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Improving U District Safety and Cleanliness with the U District Partnership

Through investments in the U District Partnership (UDP), the University is improving safety and cleanliness in the U District. Some examples of the work that UDP does include:

  • Safety Ambassadors patrol the neighborhood seven days per week, providing assistance to visitors and improving security for small businesses. These ambassadors typically work in teams of two and spend their time getting to know the needs of business owners and residents. In addition, the University is paying for an additional ambassador to patrol outside the new U District Sound Transit light rail station Monday through Friday.


  • Complementing the ambassadors’ work, an Outreach Care Coordinator from REACH works with people experiencing homelessness and mental crisis in the U District. They have been successful in connecting these people with services and housing. Recently, they helped move 29 people off the street into Rosie’s Tiny Home Village located at 11th & 45th.


  • On January 28, UDP organized a walk with elected officials and City of Seattle staff to better understand the safety issues facing U District business owners and residents. This walk included Councilmembers Alex Pedersen and Sara Nelson, City Attorney Ann Davison, Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz, Deputy Mayor Kendee Yamaguchi and key staff from the Mayor’s Office. They learned first-hand about recent problems with graffiti, broken windows, theft and mental health crisis. UDP is following-up with the City to make sure these issues are addressed in a constructive and collaborative manner.


  • The UDP contracts to provide daily cleaning along the Ave and periodic cleaning throughout the U District. In 2021, they provided 7,995 hours of cleaning. This included the removal of 7,966 graffiti tags, 7,975 biohazards and 11,209 bags of trash. They also sweep leaves and shovel snow.


  • UDP recently began a Broken Window and Façade Improvement Program to assist business owners with damage to their building fronts. Unfortunately, a number of windows have been broken recently in the District. This program will offer assistance to these businesses to get their windows replaced and make other improvements to their building facades.


  • To make the U District more welcoming and dissuade graffiti, the UDP has also been painting murals throughout the neighborhood. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Neptune Theatre, UDP commissioned an art installation along the side of the alley off of NE 45th between the Ave and Brooklyn. It features a graphic trident, representation of waves, and colorful scales. The mural is the beginning of a larger effort to beautify U District alleys through public art.


  • In addition to physical improvements, the UDP is also planning several events to energize the neighborhood this year. This spring, businesses will celebrate the cherry blossoms by featuring cherry or cherry blossom-themed menu items, products. “Boba Fest” will celebrate the nearly 20 bubble tea restaurants in the University District on National Boba Day – Saturday, April 30, 2022. In May, the U District Street Fair will return after a two-year hiatus.