What We Learned From Your 2013 Priorities

At the end of 2012, we asked you a couple questions: What are your priorities for 2013 and what was your favorite Wedgwood event of 2012? The poll, which was open for over a month, gave us some great direction and reaffirmed much of the work that the trustees have been working towards throughout 2012 and earlier.

According to the poll, the top three priorities for Wedgwoodians are:

  1. Land use planning (design guidelines, 35th Ave NE zoning, streetscape),
  2. Pedestrian improvements (sidewalks, crosswalks, pedestrian overlay zone), and
  3. Public safety (police presence, block watch, emergency preparedness)

Land Use Planning

As you may know, the WCC has a land use committee that was formed out of the Wedgwood Vision Plan steering committee.  While this committee hasn’t been meeting regularly in recent months, there are several things that will see this change in the very near future.  First, the results of this poll confirm that the community values the land use planning activities that it has been working towards.  Second, and perhaps more importantly logistically, is that we are fortunate to have a new trustee who is excited to chair the committee!  If you’re interested in being part of the Wedgwood Land Use Committee, please email » us and let us know!

Based on the comments we received, there are many people in the community who are concerned about the proposed new school on the Thornton Creek Elementary School site.  While we share the concerns of the project, especially the loss of the playfields, we have also tried to explain our position on the proposed school (see the bottom of this post).  Should the BEX IV levy succeed and the Thornton Creek Elementary School site is chosen for the new school, we intend to work with the School District to make sure the community is part of the design process.

Pedestrian Improvements

The single most surprising thing for me to learn before working on pedestrian improvements was just how expensive they are.  It is very expensive for the City to design and construct many of the improvements that we hear about (e.g., more sidewalks) for a variety of issues.  However, there are some simpler forms of improvements that may have a great positive impact at a low cost.  In 2012, we worked towards large projects which will result several blocks of new sidewalks as well as smaller projects, such as a new crosswalk at 35th Ave NE and NE 80th Street.  The poll results again reaffirms our work on these improvements and will encourage us to continue seeking pedestrian improvements, both large and small, as we move forward.  If you have specific blocks, intersections, or forms of improvement that you suggest we work on, please let us know.  Better yet, get involved and help us out!  The more the merrier!

Public Safety

In 2012, we saw a rash of armed burglaries at 3 of our banks.  This level of crime is unusual for our neighborhood and it reminds us that we need to keep our ears and eyes open for any suspicious activity.  We also began the process of revamping our Wedgwood Block Watch and transition from our old email system to a new Wedgwood Block Watch Google Group.  2012 also saw us partnering with Sustainable NE Seattle to secure a grant for emergency preparedness.  The purpose of the grant was to help our NE Seattle residents prepare for emergencies, learn to respond as a community in such an event, and establish our Wedgwood Emergency HUB located at the Hunter Farm Gathering Place.  There is an upcoming emergency preparedness training on Wednesday, January 30th at Wedgwood Presbyterian Church, from 7-9 PM.

Other Priorities

We know there are other priorities for Wedgwoodians as well as land use planning, pedestrian improvements, and public safety.  We’re continuing to work on increasing public open space, including the park acquisition process (which is going slower than we hoped) and funding a trail system through the Inverness Ravine Park.

What do you think of these rankings?  Share your thoughts in the Comment Section below.

The WCC is an all volunteer council that advocates on behalf of the Wedgwood neighborhood.  We aren’t nearly as successful without your involvement and your donations (or membership dues!).  We would love to talk with anyone in Wedgwood who would like to become involved and serve as a WCC trustee? Please email » Per Johnson or email » to discuss further.

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