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Archive for March, 2009

12th Avenue Neighborhood Meeting

Thursday, March 19th, 2009


The 12th Avenue Neighborhood Plan Stewardship Committee will gather again this month on Thursday, March 26th at 6:30pm in Room 110 at 1218 E Cherry (the red Seattle University building right behind the Shell Station on 12th). Snacks and drinks will be provided!

The topic of this meeting will be the proposed new development by Capitol Hill Housing on the vacant lot at 12th Avenue and E Jefferson Street (pic above). Current plans call for a six story building with 40 rental units affordable to residents making up to 60% of area median income (i.e. about $35,000/year for a single person) over a ground floor of small neighborhood commercial spaces. After fifteen years the rental units will convert to affordable condominiums through a partnership with HomeSight and residents will have first dibs on their unit. CHH has not submitted for permit yet and is in the early stages of preliminary design and applying for public funding.

Please join us for a discussion about this project!

In Case You Haven’t Seen it Yet…

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

The new Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT)-installed bike rack in front of Cafe Presse, on 12th just south of Madison. It takes up a parking space, is shaped like a car, and is always pretty full of bikes.


Streetcar on 12th Avenue?

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

seattle streetcar

Seattle City Council has recently voted to embrace and further enhance our nascent streetcar system. So far, our City only has one line and that is in South Lake Union, affectionately called the SLUT (South Lake Union Trolley).

Well, last fall the voters funded the First Hill/Capitol Hill streetcar line in Proposition One, which is meant to connect the regional Link Light Rail stations planned for the International District and Capitol Hill, and to replace the lost First Hill Light Rail Station. This line is fully paid for – $120 million!

The map SDOT has published is pretty vague, but according to planning documents, the First Hill/Capitol Hill streetcar will likely run from the ID, up Boren to Broadway, thus traversing the land of hospitals on First Hill.

Here’s the problem: streetcars involve pricey technology ($40m a mile to install) and thus are largely undertaken by cities for economic development reasons; i.e. you get more transportation bang for your buck with a bus system. Broadway is currently nearly 100% built out. 12th Avenue, however, especially the southern end near Yesler, is marred by vacant lots that are desperate for economic development. Add to this that the King County Detention Center at 12th and Alder will be redeveloped within the next 5 years and you have to wonder why on earth our City is considering placing a streetcar on Broadway?