Tag Archive: Beacon Hill Safe Streets

Connections on Columbian Way

Would you like to be able to safely bike from Beacon Hill to Columbia City and vice versa?  The pieces are finally coming together to make that happen, but first we need you need to speak up! 

Fill out the City’s two-question survey and ask for *Option A* on both questions. 

This exciting protected bike lane would span from MLK to 15th Ave S and connect people to Mercer Middle School, Jefferson Park, the VA, two small Beacon Hill business districts, Rainier Vista, and be within a few blocks of the heart of Columbia City.

Columbian Way PBL extension

How did we get here? 

Back in 2011, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways’ local group Beacon Hill Safe Streets (formerly Beacon B.I.K.E.S.) got a grant, hired Alta Planning, and engaged in a community process to come up with the Beacon Hill Family Bicycle and Pedestrian Circulation Plan.
Beacon Hill Family Bicycle and Pedestrian Circulation Plan 2011

“Neighbors and advocates describe the process of creating the circulation plan as “local destination-based planning”. The community values continuous routes without gaps, so that children and adults can more safely travel the entire route to their destination. The goal is to enable families and children to travel to local destinations on continuous signed routes. Advocates believe that if a system is sufficiently safe for children to get to school, all Beacon Hill neighbors will be able to comfortably and more safely ride bikes on local trips to the store, to parks, and to visit neighbors.”

Part of this plan was a bike lane on Columbian Way:

Click to Zoom

Click to Zoom

Beacon Hill Safe Streets then advocated successfully to get this route, and many others included in the Seattle Bicycle Master Plan update of 2014. Beacon hill greenway and trail Bike Blog

The Columbian Way protected bike lane would connect to other improvements Beacon Hill Safe Streets advocated for including the 15th & Columbian safe routes to school intersection redesign, the North-South Beacon Hill neighborhood greenway, and the Jefferson Park trail (see graphic at right).

It takes time to build a network of safe streets, but we’re well on our way thanks to continued energy from volunteers and donors who make this grassroots movement work. With your support we can realize the original Beacon Hill Safe Streets vision of safe streets “for children to get to school, all Beacon Hill neighbors will be able to comfortably and more safely ride bikes on local trips to the store, to parks, and to visit neighbors””

Want to support work like this? Volunteer and donate:

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Remembering Ronacin

Memorial Walk for highlights why safe streets are not gentrification.
Ronacin MemorialWorking people of all nationalities need safe bike routes…so [they] don’t have to make dangerous decisions to get to their jobs“~ Councilmember Kshama Sawant

Safe transit, bike lanes, sidewalks & other safety infrastructure is NOT gentrification, they are our is right”~Phyllis Porter, Rainier Valley Greenways

Ronacin Tjhung, was hit and killed in January 2017 while riding his bicycle between his two jobs in the Rainier Valley.

Ronacin had been providing for his children by working 60 hours a week and sending money back home to the Philippines. His five children, who lost their mother to Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, will remain in the Philippines. What was once a crowd-funded site to raise money to support Ronacin’s family and pay medical bills is now a fund to fly his body back home and pay for his funeral. Here’s a link to Ronacin’s GoFundMe crowd-funding site.

Ronacin’s large family attended a Memorial for him, organized by Beacon Hill Safe Streets, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, and Rainier Valley Greenways.Ronacin’s mother, sister, brother, and step-father, along with his extended family, the Filipino Team MANG cycling club, and impressive numbers of people representing local safe streets groups throughout Seattle walked from the Othello Light Rail Station to South Graham Street on Martin Luther King Avenue South near the spot Ronacin was hit by a car driver.

Robert Getch from Beacon Hill Safe Streets did a stellar job organizing and speaking. He was eloquent about the need for safer streets and about his grief at the loss of a valued family man. Phyllis Porter represented Rainier Valley Greenways and spoke about how “safe transit, bike lanes, sidewalks, and other safety infrastructure is NOT gentrification, but an important right for all.  Central Greenways Shirley Savel spray-painted a ghost bike, and Adam Dodge set it up at the place Ronacin was killed.

Phyllis Porter, Kshama Sawant, Robert Getch spoke at the Memorial for Ronacin

Phyllis Porter, Kshama Sawant, Robert Getch spoke at the Memorial for Ronacin

Councilmember Kshama Sawant spoke about why working people needed to be able to have transportation options late at night, especially in low income, culturally diverse areas where access to cars is prohibitively expensive and transit is not reliable during the late night and early morning shifts of many service jobs. She brought up the need for a safe, direct bike route through Rainier Valley, and the importance of signals that would help people cross MLK more quickly and safely.

 

Council President Bruce Harrell offered words of comfort to Ronacin’s family encouraged them to keep involved in making Seattle a better city.

Council President Bruce Harrell spoke at the Memorial for Ronacin Tjhung

Council President Bruce Harrell spoke at the Memorial for Ronacin Tjhung

 

Council member Rob Johnson’s staff Amy Gore attended, as well as CM Sawant’s assistant Rebekah Liebermann. Seattle Police accompanied the group and Dongho Chang represented the Seattle Department of Transportation.

 

Ronacin’s sister Jessica told a little about his life, his boss at McDonald’s spoke about his humor and dedication, and Ronacin’s mother reached out for hugs from the 70 people at the Memorial.

 

The Seattle Bicycle Master Plan includes recommendations for protected north-south bicycle lanes through Rainier Valley, but a direct bicycle route has never been built.

Walking to Graham and MLK

Walking to Graham and MLK

Ghost Bike near S Graham St and MLK Ave S where Ronacin was struck

Ghost Bike near S Graham St and MLK Ave S where Ronacin was struck