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Week In Review Conundrum: Grow Seattle, Preserve Seattle

Bill Radke and Joni Balter prep for a live broadcast of Week In Review at the Northgate Community Center on Friday, June 26, 2015.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott
Bill Radke and Joni Balter prep for a live broadcast of Week In Review at the Northgate Community Center on Friday, June 26, 2015.

The city plans to make its neighborhoods denser AND keep them lovable. How? And: Is it wrong to expose a Seattle police ticket trap? How can our state government come unstuck? 

Bill Radke debates the week's news with former mayor Mike McGinn, former state GOP chair Chris Vance and Seattle Channel's Joni Balter.

They were joined by a live audience for the broadcast from the Northgate Community Center. It's part of KUOW's effort to get out into Seattle's new City Council districts. Here's what some in the audience had to say about life in District 5 -- North Seattle.

[asset-pullquotes[{"quote": "Sylvia Haven", "style": "wide"}]]I live about six blocks from here -- for 52 years. ... 

This is where my family settled. I've lived here since I was 12 and it just feels like my part of the city.

What's the biggest challenge facing North Seattle?

It seems that the planning has come in pieces, and quite a few people are unhappy with the way it's flowing. Transportation's probably one big issue. And affordable housing is the other.

What do you like best about the neighborhood?

It's getting to be very walkable. For the things that you need, you can almost find everything you need right within walking distance of right where I live.

[asset-images[{"caption": "Don Morgan, who lives in the Crown Hill/Greenwood area.", "fid": "118614", "style": "placed_wide", "uri": "public://201506/20150626-wir-live-morgan.jpg", "attribution": "Credit KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott"}]][asset-pullquotes[{"quote": "Don Morgan", "style": "wide"}]]What I like best about Greenwood now is it’s turning into its own neighborhood. For example, tomorrow, Saturday, is the Greenwood auto show and the street will absolutely be filled. And then they have the second Friday art walk and sometimes they even close off the street for that. … So it really sets a nice standard of neighborhood feeling.

What’s the biggest problem?

Petty crime. I don't think we have much violent crime but lots of petty crime. For, example I came on last night with a car had been broken on the street. … Traffic certainly is an issue now but that’s not unique to Greenwood.

And how about changes?

The biggest change is the addition of apartments of six or seven stories high -- I think that's the limit. And there's a lot of them in the area, particularly around the Fred Meyer store on Greenwood but everyplace else it’s coming in.

One of things I find amusing, is that I am technically in Crown Hill neighborhood. But it feels like Greenwood in that it’s a mixture of apartments and single-family homes. But now the Realtors are saying that I live in east Ballard because of the glamor of Ballard itself. We're not as bad as Ballard although I think the time will come.

[asset-images[{"caption": "", "fid": "118615", "style": "placed_wide", "uri": "public://201506/20150626-wir-live-mitchell-carpenter.jpg", "attribution": "Credit KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott"}]]

[asset-pullquotes[{"quote": "Bob Carpenter and Ann Mitchell", "style": "wide"}]]Carpenter lives off Sand Point Way north of Husky Stadium; Mitchell lives in Kenmore but is interested in Seattle issues.

What’s the biggest issue facing North Seattle?

Carpenter: I think in general traffic is horrible and we’re sort of making a little dent in terms of mass transit but we’re woefully behind any other major city. In terms of the North End, we badly need sidewalks.

Mitchell: I would agree with mass transit compared to other cities. You know we don't have any kind of good light rail that expands. We have a hodgepodge of a variety and different ways of getting around but they're not all easily interconnected.

For me to to and get around town Seattle, it requires two or three different buses, and there should be one seamless way that we can travel more easily. I'm also interested in finding out how dividing Seattle up into various districts and having representatives is going to play out. I think it could be a good idea. I just hope that the people on the City Council are going to be working cooperatively and not just out for their own district .

Biggest change?

Carpenter: Density and traffic.

Mitchell: The traffic has just become horrendous even in the middle of the week and the unpredictability of not knowing exactly how long it's going to take you to get from point A to Point B.

I would also like to make sure that the zoning for new construction is such that there's adequate parking for the new housing and condos apartments that are going up. I think they’re woefully underestimating the number of cars. since we don't have a way to get from one place to another, parking has become a major issue in downtown Seattle.

Year started with KUOW: 1985 – 1986, 1991 – 2004, 2012