Welcome to North Seattle
Our Community. Our Home.

Author: Nate Strong

About Nate Strong

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

Drop off Your Ballots: This week at Magnuson Park

Neighbors – it’s that time of year again; time to vote.  On this ballot: two expiring property tax levies for Seattle Public Schools.  Regardless of your views on this, it is extremely important that we all vote on issues like this.

Obviously, you can vote by mail; which is probably the typical way for submitting your vote this year, but there will also be a drop-off van available in Magnuson Park this Saturday, next Monday and Tuesday.

Here’s a screenshot with a map of where the van will be:

Other locations include:

  • Ballard Library
  • Shoreline – Aurora Shopping Center
  • UW Campus
  • King County Admin Building

There’s also a few more on the Eastside and South County, all of which can be found here.

Happy Voting!

HALA Town Hall on Thursday UPDATED: With Correct Phone Number

When it comes to affordable housing, North Seattle seems to leave something to be desired.  However, we want to balance the amount of new housing being built with the existing housing and families that are here.

Mayor Murray has declared a State of Emergency when it comes to homelessness in Seattle.  While affordable housing does not equate to homelessness, housing as a whole is a big part of the homeless issue.  And, as we increase supply of housing at all levels of need will benefit.

One of the ways that we can help is with the Housing Affordability and Living Agenda – also known as HALA.  Fortunately, Mayor Murray wants to talk with a large portion of our Seattle residents about what’s going on with HALA.  Therefore, he is hosting a town hall over the phone on HALA.

There have been two town hall meetings already, but one more remains, here are the details:

Thursday, February 4, 2016, 6 – 7pm
Call in at: (855)-756-7520   Ext.31028#

Thanks to open communication with our Seattle Mayor’s office, I’ve heard about this event.  Also, if you’re interested on serving on a HALA Focus group – here’s an application.  Please apply if you’re interested in serving the rest of the North Seattle Community!

Also, if you’re able to make the call, let me know.  Unfortunately I will be busy, but would love to know what happened.

Hopefully we can provide housing for everyone in Seattle, because this will benefit all of us!

Here’s How Bad the Sidewalk Problem is in North Seattle

It’s well known – Sidewalks in North Seattle leave something to be desired.  When I walk to the bus in the morning from my house, I walk 3 blocks.  Only 1 of those blocks has a sidewalk on it, and I’m one of the lucky ones.  The rest of the time, I’m dodging cars on the side of the road.

But how bad is the problem? It’s pretty bad.  Here’s a file (Source: City of Seattle/SDOT) that really shows you just how bad this is.  Take a look at this diagram and you’ll see that North Seattle as a whole is the most shortchanged of all neighborhoods in Seattle.

And the issue is widespread in North Seattle.  All the way from the Sound to Lake Washington, we see Tier 1 sidewalks across the North Seattle region.

Yet, in reports, such as this one, or this one from the City of Seattle don’t mention any of the North Seattle neighborhoods once.  This means that in strategic plans produced by SDOT, they have essentially de-prioritized all of North Seattle.  No matter that we are a center of families and commuters to downtown, we just don’t end up getting a piece of the pie on sidewalks.

How to fix this? As a friend of mine once told me when I was dealing with what seemed to be an insurmountable problem: keep asking the hard questions.  Write to City Council. Talk about this issue.  Tell your friends.

North Seattle is underserved – and it’s clear from the lack of sidewalks.  Some of this is history, some of this is representation.  But none of this means that we can’t move forward with the rest of Seattle.

Is Hellbent the New De Facto Lake City Hangout?

Hellbent Brewing Company (@HellbentB) is the newest Brewery on Lake City Way, and let me tell you – from anecdotal evidence it seems to be the new De Facto meeting place for all things Lake City.  Since opening just a little bit ago, this place seems to be the Lake City Hangout.

Since starting this blog, I’ve been scheduling times to meet with several local leaders and businesspeople to talk about what they do – and almost all of them end up being at Hellbent Brewing.  I also go there with my friends and it is always packed, even on weeknights.

But I can see why – it’s got great beer, is committed to the local community, is dog-friendly, and has a great atmosphere.  What’s not to love?

With Lake City being one of Seattle’s “up and coming” neighborhoods, though, this seems to be about right.  Here’s a place that can be looked to as a great community highlight as we’re showing the rest of Seattle that this is a great place to live.

Anyone else seeing a community shift to meeting/hanging out at Hellbent?

Sand Point Way Closure Starts Feb 8 UPDATE: FEB 3

UPDATE 6:00pm 2/1/16: I just heard from SDOT that the closure will start on the 3rd.

I just received notification that Seattle DOT will be closing Sand Point Way at the 8500 block for emergency repairs.  I’ve heard reports that the actual closure might be on the 8th, and some have said it will start on the 3rd.  Currently they’re estimating around 3-4 weeks for the repair, which means a detour will be running for quite a while.

Here’s what the flier says that came from Seattle DOT:

  • No traffic through the construction zone in the 8500 block of Sand Point Way NE; detour will be in place using NE 70th Street, 35th Avenue NE and NE 95th Street – see map on reverse side
  • No access for bicycles and pedestrians through the construction zone; travel along the Burke-Gilman Trail will not be affected
  • Large equipment with heavy loads operating in the roadway 5 to 7 days a week, typically for 9-12 hours per day
  • Temporary relocation of utilities, potential short term service disruptions
  • Significant excavation work, boring for new support piles and retaining wall construction
  • For King County Metro service stop relocations and service advisories please refer to http://metro.kingcounty.gov/alerts/ (Editors note: nothing has been posted yet on the KC Metro alerts page)

Here’s a map of the affected area, courtesy of Seattle DOT:

Sand Point Way Closure

Courtesy of Seattle DOT

I’ll post updates as I get them.  Thanks to Phil on Nextdoor for the tip.

Video: New Light Rail Extension

Check out this cool video from Sound Transit (@SoundTransit) that’s being discussed a lot among North Seattle residents.  Here’s the first foray that Light Rail will make into North Seattle.

Light Rail has a long and tumultuous history here in Seattle – several times the voters approved massive transportation system studies and encouraged the government move ahead with building grade-separated rail for easy transport. Every single time, these proposals failed.

Finally, Sound Transit cleaned up its act (and we really mean that) and started building Light Rail. Though this tends to be one of the least efficient ways to transport people, it’s what we’ve got and we need a lot of it.

Note in this video the proposed 130th St station.  This would be a big deal for North Seattle, if we could get this built.  Also, what if we had a line that went up through Ballard under 15th, followed Holman Road, went under Northgate Way, connected with the Northgate Transit system, hung a left at Lake City Way and went up to Bothell, Kenmore and eventually Woodinville.  We can only dream, right?

Make sure you stay in contact with Sound Transit if you’re interested in Light Rail.  They are typically helpful, and most of their recent projects have come in ahead of schedule and under budget.  Also, this is something that I’m very interested in, and can have a seriously positive impact on our neighborhoods here in North Seattle.

Check out the video and discuss!

This Week’s Highlights: Jan 31-Feb 6, 2016

Welcome to our first edition of This Week’s Highlights for North Seattle.  This is where we’ll try to put together a good list of events and other cool items for the week ahead.

This will be a list that we’ll start aggregating, but we can only be as good as our sources.  If you’d like to submit something to our highlights list, email us at highlights@ournorthseattle.com.  Not all will make it in, but we’ll try to make sure we have a solid list.

Mail in Your Ballots!
While they’re not due until Feb 9, it’s time to think about your property taxes and how we fund Schools for this special election. There will be a ballot drop at Magnuson Park later on in the week – Link with Map

Family Story Time – Lake City Public Library
Monday, Feb 1 10:30-11:15am @ Lake City Public Library – Map :: Link

Hellbent Trivia Tuesday (Geeks Who Drink) – Hellbent Brewing Company
Every Tuesday at 7pm @ Hellbent Brewing Company Map :: Link

Taproot Theater’s Silent Sky – Taproot Theater
Wed/Thur @ 7:30pm | Fri/Sat @ 8:00pm | Sat @ 2:00pm Map :: Link
Pay what you can: Wednesday Feb 3, Senior Matinee: Tuesday, February 2

Free Tax Prep/Filing – Northgate Library
Thursday, Feb 4 1:00pm @ Northgate Library – Map :: Link

Why is this list so short? Because we need your help! Email us at highlights@ournorthseattle.com with cool event highlights that benefit our community and we’ll try to include them in our next week’s highlight post.

 

Welcome to North Seattle

It all started with a conversation. A digital conversation, that is. Who knew that nextdoor.com was the hotbed of local discussion, but it is Seattle – and in this tech-centered city, it only seems right. The conversation was about suspicious activity right around the corner from my house, and it brought up a gaping hole in the North Seattle community – effective police presence.

I started to think more as I got up the next morning, put on my shoes, walked down the pothole-filled alley and onto the street – because there’s no sidewalk – to Lake City Way where I would take a crowded bus downtown to work.  My thoughts led me to look up more information about these seemingly normal services that were just lacking from the North Seattle that I have come to love.

North Seattle was annexed from unincorporated King County in the mid 20th century through several different acquisitions.  It was largely communities that didn’t have a strong central presence and just needed a local government to represent them.  But, as is typical of annexations like North Seattle’s, it wasn’t quite what it was cracked up to be.  Sidewalks were ignored. Representation on the City Council was nonexistent. Services were low.  It was largely a bedroom community for people who wanted to live cheaper but still live close enough to downtown Seattle.

But this doesn’t define the North Seattle that I know. Neighbors watch out for each other.  They engage in spirited debate. People go out to places like Elliott Bay, Cloud City Coffee, Roosevelt Ale House, Naked City Brewery, Diva Espresso, Thornton Place, and more.  They commune with friends for Seahawks games.  Or maybe I’m just describing my life…

But there’s something about the North Seattle community. Though we lack centralized organization, fair representation on boards and committees, and adequate services like Ballard or Queen Anne have, this is an amazing community.

So walk with me down the small gravel patch on the side of the road as I meet business owners, community leaders, and update you on the happenings of North Seattle.  And maybe, just maybe, through our community here, we can show the rest of Seattle what they’re missing.