Goodbye, smoke season! Hello, landslide season. Now that several days of rain have dampened nearby fires (and even more is on the way), it’s time to prepare for the next round of human-exacerbated natural disasters. Landslides are common, complex, and growing problem in Seattle, according to the City. A house in West Seattle slid off its foundation and 15 feet down a hill just last year. About eight percent of Seattle is slide-prone, of which a third is single-family residential. Advice for reducing your risk can be found here.
Time to get a new head of lettuce. Rishi Sunak will be the new Prime Minister of England, or at least what’s left of it, after the only other challenger dropped out. He’s a multimillionaire banker, in case you were concerned that the British government would suddenly start caring about poor people.
Big weekend for new traffic signals. The City has finally replaced the community crosswalk that it removed from N 83rd St and Greenwood Ave N and added traffic signals to help pedestrians cross. This weekend they also installed new traffic signals at 23rd Ave E and E John St. Then, a few hours later, a driver hit someone on a scooter just a few blocks away.
Happening now: testing operation of new signals. Once new signals are controlling the intersection, the old signals and mast arms will be removed. Then crosswalks and lane markings will be installed pic.twitter.com/a4uxKupXU0— Greg Spotts (@Spottnik) October 22, 2022
Smoke season will be back. Environmental experts are adjusting plans and predictions for future fire seasons, since it seems as though they’re getting hotter, drier, and longer. Fire experts recommend that land owners make their properties more fire-resistant. While eastern Washington has been the most fire-prone in the past, it’s “inevitable” that western Washington will see more fires in the future.
Thanks, Bruce! When Seattle’s air quality was at its worst, Bruce Harrell demonstrated an innovative approach to avoiding exposure: skipping town. He headed to Argentina to participate in a climate summit alongside Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, whose goal is to make her city 100% bikeable by 2026, and London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who expanded an ultra-low emission zone across London. Harrell's ideas for improving air quality in Seattle include replacing street lights and setting up mentorship programs. The number of unhealthy air days in Seattle has increased dramatically in the last five years:
I need you to care that the planet is on fire. pic.twitter.com/pTY9iM4lDv— Lindsay Cohen (she/her) (@lindsaycohen) October 23, 2022
Meanwhile, it’ll take another year at least to put some paint on the ground. A planned north-south bike route on Beacon Hill will be delayed by at least another year due to insufficient staffing, equipment theft, and to give SDOT time to complete a third (yes, third) parking study. Painting of the bike lane, which has been in the planning stages since 2019, won’t begin until 2024 at the earliest. This is frustrating news, especially since all it takes to stripe a bike lane is a $30 pavement marking wand and an $8 can of Krylon striping paint, both of which are very easy to obtain and put to use.
Whose toilet is that? Seattle has far fewer continuously open public restrooms than you might expect, according to an in-depth look at the city’s facilities. Many restrooms are closed during certain hours, and they’re managed by a complicated mix of different city agencies.
Kudos (again) to the Seattle Street Fixers. Once again, a group of citizen volunteers spent this weekend clearing brush from city sidewalks. Look at those before-and-after shots! Gorgeous! Of course, relying on unpaid labor to keep routes usable is completely unsustainable. Fortunately, Ballard-Fremont Greenways has some ideas that might work a little better. If you want to know what they’re cooking up, join them this Wednesday at 6:30 pm at Bickerson’s Brewhouse. We love a scheme!
Let's talk about @SEAStreetFixers and what they're doing.— Ballard-Fremont Greenways (@BFGreenways) October 23, 2022
It's awesome, and a model for mobility activists in the region to use.
First, let's acknowledge that this is a form of direct action – and that volunteers are putting their time and energy into this project.
Have you voted yet? You should have received your ballot by now, and you also should have heard that SECB has released its endorsements for the election on November 8th. Here’s literally everything you could possibly need to know about how to vote. Do it now! Or else!
Former cop pleads guilty in the killing of George Floyd. J. Alexander Kueng has struck a plea deal for three—and-a-half years in prison, with certain charges removed, in exchange for a guilty plea. Keung was the guy who knelt on Floyd’s back.
Kamala is coming to town. The Vice President will visit on Wednesday to talk about low-emission school bus programs, and also to fundraise. No details are available yet about locations for either event.
Yeah, this rain is great, but have you heard of snow? Look at this scene! Lovely.
A Winter Wonderland! ❄️ Mt.Baker 🏔— Wheels (@wheeler244) October 21, 2022
First snowfall of the season and it’s beautiful.. #wawx #pnw @MimiRitZ244 pic.twitter.com/q6lbSIKXpb
Wouldn’t you like a bike? Various states and cities across the country are offering rebates to help residents switch from cars to e-bikes, but Washington isn’t one of them. These programs are wildly successful, and it’s ludicrous Seattle and Washington aren’t leading the way. (To his credit, Senate Transportation Chair Marko Liias would like to set something like that up here.)
It’s time to get your trees in the ground. This is prime tree-planting season. If you’d like to stick one in the ground near your home, the City has put together a helpful guide to direct you to the optimal street tree for your location, and to navigate the surprisingly complex legal process of digging a hole and sticking a plant in it.
It’s also time to look at a cat. The little spot on his chin!!!
We still don't know why he's named Hide and Seek - maybe because no matter where you hide, this loving kitty will seek you out for affection. We think it's a game worth playing for a lifetime. Ready or not, here comes Hide and Seek! https://t.co/4jXngHtEwb pic.twitter.com/YtIIvPz3oK— Seattle Humane (@SeattleHumane) October 21, 2022