A neighborhood group has denied involvement in placing fireworks on an active construction site.
The group, Save 35th Ave, is dedicated to stopping the construction of bike lanes on 35th Avenue in northeast Seattle.
“Certain individuals in City Hall recently attempted to blame us for this,” the group wrote in their most recent newsletter, citing the police blotter report about the fireworks. “We reject the repeated suggestion by the Mayor's Office or CM [Rob] Johnson that our coalition—comprised of 4,100 concerned taxpaying citizens, 50 small businesses, and four NE community councils—have had anything to do with reported illegality along 35th Ave. NE,” reads the newsletter. “We have not. We have denounced that behavior and urged our coalition to report any wrongdoing to law enforcement authorities.”
The passion there is palpable.
The group has also denied that they had anything to do with bike counters placed along 35th Ave that have been damaged several times. They were damaged so many times that SDOT chose not to replace them.
That’s all well and good, but how did we get here? When did quiet little Wedgwood (and Bryant and Ravenna) erupt like this? Let’s backtrack.
The war for the soul of Seattle has been going on in the north end this whole time. Right under our noses.
An arterial roadway in the Wedgwood neighborhood is being repaved by the Seattle Department of Transportation to allow for protected bike lanes. This is a part of the Seattle Bicycle Master Plan. It’s being funded by Levy to Move Seattle and will include curb and sidewalk refurbishment and bus stop improvements.
This construction project sounds great in theory. But, to some Wedgwood, Bryant, and Ravenna residents, these changes to their beloved 35th Avenue are devastating. They’ve assembled a coalition—a resistance, you could say—to fight back against the urbanists, the cyclists, City Council member Rob Johnson, and whoever will listen.
Enter: Save 35th Ave.
It’s literally the end of days for them, or so it seems from one of the videos on their tumblr page:
The full thing here:
The problem is that progress has to come with some sacrifices. The thing that these residents have to sacrifice? Parking. One side of the street will be closed off for parking, residents will only be allowed to park on the east side of the streets.
Some small businesses are worried that this will impede their businesses. “No one even bikes down that street”—hence the convenient continued destruction of the bike meters—and “paws off our parking” are common themes. What will they do without two sides of the street to park on?
Unfortunately for The Resistance, SDOT did their homework. A pre-project analysis of the area found that during the midday peak, only 40 percent of parking is utilized.
Regardless, Save 35th has garnered over 4,100 signatures on a petition, has sent out 1,400 letters to the mayor, and are continuing to fight against the changes to their street and their neighborhood.
Members from Save 35th Ave were unavailable for comment.