Remember “You Draw It” from the Sunday funnies? Well, now you can have that kind of fun again with Move Levy plans! Below are 2 pictures of the intersection of 50th, Stone Way, and Green Lake Way- one showing the way it works today, then a second with Cycle Tracks ready for you to design. You get to design 5 turning movements working in concert for cars and bikes:

Green Lake Way Bike Lanes

Below is the You Draw It version with cycle track entry points added. You can change any of the roadways, but they must connect to existing roadway lines at the limits of the picture. Cycle Tracks must connect to bike lanes on Stone since that’s where most people go. Throttling the intersection by adding a 6th signal just for bikes is considered cheating and will disqualify the answer. Use Copenhagen Turns, bike boxes, change the order of signals, put in a roundabout, add a draw bridge, Have Fun!

Green Lake Way Cycle Tracks

Here is a printable PDF version for you to play with. Print out it out, design the roadway the way you want, then scan and send your solution into Wallyhood at [email protected]. If we get a few good replies, we’ll post them!


Helpful & Healthful Programs at WCSC

Wallingford Community Senior Center is chock full of fun, informative and health-related programming in May! It all kicks off with our Spring Pancake Breakfast on Sunday, May 3rd – All ages welcome! Bring your friends & family for a hearty breakfast to support programs at WCSC. Learn some Spring Cleaning techniques at the “Less Stuff: More Possibilities” workshop on May 6th, attend the many health-related presentations we’re offering this month and participate in an exclusive dance class with the world-renowned Pilobolus Dance Troupe on May 14th!

Spring Pancake Breakfastpancake 9
Date: Sunday, May 3
Time: 9 am – 12 pm
Cost: $5 adults / $3 kids.

Celebrate the season by sharing a hot, freshly prepared breakfast with others in the community. Enjoy pancakes, French toast, ham, vegetarian sausage, beverages, and more! This event is sponsored by Windermere Real Estate, Seattle – Lakeview.



medicare 1Medicare Presentation
Date: Tuesday, May 5
Time: 10 – 11:30 am
Cost: Free

Get all your Medicare questions answered in this presentation on the costs and benefits of different Medicare coverage strategies. With Jim Yragui, Independent Insurance Agent.



Organization, De-Cluttering, Less Stuff: More Possibilities!organization
Date: Wednesday, May 6
Time: 1:30 – 2:30 pm
Cost: $3 members / $5 public

Learn ideas for sorting, prioritizing, and organizing spaces in apartments or homes; closets, bedrooms, kitchens, family rooms, attics, basements, garages, etc. Learn a simple system for dealing with mail, paperwork, and filing. Learn how and when to donate, sell, and give away items. With Karen Clifton, proprietor of “Unstuff Your Life.”




cpr 2Citizen CPR Training
Dates: Thursday, May 7
Time: 1 – 3 pm
Cost: Free. Donations for the Medic II Program appreciated.

Learn the latest valuable information about life-saving CPR techniques. Studies have shown that prompt bystander CPR more than doubles a patient’s chances of long-term survival. Though this is not a certification class, this training includes hands-on practice and discussion. Adult participants only. Taught by the Seattle Fire Department’s Medic II Program.



make the most of your dr visitMake the Most of Your Dr. Visit

Date: Friday, May 8
Time: 1 – 2 pm
Cost: Free
The dynamics of the patient-doctor relationship are changing. Today, it is more of a partnership where both parties bring their own agenda and work together towards a common goal. Learn tips and tricks to build this type of relationship with your doctor! With Audra Juraska, Health Coach at Iora Primary Care.




Internet basics 4Internet Basics
Date: Wednesday, May 13
Time: 1:00 – 2:30 pm
Cost: Free
This class will introduce you to the internet and show you how to use search engines, choose search terms, and evaluate websites. This class includes an introduction to online security. Must be comfortable using Microsoft Windows. This free workshop is led by the Seattle Public Library.




pilobolusPilobolus @ Play Dance Workshop
Date: Thursday, May 14
Time: 1:30 – 2:30 pm
Cost: Free

Experience new kinds of movement, creativity, and connection with world-renowned Pilobolus teaching artists! Designed for older adults with no experience in dance, the class is fun, interesting, and accessible for any level of physical activity. Participants will also receive a ticket to see Pilobolus perform at the University of Washington and get to meet the dancers!

More May programs to come! Look for an update in a couple of weeks…

For more information about these and other great programs at Wallingford Community Senior Center, visit our web site: , email us at[email protected] or give us a call at 206-461-7825.


The Wallyhood Calendar is updated with these events and more:

From 10 AM to 1 PM this Saturday is a gardening party at the Good Shepherd Center. Tara Macdonald wrote this up for Wallyhood:

Historic Seattle would like to invite you to visit the Good Shepherd Center gardens. For nearly 40 years the grounds around the Good Shepherd Center have been extensively maintained and developed to create a welcoming, serene, and interesting place for both center visitors and the community to enjoy. For those who have witnessed the changes to the grounds over the years, from the time it was a home for girls to the present, we would like to welcome you to share your stories.GSC Poplar

Some of you may be watching the changes taking place now and may be interested in what is yet to come. Our gardener is always happy to discuss the progress being made to keep the gardens beautiful. One new development is our volunteer work parties. Although utilized in the past, it has been several years since we have sought help and now the generosity of volunteers is very much needed. By volunteering you can help maintain a community asset as well as have an opportunity to ask questions. You will get to garden, which some of us consider a treat in itself.

You can also learn more about the gardens and the diverse and unusual plant collection, such as the Weeping Gray Poplars (Populus x canescens, a hybrid of White poplar and European aspen – Jacobson 2006, Trees of Seattle). To our knowledge these are unique to Seattle. The newly emerging leaves appear entirely white and seem to appear as pearls or lace against the backdrop of the brick building. They are remnants from when the building was still a home for girls. Although lovely trees, they are not recommended for home gardens as they have a habit of spreading quickly. Instead, you should take advantage of the Good Shepherd Center grounds to admire them.

Please RSVP to Tara Macdonald at the e-mail address below if you can join us:

[email protected]

At 7 PM this Friday the Meaningful Movies features “TARGETING IRAN” (71 min, Andy Norris, 2013). The movie “examines the many political, historical, economic, military and cultural aspects of the U.S./Iranian tensions that are not often discussed in the mainstream media.” Expect to hear a lot from Noam Chomsky.

This Sunday there’s free green home tour from 11 AM to 4 PM which looks like fun. Only a couple homes in Wallingford unfortunately, but many in nearby neighborhoods:

Next weekend is the Tilth Edible Plant Sale, so even though spring has long since sprung, hopefully you have a few slots left to grow stuff.

Cass Turnbull hopes you can help her save a beloved house:

I hope someone who is reading this is the person, or maybe knows the person,  who can save the house and garden at 4625 Eastern Ave North. It’s important. It’s keeping me up at night thinking that a developer is going to raze the garden, chop down her Heritage Trees and bulldoze that wonderful house–the likes of which will never be made again in Seattle—in order to build two or three MacMansions of the sort which are, unfortunately, commonplace. Marilyn’s Wallingford house  is a sort of legend among neighbors. People have wondered for many decades who owns that house, and what is hidden by the overgrown trees and shrubs. It has the air of a mansion in a romantic novel and it has cast a spell over many people. Other folks, the less curious sorts,  don’t even notice that something is there.

Bittman Exterior

The house is reasonably good looking and ample in size but not huge. It is a monument to deferred maintenance. The copper downspouts have been stolen, the irrigation doesn’t work, there is a tarp over the greenhouse, the walkway is buckled, a concrete retaining wall leans outward toward the ally.  But that neglect also means that everything is still original. The gutters are made of wood. The shingles are wood. There are original appliances in the kitchen. The outside is nice but the impressive part is inside–there is a painted mural and leaded windows, incredible wood work, vaulted ceilings, and bay windows in the study that open outward.

Bittman Interior 3I only got brief looks inside the house because Marilyn Bechlem, (only the second owner of the house) was an extremely private woman. Even those neighbors with whom she spoke regularly were never allowed inside. As I entered the living room for the first time, I stopped, looked around and said, ‘wow’. Marilyn said, ‘People always say that.’ I took in what I could while following Marilyn to the underground garages to get to the water shut off (I was going through a secret passage!). She took me upstairs to the bedroom so I could see if we could improve the view from her tiny balcony (a real balcony!) And after the diagnosis she finally let me inside to sit and talk to her because she could no longer walk the garden with me. By then I had become inordinately fond of her for some unknown reason. I did manage to make myself tell her that, though she might not know it, it was nevertheless true that she was a special person.

Long before seeing the inside of the house  I had fallen  in love with the garden, which was why I had been hired. It had been totally overtaken by invading holly, laurel, Oregon grape, blackberries, and vines. Beneath it all hid a collection of perfect,  60 year old ornamental shrubs and trees. My crew and I  worked there one day a month for over a year to dig it out. It was the secret garden and it was my job to restore it to Marilyn’s satisfaction—not an easy task. It was both hard and delicate work. Marilyn liked the overgrown look and was quite protective of every plant that the original owner, Mrs. Bittman,  had planted there. Marilyn, a spry 84 year old,  knew where each plant was and would walk fearlessly through the tangle on uneven ground to show us things and to check on our work. She could hear a comment made 15 feet away. So it was quite a challenge.

Bittman TreeDuring my tenure, I liberated two-story camellias, a ‘waterfall’ of rhododendrons, kerria, quince, the biggest silverberry I’ve ever seen, silktassle, purple smoke tree, spindlebush, a huge witch hazel, wintersweet, the biggest osmanthus, strawberry tree, stransvesia, and many more plants  including several  I could not identify. I discovered and cleared the path back to a hidden wooden gate, I found a very large birdbath, cleared around the greenhouse, and pruned a way back to a charming wooden shed. I wish I had taken photos. As I returned each month the garden slowly revealed  it’s hidden splendors. There was of succession of bulbs in the spring: avalanche lilies, fields of crocus, snow drops, and huge patches of hardy cyclamen (corms the size of tennis shoes). I talked Plant Amnesty arborists into donating a day of big tree work, $6,000 worth of work, for the giant sequoia, the coast redwood, the two copper beeches, the red oak, the three magnolias, two dogwoods, the snowbell, blue Atlas cedar and deodar, the gingko, the dove tree, the biggest tan oak in the city, and the most fabulous redbud I’d ever seen. It had moss covered trunks leaning horizontally over the field of foxglove, its trunks covered in tiny licorice ferns.

The garden still looks quite rough, as I was forced to stop by the occasion Marilyn’s passing. I felt robbed that she was gone and my time with her and the garden had come to an end. Truth be told, I was heartbroken. My intent throughout the process, besides keeping Marilyn happy, was to save the existing garden by bringing it back to good enough order that the next owner would not take a chainsaw and indiscriminately cut everything back. I hope I achieved that. And now, if only I can find the right new owner for garden and house, I will be able to sleep again.

Marilyn’s house is a block away from Seattle Tilth/The Good Shepherd center. It is due to go on the market any day now and it will probably sell in a couple of weeks. My real estate friend Cynthia said it could go for anywhere from $1-$3 million. Plus it will need many, many expensive repairs to restore it. So it needs the right buyer to save it. For them it will be a labor of love. But this is an easy place to love, I know I did. So I hope you are that buyer, or know someone who will be that buyer, and that you will contact the historic preservation people to express desire that it be preserved as a landmark:

Cass Turnbull, Marilyn’s gardener  206-783-9093

The real estate agent representing the seller is Patty Allen, 206-227-9139.

The real estate agent who will represent the buyer is my dear friend, Cynthia Creasey of Lake & Company. Cynthia specializes in ‘gardens that come with houses’. Her number is 206-276-8292

A few more photos are available here:



Hashtag-1Wallingford’s first recreational marijuana store, Hashtag, formally opened its doors for business on Monday at 3540 Stone Way.

Unlike many of its brethren throughout the city, the door isn’t manned by a burly door guard checking IDs, providing an immediately more open atmosphere. So too does the airy space, flooded with lots of natural light.

Selections include several strains and growers along with edibles and equipment. Prices per gram appear to start around $15, from what I could see.

The establishment joins a number of medical marijuana locations already in the neighborhood. If you plan to visit, remember that all marijuana stores operate on a cash-only basis.


Since I can’t say I’ve ever tried it (I know, I know), I’ll admit this article would be a lot better if written by someone who knew a bit more (by which I mean anything at all) about the noble weed. Maybe that person can help us out in the comments?

The U-District light rail station at 43rd and Brooklyn will be finished in 2021. In the next 9 years, 45th through Wallingford will be redeveloped with 40 and 65 foot condos with bike-only parking, and the U-District is already springing up with bike-centered towers as part of the light rail rezone.

Despite this, the Move Levy makes no effort at all to help people biking or walking between Wallingford and the U-District. The plan gets locked in 1 month, then commits us to that decision for the next 9 years. Want to bike to the new light rail station just across I-5? You’ll be using sharrows on 45th street. Want to walk over there? You’ll be walking on a narrow curb while I-5 howls at you from below. The “plan” is that over the next decade nothing will change from how things are today:

An I-5 crossing near 45th is the top priority for Seattle Greenways for all of Seattle City Council District 4. East / West transportation alternatives are the worst transportation problem Wallingford suffers from, and 45th is a top location in the city for accidents between cyclists and drivers. After a few weeks of pressing Hannah McIntosh on this issue, the sole person processing levy feedback, she offered this:

I do want to be clear that right now the funding for major new construction for bicycles and pedestrians over I-5 in Wallingford is not included in the levy proposal.  If this is a priority for your readers, please encourage them to complete our survey and come to the many events happening in the next two weeks to let us know.  A current list of events is on our website at:


Bike sharrow dead ending into bus bulb on 45th

Consider yourself encouraged! Since there’s only a couple weeks left to impact the next decade of bike and pedestrian investments in Wallingford, I took a walking tour of the area with U-District greenways folks. Hannah is too busy to reply to most emails, much less look at things on the ground, so it’s sadly up to neighbors to do this kind of walk through on our own.

When you walk through the area it’s evident why 45th has so many bike / car collisions. The sharrows on 45th never made sense due to heavy vehicle traffic, lack of space, and hills to climb when going West. The major investments for buses over the last few years have further compromised them by adding curb bulbs on 45th that don’t let cars or buses go around bikes.

The Bike Master Plan says that an East / West route should be done via a 47th street greenway and then a bridge over I-5. This is labeled catalyst project #7 on the map below. This makes a ton of sense, and if this levy funded the 47th street greenway and I-5 crossing that would be the best solution for the neighborhoods. It does neither:

Bike Master Plan

When walking through the neighborhood with U-District greenways we came up with a cheaper alternative to a new bridge. It’s not as good as the 47th street bridge option, but at least it might get done in the next decade.

The cheaper alternative would be to put cyclists on 45th for the I-5 crossing, then move them to greenways on either side of I-5. Improvements to the bridge could be made that would benefit both cyclists and pedestrians crossing the bridge. The “X” nature of the plan would also help people get from light rail to a range of destinations:

I-5 and 45th

The numbered circles on the map above correspond to these changes:

  1. Complete the regional greenway in the Bicycle Master Plan on 46th and 47th except for the new I-5 bridge, with a gap between 4th and 8th. The greenway will connect to other regional greenways at Woodland Park Ave, Sunnyside, 12th, and 17th. It also connects to bike lanes on Latona / Thackery, cycle tracks on 15th, and the protected bike lanes on 11th and Roosevelt.
  2. Add a new greenway on 4th to bring bikes down to 45th for the I-5 crossing, add a signal at 45th, then connect down to the existing greenway on 44th. Bike lanes on Latona / Thackery could also be used, but then bikes stay on 45th longer.
  3. Sound Barrier

    Plexiglass sound and safety barrier retrofit to a bridge

    Add shared pedestrian and bike crossing improvements to 45th between 4th Ave and 8th Ave. This will be expensive to do correctly, but less expensive than a new bridge. One option is a new sound and safety barrier on the sides of the bridge, then extending the curbs inward to enable cyclists and pedestrians to share them. Measurements show there is room to extend curbs inward by a fair bit while still maintaining existing traffic flow.

  4. Add a connecting greenway to 8th and a signal at 45th, similar to the one at 4th.
  5. Build the connecting greenway from the Bike Master Plan to connect to light rail in the U-District as shown.

A push will be required to get any changes to the levy at this point, but we can’t let SDOT completely ignore the needs of our neighborhood. The only way to get noticed is to stand up and yell. Northgate did, and they are promised this if the Move Levy passes:


So, please take the time to release your work week frustrations on SDOT for screwing our neighborhood. If enough people write in and show up to meetings they will listen, and the sooner you do it the better. Everything gets locked for the next decade when this goes to city council in 1 month. Please tell SDOT that sharrows on 45th and over I-5 are not an acceptable long term transportation solution for Wallingford. Please tell SDOT to connect Wallingford cyclists and pedestrians to the U-District and the light rail station.

Thank you!

The Move Levy locks in all bike and pedestrian spending for the next 9 years after a 2 month public comment period that is already half over. For a place like Northgate that has been in planning for years that’s great as SDOT will throw 10’s of millions their way to implement their gold plated plans, but for a neighborhood like Wallingford without a transportation plan it means we only get a few cheap, half baked ideas. When plans were released 1 month ago they included a map that wasn’t even correct, so it has taken me a lot of time just to learn what SDOT is proposing for Wallingford. Today: Cycle tracks and Lower Woodland Park.

The levy currently includes a cycle track on 50th between Phinney and Green Lake Way, and another cycle track on Green Lake Way between 50th and up past the Green Lake Community Center. The cycle tracks are in the levy because they are in the bike master plan, and because those roads need to be paved. The current mantra at SDOT is to implement the bike master plan while doing maintenance, and hence we get these cycle tracks:

Cycle Track

A cycle track requires moving all bike traffic to one side of the road, then erecting a barrier with traffic. It is often used for dangerous streets where there are few alternatives for cyclists, but it typically requires separate signals and turning movements for cyclists. It is also difficult to transition between cycle tracks and bike lanes, as some bikes must cross all lanes of traffic.

As anyone in the neighborhood knows, bikes on 50th and Green Lake Way are principally connecting to the bike lanes on Stone Way. This means the intersection of 50th and Green Lake Way will become much worse if these cycle tracks are implemented. Here is a simple cycle track crossing, now imagine this at the 5 way intersection of 50th, Stone Way, and Green Lake Way, with the addition of transitioning between cycle tracks and bike lanes (warning: your head may explode):

Cycle Track Picture

The reason those cycle tracks are in the bike master plan is that there was also a plan at the time to connect them to a cycle track on Stone Way. Right before the bike master plan was locked down the cycle track on Stone Way was removed due to neighborhood push back, in particular fear about the throughput impact it would have on the intersection of 50th, Green Lake Way, and Stone Way.

The neighborhood idea was to favor Woodland Park Ave as a greenway instead, connecting to bike paths through Woodland Park, up through the Zoo to Phinney, and down through Woodland Park to the bike lane that already goes around Green Lake. The idea was to leave Green Lake Way, Stone, and 50th as roads with bike lanes that favor faster commuters. I bike this route almost every day, so I know it very well. These greenway routes are already very workable, but some investment would greatly help them along:

Green Way

Unfortunately, the bike master plan got locked before the rest of those fixes could be made to it. The result is a bike master plan that is broken for the Woodland Park area, but that was adopted by city council and is now all that SDOT looks at when coming up with plans for our neighborhood. In fact, SDOT has not had a transportation planning meeting in Wallingford since 1998, when our neighborhood plan was drawn up.

The cycle tracks on 50th and Green Lake Way are being prioritized simply because they are in the bike master plan and those roads are being paved, and SDOT wants to hit their numbers for implementing the bike master plan on the cheap. They are not being put in because existing bike lanes are unsafe, they are not being put in as a result of neighborhood wishes, and they are not being put in as part of a thought through design.

Do you think we need to further throttle and complicate the intersection at 50th and Green Lake Way? If you’re a biker, do you think Green Lake Way should be a top priority for Wallingford? Do you look forward to switching back and forth across the roadway to get on and off the cycle track? You have 1 month left to let SDOT know if you care:

Addendum: I understand you may not trust me after the April 1st post. To add to that, if you look at the map for our neighborhood in the levy, it is wrong. Below is the map (roads are unlabeled, but are in the levy text). See how the blue line on 50th stops before the intersection of 50th and Green Lake Way? See how it doesn’t go up to the top of the map?

Move Levy Cycle Track

Well, it took 2 weeks of asking around at SDOT before someone replied to why those blue lines stop where they do. Hannah McIntosh, who seems to be handling all feedback on the entire levy, finally found a minute to reply after I asked several times. Here is what Hannah says:

As you know, we’re collecting public feedback, and you identify some excellent points about the exact projects proposed in Wallingford.  The changes below will be reflected when the map is updated.

  • The blue line on NE 50th St should extend east to E Green Lake Way N, in coordination with the limits of the potential paving project.
  • Likewise, the blue line on E Green Lake Way N should mirror the extents of the potential paving project.

When I then raised the concerns about the cycle tracks impacting the intersection with 50th (effectively this entire post), Hannah wrote this back:

You make some good points about the cycle tracks and they are exactly the type of thing to look at as we get closer to implementation.

In other words, the Move Levy funds these cycle tracks and that’s all there is to it. If the Move Levy is not changed, over the next decade the cycle tracks will be built, and nearby greenways will not be built. So, if you care, you must fill out the SDOT survey or go to a meeting to let them know.

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