Friday, April 29, 2016

Multiple Car Break-Ins On/Near Boulevard (43rd Avenue NE), Resident Gets License Plate Number, Also SPD Tips

The Laurelhurst Blog has received numerous reports of car break-ins and car prowls recently, especially in the vicinity of the Boulevard, 43rd Avenue NE.

Last night, a resident on the Boulevard, caught two males in the act of breaking into a car and reported this information to the Laurelhurst Blog, which includes a license plate number:

I live on NE 44th Street and 43rd Avenue NE.  Last night, after midnight, I was getting back from work and as I was getting out of my car I saw 2 Caucasian males in their late teens/early 20s smoking cigarettes and walking down my street.  They turned and walked down an alley.   
About 15 minutes later, about 12:30am, I saw one of them shining his IPhone up to car windows on my street and he opened the door to one of them and rummaged through the glove compartment.   
I walked out into my front yard and shouted "what are you doing??"  The guy ignored me and continued to walk to the end of my street which is a dead end.  His car was parked there.   
He got in a silver Toyota 4 door sedan--license plate was AXS1889 or AXS1887...WA state plates.   
I called the police as he drove right past me.  About 2 minutes later, the second person emerged from the alley as the silver Toyota came back to pick him up.  
He was wearing a backpack (probably to put all of the stolen items in). The car then sped off.   
I had called the police and they were here within 10-15 minutes.  They noticed another vehicle had also been broken into on 43rd Avenue NE.  
If anyone sees this silver Toyota around the neighborhood please alert the police.  If you see people walking around our neighborhood at weird hours of the night they may not have the best of intentions. Stay on the lookout.

A nearby neighbor to the person who reported the above incident, said that also last night around 1am, he was woken up by the Seattle Police.

He said:

The Police were called by a neighbor who saw 2 guys checking cars on the Boulevard and  NE 42nd Street for unlocked doors with cell phone flash light. He confronted one guy and they sped off.  
The police noticed one of our car doors open and knocked on our door. We stupidly left a car unlocked again. Glove box contents, center console and so forth chucked all over the place, but otherwise no damage.

The Laurelhurst Blog reported this car break-in last week on April 22nd, at 43rd Avenue NE and NE 43rd Street.  

The following day another resident reported a car break-in saying: 

After reading the entry on the car prowl in the Laurelhurst Blog, I double checked my wife's car, parked on NE 44th Street.  
It was also rifled through. The glove box and a storage compartment had been emptied onto the seat, though I didn't find anything missing. Even a small bag of change and GPS unit were not removed.
I also noticed a blue glove left on the floor, presumably used so that prints would not be left. 
Anyways, it's somewhat disconcerting, and clearly the thief tried cars on several streets.

And again on April 22nd, a resident in the same area, reported another car-prowl to the Laurelhurst Blog:
We live on the 3800 block of 44th Avenue NE and my husband's locked car was broken into and change was taken.  I also heard of other car break ins last Wednesday night/Thursday morning.   
I'm curious about the neighborhood Security Patrol that we pay for and how it plans to help curtain what seems to be an increasing incidence of these events.

The SPD website says:
You are more likely to be a victim of a vehicle crime than any other crime reported to the Seattle Police Department. An experienced Car Prowler or Thief can gain access to your car in virtually seconds. 
In less than 30 seconds, someone could break into a parked car. Most car prowls themselves take less than two minutes. The damage done to locks and windows can be very expensive to repair and cause great inconvenience.  a car prowl can take less than a minute and can cause thousands of dollars in damage.

Here are SPD's car prowl prevention tips:  
  • Don't leave any items in plain view in your vehicle. Even in a secure garage.
  • Take all valuables with you when you park.
  • Remove or hide anything that a car prowler might mistake as something worth stealing.
  • If valuables must be left behind, hide them out of sight several blocks away before parking.
  • Disable internal trunk releases per your owner's instruction manual.
  • Audible alarms or other theft deterrent devices can be effective.
  • When you exit or enter your parked vehicle, stop and take a look around the area.
  • Before leaving your parked car, always remove the keys, roll up the windows and lock the car.
  • Make a habit of locking your garage door and car doors.
  • If possible, store your car in a closed and locked garage.
  • If your car is stored in a carport or parked near your house, leave your exterior lights on throughout the night.
  • If you park on the street, choose a well-lit, open space even if it means adding additional street/yard lighting & trimming back trees/bushes that block your view of your vehicle.
  • If you park your car in a dark or isolated area, consider the City Light Area Lighting Program, which permits additional light fixtures to be placed on existing poles. The cost is less than $5 per month per light. Call (206) 684-3000 for more information.
  • Consider replacing the light fixture closest to your car with a motion detector unit. Motion detectors are a good psychological deterrents since the normal assumption of a person seeing a light come on is that someone has seen them. Additionally, the light makes the prowler or thief more visible.

SPD says that if your car is broken into file a report by calling the non-emergency number at 206-625-5011, or file one online.


Purchase $1 Books at Friends Of Seattle Library's Pop-Up Shop Saturday at NE Branch

Shop the FriendShop Pop-Up!

The Northeast branch of the Seattle Public Library (6801 35th Avenue NE) is having a special event on Saturday from 11:30-3:30pm with the visit of the  Friends of The Seattle Public Library's pop-up shop, called the FriendShop.

The information says:
Pop in to purchase: 
- Pre-owned paperbacks and children's books for $1
- Goodies from the FriendShop, including tote bags, mugs and jewelry
- Gifts for readers
Members will receive two free hard cover fiction books as a member benefit.
Renew or join today!

Your support helps the Friends advocate, educate and raise funds on behalf of The Seattle Public Library.  All proceeds benefit The Seattle Public Library. For more information, visit
Go here for more information or call the FriendShop at 206-733-9015.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Why Is There No Left Hand Turn Signal From NE 45th Street Onto Mary Gates Drive From NE 45th Street, Only An Empty Signal Head?

Intersection with no left-hand turn lane onto
Mary Gates Drive NE from NE 45th Street

Several Laurelhurst Blog readers have emailed about why there is a signal board, but no left hand turn signal for turning left onto Mary Gates Drive from busy NE 45th Street, near Sand Point Way.

This very busy intersection is sometimes referred to as "Five Corners" and is where Union Bay Place NE, Mary Gates Boulevard, NE 45th Street, 35th Avenue NE and Sand Point Way all meet.

One resident wrote:

It's very dangerous turning onto Mary Gates Drive without a left hand turn signal and so many, many cars coming, especially during busy times during the day. We have almost been hit several times by cars going very fast on Sand Point Way through the light. We see a fixture for it, but no signal is there. Do you know what is going on?

The Laurelhurst Blog checked with the SDOT Traffic Signals group who said:

We believe you are referring to the westbound to southbound left turn phase on NE 45th Street.  We think of NE 45th Street as running East-West.  If that’s the case, there is no issue we know of here.    
We have never had a left turn signal for that turn. Westbound traffic turning left onto Mary Gates has always had to turn on a green ball and yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians in the crosswalk. The sign and left turn lane do “instruct” people in that lane to turn left, but the sign and turn lane by themselves do not indicate that a signal is present or supposed to be present for the left turn. They just tell drivers in that lane that they must turn left as opposed to going straight.
A couple years ago, SDOT rebuilt this intersection, and we made plans to eventually put the westbound left turn phase in, so it could look like the signal head disappeared.   
However, we found issues with the new phase and an incompatibility with the software used to operate the signal controller while testing the signal controller software, so SDOT went ahead with the rebuild without putting in the new phase.  We hope to eventually put in the left turn phase, so the infrastructure has been set up to eventually accommodate it.    
The intersection was built so that at some future date, a left turn signal head could be added relatively easily; this could be giving the appearance of a “missing” signal head. 
If the issue can be fixed, we will then be able to put in the westbound to southbound left turn phase.   In the meantime, the span wires (the wires supporting the signal heads) have been set up to accommodate the westbound left turn phase if and when we can put it in.
The signals run different timing patterns throughout the day, as traffic patterns change.  During the transition between different timing patterns, some phases were being skipped (not being served).  We are hoping that a future revision to the controller software or a fix by the manufacturer will prevent this from happening.
In August of 2008, three cameras were installed at "Five Points", after the Laurelhurst Community Club voted unanimously to support neighbors requests as well as a submittal of more than 400 petition signatures, for installation of the cameras at the intersection. LCC requested funding for cameras in September of the previous year. 

Updates On New And Old 520 Bridges

Here is the latest on the new and old SR520 Bridge, including removing the old SR520 Bridge by the end of the year

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Hello, Goodbye: A new day for the new (and old) SR 520 floating bridges

The new State Route 520 floating bridge fully opened to traffic Monday morning as vehicles began crossing Lake Washington on the span’s eastbound lanes at around 1:30 a.m. The milestone passage, which follows the April 11 opening of the bridge’s westbound lanes, marks the end of an era for the existing, 53-year-old floating bridge.

The old, four-lane bridge carried its last car across the lake late Friday night. With SR 520 closed for the weekend, crews went about preparing for the shift in eastbound traffic onto the new, six-lane bridge. This time-lapse video shows how that weekend work progressed.

Crews now will begin decommissioning the existing, structurally vulnerable bridge and, by the end of this year, removing it from Lake Washington. The old bridge’s pontoons will be towed out of Lake Washington and reused elsewhere as piers, wharfs or breakwaters. Work continues to finish the West Approach Bridge North and Rest of the West to connect the new floating bridge to Interstate 5.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Tully's Closes, Sunrice To Close, Other Spaces Still Sit Empty After Months

Many Laurelhurst Blog readers have emailed the Laurelhurst Blog Staff about Tully's suddenly closing last Sunday.

One neighbors said:

As a long time Tully's customer I was saddened to learn that it had closed. I was told by employees the rent had tripled.  No word what is planned for the space.

The Laurelhurst Blog Staff spoke with a Tully's who said that the landlord "wanted to triple our rent." He added that Kinko's will most likely be downsizing in the same space.

King County Records show that the building, appraised at $3,152,600 is owned by William Guimont of Gemo-Guimont LLC.

That appears to be the only building he owns in the area as Property Development Associates (PDA), a division of Safeway that focuses on the leasing and disposition, owns the building where Burgermaster is.

Nearby Baskin-Robbins has sat empty since September of last year

The manager and also son of the owner, told the Laurelhurst Blog Staff that the new landlord "wanted to raise the rent by more than 50% with all costs included."

So they had to walk away from the business his family has owned for 15 years, and in which it has been located for 40 years .  

Word on the street is that the rent is $7,000 a month for the space. One neighbor said "Probably the only business that can afford that is Starbuck's."

Also empty is the space that used to house Chloe Bistro which closed in January of last year.  Before that, Union Bay Café was there for a number of years.

The landlords, the Spigers, have told potential renters that they only want offices in that space and no more restaurants.

The Spigers own the entire building, which also houses Epic Barber, a variety of offices and businesses.

The Sunrice Café is also in that building and the Laurelhurst Blog Staff has heard that it will be closing very soon, because the rent has suddenly increased.

Blog readers speculate that these spaces will continue to be vacant as the "loss of rent is a tax write-off so no money is lost" one resident said. "Landlords can afford to have their spaces sit empty as long as they want." 

A reader who is a Tax Preparer and Business Development Specialist, wrote in and said:

Landlords still have to pay property taxes and other costs. They can, in some cases, take the loss generated by the property as a reduction in taxable income and, thus, get some tax savings, but that's not the case for most property owners because their incomes are too high for that.

Undoubtedly, most property owners would prefer to have tenants and it may be worth their time and lost rental income to wait for one that will pay a higher rate or to redevelop the property.


Help Today And Saturday Build Rooftop Garden For Food Bank

Several neighbors submitted this information to share with the community about a family friendly event helping the Food Bank at nearby Center For Urban Horticulture Center, near the area marked UW Farm.

LCC said:
This is such a terrific organization! The location to help is right at the Horticulture Center.  So it's  very convenient for Laurelhurst neighbors to "lend a hand".

 Here is the information:


In only one week’s time, 4000 milk crates will be hoisted onto the roof top of our new food bank home where they will begin growing fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs for our many food bank customers.

Before this can happen, we need to finish getting the milk crates prepped. To do this, we need your help.
Please join us for one of our upcoming work parties:
Wednesday, April 27th from 4pm - 8pm
Saturday, April 30th
from 9am - noon
Saturday, April 30th
from noon – 3:00pm
Wear comfortable and weather appropriate clothes because we will be outside, rain or shine and bring work gloves if you have them. You don’t need to bring any tools, we have what you need. And we’ll have some drinks and snacks too.
Please RSVP so we know to expect you.  Once it’s all done, this is going to be a pretty cool garden.
Thanks for lending a hand.  A few hours of your time will make a tremendous difference.  Many hands make for light work.

Joe Gruber
Executive Director
University District Food Bank

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Recent Home Break-In On West Laurelhurst Drive NE

The Laurelhurst Blog received this information:

We live on the 3500 block of West Laurelhurst Drive NE and last Friday, April 22,  around 9:30pm, our house was broken into while we were at our neighbor's house just two blocks away.  
Our house alarm was on.  After the incident, we received a call from our alarm company letting us know of a window broken as a brick had been thrown through our side door.  
They took off with a laptop, iPad and headphones. The Police were called and took a report. The neighborhood private Security Patrol officer showed up shortly after the police arrived, which took longer than we expected.

The neighborhood private Security Patrol officer told me he'd seen people walking around that evening but no one looked suspicious. After something like this happens, can we ask him to talk to people? Perhaps ask them if they live in the neighborhood. See if they get nervous. Tell them what's going on and why he's asking. If I was on a walk after dark and he asked me that and told me why, I would appreciate it and be on the lookout for anyone suspicious. And get home right away! 
There was no helpful info the Police gave us. They made sure our house was empty, looked at the situation, wrote some notes, then left. I was in a bit of shock, so I didn't ask many questions like what are they doing about this situation. 
We are wondering if the private Security Patrol needs to wait for the on-duty police to arrive before he comes to the scene? I was surprised it took him longer than the police officers to get to our house, especially since he said he was nearby. 
Please send out a reminder for people to always set their alarms, even when they're close to home. It happens so quickly.

The Laurelhurst Community Club said that the neighborhood private Security Patrol officers have the Seattle Police radios in their cars so they respond to incidents regardless of whether the Seattle Police officers respond or not.

Seattle Opera Preview of Wagner's "The Flying Dutchman" Tonight at Northeast Branch Library

Seattle Opera Preview Lecture

The Northeast branch of the Seattle Public Library (6801 35th Avenue NE) is having a free preview lecture tonight at 6:30pm of Seattle Opera’s upcoming production of Wagner's "The Flying Dutchman."

The information says:
Join us for an entertaining preview lecture on Seattle Opera’s upcoming production of Wagner’s stirring fable which recounts the stormy romance between a supernatural sea captain and a young woman obsessed with his legend.
The Seattle Opera website says:
More than 125 artists from the Seattle Opera Chorus and Seattle Symphony Orchestra perform alongside the principal singers in this movie-length production. Wagner's sweeping orchestrations, reminiscent of a blockbuster film score, evoke the power of the sea.
The show runs from May 7-21 at the Seattle Opera.  For more information about the show go here and here for more information about the library vent

(photo courtesy of SPL)

Monday, April 25, 2016

"Slow Down" Signs Stolen Stolen From Dangerous Suicide Hill (NE 41st Street)


A Laurelhurst Community Club (LCC) Board Member, Robin, let the Laurelhurst Blog know that "Slow Down" signs he put out near Suicide Hill have been taken.

Robin, who works on road safety with the Laurelhurst Community Club, has  over many years witnessed accidents and near misses. He has been working for several years now on improving the safety in that area.

And neighbors have continually reported speeders driving in excess of 50mph down the hill. Neighbors also say that drivers unfortunately go too fast to even read the Slow Down signs. 

Robin told the Laurelhurst Blog Staff:

At our last LCC meeting we were all rather pleased at all the new 20 mph speed limit signs posted up and down the south side of NE 41st Street which added 
to my SLOW DOWN signs on the north side of the street.  
My signs have been up for over 2 years but the others are brand new and have been up just 2 weeks. 

Last week every one of the signs on both sides of the street were stolen. This is the third time mine have been removed.

This is the very last of a batch of my "SLOW DOWN" signs
.  All the rest have been stolen over the past three years.

Last January SDOT made changes to the dangerous area that included:
  • Cutting back trees for visibility, especially those on on the north side of "Suicide Hill" and in the right-of-way to improve sight lines for all who travel along the corridor. This work will occur on NE 41st Street between 42nd Avenue NE and 43rd Avenue NE.
  • Replacing faded regulatory signs at the intersection and refresh the stop bars.
  • A  new advisory sign indicating an advisory speed of 15 mph going downhill will be installed west of the Laurelhurst Park entrance and a new 30 mph speed limit sign will be posted at a location east of 48th Avenue NE or 50th Avenue NE for the westbound direction.
  • Remarking the stop bars.

Last October the Laurelhurst Blog posted about a dog that was struck and killed by a speeding driver on NE 41st Street and in  December we reported about two car accidents, one in which one person left in an ambulance and the other the speeding driver lost control and hit the median sending one tired into the fence at Talaris and knocking part of it down.

Robin reminds drivers that the speed limit for all Seattle streets, unless otherwise posted, is 25mph.

If anybody has any idea who could have done this or where the valuable signs are, please contact

Identity Theft Presentation At Northeast Branch Library Tonight

Identity Theft

The Northeast branch of the Seattle Public Library (6801 35th Avenue NE) is having a free presentation on Identity Theft tonight from 6-7pm.

The information says:

Learn about identity theft, including the techniques thieves use, tools for prevention and steps victims can take to recover.  Identity theft is an increasingly common and inventive crime.  

This presentation, hosted by Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union. provides an overview of types of identity theft, techniques thieves use, tools for preventing identity theft, and specific steps that victims can take to recover from identity theft.

For more information go here.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Unlocked Car Rifled Through On Boulevard

The Laurelhurst Blog received this information:

We live at 43rd Avenue NE and NE 43rd Street.  I left my car unlocked on the Boulevard last night, April 21, and someone pulled all of the contents out of my center console and glove box out and dumped on my car seat.   
It's clear they were specifically looking for unlocked cars. My wife's car was parked right next to mine with quite a lot of items in plain view, but the car was locked and untouched.  There was nothing of interest in plain view in my car, but unlocked so they rifled through it. 
Lesson, of course, keep the car locked. I'm too casual about this. Someone must have been just checking for unlocked cars.   
Very frustrating. This act yielded a grand total of probably $3 in loose change from my center console. That is pretty silly stuff to risk getting caught.

520 Closed Both DirectionsThis Week-End, New Eastbound Bridge Opens Monday

WSDOT has posted this information about 520 closing this week-end:

Banner Image

Reminder: SR520 closed in both directions this weekend

This weekend marks another historic occasion in SR 520’s history – the last vehicle will cross the existing floating bridge. Beginning at 11 p.m. Friday, April 22, the last eastbound vehicle will journey across the aging bridge. Crews will then use the weekend to transition eastbound vehicles from the existing structure to the new floating bridge. During this time, crews will pave, move barrier, and stripe the new roadway transitions. Early Monday morning, April 25, the new floating bridge will be open to traffic in both directions.

Additionally, the Evergreen Point Road transit stop will reopen Monday morning, April 25, to Medina transit riders wishing to cross Lake Washington.

Once the new bridge is open to vehicle traffic, crews will finish the 14-foot-wide shared-use path along the north side of the bridge and open it by mid to late May. The path will be an “out and back” path from the Eastside where pedestrians and cyclists can walk or ride the new path. The new path won’t reach Seattle until Summer 2017 when the West Approach Bridge North project is complete, but you can enjoy the path, the views, and the resting areas with interpretive signs.
Upcoming closure details
  • 11 p.m. Friday, April 22, to 5 a.m. Monday, April 25: SR 520 will be fully closed between Montlake Boulevard and 92nd Avenue Northeast.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Why Were There So Many, Many #62 Buses Going Up And Down NE 45th Street On April 9-10 Week-end?

On the week-end of April 9 and 10, many residents reported numerous buses marked #62 travelling along NE 45th Street, just one bus after another. 

Neighbors living in that area were shocked to see so many buses and curious as they say there has never been any week-end bus service and additionally residents have never seen this bus number in the neighborhood. It's always been #25 and now #78 which started last month. 

Residents said:

I wanted to make you aware that we had probably 200+ Metro buses drive by our house this weekend, up and down NE 45th Street. On Saturday, there was never a time a bus was not coming, parked at, or leaving the Seattle Children's stop. Never. At times, there were more than one, sometimes one right behind the other. This started at 6:05 a.m. and was still running when I went to bed at 10:30 pm on Saturday. Today is Sunday, and it's the same thing. It's not the 78, it's the 62, which shouldn't even be this far south. I thought Laurelhurst was not getting bus service on Sunday at all, so this should not be going on.

The noise and vibration the numerous busses are creating going in and out and also while parked is an absolute neighborhood nuisance. They never turn off the bus while parked. And please note there were never any passengers on the bus, not one. Driver only.

I saw one Bus today, on Sunday, turn left from Sandpoint Way onto 40th Avenue and then turn left up NE 45th. There is no reason for them to do this. I suspect they are merely using this as a place to turn around! Nobody is riding these buses and it's not on any published route. If this is for Children's benefit, then this should be on their side, not in a residential neighborhood.

We can't be the only people bothered by this literal invasion of Metro buses. I intend to contact Metro as well. We've heard others are also annoyed.

We understand from Metro information and communications that the only busses running in Laurelhurst is the #78 on weekdays. And that other busses that would serve Laurelhurst on the week-ends stop on Sand Point near Children's Hospital and don't come into the neighborhood at all.  
We also noticed a bus, not #78, going eastbound on NE 45th Street and turning left onto 40th Avenue NE, going past the Emergency Room entrance then connecting back onto Sand Point Way. We have never seen a bus on this very narrow, very short road. It is dangerous to have a bus there as the hospital shuttles use that small road as well as emergency vehicles.

 The Laurelhurst Blog Staff contacted Metro representatives who said:
Starting on March 26, Metro introduced the new Route 62, which is currently operating every 15 minutes for most of the day. This route provides a new east-west, “crosstown” transit connection for riders to/from Northeast Seattle and Magnuson Park and NOAA, where one didn’t exist prior to the recent March service change.  
Weekdays the route travels to its terminus on the NOAA campus and makes a loop there. When NOAA is closed, after approximately 6:30pm on weeknights and all day on weekends, Route 62 loops through Magnuson Park on a 90-day “pilot” basis (through June 25th).  

The purpose of this 90-day pilot, as agreed to by Metro, the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department (SPR), and the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is to enable the evaluation of community concerns, allow time and space to address funding questions (e.g., to address pavement damage); and assess any unintended consequences of transit operations in Magnuson Park—and to work collaboratively on solutions.

As part of the pilot, Metro agreed to reroute buses on the days when special events are occurring within Magnuson Park, as identified by SPR staff, to a turnaround loop elsewhere to maintain Route 62 service.   This turn around  would only be considered for use if Metro was unable to safely and efficiently use an alternative routing identified through Magnuson Park. 
On April 9-10, on a trial basis, Metro routed buses on that new turnaround loop which was in Laurelhurst. The route was going along Sand Point Way, left on 40th Avenue NE, left on NE 45th Street and then turning around just west of 45th Avenue Northeast, where bus operators have access to a comfort station.  
The bus you report going east on NE 45th and left on 40th might have been working to get back on route after a wrong turn. A district supervisor reported that some bus operators had to be assisted when they missed a turn and erroneously continued past the designated turnaround loop.  
With any reroute, or even regular bus service, a driver may occasionally make a wrong turn. This most often happens with new service or special routing. We continue to work with transit operators and reinforce new information to help them do a better job understanding specific reroute instructions. We apologize and ask for the public’s understanding on these relatively rare occurrences

In response to comments about busses bunching up on that week-end during the reroute on NE 45th Street, this happens with such frequent service, every 15-minutes along with some traffic delays, passengers boarding and exiting elsewhere, and the rhythm of individual drivers which all cause several buses to appear together unintentionally.  This is not the goal or plan.  
As well, this reroute required additional time than the normal schedule. As well, buses are typically empty, or near empty as they approach the end of a route. 

Regarding Bus #65: it operates regular service on weekdays and weekends on 40th Avenue Northeast between NE 45th Street and Sand Point Way.  The outbound Route 65 buses travels eastbound on NE 45th Street then turns left on 40th Avenue NE, serving Children’s Hospital, and then continues on 40th Avenue northbound, jogging west on NE 55th Street to 35th Avenue Northeast to Lake City. 

Metro is looking specifically at the April 9-10 operating experience and the comments the Laurelhurst Blog Staff sent us regarding community concerns, as we review the effectiveness of turning buses around in this location.  
We will consider the concerns expressed as we prepare for how transit service will operate during Magnuson Park activities and the necessity of future reroutes.  
Metro is continuing to evaluate the use of NE 45th Street/40th Avenue NE pathway (used April 9-10 weekend) and other potentially feasible rerouting paths in Northeast Seattle for future special event days, construction activity, or other disruptions at Magnuson Park.   
The Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) Department agreed to temporarily pilot the use of Magnuson Park as a turnaround and terminal (on weekday evenings and weekends) while asking Metro to find alternative routing and terminal location on their special event days.  
SPR is the best source to ask how they determined which event dates would apply to a re-route and new turnaround in the neighborhood. 
This is an emerging topic we’re working on with SDOT and the Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) department. We’re noting issues raised by riders or the community as part of the evaluation.

Residents can receive reroute information, which are typically communicate to subscribers via Twitter and also available on Metro’s website as they become available.  Regarding the activity on April 9-10, a  transit alert was issued regarding the reroute to route subscribers on Friday, April 8. 

The Laurelhurst Community Club (LCC) has contacted Metro to understand and gather information and told the Laurelhurst Blog Staff:
Metro's new route system is still in the testing mode. hat occurred on April 9-10 is a legitimate problem for this pilot route.
It is helpful that they are accepting constructive feedback to make future changes, as the whole system is a "work in progress".  
LCC, we believe, was not informed of the actual pilot route, but "some service" near Children's Hospital was mentioned by Metro on the weekend without details

LCC will be work with Metro and SDOT to be sure that that neighbors concerns are heard, and that NE 40th St is not used as a congested turnaround, especially on weekends.  
Residents can comment on this issue here or by phone at 206-553-3000. 

Go here to subscribe to transit alerts, including re-routes.



NEST Special Lecture On Non-Violence Tonight At Center For Urban Horticulture

Selma is Now

NEST is holding a free lecture at the Center For Urban Horticulture tonight at 7pm featuring Professor David Domke, Chair of UW’s Communication Department, along with several of his students who will discuss community building based on principles of nonviolence.  Domke "will share practical ideas and inspiration for incorporating 6 principles of nonviolence into one's daily life" the information says

To RSVP call  (206) 525-6378 or email   Wune and appetizers will be served at 6:30pm.

NEST is a non-profit grassroots operation serving NE Seattle seniors by creating a "virtual village" to helping them be able to stay in their own homes and neighborhoods they love. Volunteers provide companionship, care, as well as help seniors with a wide range of services, including gardening, computer help and more. to seniors aging in their homes. Ongoing classes (fitness, etc) are also offered, as well as access to events, transportation services, and various services (such as estate planners) whoprovide their services at a discount to members.

The cost is $55 a month for individuals or $600 annually. A two person household can join for $85 monthly, or $900 a year. Included in the benefits to members of NEST are y volunteers who help in providing a wide range of services to seniors (yard work, gardening, computer assistance, etc) and ongoing classes (fitness, etc) and events, transportation services, and various services (such as estate planners) will provide their services as a discount to members.

For more information go here or call (206)-525-6378 or email


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Neighbor Blogs About Recent Public Transportation Experience From Laurelhurst

Long-time Laurelhurst resident, Goldie Gendler Silverman, who has lived in the neighborhood for over 40 years, and  maintains her own Blog posting about her various adventures, let the Laurelhurst Blog Staff know that she recently posted about her Public Transportation experience from the neighborhood to various parts in the City.

Here are her posts: 


GREAT NEWS! On Saturday, March 19, the light rail stations at the UW Stadium and at Capitol Hill finally opened. Don and I were among the thousands who gathered to celebrate and ride free.
We did it all: left our house at the top of the hill and walked down to the Center for Urban Horticulture, walked across the landfill that is now a nature reserve, and made it to the celebration, 2.2 miles.  
We walked around, talked to different groups about other ways to get to the station, ate fried chicken sandwiches and rode, free and standing up, from UW Stadium to Westlake and then back. (Several people offered us seats in the section for elderly and disabled, but we declined.)  
Back at UW, we re-traced our steps, across the nature reserve, up the hill that is called “suicide hill” by the athletes who train by running up and down, and home, another 2.2 miles. Altogether 4.4 miles. 
Next day, Sunday March 20, we had tickets to a play at the Seattle Center at 2, and there was a Bernie Sanders rally scheduled for that same afternoon, doors opening at 2. We knew parking would be difficult. Time for public transportation! 
Don researched the available buses available on Sundays, and found three, the #65, #45, and #32, all stopping at 40th NE and Sand Point Way. We parked our car at noon near Children’s Hospital, and just as we were leaving it we saw a #65 pulling away. OK, two hours until curtain, that should be enough.  
We waited and waited. Finally a #32 arrived and took us on to the UW campus, $1 each on our senior ORCA cards. It left us at a stop near the HUB, and we walked about two blocks to the next stop at Rainier Vista, which wasn’t marked for a 32 stop. Too bad, because there is a lovely walk from that stop directly to an overpass and into the light rail station.  
We swiped our ORCA cards, again it was free, and took the elevator down many feet to P, which we decided stands for “Platform.” (There were no explanations for the other abbreviations.) 
Once on board the train, we zoomed to Westlake Station once again, walked up three or four flights of stairs to the Monorail ($1 apiece for seniors) and rode sitting down to Seattle Center. We walked through the Armory, cut through several lines of well-behaved citizens waiting to enter the Key Arena, and arrived at our theatre at 1:25. One and a half hours from leaving home to entering the theatre. 
When the play was over, we could have re-traced our steps. Instead we decided to take a bus all the way back. We walked to First Ave W, and waited across the street from the post office. There was an unmarked bus parked in front of the arena, no driver in sight. We decided the driver was on a break.  
While other buses passed, none worked for us. Finally the parked bus started up–it was the #32! Hooray! We hopped on board, swiped our senior ORCA cards ($1) and rode by a very circuitous route north on 15th W to Nickerson, over the Fremont Bridge, up Fremont about one block, and then circling through the residential neighborhoods, the UW campus and finally Sand Point Way, we found our car at Children’s Hospital.  
Total time for the trip: one hour. Total cost: $1 twice for two bus rides, $1 each for monorail,  $3 apiece for transportation, $6 for two. If we had paid for the light rail, it would have cost $2 more for the two of  us. Could we have found parking at Seattle Center for $8? Possibly for even less.


One week after the trips described in the post just before this one, on a Sunday when we had an event at Seattle Center again, we tried again. Left our car near Children’s Hospital again, and waited on the corner of NE 40th and Sand Point Way NE for the #32 bus. It arrived exactly on time.
We swiped our ORCA cards, rode past University Village, through the U of W campus, out on 15th NE, down toward Boat Street, wandered through streets paralleling the ship canal, and finally to Fremont.  
Across the Fremont Bridge, turned west on Nickerson, south on 15th W, up a hill to Mercer, and hopped off at Queen Anne Ave and Mercer Street. Because it had taken us only one hour, we had time to pick up a sandwich at a shop along the way to our event. 
Coming home, we took the #32 bus again, all the way to Children’s Hospital, one hour, $1 apiece. So the whole trip for the two of us was $4. Could we park at Seattle Center for $4? I doubt it.  
Maybe public transportation from Laurelhurst works. If you have the time. If it isn’t raining. If you have a car to leave at the bus stop.

Third Try, Public Transportation from Laurelhurst

Our children moved from Queen Anne to Redmond. Nice for them, but they took our grandchildren with them. On this lovely Friday, April 15, our granddaughter Nina was scheduled to play Baloo in a student production of the Jungle Book at 4 p.m. in a theatre in Kirkland. Our daughter-in-law suggested that we should come early, to the Redmond Transit Center (RTC)  in the heart of Redmond and she would pick us up there.
So once again we set out to park near Children’s Hospital, but this time, on a weekday, the lots were full. We found a place to leave the car on a residential street north of the hospital, and walked three blocks to the intersection of Sand Point Way and 40th Ave NE.  
It seemed to take a long time for a bus to arrive, but soon we were on our way to the U of W campus. The bus left us at Rainier Vista, and we started down the path toward the stadium, Montlake Blvd, and Bay # 1. 
This was a conundrum. Don had learned that we must take Sound Transit bus #542 to get to the RTC. Sound Transit is not the same as our Seattle Metro. Transfers won’t work, and the information people don’t know much about it. We were told the bus would stop at Bay #1, at the intersection of Montlake and NE Pacific Street, but there are several bus stops at that intersection and no one could tell us where to find Bay #1.  
Now we know to start from Rainier Vista toward the stadium, but just before reaching the bridge over Montlake Blvd, veer to the right and follow a path down to street level, aiming for a huge black W. Cross NE Pacific Street there, and the three or four bus shelters in a row are all Bay #1. 
Where we went wrong: we had seen Bay #4 at the long bus stop on Montlake Blvd across the street from the stadium, and we assumed that the stops marked for buses there would be #s 1, 2, 3, and 4. That was wrong. A passerby told us to walk toward the hospital, and just as we reached Pacific Street, we saw bus #542 pulling away. The light was red for us and the street full of cars. Jumping up and down and waving didn’t impress the driver.  
By the time we could cross the street, the bus was gone. Buses to Redmond come half an hour apart. We settled in to the first shelter to wait. All together it took one and three quarters hours to get from our house to the RTC, and a few minutes longer to access our daughter-in-law. 
For your information, Bay #1 is on the south side of NE Pacific Street; directly across the street is Bay #2, where the 542 Redmond bus returns. Bay #4 is on the west side of Montlake across from the stadium, and Bay #3 is on the east side.  
Coming home, we could have been taken back to the RTC, taken the 542 bus to Bay #2, walked up past the black W and caught a Metro bus to our car near Children’s–we could have done that, but we didn’t. Our son drove us back to our car, crossing on the new 520 bridge. Next time we visit Redmond, I think we’ll take our own car. 
Special to Laurelhurst: these buses (31, 32, 65, 67, and 75) go from Sand Point Way and 40th NE to Rainier Vista on the U of W campus, the drop-off spot for reaching Light Rail and Metro and Sound Transit buses that leave from Bays #1,2,3,and 4.  
The Laurelhurst bus 78 does not stop at Sand Point Way and 40th NE, but it does stop at Rainier Vista. Metro refers to the area around the Light Rail Station and the University Hospital as “University Station.”  
Of all the printed bus schedules for buses that go to Rainier Vista, none shows a map of University Station. Only the printed schedule for bus 78 has a map of University Station, with all its bays.


Goldie has also published several books, one about a year ago, called "Show Me Your Face," about a woman who moves to Seattle to take a job in a shelter for abused women.

Goldie has written other books -  ones called Backpacking With Babies and Small Children, and Camping With Kids. 

Those books, Goldie said, came about when she had joined a group of women in a support group for displaced homemakers who wanted to get back into the world of work.

Goldie has also written four low-fat, low-salt cookbooks.  She said the most successful one, called No Salt, No Sugar, No Fat, published by Nitty Gritty, "is still around, mostly seen in gift and kitchen shops."She got the idea for that book from a friend, Jacqueline Williams, who wanted to write a cookbook to share what she had learned in cooking for her husband, Walt, after his first heart surgery.
"She had no experience writing books so she asked me to help," Goldie said. And they wrote four cookbooks together. 

Goldie has also written several books in a series called the Phoenix Reading Series (remedial readers) based on research done from reading newspapers on microfilm or microfiche and published by Prentice-Hall.

Goldie said all the writing " took place over many years, beginning 1975. Now I write the occasional blog and I'm working on my memoirs.

For more information about Goldie's books and her blog go here.