June 6, 2002
To your Honor,
Thank you for returning to the Miller Park Neighborhood Association
meeting. During your campaign for Mayor you came to hear what
we thought were the issues facing Seattle and our neighborhood
At that meeting I asked a broad question about where is the City's
responsibility for basic services in a rapidly developing area.
This was brought down to a specific topic of traffic and all of
At that time you agreed that a neighborhood wide study and plan
was needed. Further you felt that such work was the City's basic
responsibility to its citizens and should not be conducted with
a Department of Neighborhoods grant. Since then we have met with
the Seattle Transportation director, Ms. Grace Crunican. At the
conclusion of that meeting she also agreed that an overall plan
for the area was needed and promised that we would have a traffic
planner assigned to our area. We have not yet received the name
of that planner and therefor have had no other meetings to discuss
the traffic issues.
You and now Ms. Crunican are well aware that there are major retailers
and some 600 new apartment units planned for the Madison/Miller
area. Those are the big developments of record. The Planning Department
also upgraded significant areas from L3 to L4. This means that
within a few short years we will have almost 2,000 new residents
in the Neighborhood. That does not take into account all their
friends and visitors plus the retail traffic which is primarily
non-residential. So it is easy to assume that several thousand
new people will be added to an already dense area on a daily basis.
It is easy to focus on such a big and concentrated area as Madison
street. But the traffic impacts are compounded by the fact that
we have within a few blocks a Park and Community Center with the
most active play field in Seattle. The Park block is also shared
with Meany Middle School with all of the bus and parental traffic.
School traffic issues are significantly increased on our Northern
boarder by Holy Names Academy and St. Joseph's School. Immediately
adjacent and North of the Park block is Country Doctor, providing
patient care. Churches exist at our North and South boarders.
The list could go on.
We demanded and got a pedestrian activated crosswalk on 20th and
Madison for our elderly and students. But still the speed and
volume on the other arterials of 19th and 23rd must be addressed.
There have been several severe accidents and near fatalities.
Where does the City's responsibility lie when its citizens identify
and warn the city, repeatedly, of a problem, no action is taken
and then there is a fatality?
Over the years, especially those in which the neighborhood planning
project was being implemented. There has been a chorus from the
Mayor's office and the City Council. Those neighborhoods that
were willing to take on the additional density that the city required
to grow and accommodate new residents would be rewarded for their
efforts. I believe that Miller Park has held up it's end of the
bargain. What about the City?
Some of these same issues were starting to be addressed in the
Miller Park Dreams Project, funded by the City in 1992. Traffic
issues have only grown more important over the years and will
be crucial to our future success. Miller Park residents have always
been willing to roll up our sleeves and do the work necessary
to accomplish our goals. We need the City as a willing partner
to improve not only our lives, but those of the entire City. We
want to insure the success of a new retail and residential core.
But not at the expense of the existing residents who have worked
hard and long to make their lives and neighborhood better.
Miller Park Neighborhood Association