Tag Archive: street improvements

PARK(ing) Day 2015 Design Competition

Free CoffeeIs there a street or intersection that you use on a regular basis that feels unsafe?  Do you have ideas for how things like sidewalks, bike lanes, curb bulbs, pedestrian crossings, or traffic calming could be added?  Submit your ideas for how you’d like to see the street changed, even if you’re unable to commit to doing a PARK(ing) Day event.

PARK(ing) Day is an annual international event that gives people the opportunity to bring much-needed human space to asphalt.  Last year, members of NE Seattle Greenways and University Greenways took advantage of PARK(ing) Day 2014 to successfully redesign a bridge, intersection, and adjacent road, making it feel safer and more comfortable for all users. Read the rest of this entry »

City Plans To Make Roosevelt Way NE Safer For All

 January 13, 2015

Congratulations to Mayor Ed Murray, Seattle Department of Transportation Director Scott Kubly, Seattle City Council Transportation Committee members Tom Rasmussen (Chair), Jean Godden, and Mike O’Brien for their bold leadership and vision that will soon make Roosevelt Way NE safer for everyone.

You can thank them all on this letter! 

How does this project make Roosevelt Way NE safer? Read the rest of this entry »

Design Plans: What Could A New Queen Anne Intersection Look Like?

In Queen Anne, Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and Queen Anne Greenways are working together to redesign the intersection of 7th Ave W and W McGraw. SDOT used the Queen Anne Greenways Blueprint for a Walkable Bikeable Queen Anne to guide its designs.

Check out these snazzy scenarios presented by Senior Transportation Planner Brian Dougherty.

The elements in the three concepts can be mixed and matched based on community preference. A final design will be built by SDOT in 2015.

Option 1, nicknamed the Plaza option:Option 1

  • extends the curb on the southwest corner
  • creates a small area for shrubs and plantings
  • maintains two of the three street trees at the corner
  • installs a mini plaza with decorative paving and a bench for seating
  • maintains the existing sidewalk in its current alignment and adds sidewalk extensions to the new corner



Option 2, nicknamed the Nature Spot option:Option 2

  • extends the curb on the southwest corner
  • maintains two of the three street trees at the corner
  • creates a larger area for plantings and additional street trees
  • installs boulder/granite seating within the nature spot
  • removes the existing sidewalk and replaces with vegetation / bio swale
  • extends the sidewalk to meet the new corner



Option 3 (shown with the Plaza option but it would work under either scenario) does all of the above at the southwest corner, plus the following at the southeast corner:Option 3

  • extends the curb
  • creates space for new plantings / bio swale
  • creates a new mini plaza with decorative paving and benches
  • creates space that could be used for bike parking
  • may displace two car parking spaces


A New Safe Route to School!

Councilmember Mike O'Brien at the Wildcat Way ribbon-cutting ceremony

Councilmember Mike O’Brien with students at the Wildcat Way ribbon-cutting ceremony

On June 20th, Seattle City Councilmember Mike O’Brien cut the ribbon on Wildcat Way, a new safe pathway for kids walking and biking to schools along the 17th Ave NW corridor.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony featured 300 sixth grade kids from Whitman School. Selena Carsiotis from Crown Hill and a leader of Ballard Greenways launched the pathway project and organized the ribbon-cutting event.

Ballard Greenways identified this trail connection of 17th Ave NW to Whitman School as a critical link between Whitman School and future neighborhood greenways. In fact, Ballard Greenways worked with Seattle Department of Transportation to fund a “Greenways Go To School” safe streets project in 2012 to serve children walking and biking to FIVE different neighborhood schools along 17th Ave NW.

Along with Mike O’Brien and Selena Carsiotis, participants at the ribbon cutting included parent Amy Brockhaus, Shannon Koller from Cascade Bicycle Club & members Ballard District Council, the Seattle Fire Department, and The Seattle Channel.

Next year Cascade Bicycle Club will organize bike trains to Whitman Middle School using this path. We all win with safe routes to school—walking, biking and driving! Let’s make sure we fund construction of the 17th Ave neighborhood greenway in Mayor Ed Murray’s 2015 budget.

Nice work Selena and Ballard Greenways!

SDOT to Improve Street Where James St. Clair Was Killed

St. Clair Memorial

Gene Tagaban gathers spirits at the James St. Clair Memorial Walk.

The Seattle Department of Transportation is making much needed improvements to 35th Ave SW & SW Graham St in High Point, the site where 69-year-old James St. Clair was killed last December as he crossed the street.

St. Clair was the fifth fatality along 35th Ave SW since 2006. “It’s a street that really needs some focus and city attention,” said Cathy Tuttle, executive director of Seattle Neighborhood Greenways.

In January, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways  organized a Memorial Walk for St. Clair that included his family, other residents of his West Seattle neighborhood, and safety advocates, including former mayor Mike McGinn. Seattle Neighborhood Greenways plans Memorial Walks and Bike Rides for all Seattle walking and biking traffic fatalities. At the memorial, St. Clair’s niece, Darlene Saxby, spoke about her uncle’s generosity, and how much she would miss him. She told reporters, “I just hope my uncle’s death is not in vain. I think it would make him happy if he knew his sacrifice could help others.”

St. Clair’s brother Oscar added, in a statement, “I pray a positive light will happen because of this. A lot of people need to walk in the evening. They want to go to the grocery store like Jim did on his last night. I hope in his memory we see brighter lights, a stoplight, a safer community.”

Now it seems these aspirations for safer streets are starting to be realized. In February, Mayor Ed Murray and Councilmember Tom Rasmussen announced a multi-year traffic safety corridor project for 35th Avenue SW. And in early June, High Point residents received notice that the Graham St. intersection where St. Clair was killed would be altered in the coming months to limit drivers to right turns only.

More 35th SW corridor improvements are planned. Watch for an SDOT kick-off meeting to discuss them October 22, 2014.

Greenway Wonkathon 2014

Wonkthon evaluation tableEXECUTIVE SUMMARY

On February 22, 70 thought leaders came together representing the City of Seattle, advocacy and community groups, the University of Washington, and design & engineering firms. The Greenway Wonkathon: a half-day collaborative event focused great minds on improving neighborhood greenway design and development. The topics areas we discussed were greenway development, segment design, intersection design, place-making, evaluation, and political strategy.

spokespeople-mar2014-2The Wonkathon was a huge success! Thank you! We left knowing we are a dynamic community dedicated to the idea of creating 250 miles of safe and healthy streets to Seattle in 10 years. We generated excellent strategies and actions to help us accomplish that lofty goal. Initials of people who signed up to help bring each idea to life are shown in the right hand column in the table below. Now is the time to turn your passion and ideas into action!  We invite you to connect and move forward with other people who are passionate about the same ideas and projects via the Greenway Wonkathon Google Group. Contact Gordon @ SeattleGreenways.org to join. Actions are already happening!

The ideas from the Wonkathon are organized into four high-level themes that emerged and cut across all six topic areas:

  1. Experiment and cut red tape
  2. Empower local communities
  3. Activate the streets
  4. Measure and communicate our successes
Wonkathon outcomes

Wonkathon panorama

Wonkathon outcomes 2


single bold step

UW students tap wisdom of Greenwood-Phinney Greenways

Greenwood Phinney Greenways meets UW Landscape classFor the second year, students of UW Landscape Architecture Professor Julie Johnson have made Seattle Neighborhood Greenways the focus of their studio work.

This year, the focus on Greenwood-Phinney Greenways centers around safe streets, and, in particular, how to design safer streets in places without sidewalks. We know this 2014 UW class will bring great solutions to Greenwood-Phinney Greenways!

In 2013, Landscape Architecture 402 students worked on a design plan for Lake City Greenways. Several of the student plans for safer, greener streets are already being implemented by the Lake CIty community and Seattle Department of Transportation.


  • Facebook photos of the first community-student meeting at Greenwood Branch Library January 16 2014.
  • Sign up here

    to get updates about future meetings in Greenwood and at the UW on the Greenwood Phinney Greenways project.



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

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