A news blog for Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods


Aurora Avenue will be down to just one southbound lane on Wednesday and Thursday

October 7th, 2014 by Doree

If you’re heading downtown on Wednesday and Thursday, be prepared for congestion as Aurora Avenue will be restricted to one southbound lane so Seattle Department of Transportation can repair the pavement in the southbound lanes between North 40th and 41st streets. Work will take place between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. both days, weather permitting.

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GAIN hosting informational meeting on sex workers in North Seattle

June 18th, 2014 by Doree

GAIN (Greenwood Aurora Involved Neighbors) North is hosting an informational meeting on a “multifaceted approach” to sex workers in North Seattle from 7-9 p.m. Monday, June 23, at Uppercrust Catering, 8420 Greenwood Ave. N.

Seattle Police Department North Precinct Officers Brandon Gordon, Dave Gordon and Sergeant Newsom will present information, along with Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, representatives from The Organization for Prostitution Survivors, and Ben Katt of Aurora Commons, a “neighborhood living room” at 8914 Aurora Ave. N.

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Watch out for construction on Aurora as crews complete RapidRide pedestrian improvements

November 13th, 2013 by Doree

Seattle Department of Transportation and King County Metro crews are installing a number of pedestrian improvements along Aurora Avenue, getting ready for Metro’s RapidRide Line E route, which begins service in early 2014.

The improvements include the installation of a new traffic signal at the intersection of North 95th Street and Aurora Avenue North, along with a number of new sidewalks on Aurora and some of its side streets. These sidewalks, where existing sidewalks are substandard or don’t exist, will give transit riders a safer and more pleasant path to and from their RapidRide stops on Aurora.

The project will also add a number of federally mandated Americans with Disabilities (ADA) curb ramps (although not at every Aurora intersection). Finally, the project provides funding for additional bus arrival signs along the corridor. Construction will be completed by the end of 2014.

The E Line will operate along Aurora between the Aurora Village Transit Center and downtown Seattle. Like other RapidRide routes, it is intended to improve transit speed and reliability, all intended to make travel by public transit more appealing to commuters.

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Minor injuries when car hit light pole at Green Lake yesterday

October 15th, 2013 by Doree

A woman received minor injuries when her car jumped the curb and hit a light pole on Aurora Avenue North by Green Lake just before 5 p.m. Monday. Chris sent us a photo of the scene.


Seattle Fire Department Public Information Office Kyle Moore tells us the woman, who was in her 50’s, was taken to Virginia Mason in stable condition. She was able to get out of the car on her own before firefighters arrived. No one else was injured.

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MOHAI leading walking tour of Aurora Avenue: ‘Life on Seattle’s Mother Road’

August 15th, 2013 by Doree

The Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) will lead a walking tour of Aurora Avenue/Highway 99 called “Aurora: Life on Seattle’s Mother Road,” from 6-8 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 21.

It’s part of MOHAI’s Neighborhood History Tour series, and will “explore the history of this once important Puget Sound lifeline and illustrate how it has affected the growth of our neighborhoods.”

Thousands of drivers use Aurora Avenue every day: it’s a vital traffic corridor. Yet few understand how a city street can be as controversial as this one. Aurora plays host to a broad and colorful spectrum of Seattle characters. It’s been called “visual garbage.” But it is also an essential place to people who live in and love, Seattle. Historian Roger van Oosten will give an informative, witty, and fun tour of the heart of Aurora, offering insight into why this historic Mother Road is vital to Seattle’s past, present and future.

Cost is $15 for MOHAI members; $20 general. You can buy tickets online. Meet at the corner of Stone Avenue North and North 90th Street. The tour covers approximately two-and-a-half miles.

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SDOT working on Aurora Avenue improvements this week

August 11th, 2013 by Doree

Seattle Department of Transportation will begin work this week on Aurora Avenue North improvements, including installing Business Access and Transit (BAT) lanes, adding signal priority for Metro buses, and retiming corridor traffic signals.

Beginning September 8, BAT lanes will be in operation for the north and southbound directions on Aurora between N 38th and N 115th streets during peak travel times – 6-9 a.m. and 3-7 p.m. BAT lanes are reserved for buses and right-turning vehicles. The exception will be the southbound BAT lanes between N 77th and N 72nd streets, which will be activated only during the morning peak period until parking in this area is further evaluated.

Once the BAT lanes are operating, SDOT will retime signals to keep traffic moving and reduce travel times for all users of Aurora. During the fall, SDOT will install transit signal priority systems to enable traffic signals to detect approaching buses and extend a green light or end a red light early. This will improve service and reduce delays for transit users.

Following installation of the BAT lanes and traffic signal retiming, King County Metro will start RapidRide E Line service on Aurora Avenue N in February 2014, replacing Route 358.

Details of the project schedule are as follows:
• August 12, 2013: SDOT will begin removing existing signs and roadway striping, and installing new signs and striping. Medians also will be installed at Aurora/N. 87thand Aurora/N. 88th to improve safety. The expected duration of the work is three weeks, ending on September 6. Temporary parking restrictions will occur during construction.

• September 8, 2013: SDOT will open the BAT lanes.

• September 8-27, 2013: SDOT will adjust traffic signals based on the new roadway configuration and traffic queues.

• Fall 2013: SDOT will install and configure transit signal priority systems.

• February 15, 2014: King County Metro will begin RapidRide E Line service.


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Take SDOT survey on Aurora Avenue changes

July 3rd, 2013 by Doree

Seattle Department of Transportation is making changes to Aurora Avenue North before launching the RapidRide E Line next year. You can take a survey about the changes. The public comment period ends Friday, July 12.

As part of the development of King County Metro’s RapidRide E Line project along Aurora Avenue North, we are working with Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) to implement traffic signal timing improvements and peak period Business Access and Transit (BAT) lanes between N 38th Street and N 115th Street. The E Line replaces Route 358 in February 2014. The E Line will operate between Shoreline’s Aurora Village Transit Center and downtown Seattle.

RapidRide features high-frequency service, off-board fare payment at RapidRide stations, and systems that integrate the buses with traffic signals and signs.

Recommendations by SDOT:

  • Adjust timing of traffic signals for all lanes to keep vehicles moving
  • New traffic signals to detect approaching transit and extend a green light or end a red light early
  • Implement peak period BAT lanes: morning (6-9 a.m.) and evening (3-7 p.m.)

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Phinney Ridge Community Council meets Tuesday to discuss Aurora Corridor Improvement Project

June 30th, 2013 by Doree

The Phinney Ridge Community Council meets Tuesday night with Jonathan Dong from Seattle Department of Transportation giving a presentation about coming traffic and parking changes to Aurora Avenue North.

The meeting is at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Phinney Neighborhood Association, 6532 Phinney Ave. N., in the Blue Building, downstairs in the Blue Room.

As part of a strategy for making travel on Aurora more efficient and reliable for all users, SDOT is recommending traffic signal timing improvements for all lanes and the implementation of peak period Business Access and Transit (BAT) lanes between N. 38th Street and N. 115th Street. BAT lanes will support King County Metro’s new RapidRide E Line bus service which will begin February 2014. Aurora Avenue North is among the most heavily used transportation corridors in King County.

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63rd Street underpass mural meeting coming up on April 22

April 15th, 2013 by Doree

Volunteers with the 63rd Street Mural Project are ready to move forward with plans to paint a new mural on the Aurora Avenue underpass. They’ve got a meeting set up from 6:30-7:30 p.m. on Monday, April 22, at the Phinney Neighborhood Association, 6532 Phinney Ave. N., in Room 3 of the Blue Building.

Come and discuss the latest plans for the new mural at the 63rd Street/Aurora underpass. What will it look like? Who will paint it? One side or two? What is the theme? Your attendance counts toward our match of the city’s grant, so let’s pack the room!

The previous mural on the site was painted over after repeatedly being hit by graffiti.

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Aurora Avenue RapidRide open house at Bitter Lake CC next week

March 13th, 2013 by Doree

Seattle Department of Transportation will hold an open house on March 20 about planning for the Aurora RapidRide E Line. It will connect Shoreline’s Aurora Village Transit Center and downtown Seattle along Aurora Avenue North.

Come to the open house to see the plans for bus stop improvements and pedestrian amenities and ask questions of planners.

The open house is from 5-6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 20, at the Bitter Lake Community Center, 13035 Linden Ave. N.

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Road crews to fix sidewalk at 85th Street and Aurora Avenue this weekend

February 21st, 2013 by Doree

Seattle Department of Transportation crews will remove loose curb and uplifted sidewalk on the east side of Aurora Avenue North just south of North 85th Street this weekend.

SDOT crews will begin work at 8 a.m. Saturday. On Sunday, SDOT’s Urban Forestry crews will remove a sweet gum tree which has caused the curb and sidewalk damage. Two northbound lanes of Aurora Avenue will be closed from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

Crews will form the new sidewalk and curb the following weekend, March 2-3. Expect some congestion and slower traffic in the work zone both weekends.

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Pedestrian hit by car on Aurora, then possible DUI driver hits police car at scene

October 24th, 2012 by Doree

Seattle Police had to deal with two incidents on Aurora Avenue North at the east edge of Woodland Park Zoo last night. First, a pedestrian trying to cross Aurora was hit by a car. Then, while investigating, a suspected DUI driver tried to drive around the roadblock and hit a police car.

Here’s what the SPD Blotter had to say about the first incident.

An adult man attempting to cross the 5900 Block of Aurora Avenue North last night was struck by a car travelling southbound, causing life-threatening injuries.

At about 9:15 last night, the pedestrian was attempting to cross Aurora when he was hit by a Subaru travelling southbound. The pedestrian sustained life-threatening injuries and was transported to Harborview Medical Center by Seattle Fire Department Medics. The driver of the Subaru was evaluated at the scene by a Drug Recognition Expert officer, and it was determined that there were no signs of intoxication on the part of the driver. The driver was interviewed and released from the scene, pending further investigation. The Subaru was impounded as evidence. Detectives from the Traffic Collision Investigation Squad (TCIS) responded to the scene and began their investigation. This remains an active and on-going TCIS investigation.

And then this:

While officers were busy investigating the earlier mentioned car/pedestrian collision on Aurora, a female driver and her passenger attempted to drive past the patrol cars and police line on Aurora, and ended up striking the rear of one of the patrol cars. The driver then continued to drive while her car was straddling the center median before she was stopped by detectives in the next block.

Despite the fact that there were patrol cars with flashing lights, police tape, flares, and traffic cones all put in place to direct traffic and protect the crime scene, the female driver and her passenger drove through the scene at approximately 25 mph, and struck the rear bumper of the patrol car. The driver was able to drive her car while straddling the median, before finally being stopped by Traffic Collision Investigation Squad (TCIS) detectives at N. 60th and Aurora. The driver was evaluated and processed for DUI. The female passenger in the car was arrested for obstructing and outstanding warrants. The officer who was seated in the struck patrol car was treated for minor injuries at a local hospital and released.

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