Welcome to the 2015 Seattle City Council District Games (UPDATE)

Earlier in April, the City of Seattle finally released the official 2015 map of the Seattle City Council Districts. The reason for the map and the new way of electing our city councilmembers being (via seattle.gov):

In 2013, Seattle voters passed a measure amending our city’s charter to establish City Council districts. In 2015, voters will elect seven out of the nine City Council members by district. The remaining two positions will be elected “at-large” (city-wide) in positions 8 and 9.

Our Ravenna neighborhood is located in Council District 4, along with Bryant, Roosevelt, View Ridge, Sand Point, Windermere, Laurelhurst, Hawthorne Hills, the University District, Eastlake, half of Wedgwood, most of Wallingford, and a touch of Fremont — which is why it is so great to finally have a city-approved map with hard boundaries.

Northern portion of the Council Districts map. Click to open the interactive version.

Northern portion of the Council Districts map. Click to open the interactive version.

Within the interactive map above, Seattle residents can search for their address to find out which Council District they are located in, or just zoom in and around to see what neighborhoods are located in which districts.

On Wednesday, March 12, Crosscut held an event called “Mapping Seattle’s New Political Landscape,” where contributors Ben Anderstone and Knute Berger talked about Seattle’s newly created City Council Districts.

While we did not attend, we did follow along on twitter. Here’s what the duo had to say about our District 4, in one slide:

As for how City Council races will be scheduled in the future, the City Clerk’s office lays out the following timeline:

In 2015:

  • All nine Councilmember seats will be up for election and the transition will occur during that city election
  • Seven districted Councilmembers will be elected to four-year terms
  • The remaining two at-large Councilmembers will be elected to a two-year term

In 2017:

  • Seven districted Councilmembers will be elected to four-year terms*
  • The two at-large seats will be elected to four-year terms
  • The at-large Councilmembers will from this point forward be on the same election cycle as the Mayor and City Attorney

Then in the fall of 2022 (and every ten years thereafter), “a five-member Districting Commission will be created to redraw the district boundaries.”

Current City Councilmember Jean Godden has already tossed her hat into the ring for the newly created District 4 seat (she’s a View Ridge resident). But so far, at the time of writing, and with the filing deadline being over a year away, only current CMs have filed for reelection.

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One of Councilmember Tim Burgess’s legislative aides, Alex Pedersen, made a suspicious move earlier in April: His monthly “4 to Explore: A Northeast Neighborhoods Newsletter,” published online or sent via email since August 2013, showed up in paper form in the Seattle Times. When asked if he’s considering running, fellow Council District 4 resident Pedersen told us (via email):

We hear a lot from interest groups but not enough from families because they are busy working to get by. So the newsletter highlights not only important neighborhood issues, but fun stuff that will be engaging and relevant each month.

I support Jean Godden and she’s aware of the newsletter :)

The deadline for getting on the ballot in 2015 is Friday, May 15, 2015, so District 4 residents have plenty of time to decide to run. You can track all the City Council candidates running in the 2015 Primary here, on seattle.gov.

And to all present and possible future Council District candidates, I say: May the odds be ever in your favor.

 

UPDATE (10:07 AM): Serendipitously, Crosscut’s Knute Berger has a piece out just this morning about this very topic: “New survey offers tips for implementing Seattle’s new city council districts.”

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* Correction: We accidentally repeated the “Seven districted Councilmembers…” line in both lists. Thank you, Tony Provine, for alerting us to this error.

Are you ready to huddle up? Husky Football traffic is coming. (UPDATE)

After nearly a two year absence (and $280 million dollars), University of Washington Football is back with us in Northeast Seattle.

The countdown to the first game on Saturday night has a motto: “Retake Montlake.” But residents in the path of 70,000+ spectators leaving the stadium area may take that slogan to mean “Retake Montlake, and 25th, and 45th, and 520, and residential streets used as a shortcut and…” etc.

The traffic plan for game days this year is similar to the one used in the past. But additional restrictions on parking in certain areas may be new to you.

Traffic Plan for Game Days

From the Seattle Department of Transportation’s Husky Game Day page:

  • The Washington State Department of Transportation will operate the Montlake Bridge under a modified schedule which will keep the bridge in the down position (open to vehicles and pedestrians) approximately two hours and thirty minutes before the start of the game and up to three hours after the game concludes.
  • Seattle Police officers will staff intersections before and after the event in the immediate area to help facilitate safe vehicle and pedestrian flow.
  • Lane and traffic restrictions to help control traffic flow will also be implemented throughout the area.
  • At the conclusion of the game, Montlake Boulevard NE will be closed to through traffic between NE Pacific Street and NE 45th Street until the traffic volumes exiting the stadium parking lots subsides.
  • All northbound traffic crossing the Montlake Bridge, excluding emergency and permit holding vehicles, will be re-routed westbound on NE Pacific Street.
  • Southbound traffic traveling toward Husky Stadium will also be detoured away from the stadium.
  • All traffic exiting stadium parking lots along Montlake Boulevard NE will be routed northbound.
  • Pedestrian traffic is given precedence for the first 20 minutes after the conclusion of the game by Seattle Police officers to help move the crowds safely away from the stadium.
  • At the conclusion of the game, NE 25th Street between Montlake Blvd NE and NE 75th Street becomes one-way northbound for approximately two hours.

Astute observers may note that there is no new traffic plan component for the newly redesigned NE 75th Street itself.

Reminder: NE 75th Street’s rechannelization was designed for the other 358 or so days of the year. As were all the other streets leading to and from Husky Stadium. We should all expect congestion on local roads when those other seven or so days of the year roll around, and 70,000 people all try to go home at once.

But having said that, should residents have comments/observations for SDOT about the massive traffic exodus (on NE 75th Street or elsewhere), we can leave them at this number: 684-ROAD.

Additional Restrictions on Parking

To ease parking congestion in popular areas of the city, SDOT has set up Restricted Parking Zones (RPZs) that allow residents to park for longer periods of time than visitors.

New to you, however, may be the RPZs around Husky Stadium: the Game Day RPZs  —  set up in Zones A, B, 1, 6 and 20 to specifically maintain parking for residents in the area on game days.

Zone A: Montlake / Husky Game Days

Zone B: Ravenna/Laurelhurst Husky Game Days

Zone 1: Montlake

Zone 6: University Park (NEW)

Zone 20: Ravenna/Bryant

This year, SDOT added Game Day restrictions to RPZ 6 (University Park). This area is directly south of Ravenna Park to NE 50th St, and between 15th Avenue NE and Ravenna Ave NE (down Ravenna all the way to NE 45th Street)

SDOT map of RPZ 6. Click to see the map in color (PDF)

SDOT map of Restricted Parking Zone 6 (University Park). Click to see the map larger and in color (4 KB PDF).

Below is a picture of a couple parking signs posted in RPZ 6. The green one on the top is probably familiar to you. The red one on the bottom, however, is new.

Pair of RPZ signs near NE 51st Street and Ravenna Ave NE. Photo by Jef Jaisun.

Pair of RPZ signs near NE 51st Street and Ravenna Ave NE in the University park (RPZ 6). Photo by University Park resident.

What this means for Saturday, for example, is that vehicles without a RPZ 6 decal or guest pass are NOT ALLOWED TO PARK in this area between 4 PM and 11 PM (three hours before the 7 PM game, and two hours after).

That’s seven straight hours of no parking for any vehicles without a RPZ 6 decal (or guest pass).

And this restriction does include those cute little Car2Go vehicles (answers apply to all Game Day RPZs):

The new restrictions have at least one resident of RPZ 6 very concerned. This individual lives in an area of the zone known as the Ravenna Springs neighborhood. Via email (name withheld until we get permission to use it):

These new restrictions were pushed through by several members of UPCC. Those of us who live on Ravenna Ave below 55th and have been following the “process” are extremely unhappy with it. We happen to live on the last street in Zone 6, and have pretty much nothing to do with the UPCC neighborhood up the hill. In fact, we’re the independent Ravenna Springs neighborhood.

On the Friday morning following Thanksgiving night, when friends and family are visiting and there is normally no parking enforcement, restrictions will begin at 9am! The only way you won’t get a $50 ticket is to have a Zone 6 permit or a guest pass. Problematic because guest passes cost an additional $30 and are limited to one per household.

UPDATE (10:41 AM): For more information on the city’s Restricted Parking Zones and how to obtain RPZ decals and guest passes, visit SDOT’s Restricted Parking Zone Program Online Permitting page.

Let the games begin.

Ziti the cat has escaped! Have you seen her?

Ravenna Park neighbors in particular: We have a lost cat alert for you.

Ziti the Indoor Cat, pictured below, slipped out on the night of Sunday, July 14 and hasn’t been seen since.

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The details, via email from the Hooning family (emphasis ours):

Our cat, Ziti, got out of our home at 62nd and Ravenna Ave NE on 7/14, and hasn’t been seen since. She is a four year old torby (tortoise shell/tabby), medium size, wearing a light blue collar with bees and flower design, and may be shy with strangers. Our cats have been indoor cats since we adopted them from Cat City last summer, so we’re concerned that Ziti has gotten lost or injured (we live a block from the ravine.) Please call if you see her (bonus points if you can catch her and keep her), and we’ll come by when we can to try to get her home.

If you see any signs of Ziti, please call 719-7815.

Candy Cane Lane 2012 (PHOTOS)

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The Ravenna Blog staff walked Candy Cane Lane (NE Park Rd) on Thursday evening, and took a bunch of pictures (some with rather long exposures).

Enjoy.

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Candy Cane Lane prepping to open this Saturday night

The word on the street boulevard is that Candy Cane Lane will get totally lit* this Saturday, December 8.

The homes along NE Park Rd/Park Rd NE will be in full-on powered up festive mode from 4-10 PM. The theme for the street this year is “The Nutcracker,” with the gigantic holly bush in the roundabout transformed into a carousel.


View Candy Cane Lane in a larger map

A canned food drive donation station will once again sit at the end of the route, and viewers can also leave donations at the nearby Boulevard Grocery (2007 NE Ravenna Blvd).

In case you’re new to the area, or want to know more about this over-50-year-old Northeast Seattle tradition, the Seattle Times profiled the festive neighborhood feature back in 2010.

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Click the image to read the article at the Seattle Times.

 

Traffic through the area can get pretty bogged down, so we recommend approaching the area on foot or by bicycle. Metro bus routes 30 and 74 have stops nearby, as do routes 68, 243, 372, and 980.

Another feature to being car-free near Candy Cane Lane is that you can more easily stop into nearby Boulevard Grocery (a Ravenna Blog sponsor) to see the remodel, and try one of their holiday drinks: Eggnog, apple cider, and pumpkin spice or peppermint syrup for your lattes and whatnot.

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*Yeah, that was an attempt at a joke about a recently legalized substance.

Mini-craft fair at Boulevard Grocery

The reincarnated Boulevard Grocery (2007 NE Ravenna Blvd) is holding their second mini-craft fair this afternoon, Sunday, August 12, from noon-3 PM, in front of the store.

A selection of vegetable portrait postcards by Chavas Garden.

Some of the vendors and their wares include:

There will also be face painting for the young (and young-at-heart).

Another great opportunity to check out the little store, too, if you haven’t already!

Take a tour of the new old Boulevard Grocery (PHOTOS)

The exterior of the building is still forest green with red trim, but the interior of Boulevard Grocery (2007 NE Ravenna Blvd) has undergone quite a transformation this year.

Since Seven Coffee Roasters’ Sean Lee took over the business around the close of 2011, the barely 800-square-foot neighborhood grocery store has added two more jobs to its own resume: cafe and art space. All three facets seek to tempt both long-time residents and university students alike to come in, enjoy each others’ company, and head home with food and drink for their tables.

We stopped by the 96-year-old-building in January (for the soft open) and again here in April to witness the progress and share it with you here.

From left to right: Owner Sean, Barista Patrick, and Manager Jeff (photo taken at the soft open)

Whole bean Seven Coffee Roaster coffee was first to line the shelves back in January...

...and has since been joined by other goods such as pasta, oatmeal, soup, condiments, and more.

The Four Loko is gone, happily replaced by 22 oz bottles of local beers.

Wall o' wine at the rear of the store.

During our January visit these built-in benches had just been completed. They've since been joined by a large table.

The new pastry case, rife with hand pies from High 5 Pie.

Sandwiches by Blue Saucer in Maple Leaf wait to be purchased for a picnic.

Bread by the Essential Baking Company, delivered every other day.

Free toast with coffee special advertised next to a jar of doggie treats.

Sorry, kitty: No treats for you.

A small flock of origami birds cluster together on a windowsill.

A painting of Boulevard Grocery itself, done by a local.

The Compassion Wizard even hangs out here.

A mixed media work by Narboo (note the plastic soda can rings on the left).

A limited run of handpainted bags on display -- portions of each sale go to the artist, the store, and a charity.

With the beans removed, your coffee bean bag artwork is suitable for framing.

For more on the gallery side of Boulevard Grocery, check out this piece by Lauren Kronebusch of The Daily at the University of Washington: “Boulevard Gallery: View From A Coffee Cup.”

Boulevard Grocery is also holding an artwalk this Friday, April 21st, from 6-9 PM. Works by Greenwood’s Narboo and Starheadboy will be showcased, with live acoustic music.

Ravenna’s Candy Cane Lane set to open December 10

We’ve heard from one of the homeowners on Candy Cane Lane (NE Park Rd) that their annual holiday light extravaganza is set to start on December 10 this year.

Looking festive now — Imagine what it will look like at night!

Here’s a story on the history of this annual neighborhood tradition from the Seattle Times last year.