Monthly Archives: October 2010

First results from I-5 noise reduction study are mixed

The first results are in since 700 test noise reduction panels were installed on south end of the I-5 Ship Canal Bridge and they show noise is down in some areas but not a majority.

The $7 million study began in 2005. The Washington State Department of Transportation is testing what effect large flexible panels hung under the top deck of the Ship Canal Bridge would have on reflected traffic noise. The project is also testing how durable the panels would be.

According to a WDOT e-mail, acoustic tests were done at 18 locations on both sides of the project area: next to the panels, under the panels and two or three blocks away. Measurements were done at the same level as buildings and below freeway lanes.

Testers also spoke to neighbors about what effect they had noticed.

According to the WSDOT e-mail, “the panels are working as well as predicted in about a third of the locations, but not as well as predicted in about two-thirds of the locations.” 

The best reduction (down three decibels) was on the west side of the bridge just past where Franklin Ave. E. deadends. A two decibel reduction was noted, also on the west side. Readings that showed no noise reduction came mostly from the east side of the test area. You can see the readings and their locations on this WSDOT map.

According to the WSDOT project website, a three decibel change is “noticable” and a five decibel change is “considerably noticable.” For comparison, typical conversation speech rates about 60 decibels.

Measurements are done at ear level (about 5 feet off the ground) and atmospheric conditions, time of day and traffic mix are noted. Readings will continue to be done each quarter for the next three years. A final report is expected in November 2013.

If you have questions or comments about the project, contact the WSDOT’s Tim Sexton at or 206-440-4549. More information can be found on the projects website.

To see Eastlake Ave.’s video on the project, go to this previous post.

Eastlake Merchants to ponder their role in community

The Eastlake Merchants Association will be meeting twice this week, once for its regular monthly gathering and a second time at a workshop on the neighborhood, its character and how the merchants fit in.

The monthly meeting is at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 2, at Cicchetti, 121 E. Boston. Anyone who owns or works at an Eastlake business is welcome.

The second meeting will be Thursday, Nov. 4, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Lake Union Crew, 11 E. Allison St. Again, any local business owners or employees are welcome. 

The nascent merchants’ group has been meeting for several months, talking about issues facing local businesses and how they might work together to market themselves and the neighborhood. The group is still very informal and hasn’t elected officers. The group has completed a mission statement:

The mission of the Eastlake Merchants Association is to be a unified voice for all of Seattle’s Eastlake merchants, to build a strong community through networking and present Eastlake as a vibrant community by encouraging new business and supporting each other.

The group is hoping that Thursday’s workshop will help the merchants move toward a consensus on what constitutes Eastlake’s character and image, how the local business community might be branded and promoted, and what the Eastlake Merchants Association’s role in the neighborhood might be.

Friday is last day for five Metro Route 70 bus stops in Eastlake

As we previously reported, Saturday (Oct. 30) will mark the end of five Metro Route 70 bus stops in Eastlake:

  • Northbound at Fairview E. and Eastlake E.
  • North- and southbound at E. Boston
  • Southbound at E. Roanoke
  • Northbound at E. Edgar

The reason for the closures is to speed up buses, make the route more reliable and save energy.

Metro explained the change this way:

Currently, the corridor has 35 bus stops between downtown Seattle and the University Bridge, with an average stop spacing of about 830 feet. The plan would remove seven of these stops, increasing the average spacing between stops to about 1,060 feet.

Open house report: Parking, truck access big concerns in Fairview intersection rebuild

At an open house in Eastlake on Wednesday evening, concerns over a project to rebuild the intersection of Fairview Avenue North and Fairview Avenue East came down to two: parking and access for large trucks.

As staff from the Seattle Department of Transporatation went over details of three proposed alternatives, representatives of businesses in the area focused on how the project might impact weekday parking in the area. They said that there is already enormous pressure on parking spaces in the block of Fairview E. between Fairview North and E. Garfield and that they were concerned the proposed designs would only make matters worse.

Fixing the intersection, which is notorious for speeding motorists and dicey pedestrian safety, has been an Eastlake community priority since the 1990s. The project’s goals are to slow down motorists making high-speed turns onto Fairview E., make the intersection safer for pedestrians and bicyclists, preserve as much parking as possible, and complete the section of the Cheshiahud Loop trail that runs through the area.

While no one disputed the need to improve safety and access, owners and employees at businesses in the area worried that proposed designs would eliminate too many parking spaces. One owner, Ben Howe of Ralli Round, a car repair shop, said that any loss of parking might spell the end of his business.

George Neilson, president and COO of Lake Union Drydock, said that parking was also critical for his firm and the nine businesses who lease space at the drydock.

“Parking is a huge deal,” he said, noting that none of the three alternatives presented by SDOT would work for the company.

One problem was trying to identify how many spaces might be lost in each of the three alternatives. SDOT staff said they had been “very conservative” in counting how many spaces would be allowed under each alternative. Currently, employees park in tandem, packing every available space. That might not be allowed under the redesign.

None of the three alternatives allow parking in the triangle of land next to the Washington State Employees Credit Union, something that is done now. 

“Hide and ride” bus commuters, people from other parts of the city and county, also put pressure on the area by parking there and taking transit into downtown. One speaker said she had seen homeless people living in their cars in the area. Another said he saw commuters drive up early, sleep in their cars for a while and then take transit into downtown.

Given how SDOT is counting spaces in the alternatives, it was difficult to know how many spaces would actually be lost. Estimates ranged from as few as 10 to a high of 70. 

Tim Ahlers, Eastlake Community Council secretary and a member of the stakeholders group that has been working on the alternatives, suggested that the city try to count the maximum number of cars that could be jammed in under each alternative. That would at least allow everyone to get an accurate idea of what might be lost.

Chris Leman, ECC president, said that a previous city engineer had committed to allowing the continuation of tandem parking in the area, a promise he feared was now being reneged on.

Another concern was access for large trucks that bring material to the drydock. At 75 feet long, the trucks are even bigger than Metro buses. Would trucks be able to make the turn onto Fairview E., participants wondered? Would there be space for them to park and unload? Business owners expressed concern that the designs might not have enough room.

After discussing the merits of the three proposals for almost 90 minutes, one audience member offered a suggestion: What if you closed Fairview Avenue E. where it meets Fairview Avenue North? The idea drew thoughtful comments from several in the room and seemed like it might offer new options.

George Neilson of Lake Union Drydock said after the meeting that vacating the intersection might work for his business. The main concern, he said, would be what the Seattle Fire Department thinks of the proposal. He noted that any time there is a fire call from the drydock, it gets a big response from SFD and the fire trucks usually arrive by turning off Fairview North onto Fairview East.

Particpants in the open house were asked to fill out a survey asking them what their priorities for the project were. The survey will also be available on SDOT’s web page for the project. SDOT is hoping to collect the surveys within a week.

The plan is to have the stakeholders’ group identify a perferred alternative in time for a second open house in January.

For more information on the project, as well as plans for the three current options, go to SDOT’s website.

City sets public open house on Fairview intersection on Wednesday

The Seattle Department of Transportation will sponsor an open house at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday (Oct. 27) on the Fairview Avenues East and North intersection project. The open house will be at Seward School, 2500 Franklin E., and the public is invited.

We’ve written about this project before on the occasion of the city approving $500,000 in Bridging the Gap funds to help meet the $750,000 cost.

The intersection in question is the point where Fairview Avenue North meets Fairview Avenue East just past ZymoGenetics. The 1998 Eastlake Neighborhood Plan took note of the intersection, asking for safety improvements.

The project’s goal is to “square off” the intersection so cars going north on Fairview North won’t be inclined to make a high speed turn onto Fairview East. The city would also like to finish a link here in the Cheshiahud Loop trail around Lake Union. Other improvements would be to provide sidewalks, decrease the distance pedestrians have to go to cross the street, and preserve on-street parking.

There are three draft options for the intersection on the SDOT website:

  • Option 1: Two-way traffic, 8-foot trail along the shore, 5-foot landscaped buffer on east side of trail
  • Opton 2: Shared use street (cars, pedestrians and bicyclists all using the street space), one-way southbound traffic at the intersection, 8-foot trail on the shore, 5-foot landscaped buffer east of the trail
  • Option 3: Shared use street, one-way southbound traffic at intersection, 20-foot shared space with landscaping on both sides

The SDOT website has drawings and cross sections of how each option might look. But: These plans are not set in stone. The point of the open house is to get neighborhood feedback on the options.

At the open house, the first 30 minutes will give you time to look at each design and familiarize yourself with it. At 5:30 p.m., SDOT staff will give presentations on the project and explain each option. There will be a period where you can talk to staff about each design, ask questions and provide your feedback. During the closing portion of the event, SDOT staff will outline what happens next in the project and, presumably, how you can provide further input.

More information: An overview of the project can be found on the SDOT website.

Movie fundraiser at The Zoo tonight: Dendrite Studios ski movie "Out of the Shadows"

Visit the Facebook Invite!

When: Tuesday, October 26th

Time: Movie starts at 8pm

Cost: $10 at the door

21+ / Cash Only – Beer and Wine served at the bar

Where: Eastlake Zoo Tavern || 2301 Eastlake Avenue East

All $$$ goes to Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center (NWAC) – 

There will be a screen printer at the bar making shirts at the time of order with all profits going to NWAC! ($15/cash)

Proudly shot in the mountains of British Columbia, Out of the Shadows features the finest athletes who have been in the shadows for too long. This is their shot and their opportunity to break out on film. They bring their lives with them and shred the mountains with un-inhibited passion on a daily basis. We bring you their stories.

Check out the trailer!

Weekly Eastlake police reports: residential burglaries, a car theft and more

UPDATE: This post has been updated since it was first published. Details on the Oct. 20 assault have been added (thanks,

Eastlake police reports for the past week include several residential burglaries and a car theft:

  • Oct. 18: Noise disturbance, 2000 block of Franklin Ave. E., 11:36 p.m.
  • Oct. 19: Residential burglary, forced entry, 2200 block of Yale Ave. E., 7 a.m.
  • Oct. 19: Residential burglary, no forced entry, 2600 block of Boylston Ave. E., 3:04 p.m.
  • Oct. 20: Shoplifting, 10 block of E. Lynn, 9:22 a.m.
  • Oct. 20: Residential burglary, no forced entry, 2800 block of Franklin Ave. E., 10:01 a.m.
  • Oct. 20: Property damage, non-residential, 2800 block of Eastlake Ave. E., 3:30 p.m.
  • Oct. 20: Theft, miscellaneous, 2000 block of Minor Ave. E., 4:06 p.m.
  • Oct. 20: Aggravated assault with a weapon, 2900 block of Eastlake Ave. E., 6:37 p.m. The victim reported that he was riding his bike northbound when he approached a woman standing by a parked car. She appeared to be using the car as a shield between her and the traffic. As he rode past, the woman raised a golf club, swung and hit him in the right arm. There was no injury. The suspect never spoke and was last seen walking south. Police were unable to locate her.
  • Oct. 21: Urinating/deficating in public, 1500 block of Eastlake Ave. E., 10:15 p.m.
  • Oct. 22: Car prowl, 3300 block of Fuhrman Ave. E., 5 a.m.
  • Oct. 22: Trespass, parks, 3100 block of Eastlake Ave. E., 10:47 a.m.
  • Oct. 22: Trespass, 2300 block of Eastlake Ave. E., 12:46 p.m.
  • Oct. 23: Vehicle theft, 2300 block of Eastlake Ave. E., 10 p.m.
  • Oct. 24: Fraud (including identity theft), 2000 block of Yale Ave. E., 8:49 a.m.
  • Oct. 25: Lewd conduct, 1100 block of Fairview Ave. E., 12:06 p.m.

Check to see the complete map.

Confused by the ballot? Jules offers recommendations

We’re not making official election endorsements here at Eastlake Ave. (although it’s tempting), but Jules James, the proprietor at Lake Union Mail, is. Well, not endorsements but “recommendations.”

Jules has issued his annual recommendations for down-ballot races and issues for several years, he says. If you’re swamped by this year’s big ballot and need an opinion or two to spark your own internal debate, you can get a copy of Jules’ recommendations in print at his store at 75 E. Louisa. I’ve also attached a PDF to this post.

It’s interesting reading and, I have to say, I’m not totally in agreement with all of his recommendations. But, that’s how democracy works.

In an e-mail, Jules explains the origins of the recommendations:

Over the years, enough Mail Forward customers have asked for recommendations on the down-ballot judges and issues that we now print up full recommendations for both primary and general elections. They aren’t a duplicate of my ballot, but more an interpretation of mainstream Lake Union with help from some of my politico friends. Sometimes I even split the recommendation: “If you are conservative, vote____, liberals will be more comfortable ______”.  This year there weren’t any liberal verses conservative, moral or ethical choices — only Good Government choices. 

All voting is by mail this year and you should have your ballot by now. It needs to be postmarked by election day and you’ll need a first class stamp. Didn’t get a ballot or have questions? Check the website for the King County Elections Division.

What do you think? How are you voting on the races and issues on this year’s ballot? How do you see them affecting Seattle and Eastlake? Post your thoughts in the comments. And remember: Be nice!

University Bridge, Roosevelt closures will snarl Eastlake weekend traffic

Maintenance and road work will snarl traffic around the University Bridge and on Roosevelt just across the bridge this weekend:

  • Lane closures: One lane in each direction will be closed on the bridge from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, the right lanes north and south will be closed. On Sunday, the left lanes will be closed.
  • Roosevelt closure: A short stretch of Roosevelt between NE Campus Parkway and the NE 40th Street on-ramp to the bridge will be closed on Saturday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Southbound traffic will detour at NE 42nd to 7th NE and then back to the bridge. Northbound traffic will turn onto NE Campus Parkway. The bike lane will be closed.

Sidewalks will remain open during both projects.

Seattle Weavers Guild Annual Show and Sale

The Seattle Weavers’ Guild announces its 30

th Annual Weaving and Fiber Arts Show and Sale on October 28, 29, and 30th. The sale will take place in Bloedel Auditorium, St Mark’s Cathedral located on Capitol Hill at 1245 10th Ave E, Seattle.  Parking is free.

Sale hours will vary each day. Thursday’s hours will be 5pm to 8pm. Friday’s hours will be 10am to 8pm. Saturdays hours will be 10am to 5pm.

The sale offers unique high-quality handwoven and other interlaced fiber-art products. It provides an opportunity for the early Holiday Season shopper to get unique well-made handcrafted gifts for the special people on their list.

“The sale is not a specialized crafts bazaar,” said Guild President Kathy Warner.  ” It is notable for the members’ craftsmanship and use of traditional techniques, as well as their innovative and creative approach.”

A wide range of products from many of the members will be featured. These will probably include shawls; scarves; clothing; household items such as dish towels, “mug rugs,” napkins, and placemats; baby blankets; wall hangings; basketry; rugs; and fine jewelry.

All offerings are individually handmade and unique. They reflect the artist’s skills and mastery of the older fiber arts.

There will be daily demonstrations of weaving and spinning. Proceeds from the sale are used to fund the guild’s volunteer outreach program and to bring talented practicing artists to Seattle Weavers’ Guild to educate both its members and the public in their art. 

The event is designed to create a venue for members to show and sell their handwoven wares, to educate the public about weaving, and to produce funds for guild activities.

For more information about the sale and the Seattle Weavers’ Guild, go to

About the Seattle Weavers’ Guild:

Founded in January, 1937, the Seattle Weavers’ Guild promotes the art and technique of handweaving and other interlaced arts. The Guild is the largest in the United States with about 345 members .

Funded in part from the proceeds of the annual sale, the Guild sponsors several programs throughout the community. Classes are offered in the weaving room at the South Seattle Senior Center.

The Guild also supports the weaving program offered to patients and parents at Seattle Children’s Hospital.