Category Archive: News

The Promise of Seattle Boulevards

The Promise of Seattle Boulevards is a 2016 workshop and report from Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, supported by Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation (SPR), the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods (DON), and the Friends of Seattle’s Olmsted Parks (FSOP). The recommendations of this group centered on the best use of current boulevards and a design framework to help to determine how boulevards can function equitably as both parks and transportation for all.

interlaken-blvd-promise-of-boulevards-report-2016The history of Seattle’s boulevard system is closely tied to the Olmsted legacy, which left Seattle with a promise of a citywide system of linear landscapes. The idea of connecting people to the remarkably beautiful landscapes and vistas of Seattle predates the Olmsteds, and continues to this day as we evolve to meet the open space needs of future generations, preserving and maintaining design intent, while connecting people to places.

reviewing-plans-promise-of-boulevards-report-2016

What are our challenges?

Our Seattle network of boulevards were not designed for the vehicle speeds or volumes typically seen today.​ Early boulevards were designed as slow pleasure drives linking scenic resources for early-model cars on gravel-lined roads. Boulevards today often lack intended connectivity, and higher design speed limits the safe use of boulevards for family-friendly recreational purposes, particularly by people walking or biking.

Seattle, through its Race and Social Justice Initiative, has a goal to eliminate disparities and achieve racial equity.​ How can we ensure equitable access on our boulevard system (culturally relevant, ADA, multimodal, and geographically distributed) and create a city where park-like qualities blend into our streets, where parks are accessible for people of all incomes, ages and abilities, all while celebrating our history?​ How can SPR, SDOT, and DON develop shared practices and principles to streamline interdepartmental work on our rich public space inventory? How can we create a transparent process for community involvement?

Read the complete report here

board-of-park-commissioners-1920-promise-of-boulevards-report-2016

More funding for safe streets in City Budget. Thank you!

Here’s something to be thankful for today: Seattle City Council passed the final version of the 2017 budget with some fantastic improvements thanks to your support!

thank you 2016 budget advocates

Exciting budget additions include

  • $1 million to fix Rainier Ave S – the most dangerous street in the city, and an acceleration of funding for the exciting Accessible Mt Baker project.
  • Funding to create a North Beacon Hill Multimodal Transportation Study to allow much needed safety and community building projects to move forward.
  • Moving up the Bicycle Master Plan (Cascade Bicycle Club led the charge on this!) and Pedestrian Master Plan spending so we can design and build more safe streets sooner.
  • Additional funding for Safe Routes to School ($400,000 from red light cameras).
  • Directing SDOT to use best practices for streetcar & bike collision safety.
  • Other great improvements to the budget: Funding to conduct a condition assessment of Seattle’s $5.3 billion sidewalk system to support smart investments in sidewalk repairs, a new grant writer position to help SDOT leverage Move Seattle funding, and a section of sidewalk for the Meadowbrook neighborhood.

We wouldn’t have these successes without your calls, testimony, and letters! It’s caring people like you who make a difference in our world. Thank you.

If you can take a minute to thank our elected officials who listened to you, please email council@seattle.gov and thank them. Below is a sample email.

Dear Seattle City Council,

Thank you all for supporting safer streets in budget process. In particular thank you to

 

  • Council President Bruce Harrell for funding to fix Rainier Ave S, accelerate Accessible Mt Baker, and plan for a safe Beacon Hill Town Center.
  • Councilmember Lisa Herbold for finding additional funding for Safe Routes to School

 

  • Councilmember Mike O’Brien for the sidewalk assessment, SDOT grant writer, streetcar safety SLI, and accelerating the Bicycle Master Plan.
  • Councilmember Debora Juarez for a Meadowbrook sidewalk.
  • Councilmember Johnson for supporting many of these transportation budget additions.

 

Thank you for your leadership in making our streets safer for all people.

Happy Thanksgiving and thank you!

-Gordon Padelford

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways Policy Director

Please consider a gift to Seattle Neighborhood Greenways if you want to support our successful, reliable, and impactful advocacy in 2017. Thank you.

Park Advocates Leverage Private Development on First Hill

first-hill-park-2016-5214
First Hill is a growing urban neighborhood woefully short of adequate open space. High property values have made acquisition of traditional park property difficult. To address these challenges, the First Hill Public Realm Action Plan was created. One element of the PRAP included adaptive reuse of right-of-way into public open space in the form of Seattle’s first two pavement parks. The Pavement Parks are located at the intersections of University St., Union St. and Boylston Ave. (UUB) and 9th Ave. and University St. (9U)
The First Hill Improvement Association (FHIA) has taken a role in activating these places over the last two summers. Public events in these spaces have included a Street Reading Party, Trivia Night, Bingo Night, Street Games Festival, a guided Tree Walk, and a Pop-Up Petting Zoo which delighted hundreds of neighbors.

In addition, FHIA is leading a community visioning process for First Hill Park, a quarter-acre park along the University Street Greenway. Hundreds of neighbors participated through guiding what the future of the park will look like, and a preferred concept design has been approved. We are now in the construction document development phase, and anticipate opening a newly designed Park in Spring of 2018.

Private development adjacent to the UUB Pavement Park is proposing to fully realize and build out the vision for the UUB pavement park as part of their public benefits package for 1320 University St. The vision includes a permanent public open space with lighting, landscaping, seating and awnings. The DRB meeting for this project is November 16th at 8pm.
The next phase of the First Hill Public Realm Action Plan, after the completion of the UUB pocket park, is the potential for a two-block woonerf along Terry Ave. from Cherry St. to Marion St. Along this stretch of Terry Ave. FHIA is actively seeking funding from private developers to realize this vision.

World Day of Remembrance Seattle

main-and-5th-fatalityWorld Day of Remembrance is a UN affiliated world-wide event to commemorate victims of traffic violence  http://worlddayofremembrance.org/

 

Vision Zero Seattle, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways and other local groups are taking part: https://www.facebook.com/events/268515693545860/

 

Memorial Gathering at City Hall

Thursday, November 17th 2016 at NOON

City Hall lobby 5th & Cherry

Distribute silhouettes to put up locally. Hear from first responders and from families whose loved ones were killed in Seattle traffic.

 

 

ALL Local Events on Sunday November 20

  1. Ballard/Aurora/Fremont noon Peddler Brewing Company 1514 NW Leary Way
  2. Beacon Hill/Mt. Baker 10AM The Station 2533 16th Ave S
  3. Central/Capitol Hill noon Victrola Coffee Roasters 310 E. Pike St.
  4. Crown Hill/Broadview noon Holy Grounds 9000 Holman Way NW
  5. Downtown/Belltown 10AM Uptown Espresso 2504 4th Ave
  6. Lake City/Northgate 10AM Kaffeeklatsch 12513 Lake City Way NE
  7. Queen Anne/Magnolia 10AM Starbucks 2135 Queen Anne Ave N
  8. Ravenna/Roosevelt 10AM Third Place Cafe 6504 20th Ave NE
  9. West Seattle 10AM Ampersand Café 2536 Alki Ave SW
  10. Rainier Valley 10:15AM Bike Works 3711 S Hudson St. (back entrance to warehouse)
  11. Duwamish Valley noon Oxbow Park (Hat & Boots) 6430 Corson Ave S

The City Hall event is open to the public and will recognize attendees from Seattle Fire, Seattle King County Public Health Department, Washington Traffic Safety Commission, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as well as families of the victims who have died in traffic in Seattle.

Event co-sponsors include Vision Zero Seattle, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, Cascade Bicycle Club, Seattle Department of Transportation, Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, Washington Bike Law

@VisionZeroSea

#WDR2016 #WDR2016sea

VisionZeroSea.org

WorldDayOfRemembrance.org

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/events/268515693545860/

To honor those who have lost their lives to traffic violence on Seattle’s streets, we will be putting up silhouettes all across the city.

We will meet for a Citywide Memorial on Thursday November 17 at 12:00 noon, in the lobby of City Hall. We will distribute 240 silhouettes representing people who have died in Seattle on our streets in traffic in the past 10 years, and highlight the need for safe streets in our city.

On Sunday, November 20, families and groups around Seattle will install all of the silhouettes at local events.

This a difficult time for many of us right now.  World Day of Remembrance, while not a joyous event, is something that we can come together on, as well as to help raise awareness among our friends and neighbors.

World Day of Remembrance is not a political event, but it is the kind of community building and coming together process that will help us keep America great. Thank you for joining us.

Thank you to the staff at United Reprographics for manufacturing these silhouettes.

Here’s an FAQ with more about #WDR2016 how to set up the silhouettes

all-city-wdr-map

 

 

 

 

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wdr2016-logo

Celebrate the Opening of Roosevelt!

University Greenways members talked to 43 business owners about safety on Roosevelt Way

Andres, Atom and other local Greenways leaders prepare to do small business outreach along Roosevelt in 2013. Side note, two other Greenways leaders pictured here are now fathers — Orion and Alma’s dads also want safer, healthier streets for their new babies.

November 2 2016

Atom, the little tyke in the photo, was not quite two years old in 2013 when his dad, Andres, got together with a group of other safe streets advocates from NE Seattle Greenways and University Greenways to run a campaign to turn the Roosevelt Way NE repaving project into the Roosevelt Way NE repaving and Protected Bike Lane project.

The group pictured here, plus a few others, went out and talked to small businesses about the business benefits of having slower traffic, safer places for people to bike and walk, and great public spaces in the Roosevelt neighborhood.

Thanks to their focused local campaign, and the local business support it generated, Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) decided late in 2014 to turn Roosevelt into one of Seattle’s premiere Complete Streets.

Fast forward three years. Atom is five and the Roosevelt Way NE Protected Bike Lane will officially open, this Saturday, November 5 2016.  Kidical Mass riders will wield the scissors at a grand ribbon-cutting event with SDOT around noon at the University Food Bank 5017 Roosevelt Way NE.

Meet Andres, Max, Scott, Bob, Orion, Forrest, Drew, Alma, Madi, Rjider, Brandt, Barbara, Hank, and many more of the people who made this project possible for this generation and for future generations.

  • If you want to join the Kidical Mass Ride, come to at Mighty-O Donuts 2110 N 55th at 10:30 AM
  • Otherwise, join the fun ribbon-cutting at University Food Bank 5017 Roosevelt Way NE at noon!

 

 

 

Want Safer Streets? Ask for them this week!

October 16, 2016se-seattle-paving-projects

Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) hosts “Paving Open Houses” in Northeast and Southeast Seattle next week. The Open Houses are a perfect opportunity for you to ask SDOT to improve safety, revise speed limits, include bicycle facilities, and improve or add sidewalks.

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways worked proactively with local groups and SDOT to incorporate protected bicycle lanes along Roosevelt Way NE in 2014-2015. The entire length of Roosevelt — from NE 85th to the University Bridge — will be safer for people who walk, bike, use transit or drive.

(Note: Saturday November 5 from 11-1 the Roosevelt PBL will officially “open” at the U-District Food Bank 5017 Roosevelt Way NE).

Try to make it to the Paving Open Houses to tell @seattledot “repaving is a great time to improve street safety for all”.

Meeting details:ne-greenways-repaving-projects

NE Seattle OPEN HOUSE
Monday, October 17, 5:30 – 7:30 PM Roosevelt High School cafeteria 1410 NE 66th St.
NE Seattle Streets to be repaved in 2018: 15th Ave NE – Lake City Way NE to NE 55th St; Cowen Pl NE – 15th Ave NE to NE Ravenna Blvd; University Way NE – NE Ravenna Blvd to NE 50th St; 35th Ave NE – NE 87th to NE 65th St; NE 55th St to NE 47th St; NE 45th Pl – NE 47th St to NE 45th St

Southeast Seattle OPEN HOUSE
Wednesday, October 19, 5:30 – 7:30 PM, Southside Commons, 3518 S Edmunds St.

SE Seattle Streets to be repaved in 2018: Wilson Ave S – Seward Park Ave S to S Dawson St; Swift Ave S, S Myrtle St, S Myrtle Pl, and S Othello St.15th Ave S to MLK Jr Way S; S Columbian Way and S Alaska St – Beacon Ave S to MLK Jr Way S

Contacts:
Dan Anderson (206) 684-8105  Dan.A.Anderson@seattle.gov
James Le  (206) 684-3174 james.le@seattle.gov
Jim Curtin  (206) 684-8874 jim.curtin@seattle.gov
http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/paving.htm

Fund Safe Streets for All Neighborhoods

Community Coalition Launches Seattle Neighbors for Vision Zero www.VisionZeroSeaAll of our streets should be safe and comfortable places where all people can walk, bike, run, walk dogs, and push strollers. Unfortunately, we have not reached that vision yet. Every year 150 people in Seattle suffer life altering injuries and 20 people are killed in traffic collisions.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

A budget increase of $3 million will allow the underfunded Vision Zero program to implement safety improvements across the city and begin to fix our dangerous streets like Rainier Ave S, NE 65th, Lake City Way, Greenwood Ave N, and 12th Ave. Here is our budget proposal.

An additional $3 million will also give SDOT the funds to begin to work down a backlog of 300 community identified safety projects and 100 SDOT identified Vision Zero projects including crosswalks and traffic calming.

Call your City Councilmembers right now, and ask that they “increase funding for Vision Zero”!

Citywide – Tim Burgess: 206.684.8806 | tim.burgess@seattle.gov
Citywide – Lorena González: 206.684.8802 | lorena.gonzalez@seattle.gov
District 1 (West Seattle) – Lisa Herbold: 206.684.8803 | lisa.herbold@seattle.gov
District 2 (Rainier/Beacon) – Bruce Harrell: 206.684.8804 | bruce.harrell@seattle.gov
District 3 (Central Distrct/Capitol Hill) Kshama Sawant: 206.684.8016 | kshama.sawant@seattle.gov
District 4 (NE Seattle) Rob Johnson: 206.684.8808 | rob.johnson@seattle.gov
District 5 (Lake City, Haller Lake) – Debora Juarez: 206.684.8805 | debora.juarez@seattle.gov
District 6 (Ballard, Greenlake) – Mike O’Brien: 206.684.8800 | mike.obrien@seattle.gov
District 7 (Downtown, Queen Anne) – Sally Bagshaw: 206.684.8801 | sally.bagshaw@seattle.gov

After you have called your Councilmembers, please sign the petition below. 

Thank you for making our streets safe for everyone to get around!

Tactical Urbanism Creates Permanent Places

August 25, 2016

PARKing Day Plus 2015 project leads to new Burke Gilman Trail design from SDOT

PARKing Day Plus 2015 project leads to new Burke Gilman Trail design from SDOT

Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has stepped out of their box, and into an intersection full of psychedelic circles.

A recent article at The Urbanist highlights SDOT plans to construct an exciting new protected intersection at the Burke Gilman Trail crossing of 40th Ave NE.

The safety design for 40th Ave NE is based on one of five Tactical Urbanism road safety improvements, funded and showcased by Seattle Neighborhood Greenways PARKing Day Plus Design Competition.

NE Seattle Greenways volunteers Kenneth Trease, Jen Goldman, and Andres Salomon teamed up with Seattle Children’s Hospital Transportation staff Jamie Cheney and Drew Dresman to build and monitor this one-day project built of traffic cones and chalk. SDOT’s recreation of the PARKing Day Plus design is built of flex-posts and thermoplastic and will keep people safe at a highly problematic trail crossing.

The use of just cones to simulate curb bulbs – and a few “stop for pedestrian” signs at the crossing and along the trail – had people approaching the crosswalk more cautiously in cars and on bikes. This crosswalk had been the site of a recent serious injury collision between a car driver and bicycle rider.

Staff from Seattle Children’s Hospital joined as volunteers at the information table with NE Seattle Greenways members.

Jen Goldman, one of the Protected Intersection project leads said,

“Our biggest take-home – we did not have one complaint about the crossing through the day. All feedback for the curb bulbs was favorable. People agreed that the crossing was dangerous as is. Granted, we were more able to speak with people walking and biking by vs driving, but some people who stopped and chatted mentioned they had driven through earlier in the day as well. The Metropolitan Market manager had reservations when discussing the project at first, but was pleased when seeing it.”

Jen’s daughter Maggie who celebrated her 6th birthday at the intersection crossing with cupcakes, thought it was a splendid place for a party for a girl who likes to walk and bike!

We couldn’t be happier to see a community-designed tactical urbanism project be transformed into a colorful permanent safety improvement!

PARKing Day Plus 2015 volunteers observed traffic and people walking & biking across the trail

PARKing Day Plus 2015 volunteers observed traffic and people walking & biking across the trail

Care about Madison Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)?

image004August 5, 2016

Here’s what to look for when you provide comments at the final Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) Open House on Tuesday August 9 (or on-line before August 16).

Madison BRT is intended as a Complete Street. Complete Streets provide fair access to the street for all people, whatever their transit mode. That is one reason the City is poised to apply for grant funding to invest upwards of $120 Million along this 2.4-mile corridor. Another reason the Madison BRT project is at the top of stack for funding and redevelopment is that thousands of new places for people to work and live along the Madison corridor are under construction or in permitting now.

When you are evaluating the Madison BRT plans, ask first if people of all ages and all abilities will easily be able to cross the street, walk or bike to transit, and enjoy the experience of walking, shopping, and socializing along East Madison Street. Madison is filled with young people starting families, retirees, people using major hospitals, amid a wealth of residential and commercial property.

Several street safety advocacy groups, including local groups along the corridor – Central Seattle Greenways, Madison Park Greenways, and the transportation leaders of First Hill Improvement Association – have been closely following the Madison BRT project for several years. They shared their top five concerns about the current Madison BRT proposal.

Five ideas to consider when commenting on the Madison BRT project:

  1. Crossing the street is a necessary part of taking the bus. People walking and biking need to be able to cross Madison directly and safely. The 30% designs for 24th Ave & Madison, 12th & Union & Madison don’t resolve the difficult street crossing challenges, in fact current designs may make crossing more dangerous. At center-island stations, crosswalks need to be positioned at the desire lines for people exiting the bus.

  2. Plan for people who bike. Design and fund access for people who want to bike in the Madison corridor. Community groups worked closely with the City for several years to identify the optimal “parallel” bicycle infrastructure that was intended to be funded as part of the project: this includes protected bike lanes on Union from 12th to 27th and greenways on 27th, 24th, Thomas, Denny, and University. Creating safe and convenient bikeways to help people access residences and businesses on Madison isn’t just a nice idea, it’s necessary and promised Complete Streets mitigation given that SDOT is removing access to a street people depend on now.

  3. Work hard to keep the trees! Removing 23 trees on Madison between Broadway & 12th may ease the congestion on the sidewalk a little bit, but will make the pedestrian experience even bleaker.

  4. Plan for growth. The City needs to plan for long term sidewalk improvements as part of this project. This dense neighborhood will need wide, well-maintained sidewalks with excellent street furnishings. Make sure that intent is communicated in design plans written by the City for developers as they build along the Madison Corridor.

  5. Study traffic along the Madison Corridor including left turn elimination, commercial loading, parking, peak I-5 access, and in particular ambulance & emergency vehicle access.

 

SDOT Public Open House  Tuesday August 9   5 – 7 PM Meredith Mathews East Madison YMCA   1700 23rd Ave

Give feedback online before August 16: MadisonBRT.participate.online

 

Brie Gyncild and Merlin Rainwater, Central Seattle Greenways Co-chairs

Bob Edmiston, Madison Park Greenways Chair

Cathy Tuttle, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways Director

Gordon Werner, First Hill Improvement Association Transportation Chair

#Fix65th Rally for Safer Streets

NE 65th is vital for businesses, schools, and people who live, work, and play in NE Seattle.

Sign a petition to support this campaign.

But in just the past three years in this short stretch NE 65th, 12 people walking or biking have been killed or sent to the hospital along just 0.3 miles of NE 65th St. In that same period of time, 12 car-only collisions injured 19 people.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Join us next Thursday June 16 8-9am at a kick-off rally asking the Mayor to #Fix65th. :

We can’t wait for more injuries or fatalities.

NE 65th safety issues
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1333479236666617/

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