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.

NE 65th St

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.

Birthday party time! Plus a few ways to help support the Ravenna Blog


This month, the Ravenna Blog turns five years old.

Can you believe it?! We hardly can.

We started the site back on August 8, 2008 with the following post:

The goal here is report on the doings and transpirings in Ravenna, a residential neighborhood in northeast Seattle.

Drop us a line if you see anything remotely interesting happening in the area.  As a new blog with no readers, we certainly appreciate any and all help.

Since then we’ve covered townhouses driving down the street in the middle of the night, made a video of President Barack Obama’s motorcade driving through the neighborhoodtoured a still under construction light rail station, provided live coverage of 12 events, and taken pictures of the mayor with a goat.

And since we started keeping track on May 31, 2010, the Ravenna Blog has been visited 204,182 times by 121,443 unique visitors.

Pretty darn good for a five-year-old, eh?

To celebrate this mighty neighborhood news site milestone, we’ve put together a bunch of ways readers can help make the next five years pretty darn good, too.

Birthday Party!

Gosh, we’d love to meet you. And share some cake with you.

On Thursday, August 15, from 5-7 PM, we’re holding an open house-style birthday party at Zeeks Pizza (2108 NE 65th St). There will be cake, pizza, free Ravenna Blog pins, a few of our new Kalevetica t-shirts for sale, a “News Tips” Jar for those who would like to make a donation to the site, and us!

Please be sure to RSVP to the party — we need to make sure there’s enough cake for all!


New “Support the Ravenna Blog” page

We’ve heard from regular readers for a while now that they’d like to help support the site in some way. We have advertising for local businesses available, but nothing in place for everybody else.

So, in honor of our five years (so far) of local news and events coverage, we’ve launched the Support the Ravenna Blog page.


We’ve come up with four ways that readers can help support the work of the Ravenna Blog:

1. Reoccurring support: “Subscribe” to the Ravenna Blog at a level that works for you and your household.

2. Flat donation: Make a one-time donation — tell us who you are or be anonymous.

3. Swag: We’ve taken five long years to come up with a t-shirt that (we believe) fits the spirit of this parking-strip-planting, modern-life-loving neighborhood — and you can be the proud owner of one.

4. Advertising: We love seeing local businesses represented on the site. And the Ravenna Blog averages 12,250 pageviews and 5,200 unique visitors a month, so these ads get seen.

But no matter what, dear reader, thank you for coming here. Thank you for the new tips, the questions, the pictures-from-the-scene, the “Why is that helicopter over my house?” inquiries, and all the words of encouragement. They have meant more than we can say.

We hope we have represented you well these past five years.

Community meeting about proposed changes to NE 75th St (LIVE COVERAGE, UPDATE)

On Wednesday, July 24, from approximately 6:30-9 PM, Ravenna Blog will be attending the NE 75th St Design Alternatives Review meeting being held at the Wedgwood Presbyterian Church (8008 35th Ave NE), and will provide live coverage below.

The agenda for the meeting, released by SDOT’s Jim Curtin via the NE 75th St listserv on Monday, looks like this:

7:00        Welcome and Announcements

7:05        Recap of Spring Meetings

7:15        SDOT Presentation

7:45        Questions and Answers

8:15        Speak Directly with SDOT

9:00        Adjourn

If you have not yet done your NE 75th St homework, please look over the four SDOT proposed designs for the arterial here.

UPDATE (Thursday, July 25): SDOT has made the presentation available online, with a few updates made for the Thursday afternoon presentation (as requested with more visuals!). You can download the PowerPoint presentation itself here (5.7 MB), or just the slides in PDF format here (2 MB).

Here’s an example of some of the added graphics (this one of what NE 75th St might look like under Proposal 4 with increased pedestrian crosswalk features):

The text under this new slide in the SDOT NE 75th St redesign presentation says "Pedestrian refuge and crosswalk Business district improvement  Easier to mark pedestrian  "

The text under this new slide in the SDOT NE 75th St redesign presentation says “Pedestrian refuge and crosswalk, Business district improvement, Easier to mark pedestrian.”

Spoke & Food: Bike to dinner for good on July 30

How about we take a timeout from bicycle infrastructure matters, and get back to basics: It’s fun to ride a bike. Especially in the summer. ESPECIALLY to go meet friends for dinner, at a local joint.

Thanks to our own sponsors in the last year, the Ravenna Blog was able to help sponsor another great local thing: The fourth annual Spoke & Food evening of dining and bikes!



From the Spoke & Food website:

Participation is easy. All you need to do is to bike to and from one of our participating host restaurants on the evening of our event. Invite your friends or family to meet you, bring your neighbors, pack up your kids or go at it alone.

Each of our participating host restaurants have agreed to donate 20% of ALL of their patron revenues from the evening of the event directly to the local non-profit that we select each year.


Dine at any of the participating restaurants listed on the Spoke & Food website from 5:30-9:30 PM on Tuesday, July 30th, 2013, and 20% (or more) of your dinner bill will be donated directly to the Bike Works non-profit.

TWENTY different restaurants around Seattle are participating this year, two of which are in our neck of the woods:


50 North

5001 25th Ave NE #100;

just south of the Burke-Gilman Trail at 25th Ave NE


Vios Cafe & Pub

6504 20th Ave NE;

inside Ravenna Third Place Books


From the Bike Works About page:

Bike Works is an innovative organization centered around bicycles that combines youth development, community engagement, bicycle recycling and a social enterprise bike shop to help build a sustainable and healthy community.

We’ll be stopping by these locations on the night of the event to check in, and perhaps to nosh.

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

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

Washington State Governor Jay Inslee signs tougher DUI bill into law (VIDEO)

While Wednesday’s joint Mayor’s Office/Seattle Department of Transportation press conference was held at the intersection of last March’s DUI tragedy, the topic was overall street safety along NE 75th St and the SDOT proposed street design changes.

The next day, however, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee signed DUI legislation (SB 5912) into law down in Tacoma at the Washington State Patrol District 1 headquarters.

Screen grab from's coverage of Governor Jay Inslee signing new DUI legislation into law. Click through to read the whole article, and see more photos from the event by Associated Press Photographer Ted S. Warren.

Screen grab from’s coverage of Governor Jay Inslee signing new DUI legislation into law. Click through to read the whole article, and see more photos from the event by Associated Press photographer Ted S. Warren.

Dan and Marilyn Schulte both attended on their family’s behalf, and were joined at the signing by over a dozen legislators and law enforcement leaders, as well as family members of a woman killed by a drunk driver in 2010.

About the bill, Associated Press reporter Rachel La Corte wrote:

Under the new law, a driver suspected of a second impaired driving offense faces mandatory arrest and will have an interlock device installed on their vehicle within five days of being charged.

The state also will begin a pilot program in as many as three counties and two cities not in those counties to conduct daily alcohol monitoring of anyone convicted twice under the DUI law. Additional money will be put toward ensuring that local jurisdictions prosecute and punish more offenders more quickly.

The final version of the bill was passed unanimously by both the House and Senate.

Most of the law will go into effect on September 28 of this year; however, the monitoring program and a few other components will not go into effect until January 1, 2014.

You can read more about the path to the bill’s final version here (“How budget constraints narrowed Olympia’s DUI crackdown,” June 26, 2012, Seattle Times,” and read the full signed bill here (near the bottom, the link titled “Bill as Passed Legislature.”)

Video of the bill signing event was broadcast live by TVW, the “C-SPAN of Washington state” (our words), and also available below. Dan Schulte begins his statement at about the seven minute mark.


SDOT releases NE 75th St rechannelization options (PHOTOS, UPDATES, POLL)

[UPDATE (Friday, July 19): We’ve added a poll! Read about the design options below, vote for your preferred design, and then discuss in the comments.

And one more thing: Tom Fucoloro over at Seattle Bike Blog showed us this nifty online tool that lets you play around at redesigning a road for yourself: Streetmix. Choose a road width of 40 feet for NE 75th St, and give it a shot!]

At a press conference this morning at 33rd Avenue NE and NE 75th Street, Mayor Mike McGinn and the City Traffic Engineer Dongho Chang announced four different design proposals for a safer NE 75th St for all users.

[More information about this morning’s press conference to come — check back here later.]

ALL four proposed designs include marking the lanes off distinctly (“defining channelization”). Speaking prior to the press conference this morning, Chang said that this feature of a future NE 75th St was very strongly desired by residents, according to the community feedback the Seattle Department of Transportation had collected prior to the design phase.

Here is the full NE 75th ST design proposal (500 KB PDF) for you to read. But we’ve also taken the liberty to talk about the changes below ourselves.


Existing Conditions


Existing conditions on NE 75th Street (between 15th Ave NE and 35th Ave NE)

The above graphic shows existing conditions along NE 75th ST, between 15th Ave NE and 35th Ave NE: Two undefined lanes in each direction, with off-peak parking in the outside lanes.

And now, the four different proposals, combining various new roadway configurations to reduce speeds and improve safety, and in order of increasing changes and safety features.

Proposal 1


Proposal 1 for NE 75th Street (between 15th Ave NE and 35th Ave NE)

Proposal 1 is exactly what we have now, but with the painted white lines clearly indicating travel/parking lanes (“defining channelization”). Parking along both sides of NE 75th St would not be affected.

Some of the safety limitations SDOT sees in this design are that roadway crossing distances for pedestrians are not reduced, the efficiency of the roadway is not improved, cyclists are still mixed in with motor vehicle traffic, and little to no change to vehicle speed is expected.

Proposal 2


Proposal 2 for NE 75th Street (between 15th Ave NE and 35th Ave NE)

Proposal 2 sees one lane only in each direction of NE 75th St, but in wider travel lanes. Parking on both sides of the street would have no restrictions, and would be well marked with white lines (again, “defining channelization”).

Pluses for safety with Proposal 2 includes a reduced crossing distance for pedestrians and a likely reduction in vehicle speed.

Limitations with this proposal include no separation between cyclists and motor vehicles, again, and no designated left turn lanes (decreasing the efficiency of the roadway).


Proposal 3


Proposal 3 for NE 75th Street (between 15th Ave NE and 35th Ave NE)

Proposal 3 continues the defining channelization theme, and includes separated lanes for cyclists. As in Proposal one, there is one travel lane in each direction (again, slightly wider than lanes are currently), with permanent parking on one side of NE 75th St only*.

Safety improvements in Proposal 3 include reduced crossing distance for pedestrians, separated cycling lanes, and a likely reduction in vehicle speed.

Left turns are once again going to decrease the efficiency of the street.


Proposal 4


Proposal 4 for NE 75th Street (between 15th Ave NE and 35th Ave NE)

Proposal 4 combines all of the safety improvements we’ve seen so far — defining channelization, one lane travel each way (reducing pedestrian crossing distance), separate lanes for cyclists, a likely reduction in vehicle speed — and adds a designated left turn lane down the center. Roadway efficiency is said to be improved as left turning vehicles are removed from moving traffic.

Downside? Well, what is missing from the graphic above?


The goal for the NE 75th Street Road Safety Corridor Project is, yes, safety. But what vehicular amenities will Northest Seattle residents be willing to surrender in the name of safety? Find out by attending one of the two community meetings next week to discuss these proposed changes to NE 75th St. If you are unable to attend either of those meetings, Ravenna Blog will have live coverage of the meeting on Wednesday, July 24 (available here the day of the meeting).



UPDATES: Of course, we weren’t the only ones at the press conference this morning.

9:03 PM: Here’s Q13FOX’s coverage which, of the evening newscasts below, was the most on message about the proposed changes to NE 75th St. [Video removed for now, due to auto play.]

6:58 PM: Here’s KOMO 4’s coverage, which included some thoughts from Marilyn Schulte, daughter of Judy and Dennis Schulte:

Here’s KIRO 7’s evening coverage of the Mayor/SDOT press conference this morning:

*The SDOT PDF lists the south side of NE 75th St as the side of this proposed all day parking; however, it is our feeling that with Eckstein Middle School’s location also on the south side of NE 75th St, this may be in error. We will attempt to clarify this point prior to the meeting on July 27 (or bring it up there).

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.

Get schooled on UW architecture, with a Seattle Architecture Foundation tour

Ever strolled onto the University of Washington campus, marveled at all the different architecture, and thought, “Gosh, I’d sure love to learn more about these buildings from a knowledgable person, for a modest fee?”

Well, you’re in luck, dear reader! Because the Seattle Architecture Foundation (SAF) is doing just such a thing.

Via email:

Purple and Gold: From Gothic to Modern at the UW Core

Come see how this glorious “University of a Thousand Years” has managed through its first 150. Go back in time to bask in the rich detail of Gothic, Renaissance, and Beaux Arts architecture. Stroll through serene quadrangles, lush gardens and awe-inspiring interiors along the way. Witness some new stars as contemporary buildings change with the needs of this fine institution. Oh, and did we mention it has the most fabulous view of Mount Rainier.

The tours run from 11:30 AM-1:30 PM on July 27, August 31*, September 28*, and October 26* (the last Saturdays of the next four months).

Tickets are $15 ($10 for SAF members, $25 day of IF there are any available). Advance tickets are strongly recommended, and can be purchased through Brown Paper Tickets, here.

The Seattle Architecture Foundation is a non-profit organization that connects people to the architecture, design and history of Seattle. SAF provides entertaining workshops, dynamic tours, educational seminars and enthusiastic community advocacy.

*A word of caution: All of these starred tour dates are also Husky Football home game dates. You may want to consult the Husky Football season schedule before choosing one of these dates; however, not all the game times are set as of this writing.

NE 75th St Design Alternatives Review meeting dates set — save the date(s)!

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has gone through all the feedback they received and data they’ve collected about NE 75th St and nearby roadways, and come up with some design alternatives for the area. And the big reveal is coming soon.


Via the NE 75th Street Road Safety Corridor Project email list (emphasis ours):

Please join the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) to review proposed roadway design changes on NE 75th Street and other nearby streets. Two meetings have been scheduled to consider the proposals and gather public feedback:

Evening Meeting: Wednesday, July 24th, 7-9PM in the Fellowship Hall (downstairs) at Wedgwood Presbyterian Church (8008 35th Ave NE)

Daytime Meeting: Thursday, July 25th, 1-3PM in the Fellowship Hall (downstairs) at Messiah Lutheran Church (7050 35th Ave NE)

The proposed alternatives will be released to the email list and the project website in advance of these meetings, so be ready for a little homework ahead of time.


The Ravenna Blog is planning on attending the evening meeting on Wednesday, July 24, and will have LIVE COVERAGE running for those of you at home — follow along live and/or read later.