Bad sledding run near Ravenna Park lands woman in the hospital (UPDATE)

A woman was taken to Harborview Medical Center this afternoon, after a bad sledding run landing near the southern end of Ravenna Park.

Seattle Fire Department Public Information Officer Kyle Moore contacted SFD staff at the scene and got us the details.

View NE 54th St sledding accident in a larger map

The 19-year-old college student was sledding down NE 54th Street around 3:30 PM when she slid over a jump, landed on some rocks, hit her head, and lost consciousness. She had regained consciousness by the time Seattle Fire Department units reached her, but she was taken to Harborview in a stable condition as a precaution.

Many thanks to Capitol Hill Seattle’s own Justin Carder who provided the tip over twitter.


Please, people. For goodness sake: Make GOOD sledding choices.

Timmy was never the same after the extraction.
(Just kidding. This was an object d'snow art on NE 75th St from the snows of late 2008.)


UPDATE (Thursday afternoon): Steve Sorbo (@macsosguy) caught some NE 54th Street sledding action for us today at the scene of yesterday’s crash.

Ask Ravenna Blog: What’s in a bioswale?

Inspired by a reoccurring column that our neighborblog, Roosiehood, writes, I am introducing the “Ask Ravenna Blog” post.

The premise of these posts is this: You, dear neighbor, send me a question, and I’ll do my best to find the answer.

Today’s question comes from southern Ravenna resident, Pamela, via twitter. She lives quite close to the Seattle Department of Transportation’s construction zone at the Scramble (NE 55th St/Ravenna/22nd Ave NE) and was wondering…

…what’s going to go in in the “bioswales” and who’s going to maintain it.

I emailed Construction Communications Officer, Bob Derry, who forwarded Pamela’s query to Jessica Murphy, the manager of the 15th Avenue NE Reconstruction Project (which the Scramble project is a part of). Here’s what she had to say:

The bioretention facilities will be maintained by Seattle Public Utilities as they are a stormwater infrastructure. The plants being used are as follows:

Kelsey Dogwood (cornus stolonifera)
Wetland Sedge (carex obnupta)
Baltic Rush (Juncus balticus)
Daylilies (hemerocallis)
Catmint (nepeta mussilinii)
Geraniums (geranium macrorrhizum)
Sword ferns

There are also going to be some new trees – Hogan cedars, black maples and tupelos all maintained by SDOT Urban Forestry.

There you are, Pamela (and anyone else who was wondering about bioswale contents and maintenance).

Have a question? Ask Ravenna Blog! Email me at


Ask Ravenna Blog BONUS: The SDOT’s Urban Forestry program’s website has a lot of great information for residents, including street tree planting procedures, a tree pruning guide, traffic circle volunteer information, and much more.

Also, if you have any comments, concerns or accolades for the Scramble construction crew, Construction Communications Officer, Bob Derry, can pass them along for you. You can find his contact information near the bottom of the 15th Avenue NE Reconstruction Project website.

Checking in on the “Scramble” construction (so you don’t have to)

You know that phrase, “It’s gonna get worse before it gets better?” Well, it describes the state of the “Scramble” (NE 55th St/Ravenna Blvd/22nd Ave NE) perfectly right now.

The top layer of most of the road in the area has been removed (part of the repaving project that began last year on 22nd Ave NE), detours are in place, and construction vehicles and workers are EVERYWHERE.

Yesterday night, after construction was over for the day, I dragged took the family on a tour of the area to share with you the current state of the project.

Here’s the final design again, to remind us where the project is ultimately headed:

Final design plan for the "Scramble," courtesy SDOT - click to view full size

There are two segments to the video, which I have illustrated on the Google Map below (starting points indicated by the markers; blue first, red second). The progress on the northern bioswale can be seen in the first segment, the southern in the second.

View Scramble Drive video routes in a larger map


Like I said, the footage above was recorded AFTER construction was finished for the day. During the day, the area is very, very congested. I will even go so far as recommending that you stay out of the area until after construction is finished.

Here’s what’s on this week’s to-do list for the Scramble (courtesy the Seattle Department of Transportation):

  • Repair concrete base pavement on NE 55th St, and Ravenna Ave NE
  • Repair asphalt base pavement on Ravenna Ave NE (Note – Southbound Ravenna Ave NE will be detoured on Wednesday and Thursday May 18th and 19th to accommodate this work)
    Upcoming night work: May 23rd and 24th
  • The contractor is scheduled to do asphalt paving on NE 55th St between 25th Ave NE and 22nd Ave NE the nights of Monday and Tuesday, May 23rd and 24th. This paving work will be done between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. (Note – this work is weather dependent and will be rescheduled in the case of rain.)

More information on this project (and the ongoing 15th Avenue NE Reconstruction Project) can always be found here.

Ravenna “Scramble” road work for this week (April 25-29)

Construction continues at the intersection known affectionately* as the “Scramble” (NE 55th St/Ravenna Blvd/22nd Ave NE).

Final design plan for the "Scramble," courtesy SDOT - click to view full size

Work slated for this week includes (via a Seattle Department of Transportation project update):

  • Dig bioretention swale in south bulb
  • Install rockery in south bulb
  • Install plants (approximately 600 units) in south bulb
  • Reconfigure roadway lanes in preparation for work on the north side of the intersection next week

No weekend work is planned.

Those of you looking for your bus stop in this area will find it temporarily relocated to NE 55th St & Ravenna Pl NE.


*not by pedestrians

15th Ave NE and the Scramble – Local Road Work for 2011

The NE 45th Avenue viaduct project is almost done. Huzzah! Construction is due to be completed on September 10th, just in time for the first Husky football game the next day.

There are a few more viaduct projects to finish in October and November — lighting installation, finalizing the line striping and pedestrian markings, and replanting the surrounding area — but the detour will be no more, and life will return to normal…

…until January of next year, when two new construction projects are headed our way.

The Big One: 15th Avenue NE Reconstruction – NE Pacific Street to NE 55th Street

I’m sure we can all agree that the surface of 15th Avenue NE is a pothole-riddled disaster, and the increased traffic from the viaduct detour route isn’t doing it any favors.

Happily for us, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has plans in the works to reconstruct most of 15th Avenue between NE Pacific Street and NE 55th Street between January and October of 2011.

Project area for the 15th Ave NE reconstruction, courtesy SDOT

This popular arterial will be FULLY RECONSTRUCTED between NE Pacific Street and NE 50th Street between January and September, while the stretch between NE 50th Street and NE 55th Street will just get a repaving. Intersections at NE Pacific Street, NE 45th Street, and NE 50th Street will not be repaved as this was done more recently.

And there’s more!  From the SDOT’s 15th Avenue Reconstruction Project website:

Other improvements include:

  • New curb ramps and curb bulbs to improve pedestrian mobility
  • Sidewalk widening at bus zones (bus bulbs)
  • Drainage upgrades
  • Installation of a new marked crosswalk at NE 41st St
  • New northbound left turn lane at NE 42nd St
  • Upgraded street lighting system
  • New electrical infrastructure for future transit improvements
  • Transit improvements including
    • North to west turn restriction from 15th NE to NE 45th during some or all of the day
    • Expanded bus stop waiting areas (bus bulbs) at two locations
    • Bus stop consolidation where stops are too close together

All great stuff. But the area is going to be a general mess during the construction. Trolley wires will be turned off on weekends to accommodate construction needs. This means diesel buses will be traveling through the area instead. There will always be access to residences and businesses for pedestrians, but rerouting and/or detours could spring up. Vehicles will definitely be affected: No street = no street parking, and access to parking lots and garages will be affected as well.

The Wee One: The 22nd/Ravenna Ave/Ravenna Pl/54th/55th “Scramble”

Just like with the viaduct and the 22nd avenue NE repaving project, it seems as though the SDOT can fund another, smaller, nearby project through the bidding process for the 15th Avenue NE project. And this one should make pedestrians breathe a sigh of relief.

Here’s what the area in question looks like now:

The "Scramble," with street names

Street names removed, pedestrian "no-man's land" highlighted

And here are the current construction plans for the area (click image to open a larger version in a separate window):

Current "Scramble" construction project plans, courtesy SDOT

Two items of particular note in this graphic:

  1. The BIG NEW CURB on the south side: To me, this piece is the key to the whole project. Pedestrians will now have a solid place to stand and be seen as they prepare to cross the intersection.  Cars will have a very distinct turn to and from Ravenna Pl NE. This is SO MUCH SAFER than the microscopic gravel no-man’s land that sits at that spot right now.
  2. The “Pending Funding” area on the north side: Project Manager Jessica Murphy did not have high hopes that the funding would come through on this part, unfortunately.


I am very excited about both of these projects, but speaking both as a pedestrian and a driver, I really look forward to unscrambling the “Scramble.”

For More Information

For more information on these projects, visit the main 15th Avenue NE Reconstruction page and the accompanying FAQ page.

An open house thrown by the SDOT detailing these projects and their effects on the community will happen sometime this November or December.

Funding for these projects comes from the Bridging the Gap levy passed by Seattle voters in 2006.

You can see a specially-crafted Google Map of the “Scramble,” and scroll around all you please, right here.

Many thanks to Project Manager Jessica Murphy at the Seattle Department of Transportation and Kristine Edens from EnviroIssues for stopping by the August Ravenna-Bryant Community Association meeting and sharing this information.

UPDATE: Email update from the SDOT says that the projects will be advertised for competitive bids this month (September). Schedule remains unchanged.