July 9, 2013 WWRHAH meeting notes

We had our July 2013 WWRHAH meeting last night at the SW branch of the library on 35th. Here is what happened.

King County Metro cuts; writing a letter to the city advocating action:

We discussed the upcoming possibility of King County Metro cuts. The state legislature in Olympia failed to give the county the taxing authority it needed in the last special session. It’s entirely possible—maybe—that something could come up in September in Olympia. However the political climate and obstruction against King County and Seattle is evident at the moment, was the consensus.

Due to this, we are going to draft the wording of a letter to the Mayor and City Council, advocating that they do whatever is legally allowable to mitigate any cuts to Metro services on the city side. The only practical or feasible solution here would be the city funding Metro service in-city. As far as we’re aware, and already demonstrated by the money the city already has authority to give Metro, this is a possibility.

The discussion quickly added on that this is something we would want to get as many groups on board as is possible, who are like us. That would likely involve driving this, after the draft is done, through the District and CNC levels of the city system. We’ll get an initial draft written as soon as possible and post it for feedback on Facebook and the site.

Traffic circle in Arbor Heights needed:


A traffic circle on 41st & 104th is needed. The neighbors are going to drive this through the city’s Traffic Calming Program, that Yun Pitre reminded us of.

By-laws discussion and adoption:

We discussed the proposed by-laws for our community council (previously posted as version 1.0, here). We are going to add some language and a section for a voting process and ratification process for ongoing issues that will involve online quorums (between sources like online surveys, Facebook, email, the website, etc). We get much more participation online than in-person. Traditional, classic methods — a physical meeting — have their place, but it’s also 2013.

The updated version will be posted soon and we’ll begin the ratification of this online, and hope to adopt a final version by our August 2013 meeting.

Traffic calming on Roxbury:

Chris Stripinis on the Infrastructure Committee has been working with SDOT on the ongoing Roxbury safety concerns we keep hearing about, and has drafted a letter to SDOT asking for a traffic safety review of Roxbury, from 35th east to White Center. We posted about this on June 14 last month for feedback with some early statistics we had gotten from SDOT. Now that the draft is done, there was some minor feedback in the meeting for a few adjustments and there was nearly unanimous agreement to advance this by the end of August to SDOT.

We would along thew ay engage with the Delridge, Highland Park, North Highline and White Center community groups on this project, with the goal of getting additional endorsements for the requests from these groups. We would also reach out to the schools (the various day care/pre-schools, Holy Family, Roxhill Elementary) for endorsements if possible. Also, we would reach out to the senior housing facilities on the route as well.

The time frame for things to happen would look something like this, we believe: Green Lake and  Wallingford asked for basically this same thing last year on some of their streets. SDOT held open houses for public feedback recently, so remediation timing could be months or a year or so to take action. A safe guess would be if we submit the initial request by August 31st to SDOT, that in ‘months’ we would have a study completed. An open house for community feedback could be a few more months down the road. SDOT would then come back with a list of solutions (more months) and then the local groups would endorse the solutions, or not.

One important note: if the study turns up something particular bad, the city may be compelled to address it in a given way by local, state, or Federal law even if the community doesn’t care for it.

The group last night voted to move forward with this.

Speed humps on 30th by Roxhill Elementary:

While Chris has been discussing Roxbury with SDOT, a parallel push by residents on 30th by Roxhill came to the city outside of our group to get speed humps put in by the school. This would be like the speed humps by Highland Park elementary, along 10th. They asked Chris to bring it to the meeting, and they will send him the specific petition form. We will then post this here on the site and Facebook as a PDF so we can go ring doorbells. The city wants approximately 60% nearby neighborhood support in order to make it happen. That seems to be the standard way of it happening.

PACE, Small Sparks, and an idea for a Roxhill Park event:

The city runs a program called the People’s Academy for Community Engagement (PACE). Amanda Helmick, WWRHAH’s chair, and Joe Szilagyi, it’s Secretary, both applied for this year’s session. Amanda was accepted and Joe was asked to facilitate a session on social media. Along the way of the program, the attendee along with others applies for a Small Sparks Fund Grant from the city, for a neighborhood project. It’s like the grant that got us Roxhill Park rebuilt, but on a much smaller scale.

There was a request that a project be submitted — on very short notice — by July 18th. It’s still in development, and Amanda’s idea was to do a sponsored cleanup of the massive overgrowth in Roxhill Park that is always backlogged. This would bring together WWRHAH, the Friends of Roxhill Park, and hopefully other groups. Since it was such notice, time sensitive, and a good idea, there was unanimous support to do whatever we could to help out.

One idea that came up was to use the budget to obtain the tools needed from locally owned hardware stores, like the Ace in the Junction and McLendon’s in White Center. After the clean up, the tools would be donated whole to the West Seattle Tool Library, a local non-profit. The project would benefit Roxhill, the neighborhood, the local businesses, and a valuable non-profit all in one shot. To draw more people out — you need carrots, after all — there are ideas being floated to tie the clean up event into other activities with local businesses that day in the park.

“Help clean the park or donate a new tool to the tool library, and you get to participate in this fun thing!” — that sort of idea. We’ll have more details hopefully soon! This particular clean up and event would be next spring, in 2014.

It was a very busy ninety minute meeting. That’s it! See you in August.


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