Mar 7, 2007

Care to update us on the state of our streets?

Club Chocolate City has now been closed for a week, and the very surprising changes on the street seem to be permanent. Everybody I've spoken with was very surprised by the speed and apparent permanence of the change.

However, nobody seems to know where the crowds who used to frequent that block of Madison have gone. I drove around last Saturday evening and saw no crowds, and none of the familiar faces, not even at Thompson's Point of View (where people feared they might go). I received a couple of reports of increased activity: one on 22nd Ave E. near Madison, one at 24th & Olive.

If you do notice increased activity in your area, please let me know: drug dealing, drug consumption, more littering, etc. The information will be useful both to law enforcement and to the social service agencies who are trying to reach out to "the people who hang out on the sidewalk".

You may send my your observations, via E-mail, via the MPNA report form, or [easiest] by a comment on this post (anonymously if you wish).

You might also be interested in the extensive discussions that resulted from last Sunday's post about the changes on Madison and in the Capitol Hill Times article on the changes.



merlin said...

I have lived in the neighborhood approaching 30 years and this corner has always been a gathering place day and night as long as I can remember. If people were coming for drugs and prostitution, rather than for alcohol, one would suppose those transactions were not confined to the bar (in fact many neighbors have mentioned being offered drugs on the street when passing that corner; I don't think they went inside the bar!). Doesn't the grocery store still offer alcohol? It seems likely to me that the "lengthy negotiations" between the bar owner and the police involved more than just the liquor license and that something has happened behind the scenes between the police and the various concerned property owners beyond just closing the bar. Is this way off base?

Andrew Taylor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrew Taylor said...

(via E-mail to Andrew from a neighbor who lives on 22nd Ave, just N. of Madison)
There is a notable increase in foot traffic back and forth and back and forth and under the trees (all 3 tree destination points, the one on 22 & John, the one on the East side of the street on the perimeter of the Elizabeth James parking lot and the vacant lot, and the one in front of a friend's condos) at all hours of the day and night, again, notable mostly during the day. I assume the closure of that stupid bar has simply driven a usually sedentary herd into some migratory pattern. In other words, instead of standing around, they are milling around the blocks. Of course, the change of weather historically also generally generates more foot traffic, but still...

There's increased traffic. Loitering, soliciting of illicit behaviour, and of course, the garden variety drug transactions. The interesting part mightbe in the soliciting, which in a couple of incidences, has been more blatant. Someone asked a longtime neighbor if he needed drugs. Ok, that rarely happens, the dealers don't generally solicit the known residents.

My rock and roll roommate and I
did our best to tell a newspaper reporter on what we generally encounter at the 3:00 AM hours, and by the same token discourage the notion that the area's been "Cleaned up", which, nope, hasn't happened. The problem never goes away, it just shifts. Or, paces around the block.

Vise won said...

I've seen increased milling and people actually now walking through our property (townhomes on 21st Ave E).

There are townhomes being built across the street from us and they have a port a potty set up outside the constructions site, which now is the site for port-a-potty specials, whether single male, female or a combination. I once saw one fermale with 3 males inside it with one female keeping watch - a cop rolled by and she just waved and the cop kept on rolling. Significant activity here day and night.

I also heard report so roving gangs of dealers going to E Union and back.

I was solicited by a guy this morning, as I was walking to work.

Littering has increased.

Assuming the problem has been solved due to closure of the bar can be safely classified as delusional thinking.


Andrew Taylor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrew Taylor said...

(from 21st Ave neighbor)

It is true that there has been activity in the portapotty, but that will eventually be gone (though I do wish they would lock it up -- I called 911 on it one time when I heard 3 people inside, and they acted like I was crazy for even calling). And otherwise, I think the street has been pretty quiet. There are still occasional roaming drug dealers, but the vast majority are gone I think. And Madison really seems to be quiet as a graveyard, even after a week or so now...

Vise won said...

Hi Andrew,

I'm sure you are the best judge of this; are the messages being removed becaseu they are offensive?

Thanks for clarifying.

Andrew Taylor said...

There are 2 deleted messages in this thread. The first was removed and reposted (as the next message) to tidy up the formatting!

The next deleted message was sent to me as an E-mail which I assumed was OK to post. I edited and posted it, and then [after contacting the author after the fact!] deleted it and posted his/her preferred shorter version. Sorry for the confusion; I'm new at this netiquette.


merlin said...

I just checked out the discussion in the Stranger's blog:

It includes links to information about the development which was approved for the site over a year ago, involving the entire block. Rumor has it that this project is now ready to start and that bulldozers will soon be rolling. Incidentally, public comment for this project ended June 23, 2004.

Andrew Taylor said...

Merlin: the redevelopment rumors on the Slog may be premature. Dean Falls has had a Master Use Permit to redevelop the site for several years. I've heard of many developers interested in the site, and at least one in active negotiations with Mr. Falls. However, according the the King County Assessor's website, the property is still owned by Dean Falls company (DEF Inc).

Thanks for being alert.

Anonymous said...

We've had more activity on 21st between Olive and Pine ever since they started building the townhomes -- I think people were handing out there afterhours. But there was also a deal going down this morning right at 21st and Olive -- not near the townhomes.

Vise won said...

Andrew, thanks for clarification; I'm new to this also and learning as I go.

Quite a bit of activity today as I was walking with my brood in the vicinity of CCC. Almost to the scale of what was there before.

I also called the cops on 3 people inside the portapotty and one was slow enough to get caught - not sure what happened to him.

Anonymous said...

Supervisor for the townhome project with the all-access portapotty is Kevin McNeill of Soleil Construction, telephone (206) 282-9270, cell phone (206) 683-9791. You may have to call them more than once, as they have not appeared to have either much regard for the neighbors, or much control over their subs working on the site (or both).

Anonymous said...

Still haven't seen any loiterers around CCC this weekend. Did see a couple of cars and what looked like people moving stuff out of the building (maybe Miss Helen's kitchen stuff) early this afternoon, but other than that, not a soul any time I've driven or walked by the place.

Andrew Taylor said...

(via E-mail)

Loving the new (non)scene on Madison these days! I could be imagining it, but I think there's been a reduction in drug-related walk-by traffic on our block (21st between Pine and Olive).

Andrew Taylor said...

(by E-mail) Yesterday, I spoke with the project manager, Evan McNeill. Mr. McNeill seemed to be very sympathetic to the situation. He told me that he has placed 3 locks on the "Honey Bucket" port-a-potty recently. However, sub-contractors often forget to lock them before leaving the site. The lock will often be found the next morning inside the Honey Bucket's waste area.

In any event, McNeill said that they would be placing the Honey Bucket inside the fenced area. The fencing however, still continues to be defeated on occassion, with transients often breaking into the unfinished homes and staying inside. McNeill said that the home's exterior should be completed within in the next week. Hopefully, this will stop the illegal transient activities on the site. McNeill's company has been a victim in this matter as well.

Please feel free to relay this information to any concerned neighbors and let me know if I could be of future assistance.

Ofc. Tyrone Davis #6633
Seattle Police Department
East Precinct Community Police Team
1519 12th Ave.
Seattle, WA 98122
wk: (206) 684-4373

dave said...

It seems that some posts here have been referring to two different projects, and there may be some confusion. Just to clarify, there are 8 "cottages" being built on 21st Ave between Pine and Olive. There is a port-a-potty associated with this project and there's been plenty of drug and other activity occuring inside said port-a-potty, but that has decreased since CCC closed. I take it there's a separate townhome project to the north of Madison on 21st Ave E? There must be, cuz we don't have a fence around the cottage project. Incidentally, we're quite pleased overall with the cottage project (we live across the street). The developer, Soleil, has paid for improvements to the house next door (on the NW corner of 21st/Pine) -- obviously to make his cottages more marketable. But the new siding, roof, and soon-to-come retaining wall and fence have really made that house quite nice looking and has definitely brought up everyone's property values.

brian glanz said...

quick note to the question of where some of the usual suspects seem to have gone: my wife and i have both since seen some of those recently absent from their usual haunts in our neighborhood. all have been downtown, except for one they were just above the market area and roughly as far up as 3rd ave. as for the exception slightly outside this area, we saw the woman who previously assaulted us at the 20th/madison, number 11 bus stop. she was in westlake park, as we were at the time, before she went from there to the same few blocks below. BG

Vise won said...

Andrew, thanks for your help with the portapotty on 21st Ave E. It's now inside the property and the related activity has gone down.

Even in the heyday, this crowd used to take the #11 to get downtown and hang there. Sorry to hear one of us faced an assault. Hopefully those days are behind us now.

I like the Bottlenect quite a bit. SOme of us visited there a few days back and had a great time. the Batender is willing to experiment with cocktails, if you're into that.


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