SDOT and community partner Lake City Collective awarded $50,000 grant for the Little Brook Stay Healthy Street and mural project created by community members

We were just awarded a $50,000 grant from the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), with funding from Bloomberg Philanthropies, to continue our partnership with Lake City Collective on the community led Little Brook Park Stay Healthy Street

The grant money will also pay for a local artist to design a street mural at 32nd Ave NE and NE 140th St and organize a community painting event.  

NACTO announced today that Seattle is one of ten cities selected for the Streets for Pandemic Response and Recovery Grant Program, which provides funding from Bloomberg Philanthropies to transportation agencies that are partnering with community-based organizations to reimagine streets, implement ideas, and support ongoing community efforts that meet the needs of populations disproportionately harmed by COVID-19. 

Lake City Collective has been relentless in their work to support the revitalization of the Little Brook community and our Stay Healthy Street and mural will add to the vibrancy of the neighborhood. SDOT, NACTO and Bloomberg Philanthropies recognize the community’s vision for the neighborhood. Community projects like this exemplify Seattle’s commitment to build back better.

 Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan

$50,000 will go to the Lake City Collective so they can create the safe, open space envisioned by community members.

The idea for the Little Brook Park Stay Healthy Street and the street mural was originally proposed by community members and the Lake City Collective. We worked closely with Lake City Collective on the grant application, and the City plans to pass the funds directly to the Lake City Collective to expand their community engagement, hold more neighborhood events, and add to the neighborhood identity with community-designed features like a street mural and planter boxes.  

Lake City Collective, led by Peggy Hernandez and Cesar Garcia, is a non-profit organization that supports families and individuals to “remain in the community they choose to live, work, or do business where they feel heard, respected, safe, successful, and surrounded by a clean and healthy environment.”

Lake City Collective has been a local leader for other community led projects to improve safety in the neighborhood in the past. They recently worked to elevate the voices of people in the neighborhood to support a community generated idea for a traffic safety project at NE 125th St and 28th Ave NE as part of our Neighborhood Street Fund program funded by the Levy to Move Seattle. The new walk signal was turned on earlier this year, eighteen months after the tragic death and injury of two community members in this same location.  

This Stay Healthy Street location across Little Brook Park has been a hit, where people have also a renewed sense of community, new opportunities for recreation, gardening and ultra-urban food access. It’s much more than an opportunity to beautify a neighborhood street closure, it’s a statement that communities are stewards of their common spaces, and they deserve investment in pedestrian safety and infrastructure. 

Lake City Collective Co-Founder Cesar Garcia 

The new Stay Healthy Street has already become a valued part of the neighborhood. 

Neighbors have wanted more public space in the Little Brook neighborhood for a long time. Last year, Lake City Collective held a Halloween event near the park and many neighbors visited nearby existing Stay Healthy Streets for the first time. Participants shared that the Stay Healthy Streets were a pleasant place to walk, but families with kids expressed they’d prefer to have a route in their own neighborhood because of safety concerns with needing to cross major streets to get there. Neighbors with disabilities also had difficulties walking uphill to get reach the existing Stay Healthy Streets.

In April 2021, we partnered with Lake City Collective to open a pilot Stay Healthy Street (street where vehicle access is limited so people have more space to walk, bike, and play) adjacent to the park in the racially and economically diverse neighborhood of Little Brook. The location is about halfway between two other stretches of the Lake City Stay Healthy Street.  

We are also planning other safety projects in Lake City unrelated to this grant. We are working with the Washington State Department of Transportation to build four new traffic signals on Lake City Way this year, including a new walk signal at NE 135th St a few blocks from Little Brook Park. The new signal, currently under construction, will make a safer connection for people walking, rolling, and biking and is an important element for a planned neighborhood greenway which will one day connect the park to other parts of the Stay Healthy Street network.  

We’re grateful for the leadership NACTO and Bloomberg Philanthropies are providing to communities across the country in the recovery from the pandemic. The new Little Brook Stay Healthy Street has already led to a big reduction in cut-through traffic and led to a more vibrant and safer public space for families with kids, thanks to Lake City Collective.

SDOT Director Sam Zimbabwe.  

It’s wonderful to see the Lake City Collective recognized for their work.  This grant will cement the Little Brook Neighborhood’s unique identity, permanently expand recreational opportunities, and facilitate relationship-building, essential as we begin to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Seattle City Councilmember Debora Juarez

The grant will also fund community artwork, safety improvements, and public events.

The grant money will also fund working with a local artist to paint a decorated intersection at 32nd Ave NE and NE 140th St. The Lake City Collective will choose a local artist to design the street mural this summer and organize a community painting event later this year.  

The mural will add to the neighborhood identity and signal to people in cars that this is a residential street where they need to slow down. We’ll also build new stops signs, speed humps, and painted curb bulbs to improve traffic safety.   

The image above shows an example street mural in South Park where our team worked with Duwamish Valley Youth Corps on the painting. See more street mural examples within our SDOT Street Mural Flickr album.

This grant will also support and expand programming for community events and activities on the Little Brook Stay Healthy Street. Lake City Collective hosts weekly events and funding can help pay for local community members to organize activities including local food trucks, outreach, and event equipment. For example, Lake City Collective already partnered with a University of Washington student and Little Brook Youth Corps to build and plant garden beds within the space.  

Who knows a place better than the people who live there? This round of grant projects leans into the deep knowledge of community members–and the technical know-how of city staff–to deliver targeted improvements to neighborhood streets. Whether slowing down neighborhood traffic or speeding up economic recovery for local businesses, we can’t wait to see what ingenuity and impact the next round of city-community organization partnerships have.” 

Corinne Kisner, Executive Director of NACTO 

Our partnership with Lake City Collective has been vital in making this pilot a success. We look forward to continuing to build from the community foundation they’ve put in place. 

Photo above is of a Children’s Day event on the pilot Stay Healthy Street led by Lake City Collective. Photo credit: Cesar Garcia