Tag Archive: advocacy

Creating Walkways in Georgetown

August 5, 2017
by Carol Ohlfs and Jesse Moore, Co-leaders
Duwamish Valley Safe Streets

Duwamish Valley Safe Streets leads tour to homeless camps for agency & City officials

Duwamish Valley Safe Streets leads tour to homeless camps for agency & City officials

Duwamish Valley Safe Streets (DVSS) members believe all people in Seattle deserve a safe way to reach their closest Library, Public Medical Clinic, and Community Center.

Georgetown’s new Seattle sanctioned homeless encampment hosted 50+ residents at 1001 S Myrtle Street who live closer to the South Park bridge than almost any other neighbors in Georgetown.

Before after sidewalk Georgetown 2. 2017For many of Georgetown’s residents and workers, getting to South Park means about a 30 minute walk, or a 10 minute bicycle ride along East Marginal Way and over the South Park Bridge. East Marginal Way is a major corridor used by cars, freight, and bus, having 4-5 vehicular travel lanes lanes. There are no crosswalks at large intersection, no safe crossing on 16th Ave, and no sidewalks connecting Marginal to the bridge.

The design of this important route, connecting the flatlands in the south of the city across the Duwamish River, currently fails to consider the safety and equity of all users.

On February 25th 2017, co-leaders of DVSS, Jesse Moore and Carol Ohlfs, led a walk of this unsafe route to bring eyes and minds together around improving safety and connectivity between Georgetown and South Park.

In attendance were Kathy Nyland Director of Neighborhoods, George Scarola Director of Homelesness, Council Member Lisa Herbold, city employees from Department of Transportation, Office of Policy and Innovation, and Office of Sustainability and Environment, Georgetown and South Park residents and business owners, as well as Robert Getch form Beacon Hill Safe Streets.

While there is still a long way to go to make this mile feel safe for people of all ages, abilities and walks of life, as a result of our walk the city implemented some basic improvements that are worth celebrating!

Below are before and after photos illustrating how road paint, vegetation maintenance and wheels stops begin to make some room for people walking between Georgetown and South Park.

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Before after sidewalk Georgetown 1. 2017

Before after sidewalk Georgetown 3. 2017

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.

Greenways Receives Major SDOT Award

Cathy Tuttle
September 12, 2015

SDOT Director Scott Kubly awards SNGreenways 2015 Transportation Team Award

Seattle Department of Transportation Director Scott Kubly presents Seattle Neighborhood Greenways with the 2015 Transportation Team Award

On September 10, 2015, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways (SNG) received the Transportation Team Award from Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT). SDOT gives just one annual award to “individuals or teams from other departments/groups or citizens not employed by the city, such as volunteers or non‑profit groups who help to advance SDOT’s mission, vision, and goals.”

Before the awards ceremony, in true grassroots activist fashion, nine SNG leaders spread out among the SDOT managers at tables filling City Hall’s Bertha Knight Landes room and learned more about various SDOT functions and discussed how SNG can help to advocate for future funding and safety improvements for a variety of new street projects including signals, paving, sidewalks, and safe routes to school.

Here is the complete text from SDOT of why Seattle Neighborhood Greenways organization was nominated for and received this coveted award. Thank you for the honor! We look forward to many more years of productive collaboration!

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways (SNG) has changed, and improved, the way Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) works with community partners in doing outreach and public engagement. The Bicycle Master Plan (BMP) was an innovative combination of staff, consultant, and community resources, which led to a final product that had broad public, and Council, support.SDOT 2015 Transporation Team Award Plaques

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways is being nominated for their proactive and innovative community support for the development, and adoption of, the Seattle Bicycle Master Plan.

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways (SNG) took an active and critical role in developing the Seattle Bicycle Master Plan (BMP), which was approved by City Council in April, 2014, after a 2-year planning process. Seattle Neighborhood Greenways groups took the initiative, in small neighborhood-focused groups throughout the city, to identify good greenways streets in their own neighborhoods, share that information with SDOT (including a map prepared in GIS), and attend community meetings on the plan update. This resulted in significant resource and cost savings for SDOT’s efforts on the BMP. Over 200 miles of greenways were included in the final BMP.

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways (SNG) took the initiative, on a volunteer basis, of organizing community members to do walking tours and fieldwork on streets in their neighborhoods, which contributed significantly to the development of the final Bicycle Master Plan (BMP). These efforts supplemented the work by City staff and consultants, and allowed a level of detailed effort and analysis that would not have been possible with City resources alone. SNG staff and volunteers also participated actively in community meetings relating to the development of the BMP, helped develop thinking around an “all ages and abilities” bicycle network and helped advocate for the Plan’s adoption with City Council.

SNGreenways leaders Cathy Tuttle, Phyllis Porter, Don Brubeck, Merlin Rainwater, Robin Randels, Barbara Gordon, Selena Carsiotis with SDOT Director Scott Kubly

SDOT Director Scott Kubly with SNGreenways leaders Cathy Tuttle, Phyllis Porter, Don Brubeck, Merlin Rainwater, Robin Randels, Barbara Gordon, Selena Carsiotis

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways volunteers exceeded the usual expectations by community groups in terms of not only participating in SDOT-led community events on the BMP, but also organizing their own events, including neighborhood walks and bike rides. They also presented information on their own initiative to District Councils and other larger community organizations. Finally, they documented and presented information to SDOT in Geographic Information System (GIS) form, which SDOT was able to use in preparing maps of the final system network for the BMP.

Spoke & Food Was A Great Success!

Spoke & Food Founder Heather Sletteback with son Jordon

Spoke & Food Founder Heather Sletteback with son Jordon

While they were courting, Heather & Garett Sletteback discovered that riding their bicycles together as they went out for dinner was one of their favorite activities. The Sletteback’s turned their passion into an annual fundraiser and “friend-raiser” for one lucky beneficiary each year. This year, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways was the lucky organization supported by Spoke & Food!

KING5 Lori Matsukawa introduces Natalie Swaby Spoke & Food story

Click here to see KING5 Lori Matsukawa / Natalie Swaby Spoke & Food story

Between local Seattle Neighborhood Greenways volunteers who acted as hosts, 12 restaurants around Seattle (most donated 20% of their evening’s take), group ride leaders, and a whole community who turned out to support Seattle Neighborhood Greenways and our work for Vision Zero and safe streets, we can say without a doubt that we agree with Heather & Garett, that Spoke & Food is a most excellent summer activity!

King-5 reported on Spoke & Food and our safe streets advocacy. Read the rest of this entry »

Seattle Neighborhood Greenway Coalition 2015 Priorities

February 1, 2015

From six people in a church basement in 2011 working to bring neighborhood greenways to Seattle, we’ve grown to a coalition of 20 neighborhood groups working on all aspects of safe & healthy streets across Seattle. We’ve had enormous success getting our greenway routes and intersection priorities funded and built, as well as building coalitions and funding for larger safe street infrastructure projects.

For 2015, our coalition decided to focus on three citywide priorities and seven priorities from groups in the new City Council Districts. Ten priorities in all. Here they are:2015 SNG Priorities Map

CITYWIDE PRIORITIES

  • Vision Zero. Advocate for strong local and city support for engineered speed reduction, enforcement, education, and more
  • Renew Bridging the Gap. Improve and get out the votes for a citywide funding package focused on healthy transportation as Bridging the Gap expires in 2015.
  • Complete Streets. Make sure our own Seattle Complete Streets Ordinance is enforced. Make sure major SDOT improvement projects are funded and tied to walk/bike safety improvements.

COUNCIL DISTRICT PRIORITIES

  • District 1: Create safe intersections across 35th Ave SW and build a parallel greenway.
  • District 2: Redesign Rainier Ave S so that it is no longer the most dangerous street in the city.
  • District 3: Design and fund better walking and biking connections as part of the SR-520 project.
  • District 4: Bring the Wallingford Greenway up to current standards and connect it to the future light rail station on Brooklyn NE.
  • District 5: Elevate the N/NW 92nd St. as the major cross-town all ages and abilities connection in North Seattle, and connect people across Aurora and I-5 with direct links to Wilson Pacific School, North Seattle College, and Northgate Light Rail Station.
  • District 6: Make 6th Ave NW, including its NW Market Street intersection safe enough for children to get to school.
  • District 7: Ensure the Lake to Bay Loop is an all ages and abilities route.

 

Take Action and sign our budget petition!

Every year for the past three years, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways has submitted an annual list of priority routes and intersections to the City of Seattle. You can review our success in funding our priority greenways here. In 2014, we decided to focus solely on intersections.

Our process

We have chosen to focus on intersections because we firmly believe that family-friendly intersections are the foundation of a well-loved and well-used network of safe and comfortable streets. Kids biking home from school, grandparents walking to the park, parents pushing a stroller, and neighbors propelling wheelchairs to the bus all are limited by safe ways to cross busy streets. This is something we hear from people in every corner of Seattle.

We want to help make sure SDOT has the community support, local knowledge, funding, and political support necessary to build world class intersections as part of world class greenways.

By de-emphasizing mile targets for greenways in 2014, and instead focusing this year entirely on intersections, our priorities are clear. Intersections that do not prioritize people who walk or bike are gaps in our family-friendly active transportation network. We value future City investments in safe ways to get across our streets. 

In the past year, 21 Seattle Neighborhood Greenway groups collectively spent hundreds of hours discussing, researching, and documenting priority intersections in their neighborhoods. Every neighborhood group found many intersections where City investments could be made to increase safety for people walking and riding bicycles. Each local group was asked to select just two or three of the many intersections they found problematic. During a series of meetings and online discussions as a coalition from October through December, we collected and evaluated 73 proposed intersections that local groups had submitted as their highest local priorities.

Then we “prioritized the priorities”.  We voted as a group for just 10 intersections. These 10 intersections are what we will advocate for most strongly in 2014 – but again, all 73 intersections submitted by community groups as part of this process have value as top local priorities. Obviously, there are many intersections that need safety improvements in Seattle!

How did we choose just 10 of these intersections for your consideration?  We evaluated and prioritized our collective selection based on several criteria. The questions we asked were:

  1. Does this intersection connect to a larger network of comfortable active transportation corridors?
  2. Does this intersection reach a broad geographic spread in the city and include places of economic and cultural diversity?
  3. Is this intersection very likely to become a part of a greenway system? Is it a part of the Bicycle or Pedestrian Master Plan?
  4. Does this intersection have a record of pedestrian or bicycle collision reports?

Our map

You can review all 73 intersections that our local groups proposed in the attached spreadsheet and online map. Our map includes descriptions and data for every intersection. We divided our intersection list into three categories: 1) intersection improvements on existing greenways; 2) intersection improvements on potential future greenways; and 3) other intersection improvements that our community members simply felt were of vital importance in order to make active transportation links for people of all ages and abilities.

Our on-line map includes all 73 intersections as well as highlights our top 10 citywide priorities. https://mapsengine.google.com/map/edit?mid=zGIcCaV5R2LQ.kBCzFelP7p80

Our support

We look forward to working with SDOT on intersection improvements throughout Seattle. Every intersection on our map represents significant community support from 21 different neighborhoods. We are happy to help SDOT build additional site-specific support as needed.

To build our collective knowledge base and increase support, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways plans a February workshop with SDOT staff, talented professionals from the private sector, and professors and graduate students from University of Washington to collaboratively find ways to improve and evaluate greenway arterial crossings. We’ll keep you posted on our upcoming “Greenway Hack-a-thon”!

Finally, we will continue to work as a coalition to make sure the public, the City Council and the Mayor’s Office know how important safe and comfortable intersections are to the people of Seattle. We want to continue to provide SDOT with funding and political support to build safe and comfortable streets for all. We hope to work with you to create world class intersections in 2014 that are truly family-friendly.

Children hurry across Rainier at S Myrtle St - a budget priority

Children hurry across Rainier at S Myrtle St – a budget priority

Vigil Walk for Trevon Holden 8/5/13

A family and community are devastated as 15-year-old Trevon Crease-Holden fights for his life with a head injury after being struck by a hit-and-run driver on Friday, July 19.

The Rainier Valley community is gathering on Monday, August 5 at 5:30pm the QFC on Rainier, 2707 Rainier Ave S, and walking four blocks to the site of the tragedy at MLK and South Walden Street. Trevon’s mother, Quianna Holden and other community leaders intend to speak at the Walden collision site. Representatives from local advocacy organizations and the Seattle Mayor’s Office plan to attend.

Trevon was on his way home with his little brother from a late night open gym at a local community center when they entered a marked crosswalk at Martin Luther King Jr. Way South and South Walden Street. A vehicle travelling south on MLK struck Trevon and continued without stopping to provide information or render aid.  Seattle Fire Department responded and Seattle Police continue to search for the hit-and-run driver.

Quianna Holden says she can forgive the driver for hitting her son, but she cannot forgive the driver for not coming forward.  She went on KIRO TV to make a heartbreaking plea­ for the person responsible to come forward so she can at least have answers. His mother says Trevon is a good son, and a good athlete who hoped to start football this year at Franklin High School.

 

Nearby transit: 7, 8, 9, 14, 48 Metro buses and the Mt. Baker Transit Station

 

While the pedestrian fatality rate has decreased in recent years in the Rainier Valley thanks to improvements by Seattle Department of Transportation, until we start to prioritize streets for people, drivers will continue to speed along Rainier Valley arterials at dangerously high rates of speed. New investments in pedestrian safety will continue to make the Rainier Valley a safer and more welcoming community.

 

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, Bike Works, and Rainier Valley Greenways support the goals of Seattle’s Road Safety Action Plan to achieve zero fatalities and serious injuries by taking action. With more effective public policy, better engineering, stricter enforcement and more responsive education, thousands of deaths and injuries can be prevented.

 

Community leaders will walk with us. Please join us to pay your respects and to show your support for Trevon and his family and safe and healthy streets in Seattle!