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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today, I went thru Rainier Ave about 1/2 mile to a mile North of Mt. Baker station (Central link light rail) I saw there was SO many graffati (spelling) Lot of even more run down buildings, lot of vegetation growing in anaboned buildings, etc. It looks almost like some big city ghetto area to me. Scary! I saw a brand new restaurant/club in a brand new building that was built about 2 years ago and now guess what? It looks awful with graffati all over it and all dirty and ulgy now, it's also out of business, too. Such a waste..... they even spray painted all over the signs at the entrance ramp to I-90 East. Wow, Seattle has changed a little bit this year. I don't remember seeing one of the worst ghetto areas since I lived in Washington state. The worst I've seen is in Oakland, CA area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, Dancer. I remember it wasn't that bad before, and it's gotten worse now. I guess we're drawing in lot of gangs from somewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Maybe the police is busy focusing on speeders, downtown area, etc. They probably forgot about Rainier Ave. south of I-90. My friend told me that it used to be lot of drug houses where QFC and the stores on top of QFC at Broadway and Pike area. I guess it's better in overall than it used to be in past but that area south of I-90 kind of bothers me. Ofc, there is no such thing as a perfect city. Seattle have all their flaws.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I did some work for the City of Seattle back in 1989 for the area along Rainier Ave just south of I-90, and if you ask me it's way better than it was back then. Though I don't know about the graffiti, per se.
I would say that graffiti activity has gotten worse, they're like everywhere.
 

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Graffitti might be getting worse and Rainier has a lot of decrepit lots, but the Rainier Valley has started to gentrify. You can buy an affordable house and still be tolerably close to town. Commercial development is significant. Not only that, but New Holly is redoing a big section along MLK.

Well, "start" is the wrong term. It's been going on for 10-15 years.

We lived just south of Rainier Beach when I was in the 3rd grade (actually shared a view rambler with another family for a year). Also have relatives who rehabbed a house in the 90s. For 10 years or so my parents have lived on the hilltop near Seward Park. I'm no expert but I see it from time to time.
 

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Roosevelt Slum Properties

Graffiti and blighted properties are a big problem in Seattle. I'm up in Roosevelt where we are famous for our one big slumlord: Hugh Sisley. Sisley owns a large bank of houses just south of Roosevelt high school that are notorious for less than savory tennants:
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/212435_gilbert17.html

And terrible living conditions:
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/316650_sisley22.html

Our former neighborhood assn president loves to tout that he was the one who inspired Mayor Nickels to raise the penalties for neglected properties after Nickels toured the area with the neglected properties owned by Sisley:
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2003642671_nuisance30m.html

But even beyond the squalid hell hole up by the high school, there are a number of other run down properties dispersered through what is otherwise a very nice neighborhood. I usually walk my dog on a 10 block loop that takes me by the corner of Cowan/Ravenna park, and I count about 9 to 10 properties that are in pretty rough shape (damaged and run down exteriors, overgrown and un-cared for lawns, etc.). The one that gets me the most is a big white house on the corner of 12th ave NE and NE 62nd street that looks like it was a very nice place at one point, but now looks like it's being re-absorbed into the lot (the scary party being, someone still lives there!). Most of these articles mention that Sisley owns 43 properties in the neighborhood, so maybe all of them are his...? One of the articles also mentions that the reason Sisley hasn't really done anything with the block is because he is fighting with the city to get the proper zoning to build a 10 story apartment building in an area dominated by mostly 2 and 3 story buildings (I live in a 6 story place, and just across the way is a 5 story place, and they both stand out prominantely along the street). I don't want a 10 storey tower along the street, but it does beg the question: What to do about it? Most people can't afford major renovations (at least the people who have to rent from a slumlord), new townhomes push the middle class out and rob the neighborhood of character, new apartment buildings are nice, but to make them profitable they have to be huge. So where to go from here?
 

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Journeyman
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New townhouses push the middle class out?! Exactly the opposite. Townhouses are the one and only way of supplying single-family housing for the middle class. Without them you get a San Francisco type (or Boulder-type) imbalance between supply and demand, with giant leaps in housing prices. Also, townhouses add vibrancy to neighborhoods that aren't dense enough.
 

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Well, I can't speak much to the OP's topic, of whether certain bad areas in Seattle have gotten better or worse, but I can say that having moved to Seattle after living for a few years both in L.A. and the outskirts of Detroit, I have yet to see a neighborhood anywhere in Seattle that compares to some of the scary places in either of those. Particularly Detroit has so many neighborhoods of burnt out and abandoned houses - it is pretty amazing actually.

That said, I have noticed that Seattle (actually the whole PacNW including Portland, Corvalis, and other areas in Oregon I have visited) seem to have a very high percentage of properties that are very poorly (or not at all) maintained. Even within pretty nice neighborhoods, middle-class+, it seems that all of these areas have at least a few houses that look like they are practically abandoned - weeds growing to knee height, paint peeling, exterior damage, missing shingles on the roofs, etc. I guess coming from the midwest originally, it just seems odd to find such poorly maintained properties, and so many of them, that are located outside of ghetto-type neighborhoods.

I am not sure what that is about the NW - I guess it just seems that there are a large percentage of people in the NW that do not have pride in ownership, or have no concept of maintaining a property or lawn.
 

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by the way, this is the only spot that I didn't like in Seattle, other than that the city it was really beautiful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Interesting posts there. I think that many people don't take care of their exterior of their houses is because they spent a great deal of money purchasing their houses and don't have much left to spend on upkeeping, that's my opinion. The grass grows tall because of all the wet winter we had so we get tons of vegetation spewing all over the place. Also, sometimes it's hard to mow the grass while the grass is wet because it rains time to time with no time to dry out.

I haven't been to the rotten areas of Detroit, Chicago, NYC, etc. (I've been to Michigan but not IN Detroit proper and been to NYC but not in the rough areas) So, I'm sure Seattle's ghetto areas aren't as bad as I thought. The ghetto areas in Seattle isn't as widespread, either. The worst eyesores are South Park, Rainier Ave south of I-90 nearby, some parts of MLK corridor, a few other areas, too.
 

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central district in my opinion is one of seattle's prettiest neighborhoods, with the exception of a few blocks, but crime wise it and rainier are the worst
 

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First of all, this is my very first post on SSC since I joined this forum over a year ago. For some unexplained reason, SSC servers kept refusing my attempts....big kudos go to James Bond Agent 007 for helping me on this issue. Thank you Bond!:banana:

The Seattle City Council does not view graffiti as a problem. Case in point, Mayor Nickels had proposed $500,000 in the last budget he sent to council for approval for a campaign to remove graffiti within 24 hours. The council axed the money so that they could spend more money on their own pet projects. Their reasoning was that graffiti was not a problem.

There is actually research that demonstrates the benefits of quick removal of graffiti that the council just refuses to accept because they pander to every anti-social behavior. Vandalism is not art when it violates someone else's property rights.

Maybe if ALL the council members were REQUIRED to live in the worst parts of Seattle that would quickly change but my guess is that they don't see much graffiti in Windemere or Innis Arden.

:bash: I really hate elitist Seattle politicians.
 

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Today, I went thru Rainier Ave about 1/2 mile to a mile North of Mt. Baker station (Central link light rail) I saw there was SO many graffati (spelling) Lot of even more run down buildings, lot of vegetation growing in anaboned buildings, etc. It looks almost like some big city ghetto area to me. Scary! I saw a brand new restaurant/club in a brand new building that was built about 2 years ago and now guess what? It looks awful with graffati all over it and all dirty and ulgy now, it's also out of business, too. Such a waste..... they even spray painted all over the signs at the entrance ramp to I-90 East. Wow, Seattle has changed a little bit this year. I don't remember seeing one of the worst ghetto areas since I lived in Washington state. The worst I've seen is in Oakland, CA area.
I grew up and live in the Rainier Valley and find that saying that the Rainier valley has gotten worse a far too general statement. Case in point: Columbia City. I grew up in this neighborhood and as a child recall walking down its main boulevard on rainier ave and with exception of a few cosmetic businesses, a bank, library and a convenient store, everything else was boarded up and graffited.
That same bouleverd today is alive with businesses that cater to a largely more middle class lifestyle: bookshop, coffeehouses, bakery, restaurants for brunch, and a very successful farmers market.

Furthermore, whole neighborhoods that were formely entirely low income-Rainier vista, Holly Park- have been converted into mix income, and some of them are quite expensive.
perhaps aesthetically some parts of the Rainier Valley or not so pleasing to the eye, but the Rainier Valley is jammed packed with diversity, affordable housing, and in the 23 years I have lived there I have only been involved in one physical atlercation and my family memebers none to date.

historically it has been largely working class, immigrant, low income, but the growth of the city has converted this place into a very diverse- racial/ethnically and econimcally- parte of the city, if not the most.

as far as the boarded up business near the mt baker station, which are few, and actually the only one I can think of is the kentucky fried chicken, are closed due to city projects such as light rail. parts of the neighborhood look a mess, due to the light right.
 

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The grammar that the user who started this post is horrible and for him or her to judge Ranier Valley by only recently seeing it is quite an ill-informed statement. Personally, I lived along Ranier Avenue and Othello at a very young age from around the mid 1980's to early 1990's, then I moved to Renton. However, my parents have still continued their family business in Ranier Beach and I have basically grown up watching it for the past 21 years. I must say that it is definitely in a better position than it was 10 or 20 years ago. With the soon addition of the Sound Transit Central Link light rail system and several housing developments on the horizon the area is experiencing a positive gentrification. In just about any city grafitti will be found in its low income area. In my opinion, the late 1980's was probably one of the worst eras for Ranier Beach considering the height of West Coast Hip Hop influence and streetgangs like the bloods and crips. So to simply say that the area is getting worse now because of some grafitti is ridiculous to me. If anything, it has been improving and will continue to improve in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The grammar that the user who started this post is horrible and for him or her to judge Ranier Valley by only recently seeing it is quite an ill-informed statement. Personally, I lived along Ranier Avenue and Othello at a very young age from around the mid 1980's to early 1990's, then I moved to Renton. However, my parents have still continued their family business in Ranier Beach and I have basically grown up watching it for the past 21 years. I must say that it is definitely in a better position than it was 10 or 20 years ago. With the soon addition of the Sound Transit Central Link light rail system and several housing developments on the horizon the area is experiencing a positive gentrification. In just about any city grafitti will be found in its low income area. In my opinion, the late 1980's was probably one of the worst eras for Ranier Beach considering the height of West Coast Hip Hop influence and streetgangs like the bloods and crips. So to simply say that the area is getting worse now because of some grafitti is ridiculous to me. If anything, it has been improving and will continue to improve in the future.
No offense, I don't like what you said to me. You cannot accuse people for the grammars. I'm going to report this to the moderator.
 
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