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

 

Reminder: Pedestrian improvements to 3rd Ave NW and NW 56th St starting today

June 15th, 2015 by Doree

Seattle Department of Transportation began making pedestrian improvements at 3rd Avenue NW and NW 56th Street and NW 55th Place today (Monday), as part of its Neighborhood Street Fund and Safe Routes to Schools program.

Project elements include:

  • Changing NW 55th Place to one-way, southwest-bound
  • Creating an all-way stop at the intersection of 3rd Avenue NW and NW 56th Street to improve pedestrian crossing safety, especially for West Woodland Elementary students
  • Separating NW 55th Place from 3rd Avenue NW and NW 56th Street
  • Adding curb extensions on 3rd Avenue NW and at the intersection of NW 55th Place and NW 55th
  • Street to shorten the length of pedestrian crossings
  • Upgrading curb ramps to be compliant with current Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards
  • Adding minor drainage improvements

Project Benefits:

  • ADA-compliant curb ramps, for smoother and better access
  • Curb bulbs to facilitate safer, shorter crossings for pedestrians and bike riders
  • Adding signage to reduce vehicle speeds and notify drivers of pedestrian crossings

3rd Ave & 56th St improvements June 2015

Work will take about eight weeks, depending on the weather. Construction will result in short-term parking and lane restrictions on NW 56th Street, NW 56th Place and 3rd Avenue NW; temporary road closures on NW 56th Street and NW 55th Place (residential access will be maintained); temporary pedestrian and bicycle detours around the work areas; and tree trimming at intersection of 3rd Avenue NW and NW 56th Street. Work will typically be done between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays, with some weekend work possible.

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Pedestrian improvements at 3rd Avenue NW at NW 56th Street and NW 55th Place could begin next week

June 8th, 2015 by Doree

Seattle Department of Transportation will begin making pedestrian improvements at 3rd Avenue NW and NW 56th Street and NW 55th Place as early as next Monday, June 15. It’s part of SDOT’s Neighborhood Street Fund and Safe Routes to Schools programs, and should make it safer for West Woodland Elementary students to get to school.

Project elements include:

  • Changing NW 55th Place to one-way, southwest-bound
  • Creating an all-way stop at the intersection of 3rd Avenue NW and NW 56th Street to improve pedestrian crossing safety
  • Separating NW 55th Place from 3rd Avenue NW and NW 56th Street
  • Adding curb extensions on 3rd Avenue NW and at the intersection of NW 55th Place and NW 55th
  • Street to shorten the length of pedestrian crossings
  • Upgrading curb ramps to be compliant with current Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards
  • Adding minor drainage improvements

Project Benefits:

  • ADA-compliant curb ramps, for smoother and better access
  • Curb bulbs to facilitate safer, shorter crossings for pedestrians and bike riders
  • Adding signage to reduce vehicle speeds and notify drivers of pedestrian crossings

3rd Ave & 56th St improvements June 2015

Work will take about eight weeks, depending on the weather. Construction will result in short-term parking and lane restrictions on NW 56th Street, NW 56th Place and 3rd Avenue NW; temporary road closures on NW 56th Street and NW 55th Place (residential access will be maintained); temporary pedestrian and bicycle detours around the work areas; and tree trimming at intersection of 3rd Avenue NW and NW 56th Street. Work will typically be done between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays, with some weekend work possible.

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Lane closures on Hwy. 99 postponed

March 9th, 2015 by Doree

Washington State Department of Transportation had planned 12 weeks of lane closures on Hwy. 99 beginning this Wednesday, but that is now postponed. Here’s WSDOT’s announcement from 11 a.m. today:

The Washington State Department of Transportation is postponing plans for long-term lane closures on State Route 99 originally scheduled to begin on Wednesday, March 11.

These closures were needed to install several large sign foundations for the SR 99 North Access project. While this work must occur, it will be rescheduled to a later date in an effort to minimize impacts to the traveling public. The public will be alerted in advance of any future lane closures.

Full closure of northbound SR 99 tonight — Contractor crews still plan to close northbound SR 99 to straighten the curve in the highway near Mercer Street.

Tonight, SR 99 will be closed from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. between the Battery Street Tunnel and Valley Street. All lanes will open at 6 a.m. in time for the morning commute.

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UPDATE: CLOSURES POSTONED — Reminder: 12 weeks of lane closures on SR 99 between Valley Street and Aurora Bridge begin next week

March 6th, 2015 by Doree

Updated Monday 11 a.m.: Washington State Department of Transportation is postponing the lane closures on Highway 99 that were supposed to start Wednesday. Here’s WSDOT’s announcement:

The Washington State Department of Transportation is postponing plans for long-term lane closures on State Route 99 originally scheduled to begin on Wednesday, March 11.

These closures were needed to install several large sign foundations for the SR 99 North Access project. While this work must occur, it will be rescheduled to a later date in an effort to minimize impacts to the traveling public. The public will be alerted in advance of any future lane closures.

Full closure of northbound SR 99 tonight — Contractor crews still plan to close northbound SR 99 to straighten the curve in the highway near Mercer Street.

Tonight, SR 99 will be closed from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. between the Battery Street Tunnel and Valley Street. All lanes will open at 6 a.m. in time for the morning commute.

Earlier: Washington Department of Transportation crews will be working on the future north portal of the State Route 99 tunnel and will need to close one lane in both directions of SR 99/Aurora Avenue North between Valley Street and the Aurora Bridge. The closures begin March 7 11 and will last about 12 weeks.

Two lanes will be open in each direction while crews install foundations for four large sign structures in the median and curb areas.

Work is planned in two phases. View a map of the work locations.

  • Phase 1 (approximately 8 weeks): one lane closed in both directions for median work — One lane in the northbound and southbound directions will be closed around-the-clock while crews install four sign foundations in the median
  • Phase 2 (approximately 4 weeks): one lane closed in southbound direction for curb work — One southbound lane will be closed around-the-clock while crews install two sign foundations in the southbound curb area

Because northbound and southbound buses will travel – and stop – in the outside lanes with other vehicle traffic, trips may take longer than normal. During both phases the southbound bus-only lane restriction will be lifted.

In an effort to balance the needs of drivers and residents, some work will occur during nighttime and weekend hours. An additional lane may close at night and during some weekend days.

The long-term lane closures are expected to cause additional backups on SR 99 for vehicles and buses, particularly during peak commute times. WSDOT is encouraging drivers and bus riders to:

Questions? Contact us at viaduct@wsdot.wa.gov or 1-888-AWV-LINE (298-5463) or visit us at www.AlaskanWayViaduct.org.

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12 weeks of SR 99 lane closures begin in March

February 19th, 2015 by Doree

Washington Department of Transportation crews will be working on the future north portal of the State Route 99 tunnel and will need to close one lane in both directions of SR 99/Aurora Avenue North between Valley Street and the Aurora Bridge. The closures begin March 7 and will last about 12 weeks.

Two lanes will be open in each direction while crews install foundations for four large sign structures in the median and curb areas.

Work is planned in two phases. View a map of the work locations.

  • Phase 1 (approximately 8 weeks): one lane closed in both directions for median work — One lane in the northbound and southbound directions will be closed around-the-clock while crews install four sign foundations in the median
  • Phase 2 (approximately 4 weeks): one lane closed in southbound direction for curb work — One southbound lane will be closed around-the-clock while crews install two sign foundations in the southbound curb area

Because northbound and southbound buses will travel – and stop – in the outside lanes with other vehicle traffic, trips may take longer than normal. During both phases the southbound bus-only lane restriction will be lifted.

In an effort to balance the needs of drivers and residents, some work will occur during nighttime and weekend hours. An additional lane may close at night and during some weekend days.

The long-term lane closures are expected to cause additional backups on SR 99 for vehicles and buses, particularly during peak commute times. WSDOT is encouraging drivers and bus riders to:

Questions? Contact us at viaduct@wsdot.wa.gov or 1-888-AWV-LINE (298-5463) or visit us at www.AlaskanWayViaduct.org.

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Greenwood Community Council meets Tuesday to discuss parking requirements for new residential buildings

February 16th, 2015 by Doree

The Greenwood Community Council meets from 7-8:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Greenwood Library, 8016 Greenwood Ave. N. The main topic on the agenda is a discussion about how much parking the city should require for new residential buildings.

A few years ago Seattle changed its development regulations to eliminate the requirement to provide parking in new multi-family buildings in areas defined as urban villages, or places with accessible and frequent transit service. Almost all of Greenwood fits that definition, and several micro-housing buildings are being built that will take advantage of that change by not including parking as part of the development.

There are advocates and strong feelings on both sides of this issue. Seattle’s previous parking requirements often required developers to include more parking than needed, raising the cost of living in new buildings and requiring residents who don’t own cars to help pay for their storage. Providing no parking at all takes advantage of unused public street space at no cost to the developer or tenant. When parking is scarce though, neighbors and their visitors have a harder time finding a place to park and need to walk farther to get groceries and kids to the car.

So what is the right amount of parking, and what should guide the city in deciding how much developers need to provide as part of their projects? The City Council has requested a review of parking requirement policies, and the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) is preparing its analysis. Gordon Clowers is leading the team that will respond to the council, and at our February meeting he will discuss some of the factors DPD will consider in forming their analysis.

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Second Early Design Guidance Meeting for North 109th Street project of 100 small efficiency dwelling units

January 27th, 2015 by Doree

The public is invited to comment about site planning and design at the second Early Design Guidance Meeting for a proposed 100-unit building at 1008 N. 109th St. The developer’s preferred option out of three has 93 “small efficiency dwelling units” and seven live/work units.

The meeting is at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 2, at the Ballard Community Center, 6020 28th Ave. NW, in the Sunset Capt. Ballard Room.

The four-story building will have surface parking for either 9 or 12 vehicles (the design proposal uses the numbers inconsistently, and the Land Use Bulletin says 15), basement storage for 100 bicycles, a rooftop deck and solar panels. Each SEDU will have 225 square feet of space. Each live/work unit will be about 320 square feet. Three commercial spaces would be on the ground floor. The proposal requires a lot boundary adjustment.

You can see the full design proposal here (PDF).

The property is on the corner of Aurora Avenue North and North 109th Street, adjacent to the Rose Corner Flower Shop. It currently has a giant pile of dirt and is surrounded by trucks from the nearby Handy Andy Rent-A-Tool.

1008-N-109th-St-resized

If you are unable to attend the meeting, you can send written comments about site planning and design issues by Feb. 2 by email to PRC@seattle.gov or mail to: City of Seattle – DPD – PRC, 700 5th Ave., Suite 2000, PO Box 34019, Seattle, WA 98124-4019. Reference project number 3017565.

If an environmental review is later triggered, the public will have the opportunity to comment on environmental impacts such as traffic, parking, noise, etc.

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Reminder: Early Design Guidance meeting for another micro-housing project is Monday

January 4th, 2015 by Doree

Here’s a reminder that the Northwest Design Review Board will hold an Early Design Guidance meeting for a proposed micro-housing development at 9002 Greenwood Ave. N. on Monday. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Ballard Community Center, 6020 28th Ave. NW.

The developer is proposing a four-story building with 48 efficiency dwelling units. No parking is planned. The existing building, which used to house an alterations business, will be demolished. Click here to see the developer’s design proposal (pdf).

9002-Greenwood-resized

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Starbucks finally being repaired after truck smashed through front last month

December 11th, 2014 by Doree

The Phinney Ridge Starbucks is finally being repaired after a truck smashed through the front windows last month. Store Manager Jeff Cornejo tells me repairs began Monday night. He said the city permit took longer than expected because the crash took out a load-bearing column and required extra documentation for construction.

Starbucks-outside-12-10-14-resized

 

Phinney Ridge Starbucks has been open since the day after the Nov. 3 crash, with plywood covering the entire front.

The column will be the first thing to be replaced, then the store front. It is unclear whether we’ll get a garage door, or sliding glass doors when they repair the window section of the store. Construction…will continue during our non-operating hours.

The city will also install temporary concrete barricades while a long term solution is figured out.

There two possible solutions we are pursuing with the City:

1- installing bollards, or something similar; which the City will have to request through a special public right of way permit.

2- incorporate our section of the street with the Pedestrian Overly Zone currently being proposed between 58th and 62nd.

The building repairs should be wrapped up by the end of this month.

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