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Our Biggest Victory Yet

What do walking and biking connections, affordable housing, and parks have in common? They are foundational to our quality of life in Seattle. And while our focus is on walking and biking, sometimes we can achieve more by working in broad coalitions.

 

In the fall of 2016 the Washington State Convention Center sought feedback about what the surrounding neighborhoods wanted in exchange for building a massive expansion of its facility on publicly owned land. It asked the public: do you want investments in affordable housing, parks, or walking and biking projects? Pitting these basic community necessities against each other didn’t seem fair, because this was the largest real estate project in Seattle history, and similarly sized development projects had offered much more.

 

So Seattle Neighborhood Greenways convened a coalition of transportation, parks, and affordable housing organizations to fight for a fair deal. The Community Package Coalition, as we call ourselves, is made up of our neighborhood groups Central Seattle Greenways and the First Hill Improvement Association as well as Capitol Hill Housing, Cascade Bicycle Club, the Freeway Park Association, the Housing Development Consortium, Lid I-5 and of course Seattle Neighborhood Greenways.Community Package Coalition logos

Over the past year the coalition successfully made the case for a fair package of investments, and struck a deal with the convention center for $82 million in investments for walking and biking connections, affordable housing, and parks.

fall SDC meeting with CPC standing and talking

Making the Case for the Community Package

Thanks to our collective efforts we won funding for:

  • Pike-Pine protected bike lanes connecting the 2nd Ave protected bike lane in downtown to the Broadway protected bike lane on Capitol Hill. This corridor has huge potential as it already sees 20% of people traveling by bike despite the unsafe and uncomfortable current conditions.
  • 8th Ave protected bike lanes from Pike St in downtown and Bell St in Belltown.
  • Olive Way Walking Improvements that will make it safer to walk across the I-5 interchange for the thousands of people who walk between South Lake Union and Capitol Hill.
  • Pike-Pine pedestrian improvements as part of the “Pike Pine Renaissance” improving the walking experience from downtown to Capitol Hill on Pike and Pine streets.
  • Affordable housing funding to build 300 affordable homes for people making minimum wage.
  • I-5 Lid Feasibility Study to study lidding parts of I-5 in the center city to create parks, affordable housing, new streets, and other civic uses.
  • Freeway Park improvements that will make Freeway Park more safe, accessible, and enjoyable.
  • A Terry Avenue Promenade that will build a park like street on First Hill.
Pike, Pine and other streets will be getting a lot more space for people to walk and bike

Pike, Pine and other streets will be getting a lot more space for people to walk and bike

The funding we won is critical, and we’re going to keep working hard until these projects are built and we can all enjoy safe and comfortably walking and biking between these dense neighborhoods.

If you value our work, please donate to keep us going.