City Will Offer Small Businesses on 23rd Avenue $650,000 in Mitigation Money


When the surface of 23rd Ave was in horrible shape, people in the CD said it was because the City didn't care enough about the neighborhood to improve the road. Wealthier neighborhoods got all the road construction at their expense.

Now improvements are being made, but residents don't want them?

That's not the case at all. The issue isn't that residents and businesses are against the improvements per se, but rather that the scope of the project in its current iteration has gone beyond what they were given to reasonably expect. As the article clearly states the original intent was to do the upgrades incrementally in several phases over a number of months, which had it been implemented according to the original plan would have resulted in much less negative impact on adjacent businesses. But, because several phases have now been consolidated the impact is much more extreme: entire blocks along 23rd have been either shut down altogether or reduced to a single lane - literally making it a one-way street - and access to frontages and parking has been severely reduced. Most of these are small, mom-and-pop establishes working on razor-thin margins to begin with; in the current circumstances many are going to find it extremely difficult to stay in business for the duration of the upgrade project without some kind of subsidy from the City.
#1 - Seattleish blog has some good coverage of the issue if you care to check it out:…

In short, the project scope was escalated based on SDOT falling behind in the first phase of the project and combining the work of two project phases has resulted in certain parts of 23rd being almost completely unnavigable.

Businesses and residents of the CD should get a better choice than either 'infrastructure improvements that completely shutdown a business corridor' or nothing.

As someone who lives in the neighborhood - I applaud the businesses for organizing together and demanding mitigation funds, and I'm glad the city has responded (albeit very late).
I am sorry it too the Mayor so long, but commend him for changing his mind.
With the Financial and Racial make up of the CD changing, the new influx of voters might decide in a term or two that Sawant doesn't represent them and their majority interest. And vote her out. It will happen. It's just a matter of when.

Possibly, but consider that the 3rd District encompasses a very broad and diverse swath: From tony Montlake and Madison Park to the North (including that enclave of conservative Seattle, Broadmoor), Madrona, Capitol Hill, Eastgate & Lakeview, Leshi, First Hill, Lake Washington, all the way down to the northern part of Mount Baker. So, the CD represents only a portion, albeit a significant one, of what is already a fairly uppper-middle class, and, with notable exceptions, decidedly liberal demographic. And Sawant won with a comfortable 12% margin in a district that tends to have fairly high turnout compared to the rest of the City against an opponent not all that much farther to the right (and still very much on the left side) on the political spectrum, and despite a substantial amount of money thrown into unseating her by more conservative elements.

In short, it will take a decidedly large swing to the right to push her out, and I doubt even encroaching gentrification in the CD will tip the scales for quite a few election cycles.