The University begins a new academic year on September 28 and welcomes more than 7,200 new students to campus this year, one of the biggest incoming classes in UW history.
In addition to and related to the start of the academic year:
Happy autumn and Go Dawgs!
Through investments in the U District Partnership (UDP), the University is helping improve the safety and cleanliness of the University District. Recent examples of the UDP’s work include:
- Ambassador Program: The UDP contracts with a private security firm to provide a mixture of security presence, visitor assistance and social service referrals along the Ave. Ambassadors patrol the Ave and area around Light Rail seven days per week. They also work closely with UDP’s REACH social worker to coordinate help for unhoused people in the area.
- Neighbors with Multiple Needs: In partnership with the Mayor’s Office, City Attorney, Public Defender’s Association, REACH, LEAD and others, the UDP is creating “care plans” for unhoused neighbors to connect them with services needed to stabilize their lives. These could include help with daily medications, housing or other social services depending on their needs.
- Cherry Blossom Festival: The UDP organized 34 businesses to offer cherry-related food and drink specials to celebrate the blossoms. The UW supported this with web links and signage directing people to businesses on the Ave. More than 20,000 people visited the festival website, and 800 people scanned the QR Code on signs in the Quad. Several local businesses reported dramatic sales increases – one reporting a 700% increase in one day. Other businesses sold out of food or had lines of people before they even opened.
- Tree Lighting: The UDP added year-round tree lighting along the Ave and 43rd to create a safer and more welcoming environment at night. The new lights have changed the atmosphere of the area and contribute to a sense of revitalization. The UDP is planning to expand the lights to 45th and up the Ave.
- Broken Windows Fund: A broken window can be very expensive to replace and merchants in the U District have struggled to fix them. The UDP recently created a fund to grant up to $1,000 for window replacement and façade repair. They are also connecting businesses with contractors who can do the work quickly and reliably.
- Street Fair 2022: After a two-year pause for the pandemic, this popular festival along the Ave returns on May 21-22. The UDP will place special emphasis this year on creating opportunities for restaurants and merchants from the Ave to have a presence at the fair.
The UW announced it will offer instructors the flexibility to choose to how to hold their classes—virtually or in person—through January 28 to help manage disruptions caused by the spread of the Omicron variant. View the announcement by President Cauce and Provost Richards to learn more.
The need for greater access to mental health is a recurring theme in our community. With the recent groundbreaking of the Behavioral Health Teaching Facility located at University of Washington Medical Center-Northwest, our region is one step closer to having more resources to meet this need.
Anticipated to open in late 2023, the building will care for patients in a noninstitutional setting and train the next generation of behavioral health providers. To learn how this facility will serve both the patient and provider communities and the efforts leading up to the groundbreaking, see the coverage by UW Medicine and the Seattle Times.
The upcoming closure of the Montlake Bridge in Seattle from August 9 to September 3 will cause traffic delays in the surrounding area. The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) will be making repairs to the bridge. Please plan ahead by allowing additional travel time for traffic and detours. A second phase involves closing the bridge during specific weekends in the fall.
When the bridge is closed, traffic will be rerouted to SR 520 and I-5. UW Medical Center locations will remain open as usual. For detailed directions to UW Medical Center locations, parking info and more about the bridge closure, view this helpful resource from UW Medical Center.
The bridge will be closed to all vehicles and public transit, though first responder vehicles will have access to cross the bridge. The bridge’s sidewalks will remain open for pedestrians and cyclists.
The bridge will be closed on select weekends to all vehicular traffic as well as pedestrians and cyclists. During this second phase, the bridge will remain in the raised position. Closure dates in the fall are still being determined but will avoid Husky Football weekends.
To learn more about the Montlake Bridge repair and closures, see WSDOT’s project home page or view this post from UW Transportation Services.