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.

lost_cat_Ziti

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.

Beloved metal animals stolen from Ravenna Park playground

Where Lucy the Pika once crouched…

Pika statue from Ravenna Park playground. Used with permission from Seattle Parks and Recreation.

…there is naught but a hole, a bent screw, and the name of the missing critter and her donor family.

Photo courtesy Tracy Sconyers

Photo courtesy Tracey Sconyers

Of the eleven bronze animal sculptures that have graced the Ravenna Park playground since 2008, four reportedly went missing over the weekend: Two pika, a deer mouse, and a mourning dove.


View Ravenna Park playground in a larger map

From resident Tracey Sconyers, who lives near the park (via email):

My girls informed me today [Monday, June 17] that four of the small animal statues are missing from around the Ravenna Park playground. They noticed yesterday (Sunday) that they were gone. I walked over the the park about an hour ago, and it looks like two pika, one deer mouse, and one mourning dove were cut from the rocks. All the missing pieces were along the upper sidewalk area, the one that passes directly in front of the little maintenance building.
Each [sculpture] was custom made for its location, and were a gift to the park, in commemoration for the extensive time and money that several families made to ensure that the playground was renovated.

Sconyers says she has called several local metal recyclers to make them aware of the thefts, and to keep an eye out for the sculptures.

Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Joelle Hammerstad tells us that Parks has already contacted the artist, Rachel Boughton, about possible replacements if the stolen animals are not returned. Good news: The artist still has the molds.

You can see all of the animals that artist Rachel Broughton (Flying Dog Press and Gallery)  made for the playground here.

Photo courtesy Tracey Sconyers

Photo courtesy Tracey Sconyers

You can view the Friends of Ravenna Playground site here, thanks to the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. The playground was renovated with money from grants and fundraising, and reopened with new play equipment in 2007.

Mayor McGinn in Ravenna for tour and a town hall (LIVE COVERAGE)

As a part of the Engage Seattle initiative, Mayor Mike McGinn is coming to the Ravenna neighborhood for both a tour and a town hall with residents on Saturday, December 1.

The town hall/Q&A portion will be held in the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center gym (6535 Ravenna Ave NE) from 11 AM – noon. Everyone is welcome to attend. The mayor, members of his staff, and representatives from various city departments will be on hand to answer questions.

Prior to the town hall, from 10-11 AM, the mayor, members of his staff, and select community leaders and members will be touring parts of Ravenna both on foot and by bicycle (the latter for the first time for this type of event). Ravenna Blog is along for the ride, providing live coverage, and speaking at a couple of the tour stops.

Live coverage of the tour and the town hall can be found below, once the event starts. The Seattle Channel has recorded previous town halls in other neighborhoods, and should they do so for ours you will find the video embedded in this post once it becomes available.

15th Avenue NE closed as police investigate ‘possible explosive devices’ (UPDATES)

Via the Seattle Police Department twitter feed:

15th Avenue Bridge closed in Ravenna as ABS investigates possible explosive devices found in the area. More info on the Blotter shortly.

The helicopter that can be heard in our area is over the scene.

More updates here when we get them.

UPDATE (12:11 PM): Police have determined the the suspected explosive devices are harmless. Via twitter:

Suspected pipe bombs deemed harmless. Everything on 15th should be back to normal shortly.

UPDATE (12:15 PM):SeattlePI.com’s Casey McNerthney has the story from police:

The suspicious devices were found shortly after 10 a.m. near the 15th Avenue Northeast bridge, which was closed for more than 2 hours as detectives investigated. The devices, made with capped PVC pipes, were also found near a regular homeless encampment, detective Renee Witt said.

Read the full story on SeattlePI.com’s Seattle 911 blog.

RHS cross country teams to give Ravenna Park a “trial run” (PHOTOS)

RHS Girls Cross Country / Kevin Shear

Today, Wednesday, September 12, the Roosevelt High School girls and boys cross country teams will race the teams from Newport High School on the trails of Ravenna Park. This is a home meet for RHS, which is located just a few blocks from the park.

But Ravenna Park is not their usual home course. Lincoln Park, in West Seattle, is. 

RHS Boys Cross Country / Steve Wolfe

RHS Athletic Director, Mike Scott, explains the home course choice (via email):

For all of the past years that I have been here at Roosevelt, most of our meets have either been at Lincoln or at Lower Woodland.  Lower Woodland tends to be a METRO site, while Lincoln tends to be a KingCo site for the 4A schools, but there is no hard and fast rule regarding this.  Meets can have multiple teams involved, and the two sites listed above allow for better parking for multiple busses.

Scott says that the RHS cross country team is huge — over 100 students involved — and getting everyone (athletes, coaches) over to Lincoln Park and back requires two busses at $250-$300 (budgeted) each. And when the yellow school busess aren’t available, more costly charter busses must be hired.

A switch to a home course at nearby Cowen and Ravenna Parks would not only be great for the team, but nice on the budget.

RHS Girls Cross Country / Kevin Shear

So, what would make today’s meet a success for all involved (the team, the school, Seattle Parks and Recreation, and neighbors)?  We’ve contacted Dennis Cook at Seattle Parks and Recreation (Athletics) about what his department is looking for from the event, and are awaiting a reply.

Here’s what Athletic Director Scott is looking for:

What I am looking for is to have an event that is seen by the public and patrons of the park as a good use of this resource to provide our kids with a positive and healthy event.  It is my sincere hope that the patrons and neighbors will be understanding of the importance of this opportunity for our school to provide this for our kids and for our parents, as well as the community, and our commitment to be good neighbors and use this resource respectfully.

And if the people coming to the meet also decide to stop in the neighborhood and buy a hamburger or two from one of our local restaurants, that would be another great thing to come from this event!!

Neighbors of the park will be pleased to know that the parking plan for the visiting team’s busses has them parked at the high school campus, and not on surface streets.

Cowbells! On Aisle 12. / Maple Leaf Ace

As for today’s meet itself, the team is looking for volunteers to help direct runners at key intersections along the route. Meet the team in the grassy area of Cowen Park at 3:30 PM.

And, of course, neighbors and other spectators are encouraged to watch the races and cheer on the athletes (Girls race at 4 PM, boys race at 4:45). (See the previous photo for an Olympic-inspired way to do that). Boys team member and Roosevelt News Online Editor Mitchell Smith tells us the teams will be sporting their new uniforms today, too.

Special thanks to Frank Hodge (father of a RHS girls cross country team captain) for the original tip for this story.

……

UPDATE (6:40 PM): Here are some pictures of the meet (beforehand, and during the girls’ race).

Ah, this must be the place.

 

Big ol’ pile of Roosevelt backpacks and gear.

 

Kiosk at the entrance of Cowen Park with a pink notice posted about the event.

 

Directional marking near the start of the course.

 

The girls team practices their start.

 

The girls team during a pre-race moment, and some student photographers capturing said moment from on high.

 

Newport and Roosevelt girls teams at the start, getting directions from an RHS coach.

 

And they’re off!

 

 

 

 

I caught up with the girls again later in the course, as I peered over the edge of the 20th Ave NE footbridge:

Leading at this point in the course: Roosevelt.

 

Here’s the first Newport runner, alongside the third Lady Roughrider to pass under the bridge.

 

And what were the RESULTS of today’s races? We heard about the boys team first, from runner and Roosevelt News Online Editor Mitchell:

Later that night, however, we learned how the girls did against Newport:

Congrats to our girls cross country team!! They defended our home turf with a win of 41 to 22 against Newport! RIDERPOWER #canttouchthis

— Rider Nation (@RHSRiderNation) September 13, 2012

WELL DONE, LADIES.

Python loose in the park! But which park?

We got a voice mail from North Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Terrie Johnston this afternoon at 2:50 PM, saying, “I hope you’re not at Cowen Park playfield…uh playground. A seven-foot yellow python got loose and he’s headed for the playground.”

Now, that’s an amusing story, but Cowen Park is not in Ravenna. So I just mention the missing snake on twitter, like this:

A few minutes later, the official Seattle Police Department twitter feed says this:

Oh no! Wrong neighborhood! And wrong park! Lower case “p” or not, people are going to get confused!

But I check with Terrie Johnston again, to make sure. “61st and Brooklyn Cowen Park” is the email reply.


View Snake on the loose! in a larger map

Decidedly NOT Ravenna Park.

But the damage has been done. The SPD tweet has now been REtweeted over 300 times (probably because of that “Snakes on a Plane” movie reference being clever and all).

And, of course, someone has started a new twitter feed…FOR THE SNAKE:

Thankfully, the SPD just updated the story on their blog, and you can read it here (“Officers On Python Patrol After Snake Escapes In Ravenna Neighborhood“).

An excerpt for you:

As police officers and officials from Seattle parks department and Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife search the neighborhood and Cowen/Ravenna Park for the snake, you and your small pets should keep to the trails, and stay away from drainage ditches, thick foliage, and hollow logs, according to Seattle’s resident snake expert, Peter Miller.

Miller, reptile keeper at Woodland Park Zoo, estimates the snake is around 15-20 pounds and says it “has the potential” to be dangerous. ”These guys are ambush predators,” he says. “They find a well protected covered area and they sit and they wait.”

KING 5 news Reporter John Langeler got the location right, though:

And it looks like Seattle Parks and Recreation has put up signage.

John Langeler / KING 5

If Timid the Albino Python is found (yeah, his name is Timid), we’ll let you know here.

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!

NEW weekly feature: Your Moment of Ravenna Zen

As your friendly neighborhood news site, we often come across little bits and pieces of interesting things that we don’t quite know where to put on the site.

This week, we decided that we’ve been hoarding these interesting tidbits for long enough.

Welcome to “Your Moment of Ravenna Zen”* — a (hopefully) weekly look at the little things that make our neighborhood the special place that we know and love.

For this first installment, we bring you 49 seconds of Ravenna Creek, from seacam’s YouTube channel. Enjoy.

Do YOU have a Moment of Ravenna Zen to share? Email rebecca@ravennablog.com, or use our handy dandy comment form to tell us about it.

____________________

*Yes, keen observers will note that we may have been inspired by a similarly named segment at the tail end of every episode of The Daily Show.

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.