New Traffic Circle on 23rd Avenue NE

traffic circle 3After many years of effort by the community, the new traffic circle on 23rd Avenue NE and NE 105th Street was put in by the city finally.  The circle was installed right after the Labor Day weekend, although funding was originally approved last December. Unfortunately, long time community activist Susan Causin, who was instrumental in getting the circle funded through the North District Council (NDC), passed away over the summer before she could see it installed. Susan helped revive the Victory Heights Community Council in 2012 to help make the case to the NDC, which annually makes recommendations to the city about appropriating money for the Parks and Street Fund projects such as the traffic circle. Susan originally organized the Victory Lane Block Watch for the street she lived on for many years, which included an e-mail distribution list and annual block party. In October 2012 she organized the first meeting of the Victory Heights Community Council to be held in nearly 10 years. Although she made it clear she did not want to be in charge, she did become a board member, and held numerous meetings at her house for emergency preparedness. Her involvement in community activities continued right up through participating in the earthquake simulation drill at the Lake City Hub on May 17, 2014. She was 72 when she passed away from cancer in July, and her friends and neighbors in Victory Heights will miss her spirit and activism.

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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North District Council Approves 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

Eileen Canola, who has been working to get a traffic circle put in at the intersection of NE 105th Street and 23rd Avenue NE reports:

Just letting you know that the North District Council voted on our traffic circle request  along with the other applications for the Parks and Street Fund, and it made the top three!!!
So, that means the North District Council will forward our application along with the other two, to the Seattle Department of Transportation for analysis/feasibility.  We should hear back from the Department of Neighborhoods later in the year.
Thank you for the support!

Traffic Circle Vote On North District Council Agenda Wednesday

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

The proposed traffic circle in Victory Heights at NE 105th Street and 23rd Avenue NE will be reviewed and voted on as part of the 2013 Neighborhood Park And Street Fund process at the North District Council (NDC) meeting on Wednesday. Each year, community councils offer proposals for review by the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and the Parks Department for small low-impact projects that are paid for out of the discretionary Street Fund. Applications are prioritized by the appropriate District Council by a vote which is then passed on to the city departments for a final decision.

Eileen Canola of Victory Heights has been working for many years to get a traffic circle approved, jumping through many hoops in order to make it this far for consideration. On Wednesday, the NDC will be reviewing the applications and hearing from applicants at their meeting April 3rd at the Lake City Library.   Each applicant will allowed a few minutes (around 5 or less) for presentation and questions.  Following the six presentations, the NDC members will select three proposals for further evaluation by either SDOT or Parks, depending on the project location. Meetings start at 7 p.m., with the presentations probably starting at 7:30 p.m. Anyone is welcome to attend. The Department of Neighborhoods will notify applicants of award status in September 2013.

Want to know more about the North District Council?

Part 1: Introduction to the North District Council

Part 2: How Representatives Are Chosen

Part 3: Is the District Council a squeaky wheel or just public relations?

Part 4: Representing Victory Heights

The Lake City Library is located at 12501 28th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98125.

Please take a moment to “Like” the Victory Heights Blog Facebook page.

Dec. & Jan. North District Council Meetings Pushed Back One Week

The North District Council, which normally meets on the 1st Wednesday of each month, has changed the dates for its December 2012 and January 2013 meetings. The next meeting will be on Wednesday, December 12th at 7 PM at the Lake City Library, 12501 28th Ave NE. The January meeting will be on Wednesday, January 9th. Meetings will return to their regularly scheduled day in February.

See community leaders discuss issues affecting our neighborhoods, although anyone can attend.  Want to know more? Check out these helpful articles:

Part 1: Introduction to the North District Council

Part 2: How Representatives Are Chosen

Part 3: Is the District Council a squeaky wheel or just public relations?

Part 4: Representing Victory Heights

What To Expect At Thursday’s Community Meeting

On Thursday, November 29th at 7 PM at the community center/day care at Victory Heights Park, residents can attend the next meeting of the Victory Heights Community Council. “Community” is the watchword here, the council is YOU. Folks like Susan Causin, our representative to the North District Council, are merely organizing this, but it’s really about neighbors getting together and working to put forward ideas and concerns to the community.

The purpose of the Community Council is to empower the people in this community to identify problems and seek equitable solutions, based on a sense of community trust, for the betterment of life, both in our community and city wide. Issues of concern can be reported to the District Council and in turn to the Department of Neighborhoods.

The preliminary agenda for the meeting is as follows:
7:00-7:05   Welcome and recap (Susan Causin)
7:05-7:15   Victory Heights Community Council By-Laws (Eileen Canola)
7:15-7:25   Fill Council officer positions (Susan Causin)
                     President
                     Vice President
                     Secretary
                     Treasurer
7:25-7:30   Communication methods (Ryan K. Johnson)
7:30-7:40   Greenways (Janine Blaeloch)
7:40-7:50   Neighborhood police (Officer Kip Strong)
7:50-8:00   Next steps (Susan Causin)
We hope you will all attend. See you on Thursday!

North District Council Meeting November 7th

The monthly meeting of the North District Council will be held at 7 PM at the Lake City Library, 12501 28th Ave NE, on Wednesday November 7th. See community leaders discuss issues affecting our neighborhoods, although anyone can attend.  Want to know more? Check out these helpful articles:

Part 1: Introduction to the North District Council

Part 2: How Representatives Are Chosen

Part 3: Is the District Council a squeaky wheel or just public relations?

Part 4: Representing Victory Heights

And don’t forget that Victory Heights own Community Council will be meeting on November 29th at the community center at the park. This is a real neighborhood meeting worth attending. More here.

North District Council Meeting September 5th

The North District Council meeting this month will be held Wednesday, September 5th at the Lake City branch of the Seattle Public Library, 12501 28th Ave. N.E., at 7 PM.

Want to know more about the North District Council? Read our articles about it:

Part 1: Introduction to the North District Council

Part 2: How Representatives Are Chosen

Part 3: Is the District Council a squeaky wheel or just public relations?

Part 4: Representing Victory Heights

Victory Heights Night Out Potluck August 14th

Although most of Seattle is holding the annual Night Out Against Crime with neighborhood gatherings on August 7th, Victory Heights will be holding its event a week later on Tuesday, August 14, 2012 starting at 6:30 PM.

The location will be on Victory Lane NE between NE 105th Street & NE 107th Street. Tables will be set up and neighbors are encouraged to bring a dish to share, something to drink and chairs to sit on.

Susan Causin is organizing the event through the Victory Lane Block Watch, as well as temporarily taking over for Shammara Estrada for the next few months representing the Victory Heights Community Council at the North District Council. The Community Council is hoping to have its annual meeting sometime in September.

We look forward to meeting our neighbors (and spreading the word about the blog) at the potluck, see you there!

North District Council Meeting July 18th

The North District Council meeting this month will be held Wednesday, July 18th at the Lake City branch of the Seattle Public Library, 12501 28th Ave. N.E., at 7 PM.  Normally meetings are held the first Wednesday of the month but it was postponed due to the July 4th holiday.  There is no meeting in August.

Want to know more about the North District Council? Read our articles about it:

Part 1: Introduction to the North District Council

Part 2: How Representatives Are Chosen

Part 3: Is the District Council a squeaky wheel or just public relations?

Part 4: Representing Victory Heights