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Tactical Urbanism Creates Permanent Places

August 25, 2016

PARKing Day Plus 2015 project leads to new Burke Gilman Trail design from SDOT

PARKing Day Plus 2015 project leads to new Burke Gilman Trail design from SDOT

Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has stepped out of their box, and into an intersection full of psychedelic circles.

A recent article at The Urbanist highlights SDOT plans to construct an exciting new protected intersection at the Burke Gilman Trail crossing of 40th Ave NE.

The safety design for 40th Ave NE is based on one of five Tactical Urbanism road safety improvements, funded and showcased by Seattle Neighborhood Greenways PARKing Day Plus Design Competition.

NE Seattle Greenways volunteers Kenneth Trease, Jen Goldman, and Andres Salomon teamed up with Seattle Children’s Hospital Transportation staff Jamie Cheney and Drew Dresman to build and monitor this one-day project built of traffic cones and chalk. SDOT’s recreation of the PARKing Day Plus design is built of flex-posts and thermoplastic and will keep people safe at a highly problematic trail crossing.

The use of just cones to simulate curb bulbs – and a few “stop for pedestrian” signs at the crossing and along the trail – had people approaching the crosswalk more cautiously in cars and on bikes. This crosswalk had been the site of a recent serious injury collision between a car driver and bicycle rider.

Staff from Seattle Children’s Hospital joined as volunteers at the information table with NE Seattle Greenways members.

Jen Goldman, one of the Protected Intersection project leads said,

“Our biggest take-home – we did not have one complaint about the crossing through the day. All feedback for the curb bulbs was favorable. People agreed that the crossing was dangerous as is. Granted, we were more able to speak with people walking and biking by vs driving, but some people who stopped and chatted mentioned they had driven through earlier in the day as well. The Metropolitan Market manager had reservations when discussing the project at first, but was pleased when seeing it.”

Jen’s daughter Maggie who celebrated her 6th birthday at the intersection crossing with cupcakes, thought it was a splendid place for a party for a girl who likes to walk and bike!

We couldn’t be happier to see a community-designed tactical urbanism project be transformed into a colorful permanent safety improvement!

PARKing Day Plus 2015 volunteers observed traffic and people walking & biking across the trail

PARKing Day Plus 2015 volunteers observed traffic and people walking & biking across the trail

District 6: Ballard & Fremont

Click here to see our 2016 priorities

Local SNG coalition groups involved: Ballard Greenways, Fremont Greenways

What was the 2015 priority? Make 6th Ave NW, including its NW Market Street intersection safe enough for children to get to school.

Campaign Updates: 

  • Big Win! Intersection of Leary, 43rd & 6th Ave NW has new signal and sign improvements, funded by Neighborhood Park & Street Fund application by Fremont Greenways in 2014!
  • Ballard Greenways has been building a coalition of local groups to gather grassroots support for these safe routes to school improvements and have met with SDOT about the issues and opportunities along 6th Ave NW.
  • Big Win! The first Summer Parkway event used 6th Ave NW as its eastern boundary and hundreds of local residents and visitors had the opportunity to ride this route on September 19 2015.
  • Win! Seattle Neighborhood Greenways Executive Director Cathy Tuttle co-led a Jane’s Walk along 6th Ave NW from the Burke Gilman Trail to NW 58th Street.
  • East Ballard Community Association, Groundswell NW, and West Woodland Neighbors completed a 3-hour walking audit of 6th Ave NW on August 22, 2015.
  • Win! PARK(ing) Day entry for 6th Ave NW and NW 65th won the PARK(ing) Day Design Competition. Alta Planning and Design’s Chris Saleeba and Fred Young constructed the winning protected crossing that was in place Sept 18-19, 2015.
  • Win! Pacific Crest Elementary at 6th Ave NW and NW 46th was awarded an SDOT mini-grant to study safe routes for their community.
    6th Ave NW and NW 65th Protected Intersection for PARKing Day and Summer Parkways

    6th Ave NW and NW 65th Protected Intersection for PARKing Day and Summer Parkways

    6th Ave NW Walking Audit with E Ballard Community Association, West Woodland Neighbors, and Groundswell NW

    6th Ave NW Walking Audit with E Ballard Community Association, West Woodland Neighbors, and Groundswell NW

 

New push button signals & signs to connect people who walk & bike from Burke Gilman Trail across Leary to 6th Ave NW

New push button signals & signs to connect people who walk & bike from Burke Gilman Trail across Leary to 6th Ave NW

Ballard Greenways discussing the intersection of NW Market and 6th Ave with Councilmember Mike O'Brien and business owner Mike Hale

Ballard Greenways discussing the intersection of NW Market and 6th Ave with Councilmember Mike O’Brien and business owner Mike Hale

 

Bike Share Changes Seattle Safety Equation

by Cathy Tuttle
July 17, 2017

Bike share will test safe Seattle streets

Bike share will test safety of Seattle streets

I’m so excited!

This week, 1000 new orange and green bikes will be magically scattered like confetti throughout Seattle.

@LimeBike has a track record of launching dock-less bike share systems. @SpinCities says it raised $8 million for bike share and eventually wants a fleet of 10,000 bikes in Seattle.

Seattle is the largest market to date for both companies, and Spin and LimeBike will be competing head to head. Each company is allowed to launch a fleet of 500 of their distinctive bright green and orange upright bikes today, another 1,000 next month, and 2,000 the following month.

The beauty of dock-less bike share is the fact you can find a bike anywhere in the service area with an app, unlock a bike with your phone, and ride anywhere for 30 minutes for $1. No search for parking, just find a bike and ride.

Bike Share and Vision Zero

My biggest worry is safety. Not safety of the bikes, that feel solid and reliable, but street safety. The new bike share service areas in Downtown, Central Seattle, Columbia City, Beacon Hill, South Lake Union, Eastlake, Fremont, Ballard, the U-District are filled with high crash corridors and intersections with few miles of protected bike lanes, trails, or greenways.

  • My hope is the thousands of new Spin and LimeBike riders will encourage people driving to become more aware and respectful of people on bikes.
  • I also hope SDOT will quickly build out a fully protected #BasicBikeNetwork downtown and a linked safe network throughout Seattle.
  • Most of all, I hope thousands of people will discover the joy of riding a bike for everyday transportation.

Welcome SpinCities and LimeBike!

Ready for a downtown #BasicBikeNetwork?

Ready for a downtown #BasicBikeNetwork?

 

Urban Village Bike Map connect the dotted lines!

Urban Village Bike Map connect the dotted lines!

 

Want to support more advocacy work like this? Volunteer and donate:

  Join Us Donate

 

Volunteer Appreciation PARTY!

Party Hat graphicWe want to thank you at our annual volunteer appreciation gathering this Groundhog’s Day!  

Let’s celebrate all of the progress you helped make possible in 2016!

New to volunteering with us? Come see what we’re all about.

Date/Time:
Thursday February 2nd, 2017
5:30PM —> 7:30PM

RSVP here!

Location:
Impact Hub  4th Floor 
220 2nd Ave S  Seattle, WA 98104

Food and beverages provided courtesy of:
Peddler Brewing Company
BOL Pho Bistro
Essential Bakery & Co.
and more!

How to get to our party:

Bike parking is available in the basement of the Impact Hub.

Pioneer Square is extremely accessible by transit:
tripplanner.kingcounty.gov 

During First Thursday Art Walks in Pioneer Square, car parking is free from 5 pm to 10 pm at three parking garages listed below. To redeem, pick up a voucher at participating Pioneer Square stores, restaurants, or galleries. 

RSVP here!

FACEBOOK Event

Care about Madison Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)?

image004August 5, 2016

Here’s what to look for when you provide comments at the final Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) Open House on Tuesday August 9 (or on-line before August 16).

Madison BRT is intended as a Complete Street. Complete Streets provide fair access to the street for all people, whatever their transit mode. That is one reason the City is poised to apply for grant funding to invest upwards of $120 Million along this 2.4-mile corridor. Another reason the Madison BRT project is at the top of stack for funding and redevelopment is that thousands of new places for people to work and live along the Madison corridor are under construction or in permitting now.

When you are evaluating the Madison BRT plans, ask first if people of all ages and all abilities will easily be able to cross the street, walk or bike to transit, and enjoy the experience of walking, shopping, and socializing along East Madison Street. Madison is filled with young people starting families, retirees, people using major hospitals, amid a wealth of residential and commercial property.

Several street safety advocacy groups, including local groups along the corridor – Central Seattle Greenways, Madison Park Greenways, and the transportation leaders of First Hill Improvement Association – have been closely following the Madison BRT project for several years. They shared their top five concerns about the current Madison BRT proposal.

Five ideas to consider when commenting on the Madison BRT project:

  1. Crossing the street is a necessary part of taking the bus. People walking and biking need to be able to cross Madison directly and safely. The 30% designs for 24th Ave & Madison, 12th & Union & Madison don’t resolve the difficult street crossing challenges, in fact current designs may make crossing more dangerous. At center-island stations, crosswalks need to be positioned at the desire lines for people exiting the bus.

  2. Plan for people who bike. Design and fund access for people who want to bike in the Madison corridor. Community groups worked closely with the City for several years to identify the optimal “parallel” bicycle infrastructure that was intended to be funded as part of the project: this includes protected bike lanes on Union from 12th to 27th and greenways on 27th, 24th, Thomas, Denny, and University. Creating safe and convenient bikeways to help people access residences and businesses on Madison isn’t just a nice idea, it’s necessary and promised Complete Streets mitigation given that SDOT is removing access to a street people depend on now.

  3. Work hard to keep the trees! Removing 23 trees on Madison between Broadway & 12th may ease the congestion on the sidewalk a little bit, but will make the pedestrian experience even bleaker.

  4. Plan for growth. The City needs to plan for long term sidewalk improvements as part of this project. This dense neighborhood will need wide, well-maintained sidewalks with excellent street furnishings. Make sure that intent is communicated in design plans written by the City for developers as they build along the Madison Corridor.

  5. Study traffic along the Madison Corridor including left turn elimination, commercial loading, parking, peak I-5 access, and in particular ambulance & emergency vehicle access.

 

SDOT Public Open House  Tuesday August 9   5 – 7 PM Meredith Mathews East Madison YMCA   1700 23rd Ave

Give feedback online before August 16: MadisonBRT.participate.online

 

Brie Gyncild and Merlin Rainwater, Central Seattle Greenways Co-chairs

Bob Edmiston, Madison Park Greenways Chair

Cathy Tuttle, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways Director

Gordon Werner, First Hill Improvement Association Transportation Chair

Biking experience in Seattle by a Dutch student

foto (1)

Hi!

My name is Max Albert, I am a Dutch student who is currently doing an internship at Seattle Neighborhood Greenways. I have ridden my bike on a daily basis ever since I was 4 years old and would say I am extremely comfortable on it. In case you haven’t heard of the Netherlands, its literal translation from Dutch is “low lands”, meaning that there are almost no hills.

When coming to Seattle I naturally had the intent to ride my bike everywhere, without a helmet of course. However, this quickly changed as I first explored Downtown. The sight of people blending in with cars on the busy roads and flying down the hills was a completely different sight from what I was used to, and made me think twice about my previous made statement about riding my bike everywhere. I had been warned that it could be dangerous but this was truly something else.

I received a bike from one of my colleagues at the office where I am doing my internship which is located Downtown near Pioneer Square Station. The bike was waiting for me in the basement and ready for use. On my first day one of my colleagues and I went on a trip by car, with bikes on the bike rack, to evaluate two of the recently finished Greenways in Delridge and Ballard which were quite comfortable, definitely something I could get used to. Read the rest of this entry »

Sadik-Khan & Mayor Murray get in a #StreetFight

jsk_book-copy-1030x515Janette Sadik-Khan and Mayor Ed Murray get in a #StreetFight. May the best urbanist win!

Janette Sadik-Khan is visiting Seattle!
Sadik-Khan is the former, and famous, New York City DOT Commissioner. She will talk with Seattle Mayor Ed Murray about her new book Street Fight.

Town Hall Seattle 1119 8th Avenue
Monday, March 21. 7:30-9 PM. Doors open 6:30PM

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways leaders of our 20 local groups crowd-sourced these 10 questions:

  1. What percentage of a city’s transportation budget should go towards making streets safe for people who walk? Towards Vision Zero generally?
  2. Should safety improvements go in first in low-income neighborhoods? How do you counter the charge of gentrification when you make streets safer?
  3. What’s the best approach to talking to small business owners when you put protected bike lanes next to their shops? Do you remove or add parking to protect bike lanes? (we love the idea of parked cars protecting most bike lanes as you did in NYC — we haven’t seen car protected bike lanes in Seattle much yet)
  4. How can we sell a Center City downtown network of protected bike lanes to our business and political leaders as the smartest choice economically and politically? Seattle has been planning a protected downtown network for five years and still has another five to go as it works through transit demands and small business owner fears. New York has a pretty good downtown protected bike network. Did business opposition keep your dedicated bike lanes to streets such as First Avenue along Manhattan’s fringes?
  5. What’s the secret of building great on-street plazas quickly and inexpensively? (you are famous for building huge plazas all over NYC in order to calm traffic and turn streets into people places. Seattle is still burnishing a few tiny on-street plazas on out of the way streets.)
  6. How impressed are you with the changes you’ve seen around our city since your last visit? It’s been a full year since you’ve returned to Seattle to help usher Seattle into the tactical urbanism era.
  7. How do you turn a DOT that’s used to 3 or 4-year turnaround times for planning and implementation of major capital projects into a more nimble organization that does tons of small but effective safety improvements?
  8. Bike share. Let’s say you operated a small bike share system that became insolvent.  You have a choice of expanding the existing system or starting fresh with a stationless system, which would you choose and why? What impeded expanding the NYC bike-sharing network north of 58thStreet in Manhattan?
  9. How did New York buy into Complete Streets ideals?  We hear, “we can’t fit all modes on all streets.” To some people this means people biking should be pushed to side streets whenever possible and buses should only get priority when it doesn’t impede car traffic. What does complete streets mean to you? Should streets that everyone needs to get to because there are many commercial destinations, schools, libraries, etc have access for everyone? And why is the mode that is never removed the car, not transit or biking?
  10. How do you gauge the optimal amount of community process?  – In Seattle we sometimes seem to go overboard and other times we barely let people know before making major street improvements. What’s the best way to strike a balance?

Family Bikes Belong on Transit

Want to help Family Bikes get places? Sign this letter!

To Sound Transit Board and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray:

Bringing bicycles on Sound Transit LINK light rail can be challenging, especially for families. Parents with young children often find it difficult to lift heavy bicycles onto train hooks. Bicycles with attached childrens’ seats, bicycles with front baskets, and bicycles with long tails often do not fit on bicycle hooks provided in the bicycle area of Sound Transit LINK light rail cars.

Some parents might choose to leave their bicycles at light rail stations, but bicycle parking at Sound Transit light rail stations is often challenging for families as well, with bicycle racks and bike boxes that are not designed to fit larger-sized family bicycles.

Therefore, we encourage the following actions from Sound Transit LINK light rail:

  1. Provide secure bicycle parking for bicycles of all sizes at every Sound Transit LINK light rail station.
  2. Purchase some open “flex” cars when Sound Transit makes its next light rail car purchase, to allow people with bicycles, oversized luggage, mobility devices, strollers, and other non-standard equipment more flexibility in their use of light rail space – open space can also hold more passengers who can stand at peak travel times.
  3. Develop a policy to encourage people using family bikes and cargo bikes to allow them to use light rail during off-peak hours (for example, family bicycles may use light rail at any times other than 7 to 9 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. weekdays and at times posted as high-capacity travel times such as major sports events).

It is particularly families who bike that benefit most from the expanded range of combining light rail with biking.  For an individual on a road bike, biking 10 miles each way is usually not as much of an undertaking. However, that same 10 mile trip with a few kids will involve bathroom and snack breaks, and much more energy output by the parent (who is piloting a combined 100-150lbs of kid + bike, instead of just a 20lb bike).  For parents biking with children, transit is a godsend. If transit can replace a portion of that trip, that can make a huge difference in how mobile a family can be without relying on a car.

People who use bicycles with their children need accommodation. We all want to do our part to be a multi-modal, climate-healthy, safe region and taking Sound Transit LINK light rail will help us reach our goals. Thank you!

 

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.
Read the rest of this entry »

#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

Read the rest of this entry »

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