Cherry Hill Intersection Improvements

Under the Major Institution Master Plan (MIMP) process many intersections around our neighborhood were identified for improvements and operational design changes such as curb bulb-outs at intersections, cross walks, traffic signals, and even some bus stop upgrades.  Even though the improvements have already be identified from a high level, they have not been designed and Sabey would like to have input from the community to help refine their plans.

Most of those elements are pretty obvious but term curb-bulb is new to some folks.  You see them everyday, all over Seattle.  They are all about pedestrian safety.  They extend the sidewalk into the street, reducing the time and distance it takes a pedestrian to cross. Curb bulbs can also prevent drivers from parking in front of crosswalks or blocking curb ramps. The visibility between drivers and pedestrians is also improved with curb bulbs because pedestrians are brought farther out into the street, making crossing locations more recognizable.

Phasing of the improvements is of interest to Sabey, do to some potential advantages to delivering these improvements ahead of development, but the city will need to weigh in on that, and they also want to hear from us.  Please visit the council website or attend our October 8th meeting for specific details.


Providence-Swedish and the Sabey Major Institution Master Plan Update

The process for reviewing and approving the Major Institution Master Plan for Providence-Swedish and the Sabey Corporation continues.

The hearing was held over five days in July and on September 10 the Hearing Examiner issues her recommendation to the City Council which will make the final decision.  The Squire Park Community Council, Washington Community Action Network (Washington CAN), 19th Avenue Neighbors, Concerned Neighbors of Swedish Cherry Hill, and the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) for the MIMP presented evidence and argument that the plan proposed by the institution and Sabey should be scaled back.

With only minor exceptions the Hearing Examiner rejected those arguments, instead endorsing the position of the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) that the plan proposed by Providence-Swedish and Sabey should be approved.

Hearing participants, including the Squire Park Community Council, Washington CAN will be appealing the Hearing Examiner’s decision.  (At the time of this writing the deadline for filing appeals has not passed.  Others may file appeals as well.)

The City Council consideration of the issue is what is known as “quasi-judicial”.  That means that Council members are expected to base their decisions on the evidence that is in the record that was made during the CAC meetings and the Hearing Examiners Hearing.  Lobbying or other advocacy, except for presentations which the City Council may allow at Council meetings is forbidden.

The City Council Planning, Land Use, and Sustainability Committee will consider and discuss the record at a meeting in the coming months, at a date not yet determined.


Is There A Way To Reduce Commuter Traffic To Our Neighborhood?

On January 10, hear a presentation from a Seattle Department of Transportation representative regarding the Residential Parking Zone (RPZ) surrounding the Swedish/Sabey campus.  RPZ #2 limits on-street parking during the day to two hours.  Affected streets include parts of north-south streets from 15th Avenue to 21st Avenue, and parts of east west streets from Fir Street to Spring Street. For a map and details on the RPZ, see http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/parking/rpz_z2.htm

The intent of the RPZ is to discourage commuters to the Swedish/Sabey campus from parking on neighborhood streets.  City policy is to discourage single occupancy vehicle (SOV) commuting to all institutions, including Swedish/Sabey.  One of the ways this is done is to limit the amount of garage parking that can be provided, and to require minimum parking rates.  However, since Squire Park has a supply, free on-street parking may be an alternative choice for some commuters.  The expectation of the City is that, by limiting parking to two hours, those who might otherwise take advantage of free on-street parking are discouraged from doing so.

The question neighbors are asking is whether or not the current policies of RPZ 2 are effective. Many neighbors see apparent Swedish/Sabey commuters parking and later, in two hours or so, returning to "rub the chalk off" their tires, or to move their cars.  Others, just outside the boundaries of Zone 2, feel that the effect of the RPZ is to increase the number of commuters driving to and parking on their residential streets.

Is it possible that the current parking time limit --- two hours from morning to afternoon ---could be changed?  Is expanding the boundaries of Zone 2 appropriate or possible?  What other questions do you have about the policies of the RPZ program? Come to the January meeting to talk about that.



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