Seattle Legacy Business Survey is LAUNCHED!
Please take this survey so we can learn from you what businesses in your neighborhood you’ve loved and lost or fear may be in peril.
You may have heard that, upon the City Council’s request in a 2015 Budget Statement of Legislative Intent, the Mayor convened the Commercial Affordability Taskforce. The Task Force is formed to make recommendations on how to address the rising cost of commercial space for small businesses, develop opportunities to activate public spaces for entrepreneurs, and identify strategies to expand economic development throughout Seattle. Finding ways to help Seattle’s small businesses survive this period of rapid economic growth is important to address the threats that can lead to the displacement of small businesses. Here is a related recent Seattle Times story: http://www.seattletimes.com/life/lifestyle/seattles-dive-bars-are-becoming-an-endangered-species/
Seattle is known for its unique neighborhoods, each home to a thriving landscape of locally-owned businesses that occupy an essential role in the stories and rituals that define the city. These bars, restaurants, cafés, and shops have attracted locals and visitors alike for a taste of the city’s unique character and sense of community. One way that the City works to help empower business owners is through the “Only in Seattle” program.
In my first week as a Councilmember, a District 1 resident brought me the idea of a Seattle Legacy Business Program, modeled after a successful San Francisco effort. Since I chair the committee with oversight of economic development issues, I was inspired by the effort. The purpose of the San Francisco Legacy Business Registry is to:
“recognize that longstanding, community-serving businesses can be valuable cultural assets to the City. In addition, the City intends that the Registry be a tool for providing educational and promotional assistance to Legacy Businesses to encourage their continued viability and success.”
So, in order to see if there’s Seattle community concern that our own valued businesses are in peril, I am working with the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation, Historic Seattle, and 4 Culture to survey community members to identify our most important business establishments; identify elements that contribute to the culture, character, and history of Seattle; and establish tools to protect them.
The Commercial Affordability Taskforce will submit their recommendations by the end of September 2016 for consideration. My hope is that with this effort we build the support and interest in considering a Legacy Business Program.
Here are some fantastic resources on this issue:
Ghosts of Seattle Past A collaborative map of places loved and missed
Love the Hill Capitol Hill changes
SeaChange Rainier Valley Neighborhood changes
DorpatSherrardLomont | Now & Then Paul Dorpat’s documentation of our past and present
Alki, Beach Drive, Harbor Avenue
I’ve been receiving increasing reports of loud noise from motorcycles, cars, music, as well as dangerous driving including speeding, and some drag racing along Harbor Avenue, Alki, and the part of Beach Drive just south of the lighthouse. This was particularly true over the last weekend, when it reached 93 degrees. I’ve received several requests for preventative police presence.
I’ve been in touch with the Seattle Police Department about this, and the SW Crime Prevention Coordinator indicated SW Precinct Captain Davis is working to see what resources he can put toward this area.
I’ve also sent a letter to SDOT asking that they consider traffic calming measures to address drag racing on Beach Drive during the warm weather months; the neighborhood has applied for a Neighborhood Parks and Street Fund grant, but awards aren’t granted until late 2016. SDOT indicated they will reply by early next week.
On a related note, after a Seattle Times article about 911 response times came out earlier this year, I asked SPD for beat-level response times for District 1. In the response times below, beat W1 (Alki/Admiral) had the longest 2015 response times:
It’s very concerning to me that the 911 response time to Alki is 12 and a half minutes, a clear outlier from our standards in other SPD beats. Addressing 911 response times, patrol operations, and proactive policing are *all* important to a comprehensive public safety approach and to do all well, we’ll need more officers, which I support.
Transportation Tour of District 1 with SDOT
Last week I went on a tour with SDOT to see a number of projects in, and important to, District 1.
In West Seattle, we went to 35th Avenue SW; the Delridge Greenway, a Safe Routes to School project by Sanislo Elementary, a potential crosswalk expansion by Westwood Village, the West Seattle Bridge corridor, and the 5-way intersection near the Chelan Café where Marginal Way, Spokane, Delridge, Chelan and the Terminal 5 access road come together.
In South Park, we saw the 8th Ave South pedestrian safety project and street tree inventory, and South Monroe Street.
In SODO, we saw where the Lander Street Overpass is planned for construction; the 100 daily train crossings result in five hours of closures daily, which can affect north-south traffic between West Seattle and Downtown.
Here are a few updates on a couple of these projects: SDOT is scheduling a community meeting for 35th, which could be in July. I’ve asked SDOT to consider community suggestions for what to analyze in the 1-year review report. For example, I’ve received reports from residents living on side streets near stoplights that they’ve had backups on side streets, and resulting significant delays simply getting on to 35th, or out of their driveway. Here’s an example of a 1-year review from NE 75th Street.
In South Park on 8th Avenue South, SDOT and their Urban Forestry Division are implementing a creative solution to the problem of roots impacting mature street trees, by creating a pedestrian corridor with a barrier adjacent to the curb. I asked SDOT to consider a similar treatment in a section of the Delridge Greenway on 21st and X, where drivers are speeding around split alternating speed bumps in order to make bikers and walkers safer.
Earlier this year SDOT published their first quarterly district reports for Seattle’s seven Council districts. The first District 1 report provides data about pothole repairs, service requests, sidewalk repairs, large capital projects, street use permit activity, as well as statistics about access to transit, and transportation infrastructure.
This is an example of departments adapting to City Council districts, as adopted by Seattle’s voters. If you have any ideas about what else could be included in future reports, please let me know and I can inquire with SDOT about including it.
June 10th Office Hours
Please join me at my upcoming office hours. I will be at the South Park Community Center (8319 8th Avenue S) on June 10th from 12:00pm to 7:00pm. These are walk-in friendly, but if you would like to let me know you’re coming please email my scheduler Alex Clardy (email@example.com).
South Park LGBTQ Pride Picnic
Bring a lawn chair, your feather boa, and enjoy the entertainment! The picnic returns with many familiar faces such as DJ Viquez from Neighbors on Capitol Hill, Isabella who will be enchanting us with her drag queen magic again, the South Park Arts Council will feature a kids art table, and the South Park Library will be here with the latest summer reading.
There will be free food for the first 200 people, and I hear there may be locally hand-made tamales!
Check out the Facebook event here.
When: Sunday June 12.
Time: 1 – 4 p.m.
Where: Duwamish Waterway Park (10th Avenue S at S. Elmgrove Street – on the river)
This is a free event, but if you would like to donate and support this great event please either:
- Write a check. Checks should be made out to: “Entre Hermanos” with a note in the memo area of: “2016 South Park Pride Picnic,” and mailed to: Randy Wiger, P.O. Box 12173, Seattle, WA 98102.
- Or you can donate online at: entrehermanos.org and click on the “donate” button on the home page. Please be sure to put “2016 South Park Pride Picnic” in the “designation” field, so we know that donation is for the picnic!