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


Neighborhood ‘greenway’ coming to Greenwood-Phinney

February 3rd, 2012 by Doree

A neighborhood “greenway” is coming to Greenwood and Phinney Ridge, and you can help make it happen. The next meeting of our neighborhood greenway group is from 6-7:45 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 9, at the Greenwood Library, 8016 Greenwood Ave. N.

The City of Seattle is creating 11 miles of greenways through seven neighborhoods this year as part of a pilot program. Greenwood-Phinney’s greenway could be along 1st Avenue NW from NW 85th Street to NW 58th Street.

“Greenways connect parks and schools, community centers and neighborhood business districts. Neighborhood Greenways help with transportation, and they help with getting people where they want to go within their own communities,” City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw said in a recent press release.

The Neighborhood Greenways under SDOT review total 11 miles: seven miles in Ballard, Beacon Hill, Greenwood, North Delridge, Wallingford, and the University District and an additional four miles in Laurelhurst (funded by Seattle Children’s Hospital). These projects are intended to form the backbone of a new network of Greenways that effectively connect people to the places they want to go by giving them a choice to travel on quieter, safer streets around the city.

Neighborhood Greenways are slow-speed, low-traffic residential streets made even more pleasant for the people who live, walk, and bike on them. By adding new park-like amenities and limiting cut-through traffic, Greenways are naturally attractive both for families, and for anyone seeking a safer, more connected community experience. By placing Greenways a block or two away from major arterials, Neighborhood Greenways create a great option for people who prefer to walk or bike away from congested streets. While many new dedicated walking and bicycling trails are beyond the reach of our City’s budget, 10 miles of Greenways can be built for the cost of a single mile of new trail, offering the potential to bring a high-quality network to all Seattle neighborhoods at a comparatively low cost. Greenways have the potential to serve neighborhoods where many people cannot afford a car. Neighborhood access by emergency service vehicles and freight delivery vehicles — and parking — is preserved along Greenways.

Motivated by concerns for public safety and a grassroots movement of citizens across Seattle demanding greater community connection, SDOT staff has been studying how other cities link people with their desired neighborhood destinations. By 2015 in Portland, for example, 85% of all residents will live within a half-mile of a Greenway. Portland’s safe streets policies have made streets safer for everyone whether they choose to walk, ride a bicycle, or drive. Portland’s traffic fatality rate is falling six times faster than the rest of the United States. Infrastructure that makes it safer for walking and bicycling automatically benefits drivers through improved safety and saved lives.

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Seattle Neighborhood Greenways meeting tonight at Greenwood Library

January 4th, 2012 by Doree

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways is hosting an informational meeting from 6-7:30 p.m. tonight at the Greenwood Library. The organization is a coalition of neighborhood groups working towards creating a network of greenways throughout the city.

This is an opportunity for our local neighborhood walking and biking experts to come together to learn what greenways are, meet one another, map out their favorite routes around the ridge and determine if and how they might want to contribute their expertise to this growing, citywide effort.

Many people say they would like to ride bikes and walk as part of their everyday errands, but also say they don’t feel safe doing so with the current bike infrastructure that mixes fast moving traffic with vulnerable users — children, seniors, families and other cautious people uncomfortable with the status quo of bike lanes and “sharrows” positioned on arterials.

An ideal solution to encouraging many more people to safely begin biking and walking for everyday transportation is the creation of an interconnected citywide network of Neighborhood Greenways — low volume, traffic calmed roads, typically one street off of arterials, connecting local destinations within neighborhoods and surrounding neighborhoods to each other. Greenways can incorporate water runoff treatments such as bio-swales and linear parks along with tree plantings to clean the air and water.

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Cyclist ends 4,200-mile ride across America at Broadview-Thomson School

November 15th, 2011 by Doree

Chris Figureida rode his bicycle 4,200 miles from Maine to Seattle, speaking to thousands of students along the way about the benefits of eating healthy and exercising. He ended his journey on Monday afternoon at Broadview-Thomson School, just north of Greenwood.

Chris Figureida shows his cycling route on a map. Photos courtesy of the American Heart Association.

Figureida’s “Cycle For Heart” tour was in support of the American Heart Association and Rotary International. He met with 40,000 students across the U.S. About 200 of them were at Broadview-Thomson, where he told the students that his ride took 81 days, required him to eat 4,000 calories of food each day, and he drank only water (not sugary sodas).

Figureida encourages the students to flex their muscles.

His equipment included his bike, a tent, GPS, cell phone, iPad, and a solar charger for batteries. He bought all his food at stores along the way.

Next year, Figureida plans to bike from California to Mt. McKinley in Alaska and back, and speak to school children along the way about being healthy and active.

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West Woodland celebrates International Walk to School Day – and Daniel Bagley, too

October 5th, 2011 by Doree

Schools around the country celebrated International Walk to School day today. In South Phinney/East Ballard, West Woodland Elementary School counted more than 250 students who walked or biked to school.

The bikes started piling up outside West Woodland’s doors this morning. Photo by Anastasia Schemkes.

Students received special stickers from parent coordinators and the Sierra Club this morning as they arrived at school. The Sierra Club is promoting its “Beyond Oil” work to get more people out of their cars.

October is Walk and Wheel month, and most schools are encouraging students to walk or bike to school instead of having mom and dad drive them. Thirteen Seattle Public elementary schools have special events planned this month.

If you’ve got photos of Walk to School events from your school, please email them to us.

Updated Thursday: We just got some photos from Daniel Bagley Elementary in Green Lake, which pulls kids from Greenwood and Phinney Ridge, too. Bagley mom Lexy reports that more than 150 students walked to school yesterday, many of them as part of a Walking School Bus.

Two Walking School Bus routes converged about 1/2 mile from school to form a mega-bus of 50 kids and 20 parents. That’s one way to stop traffic on Aurora!

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Phinney-Greenwood one of top neighborhoods in city’s Walk Bike Ride Challenge

August 4th, 2011 by Doree

Seattle Department of Transportation’s “Walk Bike Ride Challenge” program challenges people to get out of their cars for the summer, and they’re even having a friendly neighborhood competition to see who can save the most car trips or car miles.

So far, Phinney-Greenwood is in the top two or three neighborhoods in certain categories:

  • #2 for the number of participants signed up
  • #3 for trips switched to walking, biking or riding
  • #3 for miles of driving saved
  • 4,850 miles of driving saved so far

The graph below shows PhinneyWood in third place for miles of driving saved (behind Queen Anne and Ballard). The SDOT blog shows a graph of the number of trips switched by neighborhood.

Sign up for Walk Bike Ride and you’ll receive weekly emails with encouragement and tips, and for every trip you switch you earn a chance to win prizes like an electric bike, iPad, one-night stay at the Pan Pacific Hotel and more.

Check out the Seattle Walking Map and the Seattle Bike Map to help you get around. Walk Bike Ridge goes through the end of August.

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Not too late to sign up for the Walk Bike Ride Challenge

July 6th, 2011 by Doree

Seattle’s Department of Transportation is encouraging people to walk, bike or ride public transit in July and August to get in shape, reduce greenhouse gases, and save money on gas and car repairs.

Enter the Walk Bike Ride Challenge, switch at least two car trips per week to walking, biking or riding transit, and be entered to win one of the following:

  • Electric bike from e-Moto
  • Apple iPad
  • Pan Pacific Hotel stay
  • Zipcar $250 gift card
  • REI $100 gift card
  • Nordstrom’s $100 gift card (supplied by Commute Seattle)
  • $100 gift card good at seven farmers’ markets

“Summer is a great time to try walking, biking or riding transit to work, to get to know your neighborhood and to start lifetime habits that keep you healthy,” Seattle City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen said in a press release.

Those entering the challenge get weekly emails with tips on walking, biking and riding and can track their individual progress and the program’s collective impact online. The more trips one reports, the higher the chance they have of winning.

The WBR Challenge is part of the Seattle Department of Transportation’s Way to Go, Seattle! program. It encourages people to walk, bike, ride transit and carpool more by offering incentives, tools and information and runs on a two month cycle. The current cycle is for July and August.

Click here to sign up for the Walk Bike Ride Challenge.

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Stumbling Goat, Barking Dog participating in Spoke & Food fundraiser

June 24th, 2011 by Doree

The second annual Spoke & Food event is coming up from 5-10 p.m. next Tuesday. If you ride your bike to any participating restaurant, they’ll donate 20 percent of your bill to the Children’s Garden Education program at Seattle Tilth.

In our neighborhood, Stumbling Goat Bistro and Barking Dog Alehouse are participating.

Billed as “an evening of dining and bikes”, the event will take place in 13+ different Seattle area neighborhoods. The event asks people to bicycle to (and from) one of the “host” restaurants on the night of the event. This community event was launched last year as a way to influence the culture of Seattle, to show how easy and fun bicycling to and from dinner is and to raise money for a well-deserving Seattle area non-profit. A new non-profit beneficiary is selected each year. This year’s event will benefit the Children’s Garden Education program at Seattle Tilth whereas last year’s event benefited the Lettuce Link program at Solid Ground.

More restaurants may be added before Tuesday. Check the Spoke & Food website for the most up-to-date list.

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Community News: foreign language story time, restaurant news

June 16th, 2011 by Doree

Here’s a short roundup of news tidbits from the neighborhood.

Polly-Glots (a Phinney Ridge-based business offering foreign language classes for children) is offering free summertime French and Spanish story times at Childish Things, 10002 Holman Road NW. Story times are from 10-10:30 a.m.: French – Tuesday, July 5 and Tuesday, Aug. 2; Spanish – Wednesday, July 13, and Wednesday, Aug. 10.

Spoke & Food – an evening of dining & biking” is coming up again on Tuesday, June 28. Bike to a designated restaurant (including Stumbling Goat Bistro at 6722 Greenwood Ave. N.) from 5-10 p.m. and the restaurant will donate 20 percent of the proceeds to the children’s garden education program at Seattle Tilth.

The Olive and Grape at 8516 Greenwood Ave. N. is now offering some of its signature dishes for customers to take home and grill themselves.

Take home your favorites for dad or any outdoor event!

Choose from the favorites–Adana Kabab, Chicken or Beef Shish, Kofte meatballs, Lamb Cop Sis–and we’ll prep them especially for you. Then, fire up your grill and wow your guests.

Give us a call for more information: (206) 724-0272.

Fatty’s Corner Pizzeria, at the corner of Greenwood Avenue North and North 105th Street, has closed. According to Fatty’s website, the restaurant closed on May 14.

To Fatty’s customers and friends,

It is with regret that we must inform you of our closing. Our last day in operation was this past Saturday, May 14th. We appreciate your patronage and support over the past year and we thank you for making it a memorable experience for us. If you happen to find some real NY style pizza in the Seattle area, let us know and we’ll join you for a slice.

Much love,
The Fatty’s Crew

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PNA challenges neighbors to compete during Bike Month

May 11th, 2011 by Doree

May is Bike Month, and the Phinney Neighborhood Association is challenging neighbors to compete with them. Even though we’re partway through the month, if you’ve already signed up for Bike Month, you can still join the PNA’s team.

For the first time, the PNA will be fielding a team for the Group Health Commute Challenge, a month-long challenge organized by the Cascade Bicycle Club. Each team member commits to biking to work at least four times during the month, and the more miles we bike, the higher we rank against other teams throughout Seattle. There are great prizes and events, plus the fun of joining over 10,000 other bike commuters in the region during the month.

We’re issuing a challenge to our neighbors, both businesses and residents: form a team and compete with us in the Commute Challenge this May! When you sign up, join the Phinney-Greenwood “League” through the online portal, and we’ll see who bikes the most miles, the most days, and who recruits the most new commuters.

If you do start bike commuting, make sure to stop by our commute station on May 20, Bike to Work Day. We’ll be set up in Heart of Phinney Park at 67th & Greenwood from 6-9am.

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Seattle Electric Bike opens on 8th Avenue NW

April 13th, 2011 by Doree

Seattle Electric Bike just opened its doors in the space formerly occupied by JRA Bike Shop, 8310 8th Ave. NW., which recently moved two doors down.

Seattle Electric Bike is an Ohm Electric Bike factory store. It is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, from 12-5 p.m. Sunday and Monday, and by appointment for personalized test rides.

We’ve been trading messages with the owners for several days, so we’ll update this post with more information when we finally make contact.

Owner Stefan Schlesinger says he always loved riding his bike from his home on Whidbey Island to his job as a psychotherapist in Seattle, but the abundance of hills didn’t always make it practical.

“I had ridden from New Orleans to Seattle as a young man, so I figured, Seattle hills, no problem,” he said with a laugh.

So he started looking into electric bikes and found Ohm in British Columbia. He partnered with JRA Bike Shop to show Ohm’s bikes. Then, when JRA moved a couple of doors down recently, Schlesinger decided to move into JRA’s old spot.

Seattle Electric Bike is the only Ohm factory store in the U.S.

Ohm bikes use lithium ion batteries, which are much lighter than other types of bike batteries. “These are the lightest electric bikes on the market,” he said. “In Seattle it is very difficult to cycle because of the hills. This makes it easy. As soon as it senses some kind of strain it kicks in.”

Thanks to Rachel for the tip!

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Bike riding, maintenance classes at Phinney Center

April 5th, 2011 by Doree

The Phinney Neighborhood Center is partnering with Cascade Bicycle Club to provide three bike classes this month, from basic bike maintenance to bike commuting.

The classes are part of the Let’s Bike Phinney-Greenwood campaign, which will include several more events to celebrate Bike Month in May. Register by calling the PNA at 206-783-2244.

  • Intro to Bike Commuting – 6:30-8 p.m., Wed., April 13, Room 6, PNA Blue Building; $30 PNA member, $35 public: Want to know more about what it takes to commute by bicycle? Feel like you’re ready to try it, but need a few pointers? We’ll provide an overview of how to equip your bike, carry gear and outfit yourself, to ensure that you’re visible and arrive at your destination ready for action. Presentation only, no bicycle needed to attend.
  • Basic Bicycle Maintenance – 7-9 p.m., Wed., April 20, Community Hall, PNA Brick Building; $30 PNA member, $35 public: Routine maintenance is an important aspect to bike riding in the Northwest. Get your ride ready to roll for the Bike Month in May. Explore “The ABC Quick Check.” Learn proper tire inflation, how to make minor adjustments to brakes, keep your chain running smoothly and find out what a quick release does.
  • Urban Cycling Techniques – 6-9 p.m., Wed., April 27 and 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Sat., April 30, Room 3, PNA Blue Building; $80 PNA member, $85 public: Recreational or transportational cyclists will gain the knowledge to make informed decisions while riding in traffic and the confidence to balance caution, assertiveness and the skills necessary for safer urban riding. The evening lecture session will be followed by an on-your-bike practice session—bring a working bike and proper helmet to the Saturday session.

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JRA Bike Shop moving two doors down

February 8th, 2011 by Doree

JRA Bike Shop at 8310 8th Ave. NW is moving two doors down to 8318 8th Ave. NW to a space twice as large.

Owner Eric Berg said the new space – which used to house Airlight Venetian Blind Co., which recently moved to Ballard – will allow them to carry more bikes and bike products, give them more storage space, “and in August when you’re in there you’ll be able to turn around, which is not possible right now!” Berg said.

The landlord is installing new windows and a new door, and JRA is installing light fixtures and work benches.

JRA Bike Shop is currently located on the right end of this building, but will be moving to the far left space around March 1.

They hope to open around March 1 (that would be two years to the day since they opened in their current space). Berg says you can check their Facebook page for news of their grand opening.

Berg owns a second JRA Bike Shop downtown. He splits his time between the two shops. He has two employees at the Greenwood shop, but will increase that during the busy summer months.

JRA Bike Shop in Greenwood  is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The phone number is 206-782-1323.

Thanks to Rachel for the tip!

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