Watch For Post Cards Promoting Victory Heights

On Saturday March 25th, the Victory Heights Community Council will have post cards (technically door hangers) distributed to all the houses in the neighborhood by volunteer high school students.

Read the entire minutes from this month’s Community Council meeting.

The post cards will inform residents of the activities of the community council, upcoming events (like the Book Fair on April 22nd, May Day celebration on April 30th, and of course the ice cream social in August), as well as resources and how to contact them.

The community council is also looking for volunteers willing to beautify the various traffic circles in the neighborhood.  We can use those volunteer hours for a matching grant in order to get the city to install two “Welcome To Victory Heights” signs.  Write to VictoryHeights.Seattle@gmail.com to learn more.

The next meeting is Tuesday, April 18th when we will hear from the Northgate Transit Oriented Development organization.

The Victory Heights Community Council versus The World Crime League

It may not be a conspiracy, but the level of crime in Victory Heights lately has been unsettling to attendees of last night’s Victory Heights Community Council.

Read the full minutes of last night’s meeting.

Back at its regular meeting place in the Co-Op Pre-School building in Victory Heights Park, last night the council heard about recent criminal activity including a car stolen just hours earlier from 23rd Avenue NE that had also been stolen just a month earlier from the same location! A number of mail thefts have occurred as well, not only from unlocked mail boxes but the attempted jimmying of locked boxes on 20th Avenue NE. A number of car prowls and burglaries have been reported in recent weeks too.

No doubt the warm summer weather encouraged the criminal element to be out and seize on opportunities, but it’s also very important for residents to always call the police when you see something amiss or suspicious. The police need to know what is going on in our community so they can respond appropriately.

In November, the North Precinct of the Seattle Police Department will be sending their community liaison officer to attend our community council meeting, and they will be able to discuss block watches as well as other methods that can be used to deter crime. That will be on November 18th.

In other business, a motion passed to name the new traffic circle on 23rd Avenue NE after the late Susan Causin. And a dog poop bag dispenser is about to be installed in the park in case any dog owners forget to bring their own bags. It will be restocked by volunteers.

The next meeting will be at the pre-school at 7PM on Tuesday, October 21st.

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.

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Community Council Hears From Sound Transit and Neighborhood Emergency Preparedness

Last night’s monthly meeting of the Victory Heights Community Council featured presentations from Sound Transit and about SNAP (Seattle Neighborhood Actively Prepared).

Read the complete minutes of the March meeting.

First up, Roger Iwata from Sound Transit told residents about the expansion of the Link Light Rail from Northgate up to Lynnwood that is expected to be finished around 2023 (two years after the Northgate station opens in 2021). The preferred corridor is along the I-5 right-of-way with various stops (to be determined) in North Seattle, Shoreline, Mountlake Terrace and then the Lynnwood Transit Center. A Draft Environmental Impact Statement will be issued in June and formal comments can be submitted.

Secondly, Sandy Motzer, Director of the Lake City Emergency Communication Hub, explained about the city’s SNAP program and how, as part of disaster preparedness, volunteer sites are being set up all around the city to relay emergency information via ham radio to and from city officials in case regular communications fail. Sandy is organizing one for northeast Seattle that will be based in the parking lot of the Fred Meyer in Lake City (the next closest ones to Victory Heights are the top of Maple Leaf or Hunter’s Tree Farm in Wedgwood). Plans are underway to organize here in Victory Heights so we will be aware of what resources are on hand should we need them (who has generators, who are doctors or nurses, ham radio operators, etc). Want to volunteer to help the HUB? Sandy would love to hear from you, e-mail her at sandymotzer@aol.com. There is a city-wide simulated emergency drill that will be conducted on May 11th.

In other news, Victory Heights might be getting a new traffic circle if the vote goes our way at next month’s North District Council meeting. Eileen Canola has been campaigning for one to be installed on 23rd Ave NE and NE 105th Street for several years and after much organizational work (and paperwork), the end is nearly in sight as the NDC prepares to distribute this year’s Street Funds from the city.

Plans are underfoot for the community council to host a party for the entire neighborhood in the park sometime this summer. Stay tuned as details are sorted out.

The next meeting will be on Tuesday, April 16th at 7 PM in the pre-school in Victory Heights Park.

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