Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Short takes

No Arboretum fix: The City has no plans to install a left-turn signal southbound on Lake Washington Boulevard E. at the intersection with E. Madison Street. As many of us know from personal experience, exiting the Arboretum becomes a bit more difficult in the afternoons (especially on Sundays) as traffic backs up behind motorists who are trying to turn left onto Madison. The question of fixing this problem was raised this week by a reader of the news site, and it was answered by Brian Kemper, the Seattle DOT’s manager of traffic signal operations.

The problem, according to Kemper, is that the left-turn lane itself is too short, and to make the lane longer would require taking additional land from the Park in order to widen the street. In the City’s official opinion, the fact that drivers may sometimes suffer a small delay is not a big price to pay for keeping the Park entrance as it is.

Sidewalk sale beings tomorrow: The Seattle Times' site,, has a brief article covering the details of Madison Park’s upcoming sidewalk sale. The story cites Lola McKee of Madison Park Hardware as the source for the estimate that this is the 29th year for the annual event. McKee receives her proper due as “unofficial matriarch of Madison Park.”

The beach is clean: King County’s regular weekly testing of the beach at Madison Park last week showed a return to normal levels of fecal coliforms. The decline was to a count of 47 from a high of 470 two weeks previously. Fecal coliforms are a group of intestinal bacteria that are routinely used as an indicator of sewage pollution in water, and as an indicator of the human health risk.

Correction: This is a first for my blog, but I have to admit to having publicized some false information in a past blog entry (Watchers in the park and other weird crimes). In fact, I may have even been a little bit sensationalist without cause. The Seattle Police report that the incident involving the guy who supposedly stabbed himself in front of a bunch of kids on Madison a few weeks ago did not happen. It is true, according to the Seattle Police, that a man was discovered bleeding from a chest wound by a bunch of kids, but he did not stab himself. His injuries, in fact, resulted from a botched home burglary when the man cut himself on the window he broke to gain entrance to a Madison Park house. He was arrested and treated. This is a good object lesson for me about using hearsay information on my blog, a newsgathering method not to be repeated.

1 comment:

  1. Wouldn't you know that SDOT would be more concerned about eastsiders and their ability to use the Arboretum as their own personal on-ramp during rush hour than they would be about Mad/Wash park residents and their ability to get home! That left turn lane going from Madison into the Arboretum is nothing but a short cut for people who made a decision to live on the eastside; let them sit on the freeway with the rest of the commuters who don't want to live in Seattle! The on ramp from the Arboretum to 520 should be closed from at least 4-7 pm every weekday. And give me a break about using park space for expanded turn lanes! Sure have seen a lot of kids playing soccer and people picnicking at the intersection of Madison and Lk Wa blvd lately and wouldn't want the University of Washington to lose any of their acres of "hands off" pristine urban environment! Otherwise there would be a bike path running through the Arboretum where it belongs!


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