Fremont Neighborhood Council Meeting – February 24, 2014
Board members present: Stephanie Pure, Toby Thaler, Shawn Mulanix, Norma Jones, Erik Pihl, Linda Clifton, Judie Clarridge.
Stephanie opened the meeting and invited everyone to introduce themselves and share any announcements:
Aurora RapidRide # Line Status Update – Jonathan Dong, Senior Transportation Planner, SDOT
Jonathan provided updates: The stop at N. 46th is up and running. They are conducting parking studies in conjunction with Business Access and Transit (BAT) lanes. One was by Argent’s, a metal fabricator, on the west side of Aurora at N. 40th. They will retain a truck load space except between 6 am and 9 am. They have been able to delete RapidRide stops in Shoreline but have not been able to do so as they get closer to downtown because the ridership is so high. They found that if they delete a stop, there is insufficient shelter/sidewalk capacity at adjacent stops to handle the additional riders. It would be hard to build a stop atBridge Way because the lanes onAurora at that point are narrow.
Erik noted that buses on Routes 5 and 16 are not meeting needs currently. They are already so full when they come to stops in Fremontthat they do not pick up riders. Linda said that the handrails on the steps on the east side of Auroraat N. 46th need to be replaced. Jonathan said they would take a look at it.
It was noted that there will be a King County Special Election on April 22 which includes Proposition 1 to fund Metro, road repairs, etc.
SDOT will be hosting a design workshop on Thursday, March 6 at 6 pm at History House on the rehabilitation of the shelter at the intersection ofWestlakeand Dexter, just south of theFremontBridge.
Stone Way and N. 41st Crossing Update – Mike Morris-Lent, Traffic Operations Engineer, SDOT
Mike Morris-Lent gave an update on changes that had been made recently: parking spaces near the crosswalks onStone Wayhave been removed to improve the line of sight to the crosswalk. Similarly, street trees have been trimmed so that crosswalk signs are more visible. Additional measures could be considered but implementation could be in 2016.
Residents requested that evaluations be made of installing: a rapid flashing beacon at the crosswalk, and a full traffic signal. There was discussion about whether the traffic volume met the standards for a full signal. Also, discussion about building sidewalk bulbs at the intersection, building an island in the middle of the street, installing “knock down” signs, installing a pedestrian-activated traffic light, and requesting that SPD increase the enforcement of speed limits on Stone Way. Residents stated that instead of only referencing Federal minimum standards, decisions should take into consideration that many of the pedestrians are unaccompanied school age children who use this crosswalk on their way to school. Also, 4 of the 6 recent accidents here resulted in brain injury. One student suffered a brain injury when he was struck by a car while he was using the crosswalk.
“Road diets” in recent years reduced the number of lanes onStone Wayfrom 4 to 3, 1 lane in each direction and a left hand turning lane. Residents said that reducing the lanes has been helpful but there continue to be injuries, including brain injuries, to pedestrians in this crosswalk. They mentioned a couple who were injured recently while using the crosswalk. Residents spoke in favor of the installation of a traffic light. They noted that crossing at the crosswalk is particularly hazardous at night or in rainy weather. They also mentioned the increasing residential density in theStone Wayneighborhood.
There was discussion about applying through theNeighborhoodParkand Street Fund for improvements to this intersection, but there was also frustration that residents have to go through that process when the City should recognize that this is a safety issue that needs to be addressed. A request was made to SDOT for copies of the data analysis in past studies.
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING: There was discussion about speakers to invite to the Annual General Meeting to be held on Monday, April 28 at 7 pm at the Doric Lodge. When deciding on a speaker to invite, it was suggested that someone be chosen who could address one or more of the current issues inFremont: the impact of a district-based city council, pedestrian safety, and transit service in neighborhoods of increasing density.
TREASURER NOMINATION: Stephanie announced that Jim Engelhardt had agreed to serve in the Treasurer position vacated by Kevin McClain. Kevin resigned from the position when he moved toAustralia. Jim is a member of the Fremont Neighborhood Council and has met the requirements in the by-laws for serving on the Board.
MOTION: Erik moved that Jim be appointed to the Treasurer position. Linda seconded. Motion passed.
MINUTES AND TREASURER’S REPORT: Due to the length of the meeting, these two agenda items will be included in the March meeting.
LAND USE AND TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE: Toby reported that he had sent a letter to the Seattle Department of Planning and Development’s (DPD) Northwest Design Review Board regarding the 3601 Greenwood Avenue project. In it, he expressed concern about aspects of the building’s design: (1) the north part of the building is next to existing townhouses and presents a wall to the neighbors. A pitched roof or more than a 2 foot reduction in height would improve the design, (2) the space for bicycle parking is inadequate for the 64 unit building, and (3) the allocation of ground floor space to parking impacts the size of the retail space on N. 36th Street. Retail space needs to be viable.
His letter also expressed concern that the Board continues to schedule meetings on significant Fremont projects on the fourth Monday of the month – a day that conflicts with the monthly FNC meeting. The Board has the option to schedule such meetings on the second Monday.
The meeting was adjourned. The FNC board and members assembled the membership drive mailing. The next meeting will be Monday, March 24, 2014.