Dennis and Judy Schulte Memorial Walk & Rally (PHOTOS)

On Monday, March 25, 2013, a family crossing NE 75th Street at 33rd Avenue NE was struck by a drunk driver. Grandparents Judy and Dennis Schulte were killed instantly. New mother Karina Ulriksen-Schulte and her ten-day-old baby boy, Elias, were both critically injured.

A year later, Karina and Elias, along with other family members, community members, safe streets advocates, and local community and state representatives returned to the site together. And then continued on to a rally for more action to prevent driving while intoxicated.

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The weather seemed to echo the emotions of the walkers: Blazing bright sunlight one moment — matching the smiles of those on the walk — followed by dark skies, heavy rains, and heavy hearts.

Our goal during the walk and rally was to capture as many images as we could. For more on the story of the walk and rally, we’ve collected links below:

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The starting point of the anniversary memorial walk was the same as it was almost a year ago: Top Pot Doughnuts, on the corner of NE 70th St and 35th Ave NE.

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Before joining the main group of walkers across the street, members of the Schulte family met with some of the staff of Fire Station 40. Their engine was one of the first emergency vehicles to arrive at the collision scene a year ago.

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Dan Schulte and one of the fire fighters of Station 40.

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Back over at Top Pot, local media had some time to talk to Dan Schulte before the walk.

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Here’s the same scene from another angle.

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Per Johnson of the Wedgwood Community Council speaks to the gathered walkers. Purple shirts were given to participants to wear during the walk and rally, and also to the other events during Safe Roads Awareness Week.

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Dan Schulte with his sister, Marilyn.

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Seattle Police Department officers prepare to guide those on the memorial walk down the route to the crash.

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Dan Schulte pushes his wife, Karina Ulriksen-Schulte, at the beginning of the memorial walk. Their son, Elias, is in the stroller on Karina’s right.

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Former Mayor Mike McGinn (center, with blue cap) at the start of the walk.

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State Representative Gerry Pollet (teal jacket, in front of yellow umbrella).

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Madi Carlson, Family Ride, walks her wheels and brood down NE 35th Avenue.

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The first round of heavy rain begins as the group nears the intersection of 35th Avenue NE and NE 75th Street. State Representative Jessyn Farrell (tan trenchcoat) walks with her two children.

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The group begins to cross the intersection of 35th Avenue NE and NE 75th Street. As they walk up the hill towards 33th Avenue NE, the walkers take the same route (west up NE 75th Street) as Mark Mullan did in his large black pick-up truck one year ago.

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Dan and Karina, and family.

 

At the NW corner of where 33rd Avenue NE meets NE 75th Street, the group pauses for a few moments, in silence. (We returned to the corner a few hours later to take the video above.)

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Schulte family members moving on after a pause at the crash site.

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One woman watches the family walk on as the main group of walkers continues to linger for a quiet moment at the site of the crash.

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Main group now moving toward the site of the rally on the lawn of nearly Eckstein Middle School.

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Battalion 6 Chief Mike Milam (white shirt, black tie) speaks with Fire Station 40 staff near the crash site. Chief Milam was also at the scene a year ago.

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News crews film the crowd and the memorial site while some Eckstein students look on.

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By the time the group arrives at the rally site, the rain was coming down hard.

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Ravenna-Bryant Community Association board member Sarah Swanberg.

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Dan Schulte thanks the first responders in attendance, and the crowd applauds.

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Karina Ulkisen-Schulte (center with brown cap) listens to husband Dan speak.

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Per Johnson (green), Cathy Tuttle (teal), and the crowd.

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SDOT’s Chief Traffic Engineer, Dongho Chang, was easy to spot in the crowd.

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Lacia Lynn Bailey keeps Judy’s Truffle dry at the rally. Lacia and a much smaller Judy’s Truffle were the last to speak with Judy, Dennis, Karina and Elias before they continued down 33rd Avenue NE to cross the street. She would also be one of the first people at the collision scene moments later.

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SDOT Traffic Safety Coordinator Jim Curtin stands under his yellow umbrella during downpour number three of the event.

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Sergeant Dave Fitzgerald of the Seattle Police Department, listening to speakers at the rally.

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Mayor McGinn (in red) stands next to Cathy Tuttle, executive director of Seattle Neighborhood Greenways.

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Virginia Gunby (burgundy coat), Transportation Chair of the Ravenna-Bryant Community Association, and her husband listen to rally speaker Darrin Grondel, Director of the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.

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State Senator David Frockt speaking at the rally. Courtney Popp, an attorney who volunteers with MADD, also spoke.

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Elias, having a snack.

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During a shift between pouring rain and pouring sunlight, we did get a rainbow near the crash site.

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Marilyn Schulte addresses the crowd, thanking neighborhood residents for their support of her family.

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After the rally concluded, Senator Frockt and a staffer (facing the camera) listened to Lacia Bailey describe the events of a year ago. Frockt’s own grandparents were killed in a collision by a suspected intoxicated driver in Tennessee.

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Natural flowers at the rally site.

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Hand-made flowers on Lacia’s fence across from the crash site.

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The afternoon before the walk and rally, Lacia invited the community to come paint her fence, just across the street from the crash site, with bright flowers and positive messages to “DRIVE SOBER.” Judy’s Truffle was on hand, offering suggestions and reprising her position last year of comfort goat to those who needed a nuzzle.

Memorial walk and rally planned for March 25; part of “Safe Roads” week

Tuesday, March 25, marks one year since the drunk driving crash that killed Judy and Dennis Schulte and severely injured Karina Ulriksen-Schulte and her newborn baby boy, Elias.

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To commemorate the day, the Wedgwood Community Council and the Ravenna-Bryant Community Association have organized a memorial walk and rally, starting at Top Pot Doughnuts (6855 35th Ave NE), and ending on the front lawn of Eckstein Middle School (3003 NE 75th St). A moment of silence will be held at the crash site at approximately 4 PM.


View Wedgwood DUI crash memorial walk and rally in a larger map

NE 75th Street will close to traffic from 31st Ave NE to 35th Ave NE during the walk (3:15-4:15 PM).

The rally at Eckstein will include speakers representing the Seattle Department of Transportation, Prevention Works in Seattle (WINS), Wedgwood Community Council, Ravenna-Bryant Community Association, and Seattle Neighborhood Greenways Group, as well as:

  • Dan Schulte, Father, Husband and Son of Wedgwood crash victims
  • Marilyn Schulte, Daughter of Judy and Dennis Schulte, Aunt to Elias and Sister-in-law to Karina
  • Darrin Grondel, Director, Washington Traffic Safety Commission
  • Senator David Frockt, (D) 46th Legislative District
  • Courtney Popp, Mothers Against Drunk Driving

This event on March 25 is the first in a week-long series of events promoting “Safe Roads Awareness Week,” and focuses on raising awareness of the need for DUI prevention and stricter DUI laws.

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A summarized schedule of events for the rest of the week includes:

Wednesday, March 26th, Distracted Driving Day
The Wedgwood Community Council (WCC) and volunteers will be holding signs during the morning/evening commute to remind folks that the phone call or text can wait.

Thursday, March 27th, Slowdown Day
Again, the WCC and volunteers will be holding signs at a busy intersection during morning/evening commutes.

Friday, March 28th, Share the Road
Again, the WCC and volunteers will be holding signs at a busy intersection during morning/evening commutes. SDOT will make a major traffic safety project announcement.

Design Review Board meeting on the old Fruit Stand blocks (LIVE COVERAGE)

Tonight, Monday, February 3, the Northeast Design Review Board will meet to decide the next steps for the development of the “old Fruit Stand block” just south of Roosevelt High School.

The meeting takes place at 6:30 PM at the University Heights Community Center (5031 University Way NE, Room 209). There is a public comment period during the meeting, but it is only 20 minutes in length and not for Q&A-style discussions.

Ravenna Blog will be in attendance and providing LIVE COVERAGE below, starting around 6:30 PM.

Page 12 from the Roosevelt Development Group's Design Review Recommendation presentation. Click the image to download the entire presentation (17 MB PDF)

Page 12 from the Roosevelt Development Group’s Design Review Recommendation presentation. Click the image to download the entire presentation (17 MB PDF)

The Roosevelt Development Group will be presenting their preferred project design (by Seattle architecture firm GGLO) for 6505 15th Avenue NE (Project #3013244) to the Northeast Design Review Board at tonight’s meeting.

Three different design schemes were presented during the early design guidance meeting on August 6, 2012. (You can find the notes from that meeting here.) Tonight’s recommendation phase design is the third of those three designs and features:

    • Approximately 221 dwelling units, in a mix of multi- and groun- level configurations;
    • 7,500-square-feet of ground-level commercial space;
    • 175 parking stalls, accessed from 14th Avenue NE;
    • Overall height of 7-stories (building heights ranging from 55 to 75 feet, depending on the slope of the property)

Jim O’Halloran, past Roosevelt Neighborhood Association Land Use Chair, had this to say about tonight’s meeting and the current design plans:

“Now that a zoning decision for the high school blocks has been made, and that a reasonably attractive building has been designed for the site with some engagement from the Community, let’s get on with it; build the building.  If for any reason the project will be further delayed, then it is important that the existing decrepit building structures be removed without further delay.  Allowing this sore spot to fester without near term improvement would surely undermine RDG’s relationship with the Community.”

Upcoming Design Review Board meetings of note (LIVE COVERAGE)

Two large development projects on NE 65th Street may before the Northeast Design Review Board in the next three weeks: The old Children’s Home Society of Washington land up at 33rd Avenue NE (recently sold to Polygon Northwest), and the old Fruit Stand block at 15th Avenue NE (owned by Hugh Sisley and leased to the Roosevelt Development Group).

Northeast Design Review Board meetings are held at the University Heights Community Center (5031 University Way NE, Room #209). You can see all upcoming meetings (and the links to their respective project information) at this Design Review Meetings page at seattle.gov.

For more information on these two particular projects (including links to design documents and their respective Department of Planning and Development permit pages), click on the map below.

View Jan/Feb 2014 NE Design Review Board meeting topics in a larger map

Ravenna Blog plans on attending both meetings and providing live coverage at ravennablog.com:

  • LIVE COVERAGE of the Monday, January 13 meeting (CHS of WA/Polygon Northwest) begins below around 6:30 PM.
  • LIVE COVERAGE of the (tentative-at-this-time) Monday, February 3 meeting (old Fruit Stand block/Sisley/Roosevelt Development Group) will be posted to a page-to-be-named-later.

Changes to Eckstein attendance area to be introduced at tonight’s School Board meeting (UPDATE)

Changes to Eckstein Middle School’s attendance area and yet another shuffling of APP students and schools — changes made public only five days ago — will be introduced to the Seattle School Board this evening, to be voted on at the following regular meeting of the School Board on November 20…

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In a reply to emails voicing concerns about the new Growth Boundary maps released on Friday, November 1, School Board Director Harium Martin-Morris sent the following response:

I am writing in response to your email regarding the November 1st version on the Growth Boundary Plan.  As written, I do not support the plan and along with Director De Bell will be offer an amendment that will go back to the previous version of the plan with the following changes:

*   Assign NE APP students to the new James Addams Middle School starting in 2014
*   Have a maximum of 3 classes per grade level at James Addams Middle School
*   Assign others APP to Hamilton until Wilson Pacific  Middle School is online.  At that point Hamilton would also go to the 3 classroom per grade and all others go to Wilson Pacific

That would mean that the middle school and elementary attendance areas in the NE would go back to  October 16th revision with some minor changes basis on community input.

Regards,

Harium Martin-Morris

At this time, we have heard that only two Directors are openly in support of the amendment: Martin-Morris and DeBell. In order for the amendment to pass, it needs support from four of the seven members of the board.

If you are in support of the previous plan, Wedgwood Elementary PTA President Terri Green recommends that you “keep sending e-mails to the entire School Board [...] voicing your concerns about the plan released last Friday and attend the meeting at the John Stanford Center (2445 3rd Avenue South) this afternoon at 4:15 pm. We need to turn out in force so the School Board can see how many folks are dissatisfied with the November 1 boundary proposal.”

Contact info for all seven Seattle School Board Directors can be found in this latest issue of the Wedgwood Weekly (upper right hand corner)

On Sunday, November 3, the SNAPP (North Seattle Accelerated Progress Program) PTA said on its website it “maintains its position that splitting the APP Middle School and co-housing with attendance area schools is not in the best interest of our community or helpful with the overcrowding in the north end. Although many APP MS students come from the Whitman and Eckstein reference area, putting APP in these schools would only serve to further crowd them and keep reference area kids out.”

On Monday at a Call to Action meeting at Wedgwood Elementary that over 200 parents attended, many voiced surprise over the revisions made to the previous Growth Boundary maps (released on October 16), as well as bewilderment over why the November revisions were made in the first place. And no explanation for the changes — released last Friday at 7 PM ahead of a Wednesday meeting — were given by the School Board.

Eckstein Middle School PTSA President Tobi Bet, speaking at Monday’s meeting said, “No rhyme or reason to this. None.”

On Tuesday, the Wedgwood Community Council issued a “formal letter of concern” about the boundary changes, which they said “did not allow critical stakeholders adequate time to review and consider the changes relative to potential alternatives.”

And this morning, Ravenna-Bryant Community Association released a letter of their own, which urges the School Board to reconsider the latest boundary changes (via email):

Dear Board of Directors:

On behalf of the Ravenna Bryant Community Association Board of Directors, I ask that the school boundaries proposed on Friday November 1st not be adopted because they do not meet three of the four core values for Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan.

The four core values of Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan are:

  • Community - developing strong connections between a diverse range of people and places
  • Environmental Stewardship - protect and improve the quality of our global and local natural environment
  • Economic Opportunity and Security - a strong economy and a pathway to employment is fundamental to maintaining our quality of life
  • Social Equity - limited resources and opportunities must be shared; and the inclusion of under-represented communities in decision-making processes is necessary

Our neighborhood schools create a strong sense of Community because families can walk to school, for the school day as well as extracurricular activities.  The new boundary proposal would erode this sense of community by forcing kids to attend a school miles away, instead of blocks.

Our neighborhood schools allow families to walk, bike, or carpool to school which not only creates community but also helps meet the City’s Environmental Stewardship goals.  Eckstein has a successful walk and bike to school program that would be destroyed by these new boundaries.

The last minute release of the proposed boundaries, given at the late hour of 7 p.m. on a Friday night for a Wednesday meeting, does not adhere to the City’s Core Value of Social Equity.  Our community is left scrambling at the last minute to provide alternatives and organize ourselves.

The Ravenna Bryant Community Association urges the School Board to reject these new boundaries, and demands that the Seattle School District create new boundaries that honor the core principals put forth in the City of Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan.  Please consider moving the boundaries for Eckstein further north, at least to NE 95th, and find room for the APP at Hamilton in the south wing of Lincoln High School.

Sincerely,

Tony Provine

RBCA President

 

Tonight’s regular meeting of the Seattle School Board starts at 4:15 PM at the John Stanford Center for Educational Excellence (2445 3rd Avenue S).

The agenda for tonight’s meeting is available here (PDF). Public testimony is scheduled to start at 5 PM for those 25 speakers who were pre-selected; an additional 63 on the wait list), with the Action Items and Introduction Items portion scheduled to start at 6 PM.

School Board meetings are streamed live online (though not for iOS users, it seems) and broadcast on Channel 26 (Seattle Public School TV).

We will have live coverage of tonight’s meeting below, if we can. We’ll be watching along at home, and taking notes.

UPDATE (2:29 PM): It is our understanding from a Keep Wedgwood Neighborhood Kids at Eckstein Facebook page post by Wedgwood Elementary School PTA President Terri Green that the newest version of the Growth Boundaries map AND Director Harium Martin-Morris’ amendment will BOTH be introduced at the meeting tonight, and voting will take place on both at the next School Board meeting on November 20. In case there was confusion on the order of things.

Also, hot out of the Ravenna Blog Email Inbox, a letter on the recent boundary plan changes by Representative Gerry Pollet:

Dear Board members and Superintendent Banda,

As with many of my neighbors, I was also shocked by this last minute change to the assignment plan proposals, which had never been presented at a public meeting. The proposal would dramatically undermine much of the benefits achieved by the District in adopting a neighborhood assignment plan. It is unacceptable that students immediately north of 75th – within sight of Eckstein – would be assigned to Addams.

When I heard from neighbors about this change to the Plan, I reviewed the materials prepared for the Board’s meeting and was dismayed that they do not disclose this impact in plain language. One has to first review the detailed map and wade through the bureaucratic lingo to piece together that this dramatic change to our community would be put in place in September.

Students in the Wedgwood Elementary assignment zone between NE 75th (where Eckstein is) and NE 95th, would be walking to school where there are no sidewalks and a very dangerous arterial on a steep hill to cross. Ironically, our community has been working with the City to improve the crosswalks, signals and speed on NE 75thto allow students to safely cross to and from Eckstein. We can reduce transportation costs and increase safety by amending this plan to resume having Wedgwood Elementary feed Eckstein.

I am all too well aware of the incredible overcapacity problem at Eckstein, coupled with ancient portables and other capacity issues. This latest proposal is not a solution for that problem. As you know, along with my colleagues, I have worked to bring significant funding and resources to reopen and renovate schools to address the overcrowding across NE and N Seattle. We will continue to work with the District to procure funds – and hope that the District will work with the City and your legislative delegation to obtain new properties near the core of our overcrowding problems, e.g., Roosevelt Reservoir and Lake City Pierre properties.

The community south of NE 50th Street had to petition and organize to be kept together with their neighborhood assignment to Bryant Elementary in the last set of decisions. It is disheartening that this effort and commitment to that community would be ignored again in the latest boundary change proposal – again without having provided the community a chance to comment at the meetings. The repeated need to organize communities to have the same discussion about integrity of neighborhoods and stability in assignments undermines the excellent progress made by the District in the School Assignment Plan.

Representative Gerry Pollet

46th District (Northeast and North Seattle, Lake Forest Park and Kenmore)

 

NE 65th St Town Hall at Ravenna-Eckstein CC (LIVE COVERAGE; UPDATE)

On Monday, August 12, from 6:45-8 PM, Mayor Mike McGinn and the Seattle Department of Transportation will hold a town hall-style meeting at the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center (6535 Ravenna Ave NE).

City officials will be on hand to to address residents’ and area business owners’ concerns about the Bicycle Master Plan Draft Update and the potential role NE 65th Street may play in it.

Our live coverage of the meeting will begin below, around 6:45 PM.

UPDATE (Thursday, August 15): The Seattle Channel has posted their video of the event, and you can watch it right here (Flash required):

 

 

Town Hall on Monday, August 12 to address NE 65th St/Bicycle Master Plan concerns

The time to comment on the Bicycle Master Plan Draft update is over.

Or is it?

According to the Cascade Bicycle Club’s blog, the Seattle Department of Transportation “received more comments on the NE 65th Street protected bike lane than any other project proposed in the draft Bicycle Master Plan Update.”

Not a surprising observation to hear, especially after a less-than-stellar open house on the BMP Draft on June 13 at Roosevelt High School, and a “small business owners/residents meeting” held on June 23 at the Varsity Restaurant on NE 65th St.

We think it is a fair point to make, for all sides of the issue of NE 65th Street’s place in the BMP Update, that there is a lot of confusion around the issue.

Which is why we are grateful to see that a neighborhood town hall regarding NE 65th St and the Bicycle Master Plan Update is being held at the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center (6353 Ravenna Ave NE) on Monday, August 12, from 6:45-8 PM.

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Click the image above to view the Neighborhood Town Hall invitation in full.

 

If you yourself are not able to attend this meeting, and/or would like to read about it after the fact, the Ravenna Blog will be providing live coverage of the events. We’ll post the link here on Monday the 12th.

If we may be so bold: If you are planning on attending the meeting, please consider taking an alternate mode of transportation than your usual. The journey might give you some insight into the concerns of others in the area.

Community along NE 65th St to gather and discuss Bicycle Master Plan concerns

Ahead of the Bicycle Master Plan Update public comment deadline of Friday, July 26, a group of business owners and residents near NE 65th Street are meeting to discuss the BMP’s proposed cycle track for the Ravenna thoroughfare.

Ravenna Bicycle Path Small Business Owners/Residents’ Work Group
Next Meeting Tuesday, July 23, 7 p.m.
Varsity Restaurant, 2300 N.E. 65th St.

Flyer about the meeting up just outside the Ravenna Varsity. Click the image to see the full version (6.4 MB file).

Flyer about the meeting up just outside the Ravenna Varsity Restaurant. Click the image to see the full version (6.4 MB file).

Concerns about NE 65th St and the BMP listed on the flyer include:

  • Loss of parking along NE 65th St, and cars being displaced to nearly residential streets;
  • Effects during special events (like University of Washington Football home games);
  • Emergency vehicle access to Ravenna Ida Culver;
  • Recommendation for a cycle track on NE 65th St was accompanied by “no empirical evidence to support it,” and no studies (environmental, traffic impact, or economic impact.

For more information about this meeting, residents are asked to contact Mark Briant at mcbriant@seanet.com.

Public comment on the City of Seattle’s 2013 Bicycle Master Plan Update can be sent to bmpupdate@seattle.gov. For a guide on making comments, you can use this form (Microsoft Word or PDF), supplied by the BMP Project Library page.

Mayoral Candidates come to NE Seattle on Wednesday night

Primary ballots start appearing in mailboxes soon — Do you know who your Seattle mayor candidate-of-choice is?

If not, you can catch most of them at a Mayoral Candidates Forum put on by the Northeast District Council on Wednesday, July 17.

Your 2013 Northeast District Council Mayoral Candidate Forum participants (and their respective candidate homepages, if I could find them) are:

Meet and greet the candidates at 6:30 PM, with a forum from 7-9 PM.

The event is being held at the Seattle Musical Theatre in Magnuson Park.  You are warned, however, that there is a paving project happening along Sand Point Way NE and NE 125th St. If you’re coming from the north, head south on 35th Ave NE, then east on NE 70th St. If you’re coming from the south, you’re likely to encounter slow traffic on Sand Point Way NE.

If you’re walking to the event, or riding a bike, watch out for cars using neighborhood streets as detours.

35th Avenue NE business district survey ends this Sunday — take it now!

Members of the Wedgwood Community Council and Ravenna-Bryant Community Association, together with other neighbors and local business owners have combined to form a group working on a neighborhood plan for 35th Avenue NE.

And part of that plan involves asking users of 35th Avenue NE what they think of the place, so the group has put together a survey.

If you find yourself on 35th Avenue NE on a regular (or even irregular basis), no matter where you live, your input is requested, and appreciated.

The survey has 31 questions, and takes 5-10 minutes to complete.

Click the image above to take the 35th Ave NE Business District survey (through July 14th)

Click the image above to take the 35th Ave NE Business District survey (through July 14th)

Learn more about the 35th Avenue NE neighborhood planning group/process here.