Category Archive: News

We’re growing: Welcome, KL Shannon!

Greenways community,

We are excited to introduce you to our new community organizer, KL Shannon. 

KLwithNephew

Community Organizer KL Shannon with her nephew.

We had a very competitive field of candidates for this second community organizer role, and KL shone through with her love of community, her tremendous background in local social justice work and community organizing, and her passion for getting more people of color at the tables where transportation decisions are made. KL was mentored in Seattle activism at a very young age, and now, as an organizing veteran, she’s deeply committed to developing the next generation of leaders — as are we!

Here’s a bit more of KL’s impressive background, in her own words:

I’m a longtime community organizer who grew up in Seattle’s Central District and started my organizing career with Jobs with Justice and Mothers for Police Accountability. My body of organizing work includes issues that impact communities of color: Economic Justice, Housing, Immigration, Police Accountability, and Transportation.

I’m helping to raise my fourteen-year-old nephew and actively support him by disrupting the school yard-to-prison pipeline that snags our black and brown boys.

I’m thrilled to join Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, as a new community organizer. Economic Justice, Housing, Immigration, Police Accountability — and Transportation — are connected and each of these issues impacts communities of color daily.

I’m especially looking forward to collaborating, engaging, and learning from the folks that are holding it down in The Central Area to Rainier Beach areas!

We know you all will give KL a warm welcome and help her understand what is happening in your neighborhood!

Connect with our 2019 Campaigns!

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways wants every neighborhood to be a great place to walk, bike, and live. To get there, we are tackling thorny problems and exciting opportunities all over the city! We truly are a people-powered movement, and simply couldn’t get it done without people like you. Thank you for donating and volunteering — you make all this change possible.

Draft Map of 2019 local priorities v2

 

accessible-mt-baker

Accessible Mt. Baker

The Mt Baker light rail station is currently divided from the bus station and Franklin High School by one of the most intimidating intersections in the city. The Accessible Mt. Baker plan envisions the intersection of Rainier Ave and MLK transformed to create a sustainable, affordable, and accessible neighborhood for all.

Sign up to learn more about the campaign, or learn about Mt. Baker Hub Alliance, our neighborhood partners.

How to get involved: Sign up or show up to a Rainier Valley Greenways meeting, which happen on the 3rd Tuesday of every month at 6 PM at BikeWorks’ office (3715 S Hudson St).

Fix Rainier Ave

Rainier and Henderson tweet

Rainier Ave is Seattle’s most dangerous street, with a crash every day. After 4 years of tireless organizing, SDOT has plans to begin improvements this summer, with a full re-channelization completed next year. Neighbors up and down the corridor are making sure the City keeps its promises and implements improvements to make it safer for everyone to live, work, and get where they need to go in the Rainier Valley.

How to get involved: Sign up or show up to a Rainier Valley Greenways meeting, which happen on the 3rd Tuesday of every month at 6 PM at BikeWorks’ office (3715 S Hudson St).

Beacon Ave Trail

Beacon Ave trail

The Beacon Ave Trail runs down the middle of the boulevard and is well-loved by neighbors. However, it is currently chopped up by difficult crossings and is not fully accessible. Minor improvements could make a big difference in the usability and ease of access to this trail. Beacon Hill Safe Streets is currently supporting a Neighborhood Street Fund application to improve the trail.

How to get involvedSign up or show up to Beacon Hill Safe Streets meeting on the 4th Thursday of the month at the Beacon Hill Library meeting room.

Community walk to explore trail options

Community walk to explore trail options

Georgetown to South Park Trail

Georgetown and South Park are two neighborhoods that each have daily necessities that the other lacks, but remain divided by a dangerous road. We’ll work with local organizers to advocate for the creation of a trail that connects people in these communities to where they need to go.

How to get involvedSign up or show up to Duwamish Valley Safe Street’s meetings on the 3rd Tuesday of every month (see our calendar for details).

Duwamish Longhouse Trail Connection

Getting to the Duwamish Longhouse today is currently very dangerous

Getting to the Duwamish Longhouse today is currently very dangerous

The Duwamish Tribe’s Longhouse is currently divided from Herring’s House Park, which they use for cultural events, by a fast moving four lane road and train track. In 2019 we will support their Neighborhood Street Fund application to fund a better crossing here and eventually a seamless connection to the Duwamish Trail.

How to get involvedSign up or connected with West Seattle Bike Connections. Learn about the Duwamish Longhouse.

Build the Basic Bike Network

BasicBikeNetworkMap-Resolution-Emphasis

The heart of our city should have a safe and convenient bike network. In 2019 we’ll make sure the city follows through on its promises to connect the downtown bike network to the Westlake trail, Broadway protected bike lane, and the Delridge protected bike lane. Learn more about the Basic Bike Network.

How to get involvedSign up or show up to Central Seattle Greenway’s meetings on the 2nd Monday of the month at Central Cinema at 6 PM.

 

Thomas St watercolor

Lake2Bay & Thomas St

Thomas St in South Lake Union will soon be re-knitted over highway 99, providing an opportunity to create a green, peaceful refuge amongst the hustle and bustle of downtown that connects people walking and biking from the Cascade P-Patch to the Seattle Center and the Waterfront. In 2019, we’ll rekindle the effort to realize the potential of Thomas St.

How to get involvedSign up. Do you have connections to employers or property owners along Thomas St? Let’s chat!

Eastlake Ave Multimodal Corridor

In 2019 we’ll support neighborhood advocates who want to make Eastlake Ave a safer and more comfortable place to walk and bike.

How to get involvedSign up.

Pedestrianize the Ave

Imagine a pedestrianized Ave

In 2019 we’ll work to reinvision The Ave and NE 43rd St as a space that prioritizes people and small businesses, not just a passthrough.

How to get involvedSign up.

Green Lake Cross sectionGet Around Green Lake

Get Around Green Lake will connect the people to where they want to go by advocating for better bike lanes and crosswalks to make it easier to walk and bike around Green Lake.

How to get involvedSign up or show up to a Green Lake Wallingford Safe Streets meeting on the 2nd Wednesday of each month (see our calendar for details).

 

home zoneHome Zones

Every neighborhood should be safe to walk in. In 2019 we’ll help the city pilot two Home Zones that will make entire neighborhoods safer and more comfortable to walk in. Learn more about Home Zones.

How to get involvedSign up or show up to Greenwood-Phinney Greenways meeting on the 2nd Tuesday at 7:30 at Couth Buzzard Books (see our calendar for details).

 

 

 

Citywide Campaigns:

AdjaAndDaughtersSafe Routes to School

Every child deserves to be able to walk and bike to school safely and comfortably. In 2019 we’ll be working with ten school communities to advocate for more safe routes to school funding, policies that prioritize walking and biking, and more crossing guards.

How to get involvedSign up. Do you have connections to your local Seattle Public School? Let’s chat!

Sane Signals

D3WsNYAU8AAXL-r

People walking should be prioritized, not penalized, when crossing the street. In 2019, we’ll advocate for a comprehensive signals policy that reflects our city’s values and priorities. Read more about our push last year to halt the spread of signals that only prioritize cars at the expense of people walking.

How to get involvedSign up.

Sidewalk Funding

Red areas are missing sidewalks

Red areas are missing sidewalks

At our current rate of funding, it will take us well over 300 years to build sidewalks on the 26% of Seattle streets where they are missing. In 2019 we’ll work to support new sources of revenue to build sidewalks where they are most needed.

How to get involvedSign up.

Equitable City Engagement

In 2019 we’ll continue to advocate for equitable City of Seattle engagement policies and practices.

How to get involvedSign up.

SNG pushes for Racial Equity within our organization, our movement, and our City

In so many aspects of an individual’s daily life — where they can afford to live, their ability to own a private vehicle, how far they need to go to get to work or even the nearest grocery store, what kind of access they have to the public transit systems, how safe they are when crossing the street, and how they are viewed by law enforcement on our streets — race and racism play a huge role in determining a person’s ability to get where they need to go in Seattle.

A graph showing percentage of pedestrian fatalities relative to population. The graph shows that share of pedestrian fatalities is higher than the relative percentage of population for people who are Native, Hispanic, Black/African American, and 65 and older.

National statistics from Dangerous By Design, 2014 – Smart Growth America.

Only by changing the underlying systems that create race-based disparities in our community can we achieve racial equity.

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways works to make every neighborhood a great place to walk, bike, and live — for all people. Achieving this vision requires addressing racial disparities in our transportation systems and accurately advocating for the needs of all communities. As a historically white-led organization working in transportation and environmental movements that are predominantly white, we have both a responsibility to address how systemic racism influences our movements and also the privilege that will help us to make a difference in changing it.

That’s why, at the beginning of 2019, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways ratified a Racial Equity Action Plan. In it, we make two pledges:

  • Internally, SNG commits to becoming a racially, culturally, and socially diverse organization that treats all people with respect and dignity and recognizes the interconnected nature of overlapping systems of oppression and discrimination.
  • Externally, SNG strives to redress the historical and systemically-rooted inequities in transportation and city investments. We endeavor to do this work in solidarity with communities of color as a trustworthy and respectful partner.

Ziyi Liu presents research on feelings towards bike routes in the International District.

We also outline a plan of action over the next three years. This includes individual racial equity plans for our neighborhood groups, many of whom have already begun this important work, as well as continued education, outreach, and relationship-building.

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways is dedicated to a vision in which every neighborhood in Seattle is a great place to walk, bike, and live. Great places reflect the needs of all people, and lift up their values and culture, because they are co-created by people of every race, age, language, ethnicity, gender, ability, level of wealth, and immigration status. While SNG recognizes that an individual’s intersectional identity impacts their ability to feel safe on the street and in public spaces, this Action Plan focuses intentionally on racial equity — we believe this targeted, race-first approach will ensure that racial equity goals are not diluted, and will provide a foundation for understanding and addressing intersectional challenges related to other forms of oppression.

Three people smile in front of a festively decorated DVSS booth at a summer festival.

We seek participation of people of color as group members, leaders, staff, and partners. We welcome and embrace the diversity of experiences and knowledge of everyone in our city, particularly with regard to race, age, language, ethnicity, gender, ability, level of wealth, and immigration status.

Find out more about our Racial Equity Action Plan here, or get involved in your local Greenways chapter today! 

Mayor’s 5-year Bike Plan Slashes Promises — Act Now

Have you seen the draft 2019-2024 Bicycle Implementation Plan? The document proposed by Mayor Durkan lays out which projects will be built through the end of the Move Seattle Levy. While the plan includes some important projects, it drastically slashes the connected network that was promised to voters. In short, the next five years will not bring us considerably closer to connecting every neighborhood to each other with comfortable and convenient bike routes.

We need your help to tell SDOT and Seattle city leadership that this plan isn’t good enough. Send a comment to SDOT and Seattle city leadership here.

Act Now! button

How we got here

First, it is important to place this implementation plan in a wider context. It comes on the heels of the “Move Seattle Reset” — a hard look at the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT)’s ability to deliver projects given current funding levels. This reset pares down expectations from what was promised to voters to what can actually be delivered given current funding levels. But the implementation plan takes this trajectory too far and is downright pessimistic about funding assumptions.

For example, it predicts that after 2021 our city will never win another grant to complete what we promised voters. It’s also important to put this in the wider context: our society has plenty of existing funding to build out a safe bike network that connects every neighborhood, but politicians decide to spend it on projects like the $3,374,000,000 Highway-99 tunnel.

We could also stop the bad habit of making the bike budget pick up the tab for completely rebuilding streets and stretch our Bike Master Plan dollars further. Or we could aggressively pursue progressive funding options locally, regionally, and at the state level. Or some combination of all these strategies. Instead, what we are getting is extreme fiscal austerity at the expense of our city’s vision for a healthy, safe, affordable, equitable, and sustainable future. We can and must demand better from our leaders.

A joyful crowd of people in rain ponchos ride on a protected bike lane.

Important Inclusions

Zooming in on the specific projects listed in this Bicycle Implementation Plan, there are laudable inclusions and glaring omissions.

The plan includes much-needed safe places to bike on Eastlake Ave E, Green Lake Way, Delridge Way SW, E Marginal Way, the Georgetown to South Park Trail, Pike/Pine (and other parts of the Basic Bike Network), SW Avalon Way, and the Burke Gilman Trail Missing Link. The mayor deserves credit for including these critical projects in her plan and we hope she will work to swiftly build them before the end of her term.

Official sign reading "Bike Lane Ends". Someone has added googly eyes and a frowning face.

Three Glaring Omissions

1) A convenient, safe connection for SE Seattle. The most glaring omission is the lack of a single comfortable and convenient north-south route for Southeast Seattle. The viable options are, in order of preference, Rainier Ave S, Martin Luther King Jr Way S, and/or Beacon Ave S. A route down the spine of Beacon Hill may be the easiest option to implement. Building a continuous route from Yesler Terrace to South Beacon Hill on 12th, 15th, and Beacon Ave would connect SE Seattle communities to each other and economic opportunities like never before.

 

2) Safe Routes to SODO Jobs. The second biggest missing piece is a route that serves the thousands of blue collar jobs in SODO. The SODO Trail should be extended all the way to Georgetown or a viable alternative should be found that provides a connection to all the jobs along the way to protect the workers like Celso Diaz, who was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver  in 2017 while he was cycling home from work. On the other side of the Duwamish River, closing the Duwamish Trail gap would connect workers to jobs and fulfill a desire of the Duwamish Tribe to better connect their longhouse to the rest of Seattle.

 

3) Safe Routes to Transit. The third area that needs improvement is access to high capacity transit. Biking can be a great way to get around for many of our daily necessities since 51% of our trips are to destinations less than five miles away. For the other 49% of our daily needs, transit is a great option — if people can get to it. We need to build projects that will help people access transit hubs:

  • A protected bike lane from Mt Baker to the I-90 Trail on MLK, connecting people in the Rainier Valley directly to the East Link Light Rail station at Judkins Park, and people in the Central District to the Mount Baker Station.
  • A route paralleling California Ave SW, connecting people in the Admiral neighborhood of West Seattle to the C Line stations in the Alaska Junction neighborhood and to the Fauntleroy Boulevard Project (a project which is well overdue).
  • Improved bike routes to Northgate light rail station (opening 2021) and the N 130th Station (potentially opening 2024) to provide better access, especially for north Bitter Lake and Little Brook — the two most racially diverse neighborhoods in North Seattle.  

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways staff bike on a Pike St protected bike lane.

What You Can Do

These routes are a start to building a bike network that connects every neighborhood. We encourage everyone to continue pushing our elected leaders until every Seattleite has the opportunity to bike for their daily needs. And we invite you to join us in speaking up for the additional projects above at one of the upcoming public engagement meetings:

 

SHOW UP IN PERSON: SDOT Café-style Conversations

6:00 pm Doors open / 6:15 pm Short presentation / 6:30 pm Conversations

 

COMMENT ONLINE: Can’t make it in person? Send a comment to SDOT and Seattle City leadership using this form.

 

Here’s a cheat sheet for in-person and online comments:

  • A convenient, safe connection for SE Seattle. The viable options are, in order of preference, Rainier Ave S, Martin Luther King Jr Way S, and/or Beacon Ave S. A spine along Beacon Hill connecting from Yesler to Way to Kenyon St on 12th Ave S, 15th Ave S, and Beacon Ave S may be the most viable option.
  • Safe Routes to SODO Jobs. Connect the SODO Trail to Georgetown and jobs along the way, and close the Duwamish Trail gap to connect to the Duwamish Longhouse.
  • Safe Routes to Transit. For Sound Transit stations opening in 2021 and 2024, this plan will make or break their accessibility and usability. Connect the Little Brook and north Bitter Lake neighborhoods to the new light rail stations, Admiral to the C-Line via 42nd Ave SW & Fauntleroy, and the Central District to the Mount Baker station via MLK.

 

Thank you for all that you do!

Be well,

Clara

 

claraClara Cantor

she/her/hers
(206) 681-5526
Community Organizer
Seattle Neighborhood Greenways

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.
TAKE ACTION: 
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 clara@seattlegreenways.org. 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)

RSVP Here

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)
RSVP Here

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: Clara@seattlegreenways.org

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

 


Clara Cantor

she/her/hers
(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

MarkAndHighFivesOnPPBLSeattle_large

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.

 

IMG_20180921_105946

 

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 GLWstreets.org 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.

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