News blog for Seattle's Fremont neighborhood

 

Entries from May 2010

Green World Cup Contest

May 25th, 2010 by master

Green World CupIf it’s not enough to kick back at a local pub – like our own George & Dragon – to watch the upcoming World Cup tournament, King County invites county residents to participate in the “Green World Cup” contest.

Residents can share suggestions, stories and examples of creative and different ways of green living, which will be judged by a local panel of eco-experts.

Briefly describe how a community in another country or people from your own culture are living green through an innovative waste reduction method, green technology, alternative transportation, a unique recycling or reuse method, or a carbon emission-cutting measure.

Entrants can submit a video or picture along with a written description. The most innovative, unique and effective idea will win four tickets to see the Seattle Sounders FC play the Houston Dynamo on August 8 at Qwest Field. Entries will be featured on the King County web site and Facebook page.

The two runner-up prizes are Alchemy Goods recycled backpack and an Energizer solar charger.

Submissions may be made online or mailed to Tom Watson, King County EcoConsumer, 201 S. Jackson St. #701, Seattle, WA, 98104. All submissions must be received by June 25. Entries are welcome in any language.

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Stone Way lane reduction study: speeders & collisions down

May 25th, 2010 by master

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) today released its before and after study of the Stone Way N. rechannelization, which the department said demonstrates that Seattle’s streets can be made safer through lane reconfigurations.

The report documents that the lane changes on Stone Way N. from 34th St. to 50th St. have had the effect of reduced speeds for motorists and fewer motor and bicycle collisions – while still maintaining the road’s capacity.

Highlights from the study include:
• Motor vehicles now travel at speeds nearer the legal limit;
• Total collisions dropped 14 percent with injury collisions down 33 percent;
• Pedestrian collisions declined significantly;
• Bike trips increased 35 percent but collisions per bicycle trip have declined; and
• Volumes show the roadway still easily accommodates motor vehicle traffic.

Data collected by SDOT on the rechannelized street shows motorists drive at speeds closer to the posted 30 m.p.h. limit and a decline of more than 80 percent in those traveling over 40 m.p.h. The study also reveals a decrease in total collisions by 14 percent and pedestrian collisions by 80 percent.

The study compared the before period (April 2005-August 2007) to a period after the rechannelization (August 2007-December 2009.) SDOT converted the street to two general travel lanes with a center turn lane from N. 40th to N. 50th streets in August 2007 and from N. 34th to N. 40th streets in April 2008. Additional bike and pedestrian facilities were also installed at those times. Before the lane reduction, the street consisted of four general purpose travel lanes.

National studies show that lane reductions can result in lower motor vehicle speeds, improved pedestrian safety, increased bicycling trips and fewer collisions, while maintaining a corridor’s capacity. Starting in 1972 with California Ave. SW and N. 45th St, the city of Seattle has implemented 24 rechannelizations as of April 2010.

There was one interesting increase, buried at the end of the study:

The number of rear‐end collisions increased, especially between N. 39th St. and N. 41st St. This type of collision increased 65% during the study period (from 17 to 28) in spite of the overall reduction in the number of collisions. Since most of the increase was attributable to the
section of roadway where there was a transition from 4 lanes to 3 lanes during the interim
period between August 2007 and April 2008, one possible explanation is that drivers had
difficulty making left turns in this transition area.  While these types of collisions tend to be
minor in nature, SDOT will again examine the rate of rear‐end collisions within the next two
years to determine if the rate in fact declined after the roadway was rechannelized south of
40th Street.

For more information: check out SDOT’s website.

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B.F. Day students on stage at Seattle Public Library

May 25th, 2010 by master

On Wednesday, May 26, Kate Bass and Kaia Stoetz, students at B.F. Day Elementary, join more than 40 young writers on stage at the Seattle Public Library (Microsoft Auditorium, Central Library) at 6 p.m. The two girls will read poetry and prose crafted under the guidance of Writer-in-residence Kevin Emerson. Thanks to Seattle Art and Lectures’ Writers in Schools (WITS) program, Emerson conducted creative writing workshops with students at B.F. Day during a year-long residency.

Chosen for their outstanding creative writing, Kate and Kaia will read their work before an expected crowd of over 300 people during the WITS end-of-year reading and celebration. This free event is open to the public and celebrates the best student writing over two evenings. Elementary and middle school students read at 6 p.m. May 26, and high school students on May 27 at 6 p.m. at Seattle Public Library.

Emerson’s bio, from the WITS site:

Kevin is the author of six novels for middle grade readers: Carlos is Gonna Get It, and the Oliver Nocturne Series 1-5. A former elementary school science teacher, Kevin also fronts Seattle band Central Services and their acclaimed kids’ band The Board of Education.

The WITS program matches a local, creative writer – like Emerson (pictured right) – with a school district “to design lesson plans that follow the curriculum, goals, and standards of the classroom, engage students in writing and build self-confidence.”

Seattle Arts and Lectures’ Writers in the Schools program, founded in 1994, believes that through working collaboratively with classroom teachers and professional, published creative writers, students are empowered to become authors of their own lives. WITS writers-in-residence provide a meaningful role model for every student. Since 1994, the program has served 67,500 K-12 public school students and 1,200 teachers in the Puget Sound region.

Parents and teachers interested in bringing WITS to local schools should contact Rebecca Hoogs, Seattle Arts & Lectures Director of Education Programs, at rhoogs@lectures.org or at 206-621-2230 x18.

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Possible taser attack in Fremont

May 24th, 2010 by master

A woman may have been the victim of a taser attack and robbery last Monday (5/17).  Fremont Universe has obtained a copy of the police report detailing what happened in the 4200 block of Phinney Ave.  Around 1:45pm that day, a woman was unloading her car in the parking garage of an apartment building.  She suddenly felt an electric shock on her neck and was pushed down into the trunk of the car.  A man then grabbed her purse and walked to a nearby getaway car.  The man is described as black, late teens, medium build, 5’5″.  He got into a gray or dark silver sedan with an Asian woman.  It turns out someone got a license plate number, but the plate had been stolen off another car.

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Photos from Grammatrain’s Gas Works video shoot

May 24th, 2010 by master

Thank you to our sister site, My Wallingford, for this story:

Last Thursday, Gas Works Park was shut down so the band Grammatrain could shoot a video for its Sounders FC anthem “The Last Sound.” The band and video producers asked for fans to join crowd shots that night, and the faithful heeded the call. sounderfan posted a collection of photos from the shoot, set to “The Last Sound,” on YouTube:

In other news from the shoot, KIRO reported that neighbors called 911 when they heard the band’s pyrotechnic explosions.

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Aurora bridge anti-suicide fence work resumes tonight

May 24th, 2010 by master

KOMO news reports that as of tonight, May 24:

State transportation crews will resume work on the suicide prevention fence. It measures more than 8 feet tall, and will cost some $4 million.

As we’ve reported in the past, the project, which was supposed to start April 19, has been delayed by construction equipment problems.

The KOMO article noted that, “More than 230 people have jumped to their deaths on the Aurora Bridge since it was first built – making it the second-highest suicide rate for any bridge in the country, according to some figures.”

For those who commute or use Aurora/99 regularly, expect some delays. More specifically from WSDOT: Crews will close two northbound lanes and the northbound sidewalk across the bridge from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday and Thursday nights (May 24 and May 27).

If the noise gets too much for you, WSDOT is offering free earplugs, which are available between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays at the Fremont Neighborhood Service Center located at 908 N. 34th Street. Or, call (206.440.4099) or e-mail phippsg@wsdot.wa.gov with the subject “SR 99 Aurora Bridge Fence earplug request” and WSDOT will send free earplugs to your mailbox. Please include your name, address and the number of earplug sets you need.

Track the project here.

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Seattle Works Day Projects Saturday

May 21st, 2010 by master

Nearly 1500 young professionals from across the city are going to volunteer at 29 sites around the city – including Fremont – to make the Emerald City an even better place to live. Seattle Works Day, the key fundraiser and day of volunteering organized by Seattle Works, will bring together colleagues, alums and groups of friends with the purpose of giving back. The focus of Seattle Works Day is urban greenspaces, so from West Seattle to Marymoor Park, volunteers in their 20’s and 30’s will be rebuilding bike paths, removing invasive weeds and protecting native vegetation from noon to 3:30 p.m.

Most volunteers are already on teams that will take on these projects, but there are two “public” teams (Singles in Seattle and Seattle Works Day Allstars) which are still open to individual sign-ups. Sign up here.

For all their hard work, there is a reward: a party from 3:30 pm- 5:30 p.m. at Fisher Pavilion at the Seattle Center, which will provide volunteers with Pyramid beer, Zevia soda, Taco del Mar taco bar and Dreyer’s ice cream.

In Fremont, volunteers will be working on 2 projects:

  • Fremont Abbey Arts Center: Get your art vibe flowing! Because so many people use and visit their building, keeping it in good shape and repair is important. Volunteers will be working on a variety of outdoor projects, including: window-washing, gardening, painting, small construction projects, and street clean up. Please wear sturdy shoes and old clothes that can get dirty (and painted), and bring water, sunscreen, and snacks.
  • Gas Works Park: The kite-flying hill, elaborate sculptured sundial, stunning views of the downtown skyline, and colorful, climbable machinery parts make Gasworks Park one of Seattle’s most unique parks. Formerly the Seattle Gas Light Company plant, it is located on the north shore of Lake Union and is part of many summer celebrations, which includes being the end point for Fremont’s infamous Solstice Parade. Work at this site will include pruning native plantings, some invasive plant removal, and possibly planting and mulching. Invasive plants, such as ivy and blackberry, can quickly become harmful monocultures in our parks, so their removal in vital in giving native species the chance to thrive. Take part in these natural area restoration efforts to keep Gasworks an inviting, healthy place for the community to enjoy! Volunteers will need to wear sturdy shoes and clothes that can get dirty (long pants and sleeves recommended). Please bring water, sunscreen, rain gear, snacks, and your own gloves if you have them (if not, there will be gloves available).

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Saturday morning: Heroes Half Marathon

May 21st, 2010 by master

As of 7 a.m. tomorrow (May 22) morning – if not earlier – Fremont is going to be a very busy place, with runners and walkers pounding the pavement from Gas Works Park to the ship canal trail, the Burke-Gilman Trail and the trail around Lake Union for a scenic route, finishing The Heroes Half Marathon at the place they began: Gas Works Park.

Make a difference in the lives of children fighting cancer and other life-threatening illnesses in this inaugural event, which benefits St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

The course crosses Fremont Bridge and University Bridge. Water way traffic receives priority. With agreement from the Port Authority, the Fremont bridge will not be raised between 7:10 – 7:30am. In the event that the University bridge is raised, arrival and departure time will be recorded and deducted from overall time.

The right lanes of North Northlake Way and N. 34th Ave. will be closed to traffic until all runners/walkers have reached the Fremont Bridge.

There will be aid stations about every 2 miles.

The 10K course follows a counter clockwise directions, on sidewalks and paved trails. The course will be well marked, with aid stations at the 2 mile and 4 miles. The course will have bike monitors.

Kids also can have fun at this event:
The Kid’s Fun Run start time is 11:00am. The course will be well marked and each child will receive a special medallion as they cross the finish line. The Tiny Tot Run (3 – 8 years old) is 200 yards (parents you may run with your child) and is flat with no hills. Kids 8-14-years-old can do Sprinter Kids: 0.4 mile, up Gas Works hill and down the other side (parents may cheer but may not run with child).

Pick up race packets and registration tonight from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Gas Works Park, or tomorrow from 5 a.m. to 6:30 a.m., also at Gas Works Park.

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Thousands answer call to Bike to Work today

May 21st, 2010 by master

Thousands more bicyclists than usual will be riding today, because it’s the annual Bike to Work Day.

Cascade Bicycle Club has teamed up with a number of other businesses to provide 44 commute stations throughout the region, offering freebies like water bottles and snacks, providing information on cycling, and some even have bicycle technicians ready to fix your flat tire.

In Fremont, hundreds of cyclists stopped to grab free goodies, including water bottles and safety lights from Bike to Work sponsor F5, as well as bike bells and socks from Smartwool (if you were willing to trade in the pair you were wearing).
Fremont commute

At about 7:30 a.m., 100+ riders followed Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn up Dexter Avenue and into downtown Seattle for a Cascade Bicycle Club bike rally outside City Hall.
McGinn presser bike to work day

If you took any pictures on your way into work, please share them with us! (e-mail tips@fremontuniverse.com)

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Tell us your biking stories

May 21st, 2010 by master

Our sister site, Maple Leaf Life, posted this story earlier today (we’ve tweaked it a little bit for Fremont!):

Today, Bike to Work Day, we and our news partners The Seattle Times are wondering just how safe you are in getting from here to there on two wheels.

We’re also looking for commute stories, not just from today, but any good tales of biking to work. Or, for that matter, from people who would rather NOT share the road with bikes.

In honor of National Bike to Work Day, The Times has put together ten worst examples of dangerous or neglected cycling corridors in Seattle. They also have a big “Seattle bike culture” story in Pacific Magazine this Sunday.

Fremont isn’t on that worst 10 list, nor are the usual routes from here to downtown, unless you commute through the north end of the University Bridge.

Here’s one you might identify with, though – the Burke-Gilman Trail at 25th Avenue Northeast. The “missing link” of the trail in Ballard and the south end of the Ballard Bridge are on the list, too.

Other hot spots on the Times list:

  • Sodo bikeway to nowhere
  • Ruts on Jackson Street
  • Bellevue gap in 520 trail
  • North Linden Street (Shoreline)
  • Marysville to Everett
  • Second Avenue

Tell us your bike stories.

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