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2020 Year In Review – Three Words to Describe Our Movement

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A letter from Seattle Neighborhood Greenways Director Gordon Padelford

You would need thousands of words to fully describe a year as difficult  as 2020, but as I reflect on Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, looking back on our work together this year, three surprisingly positive words keep coming to mind: responsive, resilient, and revolutionary

Responsive, because after the pandemic hit, we paused, talked to our grassroots network and the public about what they were experiencing, and retooled our entire work plan to respond to community needs. We developed a community-sourced plan to respond to emerging needs, incorporating suggestions from our partners and residents citywide. As a result of our work together, Seattle became the first city in the nation to pledge to make 20 miles of Stay Healthy Streets permanent and created a new program to allow small businesses to expand into the street for socially distanced outdoor seating and retail. In response to the murder of George Floyd and other people of color at the hands of police, we started a workgroup to completely rethink traffic law enforcement. 

Resilient, because despite the challenges of the pandemic, our network of 15 neighborhood groups has continued to stay active and organize for change across the city. I’m always amazed by the determination and energy of our volunteers, but this year I’ve been blown away. Our staff and volunteers have stepped up to support the communities we serve in amazing ways this year, from delivering food bank supplies by bike, to educating neighbors about safe places to walk and bike, to working to fix unjust systems, to building signs that neighbors can use to close their streets to cars. Here are a few stats that speak to this energy: we’ve welcomed 1,600 new active members in just the second half of 2020, sent 2,200 advocacy messages to elected officials, and distributed 4,500 outreach flyers to every home along each Stay Healthy Street. And I also want to take a moment for some key thank yous: to our phenomenal partners in the MASS Coalition; to social justice leader Aaron Dixon, for joining us for our annual racial equity seminar; to Councilmember Tammy Morales for speaking at our successful annual event, Streets For People; and to everyone else who has partnered with us this year.  

Revolutionary, because few could have imagined at the beginning of the year we would have 26 miles of open streets for people — and that’s just the start of what gives me hope that big change is still possible. We also won $17 million for walking and biking projects, and secured 300 safer intersections and 200 miles of streets at safer speeds. Plus, at last, we got Bell St and part of 4th Ave completed as part of the Basic Bike Network downtown. 

In the end, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways isn’t really about sidewalks, bike lanes, crosswalks, or trails. We’re about people. We’re about supporting people in one of the most fundamental of daily activities — getting from one place to another, safely, comfortably, conveniently. And despite all that has happened, we have achieved so much together this year thanks to you. I hope you’ll enjoy this last newsletter of 2020, and keep us in mind for any end of year giving.

 

Sincerely,

Gordon Padelford headshot croppedGordon Padelford
Executive Director
Seattle Neighborhood Greenways

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways: 2020 Campaigns

COVID-19 Update: Due to the this outbreak we are reorienting our work from the campaigns listed below to these 8 strategies that will help communities stay healthy and moving. It remains to be seen how many of our original 2020 campaigns we will be able to continue in addition to our COVID-19 response strategies.

Despite some early set backs, 2019 was a banner year for progress on safe streets initiatives. 2020 is also shaping up to be a big year with many opportunities and challenges. With your help we will make progress towards creating a city where every neighborhood is a great place to walk, bike, and live. Read more about our efforts below, and don’t hesitate to get involved — no experience necessary!

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways is a grassroots, people-powered movement. This is an ambitious list of projects that we simply can’t bring to fruition without the energy and hands-on involvement of our local neighborhood chapters — and engaged volunteers like you!

Get involved.

A huge crowd of people stand outside City Hall at the Ride 4 Safe Streets.

 Photo Credit: @4SafeStreets

 

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Safe Routes to School

We believe that every child deserves to be able to walk or bike to school safely and comfortably.

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways is pushing for systemic solutions to help improve the Safe Routes to School program citywide. Last year, we secured funding for a new full-time Active Transportation Coordinator for Seattle Public Schools and built relationships at schools citywide to help each community identify and advocate for their own needs.

In 2020, we will organize school communities and work with agencies to:

  • Improve programs such as the School Crossing Guard program, which currently has vacant positions at one in three schools, and Walking/Biking School Bus programs.
  • Increase funding for safe streets near schools (crosswalks, sidewalks, speed humps, etc.) to create more walking and biking routes to school.
  • Reform transportation planning when schools are refurbished or rebuilt.
  • Expand outreach to individual school communities and champion community-identified priorities.

Get involved: Join the kickoff organizing meeting on Wednesday, February 26th, Join the campaign here or email [email protected] for details.

Kids Crossing

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Get Vision Zero Back on Track

Vision Zero is based on the idea that no one should die or suffer serious injury in traffic. The City of Seattle has committed to reaching Vision Zero by 2030. But sadly, 2019 was the deadliest year of the decade for people walking. 

In 2020 we will:

  • Hold the city accountable to implementing safer speed limits on all streets. 
  • Focus city attention on Seattle’s three most dangerous streets: Rainier Ave, Aurora Ave, and Lake City Way. 

Get involved: Join the kickoff organizing meeting on Thursday, February 13th or email [email protected] for details.

Vision zero

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Complete The Basic Bike Network

We know that safety is a major barrier — 60% of the population in Seattle wants to bike more, and concern about street safety is the number one reason they choose not to. The downtown Basic Bike Network will offer safe and comfortable bike connections to get people where they need to go in and around the center city.

We will continue to advocate for closing the gaps in the #BasicBikeNetwork with a focus on on 4th Ave, 12th Ave, Pike St, and the Uptown area. For more see: https://seattlegreenways.org/basicbikenetwork

Get involved: Join the Basic Bike Network Kickoff Meeting Thursday, March 12, 6:00 – 7:30 pm or Join the discussion group to stay in the know. Email [email protected] with questions.

basic bike network graphic

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Traffic Signals for People (not cars)

All people deserve traffic signals that allow them to walk and roll safely and with dignity.

In 2020 we will advocate for the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) to adopt a comprehensive signals policy that:

  • Gives people enough time to cross the street.
  • Limits how long people have to wait for a walk light. 
  • Eliminates “beg buttons” except in rare circumstances. Beg buttons require a person to push a button before the traffic light will allow them to cross, rather than automatically giving pedestrians a green light with parallel vehicle traffic.

Take action and get involved and join the discussion group.

A group of people crossing the street at a colorful, busy intersection.

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Home Zones

With current funding, it’s going to take between 200 and 1,800 years to build sidewalks in all of Seattle’s neighborhoods. That’s way too long.

A Home Zone is a neighborhood that uses traffic calming to discourage speeding cut-through traffic while maintaining local access for residents, emergency vehicles, and deliveries. It is a cost-effective and community-focused solution to make non-arterial streets safer to walk and roll on. Click here for our Home Zone FAQ.

In 2020 we will help bring new Home Zones to:

  • Greenwood (north)
  • New Holly (south)

And we’ll support finishing the Home Zones in Licton Springs, Broadview, and South Park.

Get involved: Email [email protected] for more information.

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Implementing our Racial Equity Action Plan

Internally, SNG commits to becoming a racially, culturally, and socially diverse organization that treats all people with respect and dignity and recognizes the interconnected nature of overlapping systems of oppression and discrimination. Within our organization and in each of our neighborhood groups, we are continuing our work to build meaningful relationships within our communities, assess white cultural norms, and educate ourselves and our communities.

Externally, SNG strives to redress the historical and systemically-rooted inequities in transportation and city investments. We endeavor to do this work in solidarity with communities of color as a trustworthy and respectful partner. We are continuing to advocate to fund and support the Department of Transportation’s Equity Agenda and ensure that this work is sufficiently staffed, resourced, and implemented.

Get involved: Join our Equity Book Club (March 31), get involved with your local group, or email [email protected] for more information.

20-is-plenty-at-rainier-view

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Fix Rainier Ave

Rainier Ave is Seattle’s most dangerous street, averaging a crash every day. In 2020, we will continue to advocate for full implementation of the Rainier Ave Safety Corridor Project, which has been delayed for years.  

Get involved: Email [email protected] or join Rainier Valley Greenways Safe Streets at a monthly meeting.

1 mile safer! 3 to go! rainier ave RVG

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Beacon Ave

People deserve safe routes to bike from SE Seattle to the rest of the city. 

We will partner with the city and community organizations to craft a route down the spine of Beacon Hill that connects people to where they need to go. 

Get involved: Email [email protected] or join Beacon Hill Safe Streets at a monthly meeting.

african american biking on 2nd ave SDOT photo

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Thomas Street

We will continue to work with our community allies to advocate for a world class walking and biking corridor to connect people from South Lake Union transit hubs to the Seattle Center and the new arena. This design includes a wide 36’ trail-like design on the north side of the street, a new plaza next to MoPOP, and two protected intersections. 

Get involved: Email [email protected] to get plugged in.

Thomas St Design

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Georgetown to South Park Trail

Georgetown and South Park are a short, flat, 1.8 mile distance apart. In these adjacent neighborhoods, more than 8,500 people live, 30,000 work, and countless thousands play in parks, schools, festivals, and local establishments. Each southend community hub has essential goods and services that the other doesn’t — however, the lack of safe walking or biking infrastructure keeps the two neighborhoods divided.

In 2020 we will work to keep the construction of the Georgetown-to-South Park Trail on track to connect these two neighborhoods. 

Get involved: Email [email protected] to join Duwamish Valley Safe Streets at a monthly meeting.

Georgetown + South Park Logo

If you read this far please get involved and donate — we are truly a people powered movement!

2019 Year in Review

2019 Year in Review

Just incredible. 2019 was truly the biggest year yet for Seattle Neighborhood Greenways. Thanks to everyone who made it possible, and here’s to even more progress in 2020!

Jump to what interests you most:

  • Big Picture Overview⁠—from director Gordon Padelford
  • Citywide Wins
  • Reports from the Neighborhoods – South
  • Reports from the Neighborhoods – Central
  • Reports from the Neighborhoods – North

     

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


    Big Picture Overview⁠—from director Gordon Padelford

    Thank you for being a part of Seattle Neighborhood Greenways’ people-powered movement. What an extraordinary year it’s been!

    Despite some early setbacks, we’ve won some hard-fought victories this year. I think we–advocates, allies, volunteers, and supporters alike–can rightly give ourselves a collective pat on the back.

    Step by step, we’re getting closer to that shared vision where Seattle’s streets unite neighborhoods and connect people to where they need to go. Where walking and biking are convenient, safe, comfortable, and even joyful. Where children are able to walk and bike to school and parks. Seniors are able to stay active and connected. Where our streets and transportation systems are truly accessible and welcoming, and reflect the needs of people of every age, language, ethnicity, gender, race, ability, and level of wealth.  

    At SNG, we know that achieving this vision will give us choices for how to get around, keep us safer, save us money, reduce climate pollution, and so much more!

    We’re making progress towards this vision thanks to our focus on collaborations and big structural changes. We have an amazing grassroots network of local groups all across the city and partnerships with a wide range of other organizations. Take our work with the Move All Seattle Sustainably (MASS) Coalition. Together, we won big structural changes in 2019, including:

    * Funding for the first-ever Seattle School District position dedicated to helping kids walk and bike to school.

    * One of the best complete-streets policies in the country, making it harder for the city to cancel or delay planned bike projects when doing major roadwork.

    * Safer speed limits for busy streets citywide.

    We also know that for structural change to be successful we need to make our streets reflect the needs of all people. In 2019, we took another step along this journey, internally, by adopting a Racial Equity Action Plan and conducting trainings for staff and volunteers. Externally, we forged new relationships with partners like the Duwamish Tribe, to fight for a crosswalk to their longhouse and cultural center, and contracted with youth in South Park for door-to-door outreach to ensure the Georgetown-South Park Trail reflects the needs of Seattle’s largest Latinx community.

    And the good news is that we’re seeing some encouraging trends, like the 900% growth in the number of people biking on 2nd Ave since the bike lanes have been protected and extended to more neighborhoods. More importantly, we know we’re making a positive difference in people’s lives, which is what keeps me coming back to work everyday. For instance, we recently heard from a dad in North Seattle who told us that more kids are walking and biking to school year-round than ever. Perhaps you’re seeing some of these changes as well—please let us know if you are!

    Thank you for being a part of this people-powered movement. Your time, energy, and financial support has made a huge difference in 2019, and I can’t wait to see what we accomplish together next year!

     

    Gordon Padelford

    Executive Director

    Seattle Neighborhood Greenways

     
     

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    Citywide Wins

    Big Steps Towards Vision Zero

    After the worst year in a decade for deaths and serious injuries on our city streets, the Mayor announced a major effort towards Vision Zero, including lowered speed limits on all arterials, cracking down on enforcement of drivers that run red lights, and creating a Vision Zero Task Force to address the issue like the public health crisis that it is. These are huge steps forward, and we will continue to advocate to redesign our most dangerous streets, and to lower speed limits on state routes like Aurora Ave N and Lake City Way.

    Safe Places for People to Walk and Roll

    It’s unacceptable that one quarter of all streets in Seattle lack sidewalks. We advocated for and won an additional $11 million in funding for new sidewalks and accessibility improvements for arterials. Additionally, we advanced two Home Zone pilots–a holistic, community-focused, solution making it safer to walk on non-arterial streets without sidewalks for a fraction of the cost. We also won funding to continue this cost effective program in 2020.

    Safe Routes to School: New Staff for Public Schools

    We also have good news to report about keeping kids happy and healthy walking and biking to school. We took the time this year to build relationships at ten schools across Seattle to learn more about each school community’s needs and work to mobilize caring parents, teachers, and neighbors. We’re already seeing results: five new school zone speeding cameras will be installed in 2020, and for the first time, there will now be a Seattle School District employee dedicated to organizing crossing guards, walking school buses, bike trains, and safety projects.

    Additional Systemic Changes

    We’ve worked hard to combat the status quo through big systemic changes to our transportation system. By working with allied organizations such as MASS Coalition, we were able to pass a majority of the MASS Transportation Package, including new policies for construction and maintenance of our streets and intersections, and the structure of the Seattle Department of Transportation:

        1. Complete Streets

    Inspired by a Cambridge, Massachusetts ordinance, City Council passed an ordinance requiring that planned bike lanes are included in large repaving projects except in rare circumstances. This will save money and time for the City, and also make it significantly harder for political winds to delay or cancel planned bike routes.

        1. Sidewalks Maintenance

    This year, City Council required SDOT to develop a plan for addressing maintenance of our city’s sidewalks, including both removal of snow, ice, and vegetation and also a systemic, sustainable solution for fixing the 150,000 documented hazards on our sidewalks. These range from small cracks that people could trip on to places where the sidewalk is completely impassable, especially for people using wheelchairs and other mobility devices. In collaboration with disability rights advocates at Rooted in Rights, we recommended that the City assess models like those used in Denver, with a built-in equity filter and progressive subsidy system so that the financial burden of improving mobility for all doesn’t fall on low-income property owners.

        1. Bike Path Maintenance

    Similarly, Seattle City Council also required SDOT to present a plan for the maintenance of existing bicycle infrastructure. Currently, maintenance is reactive and complaint-based, resulting in bike routes that are hard to use, unwelcoming, and sometimes erased by the passage of time. We’re also concerned that a complaint-based system leads to routes in wealthier or whiter neighborhoods being maintained more often than those in other parts of the city. We are pushing for a plan that standardizes maintenance so that the program relies less on complaints and all communities across the city can have safe and well-cared for bike infrastructure.

        1. Traffic Signal Policy

    We’re also advocating for a better traffic signals policy, so people don’t have to wait so long to cross the street, don’t have to push “beg buttons,” and other tweaks that will make it safer and more convenient for people to cross the street. This year, SDOT began implementing “head starts” for people walking at every intersection, which give pedestrians the green light a few seconds before vehicles. In 2020, SDOT will present the rest of their policy to prioritize people walking.

        1. Funding for SDOT’s Transportation Equity Program

    As a part of Seattle’s Race and Social Justice Initiative, SDOT created a Transportation Equity Program, and this year, assembled a workgroup to identify and address systemic and structural equity issues. Given that race and racism still play a huge role in determining a person’s ability to get where they need to go in Seattle, we successfully advocated for the funding needed to continue this program and ensure that the workgroup has staff and resources needed to continue this important work and implement solutions department-wide.

     
     

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    Reports from the Neighborhoods – South

  • SE Seattle Bike Connections

  • Built this year: Two East-West protected bike lane routes in SE Seattle (S Columbian Way and S Othello St), connecting people to light rail stations and other community destinations; and a North-South protected bike lane along Wilson Ave.

    Coming soon: Southeast Seattle currently does not have a single safe and convenient connection for people riding bikes to the rest of Seattle. We advocated for, and won, $10.35 million dollars that will go towards building the Georgetown to South Park Trail, the Beacon Ave Trail, or a Martin Luther King Jr. Way South protected bike lane–or partially constructing some combination of all three! There is still more work to be done to fully bridge the $32 million gap for bike projects that were included in the 2019 Bicycle Implementation Plan (released earlier this year without allocated funding), but this is a huge step forward.

  • A Safe Crossing to the Duwamish Longhouse

  • We advocated with the Duwamish Tribe for a safe crossing of West Marginal Way SW between the Duwamish Longhouse on one side of the street and Herring House Park, parking lots, and the Duwamish Trail on the other. Tour groups and school field trips are unwilling to risk the danger, which limits the Tribe’s economic and engagement opportunities. Together with local SNG groups West Seattle Bike Connections, Duwamish Valley Safe Streets, and other partners, we were able to secure funding to design the crossing, which includes train tracks and multiple lanes of busy freight traffic. The advocacy work continues in order to ensure that the route is actually constructed and people can safely access this important cultural and community center.

  • A Community Effort for the Georgetown to South Park Trail

  • Neighbors from Georgetown and South Park made significant strides this year towards the long-awaited Georgetown-South Park Trail. After extensive community-led outreach through in-person and online surveys, and outreach at events in English and Spanish, Duwamish Valley Safe Streets announced SDOT’s proposed routing at a community celebration and installed wayfinding signs along the future route. The project secured funding from two different sources and will be constructed in 2021-2022.

  • Pedestrian Safety for Rainier

  • Thanks in part to years worth of community outreach and advocacy by SNG’s local group, Rainier Valley Greenways, safety improvements were made to a number of intersections along Rainier Ave S — including built curb bulbs and a raised crosswalk at Graham & Rainier, a built curb bulb and rebuilt sidewalk at Holly & Rainier, and new bus lanes along Rainier. See more details about the planned improvements along Rainier Ave. In January, look for a transportation and racial equity presentation by Rainier Valley Greenways at the annual MLK Day celebration at Garfield High School.

  • Safe Routes to Transit

  • Thanks to your grassroots advocacy, Sound Transit will be (partially) funding better walking and biking access to light rail stations in Southeast Seattle. It is part of a larger slate of improvements to the whole Sound Transit system, and will be a huge advancement for safe and convenient access to transit.

     
     
     

  • South Park Home Zone

  • The Home Zone Pilot had a successful first year! Home Zones are an idea brought to Seattle by Seattle Neighborhood Greenways to build cost-effective, community-based solutions for neighborhoods without safe places to walk. We brought South Park residents together to collaboratively plan and design their pilot Home Zone. Planning activities included a BBQ meet-up at Marra Farm, a walking tour of the proposed improvements, a focus group meet-up at Concord International Elementary, and lot of door-to-door outreach. In early 2020, the community will hold a hands-on workshop to build planter boxes, celebrate the new speed humps, and review designs for further street safety improvements. Read more about Seattle’s Home Zone Program in Next City.

     
     
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    Reports from the Neighborhoods – Central

  • Three Huge Connections for the Basic Bike Network

  • The 2nd Ave bike lane now connects to South Lake Union in the north (via 9th Ave to the Westlake Trail), to Capitol Hill in the east (via Pike St to the Broadway protected bike lanes), and to the International District in the south (via 5th Ave and Main St to the King St neighborhood greenway and Dearborn protected bike lanes)! These connections have encouraged <a href="http://Text: The 2nd Ave bike lane now connects to South Lake Union in the north (via 9th Ave to the Westlake Trail), to Capitol Hill in the east (via Pike St to the Broadway protected bike lanes), and to the International District in the south (via 5th Ave and Main St to the King St neighborhood greenway and Dearborn protected bike lanes)! These connections have encouraged 1,700 more people to bike on 2nd Ave every day.”>1,700 more people to bike on 2nd Ave every day.

     

  • Connecting to the Seattle Center on Thomas St

  • Everyone should be able to get safely and conveniently to the Seattle Center and the new arena that is opening in 2021, but right now there is no family-friendly east-west route. That’s why we are so excited that we won funding and a new design for Thomas St that will include a safe crossing of Aurora Ave, a new plaza, and a thirty-two feet wide walking and biking path. This win was made possible thanks to Councilmember Sally Bagshaw’s incredible leadership for this project, and support from the Seattle Parks Foundation, the Uptown Alliance, and many others.

  • A Community Comes Together at Bailey-Gatzert Elementary

  • This year, Central Seattle Greenways collaborated with parents, administrators, neighborhood allies, and community organizations to help get kids safely to school at Bailey-Gatzert Elementary. The school sits at the intersection of three major arterial streets, a location so dangerous that crossing guards have been hit by speeding vehicles here, but kids were also facing pressure from gang recruiters. Community-identified solutions include infrastructure improvement recommendations, walking school buses, and more.

  • Queen Anne Greenways’ Annual Play Streets

  • This summer, Queen Anne Greenways once again filled the streets with community fun at two annual Playstreets. The group closed a block of 1st Ave West adjacent to the Queen Anne Farmer’s Market to cars and opened it up for family fun and community building. Relatedly, SDOT is working to encourage more people centered street events through their revamped People Streets Program.

     
     
     
     

  • Sidewalk Cafes for Seattle

  • In 2019, the city made it easier for small businesses to create sidewalk-cafe style seating while maintaining access for people walking and rolling. Now there are over 400 permitted sidewalk cafes, many in central Seattle, which help to enliven our streets as places for people!

     
     
     
     

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    Reports from the Neighborhoods – North

  • Broadview Home Zone

  • The Home Zone Pilot had a successful first year! Home Zones are an idea brought to Seattle by Seattle Neighborhood Greenways to build cost-effective, community-based solutions for neighborhoods without safe places to walk. We brought Broadview residents together to collaboratively plan and design their pilot Home Zone. The neighborhood celebrated this fall with a kickoff event, featuring speed humps, planter boxes and signage. Construction is still underway, and will be completed in 2020. Catch this write-up about Seattle’s Home Zone Program in <a href="http://The Home Zone Pilot had a successful first year! Home Zones are an idea brought to Seattle by Seattle Neighborhood Greenways to build cost-effective, community-based solutions for neighborhoods without safe places to walk. We brought Broadview residents together to collaboratively plan and design their pilot Home Zone. The neighborhood celebrated this fall with a kickoff event, featuring speed humps, planter boxes and signage. Construction is still underway, and will be completed in 2020. Catch this write-up about Seattle’s Home Zone Program in Next City.

     

  • Access to Future Light Rail Stations

  • 2019 saw the construction of protected bike lanes along NE 65th St and a new neighborhood greenway along N 100th St connecting to the future light rail stations in the Roosevelt and Northgate neighborhoods!

     
     
     
     
     

  • Record Broken for Fremont Bridge Bike Route

  • Investments in bike infrastructure are working! The Fremont Bridge bike counter hit the one million mark a whole month earlier than last year. Total 2019 counts are up 12% over last year, and counts for Nov 2019 (after completion of connecting routes downtown) were a full 20% higher than the previous all-time record. Neighbors from Queen Anne Greenways, Ballard-Fremont Greenways, and Cascade Bicycle Club came together to hand out snacks and goodies, thanking people as they rode their bikes past.

     

  • A Neighborhood Greenway for 6th Ave NW

  • A team of neighbors in Ballard came together to address cut-through traffic and speeding in their neighborhood. After extensive community outreach and organizing, SDOT will construct a neighborhood greenway on 6th Ave (NW 43rd to NW 50th St). The neighbors will continue to push for the next section next year, to NW 58th St, West Woodland Elementary, and beyond. Read more on this inspiring community effort.

     
     
     

  • Safe Routes to Whitman Middle School

  • Whitman Middle School students now have a safe and accessible way to cross busy Holman Road. This crossing was the passion project of Ballard-Fremont Greenways member Selena Carsiotis.

    You made it to the end! Thanks for reading. If you love the work we’re doing all across Seattle, please consider a gift of support today.

     
     
     

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2014 Memorial Walks & Rides: A Year In Review

Wirtu Kakshapati speaks about the loss of Sandhya Khadka and #VisionZero at #Party4OurStreets

Wirtu Kakshapati speaks about the loss of Sandhya Khadka and #VisionZero at #Party4OurStreets

The most moving moments during #Party4OurStreets came as victims of traffic violence, their families, the community leaders who stepped up to organize Memorials and Solutions Meetings and the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) staff who responded with safer streets came to the front of the room to stand together and be acknowledged for their dedication to healthier, safer streets.

The Memorial Walks program is one of our most visible ways to bring #VisionZero sensibilities to Seattle streets. Because of this program we have been able to honor 13 victims and their families. We have raised awareness among communities and government so that we are all willing to invest time and money in traffic safety improvements. We intend to expand the outreach for this program by hiring dedicated staff in 2015.

Memorial Walk and Ride Recognition We want to recognize all the individuals who have made significant contributions of time and energy to creating healing and impactful Memorial Walks or Rides and Solution Meetings to honor families and mobilize for safer streets.

  • James St. Clair Memorial Walk: Deb Vandermar, Shukri Olow, Gene Tagaban, and Odin Lonning. James St. Clair was killed legally crossing  35th Ave SW, the 5th fatality of a person walking or biking 35th SW since 2006. High Point Community Council and Tlingit  people joined to bless the life of James St. Clair and pray for traffic safety improvements. SDOT began a multi-year road safety corridor project on 35th Ave SW in 2014.
  • Sandhya Khadka Memorial: Renee Staton, Shraddha Kakshapati, and Wirtu Kakshapati. Sandhya Khadka, 17 years old, was killed legally crossing the street getting to her bus stop at NE 115th and 5th Ave NE on her way to college. Sandhya was the only child and pride of her of her Nepali family. Pinehurst Community Council and Sandhya’s Seattle Nepali community came together to honor her. SDOT has added a marked crosswalk at this high-speed intersection.
  • Rebecca Scollard Memorial Walk: Merlin Rainwater, First Hill Improvement Association, WHEEL\Women in Black, Feet First, Brigid Hagan, Skyline at First Hill, and Harborview Medical Center. Every life matters. Rebecca Scollard, who struggled with homelessness and addiction, was killed legally crossing the street at 9th and James in First Hill. Central Greenways leader Merlin Rainwater brought together a coalition of local groups for the Memorial Walk and Solutions Meeting. SDOT Director Scott Kubly and City Traffic Dongho Chang attended and pledged to improve pedestrian safety in First Hill.
  • Caleb Shoop Memorial Walk: Glen Buhlman, Caron LeMay, Tammy & Ben Shoop, and Janine Blaeloch. 19-year-old Caleb Shoop was killed riding his bicycle legally across an intersection in Kenmore, WA. Kirkland Greenways and Lake City Greenways leaders worked with Caleb’s family to organize a Memorial Walk and Solutions meeting. A reconfigured crosswalk now marks this busy road. Cascade Bicycle Club and Washington Bikes are determining whether the Caleb Shoop case can be used to implement the Washington State Vulnerable User Law.
  • Sher Kung Memorial Ride: Jake Vanderplas and Brock Howell. Sher Kung, a new mother and LGBTQ activist lawyer died on 2nd Ave in the bike lane just a week before it was converted to Seattle’s first downtown protected bike lane. West Seattle Greenways Jake Vanderplas and Cascade Bicycle Club Brock Howell worked with the City of Seattle and Sher’s family to organize a moving tribute to Sher Kung and raise awareness about traffic safety and #VisionZero.
  • Zeytuna Edo Vigil Walk: Phyllis Porter, Deb Salls, Mayor Ed Murray, Councilmember Bruce Harrell, Abdul Yusef, and Mohammed Arden. Rainier Valley Greenways, Bike Works, Seattle politicians, and the Somali community rallied around 7-year-old Zeytuna Edo who was hit and critically injured by a speeding driver as she legally crossed the street with her family on MLK Ave S. Zeytuna is slowly recovering. SDOT and the Mayor have pledged to improve traffic safety in the Rainier Vista area. Mayor Ed Murray deserves special appreciation for attending the Vigil Walk and Solutions Meeting for a full 2-hours as the community  met
  • Original Artwork for Memorial Walks: Karen Stocker. Karen is a public artist and therapist who has volunteered for Seattle Neighborhood Greenways since April 2013 to paint heartfelt and eye-catching signs for Memorial Walks. When appropriate, Karen works with families of victims to make art and signs reflecting their love and concern.

    Stu Hennessy holds sign painted by Karen Stocker at Schulte Memorial Walk 2013 More signs/photos: http://seattletimes.com/html/picturethis/2020689296_memorialwalkforschultefamily.html

    Stu Hennessy holds sign at Schulte Memorial Walk 2013 More signs/photos: http://seattletimes.com/html/picturethis/2020689296_memorialwalkforschultefamily.html

 

 

Annual Advocacy Campaigns

We envision a  well-used, linked network of safe, pleasant, and healthy streets in Seattle.

Every year, the Seattle Neighborhood Greenways coalition of neighborhood groups develop and advocate for a list of top priorities. We’ve had amazing success with these priorities the past thanks to people like you!

 

Other Archived Campaigns

What’s Next for Stay Healthy Streets?

In the last year, we’ve seen a huge increase in the number of people outside—walking, skateboarding, biking, and rolling down the streets—and engaging with their neighborhoods in a big way. What’s next for the City’s temporary street programs?

 

Click to watch this video about the Stay Healthy Streets Program in 2020:

 

Background

In the spring of 2020, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways pushed the idea of Open Streets as one of our 8 Solutions for Safe Social Distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. These streets are closed to vehicle through-traffic, and OPEN to people walking, rolling, and biking in the street (local access, deliveries, and emergency services are still allowed).

Thanks to the outspoken support of neighborhood advocates like you, the City introduced Stay Healthy Streets a few miles at a time until we had over 25 miles in 13 locations around the city, as well as two sister programs: Keep Moving Streets (recreation space near parks) and Stay Healthy Blocks (neighbor-run DIY Stay Healthy Streets). And they have been a HUGE hit! Communities have rallied around their local open streets, and are eager to make them permanent. For instance, SDOT surveyed people near the 1st Ave Stay Healthy Street in Greenwood and found that over 80% supported making it permanent, which is incredible given that any changes to streets tend to be controversial.

So what’s next for these beloved streets? 

 

 

Stay Healthy Streets

Thanks to popular demand last summer, Mayor Durkan committed to making 20 miles of the pilot Stay Healthy Streets program permanent, starting with streets in Greenwood (1st Ave NW) and Lake City. Now, the City is thinking through how to fulfill this promise to fund and construct permanent improvements. 

Most of the Stay Healthy Streets created so far have been on existing Neighborhood Greenways. All of these Neighborhood Greenways already went through a public engagement process and were prioritized for people walking and biking, and de-prioritized for people drivingwith the use of stop signs, speed humps, and signs. Stay Healthy Streets, for the most part, just clarified and reinforced the original intent of neighborhood greenways, by placing signs that say “Street Closed” to indicate they are for local access only for cars, and that people are allowed to walk in the street.

 

A group of kids on bikes ride around a round-about in front of a

 

Should Stay Healthy Streets be made permanent? YES.

We believe that Stay Healthy Streets should be the new default standard for Neighborhood Greenways. The physical barriers and placemaking being promised are reminiscent of the promises made when the City introduced Neighborhood Greenways. But many Neighborhood Greenways in Seattle are differentiated from other streets only by small signs and speed humps, and are not functioning in the way they were intended.

Stay Healthy Streets should include community placemaking and clear signage for people walking and biking on the street, and people looking for the street, and both signage and physical barriers for drivers trying to avoid the street—with simple, clear branding that’s easy to understand and makes sense with other Seattle programs and infrastructure. 

In addition to the community engagement process SDOT has already launched, we believe partnerships with the Department of Neighborhoods and community organizations to host festival streets, farmers markets, neighborhood block parties, and other gatherings will turn these street spaces into the community places we’ve all envisioned.

 

A montage of images of people walking on the street, a street park, and a boy waving while riding a bike.

 

What about where Neighborhood Greenways / Stay Healthy Streets aren’t working?

Sometimes, Neighborhood Greenways and Stay Healthy Streets haven’t reached their true potential because too much car traffic remains on the street. In those cases, the City should improve the street through diverters and other traffic-calming measures. But in other cases, the underlying Neighborhood Greenways, and hence the additional Stay Healthy Streets, aren’t successful due to the route being too inconvenient, hard to follow, or hilly compared to other alternatives, which results in comparatively fewer people using the routes. In these cases, we need to ask people what they want and find alternative ways to meet community needs

We can act quickly to put it in as a pilot, get feedback, then move to full implementation if it’s well-liked. Do people need better routes for transportation? Protected bike routes, sidewalks, and bus lanes can do that. More space for recreation? The Keep Moving Streets program increases public park space. Spaces for community gathering? Cafe Streets, pedestrian streets, and play streets. Improved traffic calming? Fund the Home Zone program adequately to allow neighbors to create systemic traffic calming for a whole neighborhood.

 

A tweet by Dongho Chang with a photo of people and tents crowding a street. It reads: Stay Healthy Streets are people and community streets."

 

Should this program expand? YES! 

These streets should be everywhere. We originally envisioned 130 miles of Stay Healthy Streets that could be rapidly implemented during the pandemic, but the potential is even greater. They should be in every neighborhood and accessible to everyone, as much a part of every neighborhood’s fabric as the local community center, plaza, or park space. These streets can connect people to transit stations, schools, parks, grocery stores, and jobs. And the streets can also be destinations themselvesplaces to play, meet your neighbors, and build community. 

Stay Healthy Streets are most valuable in Seattle’s densest neighborhoods with the least access to outdoor public spaces, and this can only be achieved by expanding outside of the existing network of Neighborhood Greenways, that are mostly in low density neighborhoods. Let’s create Stay Healthy Streets in dense, rapidly growing neighborhoods like the U-District, Capitol Hill, First Hill, Downtown, and south Ballard. We should also add Stay Healthy Streets in neighborhoods that have less access to traditional parks like in South Park and Lake City.

 

A tweet reads: "I highly recommend getting a Stay Healthy Block permit and renting a donut truck for a kiddo pandemic birthday party." with two photos.

Stay Healthy Blocks

Last year, instead of rapidly expanding the Stay Healthy Street program to more streets like Oakland and other cities, SDOT decided to go with a DIY Stay Healthy Blocks approach that  allowed neighbors to build their own mini Stay Healthy Streets. It was incredibly exciting in theory, but was hindered by overwhelming permit restrictions that made it inequitable and overly burdensome. Instead of working to improve the program, the City rolled it into SDOT’s existing Play Street program. As a result, Stay Healthy Blocks can continue only as single-day permits, likely focused around holidays and festivals. We would like to see a path forward for neighbor-initiated open streets of some kind, and are eager to work with SDOT to expand this program in a way that could be open to all.

 

A collage of photos of families walking, biking, and riding scooters on Lake Washington Boulevard.

Keep Moving Streets

Keep Moving Streets are collaborations between SDOT and the Seattle Parks Department that create more public park space for recreation and play.

 

People walking and biking in the middle of the street in front of a beautiful view of water and mountains at dusk..

 

Alki Point

Thanks to continual neighborhood advocacy, SDOT announced last week that the Alki Point Keep Moving Street is officially extended for at least a year, through spring 2022! In the meantime, SDOT is seeking funding for permanent infrastructure and conducting public outreach.

 

A rendering of Aurora Ave with one lane protected by concrete barriers for people walking and biking around Green Lake.

 

Green Lake

SDOT has announced that the Green Lake Keep Moving Street will continue, and local advocates are working to extend it around the west side of Green Lake on Aurora. Sign the petition here.

A film still of a woman with curly hair and a blue shirt holds a microphone up to a man with dark skin. Behind them, a person rides by on a bike in front of a lakeshore.

 

Lake Washington Boulevard

SDOT just announced that they will re-open the Lake Washington Boulevard Keep Moving Street this summer, and we are thrilled! Lake Washington Blvd has been periodically opened to people walking, biking, rolling, running, and skating during the pandemic—and it has been a HUGE hit. Our local group, Rainier Valley Greenways–Safe Streets, is leading the way to solicit community feedback and rally support, and to encourage the city to conduct responsive and equitable community engagement. Click here to see the latest and sign the petition to reopen the full three miles of Lake Washington Boulevard to people again this year. 

 

Thank you to everyone who advocated for, and got outside to enjoy, these amazing street spaces in the last year! Let’s keep a good thing going!

 

Clara Cantor
She/her

Community Organizer
Seattle Neighborhood Greenways
Website – Twitter – Facebook

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways: 2021 Priorities

2020 may have hit us all with a slough of unprecedented challenges, putting many of our best-laid plans on pause, but the resiliency of the SNG network of advocates was formidable. With a pivot to serving immediate community needs, 2020 was a noteworthy year for the streets-for-people movement.

2021 is also shaping up to be a big year with many opportunities and challenges. With your help, we will make progress towards creating a city where every neighborhood is a great place to walk, bike, and live. Thank you to everyone who weighed in and helped set our priorities for the year ahead (listed below). And don’t hesitate to get involved, if you’re not already — no experience necessary!

 

  1. Whose Streets? Our Streets!
  2. Stay Healthy Streets
  3. UnGapTheMap
  4. Permanent Cafe Streets
  5. Safe Routes to School
  6. 15-Minute Neighborhoods
  7. Thomas Street
  8. Beacon Ave
  9. Lake Washington Boulevard Keep Moving Street
  10. Georgetown to Downtown Connection
  11. Home Zones
  12. Complete the Basic Bike Network
  13. Aurora Avenue Safety
  14. Speed Limits and Vision Zero
  15. Duwamish Longhouse Crossing and Duwamish Trail Connection
  16. Georgetown-South Park Trail
  17. Advancing Our Racial Equity Goals and Programs

 

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways is a grassroots, people-powered movement. This is an ambitious list of projects that we simply can’t bring to fruition without the energy and hands-on involvement of our local neighborhood chapters — and engaged volunteers like you!

Get involved.

 

 Beacon Hill Safe Streets action on the 12th Ave / Jose Rizal Bridge.

[Photo Credit: @4SafeStreets]

 

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1. Whose Streets? Our Streets!

For over a century, the laws and policies that govern how we use streets in Seattle have largely been written, enforced, and adjudicated by white people. Whose Streets? Our Streets! (WSOS) is a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) group, convened in July 2020 by Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, dedicated to reviewing and revising laws and policies to better meet the needs and support the lives of all street users — in particular, the BIPOC community, who have historically been excluded from the full and free use of this shared public space.

WSOS uses a pro-equity, anti-racist framework to review laws and policies governing the use of streets and develop a vision of how our streets can be safe, thriving places without the use of armed police.

This includes recommendations to: cease involvement of the police in traffic enforcement, prioritize non-punitive methods for making streets safer, abolish enforcement of actions that don’t harm other people, invest in communities of color, and to trust, support, and invest in the owners and experts of those communities.

In 2021, the WSOS workgroup is building community support, starting with engagement in BIPOC communities. WSOS released a first peek at their policy recommendations at the MLK Jr Day panel, Strategies for Community Healing.

See minute 1:00:38 for the start of Phyllis Porter and Peaches Thomas’ WSOS presentation.

Get involved: Sign up to get news and updates related to WSOS events and activities.

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2. Stay Healthy Streets

Have you been out to enjoy one of Seattle’s Stay Healthy Streets? In response to our advocacy in early 2020, these streets are closed to vehicle thru-traffic, but are OPEN to people walking, biking, running, skating, scootering, and rolling! Local access, deliveries, and emergency services are still allowed.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Stay Healthy Streets have given people extra space to recreate outside and get where they need to go while allowing each other to maintain a safe physical distance.

In 2021, in response to community requests, we’re pushing for the following: an expansion of pilot Stay Healthy Streets into neighborhoods that don’t yet have access to one; making those that are successful and much beloved by the local community permanent; and for the continued success of the Keep Moving Streets program — i.e., Stay Healthy Streets that connect to and expand public parks — as we’ve seen on Lake Washington Boulevard, Green Lake Way N, and Alki Point.

Get involved: 

  1. Share your thoughts with the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) with this survey on Stay Healthy Streets (NOTE: This is a NEW SURVEY! Please take it now, even if you filled out a different one last fall).
  2. Send an email supporting the neighborhood push for Lake Washington Boulevard to remain open to people year-round.
  3. Send an email supporting the neighborhood push to complete the street-loop around Green Lake by extending their Keep Moving Street and creating a temporary space along Aurora Ave.

A familiar scene on the Alki Point Keep Moving Street: folks out walking, biking, roller-skating, skateboarding, taking their dogs for a stroll. This Keep Moving Street offers a safe, healthy place to recreate with gorgeous views to boot! [Photo credit: Lynn Drake]

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3. UnGap the Map

Seattle boasts a ton of great bike trails, protected lanes, and greenways. Yet, too often, bike routes end abruptly, leaving people stranded in scary intersections to navigate on their own. A bike route is only as comfortable as it’s scariest section, and if we want to be a city where people of all ages and abilities can choose to bike comfortably and conveniently to get where they need to go, we need to #UnGaptheMap.

In 2021, we’re identifying critical gaps in our routes and advocating for a complete network as the only way to achieve our city’s climate, health, and transportation goals. 

Get involved: Email [email protected] for details.

 

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4. Permanent Cafe Streets

Last year Seattle piloted allowing small businesses to use parking spaces or even entire streets for restaurants and retailers to stretch out and operate safely. We successfully advocated to make the permits affordable and extend them through 2021. Over a hundred small businesses have been able to stay open thanks to this initiative. This year we will be working to make the permits permanent, and help small businesses not only recover, but thrive in Seattle by making better use of our street space than storing and moving cars. 

cafe streets video screenshot

Get involved: If you have connections to small businesses that would benefit from this initiative, please contact [email protected].

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5. Safe Routes to School

We believe that every child deserves to be able to walk, bike, or bus to school safely and comfortably.

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways is pushing for systemic solutions to help improve the Safe Routes to School program citywide. We’ve secured funding for a new full-time Active Transportation Coordinator for Seattle Public Schools and built relationships at schools citywide to help each community identify and advocate for their own needs.

In 2021, we are working with volunteers, school communities, and agencies to mitigate major transportation budget cuts and make sure that school communities have their voices heard.

Get involved: 

  1. Join the campaign here or email [email protected] for details.
  2. Push for a School Street at your local elementary school by emailing the principal to request a School Street now! 
  3. Share a photo or story of your students walking or biking to school! Tag us on Twitter (@SNGreenways) or Instagram (@seagreenways), and use the hashtag #SchoolStreet

 

Kids Crossing

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6. 15-Minute Neighborhoods

Everyone should have access to their daily needs within walking (or rolling) distance. That’s the deceptively simple idea behind 15-Minute Neighborhoods/Cities. In 2021, we will advocate for the City of Seattle to develop this idea as part of the city’s next major master plan, called the Comprehensive Master Planning process. Read more from our intern who conducted research on the idea last year

Get involved: Sign up to get news and updates related to 15-Minute Neighborhood campaign updates and activities.

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7.Thomas Street

How will thousands of people get to the new Seattle Storm and Kraken arena when it opens in fall of this year? Right now the Uptown neighborhood is bracing itself for a deluge of cars, but if the Thomas St Redefined effort is successful, people will walk, bike, and take transit to the new arena and the Seattle Center instead. Thomas St will be the only all ages and abilities connection that links transit lines (including the most popular bus route in the state, the E-Line) and the South Lake Union neighborhood to Uptown and the Seattle Center. 

Get involved: If you live, work, or care about this area, get in touch with [email protected].

Thomas St Design

 

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8. Beacon Ave

People deserve safe routes to bike from SE Seattle to the rest of the city. We are partnering with the city and community organizations to craft a route down the spine of Beacon Hill that connects people to where they need to go.

Read our local neighborhood group’s (Beacon Hill Safe Streets) March 2021 letter to SDOT about plans for improved walking and biking options on Beacon Ave, and see the Seattle Bike Blog write-up on this campaign.

Get involved: Email [email protected] or join Beacon Hill Safe Streets at a monthly meeting.

Current walking/biking trail on Beacon Ave.

 

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9. Lake Washington Boulevard Keep Moving Street

Lake Washington Boulevard has been periodically opened to people walking, biking, rolling, running, and skating during the pandemic — and closed to cars. And it has been a HUGE hit. As in, we’ve never received more support for any project. Our local group, Rainier Valley Greenways – Safe Streets, is leading the way to get SDOT to implement another long-term open street this summer, and to conduct responsive and equitable community engagement. 

Get involved: Go to stayhealthystreets.org/lwb to show your support and learn more.

The Nguyen family, enjoying the Lake Washington Boulevard Keep Moving Street while it was open to people walking, biking, and scootering, April 9-18th.

 

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10. Georgetown to Downtown Connection

SODO is one of the most deadly neighborhoods in Seattle for both walking and biking, yet there isn’t a single bike route connecting from Georgetown to Downtown, and people walking or biking to major job centers are left stranded amongst freight routes and high-speed vehicles. Since the closure of the West Seattle Bridge, the additional vehicles have made the situation considerably worse. In 2020, we advocated for SDOT to study the route, then secured funding. This year, we’re pushing for interim improvements as well as a long-term plan that improves safety for people biking into and through SODO.

Recent news: The Georgetown community suffered a loss when local resident River was killed by a driver at Corson Ave S & S Michigan, while crossing the street, in the crosswalk, on a bike. In honor of River, and his tragic death, the Georgetown community hosted an all ages and abilities Slow Ride Friday 4/9, with many Seattle organizations represented, including our local neighborhood group, Duwamish Valley Safe Streets. See live tweets from the event here.

Get involved: Join Duwamish Valley Safe Streets or email [email protected] for more info.

african american biking on 2nd ave SDOT photo

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11. Home Zones

With current funding, it’s going to take between 200 and 1,800 years to build sidewalks in all of Seattle’s neighborhoods. That’s way too long.

A Home Zone (FAQ sheet here) is a neighborhood that creates a holistic plan to discourage speeding, cut-through traffic while maintaining local access for neighbors, emergency vehicles, and deliveries. It is a cost-effective and community-focused solution to make residential streets safer to walk, bike, and roll on. 

City-funded Home Zone projects stalled in 2020 due to COVID-19 budget cuts, but we’re picking up where we left off and pushing for the City to complete the last few elements to Home Zones in South Park and Broadview and move forward on Home Zones in Highland Park and New Holly. Additionally, neighbors in NE Greenwood are working to build their own new Home Zone.

Get involved: Email [email protected] for more information.

IMG_E8799

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12. Complete The Basic Bike Network

Seattle needs a connected network of safe and comfortable streets for biking. 60% of Seattleites want to bike more, and concern about street safety is the number one reason they choose not to. We’ve advocated for years for a downtown Basic Bike Network, and we now have routes that will offer safe and comfortable bike connections to get people into and through the center city from the north, east, and south. But critical gaps remain. 

In 2021 we will continue to advocate for closing the gaps in the #BasicBikeNetwork with a focus on Pike St, 4th Ave, 12th Ave, and the Uptown area. To read more about this effort, see: https://seattlegreenways.org/basicbikenetwork

Get involved: Email [email protected] with questions or for more info.

basic bike network graphic

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13. Aurora Avenue Safety

Green Lake & Wallingford Safe Streets, Greenwood-Phinney Greenways, and Licton-Haller Greenways have formed the  Aurora Reimagined Coalition, a public outreach and advocacy effort to improve Seattle’s second most dangerous street — Aurora Ave N. They are building a community coalition to re-knit communities on either side of this concrete curtain and finally make it safe to walk, bike, take transit, and drive along and across this dangerous stretch.

Get involved:  Join the discussion group to stay in the know. Email [email protected] with questions.

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14. Speed Limits and Vision Zero

Vision Zero is the goal to have zero people die or suffer serious injuries in traffic crashes by 2030. Last year, Seattle lowered speed limits to 25 mph on major arterial streets across the city, and installed head-starts for pedestrians at hundreds of intersections. This year, we’re holding the city accountable for completing that work, and focusing on safety for Aurora Ave N and Rainier Ave S — the city’s two most dangerous streets for road collisions!

Get involved: Email [email protected] for details.

Vision zero

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15. Duwamish Longhouse Crossing and Duwamish Trail Connection

Access to the Duwamish Longhouse & Cultural Center has been difficult due to the heavy, high-speed traffic along Marginal Way, poor sidewalks, and the lack of safe options for crossing. In 2019, the tribe launched the Duwamish Longhouse Pedestrian Safety and Accessibility Project and built public pressure for the overdue safety improvements. With the closure of the West Seattle bridge, these critical improvements took on added urgency. SDOT is now prioritizing the construction of  a new signalized crosswalk, a pedestrian pathway, and an extension of the Duwamish Trail for this year. For more on this story, see feature write-ups in The Urbanist and Real Change News.

 

Get involved: People who are interested in getting involved should contact the Duwamish Longhouse & Cultural Center directly.

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16. Georgetown to South Park Trail

Georgetown and South Park are a short, flat, 1.8 mile distance apart. In these adjacent neighborhoods, more than 8,500 people live, 30,000 work, and countless thousands play in parks, schools, festivals, and local establishments. Each of these Southend community hubs has essential goods and services that the other doesn’t — however, the lack of safe walking or biking infrastructure keeps the two neighborhoods divided.

In 2021,we will work to keep the construction of the Georgetown-to-South Park Trail on track to connect these two neighborhoods.

Get involved: Email [email protected] to join Duwamish Valley Safe Streets at a monthly meeting.

Georgetown + South Park Logo

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17. Advancing Our Racial Equity Goals and Programs

Are you interested in advancing racial equity in our streets-for-people movement? Seattle Neighborhood Greenways has updated our Racial Equity Action Plan for 2021-2024 to strengthen our goals and accountability, and we’re gathering enthusiastic do-ers for an ongoing racial equity workgroup to help us think through details, launch programs, and plan educational and engagement events.

In 2021, we’re also launching two exciting new scholarship funds:

  • Sponsorship for all volunteers to attend equity-focused workshops and training.
  • Sponsorship for people of color to attend continuing education workshops and trainings within transportation, urban design, and public space fields — open to POC whether or not they are volunteers within our coalition.

Get involved: To join our ongoing Racial Equity Workgroup, to hear more about scholarships, or to add your name to the list to make sure you hear about upcoming opportunities, email [email protected]

20-is-plenty-at-rainier-view

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If you’ve read this far, thank you, and you’re amazing. Please get involved and donate — we need YOU to help fuel this people-powered movement!

Don’t Miss: MLK Jr Day panel featuring Whose Streets? Our Streets! (WSOS) workgroup

Please join us for a not-to-be-missed panel, Strategies for Community Healing, featuring the Whose Streets? Our Streets! (WSOS) Workgroup:

 

Community+Healing+logo

Saturday, January 16, 2:00-3:15p

On Zoom, free to attend. Register here for the link.

 

In this panel discussion, one of a dozen powerful workshops being offered this week by the MLK Jr Organizing Coalition in its 39th Annual MLK Jr Day celebration, activists will describe their innovative efforts to create new paradigms for BIPOC communities, especially Black communities, to thrive in Seattle.
As part of the panel, local organizers Phyllis Porter and Peaches Thomas of the Whose Streets? Our Streets! (WSOS) workgroup will introduce the WSOS slate of recommendations for how our streets can be safe, thriving places without the use of armed police. The majority-BIPOC workgroup’s recommendations were developed by using a pro-equity and anti-racist framework to review laws and policies governing the use of streets.

WSOS is honored to join the following groups on the Strategies for Community Healing panel:

  • The Africatown Community Land Trust, formed to acquire, steward and develop land assets necessary for the Black/African diaspora community to grow in the Central District
  • CACE21 – Wa Na Wari, which creates space for Black ownership, Black ownership, possibility, and belonging through art, historic preservation, and connection in the Central District;
  • Nurturing Roots, focusing on sharing the truth about systematic oppression with an emphasis on food and environmental justice,
    The panel discussion will be followed by Q and A.

 

ABOUT WHOSE STREETS, OUR STREETS

Whose Streets? Our Streets! (WSOS) is a Seattle-based, majority-BIPOC workgroup. Group members are dedicated to reviewing and recommending changes to street use design, laws, and policies in order to better meet the needs and support the lives of all street users, especially the BIPOC community.

WSOS event promo tile

 

For more information about the work of Whose Streets? Our Streets!, see this recent interview with two WSOS organizers, Phyllis Porter and Yes Segura:

Screenshot Whose Streets Our Streets --Streets For People 2020

 

ABOUT THE SEATTLE MLK JR  ORGANIZING COALITION

Seattle’s MLK Jr. Organizing Coalition has mobilized for social justice every year for almost four decades, and this year is no exception. The Coalition comprises grassroots, labor, business, people of color, and progressive community organizations and volunteers from throughout the Puget Sound region.

39THAnnualMLKDayJRDayEvents

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Big Wins from the 2021 Seattle City Budget

Takeaways: After a disappointing proposed austerity budget from Mayor Durkan, advocates like you across Seattle rallied allies and wrote to elected officials and made HUGE gains in the 2021 Seattle City Budget. We secured funding for critical transportation projects across Seattle including the long-awaited Georgetown to South Park Trail! (See more below.) Click here to thank the City Council for doing the right thing, and stay engaged to keep fighting for the #SolidarityBudget and other underfunded walking and biking projects.
JubilantRidersOnBasicBikeNetwork
When Mayor Durkan released her proposed budget in September with massive cuts from walking and biking projects alone, we were incredibly disappointed. While transportation faced the steepest cuts, the entire budget was framed around severe austerity, which we know is not the answer.

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, along with the rest of the Move All Seattle Sustainably (MASS) Coalition, drafted a set of 2021 City Budget Asks. Advocates like you from across the city spoke up in support, and the Seattle City Council came through!!

Send an email thanking Seattle City Council for restoring funding to critical walking, biking, and transit projects now!

Transportation highlights from the restored funding include:

  • Georgetown to South Park Trail: $5.2 million to fully fund this vital connection for Duwamish Valley communities that have been bearing the brunt of West Seattle Bridge overflow traffic. Thanks to Duwamish Valley Safe Streets and advocates like you, this long-awaited connection finally has funding to become a reality!

  • Sidewalk repair in Rainier Ave corridor: $943,000 will fund sidewalk repair and other pedestrian improvements in the Rainier Ave corridor that were previously stripped from improvement plans.

  • Safe Routes to School Funding: $9 million will backfill revenue lost due to COVID closures, and will be used to help kids get safely to and from school once in-person classes resume.

  • South End Bike Routes: $400,000 for continued planning for south end bike routes including a Georgetown-Downtown connection through SODO and a feasibility study of MLK south of the Mount Baker Light Rail Station.
  • NE 45th St Protected Bike Lane: $900,000 for improvements to the Route 44 corridor, including bicycle and pedestrian improvements along NE 45th St across I-5, connecting Wallingford to the future University District light rail station, opening next year.
  • Thomas St Redesigned: $777,000 for the this vital east-west connection and green street between South Lake Union and the Seattle Center.
  • Duwamish Longhouse Crossing: Funding for construction of pedestrian improvements and a safe crossing of West Marginal Way in front of the Duwamish Longhouse.

KidsGroupWalking

Thanks to your advocacy, we achieved big wins for critical mobility and transportation projects around Seattle, but we have a lot more work to do. The final 2021 Seattle City Budget makes steps towards the #SolidarityBudget that Seattleites have been in the streets since May to demand. However, it doesn’t go far enough. Learn more about next steps for the #SolidarityBudget work here from key organizers at King County Equity Now, Decriminalize Seattle, 350 Seattle, and more on this important, ongoing effort.

Feeling safe on our streets includes safety from police brutality. In July 2020, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways convened and funded Whose Streets? Our Streets! This workgroup, lead by Black women, is dedicated to reviewing and revising laws and policies to better meet the needs—and support the lives—of all street users. This includes getting armed police out of traffic enforcement entirely.

As we celebrate these hard-fought wins, we also look ahead to the coming year, and continue to fight for the #SolidarityBudget and other unfderfunded walking and biking projects. We thank you for your tireless energy in helping to make it happen. You are making a difference!
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Click here to thank Seattle City Council for championing these priorities in the 2021 budget, and get involved in Seattle Neighborhood Greenways by volunteering with us or donating to support our work.

Thank you for your continued advocacy!

Clara Cantor
she/her

Community Organizer
Seattle Neighborhood Greenways
Website – Twitter – Facebook

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