A Neighborhood Greenway is About to Come to Life in Lake City

Seattleites continue to demand safer, calmer residential streets. Streets where families and neighbors walk, ride a bike and drive at low speeds on their way home, to stores, to schools and to parks. Seattle calls these streets neighborhood greenways and our goal is to create a network of 250 miles of them.

This Thursday, March 13 at the Lake City Library, SDOT is meeting with the community to talk about the most promising neighborhood greenway route for the Olympic Hills neighborhood. The recommendation is based on public outreach and technical analysis. Last summer, we hosted a public meeting, met with the City of Shoreline and Lake City Greenways, offered briefings to other neighborhood groups, made site visits and collected traffic data.  The improvements shown on the map below reflect this work.

Olympic-Hills-Web-MapRESIZE

These safety enhancements complement the new green space being built at NE 133rd Street with the help of the community, Lake City Greenways, the Parks Foundation, Seattle Department of Neighborhoods and SDOT.  It also supports the new sidewalk being installed along the south side of NE 130th Street as part of our Safe Routes to School program.

We recognize this part of town lacks sidewalks. One of our project goals is reducing speeds on this street to make it safer and more comfortable for people walking to share the street with moving traffic.  While ultimately SDOT is committed to building sidewalks, it is a costly, long-term effort and beyond the scope and budget of the current greenway project.  We are able to add about one speed hump a block. Traffic calming evaluations indicate that speed humps are a successful tool for slowing vehicle speeds. The City of Portland has a nice traffic calming evaluation web page that shows the value of adding them. We’ve also found favorable results on past Safe Route to Schools projects in Seattle. Reducing vehicle speed is one of the best tools for improving pedestrian safety until sidewalks can be built.

Greenway construction is planned for late 2014. Be Super Safe and we’ll see you on Thursday!