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LEVY DOLLARS AT WORK | Incredible community members across the city have made their ideas a reality through the Neighborhood Street Fund

Map of the locations of the:
South Delridge Pedestrian Safety Enhancements  
SW Barton St Pedestrian Safety Enhancements  
Delridge Neighborhood Greenway Safe Connections  
51st Ave S and Renton Ave S Traffic Safety Enhancements  
South Park and Georgetown Safe Connections  
Beacon Ave S Safety Enhancements  
Andover and Dakota Pedestrian Safety Enhancements  
Broadway and John St Signal  
NE 65th St Pedestrian Safety Enhancements  
NE 125th St Pedestrian Safety Enhancements  
North Seattle School Crossing Safety Enhancements  
Little Brook Sidewalks  
15th Ave NW and NW 83rd St Pedestrian Safety Enhancements  
Yesler Way and 3rd Ave Sidewalk Repairs  
Denny-Stewart-Yale Safety Enhancements 
Map of the 2019-2021 Neighborhood Street Fund Projects.

The Neighborhood Street Fund (NSF) is a program running on 3-year cycles where community members can propose and help prioritize transportation-related projects in their neighborhood.  

In coordination with the Levy Oversight Committee, we made improvements to the 2019-2021 cycle that resulted in record participation, particularly from historically underserved communities. We partnered with the Department of Neighborhoods to make the community process more equitable by holding workshops in local communities and in languages other than English to help people submit ideas and vote on projects. We received over 300 applications and thousands of community members participated in the prioritization process. 

Fifteen projects were selected for our current 2019-2021 NSF program cycle. We’ve completed design and expect to construct most of these projects this year!  

Today, this three-part blog will highlight some specific projects and the hard work of incredible members of our community to make these plans a reality. 

Read about:  

  • Kathy Dunn of West Seattle Bike Connections, who brought improvements for people biking on Delridge Way SW to life. 
  • Muriel Lawty, one of many neighbors in Little Brook, a neighborhood near Lake City Way, who proposed an idea for new sidewalks and walkways in the area. 
  • Brie Gyncild, who used the Neighborhood Street Fund to propose much-needed improvements at Broadway & Olive Way/E John St. 

We acknowledge and thank everyone involved in these projects, with the understanding that planning and proposing improvements take a great deal of time and energy.  

We wish we could complete every project suggested by the community, and know that there’s still work to be done citywide to help neighbors feel safe and comfortable as they travel. In the meantime, we’re grateful to those who helped bring these project to life, including you – Seattle residents. Your investment through the Levy to Move Seattle funds all of this important community-driven work. 

At the end of this post, you will find the individual project pages containing current timelines and design.   

Kathy Dunn of West Seattle Bike Connections brought improvements for people biking on Delridge Way SW to life.  

This project improves the connection between the Delridge Neighborhood Greenway and the West Seattle Bridge Trail through protected bike lanes, a new left turn pocket for people biking, right turn on red restrictions, and more. We will also install a new railing, trim overgrown plants to increase the usable width of the trail, and make repairs on the onramp from the Delridge Way SW to the West Seattle Bridge.  

Hi Kathy! Thanks for talking with us. Why is this project important to your community?  

I am involved with West Seattle Bike Connections, a group founded by Don Brubeck in 2012 to advocate for safe connected bike infrastructure within, to, and from West Seattle. 

I learned about concerns fellow bicyclists had getting in and out of West Seattle via the Delridge Way SW Corridor, including near-miss conflicts between cyclists and drivers at the SW Andover Street intersection, and of people having to ride on degraded street surfaces and unpaved shoulders.  

This project will address our concerns about biking on the slippery, narrow sidewalk next to speeding traffic on the Delridge Way SW onramp to the West Seattle Bridge, and about crossing several unprotected driveways with heavy traffic – including many large trucks. It will make the Delridge Neighborhood Greenway a more viable option for people to commute by bicycle. 

Can you share a little bit about your process in proposing this project for the Neighborhood Street Fund? How did you decide to apply?  

When the call came to submit NSF projects, it took me about 20 minutes to enter my ideas into the SDOT form. I saw the plans for the diagonal bike crossing at the Harbor Avenue SW/SW Spokane Street intersection and thought that this solution would also be appropriate for the bike crossing at Delridge Way SW/SW Andover Street. 

How do you feel this project will make you and your neighbors safer or make walking, rolling, and biking more comfortable?   

As an experienced cyclist who still has challenges riding in this area, I can only imagine how daunting it is for a novice bike commuter (like my husband who refuses to bike where he feels unsafe). Parts of this route require cyclists and pedestrians traveling both directions to share the same narrow path, so widening and separating the sidewalk from vehicles will help both. I just turned 70, and want to keep using my bike to get around Seattle, but am increasingly feeling the need for safer bike routes to do so.   

Muriel Lawty was one of many neighbors in Little Brook, a neighborhood near Lake City Way, who proposed an idea for new sidewalks and walkways in the area. 

These improvements include new sidewalks on the west side of 32nd Ave NE between NE 143rd St and NE 145th St and a new painted walkway on the north side of NE 143rd St between 30th Ave NE and Lake City Way NE. 

Hi, Muriel! It’s great to talk to you. I’d love to know more about these new sidewalks and walkways. How will they make a difference in the way you and your neighbors travel? 

Little Brook is an historically underserved neighborhood. Many residents are low income, seniors, immigrants, and/or have disabilities. Over the years, the built environment has been constructed under changing building codes. There are areas with old sidewalks, new sidewalks, and no sidewalks.  Where there are no sidewalks, people have to go in the street – especially hard for those in wheelchairs. These new sidewalks are part of the larger Little Brook Pedestrian Safety plan, and a much needed start to improve safety. This is just a beginning – eventually we need sidewalks on both sides of all the Little Brook streets! 

Muriel Lawty. Photo Credit: Muriel Lawty. 

How did this project come about through the Neighborhood Street Fund? 

We have been working to fund street improvements for a while. We won a grant in 2012, but construction had to be cancelled when a nearby lot was sold. So, for the 2016 NSF cycle, we submitted a grant for improvements to the whole neighborhood – from NE 145th to NE 135th and between 30th NE and Lake City Way. We divided it into three parts, A, B, & C, asking that one area be picked for construction.  We got the plans and costs for the improvements, but none were chosen.   

For the 2019 cycle we submitted each plan separately. At this time, Lake City Collective also submitted a grant for the Part A area – when we discovered  we had both submitted grants for this area we asked that they be combined.  The part C plan was chosen for construction and we are delighted.  Hopefully we will get Part A  improved in the next grant cycle. 

What would you say to others in our city who want to get involved in planning improvements for their neighborhood? 

Get involved! If you see something that is bothering you, find a group or start a group, and you’ll find out that we can make a difference. There are many people in the community and working for the City who want to help and support you. You’ll start finding out that your voice is heard! 

Brie Gyncild used the Neighborhood Street Fund to propose much-needed improvements at Broadway & Olive Way/E John St. 

Broadway and E John St pre-pandemic. Photo Credit: SDOT. 

Hi, Brie! Thank you for talking with me about your work on this project. What do you like about engaging in these types of community-driven initiatives?  

I care deeply about people being safe walking, rolling, and biking in the city. It is empowering when people recognize that we have a say in the ways that streets are configured and there are avenues that we can take to make change happen. We all have a stake in what happens in our streets.  

My goal is to get more people involved. The types of projects neighbors propose through Your Voice Your Choice, for example, serve as a gateway to civic action. You realize that if you can do something smaller like get a crosswalk put in your block, you really do have a say in what happens in your neighborhood and your city.  

Can you tell me a little more about the other community-driven work you’ve been a part of?  

Bike lanes on Pine St. Photo Credit: SDOT Flickr. 

One of the most exciting things that I have taken part in is the Pike/Pine Workshop in fall 2018. Here, we brought together community members to talk about space in Pike/Pine, how to align protected bike lanes and loading zones, and how to make the area work for everyone. That and other efforts resulted in a list of community priorities SDOT used to design the temporary and future permanent bike lanes.  

Too often, these projects are perceived as one group of people against another group. However, we all want people to move safely through our community and to have local businesses succeed. To that point, part of what makes a street walkable is having a vibrant business district.   

And what about this project on Broadway & Olive Way/E John St? How did this happen?  

The Neighborhood Street Fund was a last resort, because we have been trying to get these improvements made for a while. This intersection has seen injuries and close calls. We all recognized the need for change here, but it’s expensive because signals are expensive and there are a lot of things that needed to change alongside the new signal, such as ADA upgrades to curb ramps. The new signal at Broadway & E Olive Way/E John St this year will make a real difference in how safely people are able to cross the street.  

I am incredibly grateful that this project will be completed this year, though other valuable projects weren’t able to move forward because of the nature of the NSF program. That said, I’d encourage folks to start thinking now about projects they’d like considered in the next round. It takes time to work with others in the community to clearly identify the problem, create a workable proposal, and build support. 

Thank you to all who participated in the community prioritization process and provided feedback on project designs. See below for more information about each project. 

Funding comes from the 2015 voter-approved, 9-year Levy to Move Seattle. The next cycle is planned for 2022-2024 and more information will be available in late 2021. Subscribe here to stay updated.  

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