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Author: Nate Strong

About Nate Strong

Customer Success Lead at @Socedo. Marketer. @SeattlePacific Grad. @ournorthseattle Blogger. Lover of #sql, @marketo, #data. #AvGeek. Skier. ENTJ.

1st Anniversary Results are in for the University of Washington Light Rail Station – and it’s stunning

Sound Transit just announced in a press release on Friday that since adding the University of Washington station to the Central Link line, ridership has increased by 89% on the average weekday.  This means that 65,000 people are now riding Link Light Rail any given day.  Apparently, weekend ridership is also up 73% as well.

For most North Seattleites, the University of Washington Light Rail station has been a welcome, but half-step towards accessing our nascent public transit system.  The Roosevelt and Northgate stations are slated to open up in 2021, which should bring almost full operations to North Seattle.  Also, since ST3 passed, the 130th infill station will be on the docket, but much further down the road.

Here’s the press release:

Since light rail began serving Capitol Hill and the University of Washington, average ridership on Link grew to 65,100 people each weekday

One year ago Sunday, Sound Transit launched light rail service to Capitol Hill and Husky Stadium, contributing to an 89 percent growth in average weekday ridership on Link from February 2016 to February 2017.

Weekend ridership on Link has also been strong, averaging 39,400 on Saturdays and 29,200 on Sundays—a 73 percent jump to last year.

In February alone, 1.5 million people rode light rail—a 78 percent increase for the month compared to February last year.

“I can’t think of a better way to mark U Link’s first birthday than by celebrating the dramatic growth in ridership since light rail service began serving Capitol Hill and UW last March,” said Board Chair and Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers. “As we expand light rail to other communities, thousands more will soon enjoy the ease and comfort of riding Link.”

“The demand for light rail service—during the work week and weekends—is proof that investments in its continued expansion is critically needed,” said Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff. “Light rail expansions now and in the future will provide a vital regional transit network that is essential to supporting population growth, jobs and a robust regional economy.”

During the fourth quarter last year, the UW and Capitol Hill stations accounted for 16,000 of 65,600 average weekday boardings on Link.

More ridership information can be found here: soundtransit.org/ridership.

Original Source

 

Correction: We had originally called this the University District Light Rail station, largely because that’s how it’s seen now, even though there will be a University District light rail station coming in 2021, around about the same time they open the Northgate Station.

D5: Your Voice, Your Choice Meeting is Tomorrow

A series of meetings have been going on over the past few weeks around projects that can be submitted for funding requests through the City.  This is a great way to get involved in our District, and the next meeting (second of four) is tomorrow at 10:00am at the Northgate Community Center.

Here’s the quote from the signup page:

Thank you for your interest in being on the Your Voice, Your Choice Project Development Team in your district.  So far, we have received over 600 project ideas citywide!  Through these project development team meetings, you and others in your district will help decide which 8-10 projects will advance to SDOT/Parks for a more thorough cost and feasibility review and eventually on the ballot in June. Anyone is welcome to attend one or all four of these meetings within their council district.

In each of the below meetings, meeting participants will be asked to review and evaluate project ideas based on need, impact, and equity within the district. These will be interactive meetings that evoke discussion, learning and discussion about needs in your district, and thoughtful consideration of projects’ benefits to your district. This is about helping to identify those projects that are going to serve the highest need and provide the most benefit for your district, not about advocating for the particular project that you may have submitted.

Sign up to attend here – represent your community tomorrow!

More information can be found here.

A Few Confessions…

Sometimes you fail.  Other times you fail publicly.  This blog is a representation of the latter.  Obviously you would hope for some successes in there as well, which fortunately I’ve experienced a few of those in 2016, which have probably contributed somewhat to the failures here on Our North Seattle.

I started this blog about a year ago with the intention of involving myself more in the North Seattle/District 5 community.  What happened was absolutely unexpected, and was both exhilarating and stressful at the same time.  This blog got a lot more attention than I thought.  And I became overloaded.  Quickly.

Part of the reason for this was that I’m also employed full time.  Really more than full time – I work for a startup in downtown Seattle, and that #startuplife can get crazy.  Fortunately we’ve been somewhat successful over 2016, which has only increased my stress level because there’s more responsibility.  I’m writing this coming off of another promotion announcement, which is, again, great, but also takes more time.

Another piece was my addiction to travel.  I started going a new place every month, and this took me away from the city that I love and my involvement in our area.  It’s the classic “wanting to have it all,” that was getting in the way of actually having it all. Or as one of my favorite characters in TV puts it “Don’t half-ass two things, whole-ass one thing.”

Enter my friend Tyler.  Tyler and I have known each other for many years, and was the first person that I profiled as a business owner in North Seattle.  He’s great – he has an amazing wife and a beautiful baby who’s growing so fast.  He’s also investing more and more time in the development of Seattle – he’s started working on a podcast called Rise Seattle.  Tyler sat me down (and bought me lunch) to talk about Our North Seattle.  He and I share the same vision – having a place for news, community highlights, advocacy, and overall communication around North Seattle, which is lacking in that area.  So I invited him to join me.

Beginning Mid-March, Tyler and I have committed to contributing about once per week to the blog, which means that we will have about two posts per week.  We’ll be talking about local business, community events, and some news.  We’ll try to have one long-form piece per month detailing a business, or a person, or even an issue, within North Seattle.

We’re also looking for more help.  To make this a true community blog, we want to have a community.  First, we would love to have someone who’s passionate about quick daily news articles and social media to join the team.  If you are interested in taking this on, email me with a few writing samples and we can talk about what it would look like (currently we’re all volunteer).  And, if you have a passion for also writing weekly in a specific area of interest, we would love to hear from you!

Throughout 2017, we want to grow this community and our reach so that you have a voice in North Seattle politics, business, and life.  Tell your friends, sign up for our email list, and follow us on Social Media.  Thanks for bearing with us as we relaunch, and I am excited to see what this year holds in store for us.

Thanks for your continued readership!

Nate

Mayor Murray Announces Funding for New SPD North Seattle Precinct

A friendly press release showed up in my inbox this afternoon – which should be great for our North Seattle Precinct.  It sounds like North Seattle is getting some attention down at City Hall!

Here’s the press release:

SEATTLE (April 22, 2016) – Mayor Ed Murray today announced the funding strategy for the new Seattle Police Department North Precinct, slated to break ground in 2017 and open for business in 2019. The mayor will propose no new taxes to pay for the project.

“Because of our vibrant local economy and vigorous real estate sales, we can construct our new North Precinct within existing and projected resources,” said Murray. “While we do have other public safety infrastructure projects on the horizon, there is no need to send a public safety levy to the ballot in near future.”

Seattle continues to collect large receipts in the Real Estate Excise Tax (REET) from the sales of residential and commercial properties, which can only be used to pay for City capital projects, including transportation infrastructure, Parks buildings and public safety facilities.

Due to projected ongoing strength of REET receipts, the mayor will not propose a public safety levy in 2016 or 2017.

To date, $21 million has been appropriated toward the $160 million precinct project, which will be located at Aurora Avenue North and North 130th Street. The mayor is proposing to fund the remaining $139 million through a combination of REET receipts, 30-year bonds financed by future REET receipts, and the one-time sale of other City assets.

The new North Precinct will accommodate future growth in the Seattle Police Department and replaces the existing North Precinct facility at 10049 College Way North, which is seriously over-crowded. Expansion at the current site is not possible and the existing building constructed in 1984 to house 154 staff, is now home to more than 250 personnel. Planning work began on this project in 2013.

In 2015, Seattle collected a record $73 million through REET on commercial and residential real estate transactions. The City projects that REET collections will continue to remain strong: $56 million in 2016, $56 million in 2017, $60 million in 2018 and $64 million in 2019. A portion of these revenues will be directed towards the construction of the new North Precinct facility.

“Public safety and community policing are high priorities for Seattle residents,” said Councilmember Debora Juarez. “A new police station will house more officers in a better location, which will help ensure police are available to residents when they call. Safe communities are healthy communities.  The proposed financing approach for this facility means we can make a significant investment in our community without asking voters for a new tax increase.”

“With the current North Precinct overcrowded and sitting on a swamp, a new precinct building cannot come soon enough,” said Councilmember Tim Burgess, chair of the Council’s finance committee. “The Council has long pushed to move this project forward as quickly as possible, and I’m pleased that Mayor Murray has developed a solid funding plan to advance construction.”

As part of the City’s effort to respond to homelessness, the City continues to partner with Mary’s Place to provide additional temporary shelter for homeless families within the old PI Bank building at 130th and Stone Way, which currently stands on the site of the new precinct.

Tyler’s Real Estate Updates: Where Did All These New People Come From

If you’re like most of my clients, you’ve noticed that things in North Seattle are looking very different than they did in years past. New developments are going up, sold signs are covering “for sale” signs, and the remnants of construction crews getting homes ready for market. Not to mention the traffic increase!

Make no mistake… the secret is out about North Seattle! With our fantastic schools, focus on community and Seattle’s unfathomably competitive housing market, folks are shifting their dreams north to find affordable housing. And why blame them, with the average Seattle home value climbing 13.4% in 2015 to $536,700 according to Zillow. While North Seattle communities like Greenwood maintain an average home value of $487,700 or Lake City Way preserving an average of $401,191, North Seattle has become the place where value is found.

So here’s the million-dollar question… Do you think this market will sustain itself? Are we headed for another burst bubble? With the median purchase price of residential homes in Seattle quickly climbing past $550k today, you have to think this craziness will slow down, right? Will North Seattle see the same insane home prices akin to communities like Fremont, Greenlake, Wallingford, Queen Anne and Magnolia? Do we want North Seattle to become the next Ballard?

While no one can predict the future, everyone has the ability to read the data. Whether or not you’re in favor of the economic rise it seems that Seattle growth is not slowing down anytime soon. With a growing economy and industries of tech, health, non-profit, bio-tech and aerospace as well as a growth estimation of more than 200,000 people by 2040, the sheer lack of supply and massive amount of demand has proven that the Emerald City is a great investment.

According to Seattle Business Magazine, “Between 1970 and 2015, regional employment advanced at a 2.5% annual rate, more than 50% faster than the nation.” This steady increase is due to “people following the jobs.” And when people follow jobs, they buy houses, thus pushing prices up.

So what does it mean for North Seattleites? As the middle class continues to get priced out of the city, more folks are beginning to look north. With the installation of the University of Washington Light Rail station and plans to expand further north, North Seattle is on the cusp of something much bigger.

Question: In what North Seattle neighborhoods have you seen the most development? What do you think of this growth?

This article is part of a series by Tyler Davis Jones, a North Seattle Real Estate agent.  We interviewed Tyler a few months ago: see here.

Power Outage Affecting Morning Traffic in Lake City and Northgate

A large power outage affected Lake City and Northgate traffic and residents this morning, most likely due to the heavy winds that are sweeping through the region. Seattle City Light is aware of the problem and is Investigating, according to their website.

Traffic is backed up on Lake City Way between about 145th and Northgate Way and parts of Northgate Way are also backed up.

Here’s a map of the outage:

Lake City Power Outage

Mayor Murray Statement on Greenwood Fire

As many of you know, there was a heavily damaging fire in Greenwood last night – some of you were posting about explosions being heard in the neighborhood, and unfortunately this is true.  It appears that 9 firefighters were hurt during the actual fight.

Here’s a report from KOMO on the fire.

Also, Mayor Murray released a statement this morning:

SEATTLE (March 9, 2016) – Seattle Mayor Ed Murray issued the following statement regarding last night’s fire and explosion in the Greenwood neighborhood:

“My thoughts are with the Seattle firefighters injured from last night’s explosion in Greenwood and I wish them a quick recovery. These men and women risked their lives this morning, as they do every day, to keep our community safe. I am grateful for their service and all of our first responders.

“As the investigation and clean-up continues today, I ask that commuters along the corridor be patient. Please follow updates from the Seattle Department of Transportation and King County Metro on detours and alternate transit routes to keep people moving through the neighborhood and away from the scene during the investigation.

“Greenwood is a close knit neighborhood and an incident like this is felt by the entire community. I know neighbors will do everything they can to support these businesses as they begin the long and challenging task to recover and repair from this incident. The City will also be there to do what we can to help those affected with the clean-up and help local business owners as they work to get back on their feet and re-open their doors.”

Thanks to the first responders/firefighters who put themselves in danger every day to keep us safe.

District 5 Office Grand Opening: Tomorrow

Sorry about the late post, but there is a grand opening of our new D5 in-district office tomorrow, March 4th from 4pm to 7pm.  The new district office is an exciting way for D5 residents to connect with City Council in our own neighborhood.

The Link to the Facebook page and then an RSVP form – make sure you RSVP!

Here’s the information from the City of Seattle:

SEATTLE – Councilmember Debora Juarez (District 5, North Seattle) will celebrate the grand opening of her in-district office at North Seattle College this Friday, March 4. Councilmember Juarez will welcome North Seattle neighbors to her permanent North-end office (room 1451) and provide light refreshments while chatting with residents about city issues.

“District representation means having your Councilmember in-district, which is the platform I ran on,” said Councilmember Juarez. “A North-ender’s trek downtown can be a time-sucking ordeal, which is why I’m so excited to establish this convenient, centralized office for us to connect with each other.”

The district office will be open on a drop-in basis on Fridays from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., beginning March 11, or by appointment. Contact District 5 Director Sabrina Bolieu at Sabrina.Bolieu@seattle.gov or 206-684-8805, if you’d like to arrange a meeting.

WHAT:

Councilmember Juarez’ district office grand opening celebration

WHERE:

North Seattle College

9600 College Way N., Room 1451

Seattle, WA 98103

WHEN:

Friday, March 4

4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

WHO:

Councilmember Debora Juarez

North Seattle Residents

See you there!

Major Power Outage Affecting Northgate Way

A major power outage is affecting at least two major intersections on Northgate Way, as well as other parts of the Roosevelt neighborhood. Police are on the scene at the intersection of Northgate Way and 15th Ave NE as the lights are completely out and it seems an accident had occurred.

Seattle City Light crews were spotted on the scene taking care of some potential repairs, so we imagine this will be fixed soon.

Stay safe out there! And remember that lights that are out are legally 4-way stops.

Happy Super Tuesday!

Sand Point Way Closure Update

Quick update to the closure of Sand Point Way

From Art Brochet, City of Seattle:

This is an update on the emergency replacement for a retaining wall in the 8500 block of Sand Point Way NE.  Please feel free to share with others.

As of noon on Tuesday February 23rd the contractor had set 8 steel I-beams into the slope just east of the shoulder of Sand Point Way NE.  Each I-beam is 60 foot long, 24 inches across and weighs 11,568 pounds.  The steel beams are set into 36 inch diameter holes, partially filled with concrete.  After the concrete sets, wood timbers are fit in between the steel beams to hold back the slope – and the roadway.

The cranes which bore the holes and set the steel beams block the entire width of the road – which is the reason for the detours on Sand Point Way NE.  However, even after the remaining steel beams are set and the cranes moved off site, further work will be required – restoring the water main, rebuilding the road shoulder and repaving the road surface.  Crews are continuing to work 6 days a week, typically 10 hours a day, in an effort to restore Sand Point Way NE to use as soon as possible.

Traffic along the detour route – along NE 70th Street, 35th Avenue NE and NE 95th Street – has been very congested, especially during peak travel hours.  Please be considerate of pedestrians attempting to cross at intersections along this route and be patient with everyone.  The Seattle Police Department has been requested to provide speed enforcement patrols in the area to enhance everyone’s safety.

For those unfamiliar with the project or its schedule, or are interested in photos of the project, please refer to the website http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/sandpoint_retainingwall.htm . If you have specific questions about the project itself, or if you would like to be added to the list for receiving this construction update bulletin, please email me at art.brochet@seattle.gov .

Thank you for your interest and please travel safely.

Here are a few photos of the replacement (All Courtesy the City of Seattle):

Sand Point Way Closure | Courtesy City of Seattle

Sand Point Way Closure | Courtesy City of Seattle