Four Seattle Neighborhoods improve Safety at busy intersections, Would You like yours to be next?

People living in and visiting four busy areas of Seattle can enjoy using intersections that are now easier and safer to navigate, thanks to the city’s successful Neighborhood Street Fund (NSF) program.

Over the past year, crews working for the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) have installed safety improvements at community-selected intersections in West Woodland, Lower Queen Anne, the Central District, and Capitol Hill. People walking, biking, or driving through these spots will find new curb extensions (or “bulbs”) and curb ramps that comply with the current standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), new crosswalks, and signage.

Near Ballard’s West Woodland Elementary School, the intersection at 3rd Ave NW, NW 56th St and NW 55th Pl is now safer for students and others who need to cross busy 3rd Ave NW. Before, the five-way intersection only had three stop signs and long pedestrian crossing distances. The new intersection features all-way stop signs, curb extensions, curb ramps, and marked crosswalks. In addition, NW 55th Pl was changed from a narrow, two-way street to a one-way southwest bound street. These improvements create safer crossings for people traveling through the intersection.

3rd Ave NW, Before and After

3rd Ave NW, Before and After

In Lower Queen Anne, the Lake to Bay project on W Harrison St has brought safety enhancements to help the people who walk, bike, and drive through the intersections at 1st Ave W and 2nd Ave W. This project brought missing pedestrian amenities to part of the “Lake to Bay Loop,” which connects Lake Union to Elliott Bay through Uptown, Lower Queen Anne, South Lake Union, and Belltown. These intersection improvements also enhance the city’s Bicycle Master Plan.

On 12th Ave on Capitol Hill, all four corners of the intersections at E Howell and E Olive streets have new curb extensions and ramps, as well as new marked crossings on 12th Ave at both intersections. These improvements make the roadway more predictable and improve access to nearby businesses and residences.

12th Ave, Before and After

12th Ave, Before and After

In the Central District, at the intersections of 19th Ave at E Union St and the E Pike St Stairs, people can now cross the street more easily, thanks to new curb extensions and ramps. In addition, later this spring, people crossing E Union St at 19th Ave can alert drivers that they’re trying to cross by activating new flashing crossing beacons.

These projects began as ideas developed by the community and approved and ranked by their District Councils. The Bridging the Gap Oversight Committee selected twelve of the 39 Council-selected projects to be designed and built. NSF funding came from the Bridging the Gap levy, which Seattle voters approved in 2006 and expired at the end of 2015.

The voters’ approval of the Levy to Move Seattle last fall allows the city to continue the Neighborhood Street Fund (NSF) program over the next nine years. If you’d like to see similar improvements in your neighborhood, SDOT recently launched the next round of NSF applications that are due by April 17, 2016. For more information, and access to the online application, please visit http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/nsf.htm. Good luck!