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


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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One lane of Holman Road closed on Saturday for more ivy removal

November 8th, 2013 by Doree

Neighborhood volunteers will finish removing ivy and pruning trees along Holman Road Northwest on Saturday. The outside southbound lane of Holman will be closed from 13th Avenue NW to NW 87th Street from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The volunteers will have support from Seattle Department of Transportation’s Urban Forestry crews.

Removal of invasive vines is important to the health of trees. Ivy will quickly grow up the trunk of a tree, smothering the tree’s branches, and eventually killing the tree. Even when kept only around the base of the tree, ivy still robs the tree of nutrients and can cause rot in the trunk which can lead to tree falling over. Also, trees that have their canopies covered with ivy may not be able to withstand the additional wind or snow load caused by the extra leaf area of the vines.

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Survey on Greenwood-Phinney ‘pop-up greenway’

November 6th, 2013 by Doree

The Greenwood-Phinney Greenways Group installed a temporary “pop-up” greenway in August on 1st Avenue NW, from North 65th to 80th streets. Now, Seattle Department of Transportation wants to know what residents think of the greenway through a survey. The online survey needs to be completed by Nov. 18. (You’ll need to scroll partway down the page to get to the beginning of the survey.)

The temporary installation gave the community an opportunity to learn what a neighborhood greenway might look and feel like along First Avenue NW between N 65th and N 80th streets. Neighborhood greenways are relatively new to Seattle and provide people of all ages and abilities with comfortable and attractive places to walk and ride a bike while connecting you to parks, schools and local shops. They are designed, constructed and funded through the Seattle Department of Transportation.

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One lane on Holman Road to be closed Saturday for tree pruning

November 1st, 2013 by Doree

Seattle Department of Transportation’s Urban Forestry crews will cut back ivy and prune trees on Holman Road from Greenwood to Third avenues on Saturday. The southbound, outside lane will be closed from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Next Saturday, Nov. 9, that same lane will be closed again from about 11th Avenue NW to NW 87th Street as the Urban Forestry crews and neighborhood volunteers continue removal and cutback of ivy.

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Parking restrictions in Crown Hill, Greenwood as road crew sweep certain streets

October 17th, 2013 by Doree

Seattle Department of Transportation crews are sweeping certain streets that were recently chip sealed in Crown Hill and Greenwood.

If No Parking signs have been posted where you normally park, please remove your vehicles to allow for the sweeping. Because this operation cannot be efficiently or safely carried out around parked cars, vehicles found in violation of the parking restrictions must be towed.

Although all of the recently chip sealed streets have been swept, certain streets need additional sweeping due to remaining loose rock on the sides of the street. Temporary “No Parking” signs are being installed to prevent cars from parking in the areas where sweeping is planned. This will allow the mechanical sweepers to sweep the edges of the roadway.
On Friday, October 18, sweeping will be conducted on:
· NW 100th St, between Greenwood Ave N and 3rd Ave NW
· 1st Ave NW, between NW 85th St and NW 100th St

As other locations are identified, parking restrictions will be posted at least 72 hours in advance of the sweeping operation.
If you have any questions or would like additional sweeping on a chip sealed street, please call Susan Almachar, Chip Seal Project Manager, at 206-684-5303, or at susan.almachar@seattle.gov.

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Road work on 65th and Woodland Avenue nearing completion after temporary shutdown

October 8th, 2013 by Doree

Seattle Department of Transportation has been working to improve the road and sidewalks around North 65th Street and Woodland/Linden avenues since August. The work was planned to be complete by the end of September, but early that month work was temporarily halted after crews found a possibly sensitive area, according to SDOT’s Dawn Schellenberg.

As part of SDOT’s compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act, the contractor stopped work on the impacted areas. The Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation reviewed the site and determined it did not warrant historic protection. Once this determination was made, construction on the project was allowed to continue. Human remains were not identified in this area.

Work has begun again on this project site. The new pervious sidewalk is being poured this week and early next week. Weather permitting, the contractor hopes to pave N 65th St at the end of next week (Oct. 17), then complete the pavement markings and install the new all-way stop at this intersection.

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What’s that white street marking? SDOT responds

October 2nd, 2013 by Doree

These white road markings showed up near several traffic circles in Phinney-Greenwood a couple of months ago and had some people confused.


Some thought they were a different version of “sharrows,” which highlight areas where bikes and cars share the road, but those markings include a bicycle. Others thought it had something to do with speed limits.

But Dawn Schellenberg with Seattle Department of Transportation tells us they’re part of the “pop-up” greenway that was installed back in August to show what a neighborhood greenway could look like. She said the temporary markings should wear off with the wet weather.

(Thanks to James for the photo.)

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Friday is deadline to apply for PARK(ing) Day

August 26th, 2013 by Doree

Seattle Department of Transportation’s annual PARK(ing) Day is Sept. 20, where anyone can transform on-street parking spaces into tiny, temporary parks as a way to promote a walkable city. This Friday, Aug. 30, is the deadline to apply.

Started in 2005 by San Francisco design firm Rebar, PARK(ing) Day has become an annual event and an international sensation. In 2012, community groups, residents, businesses, designers, and artists in over 160 cities in 35 countries participated in PARK(ing) Day to encourage a sustainable urban environment. This will be the fifth year that Seattle has participated.

If you’re interested in creating a park for Seattle PARK(ing) Day, it couldn’t be easier! The Seattle Department of Transportation is accepting applications under a single free Street Use permit, and there are some easy-to-follow guidelines on its updated webpage. You can propose a park either in two mid-block parking spaces on an arterial street or in one mid-block space on a residential street. To ensure the park meets some basic safety standards, you will need to submit a site plan and location description no later than August 30. But don’t worry, you don’t have to be an architect, engineer, or artist to draw it. All application materials can be sent via email to jennifer.wieland@seattle.gov.

For additional information about Seattle PARK(ing) Day, including application requirements, please visit http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/seattleparkingday.htm.

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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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Greenwood-Phinney Avenue shuts down to cars and opens up to pedestrians for Friday night’s annual Summer Streets

August 8th, 2013 by Doree

Friday night is one of the biggest events of the year for Phinney Ridge and Greenwood as Seattle Department of Transportation closes down Greenwood-Phinney Avenue to cars from North 65th to North 87th streets so pedestrians can take over for the annual Summer Streets event.

Businesses all along that stretch will offer special activities, music and art (it coincides with the monthly Art Up Artwalk on the second Friday of every month). Summer Streets runs from 6-9:30 p.m., but streets will begin closing before that and may take a little while to open back up afterwards.

Check out the PhinneyWood Summer Streets website for a list and map of activities. Here are a few highlights:

You can play chess, hula hoop, chat with a Seattle Police officer and get help with helmet fittings; new business Gilley & Oil Family Cyclery is offering bike rides; American Dance Institute will have dancing in the street; the Bubbleman will show off in front of Metropolis; Versatile Arts will show off their cirque skills; A-1 Pianos will once again have several pianos in the street for anyone to play; and there will be plenty of crafts and family activities.

826 Seattle, 8414 Greenwood Ave. N., is hosting the UW Portable Planetarium (it’s inflatable and functions just like a full-sized planetarium). Pick up a free ticket at the Greenwood Space Travel Supply Co. (same address as 826 Seattle) now for a 15-minute tour that will let you “Fly deep into outer space, explore new worlds, and marvel at nebula, quasars, and funny shaped galaxies.” Tours start at 6 p.m. Tickets are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Bring a canned food donation for the Volunteers of America Greenwood Food Bank and they’ll build a pyramid out of all the donations in Ken’s Market parking lot at North 73rd Street and Greenwood Avenue North.

Naked City Brewery & Taphouse is hosting its second annual Greenwood Street Soccer Tournament to benefit Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The pre-tournament fundraising party starts at 7 p.m. Friday, and the tournament is from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, on Greenwood Avenue between North 85th and 87th streets. More than 30 teams and 200 players are expected to compete in three co-ed divisions: Fun, Competitive, and Pro.

As we mentioned, the monthly Art Up Artwalk is also Friday night, with dozens of art galleries and other businesses hosting artists in all mediums. Check out “Between Two Worlds, Fire Walk With Me,” the Twin Peaks-themed show at Echo Echo Gallery at Urban Light Studios at 8537 Greenwood Ave. N.; Bherd Studios Gallery will be mural painting at 85th and Greenwood; In the Red Wine Bar is hosting photographer Doug Plummer and his panoramic shots of Ireland; and Tasty art gallery at 7513 Greenwood Avenue is once again hosting an open-air arts and crafts market.

During Summer Streets you can also experience a “pop-up” greenway, as Greenwood Phinney Greenways shows what a greenway could look like on 1st Avenue NW. Greenways help slow down traffic and make it safer for bikers and pedestrians. The pop-up greenway will be in place through Aug. 30.

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Crews are chip sealing streets in Greenwood/Crown Hill starting today

August 7th, 2013 by Doree

Seattle Department of Transportation crews have started resealing about 36 miles of streets throughout Greenwood and Crown Hill. Crews will be working between NW 110th and 85th streets, and 15th Avenue NW and Greenwood Avenue. The work should be complete by Aug. 30, weather permitting.

Renewing the chip-seal surface preserves the condition of the streets, creating a highly skid-resistant surface that prevents water from penetrating the roadway subsurface, thereby limiting damage such as potholes. Approximately 25 percent of Seattle’s residential streets have chip-sealed surfaces. Preparation began this spring when crews repaired cracks and other roadway damage in the streets scheduled for resurfacing.

Chip sealing is cost effective and fast; crews can resurface up to several miles of roadway in a day’s time. SDOT has been chip sealing streets since 1967, converting dirt and gravel non-arterial streets to chip seal in order to cut down on dust and other pollution and improve air quality. Chip-seal surfaces are typically renewed approximately every ten years. Streets in the Crown Hill/Greenwood neighborhood were last chip sealed in 1996.

Notices of upcoming work in the form of door hangers have been distributed to area residents and businesses. “No Parking” signs will be placed on streets in advance. Residents should park out of the area to be resurfaced to prevent the chance of any chip-seal residue getting on their vehicles, and to help SDOT do the work as quickly as possible. Because the chip-seal process involves the application of a fast-drying emulsion into which chipped rocks are compacted, the new surface can be driven on almost immediately. Motorists are asked to limit their speed to ten miles per hour for the first few days following the resurfacing to allow for the rocks to set. Mechanical street sweepers will remove the loose rock within several days following the chip-seal operation. (Sweeping might be postponed during extremely hot weather.)

Typical work hours will be 7:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, with traffic restrictions in effect during this time. Some inconvenience can be expected; however, SDOT will make every effort to minimize disruptions. More information is available about this work on SDOT’s website at www.seattle.gov/transportation/chipseal.htm Also, for more information or to provide comments, the public may contact Susan Almachar of SDOT at 206-396-3556.

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Detours on eastbound Holman Road/105th Street for next 4 months

July 18th, 2013 by Doree

Get ready for some major traffic disruption at Holman Road/105th Street in Greenwood as Seattle Department of Transportation begins making major improvements from Greenwood Avenue North to Lake City Way NE. The work begins next Thursday, July 26 Monday, July 22 and lasts through November. (Update: SDOT has rescheduled the start of this project until after the Greenwood Seafair Parade on Wednesday.)

Phase I of the project consists of installing storm drains and reconstructing the roadway on North 105th Street between Holman Road Northwest and Aurora Avenue North. For this work, the contractor working for SDOT will detour eastbound traffic on Holman Road Northwest and North 105th Street at Greenwood Avenue North beginning Monday morning, July 22 and continuing until November.
Two signed detours will be established for eastbound traffic:

Option 1
• South on Greenwood Avenue North
• East on North 85th Street
• North on Aurora Avenue North
• East on North Northgate Way

Option 2
• North on Greenwood Avenue North
• East on North 130th Street
• South on Aurora Avenue North
• East on North Northgate Way

Large trucks eastbound on Holman Road Northwest will be detoured at Greenwood Avenue North, north to North 145th Street, then east on North 145th Street, or south on Greenwood Avenue North and east on North 85th Street. (See attached map.)

At least one lane of westbound traffic on North 105th Street will remain open at all times. Access to businesses will be maintained. While sidewalks are being constructed, pedestrians will have access on at least one side of North 105th Street.
In addition, transit will be re-routed, and bus stops may be closed or re-located. For information on bus service, look for Rider Alert notices at bus stops, see Metro Online,www.kingcounty.gov/metro, or call (206) 553-3000.

At the completion of Phase I, the construction activity will move east to the Phase II section of North Northgate Way between Aurora Avenue North and Corliss Avenue North.

This project will improve the corridor along North 105th Street and North/Northeast Northgate Way from Greenwood Avenue North to Lake City Way Northeast. Improvements will include roadway repaving, new sidewalks and curb ramps, drainage improvements, street lighting and traffic signals, and Intelligent Transportation System components. When it is completed in the summer 2014, it will have significant benefits for the public and motorists, including:

• Improved safety for pedestrians
• Elimination of potholes
• Eased traffic congestion
• Improved water quality
• Improved transit speed and reliability
• Real-time information for travelers

This work is funded by the Bridging the Gap transportation levy approved by Seattle voters in November 2006 and by a Washington State Transportation Improvement Board grant.

For more information, please visit the project website: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/pave_N105.htm.

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