Sunday, September 27, 2009

Redmond Traffic Cameras and Traffic Maps

You can now view all 16 Redmond traffic cameras from the City of Redmond's Traffic Cameras Web page. The traffic camera images are updated every 60 seconds. Here’s the current view from the traffic camera at the intersection of Redmond Way and Avondale Way:

Redmond Traffic Camera

The Redmond traffic cameras are mounted at key entrances to the city, as well as in the core downtown area:

Redmond Traffic Cameras

Redmond Traffic Maps
You can also view traffic flow for major arterial roads in Redmond by using Google Maps, which uses a red-yellow-green color scheme to show traffic flow. The traffic flow map below shows the intersection of 520 and Redmond Way:

Google Maps: Redmond Traffic Flow

You can also show a prediction of traffic flow for a particular day of the week and hour of the day. Click the change link in the upper right panel of the Google traffic map:

Google Maps: Displaying Traffic Flow Prediction

The panel allows you to display the predicted traffic flow based on day of the week and hour of the day:

Google Maps: Setting Traffic Flow Prediction

Here’s the predicted traffic flow for Mondays at 6:00pm. As you might expect, it’s slow going at the end of 520:

Google Maps: Redmond Traffic Flow Prediction

Other Traffic Cameras
You find other traffic cameras in Washington State at:

King County
Seattle Area
Snoqualmie Pass
Washington State Ferries

Redmond Library Board

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Interurban Trail: A Ride Along the Rails

Interurban Trail sign The Interurban Trail is a paved 14-mile recreational trail linking Tukwila, Kent, Auburn, Algona, and Pacific. When completed, the trail will extend south through Pacific, across the county line into Sumner and Puyallup where it will connect with the Pierce County Foothills Trail and the planned Edgewood/Milton Interurban Trail.

The following map section shows the portion of the Interurban Trail between Kent and Auburn. You can find trail maps on King County's new interactive Bike Map, or the new Mobile Bike Map (updated May 2012). For info on King County trails, see Regional Trails in King County.

Interurban Trail map section

The Interurban Trail passes through a variety of industrial landscapes, such as this old cement plant in Tukwila:

Interurban Trail industrial landscape The Interurban Trail is popular with bicycling teams, who use this very straight trail for training rides.

Interurban Trail bicyclistsThe trail occupies an abandoned Puget Sound Electric Railway corridor. However, the BNSF rail line next to it is very much in use, and you’ll pass hundreds of freight cars.

Interurban Trail: freight car

Interurban Trail: railroad warning sign In fact, along certain sections of the Interurban Trail you’ll have to be careful, as railroad tracks cut across the trail. Fortunately, these sections are well marked with warning signs about remote controlled locomotives!

Green River Trail Intersection
When you cross the Green River bridge at South 260th Street in Kent, you’ll find that the Interurban Trail intersects with the Green River Trail — another great trail to ride.

Interurban Trail: bridge over the Green River

Other Blog Postings on Trails
Here’s a list of other Redmond Library blog postings on regional trails:
Marymoor Connector Trail Partly Open
The Tolt Pipeline Trail
Snohomish County Bike Trails: Centennial Trail
King County Bike Trails: Sammamish River Trail
King County Bike Trail Maps

Redmond Library Board

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Books for Cooks

The King County Library Foundation has recently (well, March) published Literary Feast: The Famous Authors Cookbook.  Along with almost 100 recipes ranging from drinks to desserts, the cookbook offers author profiles and stories to accompany their recipes.

Authors as diverse as Nancy Pearl, Stephanie Kallos, Phil Hellmuth, Rick Steves, and Dale Chihuly offer their favorite food ideas! Many of the featured authors also have Pacific Northwest connections.

The top three recipes I can't wait to try (in no order):

Proceeds from the cookbook benefit lifelong learning and literacy programs offered by the Foundation in libraries and communities. For more information, please visit the King County Library Foundation's website.

I found my copy buried in the books at the Kirkland Costco (and I also purchased another as a perfect "Thank You" gift for a fellow avid reader and kitchen adventurer).  The book is also available online at


Friday, September 11, 2009

Construction of the New Lake Hills Library is Underway

Construction of the new 10,000 square foot Lake Hills Library is underway in Bellevue. The $4 million library will be located in the southeast corner of the redeveloped Lake Hills Shopping Center, and is expected to be completed by the summer of 2010.

Update: The new Lake Hills Library is due to open September 11, 2010. See The Lake Hills Library: Version 2.0 for more info.

The cost of the shell of the new library will be covered by the developer and the cost of the interior will be handled by KCLS.

Lake Hills Library exterior

The new library will include books, materials, computers, space for children and teens and a community meeting room. The current library at 15228 Lake Hills Blvd will remain open until construction of the new library is complete.

Lake Hills Library interior diagram

You can watch the construction of the Lake Hills Library by visiting the KCLS Photos of Construction Web page.

Lake Hills Library construction

Lake Hills Shopping Center
The redevelopment of the Lake Hills Shopping Center will encompass 69,200 square feet of retail space, approximately 44,800 square feet of office space and 90 residential units on the 6.7-acre site. The demolishing of the existing five buildings that make up the current shopping center will make way for 14 new ones. Roughly 600 parking spaces will be made available.

Lake Hills Shopping Center sketch

Phase one is slated to be complete in spring of 2010. If tenant relocation goes smoothly, phase two of the project is estimated to be finished in late summer of 2011.

Redmond Library Board

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

2009 Summer Reading Program is a Hit!

The King County Library System's 2009 Summer Reading Program has ended, and what a success it has been!

Have YOU ever worn a book as a hat?Throughout the KCLS member libraries, 43,549 pre-school through elementary-aged children signed up. Of those, 2891 were from Redmond. Children who completed 1000 minutes of reading time will receive a certificate of achievement, a coupon for a mini-pizza, and an art supplies kit. In addition, they were eligible for a drawing to win a laptop computer!

During the summer, each library offered a variety of children's programs. In the video below, master magician Jeff Evans amazes the kids at the Redmond Library with his magic show "The Creative Conjuror":

Teen Reading Programs
Teens have been participating in their own Summer Reading Program events, Read 3 Get One Free and Read.Flip.Win, a video book review contest. The grand prize winner’s video is based on The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde:

Redmond Library Board

Friday, September 4, 2009

A Library with no Books?

My husband and I are planning a road trip towards the end of this month that will wind from Chicago to Cleveland, on to Philadelphia, and through all the states in New England.  As we've been chatting with people more familiar with those areas on what we should see and do, the Haskell Free Library and Opera House was mentioned.

Reading Room with International BoundaryBuilt between 1904-05, this unique institution straddles the U.S. and Canadian border between Derby Line, VT and Stanstead, QC.  A thick black line runs through the opera house and reading room of the library to denote which country you are visiting.  The book collection and opera stage are in Canada, the front door and much of the opera seating is in the U.S. Therefore, the U.S. library technically contains no books!

Both Americans and Canadians sit on the Board of Trustees. As expected, the book collection features both English and French. And imagine having to go through customs to see a show: the opera house website parking instruction reads "Visitors from Canada must park on the Canadian side or report to U.S. Customs." 


Right now, the library is about 4 hours round-trip out of our current route. . .but we might decide to take a jaunt farther north.  If not, I'll be thinking of it as we motor and hike our way through Vermont!


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Columbia Branch Library: Small is Beautiful

The Columbia Branch is one of the smallest libraries in the Seattle Public Library. Located in Columbia City, the 6,825 square foot library was built in 1915 in the Georgian Revival style of architecture. The library was constructed with funds donated by the philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.

Columbia Branch: Seattle Public Library

In 2004, the Columbia Branch was expanded to twice its original size. The new portion of the building extends from the back of the original structure, maintaining the building’s original street presence.

Columbia Branch Library entrance

The renovated Columbia Branch serves the neighborhood’s multicultural community with materials in Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese, Somali, Oromo, Amharic, Tigrinya, and Tagalog, as well as many materials designed to help people learning English as a second language.

Columbia City Library clock

Large fan windows flood the high-ceilinged rooms with plenty of light.

Columbia City Library windows

Getting to Columbia City
Columbia City Columbia City is easy to get via Sound Transit Light Rail. Interestingly, in 1937 the original streetcar line in Columbia City was taken out of service. The community celebrated the removal of the rails with a three-day festival.

The Historic Walking Tour Map is a great resource for exploring the 37 different historic sites and buildings that make up Columbia City.

Columbia City Light Rail Station

Other Blog Postings on Libraries
Here’s a list of other Redmond Library blog postings on libraries:

The Black Diamond: A Library Connecting with the Past
The Suzzallo Library: A Case Study of Collegiate Gothic Architecture

Redmond Library Board