Fremont Neighborhood Council Meeting – June 24, 2013
Board members present: Stephanie Pure, Elfreide Noble, Toby Thaler, Matt Gasparich, Norma Jones, Kevin McClain, Erik Pihl, Linda Clifton, Matthew McCauley, Judie Clarridge.
Stephanie opened the meeting and invited everyone to introduce themselves and share any announcements:
- The next Fireside Chat will be on August 3rd at 3 pm at History House and will be a short walking tour.
- The Fremont Chamber of Commerce will host a meeting on July 10th at 8 am at History House. Topics are: Seattle Bicycle Master Plan and the Business Access and Transit (BAT) lanes on Aurora Avenue.
- The Chamber will host its annual “Ducks, Dogs, and Suds” event on August 21st. It begins at History House with hot dogs and beer then moves on to the “Ride the Duck”.
- The 2nd Annual Whiffleball Classic will be held Sept 7th at B.F. Day to benefit the Gym Equipment fund.
- August 6th is the annual Night Out.
N. 39th Crossing: Christian Silk updated on the efforts of residents along N. 39th to advocate for improved pedestrian safety. They are promoting the idea of a crossing at one spot along the stretch from Fremont Avenue to Leary Way. Right now, pedestrians cross at multiple locations along N. 39th which means that the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) does not get high enough pedestrian counts at any one intersection to warrant making improvements. Christian and others propose a crossing at the intersection at Phinney because it feeds down to the traffic light at N. 36th. They are publicizing the issue. Christian asked whether the FNC would approve funds for maintaining their website (www.Crossing39th.org), flyers, etc. Linda suggested that Christian identify the amount needed and make a written request to the board. Also suggested that he contact Karen Ko in the Office of Neighborhoods who is the new area coordinator for Fremont.
Aurora Corridor Improvement Project – Jonathan Dong, Senior Transportation Planner, SDOT
Jonathan presented information on the SDOT’s plan to make changes on Aurora Avenue between N. 38th St. and N. 115th St. to support Metro’s implementation of the RapidRide E Line. The plan includes establishing Business Access and Transit (BAT) lanes on Aurora (northbound and southbound) that will be designated for transit only during peak hours: AM (6 am to 9 am) and PM (3 pm to 7 pm). It will also include retiming traffic signals for all lanes to keep vehicles moving. Traffic signals will detect approaching transit and extend a green light or end the red light early.
The plan calls for retiming of signals, adding signage and BAT lane striping, etc. to be underway this fall so that the RapidRide E line can start in February 2014. More info: www.seattle.gov/transportation/aurora.htm.
Why are the BAT lanes restricted to transit only during peak hours? He responded that there are times during the day when there are only 4 buses per hour traveling along Aurora. They felt they could not justify restricting the lane usage for that number of buses. The board provided feedback on the importance of good signage and pavement markings. SDOT is asking for input through July 5th at the site shown above.
David Cantey, Metro Transit, spoke about RapidRide E Line which will replace Route 358. The board expressed concern that although there will be a RapidRide bus stop at N. 46th, there will not be one at N. 38th. The N. 38th stop is in a high density residential area and is used by increasingly more bus riders. More info: www.kingcounty.gov/rapidride and look under Future Lines.
Pedestrian Safety on N. 43rd and Fremont Avenue: Matt updated that the LUDC did not approve the inclusion of this project for this year. The Fremont Chamber was the only vote for the project. The project is, however, well positioned for consideration for next year. It will be important that residents and businesses be on the same page regarding the proposal. There was discussion about Jessica Vets and Matt meeting with businesses regarding which intersection the proposal should focus on. Jessica said that loss of parking spaces is an issue to businesses but businesses want a safe area too. More discussion about the need to vet the various options with the businesses.
Traffic Signal Box Project: Matt also updated on the plan to work with Urban Artworks on painting some of the boxes in Fremont. Last month, the board agreed to 4 boxes: intersections of Fremont Avenue North and 36th, 39th, and 46th and a 4th box at NW. 39th and Leary Way. Stephanie suggested that the box at N. 36th and Dayton should replace the NW 39th and Leary Way box because it is in far worse condition. Linda also noted that only one side of the box at N. 46th and Fremont is visible. The other three sides are obscured by shrubs. She suggested that N. 46th and Aurora would be a better choice.
MOTION: It was moved and seconded that boxes in the following locations be painted: 36th and Fremont, 36th and Dayton, 39th and Fremont, and 46th and Aurora. Motion passed.
Linda volunteered to work with Matt to contact businesses to sponsor additional boxes. Matt presented drawings, created by an artist from Urban Artworks, to be used on the boxes. The board was favorably impressed. All 4 are in the same color palette for easier maintenance. Matt will submit a grant request to the Chamber.
Membership: Stephanie said that Norma will be the keeper of the membership list. If anyone has past membership lists, please send them to Norma. There will be a membership drive in the fall. Norma said that there are currently 67 paid members. There needs to be a way to ensure that the names of those who pay via PayPal are integrated with those who pay by check. Communication needs to be in a variety of media including paper newsletters.
Land Use: Toby reported that he had sent a message to Rob Mattson expressing his concern about the LUDC’s voting procedures: that they need to be made available in advance of meetings in the future and not be changed during the meeting. He also expressed concern about the Council’s failure to promote equitable funding of projects around the district.
Toby reported a mixed use building being proposed at 3601 Greenwood Ave, across from the 7-11. The DRB’s Early Design Guidance meeting has been scheduled for July 22nd. Fortunately, the developers agreed to meet with FNC reps prior to the EDG meeting because, once again, the DSR has scheduled a meeting on the same day as the FNC’s monthly meeting. Toby sent a message to Diane Sugimura to again bring this scheduling issue to her attention.
Toby announced that Ralph Weathers has volunteered to represent Fremont at the LUDC meetings. Toby has been serving in that capacity on an ad hoc basis since Dic Selin retired from the board.
Treasurer’s Report: Kevin presented the report shown below. He said $31.75 was received from Arcadia Publishing for continuing sales of “Seattle’s Fremont” book. A check for $256.06 was sent to Vicki Robinson for costs for the mosaic mural for Hazel Heights P Patch which completes the $500 grant to the P Patch.
Pay Pal: $ 424.14
BECU Checking: 3,656.13
BECU Money Market: 56,089.95
BECU Savings 5.00
46th Street Mural $566.34
Hazel Heights P Patch $ 0
Minutes: Kevin moved that the May minutes be approved as presented. Norma seconded. Motion passed.
Jenny Frankl: Farewell and Thank You: Jenny Frankl has been working on a temporary basis with the Department of Neighborhoods. Among her duties has been to serve as the area coordinator for Fremont. Stephanie thanked her for working tirelessly for the neighborhood: attending meetings, keeping the FNC and other Fremont organizations updated on issues, changes in programs, upcoming deadlines, etc. When there have been questions or concerns, she has located the appropriate City point-of-contact to address the issue. Above and beyond her work duties, she has also been a volunteer at community events. The board will miss her. Jenny was invited to accompany board members and meeting attendees for post-meeting refreshments.
– Jenny announced that July 8th is the final date to request up to $1,000 for costs associated with annual Night Out events on August 6th. However, you have to register to apply by July 1st.
– Toby announced that the Hazel Heights P Patch mosaic mural, located at the corner of NW 42nd and Baker Ave NW, will be installed over the next few days.
Meeting adjourned. The next meeting will be on Monday, July 22, 2013.