Sunday, June 12, 2011

Delridge Improvements Walk Recap

Thanks to everyone who attended this weekend's walk around the neighborhood.  We had such a great time and enjoyed having a positive discussion on the progress made in Delridge. 

For those who missed the walk, the following is a breakdown of the notes with pictures. 

Tim Burgess, Pete Spalding, Tom Rassmussen,
Mike Dady, Patrick Baer, Karrie Kohlhaas
and Sally Clark

Food Services of America Building

Services Group of America building: With the support of the City Council, neighbors organized to prevent a Heliport from being built atop the building. Signs were hung across the face of nearby houses stating; “Helicopters Don’t Make Good Neighbors.”

Note: Delridge Way lanes merge at this location. Seven-year-old Ryan Anderson died on July 17, 1987 trying to cross Delridge Way at Brandon Street due to the speeds and dangerous conditions. His mother, Donna Anderson, was awarded a financial settlement from the City.  But her loss fueled her efforts at instigating lane reduction and also having a sign installed in her son’s memory.

We're walking..walking..walking

Quick stop for Long Fellow Creek

And we're off to the Long Fellow Creek Trail

Dragonfly Pavilion

Dragonfly Pavilion and Longfellow Creek: The Adams Fish Bridge symbolizes ongoing efforts by citizens, Seattle Public Utilities, and other public agencies to restore Longfellow Creek, its salmon and wildlife habitat, and to reduce Combined Sewer Overflows.  There are many areas along Longfellow Creek where this habitat work can be witnessed: from its headwaters at Roxhill Park near Westwood Village, to the Dragon Fly Pavilion where the creek is last seen before it enters a pipe to reach the Duwamish River.

The Fishbone Bridge

We tried to find Salmon, but had
no luck.  Maybe next time...

Kirsten Smith, Karrie Kohlhaas, Tim Burgess,
Tonya Baer, and Pete Spalding

Skate Park Construction Site

Delridge Skate Park is under construction by Gridline. Neighbor representative Nancy Folsom served on the planning committee, voicing neighbor vision. (She made the case for more seating and keeping the trees.) As a bonus, the project includes a new wheel chair accessible BBQ circle. From proposal to ground breaking, the project took 3 years. Nancy volunteered 20 hours serving on the committee.

Delridge Community Center: Groundbreaking started in 1993 with huge community Support. It currently provides a workout gym, full-sized basketball court, hosts special events, teens program, after school care, a Preschool and Digital Lab.

Hidden history gem: Giant Scrap-book created for the Community Center Opening, can be found in the entry way.

New Delridge Playfields

Delridge Playfields (Parks and Green Space Levy $3.2 Million Project).

KaBoom playground

Delridge Playground: Built by 275 Volunteers in 6 hours in 2009. Facilitated by KaBoom! and funded by the Bank of America Charitable Foundation it fostered local donations and fundraisers.

We're walking...walking...walking...

Tom Rassmussen, Tim Burgess
and Sally Clark

Pedestrian Over Pass

Pedestrian Over Pass: Built in 1953 (Built to safely get kids to school), it is a monument to a different time. Pedestrian safety still a need as it is used less and people tend to take a short cut and jaywalk wherever they need to cross Delridge.

Alexandra Van Hoy and Sally Clark
leading the group across the bridge.

Holli Margell lets everyone know
about Youngstown and the Tool Library

Youngstown Cultural Arts Center

Youngstown Cultural Arts Center:  Restored by DNDA to use the historic landmark, now home to Artists, Non-profits, Youth Programs and now the Sustainable West Seattle Tool Library. Many neighbors consider Youngstown a symbol of the power neighbor involvement.

We love neighbors with a sense of humor

Oregon Street to 23rd Avenue: This Street demonstrates the ongoing housing development of North Delridge, both single family and townhomes.  Infrastructure needs such as, sidewalks and proper drainage, are crucial. The New Traffic Circle is an example of a neighbor-led project to help address traffic issues. (Project cost: less than $15,000, 4 years to complete, Neighborhood Street Fund)

Note: 23rd becomes Puget Boulevard SW, which was part of the Olmstead Brothers boulevard system for the entire city.

Sally Clark meeting Polly the cat

We're walking...walking...walking...

Down the goat trail we go...

23rd at Edmunds Street: Future Pedestrian path? This unopened SDOT Right-Of-Way was once laden with garbage, camper trailers, transients, buckets of excrement, etc.  Vacant houses on either side added to problems.  Neighbors cleared area of blackberry and garbage, in cooperation with Seattle Police, Department of Neighborhoods, Seattle Public Utilities, King County Public Health and the Department of Corrections. One house was demolished last year, as were others in other areas of North Delridge.  This Right of Way could create an improved pedestrian pathway to transit and for residents to the east as well as connecting westward to residents of 26th. Neighbors envision a P-Patch, outdoor art garden or something similar here.

Pearl’s Coffee and Tea: The original building was boarded up for years.  The prior owner who lives in the neighborhood had always wanted to open a coffee shop yet lacked funds to do so.  Neighbors got involved and contacted the new owner/developer to request that he not saddle us with yet another cigarette & candy store.  Thankfully, the developer understood, the result being the well loved Pearl’s, owned by Hoan and Thi, coming to life! Now Delridge has 2 coffee shops, a pizza place, and a new pho restaurant. Neighbors have been very supportive of new businesses in Delridge.

Traffic Bulbs at Delridge & Hudson

Hudson Street Crossing Bulbs: Proposed by a frequent transit rider who lives on 26th, this neighbor was concerned about pedestrian safety while crossing Delridge at this location.  He witnessed children getting off from school buses as well as regular Transit riders.  He filed an application for crossing improvement and project was awarded funding and built. This took 3 years from application to completion (Bridging the Gap Fund).

25th Ave Traffic Calming: The Development of Cottage Grove, Puget Boulevard Commons and Greg Davis Parks added to the need for some kind of ‘chill’ effect being instituted.  Applications were filed with SDOT to come up with a solution, which resulted in speed cushions being installed on both 25th and 26th.  The project took 2-3 years.

Back side of Pea Patch getting some
TLC from local gardeners.

Local church greeted us with much
appreciated cold beverages

Cottage Grove and Greg Davis Park: Greg Davis and Mike Little were two of many neighborhood people who brought these parks to fruition via the Pro Parks Levy and other means.  The Parks Department did outreach to the community seeking input for park amenities and design.  The original tight-lined drainage system had a very high cost so the project manager came up with a creative solution whereby the topography was changed to allow water from the sites to flow to the bio-swales/rain-gardens along 26th.

Delridge Library: Mike Dady recalls Vivian Mclean saying that when she was requesting a Delridge library branch, the response she got was something like, “People over there don’t read.”  Well, you can imagine how that went over with her.  Vivian was a person who did not give in, or give up.  The Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association in collaboration with the Seattle Public Library built the Delridge Library and connected housing above and in her honor named the building Vivian Mclean Place. The library is well used by adults and children.

Karrie Kohlhaas pointing out the progress
made on the Library Alley

Library Alley:  Former dumping ground for garbage and overgrown with blackberry bushes alley was an unsafe place to walk. Neighbors tried solo efforts to clean up the alley but in Summer 2010, neighbors combined efforts and had 6 work parties to clear alley and begin to plant non-invasive plants. Worked with DON, Sustainable West Seattle, Dept of Corrections to support the effort. Patrick Baer currently submitting a Small Sparks grant for landscaping materials and to host a neighborhood event in the alley. Neighbors donated plants and time. Tools were borrowed from the WS Tool Library. Featured in Seattle Channel documentary.

Karrie Kohlhaas explaining the upcoming
projects, challenges and successes.

Future site of curbs and drainage project

25th Avenue and Brandon: complementary projects, city and non-profit contributions
  1. After Delridge District Council prioritized projects, the city funded curb/drainage for 25th Ave (Bridging the Gap Fund). Later, drainage portion removed. Neighbors sent photos of drainage problems, called and emailed SDOT, and now have grant from King County Conservation District Grant for drainage solutions. (Example of how neighbors can be persistent and not allow already allocated funds to be cut from approved projects.) Project in early stages with neighborhood meeting on June 20th to move toward ground breaking.
  2. Stewardship Partners email stated they wanted to install rain gardens along LongFellow Creek on residential property to filter rainwater and keep creek clean and safe for salmon and other creatures. Neighbor Karrie Kohlhaas responded and rallied 10 households, enabling Stewardship Partners to soil test and submit a winning grant in a record 4 days); funding provided by National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The rain gardens will be installed this summer, and 25th will be a demonstration block for Stewardship Partners.

Brandon Natural Area

Brandon Natural Area Restoration: Jay Mirro has led the ongoing restoration project since 2005. He started the 3rd Saturday Work Parties, hosting over 80 volunteer events in nearly 6 years. The work has restored 9 of the 11 acres the Brandon Natural Area encompasses. Green Seattle has been pivotal in managing the collaboration with the Seattle Parks Department, King County Conservation and Department of Neighborhoods to supply plants, material and find grants for further restoration needs. The project has also helped create the Camp Long trail addition through a Matching Fund and King County Fund.

For a map of Longfellow Creek and Work Parties, visit

For more information about the North Delridge Neighborhood Council and a list of resources to help you get involved, please visit - or join our group page on Facebook.

NDNC meetings: 6:30 -7:45pm at the Delridge Library, 2nd Monday of each month

1 comment:

Karrie Kohlhaas said...

A fun walk and an excellent education about how to make things happen in your neighborhood. A shout out to NDNC Outreach Maven Holli Margell for organizing and Mike Dady for providing stories and insights about Delridge improvements.

A big thanks goes out to Seattle City Council Members Tim Burgess, Tom Rasmussen and Sally Clark and City Attorney's Office Chief of Staff, Darby Ducomb, for joining us on a Saturday to learn more about Delridge and how the neighborhood is changing. We look forward to future conversations!

Karrie Kohlhaas
North Delridge Neighborhood Council Chair