New, ongoing feature: The NE Seattle Development Tracker page

20140312-153340.jpg

“Crane and Land,” water color by Kathleen Coyle. Photo taken in Grateful Bread (7001 35th Ave NE).

There’s SO MUCH happening in Northeast Seattle in terms of large developments, we’ve decided to stop writing individual posts about them and give them their own PAGE.

We hereby introduce you to: The NE Seattle Development Tracker page, accessible from anywhere on the Ravenna Blog via a new tab (just to the left of our Search box).

For each development project listed on the map, you can find the following information:

  • Address
  • Main project number and link
  • Current permit activity link
  • Department of Planning and Development (DPD) documents page link
  • Description of the project in its final form (# of stories, apartments, retail square-footage, etc.)
  • Northeast Design Review Board link (to past and future meetings)
  • Design proposal PDF link
  • Website of the new project

Not all of the above information will be available for every project — some are far newer than others — but we’ll add new info and links as the projects progress.


View NE Seattle large development tracker in a larger map

Curious about a project you don’t see on the map yet? Leave a comment below with the address of the project (or contact us here, via web form). We’ll do our best to find more information to add to the map.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 SeattleP-I.com'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 SeattleP-I.com’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

NE_75th_proposal_0

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

NE_75th_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

NE_75th_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

NE_75th_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

NE_75th_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?

Parking.

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).

 

Poll!

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.

Wedgwood Community Council meeting – Safer Streets for All (LIVE COVERAGE)