The Long Road To Getting A Traffic Circle

Looking east at the intersection of 23rd Ave NE & NE 105th, site of the proposed traffic circle

Looking east at the intersection of 23rd Ave NE & NE 105th, site of the proposed traffic circle

For several years, Victory Heights residents along 23rd Avenue NE have been trying have a traffic circle installed at the intersection with NE 105th Street. The Victory Heights Community Council was reconstituted partially to help get funding through the North District Council (they respect “recognized” organizations over individuals).

Last April the District Council voted to forward the application (along with two others) to the city’s Parks and Street Fund. At the District Council meeting on Wednesday July 3rd, there was a vote to prioritize the three projects that would allocate the approximately $90,000 in funds that are available. In addition to our traffic circle proposal (estimated by the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) at a cost of $26, 750), there is a project to improve pedestrian access at NE 143rd and 30th Ave NE in Lake City ($23,000 for design only, but actual construction would likely be more costly because of proximity to Littlebrook Creek), and improved access to crosswalks in Maple Leaf ($65,000).

Each group being represented at the District Council got one vote. The ballots asked for each project to be ranked either 1 (highest priority), 2 (second highest) or 3 (third highest)  Every ballot had to include all 3 projects, ranked 1-2-3.  Lowest total weighted score would be highest priority. The results were:

1) Ped Access at NE 143rd Ave and 30th Ave NE:  21 points  (7 Firsts, 4 Seconds, 2 Thirds)
2) Traffic Circle in Victory Heights:  28 points  (4 Firsts, 3 Seconds, 6 Thirds)
3) Crosswalks in Maple Leaf:  29 points  (2 Firsts, 6 Seconds, 5 Thirds)

In theory SDOT could allocate the $90,000 by spending $23,000 for the Design of the Ped Access project, then $26,750 on our traffic circle, and still have some money left for Maple Leaf.  But there is no guarantee it will go that way.

The pedestrian access project had a lot of supporters at the meeting urging the council members to approve it. Which only proves that the squeaky wheel gets the oil when it comes to city politics.

No one knows how SDOT will ultimately decide, but it’s just another step in eventually getting the traffic circle. Stay tuned!

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Compassionate Seattle Plans Moment of Silence June 10th

In response to the recent violence in the city, Compassionate Seattle invites all citizens to pause for three minutes of silent contemplation, prayer, reflection or meditation on Sunday, June 10 at 12:00 noon. At 11:45 AM, everyone can step into the streets to ring our bells as a “call to silence”. A call has been put out to all the Church/community bells to also start ringing at 11:45 AM. At 12:00 PM, three minutes of silence.

They invite people to gather at the actual sites of shootings for a city-wide moment of silence in South Seattle, Pioneer Square, MLK/Cherry, Town Hall parking lot, Seattle Center and Café Racer.

Come to the dialogue later that day from 4 to 7 pm at Seattle Center –
Intiman’s Playbox Theatre.  It will be a time for participants to
express how they have been impacted by violence in the community,
their vision for a just, compassionate, and safe Seattle, and then to
identify compassionate actions we can take to generate positive peace
and strengthen the health and vitality of our city.  (There will be a
follow up dialogue on Sunday June 24).

There is also a Facebook page for the event.