Phinney Ridge and Greenwood

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Buses, Bikes, and Cars: Greenwood Avenue is Getting Sidewalks?

April 15th, 2014 · Uncategorized

Get ready for a project that would bring long-desired sidewalks to Greenwood Avenue!  It includes funding to build sidewalks on the east side of the street, and to design sidewalks on the west side that would be well-positioned for funding.  Sidewalk design will likely reduce street parking.

The transit improvements are intended to remove the need for buses to wait for traffic to clear before they pull back into traffic after stopping for passengers.  Instead of pulling out of traffic, the buses would stop in-lane, and cars would wait while passengers get on and off the bus.  Bicycles would be routed behind a bus “island” so they could continue without stopping behind the buses, similar to the operation on Dexter Ave. N.  This is a controversial approach across the community.
Speak out and be heard!
Tuesday April 22 – 2014, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Greenwood Public Library, 8016 Greenwood Ave. N
City-Authored Project Summary:

The City is developing plans to improve bus zones, access, and transit speed and reliability on Greenwood Ave N between N 85th St and N 105th St. Bus service on this corridor includes routes 355, 5x and 5 which carried over 2 million riders (6,500 per day) in 2011.  The bus stop element of the project involves upgrading bus stops and sidewalks adjacent to bus stops, closing some stops, and relocating others to improve bus stop spacing (the distance between stops) along Greenwood. (Click here to see SDOT’s 2012 Greenwood Corridor Concept Plan, which led to this project.)

Click to view larger

The project will also include the installation of sidewalks, primarily focused on the east side of the street, and will provide long-sought continuity between existing sidewalks along this part of Greenwood.  As funds become available, the City will pursue design and construction of sidewalks on the west side of the street.

Each of the new bus stops will include what is known as a “bus island,” which makes the stops more efficient by keeping the bus in the travel lane while stopped to load and unload passengers.  In addition, it reduces conflicts between buses, bicycles, cars, and pedestrians.  (Existing bus islands are located on Dexter Avenue North on the east side of Queen Anne Hill below Aurora, on South Jackson Street along the route of the new First Hill Streetcar, and on Fourth Avenue South at Main Street.)

The existing bike lanes on both sides of Greenwood will be improved as part of the project.  These bike lanes are currently located on the right edge of the street, between the parking lane and the travel lanes.  With the installation of bus islands, the bike lanes will run between the planting strip and the bus island at bus zones.  Bus riders will cross the bike lane to get to and from the bus island.  Signage will alter bicyclists as they approach the bus island of the need to slow down and to watch for pedestrians.  Crosswalk markings in the pavement will reinforce the expectation that bikers are to yield to pedestrians.

The project is about half designed.  The goal is to begin construction in late 2014 or early 2015.

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Missing Cat – 60th @ Phinney – FOUND

January 6th, 2013 · Pets

Emily’s tuxedo cat Rosie has been found!


She is very shy and nervous, probably nearly impossible to get if you see her but what would be really helpful would be to know if anyone has seen her and where and what time. Any information would be very helpful. Thank you. 
if you think you see her or have seen her or if you know anything that would be helpful please contact Emily

  • Location: 60th and Phinney

Also if anyone is willing it would be very helpful if they could check hiding places around the houses….under decks or porches, inside cars or sheds, garages… especially areas with hiding places that are not heavily frequented since she is “a scaredey cat”. Anything Helps.Thank you SO Much !

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Stroll Green Lake’s Pathway of Lights and Music

December 3rd, 2012 · Christmas, Green Lake

Join thousands of families, friends, and neighbors in the beloved Green Lake Pathway of Lights and travel the 2.8-mile path around the lake, taking in the warm glow of the luminaria. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own lights and candles to add to the ambiance.  Seattle continues a Green Lake tradition with the 36th annual Pathway of Lights. This year’s FREE event will take place from 5 – 8 p.m. on Saturday, December 8, 2012 rain or shine.

pathway lights green lake

Photo by Carl Bergquist

Local musicians will perform at four sites around the lake:

  • ·         The Green Lake Community Center on the east side
  • ·         The Green Lake Small Craft Center (the Aqua Theater) on the south side
  • ·         The Bathhouse Theater (Seattle Public Theatre) on the north side
  • ·         The Arch on the east of side of the community center/pool

Warm drinks and treats will be available at those locations, as will donation bins for nonperishable food items for local food banks.

Volunteers are needed to help place and light the thousands of luminaria, and to clean up after the event. Individuals, businesses, community organizations and school and scout groups are welcome to participate. Setup takes place from 3:30 – 5 p.m., and the lighting of the candles takes place at 5 p.m. Cleanup is from 8 – 9 p.m.

For more information, please contact Jeff Skinner at 206-684-0780 or by e-mail at



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Traffic Zoo Mess in Phinney / Greenwood

October 1st, 2012 · Phinney Ridge, Zoo

The Zoo will be starting up a new event/fundraiser called Wildlights. This is a light show (and other entertainment) that will start November 19th and run nightly through New Years Day. The hours of admission are  5:30 to 8:30 pm. The nightly attendance at this event is unknown. The Zoo estimates 50,000 over the season. Similar events at Tacoma Zoo and Portland Zoo attract many times that number. A similar light show at the Bellevue Botanical Garden also attracts many more than 50,000.

Where will the guests park?

  • How will the zoo monitor and manage the additional peak hour traffic impacts on major intersections along North 50th St.?
  • How will the zoo manage ticket sales to control parking impacts over such a long period of time?
  • How will residents preserve parking near their homes for holiday guests if zoo visitors are expected to use street parking for nearly 40 consecutive nights?
  • How will the zoo handle complaints about illegal parking or driveway encroachments?
  • Will this event become permanent?

Zoo Traffic

ALSO the Zoo has requested $2 Million in city funds to expand a parking lot somewhere on the “west” side of the zoo.  We don’t have any details about this but presumably this could be an expansion of the existing interior NW lot which was converted from employee parking to paid guest parking. However that lot is only around 80 spaces.  The budget proposal refers to 180 spaces. What other park land will be converted to parking?  Recall that several years ago the City Hearing Examiner ruled that the proposed 700 stall parking garage was not a legal land use. And the Council passed a Comprehensive Plan resolution banning parking garages from taking over park and open space land.  We will ask the zoo for more details about this proposal on Tuesday.

The Phinney Ridge Community Council meeting on TUESDAY Oct 2nd will be of particular interest to all people who live within 4 blocks of the Zoo and / or who use North 50th St. and Phinney Avenue in the evenings.

Meeting time: 7:30 PM – Tues. Oct 2nd

Location          Phinney Neighborhood Center Blue Building Room 6 (PNC is at 67th/Phinney)

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Wild Zoo Traffic, Lights, and Parking Impacts – Holiday Season

September 18th, 2012 · Christmas, Community Benefits, Development Projects

Wildlights at Woodland Park Zoo is a planned, nightly, light display from Nov19-Jan1 with live entertainment from 5:30 – 9 p.m nightly.

Learn about Woodland Park Zoo’s new annual Wildlights holiday event at a community feedback session scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 2, 7:30 p.m. at Phinney Neighborhood Center

6532 Phinney Avenue N, Room 6

  The public meeting will include Woodland Park Zoo staff discussion to share plans for traffic, parking and other neighborhood impacts and allow the community to provide feedback and input into these plans.


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Seattle Bus Service Cuts: An Open Letter to the Council

July 28th, 2012 · Development Projects, Greenwood, Seattle Neighborhoods

With all the changes METRO has made and the increasing traffic, at this point it’s faster to take the bus from the north end of town to downtown than to take the bus from the Zoo to downtown and METRO considered making the 5 even slower.

Seattle’s bus 358 has a troubled history, check out blogs on the epic 358 bus here and here.

An Open Letter:

Dear Kevin Desmond, General ManagerKing County Metro Transit

I am writing in opposing to your plans to decrease bus service to the Phinney Ridge community.

Now, Route 358 makes three stops on Linden Ave. North between Winona Ave. (75th St.) and Woodland Pl. N. (64th St.).   It stops at 72nd-73rd Street, 68th Street, and 64th Street (Woodland Pl. N.).  These stops are used by people living on the eastern slope of Phinney Ridge for commuting and also for going downtown and up north at night and on weekends.

The current plan eliminates these stops.  Instead, the southbound 358 will make its current stop at Aurora Ave. and 75th St. and make no other stop until 65th and Aurora (unless the City doesn’t allow that stop, in which case it will be at 66th and Linden).  The northbound 358 will make a stop at 66th and Linden and not stop again until 75th and Aurora.

This eliminates easy access for those of us who live west of Linden and north of 68th, which includes several condominium and apartment buildings.

We used to have a bus – the #6 – that gave us access to Stone Way and Seattle Center; it was eliminated several years ago.  Now we’re losing our local bus route in favor of slightly faster commutes for those who live outside Seattle.  If Metro wants to encourage us to take the bus, it should make it convenient for us to do so, rather than making it more difficult and less likely that we’ll use the bus.  Interestingly, for most of its way north of 75th and Aurora, the bus will be stopping every five blocks.

We urge you to maintain the current stops on the 358 when you institute Rapid Ride Route E.


Marilyn S. Smith

Cc:    Councilman Larry Phillips

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Phinney Council In Session: Tuesday July 10th @ 7:30pm

July 9th, 2012 · Phinney Ridge

July 10 Phinney Ridge Community Council Meeting Agenda

Location: Phinney Neighborhood Center, Main Building, Blue room

Time: 7:30 p.m.


7:30 – 7:40 p.m. – Introductions

7:40 – 8 p.m. Meet 36th District state legislative candidate Noel Frame

8-8:20 p.m. Meet 36th District state legislative candidate Evan Clifthorne

8:20-8:30 p.m. – Pat Walker -Seattle Library Levy proponent presentation

8:30-8:35 p.m. – Reading of statement from Library Levy opponents


Old Business:

8:35-8:40 p.m. Zoo Lights update

8:40-8:45 p.m. Officers/Committees – someone to take minutes when Colleen is not there/new treasurer-needed/new president- if desired


New Business:

8:45 Inform people of July 18th – 1st community meeting on 59th & Phinney Playground Project

8:50 Neighborhood Parks issues in general (Ted Holden)


Note next meeting date August 14th to accommodate Night Out


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Families Supporting Kids, Family Coach Presentation

February 20th, 2012 · Community Benefits

Changes Parent Support Network Presents:
Parent Talk with Dr. Kathy Masarie
Raising our kids really does take a village

Monday, March 5, 2012
7:00-9:00 pm
Tickets $15

Great Hall
At Greenlake
7220 Woodlawn Ave NE
Seattle, WA 98115

As our culture pulls apart families and
emphasizes “being cool,” we need a force to keep connected. You can create that force by building a village of people who care. Come learn ways to foster the connections, honesty, and trust that enable families to thrive and kids to become resilient, capable, responsible, and caring young adults.
Dr. Kathy Masarie is a pediatrician, parent coach, mom, and founder of Family Empowerment
Network ( Her
parenting guides, Raising Our Daughters and Raising Our Sons provide parents with proven tools to strengthen family through community.

Purchase tickets $15 at the door or online at

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Phinney Ridge Council Meets on Key Neighborhood Issues

February 5th, 2012 · Greenwood, Phinney Ridge, Zoo

On February 7th, the Phinney Ridge Council will meet at 7:30pm to discuss several key issues impacting the community’s quality of life.  Residents of the area are strongly encouraged to attend for both awareness and influence.  This meeting will be held at the Phinney Neighborhood Center’s main building, upstairs room #6.  This agenda includes:

7:30 – 7:45 p.m. – Discussion of Seattle Zoo elephant exhibit visit.  More info on Seattle’s Zoo Elephant questions.

7:45 – 7:55 p.m. – Presentation by Bill Farmer about Solarize Seattle – a non-profit led effort to reduce upfront cost by packaging existing state and federal incentives with a Solarize discount offered by the contractor.

7:55 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. – Annual meeting topic selection and Elections

8:15 – 8:20 p.m. Greenwood/Phinney METRO update

8:20 – 8:30 p.m. 6010 condo proposal environmental plan

8:30 p.m. Neighborhood Recycling Contest

8:35 p .m. Murals update


New Business:

8:40 p.m. Request to help/support traffic circle




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Is Seattle’s Greenwood actually Greenwild?

January 22nd, 2012 · Fred Meyer Greenwood, Greenwood regularly showcases top local writers who provide a unique perspective on the Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods.  Matt Caliri shared his take on Greenwood with a walk through some of the community’s most interesting spots presented here…

They serve Chimay at the coffee shop a few blocks from my house in Greenwood.  Chimay.  At a coffee shop.  Across the street from the coffee shop is a Space Travel Supply Company.  The name of the coffee bar I’m at is Neptune.  I just finished staring at a black trash receptacle that is an exact clone of the one I purchased from Fred Meyer.  It’s black and durable and cheap and it’s now in my basement. So my basement is on planet Earth, even though I’m a couple hundred yards from my basement and I’m already in Neptune.  What a wild town.

Greenwood does have its wild sides.  When I began writing this article 3 months ago (did some research-based space travel in the interim thanks to the store across the street) the weather outside the coffee shop window looked to be in hot competition for the most fall-looking day ever.  Yellows and oranges swirled in battle from both ends of the street.  A white, indignant gloom of a sky hung as a backdrop.  The people inside the café were in deep post-pumpkin depression.  Eating treats at home.  No Breaking Bads to watch. It was tough.  And it’s still tough, even tougher now, in this biting, late-winter frost and dandruff sprays of snow stopping Seattle in her tracks for days at a time (as the people cry: “We shouldn’t go out there, there’s white stuff!” “My tires will turn into giant ice cylinders and eat my children at night!” “Snow is poison!”).  And yet, there’s a lot to explore in the Hiptropolis of 85th and Greenwood, regardless of the weather.  Wild & phantasmagoric elements abound, past and present.

Welcome…to Greenwild.

Greenwood was first a bog and cemetery before the boutique life took hold.  For 17 years things were pretty dead around here until Governor Henry McBride interred the bodies (so much for rest in peace) out of Greenwood Cemetery and started building residential plots in 1908.  Where did those interred bodies go, you may be wondering?  The answer could be one of two possibilities: Either Governor McBride moved them to Ballard’s Crown Hill Cemetery, or he let them loose and they still mill about Greenwood to this day as half-functioning, latte-ordering, eco-conscious zombies (“Don’t waste the skull like that!” “That jawbone makes for excellent compost!”).

Kidding aside, there has been documented paranormal activity in the area, particularly on 85th, where they started digging up bodies and building houses.  Fellow resident of Greenwood and Seattle author Emily Hill has written books about the haunting in her neighborhood on 85th St.  She’s convinced that her 1907 house, as well as the house next door and the house across the street from hers, are the dwelling places of restless ghosts. (Can’t you just  imagine “this is not my beautiful home” playing incessantly in their poor, ghost heads?).

Here’s Emily Hill in her own words: “The residents of all three houses experienced hauntings [sic], paranormal activity, and the presence of ghosts.  I’ve included my own experience in ‘Ghost Stories and The Unexplained’ and ‘Ghost Stories From Beyond the Grave.’” She went on to describe watching door knobs turn when no one else was in the house, and the “ghost child” that played with the little girl in the house across the street.  Spooky wild.

So we got zombies (most likely), ghost testimonials, and, get this: no sidewalks! This town has been waiting for sidewalks since 1954!  Ever since they annexed the hinterlands that ran north to N 145th St., the Greenwood we know now north of 85th St. has been waiting for sidewalks ever since (as was promised in that annexation).  Greenwoodlin creatures have been risking their lives on these roads since they were plank and trammeled by horse, buggy, trolley, and confused, youthful zombies and ghosts lurking about in need of decent coffee.  Think of the smooth transit a sidewalk would provide for a Greenwood zombie.  Sure they represent unforgivable wrongs, but at the end of the day zombies have rights, too. They just have a hard time expressing them.

In my prying about cyberspace in search of olde tyme Greenwood tales, I found very little. Though there is hope in finding places where they reward you for how much you can read while feeding you “pizza and snacks” (though I think it’s actually a pizza-eating marathon disguised as a reading marathon…least that’s what I would do.)  Unfortunately, you have to be a teenager to be eligible for this event, says The Greenwood Library. The Reading Marathon for “teens” is at the Greenwood library on Saturday, January 28, from 11am-5pm. Bring You Own Fake Middle School ID.

If you’re too old, tried, and sophisticated for pizza and library books and in you’re in search of a more mellow wild,  check out Couth Buzzard Books – Espresso Buono Café. They’re vying hard for the Greenwood Community Hot Spot Award, as they trumpet all they provide on their website: “Open Mic Nights, Acoustic Music Jams, Local Arts and Crafts, Monthly Cabarets, Family Events like Game Night, Writer’s Groups, Meeting Space Groups…and…Spirited Conversation!” And they serve Fremont beer from the Fremont Brewery.  Nothing says “wild” like fresh beer brewed just 5 minutes away.

Also note that the Greenwood Animal Hospital will spade your babies, no problem, according to one of many rave reviews by customers, who also lauded there 7-days a week availability and free 1rst appointment.  Says one customer, “I just got my baby spayed here and they are giving Seattle humane society prices to all their clients.” Finally, you can spay your baby in a humane fashion. How wild!

To conclude, I’d like to end on a Greenwood legacy that is sadly coming to an end this Feb. 4th The Greenwood Market. After 20 years of serving the community as a meeting place of food and ideas and beer, the bigger fish across the street, Fred Meyer, is gobbling up the property Greenwood Market currently sits on by adding 55,000 sq. ft. to Fredkenstein’s current 118,000 sq. ft.  How is Fred Meyer able to do this? They applied for a permit to expand back in July (what a wild permit).  In fact, the FM expansion still needs city approval.

Spooky side note: The Greenwood Ghost Collective has in fact shown up weekly at town meetings to protest this action, though no one ever responds to their concerns…since they’re ghosts and no one can see them.

One customer laments over the types of food she will miss discovering at the Market, saying, “It was a cornucopia of organic produce and odd, fancy things – pomegranate molasses and Swedish sugar pearls, to name a few – has made [the market] it a favorite for foodies.”

Greenwood sugar pearls? Heck, I remember picking wild sugar pearls out back with my zombie ghost grandfather behind Greenwood Elementary when I was just five years old.  Those were wild nights…

Whoa. A 10-year-old Bob Dylan just walked into Neptune wearing a dark poofy rain coat and plaid shorts.  He just ordered a jelly doughnut.  It’s 4 in the afternoon. Kid must be from Mars.


By:  Matt Caliri



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