Monthly Archives: January 2011

Eastlake traffic backs up as parents drive their kids to TOPS to protest bus cuts

Traffic around TOPS@Seward School appeared to be busier than usual this morning as parents who live outside the school’s transportation zone drove their children to school to protest potential bus cuts.

At one point, northbound traffic on Boylston was backed up from Louisa to Lynn as buses and parents tried to make a left onto Louisa to drop off children. Annoyed drivers on Boylston could be heard honking their horns and at least one bus driver yelled at a driver he felt was holding up entrance to Louisa, which is the bus drop-off zone.

Parents of children who live outside the Washington Middle School transportation zone, which covers TOPS, had been asked to drive their children to school today to demonstrate what might happen if bus service outside that zone is dropped. The Seattle Public Schools have proposed eliminating bus service beyond the Washington Middle School transportation zone as way to save money.

Parents at the school say the cuts could impact the school’s diversity by making it harder for children who live outside the TOPS’ transportation zone to attend. They also say they are concerned about the traffic impact in Eastlake if parents of those students had to drive their children to school every day.

One parent, Ginger Segel, said she usually drives her children to school on Fridays. She thought today’s traffic was busier than usual. She said she usually never has to wait to get onto Louisa to drop her kids.

Lucy Kee, who lives near Green Lake, dropped two children off. She said there are usually two or three cars waiting on Boylston to turn onto Louisa but she had never seen traffic backed up to Lynn. 

“My concern,” she said, “is that there’s no drop off zone here.”

Wayne Duncan, another parent, said that the school district had implied there would always be transportation for TOPS students but “that promise is being taken away.”

Parent Sheila Anderson said the TOPS parents will be reporting to the school board on how this morning’s event went and will be engaging the board in a discussion about continuing the bus service.

One Reel says there will be fireworks on the Fourth again this year

One Reel has just announced that there will be Fourth of July fireworks over Lake Union again this year.

One Reel says the multi-sponsor approach it turned to last year after it was unable to find a major sponsor for the show has proved to be a successful funding model. Returning sponsors from last year include Starbucks, Microsoft, Nordstrom, Charlie’s Produce and Tom Douglas Restaurants.

One Reel says it still needs to raise $200,000 in community-based pledges and corporate sponsorships by March 1. Anyone can donate at the Family Fourth website and also share what the July 4 fireworks mean to them.

Washington Mutual had sponsored the Lake Union fireworks display for many years, but that sponsorship was lost when WaMu went out of business. Chase, which bought out WaMu, filled in for 2009 but decided not to renew the sponsorship.

On March 31 of last year, One Reel announced that they hadn’t been able to find a sponsor to defray the event’s $500,000 cost and would have to cancel the show. Local restaurteur Tom Douglas and KIRO radio host Dave Ross stepped up and raised the money in a day.

Check out our video to see the scene at the 2010 Lake Union fireworks show.

Morning update: Rain is melting Eastlake’s snow; fallen tree closes Delmar Dr.

8:10 UPDATE: Delmar Drive is closed. A large tree has fallen onto the road. If you’re trying to get to Montlake, try Fuhrman instead.

WEDNESDAY MORNING UPDATE: It’s raining and the streets in Eastlake are slushy but may still be slick.

Seattle Public Schools are running two hours late but buses will be running their regular routes. KIRO is reporting no AM/PM kindergarten, no AM/PM preschool or preschool programs and no AM/PM Head Start. And no door-to-door service.

Metro buses are mostly on snow routes. Check Metro’s website for more information.

The City of Seattle says garbage pickup will proceed a usual today despite the snow.

Original post:

The snow is falling in Eastlake … finally. Forecasts had snow arriving this afternoon for the evening commute but it didn’t.

Report from south end of Eastlake is that snow is just starting to accumulate. About an inch has fallen. Looks like even more has fallen on the southern end of Franklin (see photo).

It’s now almost 9 p.m. and snow has been falling for about an hour. It’s sticking on the pavement in the alley behind my condo. What’s going on where you live? Post your comments below. Have photos? Send them and I’ll add them to this post.

Stay warm!

TOPS parents plan to protest bus cuts by driving kids to Eastlake school on Friday

Parents of students who are slated to lose their bus service to Eastlake’s TOPS@Seward School in the fall of 2012 are being asked to drive their children to school on Friday to simulate possible traffic impacts if their service is cut.

The drive-to-school event would only be for the morning commute. Parents say arrivals would be between 7:45 and 8:30 a.m. Sheila Anderson, a TOPS parent, said in an e-mail that:

Safety is paramount so we have enlisted the Seattle Traffic Unit to document the effects of the simulation, and to ensure public safety if necessary. We have asked all parents to be extra mindful of parking rules and traffic rules. The Police will not direct traffic (since that won’t simulate typical conditions once bussing is cut) but they will be there to jump in if things get totally snarled.

The parents have invited school board members, school district personnel and members of the media to come to TOPS on Friday to see what traffic might be like if bus service is reduced. Parents don’t know how many may participate.

The Seattle School Board voted a year ago to discontinue bus service to the school for students who live outside the Washington Middle School transportation area after the 2011-2012 school year. TOPS draws students from a large part of the city and many arrive by bus. TOPS parents who value the school’s diversity fear that element will be lost if bus service is cut for those who live outside the Washington Middle School transportation area.

The school district said last year it would revisit the issue in 2010 but has yet to do so.

In a letter Anderson sent to the school board on behalf of the TOPS parents, she noted that data gathered by parents showed that 40-50 percent of students at the school would lose their bus transporation in 2012. She continued:

While board members have reaffirmed their commitment to maintaining TOPS all-city draw, many of our most vulnerable students live in the southeast part of the district and may not have access to alternative transportation and will need to transfer schools, thus disrupting their education and denying them access to one of the most successful schools in the district. 

Anderson’s letter says that TOPS parents appreciate the expense of the bus routes and they feel there are alternatives that wouldn’t increase district expenses.

The parents say that, if bus service is reduced, they fear the result could be “non-trivial impacts to the Eastlake community and the TOPS community as more families drive their kids to school.” They that they feel “that the questions around traffic impacts have not been given full consideration.”

The complete letter from the TOPS parents to the Seattle School Board is attached to this post.

Eastlake weekly police report: Burglaries, car prowls and heavy drinkers

Highlights from the Eastlake weekly police reports include several burglaries, two car prowls and two drunks:

  • Jan. 4: Automatic fire alarm, 2300 block of Fairview E., 11:43 a.m.
  • Jan. 4: Harbor debris, navigational hazards, 1800 block of Fairview Ave. E., 11:55 a.m.
  • Jan. 5: Car prowl, 1000 block of Lakeview Blvd. E., 1 a.m.
  • Jan. 5: Intoxicated person, 2300 block of Eastlake E., 1:03 p.m.
  • Jan. 5: Automatic fire alarm, 2600 block of Eastlake Ave. E., 4:29 p.m.
  • Jan. 6: Burglary, commercial, 3100 block of Fairview Ave. E., 8:33 a.m.
  • Jan. 6: Burglary, unoccupied structure on residential property, 1500 block of Eastlake Ave. E., 9:22 a.m.
  • Jan. 6: Burglary, residential, 2300 Fairview Ave. E., 3:51 p.m.
  • Jan. 6: Intoxicated person, 2200 block of Eastlake E., 7:42 p.m.
  • Jan.. 7: Theft, miscellaneous, 100 block of E. Boston, 4:45 p.m.
  • Jan. 7: Property destruction, 2800 block of Eastlake Ave. E., 5:45 p.m.
  • Jan. 7: Car prowl, 1800 block of Eastlake E., 9:43 p.m.
  • Jan. 8: Burglary, commercial, 2300 Eastlake E., 4:47 a.m.
  • Jan. 8: Counterfeit, 2300 block of Eastlake Ave. E., 3:30 p.m.

See the complete map at

Locked out door-to-door scam

I just saw this on the Maple Leaf blog, and it’s been reported elsewhere in Seattle, so thought I’d share the link to the story here too, just in case he makes an appearance in our ‘hood.

Basic story is some guy knocks on your door, claiming he was locked out, and needs to get some cash to pay his locksmith. People give him the cash, can you believe it? For one thing, if his locksmith fixed the lock, he would be able to get in and get his wallet, and another is wouldn’t the locksmith bill him to pay later? 

Just worth bearing in mind..  But don’t stop opening your doors to neighbours.  :-)  

Water main explodes on Fairview Wednesday night

UPDATE: This post has been changed since it was first published. Information on repairs has been added.

2:07 p.m.: Andy Ryan, public information officer for Seattle Public Utilities, says crews are at work fixing this break:

Seattle Public Utility (SPU) crews have been working since 10 o’clock last night on the repair, which is expected to be completed within the next few hours. The crews are installing 16 feet of new 12-inch pipe.  About 25 homes have experienced low pressure or been without water, and 3 fire hydrants are affected.  There have been limited traffic impacts.  As is our standard practice, SPU crews are keeping people away from the work site for safety reasons.

Eastlake resident Phil Weiss has photos on Flickr of the break. | Update by cdmilton.


Sometime before 10pm on Wednesday, January 5th a water pipe exploded on Fairview Ave E between Newton and Boston, in front of the dock located at 2019 Fairview Ave E. The break caused considerable damage to the street, as well as massive flooding. The city sent emergency construction crews to repair the broken pipe.

Eastlake potholes noted in Seattle Times’ story; help may be coming

The Seattle Times is reporting that the city’s Pothole Rangers were due to get some extra help repairing a larger-than-normal number of potholes starting on Monday, Jan. 3.

The Times’ pothole map showing where residents have reported major fractures in the city’s streets feature several in Eastlake, including the major lumps just south of the University Bridge. Those potholes were pictured in a photo with the story. As someone who has driven over them frequently in the last few weeks, I can testify that they are a major hazard.

People posting to the map describe the University Bridge approach potholes as a “mine field” and “Third-world road conditions.” Said the last poster:

Multiple potholes been like this for weeks. This could be expected if this was Afghanistan. People need to speak up on this one. [Mayor Mike] McGinn is failing us.

Another poster noted a major pothole at the intersection of Fairview E. and E. Allison. And still another commented on “a big long trench” in the 2800 block of Eastlake Ave. E. Also noted on the map was a huge hole on Boylston heading south from Lynn.

One Eastlake resident e-mailed me about a “monster” pothole in the southbound lane of Eastlake just before Serafina. “Someone spray painted around it in green,” the resident reports. “Total death trap for all the bicyclists that commute to downtown via that street.”

If you’ve seen a pothole you can report it on the Times’ map. Or, contact the city’s Pothole Rangers at 206-684-7508 for potholes north of Denny; 206-386-1218 for potholes south of Denny.

The city says the freeze before Thanksgiving and the Dec. 12 rainstorm made the pothole situation worse.

Read more of the Seattle Times’ story here.