April 1, 2017 at 9:28 am #56536
For the longest time, I have been both concerned and annoyed that the fence and gate that open into the vegetated hilly area under the Ship Canal Bridge on the south side of NE 40th have been compromised. This is the piece of land that has been visited by the rent-a-herd of goats the last couple of summers, much to my delight. But shortly after last summer’s grazing operation, someone tore open the fence and made that strip of land once again accessible to anyone. With the neighborhood experiencing a persistent proliferation of homeless campers (rcently evidenced by a new crop of tents just across the street), and more sinister denizens, I was hoping the damaged fence would be quickly repaired. But of course, it wasn’t. After a couple of months, I wrote to Seattle DOT (whom I thought has jurisdiction) but was told that it was WDOT that “owned” the area. As an aside, I might mention that I also sent a note to Jordan when he was Wallyhood guest editor, as I recalled that he had a contact for that little plot of land…BUT, I never heard back! Anyway, I went online and found a name for WDOT maintenance issues, Dave McCormick, and sent him a note. But, sigh, never heard back. Finally, after driving by the gaping hole in the fence for the umpteenth time on my way back from work, I sent yet another note not just to Mr. McCormick, but to several others in WDOT as well. I was admittedly annoyed. And well into my second glass of red wine. I wrote:
“So, I sent a note to Mr. McCormick but never heard back. Do any of you respond to citizen inquiries? I was told by Seattle DOT that the fenced-off area area the I-5 Ship Canal Bridge just south of NE 40th was your jurisdiction. This is the area cropped by goats each year. The gate to this area, under I-5, closest to Pasadena Pl. NE, has been compromised for MONTHS, and I have been hoping you would re-secure it as it serves as a launching point for the many homeless folks in our neighborhood. If you can’t, or won’t, close off this area, please let me know. I will get a neighborhood crew together to do it ourselves. Thanks.”
Guess what? That MAY have worked! Yesterday morning I received this email message from Dave McCormick:
“Hi…Truly sorry I missed this.
Our staff will pick this up next week. Dave”
And this in turn was followed by an email from one of the other folks I had cc’ed, Ed Simpson:
“I’ll get fence and drainage for next week lined up with Kai. “
So…yay! I don’t know if anyone else in the ’hood had noticed this, but maybe a small piece of neighborhood deterioration will be mended soon!April 2, 2017 at 8:30 am #56568
This is good news. Thank you for your perseverance!April 12, 2017 at 12:18 am #56656
Has anyone reported the tents popping up across the street? I walk through there regularly to get home from the bus. As of tonight, there is now a truck parked with a pile of belongings flowing out into the sidewalk. Needless to say I’ll be taking a long detour until something is done, it’s unsettling.April 12, 2017 at 6:45 am #56658
@jettpack – your neighborhood must be next on the redevelopment list. The city’s not going to clean up anything until new, expensive (i.e. enhanced property tax base) houses displace the current residents. Go say hello to your new neighbors! They’re just friendly folk, down on their luck.April 12, 2017 at 8:00 am #56659
I wrote a Wallyhood post about this strip of land last year. Frankly I think fencing it off so that no one can use it is lazy thinking. Rather than repairing the fence, I’d like to see it removed and that land repurposed for something useful.
While it seems to be a useless piece of land because of its steep slope, if you look more closely at it you can see there are actually two flat tiers running the length of it. At the very least, the city (or whomever is in charge of it, but I know it used to be SDOT) should move the fence back from the road several feet so that pedestrians can use the upper tier as a walkway.April 12, 2017 at 8:26 am #56660
Yes, moving the fence back is critical for safety. Especially when the goats are there. Hundreds of people come to see the goats,and they are clinging to the fence on the north side, standing in traffic lanes of cars going east. Sooner or later there will be a driver/car-pedestrian fatality. Many cars are driven way too fast as they drive toward the U.Bridge from the 5 way stop sign mess.April 12, 2017 at 9:54 am #56661
Oh I’m sure they are super friendly. Even friendlier when it’s a tiny young lady, like myself, walking through their encampment to get home at 11pm at night. It’s my only way home without walking south to Northlake Way (not any better to walk at night) or up to 45th and back down to 40th to get around i5. As a resident paying entirely too much in rent, I should feel safe walking home, in Wallingford of all places! I normally do, but not lately. I’m putting in a call to report it but I doubt it’ll do much good
🙁April 12, 2017 at 10:27 am #56662
@jettpack – I’m sorry you have to deal with this. It’s entirely uncalled for, but maybe folks will vote out the perpetuators of this stuff in the coming elections. I think we all want progressive policies in Seattle, but enough is enough. Allowing people to refuse services and drug up/junk up our neighborhoods is simply ridiculous.April 13, 2017 at 5:08 pm #56670
Update…I was out of town last week and was disappointed upon my return to find nothing had changed, in fact the fence opened up even more, the encampment grown bigger and apparently scarier. So I sent a “WTF” email to WDOT and received this:
“If all goes well this area is scheduled to be cleaned on 4/20.
Assistant M&O Superintendent
Now, I’m not sure what he means by “cleaned.” Was he referring to just the fenced area? The growing camping ground to which I alluded in my WTF email? Both? Dunno. But after reading some of the concerns and observations here, I also sent a notice to the city complaint site, mentioning litter and needles. I would encourage folks to do the same. Maybe stop by Rob Johnson’s U-District office when they’re open (Fridays?) to point out W-ford neighborhood issues like this.April 25, 2017 at 4:18 pm #56735
I walked under I5 today on 40th and the camp was gone! The fence, however, is the same.April 25, 2017 at 4:29 pm #56736
Wait…what? I noticed that just as the city guys said, a cleanup operation took place around 4/20 (no symbolism there, I am sure). At that time, however, the fence right at the gate remained opened up and unrepaired. But sometime last week, it was closed in and resecured (I check it out regularly since I drive past it daily and have been stewing about the lack of attention for months!). Is there another opening at another location along the fence?April 26, 2017 at 11:32 am #56737
I think the complaints and proximity of the school actually made somebody take action.
I really wish we had a better lineup of mayoral candidates. We need a task focused pragmatist, not a developer proxy or a futile bike advocate.
But Murray is the worst.
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