Category Archive: Uncategorized

Speak up for Sidewalks and Schoolkids!


Did you see the news this week that nearly $3 million that would have funded sidewalks and crosswalks for schools has been siphoned into the city’s “general fund”?

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.

We need you to speak up now in support for funding sidewalks and crosswalks so that kids in Seattle can get safely to and from school.

Act Now! buttonkids-crossing.jpgSeattle Neighborhood Greenways has championed the Safe Routes to School program since our founding in 2011 as a core piece of our work. We’re committed to making every neighborhood a great place to walk and making sure every child can safely walk to school. But in order to do that we need our city leaders to increase funding for safe routes to schools and sidewalks.


We need you to act now and send a letter to your councilmembers asking them to ensure that Safe Routes to School are adequately funded and kids can get safely to and from school.

Act Now! button

Thank you for your continued advocacy!

Be well,




Clara Cantor

(206) 681-5526
Community Organizer
Seattle Neighborhood Greenways


P.S. Whether or not we win back this funding, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways will continue to advocate to adequately fund safe routes to school and sidewalks next year, and hope you will stay engaged in this effort.

Sign up here to volunteer with us or Donate here. Thank you.

Too many kids are being injured along Rainier Ave

We have had enough of kids being injured along Rainier Ave. Last week, two young girls were hit at the intersection of Rainier Ave and S Henderson St, and another was hit back in May of this year.

There is a crash every single day on Rainier Avenue South on average. The city must act now to fix Seattle’s most dangerous street.

Here is how you can help:

1) Sign the petition asking the city to improve the intersection of Rainier Ave S and S Henderson St before school starts, and to finish the Rainier Ave safety redesign project.

2) Join us for a discussion this Saturday with the mayor

Who: Mayor Jenny Durkan and people who care about fixing Rainier Ave
What: A respectful discussion of community concerns and potential solutions.
When: 1:00 to 1:45 this Saturday, August 18th
Where: Intersection of Rainier Ave S & S Henderson St

Thank you for caring and taking action,

Gordon Padelford
Executive Director
Seattle Neighborhood Greenways

P.S. We have not yet been able to make contact with the family/families of the two girls who were hit last week. If you know them and could put us in touch so we can support them we would be very grateful.

Together we’re saving the Basic Bike Network

ApuMishraWithBabySmallMy wife and I both commute by bike downtown. If we want to create a long-term solution to traffic congestion in Seattle, encouraging pedestrian and bicycle transportation is vital, and bike infrastructure is essential.”  —Apu Mishra



We’re excited to share some big news with you: Thanks to your support, the city will build the most important east-west bike route in Seattle next year—protected bike lanes on Pike/Pine, connecting downtown to Capitol Hill.

While we saved this one piece of the Basic Bike Network, the rest is still in jeopardy. Help us keep the momentum going so that we can connect every neighborhood with safe, comfortable walking and biking routes.

(More exciting news: Your gift today will go three times as far! Find out about our incredible 2-to-1 match below.)

This kind of victory for safe streets doesn’t just happen on its own. It takes public pressure of all kinds. The city was considering delaying this critical connection, but supporters like you who advocated, donated to support our work, or cheered us on, saved it. Speaking of which, don’t miss this short video of Seattle’s first ever people-protected bike lane—one of many strategies we used to help make this win possible:

We still have a long way to go to make every neighborhood a great place to walk, bike, and live. It won’t be easy; every walking and biking improvement requires going up against powerful forces working to protect the status quo. But together, we are up to this challenge.

Apu Mishra, a Seattle Neighborhood Greenways volunteer with the Beacon Hill Safe Streets group, spoke up at City Hall for safer access to walking and biking on Seattle’s streets. 

And that’s why Seattle Neighborhood Greenways’ Board of Directors and the local Bowline Fund have boldly stepped up to match your gift 2-to-1, up to $30,000, as we head into our busiest season of city-wide organizing yet.

Please make your gift by June 30, 2018 to triple your gift and your impact. We simply can’t do this work without you.

When you contribute to Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, you’re helping accelerate safe streets solutions. Your support makes it possible for us to:

  • Organize for a bike network that connects to every neighborhood
  • Champion safe routes for kids to walk and bike to school
  • Advocate for walking and biking projects with historically underserved communities
  • Work for safe routes to walk and bike to transit hubs


Thank you for your support of Seattle Neighborhood Greenways. Let’s build a safe, accessible, and equitable Seattle for all.



Gordon Padelford
 Executive Director
P.S. Please make your generous gift by June 30, 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.

Pike/Pine in 2019: Big win thanks to your advocacy!

Thanks to your advocacy, the Mayor and SDOT staff have committed to building safe, protected bike lanes on Pike/Pine connecting downtown and Capitol Hill by 2019!

Please take a moment to thank the Mayor now.

A group of people holding signs in support of the Basic Bike Network gathered around a speaker at a microphone.

This is a significant win in a prolonged campaign for the Basic Bike Network. We have gathered to raise our voices time and again—via email petitions, in City Council chambers, and at powerful rallies—and we are being heard. 

That’s why we are so excited that the Mayor and SDOT have committed to building the crucial east-west connection of the Basic Bike Network in 2019, with additional upgrades to follow in the coming years. 

A comparison between current, unsafe conditions at the intersection of Pine and Boren and a happy image of a protected bike lane filled with happy bikers on a rainy day.

Please take a moment to thank the Mayor for committing to building protected bike lanes on Pike/Pine from Downtown to Capitol Hill in 2019! Let’s keep the momentum for the Basic Bike Network going!

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

Meet the New Team Members!

We’ve added some new faces over the past nine months at Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, and we couldn’t be more excited. By way of introduction, we’ve asked our newest recruits a few questions about what drives their passion for safe streets / public spaces work in Seattle.

 Meet Clara Cantor, our new Community Organizer!

Joined SNG in March 2018.


How do you enjoy the public spaces in your neighborhood?  

I have a small apartment, so I spend a lot of my time in public spaces in my neighborhood! From sitting in the grass with a picnic or a beer, to walking the dog, to using the back alley or the sidewalk to do woodworking projects, I have met some of my closest friends just being outside at the right time. I even have a favorite street tree that I make a point of walking past as often as possible.

What is awesome about Seattle? 

I’m from Seattle, so I may be biased, but I’ve lived in a lot of places and traveled to many more, and Seattle is still one of my favorite places to be. I love the mountains and the water and the green, and I also love the people here. There’s no place like it. Even when I was living elsewhere, I always knew that I’d be back.

Why Seattle Neighborhood Greenways?

I love the grassroots model here at SNG – that we are of, by, and for the people. And I love the all ages and abilities focus. I am a regular bike commuter and can be a fairly vehicular cyclist sometimes, but swerving through traffic (while better than being in a car) is still not a safe or pleasant way to spend time on a bike. One of my favorite things about the Central District (where I live) is that it’s so pleasant to wander through, and I want that for everyone! Going to the library or the grocery store can be a chore, or it can be a pleasant stroll through a tree-lined street during which you stop to chat with neighbors and friends. That’s the dream!

Clara’s Ask: Have ideas about what can make your neighborhood a better place to walk, bike, or live? Interested in putting your talents to use as a volunteer? Hit me up!

Meet Susan Gleason, our Communications and Development Director!

Joined SNG in August 2017.

Susan Gleason headshot

How do you enjoy the public spaces in your neighborhood?  

I live in the Hillman City neighborhood and I can honestly say it’s my favorite place to be. The street I live on, one block off of Rainier Avenue, has a lot of neighborhood activity — folks walking their dogs, groups of friends taking a stroll, parents and kids biking together. I love the community feel and inevitable interactions that come with just stepping outside our door. I treasure our summer block party (it’s my 9 yr-old neighbor’s favorite day of the year!), visiting the businesses and nonprofits in our local commercial hub, and getting in as much time as I can walking, biking, or swimming at nearby Seward Park.

What is awesome about Seattle? 

I’ve lived most of my adult life here, and over those decades I feel like I’ve seen many “Seattles”. Far and away, what I value most about Seattle are the people I’ve met here and the community networks my husband and I share. There’s a creative, solution-oriented, can-do culture I’ve experienced in a bunch of different settings, including my former work at YES! Magazine, and even much longer ago at Earth on the Air Radio Works, that really speaks to me. The progressive politics, passion for social justice, and breathtaking natural beauty — well, these make Seattle a pretty remarkable city as well.

Why Seattle Neighborhood Greenways?

My favorite cities are some of the most walkable cities — New York, DC, Montreal. I lived in Holland for a year, right out of high school, and I’ll never forget what it felt like for daily life, school, and socializing to all take place via bike and trains. I share the dream that many people in Seattle have of this city being a wonderful place to get around by walking, biking, and transit. We have such a long way to go — but there are incremental improvements, and signs of what may be possible. I started out with Seattle Neighborhood Greenways as a volunteer in the newly-formed Rainier Valley Greenways group, back in 2013, and I’ve been knocked out ever since by the community-driven model, the steadfast commitment to a city that works for people of all ages and abilities—and the coalition’s amazing track record of success.

Susan’s Ask: I’m looking for stories and storytellers! Please let me know about video, photos, and write-ups that you’re willing to share or create.

Thank You, Seattle Parks Foundation — It’s Time for Us to Leave the Nest! 

April 26th, 2018 marked a major milestone in the history of Seattle Neighborhood Greenways. Our success is your success. We simply couldn’t have made it here without the interest, engagement, volunteer effort, passion, partnerships, snappy tweets, and financial support that so many of you have provided from our earliest days of feisty advocacy in 2011. Gordon Padelford’s letter, below, tells the story. 


Dear Friends,

We want you to be the first to know: Seattle Neighborhood Greenways has secured its 501(c)(3) status and will be stepping out from under Seattle Parks Foundation’s Fiscal Sponsorship umbrella effective April 26, 2018. As you are a supporter and/or volunteer of Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, we wanted you to know how your energy and investment have paid off.

In 2011, when safe streets advocates in three neighborhoods—Northeast Seattle, Wallingford, and Beacon Hill—discovered their shared interest in making Seattle a more walkable and bikeable city, they joined forces and Seattle Neighborhood Greenways (SNG) was born.

With Seattle Parks Foundation as a fiscal sponsor, we steadily expanded our grassroots advocacy, community leadership development, and coalition-building efforts. Now it’s time to take that work to the next level.

With leadership from SNG’s founding director, Cathy Tuttle (who is still active as a board member), as well as dozens of committed volunteers and donors like you, our community-driven network achieved many early advocacy successes and built a reputation as a trusted partner with city and county agencies and a wide range of grassroots collaborators.

In those early wins, SNG provided the vision, community outreach, and momentum that led city planners to incorporate neighborhood greenways—traffic-calmed streets that are safer for walking and biking—into Seattle’s Bicycle Master Plan. From there, we embarked on a multi-neighborhood listening effort to discover what mattered most to communities across the city and expanded the scope of our work to include the redevelopment of Rainier Avenue (Seattle’s most dangerous street), pocket parks in Lake City, and safe walking routes to parks, schools, and light rail stations. In 2016, SNG also led a successful campaign to reduce speed limits to safer levels citywide.

In the past year, Gordon Padelford, who has been SNG staff since 2013, took the helm as executive director, and SNG’s amazing coalition of neighborhood groups have provided leadership on dozens of projects, including:

  • Georgetown-South Park Trail, garnering $600,000 in city support,
  • Community Package Coalition, an alliance of affordable housing, green space, and mobility groups that pushed for $82 million in public benefits as part of the Washington State Convention Center expansion, and
  • Safe Routes to School safety improvements at the new Robert Eagle Staff Middle School in the Licton Springs neighborhood.

Looking forward, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways will soon launch a four-year strategic plan to chart a course for greater impact at a neighborhood and city scale. We’ve identified top priorities including a focus on providing safe infrastructure for people walking, building a bike network that connects every neighborhood, creating safe routes to schools and transit, and championing projects identified by historically underinvested-in communities.

Although the terms of our partnership with Seattle Parks Foundation have changed, the relationship will continue to thrive. Both organizations share a vision of a greener, more equitable, and more human-scaled public realm for all Seattle residents, and we look forward to significant collaboration in the years ahead.

We hope it’s clear to see: Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, and the citywide movement for greater walkability and bikeability that you helped build, is growing. From now on, you’ll be able to donate directly to Seattle Neighborhood Greenways—online at, or via mail by sending a check to Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, 220 2nd Ave S #100, Seattle, WA 98104. Can we count on your support in this critical and exciting year?

With heartfelt appreciation for all you do,


Gordon Padelford

Executive Director

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways


P.S. Don’t miss out on Seattle Neighborhood Greenways updates and events—sign up for our newsletter at


You are now able to donate directly to Seattle Neighborhood Greenways at or by mailing your gift to 220 2nd Ave S #100, Seattle, WA 98104.






Tell the city: Build the Basic Bike Network now!

Safe bike lanes downtown are in jeopardy.

We need your help to demonstrate support for building the #BasicBikeNetwork now by showing up at the Seattle City Council Transportation Committee meeting this Tuesday! RSVP and learn more.
Downtown bikingWhat’s the Basic Bike Network? It’s a vision for a connected network of safe streets to bike on, not just disconnected pieces here and there. When the #BasicBikeNetwork is built, the city expects to more than double the number of people who bike downtown by 2023. And we also know that protected bike lanes make it safer to walk too by separating car turning and walking signal phases.

Downtown Minimum grid map with arrows 6 copyBut the basic bike network has already been delayed years because of politics, and we can’t wait any longer to make our city safer and more accessible.

Join us as we tell the city: Build the Basic Bike Network now!

When: Tuesday, April 3rd, 2:00-2:40 PM (please arrive a few minutes before 2 PM)

Where: Seattle City Hall, in the Council Chambers (2nd floor).

RSVP: On Facebook or to

How: By standing 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!


Community members stand up for the #BasicBikeNetwork at the Seattle Community Council Transportation Meeting

Photo Credit: SounderBruce


Can’t make it? Stay tuned for more opportunities.

Thank you and we hope you can join us on Tuesday!

Gordon Padelford
Executive Director
Seattle Neighborhood Greenways

Your gift will help connect all of Seattle’s neighborhoods

“As a child, I walked along train tracks due to there not being sidewalks over to South Park to get the supplies and services we needed.”

—Rosario Medina, lifelong resident of Georgetown

As someone who supports Seattle Neighborhood Greenways’ grassroots advocacy work for safer and more equitable walking and biking access around the city, you’ve probably experienced how difficult it can be to simply get from one neighborhood to another on bike or foot.

Rosario Medina knows this experience first hand. Rosario grew up in Georgetown, where she didn’t have access to many basic community services: “I could not experience having a library, a grocery store, community center, daycare or any of the facilities that cater to children and families in the neighborhood that I lived in.”

Those services were available in neighboring South Park, less than two miles away—a short, flat stretch, but unsuitable for walking or biking. East Marginal Way, the busy six-lane arterial that separates Georgetown and South Park is a dangerous high-crash corridor—making the short distance between neighborhoods inaccessible for many families.

Thanks to supporters like you, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways was able to win $600,000 in the city budget for a new walking and biking trail between Georgetown and South Park!

Your end of year contribution will allow us to connect all of Seattle’s neighborhoods. Better yet, your gift by midnight, December 31, will help us reach a $1,000 match offered by one of our generous donors—so your contribution goes twice as far!

How did this huge community win come about? Concerned neighbors came together as Duwamish Valley Safe Streets, put in tireless hours of organizing, built a local coalition of community members, and advocated for change. All this was made possible by a proven model of support, guidance, and expertise from Seattle Neighborhood Greenways staff. Our effective community-based organizing is only possible with your support. Thank you!

When you contribute to Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, you’re helping accelerate safe streets solutions. Your support makes it possible for us to:

  • Organize for a bike network that connects to every neighborhood
  • Champion safe routes for kids to walk and bike to school
  • Advocate for walking and biking projects with historically underserved communities
  • Work for safe routes to walk and bike to transit hubs


Together we can make Seattle a great place to walk, bike, and live.


Gordon Padelford
Executive Director

P.S. Please make your generous gift by midnight December 31, 2017 to help us reach the $1,000 match! Any amount helps!

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways
220 2nd Ave S #100
Seattle, WA 98144
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Building the Downtown #BasicBikeNetwork

By Ryan Packer. A leader of South Lake Union Greenways

Between 2010 and 2016, 45,000 new jobs were added in the neighborhoods comprising Downtown Seattle, most of them in District 7. Stunningly, 95% of these new commuters have chosen to get to and from work by modes other than driving by themselves. For the first time in Seattle’s history, the rate of people driving by themselves to work has dropped to only 30%. That’s over 30,000 more people a day using transit and over 9,000 walking or biking into downtown.

With so many people coming into District 7 every day without their cars, the gains that have been made to improve both walking and biking in all of the center city neighborhoods, including South Lake Union, Belltown, and central Downtown, have made such a huge impact in terms of making people’s lives easier and keeping them safe.

This fall, the first stages of protected bike lanes were installed along Pike and Pine Streets downtown. The creation of a bike connection between Capitol Hill and Downtown has been long in the making and once the connection is made fully protected in the next few years it will truly change the way that all Seattleites are able to experience biking through downtown. The bike lanes have already provided added protection from turning vehicles for people on foot downtown, which is so important as foot traffic increases to retail destinations in the area and daylight is at its minimum. The long term project known as the Pike Pine Renaissance, which began its first phases of outreach this year, represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to rethink the way we use the public right-of-way through one of the most popular places in our city, the retail core between Pike Place Market and Capitol Hill.

pike pine PBL collage

In Belltown, the extension of the 2nd Avenue protected bike lane has continued at a rapid pace this year, with the high-quality facility heading toward completion early next year. Once finished, this will create an all-ages-and-abilities route between downtown and Seattle Center. In addition, the project has also added signalized crosswalks for people crossing 2nd Avenue through Belltown when previously the design of the fast-moving corridor encouraged people in vehicles to not stop for pedestrians.

2nd ave pbl in belltown

2nd Ave Protected Bike Lanes are Almost Open!

South Lake Union, on the heels of benefiting from the opening of the Westlake Cycletrack between Lake Union Park and Fremont last year, named bike facility of 2016 by People for Bikes, is continuing to see its bike network extended, most notably on 9th Avenue North, which will see a full bicycle connection realized between Valley Street and Denny Way by next year, and is part of the center city #BasicBikeNetwork:

Downtown Minimum grid map v5 without header

People on foot crossing between Denny Triangle and South Lake Union also noticed a big change at Terry Avenue where a previously unthinkable place to cross given the busy traffic on Denny Way was made safe with the benefit of a pedestrian crossing. The facility got a lot of attention from the nearby Seattle Times offices, where reporters had remarked on the intersection’s hazards for years.

Terry before improvements

Terry before improvements

In Magnolia, a project that was delayed from 2016 is finally nearing completion: the installation of protected bike lanes along 20th Ave W and Gilman Dr W will finally allow a safe connection between the world-class Elliott Bay Trail and the Ballard Locks.

gilman pbl donghoLooking ahead, the demolition of the Alaskan Way Viaduct, the reconnection of the street grid on Aurora Avenue between Mercer and Denny, the reinvestment in Key Arena, and the work happening on the waterfront are all projects that have a great potential to transform District 7 into a place where people come first. For instance, we’ve already successfully advocated to get a traffic diverter on Thomas St at Aurora to prioritize the street for people walking and biking, once it is reconnected. The advocates in District 7, on the part of neighborhood groups like Queen Anne Greenways, and South Lake Union Greenways, are an invaluable part of moving forward toward this better future.

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

Park Advocates Leverage Private Development on First Hill

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.

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