In Lake City, Pedestrian Safety and Stormwater Solutions go hand-in-hand

Polluted stormwater is a big problem. Much of the pollution in Puget Sound comes from runoff that starts in our neighborhoods. Rain gardens and other green stormwater infrastructure help slow down and clean stormwater runoff before it reaches our streams, lakes and Puget Sound.

Example of Ballard neighborhood rain garden

Example of Ballard neighborhood rain garden

Project to improve safety and help protect Thornton Creek

In the Lake City neighborhood, SDOT is working closely with Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) to build new pedestrian safety improvements and rain gardens that will clean and slow stormwater, reducing the pollutants that reach Thornton Creek and Puget Sound.

The Plan:

The project is located along 30th Avenue NE. It is currently in early design and includes:

  • A new sidewalk, curb and gutter along the east side of 30th Avenue NE between NE 130th Street and NE 137th Street.
  • New rain gardens between the sidewalk and road in the same area.

SPU will work with SDOT to build and maintain the rain gardens. Construction may begin as early as 2016, pending grant funding.

The Benefits:

Sidewalk and drainage improvements such as rain gardens provide safer, more comfortable and accessible sidewalks, reduce polluted stormwater runoff, and make walking and biking more pleasant. Building a sidewalk on 30th Avenue NE is a high priority because it is currently difficult to walk along and cross the road. Many people in the area depend on walking as a form of transportation.

This project would help protect Thornton Creek from polluted stormwater runoff. Currently, when rain falls on roads, parking lots and rooftops, it cannot soak into these hard surfaces. Instead it flows across them, picking up a variety of pollutants (oil, grease, heavy metals, pesticides) along the way. The rainwater – now called polluted stormwater runoff – carries the pollutants downstream to Thornton Creek and ultimately Puget Sound. Rain gardens, like those already constructed in several Seattle neighborhoods, are proven technologies for managing stormwater.

Learn more

If you would like to learn more about the project please contact:

Maribel Cruz, Public Information Officer Maribel.Cruz@seattle.gov

Want to know more about green stormwater solutions?