Category Archive: Uncategorized

Defining Community Safety: SNG in Conversation with Aaron Dixon

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On Monday, August 31, 2020, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways sat down (virtually) for a community conversation with Aaron Dixon, founding member and Captain of the Seattle chapter of the Black Panther Party. We discussed community ownership of public space, how we define community safety, and community alternatives to policing.

It was wonderful to hear Aaron share his wisdom and experience, and I left the event feeling inspired. A huge thank you to Aaron Dixon and Peaches Thomas, as well as to everyone who attended, asked thoughtful questions and shared in this community space.

For those of you unable to attend, check out the Recording and Full Transcript.

Special thanks to Disability Rights Washington for providing closed captioning.

And a huge thank you to our other event co-sponsors: 350 SeattleFeet FirstSierra Club Seattle GroupTransit Riders UnionTransportation Choices Coalition, and The Urbanist.

If you are interested in learning more about our work in this realm, check out Whose Streets? Our Streets!, a work-group currently drafting recommendations to the City of Seattle and State of Washington to re-imagine traffic enforcement without armed police.

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Event Details:
Monday, August 31, 2020, 5:30 – 7:00 pm
This event will be a conversation between Aaron Dixon and Peaches Thomas (5:30-6:30 pm), followed by attendee questions and dialogue (6:30 – 7:00 pm). The event will be recorded and available in the days that follow. Closed captioning is available live and a full transcript will be made available after the event.
This event is co-sponsored by 350 Seattle, Disability Rights Washington, Feet First, Sierra Club Seattle Group, Transit Riders Union, Transportation Choices Coalition, and The Urbanist.
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Aaron-Dixon Headshot 2About Aaron Dixon, Guest Speaker:
Aaron Dixon, founding member and Captain of the Seattle chapter of the Black Panther Party. As Captain, Dixon helped launch the Free Breakfast for School Children Program, which fed over 10,000 children every day before school. Dixon was also instrumental in the opening of a free medical and legal clinic which later became the Carolyn Downs Clinic.
Dixon is also the founder of the nonprofit organization, Central House, providing transitional housing for homeless young adults and a youth leadership project. He is a former Green Party candidate for WA State Senate, and an organizer of the Center for Social Justice based out of the Seattle Central District. He is the author of My People are Rising: Memoirs of a Black Panther Captain. Read more here or see his interview with the History Makers.
Peaches Thomas HeadshotAbout Peaches Thomas:
Peaches Thomas is a local Community Organizer with Duwamish Valley Safe Streets, a member of the Seattle Neighborhood Greenways network. She works to create opportunities for residents, specifically youth, to foster a culture of walking and rolling. Notable projects include SDOT’s pilot Home Zone project in South Park and the Georgetown to South Park Connection. Peaches recently received the Unsung Hero Award, presented by the South Park Neighborhood Association.
Peaches believes in empowering communities through advocacy, outreach, and education. In her experience working within Seattle’s South Park and Georgetown neighborhoods, residents feel safer when their shared spaces are equitable and accessible to all. She hopes to one day travel to Egypt, Ghana, and France.

Voices from the Coalition

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Seattle Neighborhood Greenways is a grassroots coalition, and we’re all about people. All of our work depends on volunteer time and energy, and in this moment our community is finding new ways to support each other. Hear from volunteer leaders from across the Seattle Neighborhood Greenways Coalition about how they’re staying connected and continuing safe streets advocacy in a time of pandemic.

 

BRIE GYNCILD, Central Seattle Greenways: 

What are you doing to stay connected to people?

I’m spending hours on the phone daily with close friends and family, waving at neighbors as we pass each other at safe distances, and spending a lot of time on Twitter. I’m also enthusiastically attending Zoom meetings and more traditional conference calls.

What are you doing to support your community?

The primary thing I’m doing to support my community is staying at home, preventing any role I might play in spreading the virus. I’m also sharing reliable information with those who aren’t getting it through other means, and I’m coaching someone in my Buy Nothing group as she starts her first garden. :)

What are you doing to keep your safe streets work going?

Central Seattle Greenways is moving forward with the Bailey Gatzert Safe Routes to School effort in ways that we can finalizing materials, including an online survey; communicating with groups through newsletters and email; working with the UW Professor, Rachel Berney, that we’ve been collaborating with to find a way for her class to work with us differently than we originally envisioned.

What are you doing to support your own self care?  

I’m trying to get to bed on time and get good sleep. I’m eating nutritious and satisfying foods. I’m learning all that I can about the virus itself as research develops, about which policies are effective, and about how to keep each other safe *and* sane. I’m also listening to music, gardening, and finding opportunities to laugh regularly.

 


 

 

PhyllisPorterTestifyingAtCityHallPHYLLIS PORTER, Rainier Valley Greenways & Seattle Neighborhood Greenways Board:

What are you doing to stay connected to people?

I stay connected to people by reaching out to see how they are doing during these times. Reaching out to ones I haven’t heard from in a while due to being busy. I co-started a Zoom Group. Invitations are extended to paternal cousins. We catch up from where we left off. Our first and second meetings were with cousins from Tennessee, Mississippi, New York, and Illinois. We also discuss how COVID-19 is affecting our lives and each local community. At the end of our discussion we pray for our parents, any sickness among family members, and for the global family. The family created a social media page with Messenger to relay weekly messages of a concern or a happy event — an aunt’s death, and a new baby cousin’s birth was relayed this week.

What are you doing to support your community?

I involved community in a real life coronavirus scenario (mine – I was sick, but tested negative, thankfully) keeping them informed on what we can do as individuals and a community to stay healthy and safe. I posted a video of myself for those who didn’t know of anyone who had the virus or had tested for it. I wanted to show that this pandemic is real and is touching people in our own community. A big concern people have share with me is about the wait time for getting results — how you deal with that, waiting in anticipation, and how to cope with the worrying. I answered by saying, “Try not to focus on the what if, but the what is — Now.” Mental stability is very important at this time and there is no need to think the worst, panic, or have unnecessary emotions about what hasn’t been proven yet. I told them I took this as any other illness — treat your symptoms, get rest, drink fluids and when feeling better exercise. I posted another video with the negative results and thanked everyone for their concern and their part in helping me recover. I ended the message with an encouraging note about the benefits of a riding a bicycle, taking good care of yourself, and telling someone “thank you”

What are you doing to keep this safe streets / SNG work going?

I read info posted on SNG and my local coalition to stay informed. I reply if I have something to add.

What are you doing to support your own self care?

First, I take heed and follow all precautions and measures set forth. It’s flu and pneumonia season and being a person with a history of pneumonia, I take care of myself. Rest treat medical symptoms as or if they develop. I eat healthy and continue to exercise. I dance to music  and recently started riding my bike inside on a trainer for exercise. Starting tomorrow evening, I am riding in our first Black Girls Do Bike (BGDB) Ride and Exercise series. I am also a one of the ride leaders. I will be receiving some pointer from a European triathlete and triathlon coach during this Zoom ride series. 

 


 

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MICHAEL HERSCHENSOHN, Queen Anne Greenways:

What are you doing to support your community?

I am making grape jelly from grapes frozen last summer that I’ll share with neighbors. Also emailing friends; going for walks with my granddaughters while keeping distances. On these walks we’ve been meeting lots of neighborhood friends which makes us feel connected to them, and they to us. This is the only time I’ve ever agreed with Mark Ostrow about the narrowness of the sidewalks along the Willcox Wall, but the whole boulevard should be car free. Left that one out of Gordon’s map.

What are you doing to keep your safe streets work going?

Frankly, very little. I regret that; however, I see very little room for it except for managing the start-up of the Play Street project and the money we’ve raised from the city. Taking part in Coalition meeting totally uplifting. While every single one of us expressed cheer in the face of fear, we’re really all locked up in our little boxes.

What are you doing to support your own self care?

Daily bike rides while the sun shines. Writing one article a week on the history of Queen Anne for the Queen Anne Historical Society’s website. I am exploring ways to acquire goods without going to stores. (Looks like it means sending family members under the age of 50).

 


 

KathleenBarryJohnsonWithChickensResizedKATHLEEN BARRY JOHNSON, NE Seattle Greenways:

What are you doing to stay connected to people?

I’m getting really good at Zoom and teams, so I can see people’s faces. I’m calling someone in my family at least once a day.

What are you doing to support your community?  

My husband and I sent notes to all our neighbors to make sure we all have each other’s contact info and can reach out if there is a need. I’m working with a friend on the block to organize some socially distant street games like badminton and horse shoes. Also, I’m working with a group to organize “Sing Your Heart Out Seattle” a sing along time on Sundays (starting 3/29) at 2 p.m. More details to come.

What are you doing to keep your safe streets work going?

We had a meeting last week. Missed the coalition meeting but will be connecting on other meetings online.

What are you doing to support your own self care?

Biking – as often as I can, walking the dogs, watching our baby chicks grow.

 


 

AndrewKovedPPBLANDREW KOVED, Queen Anne Greenways: 

What are you doing to stay connected to people?

Social media, phone calls, video chats, and I plan on sending postcards and letters too. There is a great opportunity to disconnect from the noise of the 24/7 news, and tune into the smaller aspects of life, friendship, community, and self. We’ve gotten so carried away in the past few years with always being connected, this will be a great change to supply each other with more meaningful and worthwhile connections.

What are you doing to support your community?

Being available, being present, and being engaged. Too often I am physically somewhere but mentally distant, or a don’t pick up a phone call when I know I should; there is so much of our daily lives that reduces the quality of our community. That folks will be more sedentary, and we can finally engage at length without worry of other obligations or distractions, is an opportunity to build community.

What are you doing to keep your safe streets work going?

People are realizing the value of the street and their surrounding 15 minute neighborhood now that their travel is limited. I want to help bring these joys, and the many flaws, into relief.

What are you doing to support your own self care?

Choice of what to focus on is fundamental to our life — we at Greenways know this to be true with our focus on safe streets despite a world fixated on cars. I’m making sure that I focus on the many joyous, fascinating, engaging, enjoyable parts of life. The lens of pandemic can be crippling, but there are so many other ways to take in the whole world.

 


 

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PEACHES THOMAS, Duwamish Valley Safe Streets: 

What are you doing to stay connected to people?

Making a conscious effort to check in with my loved ones as often as I can. I have done this by creating group message threads. We all share information with each other and fun stuff too. I am also homeschooling our 11 year old Triplets. 

What are you doing to support your community?

By donating, staying informed, and passing along relevant resources to others. People are working tirelessly to help others during this time and I want to pay it forward as often as possible. Something as simple as reaching out and offering kind words or acts of appreciation can help keep people uplifted. 

What are you doing to keep your safe streets work going?

I’m actively seeking advocacy development and training webinar opportunities, reading up on current cyclist and pedestrian policies, and strategizing creative ways to stay engaged with our members at DVSS during this time of social distancing. 

 What are you doing to support your own self care?

Going for a daily walk has helped a lot. Meditation/affirmations, limiting my time on social media and binge watching my favorite shows and movies.

 


 

Kathy DunnKATHY DUNN, West Seattle Bike Connections: 

What are you doing to stay connected to people?

Calling family members around the country more often to check in.

What are you doing to support your community?

Donating to local charities.

What are you doing to keep your safe streets work going?

Reached out to our group to solicit possible alternative safe activities for Bike Everywhere Day/Month and to get ideas on how the current situation could affect our activities and priorities.Planning for a video conference version of our monthly 1st Tuesday meeting.

What are you doing to support your own self care? 

  • Walking the dog, biking to shopping and errands, switching from in person to online piano lessons with my teacher. 
  • Picking up the occasional growler of beer at a local brewery to drown my sorrows. 
  • Making sure I don’t bring home any germs to my husband and daughter. 
  • Watching the free Metropolitan Opera broadcast reruns online. Tonight starting at 7:30 Donizetti’s “La Fille du Regiment” will be available for 24 hours. Great music, lots of comedy and a happy ending, just what I need right now. https://www.metopera.org/user-information/nightly-met-opera-streams/
  • Going to bed earlier so I can get up earlier to go out when the crowds are smaller. By afternoon, the Alki promenade is swarming with people.

 

Photo Credit: Alex Garland

Photo Credit: Alex Garland

DON BRUBECK, West Seattle Bike Connections:

What are you doing to stay connected to people?

Talking to my kids, far-flung siblings, and a few friends on phone and WhatsApp. I’m also participating in the conversations on our WSBC Google Group.

Taking care of and playing with the toddler in our household. 

What are you doing to keep your safe streets work going?

  • Participating in conversations in this groups and in our WSBC Google Group, and promoting WSBC sharing of bike ride routes for people to do solo.
  • Submitting Your Voice Your Choice ideas and promoting participation.
  • Participating in a Duwamish Tribe steering committee for trails project feasibility study, meeting via conference calls.  

What are you doing to support your own self care?

  • Limiting news media and social media to about two hours a day. with none for at least an hour before bedtime.  Listening to more music instead. 
  • Taking a walk or going for a bike ride every day. 
  • Practicing social distancing and good hygiene to the extent possible when living with a toddler and two working healthcare workers.

Community Spotlight: Peaches Thomas in New Role for Duwamish Valley Safe Streets

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Peaches Thomas, a long-time Traffic Safety Advocate, has stepped into a new role as Community Outreach Coordinator with Duwamish Valley Safe Streets. She will be working to create opportunities for residents, specifically youth, to foster a culture of walking and rolling.

You may recognize Peaches from her role last year co-leading community outreach for SDOT’s pilot Home Zone project in South Park, or from her work as a member of the advisory board for the Georgetown to South Park Connection.

Peaches recently received the Unsung Hero Award, presented by the South Park Neighborhood Association, recognizing outstanding individuals who have been working quietly toward the overall betterment of the South Park community. Peaches received the award in honor of her dedication to the community during her time as a Seattle Public Schools Crossing Guard for Concord International Elementary School in South Park.

Peaches believes in empowering communities through advocacy, outreach, and education. In her experience working within Seattle’s South Park neighborhood, residents feel safer when their shared spaces are equitable and accessible to all. She hopes to one day travel to Egypt, Ghana, and France.

Come Celebrate! Annual Volunteer Party

Come Celebrate!

Annual Volunteer Appreciation Party

Friday, January 31, 2020, 5:30 – 8:00 pm
Japanese Cultural and Community Center of WA

RSVP Here

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Join Seattle Neighborhood Greenways to celebrate what you helped accomplish in 2019 and kick off 2020 with good food, drinks, and friends!

Featuring special guests Elliot Helmbrecht the Mayor’s Transportation Advisor, and Dongho Chang the City’s Chief Traffic Engineer. And come for the art, kids activities, and fun for all!
All are welcome — you don’t have to had volunteered with us in 2019 to come celebrate!

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways

Annual Volunteer Appreciation Party

Friday, January 31, 2020, 5:30 – 8:00 pm
Japanese Cultural and Community Center of WA (1414 S Weller St)

RSVP Here

Check out the Facebook Event Page to invite friends and share.
Have a few minutes to help us set up, run, or clean up the event? Email: [email protected]org 

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways is a volunteer-powered grassroots organization and community. We’re throwing a party to celebrate all of the wonderful people who make our coalition and our movement the wonderful community that it is. We’ll be celebrating all of the progress that YOU made possible in 2019, and looking forward to an exciting 2020 ahead. To learn more, check out our year-end wrap up here.

The Japanese Cultural & Community Center of WA is centrally located on the new King St Neighborhood Greenway. It is located within easy distance of the numerous King County Metrobus routes on Rainier Ave, S Jackson St, and 12th Ave S, notably the 7, 9, 106, and First Hill Streetcar. The facility is wheelchair accessible and has all-gender bathrooms. All are welcome!

Thank you for taking part in the Giving Tuesday tradition!

Because of you, the community-power behind Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, Seattle is becoming a better city for walking, biking, and rolling. And yet, we have a long ways to go.

 

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

As we think about what we’re most grateful for this season, it’s you.

You, and neighbors like you, give your time, energy, and creativity to making Seattle a better city. Whether you’re supporting the Seattle Neighborhood Greenways coalition with your presence at community meetings, advocating for change, helping with hands-on projects, or donating financially — you’re the heart of this safe streets movement.

 

Because of you, we achieved eight major wins for walking/rolling/biking and equity in the city’s 2020 budget, including:

  • Biking Routes for Southeast Seattle: Southeast Seattle currently does not have a single safe and convenient connection for people riding bikes to the rest of Seattle. The $10.53 million in increased funding will change that, by 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!
  • Walking Routes: Walking and rolling is a fundamental right — but right now many people are unable to get around safely and conveniently in Seattle because of inaccessible or nonexistent sidewalks. The city’s budget added $4 million for sidewalk construction and $7 million for accessibility improvements like curb ramps.
  • Safe Routes to School: Every child should be able to walk and bike to school safely, but currently there is not a single full time employee at the Seattle Public Schools in charge of making sure that happens. As a result, dozens of schools lack crossing guards, and other traffic safety programs are run exclusively by volunteers (creating an equity disparity). Now, there will be a full-time Active Transportation Coordinator to help the thousands of Seattle public school children who walk and bike to school arrive safely.
  • Home Zones: There is a 1,800 year backlog to build sidewalks across Seattle. Home Zones are a cost effective tool to make neighborhoods without sidewalks more walkable. $350,000 in new funding will allow continuation of the Home Zone concept that Seattle Neighborhood Greenways brought to Seattle in 2018.
  • Transportation Equity Program: Unfortunately, race and racism play a huge role in determining a person’s ability to get where they need to go in Seattle. Seattle Neighborhood Greenways strives to redress the historical and systemically-rooted inequities in transportation and city investments (for more see our our Racial Equity Action Plan released this year). This funding will allow continuation of the Transportation Equity Program, helping to identify and address systemic and structural equity issues.

But we’re far from done. Seattle is still a long ways from being the comfortable city to walk and bike in that we need — to keep people of all ages and abilities safe as they go about their daily lives, to address historical inequities in neighborhood infrastructure, to fight climate change, and to provide the kind of active, enjoyable, affordable, community life we know is possible.

Your financial support will help us keep moving the city in the right direction. Please consider taking just a moment to make a gift of any size today.

When you donate to Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, you’re helping accelerate safe streets solutions in Seattle. Your support makes it possible for SNG to:

  • Champion safe routes for kids to walk and bike to school
  • Work for safe routes to walk and bike to transit hubs
  • Advocate for walking and biking projects with historically underserved communities
  • Organize for a bike network that connects to every neighborhood

With your support, we know that “safe streets for all” is more than just a hopeful vision — it’s a future that we all, working together as concerned neighbors and proactive communities, can make possible. Thank you for considering a one-time or monthly donation this #GivingTuesday.

In gratitude for all you do to help make Seattle a city that all people can walk, bike, roll, and thrive in,

-Gordon

 

 Gordon Padelford

 Executive Director

P.S. Truly any gift amount will help, as we head into our busiest season of citywide organizing yet!

 

4 Ways Neighbors Reclaimed Their Streets This Year

Franklin High School Students Engage with Neighborhood Plan in Mt. Baker

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We worked with our partners at the Mt Baker Hub and created a well attended workshop for Franklin High School students to dig into Accessible Mt Baker and get engaged in envisioning the future of their neighborhood. This is part of a community driven effort to create a neighborhood that is sustainable, affordable, diverse, and thriving.We also financially supported students to participate in the creation four new murals (one is pictured above) by the light rail station celebrating the community and welcoming people to the neighborhood.

You can have your say about what transportation projects should be a priority in the neighborhood through SDOT’s online survey about the Accessible Mt Baker project.

 

Queen Anne Greenways Play Streets Are Seattle’s Largest

2019 queen anne play street

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.

SDOT is working to encourage more people centered street events through their revamped People Streets Program.

Home Zone Work Party and Kickoff Celebration

Three people stand smiling while assembling a planter and holding a Home Zone sign.IMG_E8799

Neighbors gathered in Broadview for a work party and kick-off celebration of their new Home Zone! They got their hands dirty planting and putting out home made barriers made out of reused blue food barrels and zip tying signage marking the entrances to the Home Zone. SDOT has already installed speed humps in the neighborhood as part of the project with more improvements coming. The other 2020 Home Zone is located in South Park near Concord International Elementary School.

Read more about Home Zones, which are are a cost effective tool to make neighborhoods without sidewalks more walkable — it is a concept Seattle Neighborhood Greenways brought to Seattle in 2018. 

Claim the Lane for Climate

Following in the footsteps of a viral urbanism movement to usher private vehicles out of designated bus lanes, activists from Seattle Neighborhood Greenways and 350 Seattle teamed up to #ClaimTheLaneForClimate. The group bike ride on 4th Ave through downtown followed by afternoon rush hour clearing of bus lane on Olive Way emphasized the climate impacts of a transportation system that prioritizes private car travel over more sustainable modes like transit and biking. And the activism paid off! In October, SDOT began painting red bus lanes, removing ambiguity and confusion.

 

These four stories are just a sampling of all the exciting things happening around Seattle. Thanks for caring and getting involved in your neighborhood!

You’re helping solutions take shape!

As 2018 draws to a close, we want to thank you for all that you do to make Seattle a great place to walk, bike, and live. With each gift of time, energy, creativity, and financial support, you’re helping safe streets solutions take shape all across the city.
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Thanks to your amazing generosity this year, we’re just $5,000 away from meeting our year-end goal, and a generous donor has just offered us another $1,000 if we can meet it. It’s doable — each gift we receive by midnight tonight will help us get there and hit the ground running in 2019!

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There is still time to make a tax-deductible gift before the new year. Looking forward to what we can accomplish together in 2019!

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways
220 2nd Ave S #100
Seattle, WA 98104

P.S. Check out our end of year newsletter in case you missed it.

Two Public Forums, Two Play Streets for Queen Anne Greenways Group

Our Queen Anne Greenways group wrapped up another full year of community engagement activities with the energizing Building the Cycling City event at Impact Hub Seattle, featuring Vancouver-based authors and urbanists, Melissa and Chris Bruntlett, followed by a panel of local community experts.

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If you missed the event or want to relive it, our 2018 multimedia intern, Jake Ostrow, captured the full event in this video.

Photo gallery:

BruntlettEventDaveyAndBob BruntlettEventAmandaBarnett BruntlettEventAltaPlanningFolksBruntlettEventGordonPadelford

This event follows an earlier public forum Queen Anne Greenways held in July 2018, featuring Seattle’s Chief Traffic Engineer, Dongho Chang. See the video.

And, in case you missed it, here’s the write-up on two community Play Streets Queen Anne Greenways organized this summer.

The Home Zone Solution: Making Streets Without Sidewalks More Walkable

A group of people talking around a table with a large map covered in post-it notes.In 2018, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways set out to pilot a quick and cheap way to make Seattle neighborhoods safer to walk, bike, and live in for people of all ages and abilities. Our solution? Neighborhood “home zones” — a low-cost model that’s been implemented with success in other countries.

home zone problemThe Problem

A number of Seattle neighborhoods lack sidewalks, including large areas of North Seattle, which has the highest concentration of older adults in the city. Combined with increasing cut-through traffic, the lack of safe places to walk makes many neighborhood streets dangerous and uncomfortable. Given the current rate of city funding for pedestrian infrastructure, it’s going to take Seattle 300 years (at a minimum) to make every neighborhood safe for walking. We think this timeline is unacceptable and we set about creating a Home Zone demonstration project to show the city that more immediate, low-cost solutions are possible.

home zone solutionThe Home Zone Solution

A Home Zone is an area that is protected from lots of fast-moving cut-through traffic so that streets are safe enough to walk on. Home Zones direct thru-traffic to arterial streets that surround a neighborhood, keeping local access for residents, emergency access. Home Zones can use a variety of design improvements such as diverters, speed humps, and other elements, but focus on improvements that have the best “bang for our buck”, recognizing that Seattle’s pedestrian budget is stretched very thin.

A Pilot Project

Licton Springs is one of a number of neighborhoods that were annexed by the City of Seattle years back without existing sidewalks. We worked with neighbors in the Licton Springs neighborhood to identify a multi-block area to establish the Home Zone demonstration project, and community leaders from within the neighborhood to help coordinate the project. Over the course of the year, volunteers with the “Meridian Project” gathered at community design meetings, did door-to-door outreach, and toured the neighborhood streets to take note of known street hazards as well as opportunities for future traffic-calming.

Results to Date

This project is still underway, but the results have already surpassed our expectations on two fronts—one being the level of enthusiasm and participation from a multi-generational base of neighborhood volunteers; but also, and most notably, the unexpectedly brisk buy-in from the City, whereby Seattle is ready to invest $350,000 in a pilot Home Zone project of its own, based on our persistent vision and promotion of this model.

A young child points to a map while speaking to an adult.The initial community design workshop was a vibrant affair, packed to capacity, with a high level of participation across the room. We had a robust turnout of 60 people, including kids, elders, homeowners, renters, business owners, and members of the local deaf community. Food was provided and short presentations were made, but the bulk of the 2-hour meetup involved maps, markers, and sticky notes—and community members deeply engaged with each other in identifying both the hazards of their local streets and possible solutions. The community identified traffic-calming, art, and wayfinding ideas to be explored further. Building off of this large meeting, we hosted two smaller strategy meetings and a community walking audit to formalize the initial input we gathered.

A home-made wayfinding sign with walking times and distances, decorated for Halloween.Local community volunteers created a delightful wayfinding sign, pointing to popular nearby parks, libraries, and shopping districts, within walking distances noted. Sites have been selected and designs drawn up for self-watering planter box chicanes, now only awaiting official permits before they can be put together and installed on the street through a community work party. A street mural is also in the works: We’ve selected potential locations and are talking with local artists about designs — installation is expected in June when the pavement will be dry and warm enough for the paint to adhere properly.

Going Forward: A Model to Replicate

One of our key goals going in was to inspire the city of Seattle to adopt the Home Zone model as a large-scale, systemic solution that’s affordable, and immediately within reach. In November 2019, Seattle City Council approved a budget of $350,000 for the city to create its own Home Zone pilot project, building on ideas we developed.

 

For more details about the Home Zone model, see our handy Home Zone FAQ.

Pushing the City in Advance of the Seattle Squeeze

Have you heard of the Seattle Squeeze? Seattle city planners have been preparing for this car traffic crunch for years, but we don’t think they’ve done nearly enough.

A woman on a bike in a protected lane surrounded by other people on bikes, walking, a bus, and a busy urban street.

That’s why Seattle Neighborhood Greenways helped to form the Move All Seattle Sustainably (MASS) Coalition this fall, along with transportation and environmental advocacy organizations across Seattle. We called upon the Mayor to take action in advance of the Seattle Squeeze, which begins January 11, with the closing of the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

MASS has become a powerful voice on the Seattle stage, and will continue to advocate for sustainable transportation into the new year. Check out the latest news, and MASS’s response to the Mayor’s current plan for the Seattle Squeeze.

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