Will Mayor Mike McGinn Attend Our Community Meeting?

We forwarded the community meeting invitation to Mayor Mike McGinn. As one neighbor explained, “He ran on a platform of being close to the people of Seattle and environmentally responsible.” This Roadside Raingardens Pilot may seem like a small matter on the city docket, but it is a building block: In City Planning, we expect growth and function will be partnered with community comfort, safety, and beautification–and where that effort may seem tricky, this distinguishes a livable city from Leningrad. What the residents see in this Raingarden pilot is the City focused on function, but somewhere lost its creative edge and common sense.

I have looked at Raingardens in other parts of the country and Europe–still with the same functionality of cleaning up the environment, but also part of  long-term strategies that strive to retain the beauty of their community. These Raingardens have attractive landscaping, no glaring “caution” signs, and if there is any standing water, they are in large, open areas (such as parking lots, parks, or along beaches), not in neighborhoods.


I have also travelled to Agra, India. There was pooling water on sides of roads. Malaria pills were required. The government, instead of cleaning up the standing water, posted glaring “caution” signs (seen below), placing the responsibility back on the individual citizens not to get bitten by a mosquito, and in our case in Ballard, also to “keep children and animals from playing in the swales.”

Which will our city emulate? It’s not too late to fix these Raingardens, beautify them, make them safe, and then expand the project. It’s up to Mayor McGinn and Councilmember Mike O’Brien.


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2 responses to “Will Mayor Mike McGinn Attend Our Community Meeting?

  1. Steve

    There is no ‘fixing’ these rain gardens as it is the soil in our area which cannot absorb the water at a fast enough rate. It is a good idea but not in this ground type of area. I am all for rain barrels, cisterns from roof run off etc.. but these rain gardens do not work, the ten sign posts with the twenty signs on our street are horrible to see not to mention the amount of crucial parking that is gone. Do not waste any more money, put the curbs & parking strips back as they were.

  2. Sharon

    I am not so sure that they couldn’t be salvaged in some way but worry that that the city would rather just spend our tax money to expand this ill conceived project to other neighborhoods rather than identify and fix any of the real problems with this Ballard pilot. I haven’t been a supporter of this project from day one because of worries that it would harm our neighborhood. Turns out my fears were justified.

    But since the failure of the raingardens to look and function like raingardens is becoming increasingly obvious, I’d really like to try to salvage something positve from this situation. That can only happen if the city would stop denying the problems and work with us–and I mean REALLY work with us, not just manage us as a PR problem. They need to accept our input into what needs fixing and then fix the problem. Until that happens–call me a skeptic.

    Meanwhile, neighbors are talking and we have ideas. Will the city listen? Will Mayor McGinn attend? Will it ever stop raining so we can see the bottom of our newly established lakefront properties?

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