Tag Archive: District 5

More Than Just Greenways: Lake City Greenways Leads The Way

Lake City Crosswalk action

Lake City Greenways Crosswalk Action With SDOT

May 1, 2015

Lake City Greenways exemplifies the civic-mindedness and good transportation decisions local Seattle Neighborhood Greenways groups all over Seattle are becoming known for.

In the past two years, Lake City Greenways has added a pocket park in the street right-of-way, worked with several UW classes on urban development ideas, helped Seattle Department of Transportation on road safety awareness on Lake City Way, worked closely on a new Safe Routes to School project to Olympic Hills Elementary, and of course advocated for the newly opened Lake City Greenway!

Now they’ve even taken on the placement of Metro bus stops when they put people in danger when they cross the street. And they’ve won!

Here’s the story directly from Lake City Greenways leader, Janine Blaeloch:

Thanks to a couple of observant neighbors, I was alerted to the fact that people are running across LCW at 140th to access the Little Brook neighborhood and especially the new Array apartments on the west side. Many of them are people getting off northbound buses. The bus stop north of 137th is too far north, and to cross safely at the 137 crosswalk, people have to walk many yards south, cross the awful Erickson crossing and then wait a very long time to cross 137 crosswalk. That all evidently takes too much time for people to resist risking their lives to sprint across LCW instead.

I contacted Metro to ask whether they could move the bus stop south of the 137th crosswalk. Colin Drake of Metro and Dongho Chang and Jim Curtin of SDOT  met with me at the site a little while back and we had a good discussion about the problem. The immediate solution is to indeed move the bus stop. I just received this message from Colin today:

Hi Janine,Just wanted to let you know that SDOT has approved Metro’s request to relocate the stop to nearside 137th. Next Friday May 8, Metro will close the existing stop and place a temporary delineator at the new stop. SDOT will install permanent signage at the new stop as their work crew schedule allows.Thank you for your advocacy on this important issue.

Thanks,
Colin

During our meeting we also discussed the possibilities of (1) putting another crosswalk on the north side and having a no-right-turn-on-red from Erickson (this is controversial because it could cause more cut-through behavior in north Cedar Park) and (2) changing the signal phase for southbound LCW traffic at least in off-peak hours so crossers don’t have to wait so infernally long at the 137th crosswalk.

The newly placed Metro stop opens May 8, 2015.

Thank you Lake City Greenways for your dedication and we wish you much success for safer streets in your neighborhood in the future!

Move Seattle For Our Kids

Cathy Tuttle, Executive Director, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways
April 24, 2015
The $930 million Levy puts just $7 million toward Safe Routes to School. We can do better. Let’s use this opportunity for significant investments for our kids.
Safe Routes for Kids

If you own a house, you need to clean the gutters and occasionally replace the roof or the whole place falls down. That’s what 67% of the Move Seattle Levy is doing — basic and needed maintenance on our roads.

It’s the other 33% that gets me excited though — the greenways and safe intersections, the parklets and streateries, the Sunday Parkways and Walking School Buses, and especially the connected safe streets for our most vulnerable — our children walking to school.

 

Sign a petition to support A Transportation Levy To Move Seattle For Our Kids

 

Safe Routes for Kids Equity Map

Click map for cost estimates for Move Seattle for Kids projects

What we want to see in the Move Seattle Levy is real and complete Safe Routes to School. With a total of $7 million over nine years, there is barely enough to put a few crosswalks around each Seattle school.

We don’t have the money or the votes to invest in robust safety improvements in all School Walk Zones, but we would like the Levy to invest more in the places where families don’t have cars, where traffic violence is endemic, where many young children often have no choice but to walk alone to school.

The Move Seattle Levy proposed by Mayor Murray provides limited Safe Routes features at every Seattle school. We want to make sure these safety dollars for all schools are kept in the Levy. Our Move Seattle For Our Kids proposal seeks to add more traffic safety improvements throughout School Walk Zones in elementary schools where 50% or more students receive free or reduced cost lunch. Depending on the location of the school, extra improvements might include a package of stop signs, crosswalks, stairways, sidewalks, speed bumps, Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons, traffic signals, and other intersection and road improvements. How much will all of this cost? $38.41 million. Click here to see the details. Read the rest of this entry »

April News from District 5

Editors Note: Two of the most active groups in the Seattle Neighborhood Greenways coalition are Lake City Greenways and Licton Haller Greenways. Without further ado, her is an update from Janine Blealoch the co-leader of Lake City Greenways followed by an update from Lee Bruch the interim leader of Licton-Haller Greenways. 

Lake City

Lake City Greenways received a matching fund grant for 30% design and construction drawings for the Oympic Hills Greenway pocket park and is still seeking matching cash.

Lake City Greenways has participated in several walking tours of LC with D5 candidates to make sure that our traffic safety issues are understood.

Two Greenways projects were among the 4 prioritized by the North District Council for the Neighborhood Park and Street Fund

  1. Monica’s completion of the north half of the future Cedar Park Greenway, which combines elements of Safe Route to School and Greenway on a street that already has speed humps
  2. Funding for the 60% design and construction drawings for the Olympic Hills Greenway pocket park.

We are back to monthly crosswalk actions. Actual engineering improvements to Lake City Way under the traffic safety corridor project will begin this summer. We also have regular onsite meetings with SDOT staff to look at problem areas in LC and come up with solutions.

-Janine Blealoch, Get involved with Lake City Greenways

Licton Springs – Haller Lake

Neighborhood Parks & Street Fund grants: The Northwest District council selected Joanne Ho’s application for traffic safety improvements on 1st Ave. NW near Northgate Elementary as one of the applications they’re forward to, and selected as an alternate Robin Randels’ application for a study of a 92nd St. Safe Route to School.
  • We are initiating conversations with several local schools for planning Safe Route to Schools
  • We hope to define and prioritize our major initiatives for the year during our next 2 monthly meetings and during a series of community mapping events
  • We are working to ensure that as part of the 92nd St. Cross-town Corridor Seattle Public Schools completes the missing link on 92nd between Ashworth and Stone Avenues at an acceptable width.
  • We were excited to learn that SDOT has included the following in the Seattle BMP Revised 2015 Implementation Plan:
    • 2015: In-street minor separation on College Way from N 92nd to N 103rd (striping now underway)
    • 2016: A protected bike lane on N. 130th St from the Interurban Trail to 5th Ave NE, a protected bike lane in 92nd from 1st Ave NE to Wallingford (yeah! part of our projected 92nd Cross-town Corridor), and extending the in-street minor separation along Meridian from N. 103rd to N. 112 th St.
    • 2017: Creating a Neighborhood Greenway on 100th from the proposed I-5 crossing to 4th Ave NW
    • 2019: implementing a PBL along 1st Ave NE from 92nd to Northgate Way

Lee Bruch, Get involved with Licton-Haller Greenways 

Safe Crossings for Kids

Kids CrossingEditors Note: University Of Washington students Qiren Lu & Ranju Uezono studied four  intersections in Seattle School Walk Zones to see if drivers stopped for people crossing at  crosswalks.

Their findings were alarming. Motorist  compliance rate ranged from 15% to 34%, low figures compared to the national average.

In other words, in marked crosswalks in school zones, only 3 in 10 people driving cars fully stopped for people walking during school arrival & departure hours.

Read the full report. Read the Lake City Library supplementary report.

Abstract
The percentage of children actively commuting to school by walking or biking in the United States has significantly decreased within the past 50 years (National Household Transportation Survey, 2001). Busy street crossings are barriers to students walking and biking to school in cities around the nation. The purpose of this on-site data collection study titled Safe Crossings for Kids is to analyze motorist compliance rates with pedestrian-motorist encounters at three marked crosswalks near schools in Seattle. The observed crosswalks are located at Wallingford Ave & 43rd St in Wallingford (near Hamilton International Middle School), 15th Ave S & S Hill St in Beacon Hill (near Beacon Hill International School), and 58th St &14th Ave in Ballard (near St. Alphonsus Parish Elementary School). Observations of general public pedestrians crossing were collected, in addition to staged pedestrians crossing these marked crosswalks, modeled after TCRP 112/NCHRP 562 (Transit Cooperative Research Program/National Cooperative Highway Research Program). Results show a majority of non-compliance, as defined by Revised Code of Washington, Rules of the Road (RCW 46.61.235), where full-stops are considered a complete compliance to pedestrians. Subsequent future studies would provide further insight into the current trends of motorist compliance rates around schools in Seattle. The results from this study show that the motorist compliance rate for Wallingford Ave & 43rd St. is 34%, for 15th Ave S & S Hill St., 21%, and for 58th St. & 14th Ave, 15%, which are relatively low figures compared to the national compliance rates. Read the rest of this entry »

We Are All People Who Walk

April 3, 2015
Glen Buhlman serves on the Kirkland Transportation Commission and is co-founder of Kirkland Greenways

 

Mark Twain Elementary School is across the street. This is the start of the Rose Hill Greenway. Facing sign warns people walking, biking, and driving that cars do not stop.

Mark Twain Elementary School is across the street. This is the start of the Rose Hill Greenway. Facing sign warns people walking, biking, and driving that cars do not stop.

We all become “pedestrians” for a portion of most of our trips once we get out of our car, step off the bus or lock up our bicycle. I don’t think anyone would suggest that we should outlaw dark-toned clothing after sundown. Requiring people walking to wear high-viz clothing is sidestepping a bigger problem.

The responsibility for safety lies with the person who is operating the multi-ton vehicle that can easily injure or kill others. Yes, people walking should be as aware as possible and we drill this into our children, but people walking are ultimately at the mercy of the person driving the car.

As people who drive cars/trucks/buses and even more importantly as parents of children who are getting their drivers’ licenses, we must also teach both our children and ourselves that every time we get into our vehicle we are operating a device that can easily injure or kill — and we are usually doing it on roads that were designed to prioritize speed and throughput of vehicular traffic at the expense of the safety of the people who use the roadway (including the people driving the cars). Read the rest of this entry »

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways throws in the towel

35th Ave SW marchGordon Padelford
April 1, 2015

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways has grown from a scrappy group of six neighbors who met in a church basement in 2011, to an advocacy powerhouse with 20 groups and hundreds of volunteers who influence how millions of dollars are invested in safe street improvements. But, we have decided it is time to throw in the towel.

“It was a difficult decision” says Cathy Tuttle the Executive Director of Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, “But my garden has really been suffering because I’ve been spending so much time on our three citywide priorities; advocating for Complete Streets, Vision Zero, and a progressive transportation levy.”

Donald Brubeck from West Seattle Bike Connections said they had decided to quit advocating for safe crossings of 35th Ave SW and a parallel greenway and instead open a burrito stand. “The burrito traffic light video we made went viral, so we thought we should build on that momentum. Everyone likes burritos.”

Supporters of Safety Over Speeding along Rainier Avenue South

Rainier Valley Greenways leaders realized it was time to give up when they heard making Rainier Ave South safe for everyone would cause up to thirty seconds of delay per mile to prevent hundreds of injuries and deaths: “I mean who has an extra 30 seconds? What’s next – asking us to stop at crosswalks for the elderly?” Read the rest of this entry »

Save Lives & Keep Moving: Seattle’s Successful Safety Redesigns

Road Diet Save Lives & Keep Moving

Open graphic in full screen

Cathy Tuttle
February 15, 2015

If you think a “road diet,” or safety redesign, will slow you down, think again.

Walking in Seattle blogger Troy Heerwagen poured through data from a half dozen Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) evaluation reports and found huge benefits for everyone using our shared public right-of-way.

SDOT engineers have learned smart new techniques to make high-capacity streets safer and more efficient. After a safety redesign, streets still carry as many vehicles as they did prior to their road diet. If fact, our streets are in better shape and can take on even more vehicle volume after a safety redesign. Another benefit? Aggressive speeding, the kind of behavior that kills people, falls dramatically. And not surprisingly, collisions and crashes of all sorts drop precipitously too.

Since safety redesigns are often a matter of mainly repainting travel lanes, they are also one of the quickest and least expensive road safety improvements around.

We call that a great investment in our future!

Check out Troy’s work in this Tableau-generated infographic.

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.

 

Safe Routes To School Community Forum North Seattle

Come to the community forum about providing Safe Routes to Schools in Central-North Seattle January 20 2015

Wildcat Way Opening July 2014Hear presentations by Seattle Department of Transportation on its efforts to create Safe Routes to Schools and by Seattle Neighborhood Greenways on its efforts to support safer and more pleasant streets.

PARTICIPATE in an interactive workshop where we gather around maps to:

Tuesday Jan. 20, 2015
6:30 – 8:00 PM
North Seattle College Cafeteria Read the rest of this entry »

Let’s Talk About Safe Streets

Click to open in full screen

Click to open in full screen

January 6, 2015

Language is powerful.

The language we use everyday has the ability to change how people think about the world. Our ideas about reframing the language of traffic violence are starting to take root nationally!

Still, many news media outlets and even cities still call preventable crashes “accidents.” By doing so, it frames traffic deaths as unavoidable byproducts of our transportation system. In reality, these deaths are unnecessary, and often the result of 1950s era car-oriented engineering and/or unacceptable driver behavior. When media outlets label traffic collisions “accidents” before the causes have been studied, it is biased and journalistically reckless – and we encourage you to join us in calling them out.

By working to change our society’s language to neutral language that describes “collisions” where “a person driving a car hit three people walking” we can undo the false idea that traffic deaths are a normal part of our transportation system.

And that’s just one example.

Our coalition of thoughtful local leaders and advocates have learned through thousands of conversations what language cuts through engineering gobbledegook and connects to our shared humanity.

This handy cheat sheet distills the our knowledge of what language resonates and what doesn’t.

Public meetings are often when things can get heated. At these meetings, our leaders have learned that it is critical to talk about hyperlocal issues using your neighborhood’s language, and to focus on people and their needs (quiet street to raise a family, walking to the bus stop, being safe dropping off their kids at school, etc), rather than on modes of transportation.

Language constantly evolves. If you’ve got other suggestions for how we can all mind our language, drop us a line at info@seattlegreenways.org, or tweet us @SNGreenways

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