The Reader – Seattle Gun Free Zone Program
From the Office of Mayor Mike McGinn
News, Updates, and Information
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FRIDAY, AUGUST 23, 2013
Washington CeaseFire Launches Seattle Gun Free Zone Program
Washington CeaseFire, joined by Mayor McGinn, announced the launch of a new program designed to help local businesses become “Gun Free Zones.” Businesses can opt into the program by visiting washingtonceasefire.org, signing the pledge to participate, and placing a “Gun Free Zone” decal in their window.
“We’re making a statement as a community” said Washington CeaseFire Board President Ralph Fascitelli. “We know this won’t stop someone determined to cause violence, but we hope that standing together and giving businesses a tool to say no to guns will change the conversation around gun violence. Maybe our message will even make it to Olympia – we need better tools now to stop gun violence in our community.”
Gun violence claims more than 31,000 lives every year in our country. In King County alone, more people die every year from gun violence than from motor vehicle collisions. This violence takes an enormous emotional and financial toll on victims and their families. Between 2007 and 2011, the estimated annual cost of firearms deaths and hospitalizations in King County was $177 million.
“We are here to support businesses that do not wish to have guns on their premises” said McGinn. “The police department regularly enforces trespass laws when a visitor to a business violates that business’s rules. We will continue to do so, and I thank these businesses for standing up for the safety of their customers.”
Update on Center City Initiative
The Mayor’s Office and the Evans School have convened a series of meetings under the rubric of the Center City Initiative, going back to last November, that have included a wide spectrum of downtown stakeholders. The purpose of these meetings has been to have open and frank conversations about how to improve public safety downtown and to effectively address needs of people in crisis living downtown. CCI is a groundbreaking collaboration among neighborhood leaders, business leaders, social service providers and civil rights advocates, all of whom agree that public safety & public order are priorities that can best be achieved by coordinating law enforcement efforts with targeted human services investment in a way that is smarter, more comprehensive, more strategic and more effective than past approaches.
These conversations have advanced several important policy and operational changes: Park Rangers, Police Enforcement, LEAD Expansion, Multi-Disciplinary Team, and Failure to Respond.
Read the details of these changes here.
Mayor proclaims “Rave Green Sunday” in honor of Sounders sold-out match
As the Seattle Sounders FC prepare for Sunday’s Cascadia Cup match against the Portland Timbers, Mayor McGinn has proclaimed Sunday, August 25 “Rave Green Sunday.” An estimated 66,500 people are expected to attend the nationally televised match Sunday evening.
Improving residential streets in Crown Hill, Greenwood and Wedgwood
To enhance residential roadway conditions, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has completed chip sealing approximately 33 lane-miles of streets in the Crown Hill and Greenwood neighborhoods. This is in addition to the 12 lane-miles of residential roads in Wedgwood SDOT recently improved via a new process called microsurfacing.
Chip sealing is a cost-effective preventive maintenance measure that has been used in Seattle and other cities for many years to keep streets in good condition. Last undertaken in 2009, Seattle’s chip seal program was suspended due to the economic downturn and resulting budget crunch. Our 2013 budget allocated $1,450,000 to allow SDOT to resume this work and maintain a significant number of neighborhood streets.
These streets have a long history of chip sealing. Starting in 1967 the City used chip sealing to convert dirt and gravel streets in this area to paved streets. Approximately 25 percent of Seattle’s non-arterial streets have chip sealed surfaces. The process preserves the street by creating a skid-resistant surface that prevents water from penetrating the roadway subsurface, limiting deterioration and pothole formation.
An Update on the Economic Impacts of Coal Trains
Last year the Department of Transportation worked with engineers at Parametrix to understand how Seattle traffic would be impacted by the proposal to expand coal train operations in the region. The findings indicated that running as many as 18 coal trains per day through Seattle, each over a mile long, would significantly increase delays along the waterfront and in SODO. Railroad crossings would be blocked an additional one to three hours each day. More coal trains would separate our waterfront from the rest of the City, damaging valuable industrial, maritime, and tourism businesses that require access to and from the waterfront in order to perform their work.
These traffic and safety impacts raised a logical question: How would more coal trains impact our economy? Earlier this year, I asked the Office of Economic Development (OED) to commission a study on the economic impacts of coal trains in the City, with particular focus on waterfront and industrial businesses. OED contracted with Community Attributes, a local firm specializing in economic analysis, to perform this analysis.
The Community Attributes report highlights a number of significant and concerning impacts to the Seattle’s residents and businesses – businesses that are critical to maintaining our diverse economy.
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