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2016 Year in Review

2016 Year in Review

Wow. 2016 was the biggest year yet for Seattle Neighborhood Greenways. Thanks for everyone who made it possible, and here’s to even more progress 2017!

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Please don’t forget to donate to keep us going!


Safer Speed Limits for Seattle

Sixty years ago, Seattle’s streets were radically remade with the goal of moving vehicles as quickly as possible: sidewalks were narrowed, crosswalk beg buttons installed, an extensive streetcar system dismantled, low income homes bulldozed for roads, and speed limits increased. Ever since we have been paying dearly for these mistakes.

Today there were 30 crashes on Seattle’s streets. Same with yesterday, tomorrow, and every day on average. Every year 150 people suffer life altering injuries and 20 are killed from these crashes. Each serious injury and fatality is a story of tragedy for individuals, families, friends, and communities.

speed-limit-end-of-year-collageOne day, Brie Gyncild had had enough. Brie lives in the Central District, walks everywhere, loves cats, deeply cares about her community, and is a passionate advocate who isn’t afraid to speak her mind. At the annual meeting where our grassroots neighborhood group leaders set our priorities, Brie reminded us all that Vision Zero isn’t just a goal to end traffic fatalities and serious injuries by 2030, it’s a commitment to transform our streets into safe places for people. She persuaded us that the next step was safer speed limits.

One person can spark a movement. Because of Brie, in 2016 Seattle Neighborhood Greenways mobilized people just like you throughout the city to build support for safer speed limits by talking to their neighbors, community groups, and local business owners. By the end of the year 22 groups had sent the Mayor and City Council letters of support, dozens people testified to City Council, and hundreds who emailed or called in their support.

Our advocates continued to build positive support until the Mayor and City Council voted proposed and unanimously approved safer speed limits. Now all 2,400 miles of Seattle’s non-arterial streets are designated for 20 MPH, and all of Downtown’s streets have been designated for 25 MPH.

The story isn’t over yet. We all know that designating new speed limits isn’t enough – we must design our streets to be safe and comfortable for people of all ages and abilities. That’s why in 2017 one of our priorities is to increase funding for the Seattle Department of Transportation’s Vision Zero safety program. This is only one piece of the puzzle, another piece is you.

Please donate to keep us going, and join with our amazing volunteers as we work to make our streets safe and comfortable for all people.  

Thank you,

Cathy Tuttle and Gordon Padelford
Executive Director and Policy Director

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Low Income Schools Set Safety Priorities

We all want our children to be able to safely walk or bike to school. Unfortunately, there is limited funding for engineering safety improvements at all of our schools. Seattle Neighborhood Greenways (SNG) interns Ranju Uezono and Raymond Pacheco led SNG outreach to very low income schools in 2016 to help prioritize spending in ways that were meaningful and effective to local communities.

20-is-plenty-at-rainier-view

SNG also worked with historically underserved school communities to develop a set of ideas, translated into 6 languages, of Low Cost Ideas for SDOT Mini Grants. Schools are now working on crossing flag programs, school patrols, walking audits, and other inexpensive but highly effective programs.

safe-routes-spanish

The SNG staff and interns also hosted assemblies, led walk audits, and met with parents and school staff to create a prioritized list of the investments that local people felt was most needed most to get their children to school safely. All of this work helped to shape the major projects being built with Move Seattle Levy funding by Seattle Department of Transportation at Seattle’s low income schools.

kids-breakfast

Read more about the SNG Safe Routes to School 2016 priority program here.

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Making the Case for Complete Streets

Roosevelt

Roosevelt Way was not easy for people to cross

In 2016 we advocated for policy and street projects that create safe access for all people.

On the policy side we worked to ensure that Seattle’s Comprehensive Master Plan (the highest level plan the city has), Right of Way Improvement Manaul (blue prints for street design), and other policies and plans supported complete streets.

After years of advocacy work by University Greenways we finally celebrated the opening of the Roosevelt Way complete street project. Originally SDOT planned to only repave the

Families open the Roosevelt Way Complete Street

Families open the Roosevelt Way Complete Street project. Photo by SBB

dangerous street, but we successfully advocated to include safety upgrades for people walking and biking. The biggest change you’ll see on the street if you visit is the new protected bike lane, curb bulbs to make it easier to walk across the street, and more happy families getting to where they need to go safetly.

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, along with our local groups and partners, have been advocating for multimodal corridor projects to fund walking and biking improvements – not just transit. We worked on the Roosevelt-Downtown corridor and Madison BRT projects in 2016, and we will continue to make sure these and other projects truly work for everyone in 2017.

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 9 Highlights from West Seattle and the Duwamish Valley (District 1)

  1. The Duwamish Valley Safe Streets group got up and running! The Seattle Neighborhood Greenways coalition now has a fantastic group of committed neighbors and advocates in South Park and Georgetown.
    duwamish-valley-safe-streets
  2. The Duwamish Valley Safe Streets group helped shape the Georgetown Open Space Plan.
  3. Local group West Seattle Bike Connections successfully advocated for SDOT to begin working on a neighborhood greenway paralleling 35th Ave SW.
    35th-ave-sw-parallel-neighborhood-greenway
  4. West Seattle saw the completion of the Delridge-Highland Park Neighborhood Greenway, and SNG conducted an audit work to fix some of the remaining issues.
  5. West Seattle won a Neighborhood Streets Fund grant for major improvements at the key intersection of SW Spokane St/ Alki Trail/ Harbor Ave SW/ SW Avalon Way.
    west seattle avalon harbor spokane st entrance NPSF
  6. West Seattle Bike Connections hosted a bike rodeo at Summer Parkways and helped host the Disaster Relief Trials.
  7. The SW Admiral Way safety project on the west side, including buffered bike lanes, new cross walks, narrower traffic lanes, and radar speed feedback signs was completed.
    west-seattle-admiral-way-bike-lanes
  8. West Seattle Bike Connections successfully campaigned to get full funding for the Fauntleroy Boulevard Project added to the 2017 budget. This project will make this currently dangerous corridor a safer place for people walking, biking, taking transit, and driving.
  9. West Seattle Bike Connections successfully campaigned to repair a problematic hazard spot on the Duwamish Trail.
    bicyclist-must-dismount-west-seattle
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Building the Base for Big Change in Rainier Valley and Beacon Hill (District 2)

Thanks to you we achieved three major wins in 2016 in Rainier Valley and Beacon Hill: full funding for the expansion of the Rainier Ave Safety project to Rainier Beach, acceleration Accessible Mt Baker, and funding to improve the Beacon Hill Town Center.

Fix Rainier Ave28446877014_832558fda3_k-760x507
Rainier Ave S has been Seattle’s most dangerous street for years. Rainier Valley Greenways worked for the second year in a row to make Rainier Ave S safe for people to walk and bike along and across. We sought to expand the safety corridor project, create safe crossings and build protected bike lanes from Hillman City to Columbia City.

A year after the implementation in Hillman and Columbia City, the data shows the Rainier Ave Safety Corridor Project is working: injuries for people walking and biking are down 41%, top end speeding is down 50% northbound and 84% southbound, and transit travel times haven’t changed southbound and have improved northbound.

But we knew there was more to be done. All neighborhoods in Rainier Valley deserve a safer Rainier Ave S, not just Columbia and Hillman City. That’s why we rallied with other neighborhood groups from Friends of Mt Baker Town Center to Rainier Beach Merchants Association to extend the safety corridor project. Thanks to your help, we successfully worked with Bruce Harrell to get a million dollars added for the project to the City’s budget!

Accessible Mt Baker

We worked with the Friends of Mt Baker Town Center and the Mt Baker Hub Business Association to successfully accelerate funding for the exciting community building and safety project, Accessible Mt Baker. Accessible Mt Baker will fix this nasty and dangerous intersection. It will make it easier to catch the bus, bike to downtown, and walk across the street to the light rail station or high school.

accessible-mt-baker

 

Beacon Hill Town Center

beacon-hill-painted-curb-bulb

Beacon Hill Safe Streets got interim safety improvements in front of the library and transit station

Beacon Hill Safe Streets successfully advocated this year to improve the heart of North Beacon Hill. They worked with the Beacon Hill Merchants Association and the community to get the city to implement near term pedestrian safety improvements (the new curb bulbs by the library), create a transportation plan in 2017. Their efforts will make it safer to catch transit, easier to walk and bike to the library and stores, and create a thriving and accessible town center for all.

north-beacon-hill-town-center-concept

Beacon Hill Town Center concept

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8 Steps Forward for Capitol Hill, the Central District, and Madison Valley (District 3)

Thank you to everyone who helped our local groups take so many steps forward this year! We couldn’t have done it without everyone who volunteered for Central Seattle Greenways, Madison Greenways, or the First Hill Improvement Association. We hope you will continue to support this important work 2017, but first let’s reflect on what we accomplished together:

  1. Our proposed Columbia Neighborhood Greenway was built this year, providing an east-west connectivity in the Central District.
    columbia-greenway-sdot-map
  2. Thanks to our auditing and advocacy SDOT is planning to improve the Central North-South Neighborhood Greenway – such as smoothing jarring speed humps, correcting signs, and connecting it successfully to Montlake where it currently dead ends.
  3. Central Seattle Greenways worked with the cool community at Bailey Gatzert to win safe routes to school improvements. The curb bulb and stop sign change at 14th & Washington will make it much safer.
    bailey-gatzert-nsf
  4. The First Hill Improvement Association worked with a developer to include building and maintaining a public plaza Pavement To Parks project.

    Photo by SDOT

    Photo by SDOT

  5. Central Seattle Greenways won a grant to improve the crossing near the light rail station at 10th & John.
    10th-and-john-before-shot 10th-and-john-nsf
  6. Central Seattle Greenways own a grant to make it easier to walk across John/Thomas St. all from Broadway to 23rd Ave!
  7. Madison Park Greenways won grants for outreach and design for neighborhood greenways in Madison Valley.
    lake-washington-loop-greenway-map-sdot
  8. The Melrose Promenade, which Central Seattle Greenways helped get started, won funding from the Puget Sound Regional Council.

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Two Dads Take on I-5 Safety (District 4)

Two dads from NE Seattle Greenways have joined forces to make crossing I-5 safer for all (the SNG 2016 Priority for District 4).

Andres Salomon and Scott Cooper were awarded Northeast District Council support during the Neighborhood Park & Street Fund process in 2016.

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Andres and Scott know crossing i-5 is important for people of all ages walking to and from Green Lake Elementary, grocery stores, senior housing, Roosevelt High School, local business districts, and many other other important community assets. Andres and Scott know these community connections will become even more important when light rail opens in Roosevelt in 2021.

In addition to support from NE District Council, Andres and Scott have successfully lobbied WSDOT and SDOT to consider safety improvements over and under I-5 that use paint and posts to control traffic speeds.

More safe and dignified I-5 crossings in 2017 are being planned by the coalition that includes NE Seattle Greenways and neighbors who want to #Fix65th.

Find more details of their ideas here.

Thank you Scott and Andres

Roosevelt crossing map

Roosevelt crossing problem

Roosevelt crossing solution

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Making Connections Across North Seattle (District 5)

Lee Bruch from Licton Haller Greenways gathered a coalition of people from Greenwood Phinney Greenways, Aurora Licton Urban Village and other community groups that wanted to make sure 1600 kids had a safe way to walk to the new Robert Eagle Staff school opening in 2017. Their campaign center around safe routes to school along N 90th and 92nd Streets.

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Lee and his team did walking and biking audits, gave presentations to local councils, and reached out to neighbors. They found sympathetic staff at the Washington Department of Transportation, Seattle Department of Transportation, and Seattle Public Schools who shared their vision.

eagle-staff-graphic

Licton-Haller Greenwood Phinney Greenways received both a Neighborhood Park & Street Fund and Neighborhood Street Fund award for their work. Their hard work resulted in more than $1 million for street improvements including a signal on Aurora Avenue North.
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In 2017, the coalition of District 5 safe streets groups is turning their attention to getting funding for safer routes to the new transit stations opening soon in Northgate, 130th N and 145th N. Stay tuned!

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Progress For NW Seattle (District 6)

In 2015 and 2016, Ballard Greenways made safer routes to school along 6th Ave NW their highest priority. Students at four elementary schools — Pacific Crest, West Woodland, Greenwood and St. John’s — would benefit from a north-south route on the eastern side of Ballard.safe-routes-to-school-along-6th-ave-nw

West Woodland neighbors led policy walks, talked to City staff and elected officials, and tried to get Neighborhood Park & Street funding for their safer route to schools.

6th-ave-nw-walking-audit

In 2015, Ballard Greenways leader, dad, and Alta Design & Planning landscape architect Chris Saleeba took a slightly different approach. He worked with a group of neighbors and business owners on a Tactical Urbanism project to let people in Ballard experience a safer route to local schools. Chris’s design won the first PARKing Day Plus Design Competition award and neighbors got to see a safer crossing at 6th Ave NW and NW 65th.

2nd Prize Winner 6th NW & NW 65th Street Crossing

2nd Prize Winner 6th NW & NW 65th Street Crossing

This year, Chris has been helping Seattle Department of Transportation to build this clever protected intersection permanently in the West Woodland Ballard neighborhood.

ballard-parking-day-protected-intersection

The D6 district, that also includes Greenwood-Phinney, is looking to make another protected intersection work better for people who walk and ride bikes at NW 83rd and Greenwood NW in 2017.

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7 Wins this year for Queen Anne, Uptown, and District 7

  1. Walking surges! Pedestrian commuters increased a stunning 50.2% reports the SeattleMet. And this isn’t starting from a small base: “people who walked to work went from a legit 29,070 (8.6 percent of all commuters) in 2010 to 43,665 (nearly 11 percent) in 2015.” Thank you for your work to make our streets more walkable – it’s working!
    walking-in-slu
  2. Queen Anne Greenways successfully advocated for the city to build the direct connection between the Westlake bike path and the Mercer St underpass. This connection will be built when the property that is currently owned by the city between 9th and Dexter is redeveloped. We also applied for a grant to upgrade the Roy St bike lane, but were unsuccessful this year. cascade-uptown-mercer-segment

    mercer-pbl-underpass-from-bike-blog

    Photo of Mercer St underpass by SBB

  3. The First Hill Improvement Association won a grant to make Freeway Park more accessible and welcoming.

    Freeway Park Entrances

    Freeway Park Entrances

  4. Queen Anne Greenways hosted a community building play street.
    hosted-a-play-street-2016
  5. Finally, the intersection at 7th and McGraw near Cole Elementary got some safety improvements – a wider crosswalk and curb.
    7th-and-mcgraw-widened-crosswalks-and-extended-curb
  6. We worked to make to incorporate safety improvements for people walking in the Nickerson St repaving.
  7. Last, but not least, Queen Anne Greenways continues to work with SDOT on designs to fix the scary 7-way intersection on Queen Anne.
    7-way-intersection-drawing

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Our Priorities for 2017

  • Vision Zero: Work to double the funding for the Vision Zero budget so that all our communities can get much needed safety improvements.
  • Multimodal Corridors: Collaborate with transit advocates to create walking, biking, and transit improvements for the Move Seattle multimodal corridors.
  • Tactical Urbanism: Help people make quick and bold safety improvements that build livable streets.
  • District 1: Connect Georgetown to South Park.
  • District 2: Extend the Rainier Ave Safety Corridor Project north and south.
  • District 3: Make it easier and safer to walk and bike to and from the Capitol Hill light rail station.
  • District 4: Safe and dignified crossings of I-5
  • District 5: Safe routes to transit stations from “coast to coast.”
  • District 6: Make the 83rd and Greenwood intersection, the gateway to Greenwood, safe for families to cross.
  • District 7: Safe east-west route between Uptown and South Lake Union.

Volunteer and donate to help make these priorities a reality in 2017!

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World Day of Remembrance Seattle

main-and-5th-fatalityWorld Day of Remembrance is a UN affiliated world-wide event to commemorate victims of traffic violence  http://worlddayofremembrance.org/

 

Vision Zero Seattle, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways and other local groups are taking part: https://www.facebook.com/events/268515693545860/

 

Memorial Gathering at City Hall

Thursday, November 17th 2016 at NOON

City Hall lobby 5th & Cherry

Distribute silhouettes to put up locally. Hear from first responders and from families whose loved ones were killed in Seattle traffic.

 

 

ALL Local Events on Sunday November 20

  1. Ballard/Aurora/Fremont noon Peddler Brewing Company 1514 NW Leary Way
  2. Beacon Hill/Mt. Baker 10AM The Station 2533 16th Ave S
  3. Central/Capitol Hill noon Victrola Coffee Roasters 310 E. Pike St.
  4. Crown Hill/Broadview noon Holy Grounds 9000 Holman Way NW
  5. Downtown/Belltown 10AM Uptown Espresso 2504 4th Ave
  6. Lake City/Northgate 10AM Kaffeeklatsch 12513 Lake City Way NE
  7. Queen Anne/Magnolia 10AM Starbucks 2135 Queen Anne Ave N
  8. Ravenna/Roosevelt 10AM Third Place Cafe 6504 20th Ave NE
  9. West Seattle 10AM Ampersand Café 2536 Alki Ave SW
  10. Rainier Valley 10:15AM Bike Works 3711 S Hudson St. (back entrance to warehouse)
  11. Duwamish Valley noon Oxbow Park (Hat & Boots) 6430 Corson Ave S

The City Hall event is open to the public and will recognize attendees from Seattle Fire, Seattle King County Public Health Department, Washington Traffic Safety Commission, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as well as families of the victims who have died in traffic in Seattle.

Event co-sponsors include Vision Zero Seattle, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, Cascade Bicycle Club, Seattle Department of Transportation, Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, Washington Bike Law

@VisionZeroSea

#WDR2016 #WDR2016sea

VisionZeroSea.org

WorldDayOfRemembrance.org

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/events/268515693545860/

To honor those who have lost their lives to traffic violence on Seattle’s streets, we will be putting up silhouettes all across the city.

We will meet for a Citywide Memorial on Thursday November 17 at 12:00 noon, in the lobby of City Hall. We will distribute 240 silhouettes representing people who have died in Seattle on our streets in traffic in the past 10 years, and highlight the need for safe streets in our city.

On Sunday, November 20, families and groups around Seattle will install all of the silhouettes at local events.

This a difficult time for many of us right now.  World Day of Remembrance, while not a joyous event, is something that we can come together on, as well as to help raise awareness among our friends and neighbors.

World Day of Remembrance is not a political event, but it is the kind of community building and coming together process that will help us keep America great. Thank you for joining us.

Thank you to the staff at United Reprographics for manufacturing these silhouettes.

Here’s an FAQ with more about #WDR2016 how to set up the silhouettes

all-city-wdr-map

 

 

 

 

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wdr2016-logo

Want Safer Streets? Ask for them this week!

October 16, 2016se-seattle-paving-projects

Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) hosts “Paving Open Houses” in Northeast and Southeast Seattle next week. The Open Houses are a perfect opportunity for you to ask SDOT to improve safety, revise speed limits, include bicycle facilities, and improve or add sidewalks.

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways worked proactively with local groups and SDOT to incorporate protected bicycle lanes along Roosevelt Way NE in 2014-2015. The entire length of Roosevelt — from NE 85th to the University Bridge — will be safer for people who walk, bike, use transit or drive.

(Note: Saturday November 5 from 11-1 the Roosevelt PBL will officially “open” at the U-District Food Bank 5017 Roosevelt Way NE).

Try to make it to the Paving Open Houses to tell @seattledot “repaving is a great time to improve street safety for all”.

Meeting details:ne-greenways-repaving-projects

NE Seattle OPEN HOUSE
Monday, October 17, 5:30 – 7:30 PM Roosevelt High School cafeteria 1410 NE 66th St.
NE Seattle Streets to be repaved in 2018: 15th Ave NE – Lake City Way NE to NE 55th St; Cowen Pl NE – 15th Ave NE to NE Ravenna Blvd; University Way NE – NE Ravenna Blvd to NE 50th St; 35th Ave NE – NE 87th to NE 65th St; NE 55th St to NE 47th St; NE 45th Pl – NE 47th St to NE 45th St

Southeast Seattle OPEN HOUSE
Wednesday, October 19, 5:30 – 7:30 PM, Southside Commons, 3518 S Edmunds St.

SE Seattle Streets to be repaved in 2018: Wilson Ave S – Seward Park Ave S to S Dawson St; Swift Ave S, S Myrtle St, S Myrtle Pl, and S Othello St.15th Ave S to MLK Jr Way S; S Columbian Way and S Alaska St – Beacon Ave S to MLK Jr Way S

Contacts:
Dan Anderson (206) 684-8105  Dan.A.Anderson@seattle.gov
James Le  (206) 684-3174 james.le@seattle.gov
Jim Curtin  (206) 684-8874 jim.curtin@seattle.gov
http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/paving.htm

Two Dads Take on I-5 Safety

Two dads from NE Seattle Greenways have joined forces to make crossing I-5 safer for all (the SNG 2016 Priority for District 4).

Andres Salomon and Scott Cooper were awarded Northeast District Council support during the Neighborhood Park & Street Fund process in 2016.

Andres and Scott know crossing i-5 is important for people of all ages walking to and from Green Lake Elementary, grocery stores, senior housing, Roosevelt High School, local business districts, and many other other important community assets. Andres and Scott know these community connections will become even more important when light rail opens in Roosevelt in 2021.

In addition to support from NE District Council, Andres and Scott have successfully lobbied WSDOT and SDOT to consider safety improvements over and under I-5 that use paint and posts to control traffic speeds.

Find more details of their ideas here.

Thank you Scott and Andres

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Welcome @SEA_DOTr!

January 9, 2016
by Cathy Tuttle

For weeks now, a poorly managed building site and less than stellar City oversight has forced Roosevelt High School children to walk in traffic — just a few feet away from last year’s DUI death of Andres Hulslander.

SEATrans Roosevelt 1-8-16

Seattle’s Transformation Department fixed the problem using entirely upcycled, leftover, and on-site materials to create a five-foot walkway and 11-foot driving lane. People drive slower past the walkway, and starting Monday morning, our children now have a protected space to run for the bus.

Cost: $0

Thanks Seattle Transformation Department!

Not affiliated with the Seattle Department of Transportation or any other City agency. Using Tactical Urbanism actions, Seattle Transformation Department is adapting models from other US Departments of Transformation @PBOTrans and @NYC_DOTr Contact them at SEADOTr@ruggedinbox.com

Complete Streets

Thanks for your help in 2016! Read about what you helped accomplished.

What is the problem?Roosevelt
A complete street should accommodate “safe access for all people.” Without our advocacy, major projects may be built without meaningful walking and biking improvements.

What is the solution (the 2016 priority)?
Make sure projects are complete streets by advocating on specific projects as well as policy changes.

Who is involved?
Seattle Neighborhood Greenways is taking the lead on this initiative in partnership with our local groups. We are also working with Feet First and Cascade Bicycle Club on specific projects.

Campaign Updates

  • Get Involved: We could use your help! Let us know that you support this priority!
  • ROWIM: The Right of Way Improvement Manual is the cookbook that SDOT and private developers use when building or revising streets. We brought stakeholders together in a multiyear process to review and comment on the manual, so that Seattle will be at the leading edge of street design.
  • Move Seattle Levy includes complete streets: Baked into the Move Seattle Levy is language that every major project must answer how it is addressing Safe Routes to School, Vision Zero, and Race and Social Justice issues. We are now tracking the implementation of this complete streets requirement.
  • Roosevelt Way NE: University Greenways led the charge to make sure this repaving project in the University District included safety upgrades for people walking and biking. We also partnered with Feet First and Cascade. The improved project is now underway! Please support local businesses during the construction period.
  • Complete Streets Flowchart: SDOT is developing a revised way to allocate street space. We are following this process to ensure it results in good outcomes for people who walk and bike.
  • This priority builds off of the successes of our 2015 Complete Streets priority, click to see our past successes and a recap from the 2015 campaign.

Return to 2016 campaigns overview

2015 Growing A Garden of Greenways

Lake City Greenways Builds Community In Olympic Hills Pocket Park

Lake City Greenways Builds Community In Olympic Hills Pocket Park

Cathy Tuttle, Executive Director
December 2015

Let me tell you a story about one person who reached out to neighbors over the past few years, and with their help – and a little help from Seattle Neighborhood Greenways – built a park, got safer routes to their local school, slowed traffic on one of Seattle’s most dangerous streets, and helped well over one hundred neighbors meet each other for the first time.

I’m talking about Janine Blaeloch, founder of Lake City Greenways, who led the effort to develop Olympic Hills Pocket Park, gathered neighbors for crosswalk actions to slow Lake City Way traffic, and helped with the Olympic Hills Safe Routes to School sidewalk project.

What is extraordinary is that I could have as easily told you this same story a dozen times and more about Greenways leaders throughout Seattle – Phyllis Porter and Deb Salls leading Rainier Avenue South road rechannelization efforts, Don Brubeck and Deb Vandermar who were instrumental in the road safety and safe intersection efforts along 35th Ave SW, leaders at University and NE Seattle Greenways who visited business owners up and down Roosevelt Way NE and helped to make protected bike lanes on Roosevelt a reality, leaders at Licton Haller and Greenwood-Phinney Greenways who are helping five local school groups plan for their Safe Routes to School priorities.
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#Party4OurStreets Awards

Dec 9, 2015

As a grassroots organization the energy, vitality, and strength of our organization comes from our amazing volunteers. We are so proud of their donations of time and energy this year and wowed by how much they accomplished!

shirley winning 2015

Check out the awards below for our 2015 categories:

  • Amazing Advocacy
  • Greenway Champion
  • Community Builder
  • Exemplary Street Experiment
  • Fact Finding
  • Public Servant
  • Wendy

Advocacy header

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What Did Your Council Candidate Say About Safe Streets?

by Cathy Tuttle, July 16, 2015

I got my ballot in the mail today!

If you live in Seattle and are registered to vote, you will get to choose two at-large City Council candidates, and one Council candidate who represents your District.  For the past year, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways has been organizing its advocacy priorities, local groups and volunteers by District as well. We believe District elections will significantly change the face of Seattle projects and policies.

This is a run-off primary election, with ballots due August 4. The top two vote-getters in each position will advance to the November elections when we will choose our nine City Council members. Most of the Districts and at-large positions have many candidates running (there are over 40 people running for nine seats).

I admire every person who has chosen to run for City Council. Every one has made a sacrifice of their time, their money, and their energy to put forward their ideas about how to make Seattle a better and more livable city.

Local Greenways group leaders came up with just two questions that we asked of all 40+ candidates. You can see candidates’ complete responses at the bottom of this post, on this Google spreadsheet, or this Excel pdf.

Here are the two questions each candidate answered:

  • Question 1: What street or transportation projects proposed for your District get you excited? What projects will you push for, and what might you oppose?
  • Question 2: Envision a major street running through a business district in your neighborhood. Now that you’re a City Councilmember, you hear from residents and business owners who are concerned that an SDOT project to increase safety for people walking, biking, driving, and taking transit on this street may impact some on-street parking and slow down traffic by an estimated thirty seconds per mile. You also hear from parents, seniors, and people who live and work in the area that they really want their street to be safer.

How, if at all, would you engage SDOT and the people who live and work in your neighborhood and mediate conflicting project outcomes? This project will impact traffic in the following ways:

(1) remove some on-street parking for better visibility for people walking

(2) narrow some vehicle lanes to encourage drivers to keep to a maximum 25 mph speed;

(3) re-time traffic signals to give slower elders and children more time to safely cross the street;

(4) dedicate some current vehicle traffic lanes to buses and people on bikes so that they can move more quickly and safely

The illustration below is a word cloud of all candidate answers.

Council Candidate Word Cloud in worditout.com

Council Candidate Word Cloud in worditout.com

 

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“Dear Neighbor” Letter Backfires

Roosevelt Way NE SDOT May 2015Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board (SPAB) member Jacob Struiksma took one look at a May 26 letter from Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and called into question the plan for a Complete Street along a busy retail corridor.

Jacob, who is blind, has strong opinions about what constitutes safe streets for all. He wrote:

This is crazy that curb bulbs not going to happen at all the intersections on Roosevelt Way. Why do people that walk have to be second to everything? Why do people that walk get the short end of things all the time?

Jacob’s quick response alerted fellow SPAB members and the Washington State pedestrian group Feet First about safety improvements as SDOT repaves Roosevelt Way NE. Both groups will review this new twist on Complete Streets and Vision Zero in their policy discussions in the near future.

A robust Complete Streets Policy is one of Seattle Neighborhood Greenways 10 advocacy priorities for 2015

SDOT’s letter read in part:

Dear Neighbor,

SDOT will periodically distribute project updates about the Roosevelt Paving & Safety Improvement Project.

We write today to let you know that the expected start of construction has been moved back from late September until the end of the year.  Perhaps more significant, fiscal constraints have forced SDOT to remove construction of most of the curb bulbs and expanded tree pits, which we’d previously indicated would be included in the project.  (The one positive benefit of dropping these elements from the project is that construction will likely be significantly shorter than the ten months previously expected.)

Curb bulbs extend the sidewalk out, typically into a parking lane at intersections, in part to ensure that curb ramps (wheelchair ramps) meet the federally mandated standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  They have the additional benefit of making pedestrians more visible to motorists, and vehicles more visible to those pedestrians.  They also have the effect of shortening the crossing distance for these pedestrians.  As such, curb bulbs increase safety for pedestrians, and seem to enjoy broad community support.

Sadly, the curb bulbs and enlarged tree pits were determined to be the most logical project elements that could be eliminated and bring the budget back into balance.  The curb bulbs were initially included in part to provide adequate room for standard curb ramps.  However, we were able to accommodate the ramps and meet design standards without the curb bulbs in most locations.

We look forward to using a safe, welcoming Roosevelt Way NE in the coming years.

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