Seattle Residential: I Do That: Our Seattle Pay it Forward Traffic Circle

Our Seattle Pay it Forward Traffic Circle

Our Pay It Forward Traffic Circle

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An old traffic circle gets new life.

In our Ravenna Park neighborhood there is an old traffic circle that is at the intersection of three streets: 17th Ave NE, NE 63rd Street and, NE Naomi Place in Seattle. This is a relatively large traffic circle for a residential neighborhood.

From what we can tell, the builders of the circle merely poured a cement curb in the center of the intersection and then added mounds of dirt over the existing cobble stones, cement pavement, and blacktop pavement. Over the years some trees were able to force roots through the pavement, but for the most part ivy carried the day, and the years, and it had eventually engulfed everything.

Naomi Traffic Circle work

A neighbor had the idea that we should pull the ivy and plant native plants, and we all agreed. Seattle actually has funds for neighborhood projects, but you have to earn them. So we get $10 for every hour of work donated by a resident. Our project limit is $10,000 and we are using the money to buy trees and native plants for planting and to rent equipment, when needed for the work at hand.

Time to plantLast fall we managed to uproot all of the ivy, and cover the area with bark and mulch. This summer we kept at the weeding and recently we rented a bobcat with a jack hammer attachment to break out the pavement where some larger trees are to be planted. A few days ago we had a planning party and the landscape design was talked about at length. Starting in November (Here in Seattle, November is a good time to plant as we have no need of watering for a several months.) we will begin planting the plants as they arrive.

We've been getting some good advice from the city as well as from a few knowledgeable gardeners who live in the area. It has been fun to get to know more of the neighbors and to pay it forward by making this small park in Ravenna Park a better place for years to come.

If you live in the area, please join us on this project. You can call me for more information. If you would like to live in Ravenna or Ravenna Park, you can call me for that, too.

There's no place like home.








Glenn Roberts



Comment balloon 11 commentsGlenn Roberts • October 25 2010 10:19AM


Glenn, Very nice project, and something everyone will enjoy as they drive by!

Posted by Liz and Bill Spear, RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton) (RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 about 10 years ago

Liz - It's a pretty quiet neighborhood, so there won't be a lot of drive by traffic, but we'll enjoy it.

Posted by Glenn Roberts (Retired) about 10 years ago

This is a great project Glenn............excellent way to "pay it forward" in your own community..........a beautification project that the residents will enjoy, why not..........great job.

Posted by Roger D. Mucci, Lets shake things up at your home today! (Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092) about 10 years ago

I love that the city donates towards the project that way. That is excellent, your neighborhood has a lot of cool stuff going on. Nice post

Posted by Gerry Michaels, GettysburgGerry Social Meida (Glasswork Media Arts) about 10 years ago

Roger - The city has provided funds for many projects at minimum cost to taxpayers as we have to give in order to get.

Gerry - One of our wishes when we bought this house 25 years ago was to be in a place where we could both improve out property and also work with neighbors to improve the neighborhood.

Posted by Glenn Roberts (Retired) about 10 years ago

Seems to be working well though.............

Posted by Roger D. Mucci, Lets shake things up at your home today! (Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092) about 10 years ago

What a difference it will make to the neighborhood!  It's important to maintain the "curb appeal" of the neighborhood in order to maintain the property values.

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) about 10 years ago

Glenn ~  This is really a wonderful program with great incentives and a step toward creating neighbors helping neighbors and their entire community.  What a wonderful project; thanks for sharing this information.

Posted by Tish Lloyd, Broker - Wilmington NC and Surrounding Beaches (BlueCoast Realty Corporation) about 10 years ago

Sharon - There was some nasty stuff hidden in the ivy, like cans and dog waste, and...well you know, so the new plantings with continued weeding will keep the little park nice.

Tish - Like most cities I see that there are budget cuts for next years "neighborhood sharing program," but we're well into to it and there are still funds there.

Posted by Glenn Roberts (Retired) about 10 years ago

Oh, wow, what a wonderful project and it is so WONDERFUL to see the entire community taking part to make that traffic circle beautiful again! 

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Posted by Leesa Finley, RED Properties - Raleigh NC Real Estate (RED Properties) about 10 years ago

Leesa - A few good souls around here and an active community website seem to keep things rolling.

Posted by Glenn Roberts (Retired) about 10 years ago