Category Archive: News

A Network of Safe Streets

For the first time ever, two greenways are crossing paths!

Thanks to the consistent and focused advocacy work of Ballard Greenways and Seattle Department of Transportation, the NW 58th Street Greenway goes west to east from Shilshole to 4th Ave NW, crossing 17th Ave NW that goes between Leary Way NW and NW 89th St.

Read more about this historic first piece of a citywide safe streets grid at Seattle Bike Blog.

What's the sound of two greenways crossing?

What’s the sound of two greenways crossing?

Our 2016 Priorities

Every year our coalition of 19 local groups comes together to set priorities for the year. This year, we picked three priorities that affect the entire city, and one priority for each City Council District.

Click on a priority to learn about it more in-depth.

2016 priorities meeting

Our annual priorities meeting empowers our grassroots advocates to decide what issues we should focus on.

Citywide 1: Safe Routes to School

Citywide 2: Complete Streets Advocacy

Citywide 3: 20/25 Speed Limit Campaign

District 1: Greenways along Spine of West Seattle

District 2: Continue Rainier Ave S Safety Fixes

District 3: Central Area Greenways completion

District 4: I-5 Freeway Crossings for People

District 5: N 92nd St Safe Route to School

District 6: 6th Ave NW Ballard to Greenwood

District 7: Safe E-W Route in South Lake Union

Click here to view our annual priorities from previous years. Read the rest of this entry »

Safety at crosswalks matters: Crosswalk actions

blockedby Janine Blaeloch, Lake City Greenways

As part of the Lake City Way Traffic Safety Corridor Project that started in 2013, Lake City Greenways has been working to help community members stake their claim on this important neighborhood street. As those who live near Rainier Avenue or Aurora know, having a major thoroughfare  in the center of your community can be daunting, and we need to make those who drive Lake City Way—especially commuters—understand that it is our Main Street, a place that also serves people on foot, bicycle, and wheelchair.

To that end, on about a monthly basis we stage a “crosswalk action,” at a key intersection of Lake City Way, legally traversing crossings while carrying signs with safety-oriented messages such as “Look for me before you turn,” “Stop on red, keep us safe,” and “Look out for pedestrians.”  The crosswalk actions are a great way for neighbors to meet, commiserate, bond with the commuters that fly by, and deliver an important message about sharing our streets.

Biking experience in Seattle by a Dutch student

foto (1)

Hi!

My name is Max Albert, I am a Dutch student who is currently doing an internship at Seattle Neighborhood Greenways. I have ridden my bike on a daily basis ever since I was 4 years old and would say I am extremely comfortable on it. In case you haven’t heard of the Netherlands, its literal translation from Dutch is “low lands”, meaning that there are almost no hills.

When coming to Seattle I naturally had the intent to ride my bike everywhere, without a helmet of course. However, this quickly changed as I first explored Downtown. The sight of people blending in with cars on the busy roads and flying down the hills was a completely different sight from what I was used to, and made me think twice about my previous made statement about riding my bike everywhere. I had been warned that it could be dangerous but this was truly something else.

I received a bike from one of my colleagues at the office where I am doing my internship which is located Downtown near Pioneer Square Station. The bike was waiting for me in the basement and ready for use. On my first day one of my colleagues and I went on a trip by car, with bikes on the bike rack, to evaluate two of the recently finished Greenways in Delridge and Ballard which were quite comfortable, definitely something I could get used to. Read the rest of this entry »

Sadik-Khan & Mayor Murray get in a #StreetFight

jsk_book-copy-1030x515Janette Sadik-Khan and Mayor Ed Murray get in a #StreetFight. May the best urbanist win!

Janette Sadik-Khan is visiting Seattle!
Sadik-Khan is the former, and famous, New York City DOT Commissioner. She will talk with Seattle Mayor Ed Murray about her new book Street Fight.

Town Hall Seattle 1119 8th Avenue
Monday, March 21. 7:30-9 PM. Doors open 6:30PM

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways leaders of our 20 local groups crowd-sourced these 10 questions:

  1. What percentage of a city’s transportation budget should go towards making streets safe for people who walk? Towards Vision Zero generally?
  2. Should safety improvements go in first in low-income neighborhoods? How do you counter the charge of gentrification when you make streets safer?
  3. What’s the best approach to talking to small business owners when you put protected bike lanes next to their shops? Do you remove or add parking to protect bike lanes? (we love the idea of parked cars protecting most bike lanes as you did in NYC — we haven’t seen car protected bike lanes in Seattle much yet)
  4. How can we sell a Center City downtown network of protected bike lanes to our business and political leaders as the smartest choice economically and politically? Seattle has been planning a protected downtown network for five years and still has another five to go as it works through transit demands and small business owner fears. New York has a pretty good downtown protected bike network. Did business opposition keep your dedicated bike lanes to streets such as First Avenue along Manhattan’s fringes?
  5. What’s the secret of building great on-street plazas quickly and inexpensively? (you are famous for building huge plazas all over NYC in order to calm traffic and turn streets into people places. Seattle is still burnishing a few tiny on-street plazas on out of the way streets.)
  6. How impressed are you with the changes you’ve seen around our city since your last visit? It’s been a full year since you’ve returned to Seattle to help usher Seattle into the tactical urbanism era.
  7. How do you turn a DOT that’s used to 3 or 4-year turnaround times for planning and implementation of major capital projects into a more nimble organization that does tons of small but effective safety improvements?
  8. Bike share. Let’s say you operated a small bike share system that became insolvent.  You have a choice of expanding the existing system or starting fresh with a stationless system, which would you choose and why? What impeded expanding the NYC bike-sharing network north of 58thStreet in Manhattan?
  9. How did New York buy into Complete Streets ideals?  We hear, “we can’t fit all modes on all streets.” To some people this means people biking should be pushed to side streets whenever possible and buses should only get priority when it doesn’t impede car traffic. What does complete streets mean to you? Should streets that everyone needs to get to because there are many commercial destinations, schools, libraries, etc have access for everyone? And why is the mode that is never removed the car, not transit or biking?
  10. How do you gauge the optimal amount of community process?  – In Seattle we sometimes seem to go overboard and other times we barely let people know before making major street improvements. What’s the best way to strike a balance?

Family Bikes Belong on Transit

Want to help Family Bikes get places? Sign this letter!

To Sound Transit Board and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray:

Bringing bicycles on Sound Transit LINK light rail can be challenging, especially for families. Parents with young children often find it difficult to lift heavy bicycles onto train hooks. Bicycles with attached childrens’ seats, bicycles with front baskets, and bicycles with long tails often do not fit on bicycle hooks provided in the bicycle area of Sound Transit LINK light rail cars.

Some parents might choose to leave their bicycles at light rail stations, but bicycle parking at Sound Transit light rail stations is often challenging for families as well, with bicycle racks and bike boxes that are not designed to fit larger-sized family bicycles.

Therefore, we encourage the following actions from Sound Transit LINK light rail:

  1. Provide secure bicycle parking for bicycles of all sizes at every Sound Transit LINK light rail station.
  2. Purchase some open “flex” cars when Sound Transit makes its next light rail car purchase, to allow people with bicycles, oversized luggage, mobility devices, strollers, and other non-standard equipment more flexibility in their use of light rail space – open space can also hold more passengers who can stand at peak travel times.
  3. Develop a policy to encourage people using family bikes and cargo bikes to allow them to use light rail during off-peak hours (for example, family bicycles may use light rail at any times other than 7 to 9 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. weekdays and at times posted as high-capacity travel times such as major sports events).

It is particularly families who bike that benefit most from the expanded range of combining light rail with biking.  For an individual on a road bike, biking 10 miles each way is usually not as much of an undertaking. However, that same 10 mile trip with a few kids will involve bathroom and snack breaks, and much more energy output by the parent (who is piloting a combined 100-150lbs of kid + bike, instead of just a 20lb bike).  For parents biking with children, transit is a godsend. If transit can replace a portion of that trip, that can make a huge difference in how mobile a family can be without relying on a car.

People who use bicycles with their children need accommodation. We all want to do our part to be a multi-modal, climate-healthy, safe region and taking Sound Transit LINK light rail will help us reach our goals. Thank you!

 

Good Reflections on Safe Lights to School

January 31, 2015
by Cathy Tuttle

Monica Sweet showing off reflector lights at Safe Routes to School assembly
Monica Sweet showing off reflector lights at Safe Routes to School assembly

Two Lake City Greenways leaders teamed up with Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and made a glowing impression on children who walk to school in a neighborhood with high needs for safety improvements.

Recently at Cedar Park Elementary (Olympic Hills Interim) parent Karoliina Kuisma and Monica Sweet of Lake City Greenways presented a school assembly about safe walking and the need for reflectors for visibility at night. They did a demonstration where Monica wore a black coat and black pants.

When they turned out the lights on stage and Monica walked across stage, it was hard to see her. Then she turned around and walked the other way, but had reflectors pinned all over the left side of her coat. Midway across stage Karoliina used a flash camera to illuminate Monica, replicating what drivers would see in their car headlights. The students were amazed how just a few lights shone really brightly!

Afterwards, Karolina and Monica went to each classroom and delivered mixed packages of keychain reflectors (available for free from the SDOT Safe Routes to School program). With her SDOT Safe Routes to School Mini grant, Monica also purchased Finnish reflectors  in the shape of hearts and otter paw prints (otters are the school mascot).

Monica said, “From the buzz I heard in every classroom, this program was a hit. Thank you for the SRTS Mini grant and SDOT’s donation of reflectors. Today in Lake City, 296 kids today learned a little science, had some fun and now know more about what it means to be safe.”

20 MPH Streets Start With Schools

January 31, 2016
by Cathy Tuttle

Overwhelming Evidence of Speed Hump Effectiveness
Overwhelming Evidence of Speed Hump Effectiveness

It’s official. Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will engineer safe streets around ALL Seattle schools!

Speed humps are highly effective, inexpensive, and quick to install. Seattle Neighborhood Greenways has been working closely with SDOT on a policy of engineered speed bumps around all schools, based on the Vancouver BC model of traffic calming on non-arterial streets in all School Walk Zones.

Speed bumps will be prioritized using the Vision Zero and Race & Social Justice lenses in the Safe Routes to School Action Plan. (That means the schools with the highest need get speed humps first.)

People who live in school zones that that are not highly prioritized for funding may request speed hump funding through Neighborhood Street Fund or Neighborhood Matching Fund.2016 SDOT Speed Hump Policy page 1

The policy states “To discourage speeds above 20 mph all day, speed humps may be routinely installed on all non-arterials that are signed with 20 mph school speed zones. SDOT has evaluated the effectiveness of speed humps and speed cushions in school zones and found they are effective at reducing … speed to near 20 mph; and they nearly eliminate top-end speeders who drive more than 35 mph that pose the greatest danger for children walking and biking in school zones.(emphasis added)”

Read the complete Speed Hump Policy here.

 

 

Seattle ♥s Humps

by Cathy Tuttle
January 24, 2016

SNG Speed Hump Study On Lake City Greenway

SNG Speed Hump Study On Lake City Greenway

Let’s hear it for the lowly speed hump!

Seattle is poised to soon get thousands of these amazingly effective speed control devices near our schools and parks!

Speed humps, often called speed bumps**, are quick and inexpensive to install, and when installed correctly, force drivers to slow down.

Do speed humps work?

Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) started installing speed humps as part of neighborhood greenways and Safe Routes to School projects a couple of years ago. Wisely, SDOT measured speed data to track hump effectiveness.

Total speeding on the streets near three elementary schools dropped between 79 – 88 percent after speed humps were installed, and high-end speeding was nearly eradicated, and there was a 90 percent drop in aggressive drivers traveling more than 10 MPH over the speed limit.

Speed is the most important factors that determines how seriously a person is injured in a collision and, of course, whether the collision occurs in the first place. So yes, speed humps work.

SDOT Safe Routes Speed Hump Report

SDOT Safe Routes Speed Hump Report

What is a hump?

Technically, speed “humps” are different from the speed “bumps” you often encounter in parking lots. Built correctly, humps are more gradual and are not meant to bring people to a nearly complete stop. If you are driving or riding a bike at 20 MPH or below, you will not need to adjust your speed to go over them comfortably. If you are moving faster than 20 MPH, however, you will need to slow or face a jolt. And unlike with some speed bumps, the speed humps are not so sudden that they are likely to cause someone on a bike to crash.

Seattle’s speed humps will save lives, and they will prevent many people from serious and sometimes debilitating injuries.They will also make neighborhood streets places where people of all ages can live, have fun and get around on foot and bike.

Why is Seattle getting many new humps now?

In 2015, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways (SNG) staff came back from a Vancouver BC Study Trip with Commute Seattle, excited to share best practices. Among our take-aways was a Vancouver policy of putting speed humps on all non-arterial streets at EVERY school and EVERY park. SNG staff worked with SDOT Safe Routes to School coordinator Brian Dougherty and Parks staff on adapting Vancouver speed hump policies and we’re pleased to report Seattle has just now adopted similar policies!Speed Hump Effectiveness

Expect slower speeds soon where our children play and go to school. We have the tools to make our streets safer, and the speed hump is one of our most powerful tools in our safety toolbox. We can’t wait to see more of them!

**You may hear the terms speed humps and speed bumps used interchangeably by traffic safety professionals. Speed “humps” are actually the official term but according to our friends in Portland traffic engineering, the signs that said “Humps Ahead” were frequently stolen by the public but “Bumps Ahead” were left to perform their traffic calming duty.

Greenways UW Capstone for Licton Haller 1/14/16

January 12, 2016

UW Capstone Class Plans with Community!

UW Capstone Class Plans with Community in Mind!

A GREAT OPPORTUNITY and a A FACT-FINDING MEETING

If you care about the Licton Springs and Haller Lake neighborhoods

Change is happening in our neighborhood: Growth, traffic, the 3 new schools on 90th, a new bridge to the new Sound Transit station at Northgate, future Sound Transit Stations at 130th and 145th. Here is an opportunity to help the neighborhood envision change for the better.

The University of Washington Master of Landscape Architecture’s Capstone Studio will focus on the urban design issues of the Licton Springs and Haller Lake neighborhoods for the next 6 months. This is a chance for the neighborhood to work with UW masters candidates to explore creative ideas and opportunities for the neighborhood’s future. Your insights would greatly enrich what the students undertake. The students want to hear from you about your neighborhood!!

Thursday Jan. 14, 7 to 9 PM
Green Lake Community Center Room 3, 2nd floor
7201 E Green Lake Dr N

the room is accessible – an elevator is available. It is on bus route 48 and 2 blocks from bus route 16

Your insights would greatly enrich what the UW Master of Landscape Architecture’s Capstone Studio students undertake. The students are just getting underway, studying the community spaces/places and travel opportunities and challenges within the neighborhood, particularly for children. Students plan to develop design proposals for improving pedestrian and bicycle travel, as well as improving ecological, play and learning potentials for schools, parks and other community destinations. Students will be looking both to near term and longer term opportunities, including the Safe Routes to School planning for Northgate Elementary and the new schools under construction, and the Northgate Light Rail stop and possible pedestrian bridge and the potential Light Rail stop at 130th.

The studio’s outcomes are intended to support current initiatives in the neighborhoods and serve as a catalyst for new ones. The students will be identifying and developing design proposals January-March, then refining the work and creating a booklet April-June.

Help Plan Safe Routes to School to Eagle Staff, Northgate & Other Local Schools

Help Plan Safe Routes to School to Eagle Staff, Northgate & Other Local Schools

 

 

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