking garage bigger than the one at Northgate - that would have taken over the northern areas of the zoo - bigger footprint than the norse home - that would have stood empty most of the time anyways 'cause of parking fees (can't compete with free street parking).
You are right however, if one doesn't like it one should move.
Really, "if one doesn't like it, one should move"? The light show marks a major change for the zoo -- 40 straight days of extending open hours well into the evening. Previous zoo events have been one night per week (Zootunes) or three evenings (Pumpkin Prowl, now converted to the daytime event Pumpkin Bash). It is a big change, and I don't think neighbors are out of line asking why the zoo can do this without any sort of warning or mitigation plan.
It's true we all live in an urban area, and putting up with others' noise, events, and resulting traffic is part of the deal and part of what makes it a great neighborhood. But church fairs, merchant art walks, community garage sales, school carnivals and the like don't hog nearby areas for more than a long weekend at the absolute most, and most groups schedule no more than a couple events annually. I think we all like WPZ pretty well, but why does the zoo feel it can impose events on the surrounding area so frequently and for such a long time?
I am just so discouraged at the non-response I received. NO ONE answered any of the polite inquires I wrote. Did not even receive an acknowledgement of receipt!
And now to make matters worse... I don't know what they are doing construction wise (going to walk over and ask in a moment) but there is some sort of road construction going on down Phinney south of 60th and parking on the west side is gone. I am not allowed to park on 56th during the day now until the 31st?
angeline, I think so. It's a risk any time you move next to/near to an attraction. Even just normal church things (festivals aside) are bad around here. People double parking, not obeying traffic laws/speeds and don't even get me started on parents picking up their children after school. When we move, and we will at some point, these will be things to take into consideration. I don't see us moving near a church, school, mall, attraction, even apartment buildings. All of these things you have little control over and tend to have higher than average traffic.
As far as competing with street parking goes, if the zoo could do more of a "polite" version of the structure would that be better? Street parking could then be zoned and cited vehicles could be revenue for the city and parking fees could be revenue for the zoo. Most places charge to park and that might lighten up the parking situation there. If people don't like it, there is always the bus.
.... I went up and asked the construction guys what they are doing - seems new gaslines are being installed - earthquake pre-cautions.
I'm all for that - but kind of bad communication between the city and zoo on parking availability!
I really don't know how most of you do it with the parking. We're up enough and off the main drag so it isn't an issue. Plus, we have driveways to park in. There's times when I go to pilates or we go out to dinner (and drive) that it's next to impossible to find somewhere to park! I can only imagine what it's like carrying groceries or what it's like after a Costco run.
Seems like a business or attraction that gets people who might stay over 4-5 hours, should be obligated to provide parking. And it also seems like those people wanting free parking shouldn't get that choice, the residents come first. More and more I see zone restrictions or 1-2 hours parking only on neighborhood streets. Maybe it's time to see about doing that?
The Zoo coulda had a garage: when the City turned over management of the zoo to the Zoo Society they granted the society's wish to have a parking garage with the proviso that constituents from the surrounding neighborhoods (Fremont, Wallingford, Green Lake and Phinney Ridge) be included in the planning. That partnership resulted in a plan for an underground parking garage at the south end of the zoo adjacent to the main entrance on 50th. But, when the proposal was presented to the city (Nickels?) it was deemed too expensive and the Zoo and Parks were instructed to come up with something cheaper. That's when the four-story above ground garage similar in size to the N'gate garage was hatched with NO input from the neighborhoods! Ken Bounds parks superintendent at the time said the new 'design' would have to be rolled out very carefully because the neighborhood was going to come 'unglued' when they got wind of it. So, with a bare minimum of notice and during a holiday the city noticed the neighbors about the new garage. Fortunately this is a neighborhood where people talk to each other and despite the city's attempt to slip the garage through unnoticed word got around very quickly and yes we did come unglued. The next meeting of the Phinney Ridge Community Council was standing room only. A core group of activists emerged from that meeting and though it was exhausting and daunting and time consuming the neighborhood prevailed and a hearing examiner ultimately stopped a huge, crude, cheap four-story above ground garage from being built in our beautiful Olmsted park.
Here's another reason I don't personally trust the zoo society. Twenty years ago the understanding was the zoo concerts would be strictly acoustic. Over the years they have become progressively more amplified and loud. I live three blocks from the zoo and whereas I never used to hear the concerts I can now hear the concerts word-for-word (and that in itself doesn't concern me but I am concerned for the animals).
As a neighbor the Zoo should be respectful of their other neighbors. The have been reckless in their approach to the neighborhood and I think they need to be reined in. I think the people impacted have good reason to complain. Based on their track record my guess is that within a couple of more years the Zoo will come up with more ways to be a bad neighbor.
Seattle Times articles Sun, Mon, and Tues
'Glamour Beasts: The dark side of captivity'
That underground garage would have been great. By now, it would have probably been paid for as well. The problem with any parking the zoo does is that they want to charge 4 or 5 dollars for it - add that to the price of admission and patrons will always use street parking.
I find "my" parking area (the area in front of my house which actually can park about 4 cars) is now often taken up during the weekdays by zoo employees. I have heard rumor that some of the employee parking at the north end went for public parking when the garage got nixed.
Permits and zoning were looked into a while back, but they require that every household pay for it - not just those of us who have cars - and as I understood it, it was a yearly fee and not cheap.
@Jeb29 - Personally, I plan things like Costco runs around sunny days and zoo concerts. Never on a weekend, never on a zoo event. That is what makes this 40 nights long event so... irritating. So far, there has only been two nights where I came home and had to haul stuff over a block - it was sort of nice out so people came to zoolights. All the other times it has been raining so no problem (yet) to park. I am thinking once school is out for the winter break, that may change. Kind of a don't know until it happens things. The construction just adds to the issue.
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