Category Archive: News

The Mayor’s 35th Ave NE decision is a dangerous precedent. . . Take Action.

You may have heard this week that the Mayor reversed plans for a bike lane on 35th Ave NE. As neighborhood advocates stated, this upset “undermines the previous decisions of SDOT, city policy and the will of the community – by bending to a vocal minority who used tactics of fear and misinformation. It sets a dangerous precedent for safety projects across the city.” This isn’t an isolated incident, and it cannot become precedent.

Blue button that says

Join us Tuesday, April 2, from 2:00-2:30 pm, and tell the City Council to stand up for a safe, connected network of bike routes connecting every neighborhood in Seattle. Or send an email to your elected leaders now.

Apu testifying at City Council surrounded by people holding signs in support of the basic bike network.
1) Tell the City Council: Stand up for our shared values.
Tuesday, April 2, 2:00 – 2:30 pmSeattle City Hall, in the Council Chambers (2nd floor).
Stand with us and holding signs of support (we will have some available) during the public comment period of the meeting. If you’re interested in speaking, please contact Kids and families very welcome!
2) Tell the Move Seattle Levy Oversight Committee: Hold the Mayor accountable to the priorities Seattle voted for.
3) Send an email telling your personal story, and why safe, connected bike routes are important to you.


A headshot of Clara Cantor

Clara Cantor

Community Organizer
Seattle Neighborhood Greenways
Website – Twitter – Facebook

P.S. Thank you for your continued advocacy – you are making a difference!

SNG’s Annual Volunteer Appreciation Party!

Come Celebrate!
Seattle Neighborhood Greenways Annual Volunteer Appreciation Party

Friday, February 1, 2019, 5:30 – 8:00 pm
Impact Hub Seattle, 4th Floor Event Space (Pioneer Square)


Feeling the love? Send a Greenways Gram!

A peppy flyer with the volunteer party details (also included as text on this page).

Come hang out with people who care about making every neighborhood a great place to walk, bike, and live. This event is catered to anyone who volunteers their time and energy to Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, or would like to! New folks welcome.

We’ll have delicious Beecher’s Mac and Cheese, a keg from Lagunitas, and the return of the best tamales ever (!) along with other snacks, wine, and non-alcoholic bevvies. An art table for the kiddos, fun activities for all, and VIP guests Seattle City Councilmembers Lorena González and Teresa Mosqueda!

Friday, February 1, 2019, 5:30 – 8:00 pm
Impact Hub Seattle, 4th Floor Event Space (Pioneer Square)

Check out the Facebook Event Page to invite friends and share.

Have a few minutes to help us set up, run, or clean up the event? Email:

Impact Hub is located at the end of the 2nd Ave protected bike lanes and has ample bicycle parking in the basement. It is located within easy distance of downtown bus routes and the Pioneer Square Light Rail Station. The facility is wheelchair accessible, has all-gender bathrooms, and is kid and dog-friendly. All are welcome!


A green heart with the words

Send a Greenways Gram!

Write a note to someone in the Greenways family that you’ve been inspired by, learned from, or just want to appreciate this year. They’ll receive their Gram at the party!





The words

Be well,



Clara Cantor

(206) 681-5526
Community Organizer
Seattle Neighborhood Greenways

P.S. If you can’t make the Volunteer Appreciation Party but would like to stay in touch with our work, please sign up for our quarterly newsletter, follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or consider getting involved with one of our 20 volunteer groups across the city!

The Home Zone Solution: Making Streets Without Sidewalks More Walkable

A group of people talking around a table with a large map covered in post-it notes.In 2018, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways set out to pilot a quick and cheap way to make Seattle neighborhoods safer to walk, bike, and live in for people of all ages and abilities. Our solution? Neighborhood “home zones” — a low-cost model that’s been implemented with success in other countries.

home zone problemThe Problem

A number of Seattle neighborhoods lack sidewalks, including large areas of North Seattle, which has the highest concentration of older adults in the city. Combined with increasing cut-through traffic, the lack of safe places to walk makes many neighborhood streets dangerous and uncomfortable. Given the current rate of city funding for pedestrian infrastructure, it’s going to take Seattle 300 years (at a minimum) to make every neighborhood safe for walking. We think this timeline is unacceptable and we set about creating a Home Zone demonstration project to show the city that more immediate, low-cost solutions are possible.

home zone solutionThe Home Zone Solution

A Home Zone is an area that is protected from lots of fast-moving cut-through traffic so that streets are safe enough to walk on. Home Zones direct thru-traffic to arterial streets that surround a neighborhood, keeping local access for residents, emergency access. Home Zones can use a variety of design improvements such as diverters, speed humps, and other elements, but focus on improvements that have the best “bang for our buck”, recognizing that Seattle’s pedestrian budget is stretched very thin.

A Pilot Project

Licton Springs is one of a number of neighborhoods that were annexed by the City of Seattle years back without existing sidewalks. We worked with neighbors in the Licton Springs neighborhood to identify a multi-block area to establish the Home Zone demonstration project, and community leaders from within the neighborhood to help coordinate the project. Over the course of the year, volunteers with the “Meridian Project” gathered at community design meetings, did door-to-door outreach, and toured the neighborhood streets to take note of known street hazards as well as opportunities for future traffic-calming.

Results to Date

This project is still underway, but the results have already surpassed our expectations on two fronts—one being the level of enthusiasm and participation from a multi-generational base of neighborhood volunteers; but also, and most notably, the unexpectedly brisk buy-in from the City, whereby Seattle is ready to invest $350,000 in a pilot Home Zone project of its own, based on our persistent vision and promotion of this model.

A young child points to a map while speaking to an adult.The initial community design workshop was a vibrant affair, packed to capacity, with a high level of participation across the room. We had a robust turnout of 60 people, including kids, elders, homeowners, renters, business owners, and members of the local deaf community. Food was provided and short presentations were made, but the bulk of the 2-hour meetup involved maps, markers, and sticky notes—and community members deeply engaged with each other in identifying both the hazards of their local streets and possible solutions. The community identified traffic-calming, art, and wayfinding ideas to be explored further. Building off of this large meeting, we hosted two smaller strategy meetings and a community walking audit to formalize the initial input we gathered.

A home-made wayfinding sign with walking times and distances, decorated for Halloween.Local community volunteers created a delightful wayfinding sign, pointing to popular nearby parks, libraries, and shopping districts, within walking distances noted. Sites have been selected and designs drawn up for self-watering planter box chicanes, now only awaiting official permits before they can be put together and installed on the street through a community work party. A street mural is also in the works: We’ve selected potential locations and are talking with local artists about designs — installation is expected in June when the pavement will be dry and warm enough for the paint to adhere properly.

Going Forward: A Model to Replicate

One of our key goals going in was to inspire the city of Seattle to adopt the Home Zone model as a large-scale, systemic solution that’s affordable, and immediately within reach. In November 2019, Seattle City Council approved a budget of $350,000 for the city to create its own Home Zone pilot project, building on ideas we developed.


For more details about the Home Zone model, see our handy Home Zone FAQ.

Letter from Gordon: A Look Back at 2018


Thank you for being a part of our people-powered movement. And what a year it’s been for this boisterous, can-do coalition!

Together we have won hard-fought victories and weathered some setbacks over the past year, and I know that we will accomplish even more in 2019 because people like you care, and make change possible by giving your time, energy, and financial support.

In 2018, we faced a number of new challenges. The new mayor has scrapped or slowed important biking and transit projects — some of which still hang in limbo. The City Council, having failed to implement a new progressive source of revenue to pay for city priorities, siphoned funding that would have gone to build more sidewalks around schools. Emboldened by an increased pessimism about the role of government as an effective way to solve societal problems, neighbors who value car-parking above all else have actively organized campaigns against bike lanes in three parts of the city.

In this era of division and civic pessimism we have found the best way to make change is to build and maintain relationships and bring people together around shared values and priorities.

community package hearing april 18 2018 cropped

By uniting formerly competing efforts, we were able to win $83 million in walking, biking, parks, and affordable housing investments through the Community Package Coalition.

A group of people surround a man with giant scissors cutting a ribbon in front of a new crosswalk.

By coordinating the advocacy of transportation and environmental groups through the MASS Coalition we have been able to cut through the media noise and bring pressure to bear on the mayor. It’s time for the administration to move beyond words and act on our city’s transportation and climate needs with the urgency this moment calls for.

And of course, by empowering our neighborhood chapters all over Seattle we won a number of walking and biking projects across the city — such as a pilot for our Home Zone solution to make streets without sidewalks more walkable, the longest neighborhood greenway in Seattle history, and much more (see our current newsletter for more community success stories).

While we are proud of what we have been able to accomplish together in 2018, despite the headwinds, we know that 2019 needs to be a year of action so that we can all enjoy a city that is safe, sustainable, equitable, and convenient to walk, bike, or roll in. Thank you for helping us accomplish so much in 2018, and here’s to a bright 2019!

Thank you for all you do,

— Gordon

GordonHeadshot-seriousGordon Padelford, Executive Director

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways


A Big Year for Walking and Biking Policy Updates

Some of the Basic Bike Network supporters at City Council on July 302018 was a big year for walking and biking policy updates! These wins may not be as sexy as new bike lanes, but they make a big difference in how our city feels to people walking and biking:

  1. Bike Parking Regulations: City Council passed major improvements to the city’s bike parking regulations in new buildings this April, updating requirements for new buildings and for street parking. There can only be as many people biking as there are safe, convenient, and accessible places to lock up, and we’re thrilled!
  2. Bikeshare in Seattle: As of July, bike share permitting is officially approved in Seattle! Numbers show 1.4 million rides during the first (pilot) year. Check out this Seattle Bike Share Guide to get in on the action!
  3. Adaptive Signals Standards: In November, the City Council restricted funding to Adaptive Signals systems which to date have been used to prioritize moving cars at the expense of everyone walking, biking, or taking transitIn order to build more of these signals systems, SDOT would need to demonstrate they aren’t just prioritizing cars over everyone else. The proviso states that “Pedestrians and bicyclists should have frequent and ample opportunities to cross the street, and transit mobility should be prioritized over SOV traffic on key corridors.” We think so too!
  4. Construction Routes: In December, SDOT released their new Traffic Control Manual outlining a new set of requirements for routing people through or around construction, highlighting prioritizing safe routes for pedestrians and people on bikes!


Community Outreach Around Green Lake

Story by Tom Lang, Green Lake & Wallingford Safe Streets

If you have been to Green Lake, you probably walked, biked, or drove through the Starbucks intersection (NE Ravenna Blvd / NE 71st Street / E Green Lake Way/Drive). This intersection is confusing, uncomfortable, and dangerous.

Because La Escuelita Bilingual School is right next door, and since many sports teams and families use the play fields nearby, fixing this intersection is a huge priority for Green Lake & Wallingford Safe Streets (GLWSS), a brand new member of the Seattle Neighborhood Greenways coalition that re-formed early this year. Since February, GLWSS has focused on the impending 2019 re-paving project that will see the installation of two-way protected bike lanes around the entire east side of Green Lake. While we support the project as a whole, our group has several proposed changes to the SDOT plans which would make the park, playfields, and business district safer and more accessible to pedestrians and people on bikes. By slowing speed limits, narrowing the car traffic lanes, and “squaring up” several intersections, this project will now result in greater predictability, visibility, and safety for all users.




On PARK(ing) Day in September, we hosted two pop-up parks — one at the Starbucks intersection and another at the Kidd Valley intersection (N 50th Street / Stone Way N / Green Lake Way N).

One of the goals of PARK(ing) Day is to encourage residents to re-imagine their streets — exactly what we had been doing all summer as we talked with our neighbors about redesigning the two troubled intersections. Our small but mighty team of volunteers planned and organized a park at each of these intersections: next to Starbucks in the morning and in front of Kidd Valley in the afternoon.

With generous donations from both of these business, we were able to provide coffee to our morning visitors and milkshakes in the afternoon. We invited the students from La Escuelita to join us and add to our community art project. We set up a putt putt course in front of Kidd Valley and rewarded golfers with a coupon for a free milkshake. We had a great time transforming these spaces in the streets into places for people to gather and enjoy themselves.

GLWSS Park(ing) Day 2018


At each of these locations we talked with our neighbors about SDOT’s re-paving plans. The most common response we heard was that people hadn’t yet heard about the project. Despite the mailers and community meetings, most people didn’t know the details, and were eager to learn. We gathered another 30 signatures of support on this day and helped more people see
the potential in their streets.

Following a successful summer of community outreach, the Green Lake & Wallingford Safe Streets Group leadership met with SDOT project managers and went over the 60% design for the re-paving project — including many of our suggestions. We are very happy to see the Starbucks intersection will be much safer in 2019, and the proposed stoplight added at N 52nd Street has been removed from their plans. These are big wins for our small group!

Unfortunately, we learned in November that SDOT removed the bike lanes from the street design for N 40th St. We’re distressed at the precedent of removing a route designated on the Bicycle Master Plan, and awaiting more news from SDOT in early 2019. If you’d like to get involved, visit us at and drop in on our monthly meeting!

GLWSS Park(ing) Day 2018

We’re going to keep moving forward with our primary task: to make the streets around Green Lake and Wallingford safer for people of all ages, abilities, and transportation choices. Remember — one important role of our community group is to educate our neighbors about current transportation projects, build community connections, and get people thinking in creative ways about how we use our streets.

You can help kids at 25 schools get to school safely!

N’Jabbu is a 1st grader at Licton Springs K-8 who loves to ride her purple bicycle. Her sister Bineta is a 7th grader at Robert Eagle Staff K-8, who’s interested in filmmaking and likes to get to school on time because she loves to learn.


combined image of Adja's kids

N’Jabbu and Bineta, like their mom, Adja, like to walk in the neighborhood. Adja enjoys walking with her family to the lovely park a few blocks east of her North Seattle home, a short walk that happens to cross Aurora Avenue. N’Jabbu and Bineta both like walking to school, also a short walk away—also across the busy Aurora highway.

You can probably picture Aurora Avenue in your mind right now. One of the fastest-moving, most dangerous streets in Seattle—and certainly one of the most intimidating places to cross by bike or on foot. Especially if you’re a kid.



In early 2017, as three new neighborhood schools were under construction—Licton Springs K-8, Robert Eagle Staff K-8, and Cascade Elementary—Adja was wondering how the girls were going to get there safely.

She wasn’t alone in wondering that. Our local chapter of committed neighbors had already been working on this challenge for years, pulling together a plan for kids to walk and bike to the new school complex. We worked with the School District, the school principals, local parents, and the city, to develop an impressive set of safety improvements for the kids.

It took three years of hard work and persistence, but our efforts paid off, and this multi-school complex now boasts an all-ages biking and walking trail, a new protected bike lane, and most notable of all, a new signal crossing at N 92nd & Aurora.

Click here to check out a short video of Adja and her daughters talking about the new signal crossing on Aurora.

Thanks to your past support, we were able to make it safer for N’Jabbu, Bineta, and 1,800 other students at the three-school complex to get to school on foot and by bike.

We believe every kid should be able to walk to school safely. With your support we can make this vision a reality.


“Before they installed the new signal, it felt scary to cross Aurora Ave. Without that signal, a lot of students wouldn’t be able to cross back and forth from school.”
—Adja, North Seattle parent



The sad reality is that too many of the 110 Seattle Public Schools serving grades K-12 in the city are lacking safe sidewalks, bike lanes, and comfortable ways to cross the street.

We are working hard to fix this dangerous situation across the city, and you can play an important role. Your gift of support today for Seattle Neighborhood Greenways will help us fight for safety at 25 more schools in 2019.


92nd trail ribbon cutting compressed

Tip: Your financial gift today will go three times as far! Find out about our incredible two-to-one match below. Please take a moment to donate now.


In addition to fighting for every school to be a safe place to walk or bike to, your support today will make it possible for us to:

  • Advocate with historically underserved communities for walking and biking projects

  • Champion safe routes to walk and bike to transit hubs

  • Organize for a bike network that connects to every neighborhood

  • Innovate solutions like “Home Zones” to quickly make neighborhoods without sidewalks more walkable.

We are heading into our busiest season of citywide organizing yet. That’s why the Seattle Neighborhood Greenways Board of Directors and the local Bowline Fund have boldly stepped up to match your gifts 2-to-1 up to $30,000.

Each dollar you’re able to give today will be matched by $2 additional dollars — tripling your impact!

Please make your gift by December 31, 2018 to triple your gift and your impact. We simply can’t do this work without you.


Thank you for your support of Seattle Neighborhood Greenways. Let’s build a safe, healthy, happy Seattle for people of all ages and abilities.



GordonHeadshot-seriousGordon Padelford

Executive Director, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways

P.S. Please make your generous gift by midnight December 31, 2018 to have your gift matched two-to-one; every amount truly helps! Together we can make Seattle a great place to walk, bike, and live.




Seattle Neighborhood Greenways
220 2nd Ave S #100
Seattle, WA 98144
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Curious about the Bowline Fund? The Bowline Fund has provided ongoing support to Seattle Neighborhood Greenways since its inception. The Bowline Fund seeks to transform Seattle’s streets, sidewalks, and parking into places centered on people rather than cars.

5 Key South Seattle Projects

As part of our ongoing commitment to transportation equity, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways partners with communities that are at the greatest risk from unsafe roads and air quality hazards. In these most-impacted neighborhoods our hyper-local coalitions have won dozens of improved crosswalks, miles of bike routes, and improved access to schools, jobs, and transit.

Community leaders in South Seattle are making huge strides against considerable challenges:

Three people smile in front of a festively decorated DVSS booth at a summer festival.1) Georgetown – South Park Trail

Georgetown and South Park are a short, flat, 1.8 mile distance apart. In these adjacent neighborhoods, more than 8,500 people live, 30,000 work, and countless thousands play in parks, schools, festivals, and local establishments. Each southend community hub has essential goods and services that the other doesn’t — However, the lack of safe walking or biking infrastructure keeps the two neighborhoods divided. The Georgetown – South Park trail will connect these two communities.

Last year, after an immense amount of SNG community advocacy and hard work, the City funded the planning and design processes for the trail. But the work wasn’t over! This year, that outreach and design process was underway, with a audit walks, a design workshop, and extensive community outreach at summer festivals and events. Community members are busy rallying support, collecting ideas, and ensuring that this trail will be comfortable, safe, and connect people to the places they need to go. SNG, our local chapter Duwamish Valley Safe Streets (DVSS), and community partners are continuing a massive community engagement effort into 2019. DVSS are also celebrating some fun neighborhood wins, including new lighting re-invigorating the 8th Ave “Scary Trail”, new public art and spaces for people.

Partners: South Park Merchants Association, Duwamish River Clean Up Coalition, South Park Neighborhood Association, Georgetown Merchants Association, South Park Green Space Coalition, and more.

Four people converse in front of a background of a larger group holding Safe Streets signs.2) Rainier Ave Safety Project

With crash every day, Rainier Avenue South is the most dangerous street in Seattle. This year, Phase II of SDOT’s planned safety improvements were delayed – again. Meanwhile, crashes continue to severely impact our community. In August, after two young girls were hit at the intersection of Rainier Ave and S Henderson St, SNG and local chapter Rainier Valley Greenways Safe Streets hosted a rally and community walk with the mayor and SDOT staff. She responded with some initial improvements, which, along with the construction of the Rainier Valley Greenway, will make a considerable difference for people getting around, but more remains to be done. Rainier Ave S should be made safe for all people to walk, bike, drive, catch the bus, shop, and live.

Partners: Rainier Beach Action Coalition, Rainier Beach Merchants Association, Rainier Valley Chamber of Commerce, Bike Works, Rainier Valley Greenways, and more.

Two people on bikes in front of the Duwamish Longhouse.3) Duwamish Longhouse Trail Gap

SNG and local chapters West Seattle Bike Connections (WSBC) and Duwamish Valley Safe Streets are working with the Duwamish Tribe to provide safe access to their Long House and Cultural Center on W Marginal Way and to and fill in key gap in the Duwamish walking and biking trail. Pictured above, two members on WSBC’s Log House to Longhouse bike tour. Check out what else WSBC has been up to this year.

Partners: Duwamish Tribe, West Duwamish Greenbelt Trails Group, Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition/TAG, Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association, Sustainable West Seattle, Duwamish Valley Safe Streets, West Seattle Bike Connections.

And Two Big Projects Looking Forward:

A group of people standing in the middle of a slip lane on Golf Dr.4) Beacon Ave Trail

Our local chapter, Beacon Hill Safe Streets, has been hard at work defensively this year, protecting planned pedestrian improvements and bike lanes on S Columbian Way, S Myrtle Street, and at 15th Ave S and Columbian, but had a major win getting signals retimed for pedestrians on MLK Way. Pictured above, a #FixGolfWay design workshop held in the intersection! Now, we are starting to build momentum for the Beacon Ave Trail.

South of Jefferson Park, Beacon Avenue’s wide median contains a trail, benches, trees, parking and other vegetation. The path runs just under 4 miles from Columbian Way south to the end of Beacon Ave. But the Beacon Ave Trail needs improvements to increase utilization as well as improve amenities and safety throughout it’s length. With modest improvements and connections, we could see new community members using the path as well as an improved experience for current users.

Partners: While many individual community members support this project, we have just begun building organizational support. Please contact if you or a group you work with would like to get involved.

5) Accessible Mt Baker

Accessible Mt Baker is the keystone project to improving transportation for anyone going to or from SE Seattle . The project removes the bottleneck intersection of Rainier Ave S and MLK Jr Way S, and creates a new multimodal system of connecting streets and paths. The Accessible Mt Baker project is critical to the success of:

  • Making the Mt Baker light rail station at Franklin High School more accessible.
  • Fixing the most dangerous street in the city – Rainier Ave S.
  • The Move Seattle route 7 RapidRide+ and route 48 RapidRide+ corridors.
  • Creating a walkable town center for the North Rainier Hub Urban Village to help catalyze affordable and transit-oriented development around the light rail station.
  • Connecting SE Seattle more seamlessly to downtown for people who walk and bike.
  • Improving freight movement into and through Seattle.

This project has been in the works for years, and we’re excited to tackle it head-on in 2019!

Partners: Mt Baker Hub Business Association, Friends of Mt Baker Town Center, Mt Baker Housing, Rainier Valley Greenways, and more.

Click for an interactive map of where these projects are located:Map

Signal changes make it safer to walk to and from Light Rail in Rainier Valley

Story by Robert Getch, Beacon Hill Safe Streets

Most of Seattle is still waiting for our signature regional transportation system, Link Light Rail, to reach their neighborhoods, but residents in Rainier Valley and Beacon Hill have been boarding Link daily since 2009.

Unique among all of the present and planned Link routes, the Link route through Rainier Valley runs at grade in the center of MLK Jr. Way, which severely increases the odds that the trains will be involved in collisions with pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers.

Near the start of 2017, there was a collision between a train and pedestrian, killing the pedestrian. In talking to local folks, I found that many people disliked how the pedestrian crossing signals worked at each of the MLK-based stations.

I decided to start digging around.

I reached out to Sound Transit and received no traction. I went to the Beacon Hill Safe Streets (BHSS) Monthly Meeting and we decided to conduct a survey online, with paid advertising, that linked Sound Transit to dangerous conditions on the MLK corridor. We were contacted fairly quickly following this action by Sound Transit, who setup a meeting with us, the operator of Link (King County Metro) and the signal operator (SDOT).

After multiple meetings, and months of follow up, the determination was made that SDOT would at a minimum re-time the signals with a focus on pedestrians being able to access station and cross the street more frequently and with longer walk times (we also learned that SDOT hadn’t revised signal timing since Link first went online in 2009!)

It took well over a year to work out the new timing, but finally in August 2018 we’ve had success!

SDOT has re-timed the entire corridor where Link operates at grade and was able to increase the “walk” and “don’t walk” phases to make it easier to cross as well as increase opportunities for pedestrians to cross by 30-50% depending on the intersection.

This means longer walk phases coming up more frequently! While there are many other changes that are still needed this was one of the biggest issues expressed; that people simply haven’t been waiting for the walk phases because they weren’t coming up frequently enough, and were even skipped frequently.

We continue working with Sound Transit and SDOT for more changes.

We’re hoping that signage can be changed to be clear and intuitive and that the “train warning signals” can be more informative as well as something that make sense at first glance, and we hope at some point physical crossing gates can be installed to help improve safety for drivers as well who have also died in collisions with Link.

We’ve learned much about how Link is operated, how crash data is stored, and more through this process that will help us better navigate who’s responsible for what in the future as well.

It may seem like a small win, but we’re hopeful that this small win will have big impacts for residents of Beacon Hill and the Rainier Valley.

Signals, Sidewalks, and Sports

Dear safe streets supporters,

I want to let you know that we won funding for an innovative pedestrian solution called Home Zones, a walking and biking route to the Sonics arena, and fought and stopped the spread of signals that only prioritize cars! But unfortunately, safe routes to schools did not receive a much needed boost in funding.

Yesterday, the Seattle City Council approved changes to Mayor’s proposed budget and the mayor signed the final version. The mayor’s initial budget was a mixed bag that increased funding for sidewalks, but cut funding to two programs that help enliven our streets as places for people: Pavement to Parks and Summer Parkways. We hope to restore those programs when the timing is right. Despite earlier reports, we were able to ensure full funding remained intact for the popular Play Street program which allows neighbors to temporarily open their streets to play.




The Setback

As you may have heard, the Seattle City Council unfortunately diverted nearly $3 million that would have gone to increase funding safe routes to schools into the “general fund” to pay for other priorities. This funding would have helped children at 25 schools across Seattle walk to class safely by investing in projects like enhanced crosswalks, traffic calming, and walkways. Instead these projects will be delayed, adding to the 300-year backlog of sidewalk projects. But thanks to our advocacy, Councilmembers O’Brien and Herbold indicated that they would like revisit this issue in the spring. We will continue to advocate to adequately fund safe routes to school and sidewalks, so if you have a connection with a school community or PTA please let know.

Read more in the Seattle times: “Seattle budget proposal: Divert $2.7 million in red-light fines from safe-school projects


home zone meeting summer 2018

We are delighted to announce that our concept to rapidly make more areas of Seattle walkable, called Home Zones, won $350,000 and City of Seattle approval. Recognizing that 26% of our streets lack sidewalks and that current funding means we won’t work through this backlog for over 300 years Seattle Neighborhood Greenways is committed to both increasing funding and finding efficient ways to make our streets more walkable. Our Home Zone idea helps implement the efficiency strategy. In essence, our Home Zone idea will be an area that directs thru-traffic to arterial streets that surround a neighborhood, while allowing only local traffic within a neighborhood — thereby making it safer and more comfortable to walk within the neighborhood. We have been working on a DIY pilot with a neighborhood in Licton-Springs this year, and the City of Seattle will be implementing an official pilot in 2019. Thank you to Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda for proposing this budget addition.

For more, see our FAQ on Home Zones and the Crosscut article.

People walking in a cityscape.



The City Council also restricted funding to “adaptive signals” systems which to date have been used to prioritize moving cars at the expense of everyone walking, biking, or taking transit. In order to build more of these signals SDOT would need to demonstrate they aren’t just prioritizing cars over everyone else. The proviso, put forward by Councilmember Mike O’Brien, reads in part “The Council’s intent is to develop signal technology that prioritizes the safe and comfortable movement of people, not just vehicles. Pedestrians and bicyclists should have frequent and ample opportunities to cross the street, and transit mobility should be prioritized over SOV traffic on key corridors. Signal policy should align with Seattle’s adopted climate, public health, safety, and mobility goals.”

For more See our FAQ on Adaptive Signals and the The Urbanist article “Eleven Ways Adaptive Signals Frustrate, Discourage, and Endanger People Who Walk.”

New Seattle Storm arena

New Seattle Storm arena

Last, but not least, the City Council passed a “statement of legislative intent” from Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda that pledged to find funding for the Thomas St neighborhood greenway which would be the only all ages and abilities walking and biking route connecting South Lake Union and the new Sonics arena located at the Seattle Center.


Thank you to everyone who advocated, volunteered, or donated. With your ongoing support we will make every neighborhood a great place to walk, bike, and live.


Gordon Padelford headshot croppedGordon Padelford
Executive Director
Seattle Neighborhood Greenways


P.S. Now is a great to time give to Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, because your gift will be tripled by generous support from our Board Members and the Bowline Fund.


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