Every year for the past three years, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways has submitted an annual list of priority routes and intersections to the City of Seattle. You can review our success in funding our priority greenways here. In 2014, we decided to focus solely on intersections.
We have chosen to focus on intersections because we firmly believe that family-friendly intersections are the foundation of a well-loved and well-used network of safe and comfortable streets. Kids biking home from school, grandparents walking to the park, parents pushing a stroller, and neighbors propelling wheelchairs to the bus all are limited by safe ways to cross busy streets. This is something we hear from people in every corner of Seattle.
We want to help make sure SDOT has the community support, local knowledge, funding, and political support necessary to build world class intersections as part of world class greenways.
By de-emphasizing mile targets for greenways in 2014, and instead focusing this year entirely on intersections, our priorities are clear. Intersections that do not prioritize people who walk or bike are gaps in our family-friendly active transportation network. We value future City investments in safe ways to get across our streets.
In the past year, 21 Seattle Neighborhood Greenway groups collectively spent hundreds of hours discussing, researching, and documenting priority intersections in their neighborhoods. Every neighborhood group found many intersections where City investments could be made to increase safety for people walking and riding bicycles. Each local group was asked to select just two or three of the many intersections they found problematic. During a series of meetings and online discussions as a coalition from October through December, we collected and evaluated 73 proposed intersections that local groups had submitted as their highest local priorities.
Then we “prioritized the priorities”. We voted as a group for just 10 intersections. These 10 intersections are what we will advocate for most strongly in 2014 – but again, all 73 intersections submitted by community groups as part of this process have value as top local priorities. Obviously, there are many intersections that need safety improvements in Seattle!
How did we choose just 10 of these intersections for your consideration? We evaluated and prioritized our collective selection based on several criteria. The questions we asked were:
- Does this intersection connect to a larger network of comfortable active transportation corridors?
- Does this intersection reach a broad geographic spread in the city and include places of economic and cultural diversity?
- Is this intersection very likely to become a part of a greenway system? Is it a part of the Bicycle or Pedestrian Master Plan?
- Does this intersection have a record of pedestrian or bicycle collision reports?
You can review all 73 intersections that our local groups proposed in the attached spreadsheet and online map. Our map includes descriptions and data for every intersection. We divided our intersection list into three categories: 1) intersection improvements on existing greenways; 2) intersection improvements on potential future greenways; and 3) other intersection improvements that our community members simply felt were of vital importance in order to make active transportation links for people of all ages and abilities.
Our on-line map includes all 73 intersections as well as highlights our top 10 citywide priorities. https://mapsengine.google.com/
We look forward to working with SDOT on intersection improvements throughout Seattle. Every intersection on our map represents significant community support from 21 different neighborhoods. We are happy to help SDOT build additional site-specific support as needed.
To build our collective knowledge base and increase support, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways plans a February workshop with SDOT staff, talented professionals from the private sector, and professors and graduate students from University of Washington to collaboratively find ways to improve and evaluate greenway arterial crossings. We’ll keep you posted on our upcoming “Greenway Hack-a-thon”!
Finally, we will continue to work as a coalition to make sure the public, the City Council and the Mayor’s Office know how important safe and comfortable intersections are to the people of Seattle. We want to continue to provide SDOT with funding and political support to build safe and comfortable streets for all. We hope to work with you to create world class intersections in 2014 that are truly family-friendly.