Tag Archive for 'U District'

UW Police car hits pedestrians

Early Saturday morning, the driver of an unmarked University of Washington police car struck another vehicle passing through the intersection and then struck two pedestrians.

News reports do not mention who had the right of way, only that the other driver did not show signs of impairment. Since the police car was unmarked, it is also not apparent whether the driver was using emergency lights or a siren.

The two pedestrians were rushed to Harborview, but did not have life-threatening injuries.


Crosswalk closure on 15th Ave NE

A reader shares that a crosswalk on 15th Ave NE is closed:

The funny thing is, in the time it took me to take the pictures, 5 people crossed the street anyway. One guy even pushed the walk button and went down and stood in the driveway and waited for the light to turn red. What I really don’t get is why did SDOT leave the driveway open at all? The parking lot connects to the alley on the back side.

For reference, this is the crosswalk by 3925 15th Ave NE, in the middle of a roughly 2.5 block stretch of 15th Ave NE that for historical reasons has no cross streets. It’s a place that gets a good bit of foot traffic into UW main campus since it’s the most direct route from Stevens Court and Mercer Hall and a couple parking lots

It would be nice if SDOT made accommodations for pedestrians in this situation, but fortunately many people don’t let mere orange barricades keep them from their destination.

This work appears to be part of the 15th Ave NE Reconstruction between NE Pacific St and NE 55th St. Based on the online project schedule (which may not be accurate), the weekday work should finish this Friday and then the construction appears to be scheduled for completion at the end of this weekend.


15th Ave Reconstruction Open House

There’s an open house tonight for the reconstruction of 15th Ave NE. This project will include improvements to sidewalks and crosswalks. From SDOT’s blog:

Beginning in January 2011 the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will reconstruct most of 15th Avenue NE in the University District between NE Pacific Street and NE 55th Street. The roadway needs to be reconstructed to maintain an efficient and safe travel corridor for vehicles, pedestrians, and transit. To learn more and meet 15th Avenue NE project team members, come to an Open House December 8th!

The 15th Avenue NE project Open House details are as follows:
December 8, 2010
4:00 – 7:00 pm
University Heights Community Center
(5031 University Ave NE)
Room 209


Neighborhood pedestrian malls

A few months ago, city councilmember Sally Clark suggested opening up Pike and Pine Streets to people on foot. It doesn’t sound like that was the best location to have people filling the streets, so she is now looking at other neighborhoods for a temporary pedestrian mall.

University Avenue, “The Ave” is busy at night, but many shops close early. What if The Ave was from time-to-time closed to traffic to become a pedestrian mall? It is something Seattle City Council Member Sally Clark thinks is worth a try.

She is not talking about streets fair or markets, just a chance for people to stroll the street and window shop and hopefully spend some money.

Of course with any new idea there are people who say that it won’t work. But this isn’t a totally new idea, the Summer Streets events are similar and have been very successful at getting people to come out and enjoy their streets, rather than just driving on them.

The Ave seems like the perfect street to be made car-free as it’s relatively narrow with many street-facing businesses. Traffic can be easily reroute to any parallel street and buses routes can default to the same alternate routes that are in place during the U District Street Fair.

Broadway Ave seems like another good candidate, though it is wider and carries more cars. Same with 45th St in Wallingford. Where else in the city could be a good place for a pedestrian mall?


Livable Streets workshop

Feet First will be sharing the results of their walking audit near UW along with Seattle Children’s.

Feet First is coordinating a walking audit of the area on Saturday, Nov. 6th and will be sharing results of the audit at the workshop. Come and share your thoughts about how to make the area more walkable. To join the walking audit email info@feetfirst.info or call 206-652-2310.

Attend the Livable Streets workshop and help identify potential projects including:

  • Bike and Pedestrian improvements, like better access to the Burke Gilman Trail and other ways to improve local streets so people of all ages and abilities feel safe biking and walking;
  • Intelligent Transportation Systems using technology to give drivers more information; and
  • Corridor improvements increasing safety for all users.

People of all ages are invited to participate. The workshop will have lots of kid-friendly activities, including:

  • Free bike helmets with complimentary fitting
  • Bicycle safety and fun workshop – Kids, bring your bike!
  • Learn how to be a safe and smart pedestrian

Saturday, November 13, 2010
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Gould Hall, University of Washington
3949 15th Ave NE
224 Gould Hall
Seattle, WA 98195-5726

Click here for a map and directions

RSVP: LivableStreets@seattlechildrens.org


Neighborhood Walk & Talk this Saturday

Feet First is conducting a neighborhood walk & talk this Saturday in Laurelhurst

We’ll provide the maps, clipboards and cameras all you need to bring are your ideas. You are only limited by your own creativity!

Seattle Children’s Hospital has designated $2 million towards bike and pedestrian projects; it’s your turn to weigh in on the projects and ideas. This is a family event…all ages and abilities are encouraged to attend this audit.

This two-hour walk and talk from 10am to 12pm will explore proposed new pedestrian signals that are designed to make it easier to access the Burke-Gilman.

We’ll take a look at necessary signage to go by foot easier and physical to around Seattle Children’s and new curb ramp improvements. We’ll also take a look at the new configuration to reduce the number of crashes at 25th and Blakeley Street.

Your pictures, ideas, recommendations will be shared at the Livable Streets Workshop on November 13th. More details about that event here.

Neighborhood Walk & Talk
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Meet at the “Giraffe” Entrance at Seattle Children’s at 4800 Sand Point Way NE

If you would like to be a part of this Walk & Talk, please contact:

Lisa Quinn
Feet First


Pedestrian routes during 45th St viaduct closure

From SDOT’s blog:

The NE 45th St Viaduct Project is not only replacing the old timber structure to the west – it’s also inspired a new outreach effort. The project includes a program to encourage walking, biking, and riding during and after construction. A “Bike, Bus, Walk Map” of the project area shows specific bus routes, biking options, walking distances and Zipcar locations.

The map also shows a pedestrian detour route while the viaduct is under construction.


Walking The Ave

University Way, known as “The Ave” is a busy pedestrian street with many shops and many more restaurants. It’s a good walk if you want to take in an active streetscape and find somewhere new to eat along the way.

View Larger Map

The Ave was originally called Columbus Avenue and then 14th Avenue, before being changed to University Way in 1919. The street doesn’t have a lot of fast-moving traffic, being only two lanes, and the road is separated from the sidewalk by parking and bike racks, which helps the walking experience. The groups of students and panhandlers can slow you down sometimes, so be patient or go early in the day. The blocks are long but there are several mid-block crosswalks.

Start at University Way NE and NE 41st St. There are many buses that will get you there, or you can click here for directions (finding parking is another matter).

Head north, up the slight incline. We’ll start on the left side of the street and then turn around and walk back on the other side of the street.

The first part of the walk is a little quieter than the rest of the street. You’ll walk past a parking lot before passing the first of many places to eat.

As you approach NE 42nd St, you’ll begin to see more restaurants. You can find many different types of food to eat – including Indian, Mediterranean, and all types of Asian. Feel free to stop to eat anywhere that looks appealing and you’ll likely pay less than $10 for your meal. You’ll also pass coffee shops, bookstores, clothing stores, and various other retail establishments. There are also some establishments along some of the cross streets, like 42nd, 43rd, and especially 45th, so feel free to explore before continuing north on University Way.

Between 43rd and 45th Streets, you’ll pass the Varsity Theatre, which has been operating as a movie theater since 1940 and added two upstairs screens in 1985.

As you walk, look up at the streetlamps. There are ornaments provided for some of the local establishments (for example, a tub of popcorn for the Varsity Theatre).

Looking north along University Way NE

Looking north along University Way NE

Continue on to 50th St. If it’s a Saturday, feel free to continue to the University District Farmers Market. Otherwise, cross University Way and head south. Even though we’re backtracking, you’ll see a lot of new things that you didn’t see on the first leg of the walk.

On the way back, you’ll pass a few neat stores, including Gargoyles Statuary and Shiga’s Imports. We’ll end where we started, at NE 41st St and University Way NE.

highlights: many international and inexpensive places to eat, shopping, sidewalks are insulated from the road

lowlights: can be busy with college students and vagrants, sidewalks too narrow for the amount of pedestrian traffic, no open public spaces