Laurelhurst Community Club
Re: NE 65th Street Entrance Design
Dear Mr. Friedli:
The Laurelhurst Community Club appreciates the opportunity to comment on the proposed design for the NE 65th entrance to Sand Point/Magnuson Park. The design and conceptual planting plan look very good. We were glad to see that you eliminated the plaza concept and other components inconsistent with a park-like setting. We offer the following additional comments:
Pedestrian refuge island: The crossing area along Sand Point Way at 65th is extremely wide and poses a safety risk to pedestrians seeking to cross at this corner. We recommend that the design be modified to include the addition of a pedestrian refuge island and that you work in cooperation with SeaTran on this.
Accountability issues: At the public meeting on this project, we asked that you provide an accounting of the costs of the design and landscaping of this project. We are aware that $25,000 will be provided from the Cumulative Reserve Fund for design purposes. With regard to the plantings, we have been told that $10,000 will be provided from the ProParks Levy.
Parks staff mentioned that funds would come from the Environmental Stewardship section of the ProParks Levy, specifically the "landscape and athletic fields" item. At the October 24th Sand Point Community Communications Committee meeting, we were told that the Department has realized a $70,000 savings on this item and as a result $10,000 would be transferred to the NE 65th Street Entrance Design Project. We were also told us that the Department does not intend to go through the Parks Levy Oversight Committee for authorization of this reallocation.
The City Resolution explaining levy projects describes the "landscape and athletic fields" item as providing staffing in each Parks division for maintenance of athletic fields and planted areas. From this description, it appears that this item is meant only for maintenance items, not the purchase of plants and trees. Our reading of the ProParks Levy ordinance is that the Oversight Committee must make recommendations regarding reallocations and then the City Council must approve the reallocation by a 3/4 vote. All we are suggesting is that you following these procedures.
Sidewalk on the north side of 65th: The drawing on display at the public meeting noted phasing of the various improvements to the 65th Street entrance. Phase one included planting of shrubs on the north side of 65th. From the drawing, it looked as if the shrubs would replace the existing sidewalk. At the meeting, we were told that this sidewalk would remain, even though another sidewalk through the park entrance was planned for implementation at a later date. We would like to make sure that future drawings include retention of the existing sidewalk on the north side of 65th.
Bicycle path: We are concerned about the separation of the bicycle path from the roadway on the south side of 65th. We understand that the Seattle Transportation Department has signed off on the safety aspects of this proposal. We believe, however, that bicycle safety would be enhanced if the curbing along the south side of 65th was extended along the entire area beside the Radford Court Apartments prior to creation of the bicycle pathway. With curbing it would be less likely that bicyclists would veer out into traffic. With the current separation that has been proposed, drivers will have little awareness that bicyclists may shortcut across the shrubbery.
Thank you for considering the comments of the Laurelhurst Community Club. We look forward to hearing back from you about the $10,000 that will be used to purchase plants and trees for this project.
Jeannie Hale, President
Laurelhurst Community Club
3425 W Laurelhurst Drive NE
Seattle, Washington 98105
205-525-5135 / fax 206-525-9631
cc: Ken Bounds, Councilmember Nick Licata, Mayor Paul Schell