COMMUNITY CORNER | December 2014

COMMUNITY CORNER | December 2014

COMMUNITY CORNER | December 2014


The Leschi Community Council is hosting a holiday open house on Wednesday, Dec. 3, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Central Area Senior Center (500 30th Ave. S.). Nibble on appetizers, sip a festive drink and enjoy a concert by The Bach Street Boys, a quartet of Garfield seniors and one graduate. 

— Diane Snell, co-president

Madison Park

Some people really bring an extraordinary degree of life and color to their communities — Art Messer did this to Madison Park, literally as well as figuratively. His bright paintings were always on display somewhere in the Park. It is with deep regret that we report his passing, from leukemia, in mid-November. His rendition of the storefronts in Madison Park continues to grace the masthead of the Madison Park Business Association. It’s a very nice reminder of his colorful presence.

Unfortunate changes are afoot in the physical environment of the Park. This last month saw the emplacement of the main anchor blocks and above-water structures for supports for the state Route 520 bridge over the western ship channel. Neighbors in the northeast corner of Madison Park are both surprised and upset that the ship-channel location has been revised to bring it the full width of the channel closer to the Edgewater condominiums. 

To the north of the Park, pre-construction activity for the dramatic widening of the SR 520 bridge has been very visible with the clear-cutting of a very wide swath of trees on the north end of Foster Island and continuing on into Montlake, where the on-ramp from Madison Park to SR 520 heading west — a ramp never allowed to be used by us — has been mostly removed.

On a more entertaining note, the Madison Park Community Council’s (MPCC) Extraordinary Neighbors program — held mid-month on a Wednesday evening at Park Shore Retirement Community — continued on Nov. 12, with a visit by our neighbor Tom Skerritt. He gave about 100 of us a humorous account of his transition from a pre-programmed life in Detroit, where he was born and raised, to movie-directors’ school in Los Angeles and then, almost accidentally, into acting. Thanks to Gene Brandzel for arranging for Skerritt’s appearance.

The council’s ongoing efforts to establish certain greenways in the neighborhood continue apace. A joint meeting took place with the Greater Madison Valley Community Council. We are working with the Seattle Department of Transportation under the auspices of a $90,000 grant award to eventually improve the six-way intersection of 37th, Madison and McGilvra Boulevard East for pedestrian and bicycle safety and especially to permit safer crossing of East Madison for the children heading to and from McGilvra Elementary School.

The official results of a traffic-calming experiment on Dorffel Drive, initiated by MPCC, have just been released but not yet studied by the council with any view to further action. Certainly, the number of speeding incidents having been cut from 1,040 to 67 in one month is most remarkable.

Don’t forget to show up for the arrival of the Christmas Ships on Dec. 20. There will be a bonfire on the beach, and a jazz-band will play in the Bathhouse starting at 3:30 p.m, where free hot drinks and nibbles will also be provided. 

— Maurice Cooper, president

Madison Valley

At the Greater Madison Valley Community Council meeting on Nov. 19, holiday lights were discussed: $3,600 of the $12,000 cost has been raised so far. Please consider a donation to help support this beautiful holiday tradition; see our website ( to donate

The council received three grants for 2015: to support our webmaster, support for Bastille Day and a project manager for the Triangle Project (which needs matching volunteer hours for fundraising.

The tree in the crossing at East Madison Street and Martin Luther King (MLK) Jr. Way East is to be removed; the project is on hold.

The A-board signs are being used illegally, proliferating, competitive and unsightly. We would like to pressure the Seattle Department of Transportation to enforce the rules for the boards.

Telephone-pole signs — please take them down.

The parklet at Zander-Harbour Pointe Coffee has permits and plans but fundraising is problematic.

For the Dorffel Drive study, see the report online (

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways plans to connect Madison Park, Madison Valley and Montlake neighborhoods.

The Sip and Dine group will be at The Harvest Vine in February.

Projects for 2015 include the Triangle, the Luc crossing, the sidewalk in front of Viola (tree roots causing buckling and crumbling), a Sparks grant for a community event, spring cleanup and reducing speed limit between MLK Jr. Way and Lake Washington Boulevard to 25mpg.

The new meeting schedule 2015: quarterly meetings for the officers and an annual community meeting.

Visit us at

— Catherine Nunnelly, secretary


The first order of Madrona Community Council (MCC) business drew many neighbors. Bob Edmiston and Bob Minnott from Madison Park described a recent traffic revision study on Dorffel Drive between Madrona Drive and The Bush School. This was a six-week trial to monitor volume and speed along the route via placement of temporary barricades. Video recordings showed how drivers responded to the change; the barricades were repeatedly vandalized during the study. 

Edmiston reported that some information was yet to be tallied, but study designers were not happy with the proposed reconfiguration and are not likely to recommend moving forward with it as a long-term solution.

The second order of business was the planned development at MLK Jr. Way and Union Street. The present plan’s master-use permit application requests 41 residential units and commercial space at-grade for a four-story building with 27 parking spaces and mixed-use space below-grade. Most of the residential units will be studios with larger units on upper floors. 

A Madrona resident expressed concern for safety and traffic speed heading east on Union and requested that a traffic study be commissioned, with hope that a left-turn lane might be added at the MLK and Union intersection. Another worried about water flowing below-grade, but soils engineer Rob Ward said that the proposed new building will not go deep enough to affect existing water flow, and developers are required to collect water during a major storm. 

A Nov. design review meeting will follow, and if approved, the plan is to begin construction in March 2015; it will take about a year to complete the project.

MCC decided not to sell holiday wreaths in 2014. 

Also discussed was possible revival of the neighborhood barbecue and co-sponsorship opportunities.

— Reprinted with permission from MCC’s Madrona News