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2021 Year In Review — Putting our values into action

At Seattle Neighborhood Greenways we believe that our streets should reflect our shared values as a city.

When we polled Seattle voters in October, we found that those values that have guided our work these past ten years are widely shared and supported. When asked what values are important to how Seattle funds and allocates space on our streets, there was strong support for all nine values listed: Safety, racial equity, clean environment, accessibility, affordability, convenience, kid-friendly streets, health, and happiness. Encouragingly, support ranged from 95% for safety to 72% for happiness!

Here are some highlights from 2021 that exemplify how we put these values into action this year.

Safety
We won funding to permanently triple the Seattle Department of Transportation’s Vision Zero budget, which will vastly increase the number of critical safety projects that are built starting in 2022!

A group of people walking down the street holding Black Lives Matter signs.

Racial equity
Our Whose Streets? Our Streets! BIPOC work-group built important new relationships this year, and celebrated the movement of 120 parking enforcement officers from SPD to SDOT as a first step towards removing armed police from traffic enforcement.

Clean environment
We celebrated safe routes for people to walk and bike to the three new light rail stations this year, including the John Lewis Memorial Pedestrian bridge, protected bike lanes on Green Lake Drive and 100th street, and better sidewalks on NE 43rd street.

Accessibility
We won $1.5 million to repair sidewalks and add curb ramps to make walking and rolling more accessible to people of all ages and abilities.

Affordability
After housing, transportation is the biggest household expense, which is why we are excited that the 15 Minute City concept, which would make it so you can walk to all your daily needs, gained traction this year.

Convenience
The 4th Ave protected bike lanes now connect Pioneer Square to Belltown and beyond, helping fill in one of the last pieces of the downtown Basic Bike Network, which will encourage more people to ditch their cars and bike to work instead.

Kid-friendly streets
Lake Washington Boulevard was open for families every weekend this summer and during school closures, allowing kids to be kids and everyone to enjoy this amazing public space in SE Seattle.

Health
Stay Healthy Streets remained open on seventeen streets this year, and SDOT (slowly) began the process of working with different neighborhoods to determine what permanent improvements could look like (see our take on how the city should evolve the program).

Happiness
We successfully extended the well loved Cafe Streets program until spring 2022, helping 260 small businesses to stay open, and people stay connected to each other safely.

We didn’t poll about every value we hold true — community togetherness for instance. Thank you for being a part of our community in 2021. We truly are a people-powered movement, and we could not have achieved this without your support. If you can, please make an end of year donation to keep us going.

We hope you will resolve to stay involved in the New Year, as we walk together on the long journey towards streets that truly reflect our shared values.

Thank you!

Gordon Padelford
Executive Director