LEVY DOLLARS AT WORK | Soon, you’ll see new sidewalks and safer intersections along Sand Point Way NE! Construction begins in April.

Sand Point Way NE at the entrance to Magnuson Park. Photo Credit: SDOT.

Summary 

  • We are making changes near Magnuson Park to keep people safe, whether they are walking, rolling, biking, driving, or taking transit. Our next phase of work starts in April. We’ll add new sidewalks, reconfigure intersections, make signal timing upgrades, and more. 
  • Your investment through the Levy to Move Seattle allows us to work with you and your community to implement changes and keep everyone moving safely. 
  • We talked with Diana Kincaid, a neighborhood resident and the current Chair of the Magnuson Park Advisory Committee, about her work to make the Sand Point community more safe and welcoming. One part of her work included gathering community input for this project. 
  • We’re working together to reach Seattle’s Vision Zero goal to eliminate serious injuries and fatalities on city streets by 2030.  

This spring, we’re starting construction on several improvements near Magnuson Park. You’ll see safer streets, and more sidewalks, crosswalks, and curb bulbs when the project is complete this fall.  

Sand Point Way NE is a busy street in northeast Seattle lined with homes, businesses, and parks. It connects community hubs and institutions including University Village, the University of Washington, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Magnuson Park and more.  

“At Seattle Children’s, we’ve been proud to partner with the City of Seattle to enhance street safety in northeast Seattle,” said Vickie Cleator, vice president, research facilities operations and system capital projects at Seattle Children’s Hospital. “This project will be a wonderful improvement to the neighborhoods where we call home. Seattle Children’s is dedicated to helping every child live the healthiest and most fulfilling life possible. It’s with great joy that we can be a part of this project to help make a lasting and positive impact in the community where we live and work.” 

Your investment through the Levy to Move Seattle, as well as funding from Seattle Children’s Hospital, is helping to make Sand Point Way NE safer.  

View of the water from Magnuson Park.
View of the water from Magnuson Park. Image: SDOT

Your tax dollars through the Levy are helping us create a more resilient city. Together, new projects across the region – including this project on Sand Point Way NE – are effectively building a network of services that work better for everyone.  

Magnuson Park is a complex ecosystem. In addition to the great outdoor space it offers, the park is also home to Solid Ground, Mercy Housing Northwest, Cascade Bicycle Club, Outdoors for All (more here!), U.S. Geological Survey and University of Washington research centers, and even a restaurant!  

The improvements we are working on now are the result of partnership with the community to identify the best investments to make. We made several safety improvements in 2019, including new curb bulbs and sidewalks, speed limit reductions and an improved bike connection between the Burke Gilman Trail and The Mountaineers at NE 77th St. We also installed Leading Pedestrian Intervals—signals that give people walking and rolling a 3-7 second head start to cross the street before people driving—at Princeton, 65th, 70th, and 74th St. We’re entering the next phase of work and are excited to continue making our collective vision a reality. 

Curb bulb completed in 2019 on Sand Point Way NE.
Curb bulb completed in 2019 on Sand Point Way NE. Image: SDOT

Diana Kincaid, a neighborhood resident and the current Chair of the Magnuson Park Advisory Committee, led a grassroots effort to make Sand Point Way NE safer and has been a champion of the project from the beginning.  

In 2016, she requested sidewalk improvements on Sand Point Way in 2016 as part of the Your Voice, Your Choice program. We had the chance to talk to Diana to learn more about her efforts to make the neighborhood safer and more welcoming.  

Hi, Diana. Can you tell us about yourself, your connection to this neighborhood, and how you got involved in this project?  

I’ve lived near Magnuson Park for about 20 years. I also serve as Chair of the Magnuson Park Advisory Committee. Magnuson Park is my playground! Over time, I got to know community members living within the park, as well as those near the park. I first became involved because I saw some real barriers in the neighborhood involving Sand Point Way in particular. I noticed that it was difficult to cross Sand Point Way and dangerous to walk along the road. I witnessed three car collisions at the park’s 74th St entrance, saw buses barreling down the road, and realized that this is a real safety issue.  

It’s also an equity issue. Magnuson Park is home to affordable housing services and it was unsafe for people—and children in particular—to cross Sand Point Way.  

How have you worked with the City of Seattle on this project? 

First, I became involved with neighborhood committees and talked to the Northeast Seattle District Council and about the dangers of Sand Point Way. I was concerned that drivers wouldn’t stop for people walking, and that the neighborhoods on either side of the road were disconnected. Once the neighborhood community council endorsed the project and SDOT approved the proposal, a committee of community members was formed. We met with SDOT experts and traffic engineers and went through the lengthy process of talking through the issues, what could work, and what needed to be done.   

Why are these improvements important? 

As a city, as a neighborhood, it says “yes, we care about your safety, your life matters.” As we address inequity and segregation, appropriate infrastructure to protect lives and connect communities is an essential step. 

Design affects the quality of life. Do you have a neighborhood or a highway? Are you connected or isolated? The answer to these questions determines how comfortable you feel in your community. These improvements will provide a sense of safety so that families feel like they can go out and be active, choose to walk instead of drive, and be more connected to their community. It will make the neighborhood a safer and welcoming place.  

 What positive changes have you seen in the neighborhood so far?  

There’s been a significant slowing of traffic on Sand Point Way—we’re not seeing people drive as fast as they used to. People used to regularly drive 50 or 60+ MPH along the road and it doesn’t seem to happen as much now. We also have better bus service. I’ve been a strong advocate for improved bus service along Sand Point Way for a long time. We were able to make it happen. Advocates also fought for partial renovation of the community center, another significant step for the community. Working with SDOT, working with the Parks Department, we’re putting the pieces together one step at a time. 

The next phase of construction starts this spring! 

Graphic showing completed and planned improvements on Sand Point Way NE.
Graphic showing completed and planned improvements on Sand Point Way NE. Image: SDOT.

Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) and SDOT have partnered to help people get in and out of Magnuson Park more safely. Part of this work includes a redesigned park entrance and new sidewalks to provide a link to walking, rolling, biking, and transit options for the Sand Point community.  

The remaining work includes: 

  • New sidewalks between NE 70th St and NE 77th St. 
  • Reconfiguration of the NE 74th St intersection entrance to Magnuson Park. We will add a new protected southbound left turn, remove slip lanes, modify traffic signals, and more. Check out the map below for more details! 
  • New marked crosswalk at the NE 77th St intersection. 
  • New curb bulbs and curb ramps at the NE 70th St intersection. 

These improvements are also part of our efforts to support Seattle’s long-term Vision Zero initiative to end traffic deaths and serious injuries on city streets by 2030. Further, we’re partnering with WSDOT to lower speed limits on roads in Seattle because speed is the critical factor in the frequency and severity of crashes. Just south of where many of these improvements are taking place, we have installed speed limit signs to reflect the new 30 mph speed limit (was previously 35 mph) on State Route 513 (which consists of Sand Point Way NE up to N 65th St, NE 45th St, and Montlake Blvd NE) between Pacific Pl and NE 65th St. We will also install more speed limit signs so that drivers know to go slow.

Intersection of NE 74th St and Sand Point Way
Map showing plans for the NE 74th St. Intersection. Image: SDOT 

Construction is scheduled for April through September. We will do our best to minimize disruptions and keep people and cars moving through the area during this time.  

During construction, you can expect to see equipment staged in parking stalls or on the shoulder of roads, temporary disruptions to on-street parking and limited access to sidewalks along Sand Point Way NE, along with noise, dust, and vibrations from about 7 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.  

Different areas will undergo construction at different times. We’ll keep the community informed about construction activities, timelines, and anticipated closures. You can also sign up for our project mailing list and/or keep checking our website

Detour routes will help you get in and out of Magnuson Park during construction. At times, we will point you to enter and/or exit the park from the NE 65th St entrance instead of the NE 74th St entrance. You can access the NE 65th St entrance from NE 74th St by driving south on Sand Point Way NE and taking a left turn at NE 65th St. From there, you can take a left on Sportsfield Dr NE to get to the fields, tennis center, dog park, and other areas in Magnuson Park.  

The Levy to Move Seattle Logo, which reads: This project is funded in part of in full by the 2015 voter-approved 9-year $930 million Levy to Move Seattle. The Levy provides funding to improve safety for all travelers, maintain our streets and bridges, and invest in reliable, affordable travel options for our growing city. Learn more at www.seattle.gov/LevytoMoveSeattle. On the right, the Levy to Move Seattle logo has the words "The Levy to Move Seattle: Your tax dollars at work" and icons representing" Seattle streetcar, a truck a bus, a car, a bike, and a person walking.