Utility poles in a row on S. Stevens St. Photo by Wendi.
The power lines and tall poles that have concerned neighbors in the vicinity of 12th and Stevens will be changed starting next week. City Light crews will install new utility poles along S. Stevens St., as well as replacing the 71-foot pole at 12th Ave. S. and S. Stevens with a 55-foot pole. Additionally, one circuit of power cables will be moved underground to reduce view impacts in the area.
The work will begin on June 13 and continue until September.
The changes are the culmination of two years of discussions between Beacon Hill residents and City Light after a new power circuit was added to the Hill to support Link Light Rail and expected future demand. When the large poles and new wires went in, neighbors in the area of 12th and Stevens found the views from their homes were affected. Neighbors also expressed concern about the impact of the poles and power lines on the nearby 12th Avenue S. Viewpoint park. Over 100 neighbors signed a petition asking that the poles be removed.
Previous posts about the poles/power lines are here:
We recently posted a couple of photos of the view from Beacon Hill in 1959 and today. Burr Cline (Cleveland High School class of ’47) contacted us with a similar photo taken in 1949, and this one’s in color! There are fascinating details in it — billboards, cars, buildings that still exist and buildings that don’t. The color is amazingly true for a 60 year old image.
Please click on this image to see the large version.
Thanks to Burr for sending us this wonderful view!
There is an Anime Club event at the Beacon Hill library on the second Tuesday of each month (that’s tonight!) from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The club is free and open to all, with no registration required. Each month there will be new anime episodes along with old favorites, and guests will also enjoy new manga comics and Japanese snacks.
The Beacon Hill Branch is located at 2821 Beacon Avenue South, a block south of Beacon Hill Station. There is a free parking lot behind the building. For more information, call the branch at 206-684-4711.
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Beacon Hill neighbor Willie Weir of Yellow Tent Adventures, along with his partner Kat Marriner, recently did a “week-long, fully-loaded bike trip within the city limits of Portland. We’re talking tent, stove, sleeping bags. No reservations. No hotels. An urban adventure at its frugal finest!” Willie will discuss the trip in a lecture, “Portland: An Urban Adventure,” tonight at 7:00 pm at REI, 222 Yale Avenue North. More information on Facebook (login required), or see the REI page. (The REI page has conflicting information about the event’s cost — it’s either free or $5.00.)
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Two nice shots of the downtown cityscape view from the PacMed/Amazon building were recently tweeted by MarkPrivett and lassielas.
Neighbors in the 12th and Stevens area have been protesting the new lines and poles since they appeared last summer. They are concerned about the impact of the poles and lines on views and property values for houses in the area, and the impact on the nearby 12th Avenue Viewpoint park. About the park, neighbor Judith Edwards tells us “The tall pole and power lines are your first visual impression… Though the power lines have a great visual effect on the 12th Ave/Stevens St. neighbors, their impact on the park, which is a Beacon Hill landmark, is more than disturbing.”
Over 100 neighbors have signed a petition asking that the poles be removed.
Neighbor Frederica Merrell recently sent a letter of complaint about the power lines to Seattle City Light Superintendent Jorge Carrasco, asking, among other things, “why didn’t they bring the power in from below and run the lines through the tunnel, putting them under the freeway instead of draping them in the open where they will face wind and weather?” and received the following response:
Thank you for your note about the electrical service upgrade in Beacon Hill.
Seattle City Light installed an additional set of power lines to provide service for Sound Transit’s light rail trains, electrified buses and growing energy needs in the Rainier valley. The utility spent about three years reviewing possible routes and designs to deliver this needed service upgrade. While we try to limit the impact of such projects on the surrounding neighborhoods, safety for residents and our workers, reliability of the electric supply, and cost are important considerations as well. Continue reading Neighbors protest power lines; City Light responds→
Severallocalmediaoutlets have picked up a story of some neighbors on the far-west edge of the hill whose views have become scarred due to taller power poles with thicker power lines, purportedly installed by Seattle City Light at the behest of Sound Transit to accommodate the power requirements of the light rail station.
Beacon Hill neighbor Roger Pence, who works with Sound Transit, said on the mailing list:
…these power lines have nothing to do with Sound Transit. We didn’t know they were going up either! This is a “betterment” project entirely the doing of Seattle City Light.
Later reports indicate that City Light upgraded the service to power trolley buses and in expectation of increased demand in Rainier Valley.
(Tangentially, I noticed the trucks on Stevens between 12th and 13th yesterday morning, and when I called City Light to inquire about them , I was told it they were performing sewer work. “TV sewer inspection.” Odd. Updating with links as they appear.)