Join us 12.6.13 to discuss future Greenways

Join us Friday, December 6th at 6:30 PM at the Central Cinema to discuss how we can help bring safe streets to our neighborhoods.

360 image by Adam Parast

SDOT has secured funding for two greenways in our neighborhoods! The top candidates are the “23rd corridor greenway” now called the Central Greenway which you may have heard about at the open house, and our priority “ridge route” now called the Ridge Greenway that is already a popular way for people to walk and bike along the ridge of the CD/Capitol Hill. That’s a lot of funding for safe and comfortable streets in our neighborhoods! 

This is a really exciting and important time to get involved. We really need all hands on deck for the next few months to make the most of this opportunity. Come to the restaurant area at Central Cinema Friday December 6th at 6:30 PM to get involved. If you can’t make it but still want to help please be in touch.
How you can help
  1. Make introductions to local groups, organizations, churches, councils etc. SDOT will be able to make some presentations to these groups, and we may end up partnering with SDOT for these conversations or conducting some of our own outreach.
  2. Help us host smaller neighborhood meetings: SDOT is planning to host another mega meeting, but it would be wise for us to host a few smaller meetings in Capitol Hill and the Central District. This is something I hope to discuss further next week – come with your ideas!
  3. Spread the word: Do you know someone who is interested in getting involved? Bring them next Friday to our meeting! Or invite them to the Google Group. We will also need your help spreading the word about other upcoming events and talking to the public about what greenways are (hint: think traffic calmed streets with safe intersections)

We hope to see you on Friday!

Nov 6th public meeting on 23rd corridor greenway possibilities

Montlake Greenways leader Lionel Job explains potential safety improvements for seniors, kids, and people accessing the Boyer Clinic.

Montlake Greenways leader Lionel Job explains potential safety improvements for seniors, kids, and people accessing the Boyer Clinic.

Tonight, in a packed room, neighbors Capitol Hill, Montlake, the Central District, and Madison Valley heard about what greenways are from SDOT. Top concerns voiced by community members were the potential impact of the 23rd Ave arterial repaving project putting additional cars onto neighborhood streets, being able to safely cross arterials, speeding and volume of school drop off car traffic, and the need for safe routes for families to walk and bike to where they need to go. There was no consensus about where greenway safety improvements would be best suited. Negative emotions ran high about the 23rd Ave E arterial repaving project and spilled over into other conversations.

Central Seattle Greenways hopes SDOT and safe streets advocates are able to refocus the conversation on the neighborhoods’ shared concerns of reducing cut through traffic on neighborhood streets, slowing speeding drop off traffic, and providing safe ways for our aging population to walk to parks and kids to safely bike to school.

Nov 6 23d corridor gway meeting

There is common ground to have a quality conversation moving forward. In addition, we hope that the conversation about the 23rd Ave E arterial project and greenway safety improvements can be separated.

Thank you to everyone who came out in support tonight! We will need your passion, ideas, and hard work moving forward to help create safer streets in our communities. If you would like to sign our letter thanking SDOT for investing in safer streets in our communities and to receive updates from your local greenway group please click here.

Let’s Create a Great 23rd Ave Corridor Greenway

If you have not already heard, SDOT is planning to create a 23rd avenue corridor greenway as part of the $46 million 23rd Ave E complete streets project. Sign our letter and join us in thanking the City for the planned walking improvement and asking for a broader scope of study for the 23rd Ave Corridor Greenway project. This has not been a priority for Central Seattle Greenways (stay tuned for exciting news about the “ridge route!”), but it came about because planners were unable to accommodate safe walking, biking, transit, freight, and car traffic on 23rd Ave E itself as part of the street redesign.

First, Central Seattle Greenways applauds SDOT for putting first the needs of people safely and comfortably walking along and across 23rd Ave E. Currently 23rd Ave E divides our community and makes it hard to walk to where neighbors want to go such as bus stops, shops, parks, school and more. SDOT is planning to improve sidewalks and crossings on 23rd, which is most welcome. We hope this project will continue to place an emphasis on the mode of transportation that everybody uses, walking.

Second, Central Seattle Greenways requests that SDOT examine a wider range of options for the $4.6 million in funding that will go to a parallel greenway in this corridor. We strongly desire greenways to be built quickly, but we also must be strategic with how the City spends its limited budget. Specifically we request SDOT as part of this process to investigate:

  1. Whether a greenway on 24th/25th might better serve the Central District.
  2. Whether a 27th-Lake Washington Loop greenway might serve as a through route for people who do not need to access Capitol Hill and are instead trying to get between the UW/Montlake and the Central District. It has the added benefit of also serving Madison Valley.
  3. Whether a protected bike lane on 24th Ave E could serve as a better alternative for climbing the hill between Montlake and NE Capitol Hill.
  4. How SDOT can work with the Department of Parks and Recreation and Seattle Public Schools to provide better access to these important community destinations.
  5. How whatever route(s) is/are chosen can connect through the SR-520 interchange project area in Montlake to the UW and Burke Gilman Trail. This corridor cannot simply dead end in Montlake. This is a critical junction for the City, which we have written about extensively.

(These options are visualized in a map at the bottom of this page.)

Central Seattle Greenways volunteers scout best route options for a greenway parallel to 23rd

Central Seattle Greenways volunteers scouted route options for a greenway parallel to 23rd

This is a complicated and very large project. Let’s make sure we get the most bang for our buck. Join us in thanking the City for the planned walking improvement and asking for a broader scope of study for the 23rd Ave Corridor Greenway project.

Thank you for all that you do. We hope to see you at the open house on November 6th from 5:30-7:30 at the Nova High School (300 20th ave E).

Map and letter not displaying? Try refreshing your browser.

Figure 1. Map of different opportunities that should be investigated as part of the 23rd Ave Corridor Greenway project.

View this map in a larger window.

A Year of Action: CSG is One Year Old!

Central Seattle Greenways was started a little over a year ago by Alexa (now in Portland), Tom, David, and Adam as the local chapter of Seattle Neighborhood Greenways serving the Capitol Hill, Central, Leschi, and Madrona neighborhoods. In barely over a year, countless neighbors have worked together to create a better place to live, work and play where anyone can get around safely by walking or biking. We did not do it alone - it takes a committed community of individuals, elected leaders, businesses, and groups to change our neighborhoods for the better.

For 2013, we have an ambitious list of priority projects that will help create safe and healthy streets for our children and our grandparents. We can’t do this alone. We hope YOU will join us in this community effort!

This blog post is organized for easy scanning by:

  1. 2012 list of accomplishments
  2. 2013 priorities
  3. How you can get involved
  4. More information on our projects

2012 List of Accomplishments

  • Melrose: We began to improve Melrose Avenue by obtaining a grant from the Department of Neighborhoods, hosting 5 community clean ups, 4 outreach events, numerous advisory committee meetings, a BBQ, a poetry reading, and selecting a firm to host three large community planning meetings (scroll down to learn about how you can get involved with this ongoing project)2012-06-01 08.50.50
    • Special thanks to: Mike Kent, the Melrose Promenade Advisory Committee, Sustainable Capitol Hill, the Seattle Parks Foundation, Stewardship Partners, and others.
  • SR 520: CSG volunteers worked with many partners to identify and advocate for connections that are all-ages-and-abilities in the SR 520 reconstruction design.  We were able to fundamentally change the debate around the SR 520 reconstruction by focusing public attention on the failure of the design to serve people of all-ages-and-abilities, and its potential to better connect our neighborhoods if done right. The Seattle City Council, WSDOT, and the community now are all in agreement that more work must be done to provide quality connections before the design is finalized.520 Planning
    • Special thanks to: City Councilmembers Sally Bagshaw, Richard Conlin, and Tom Rasmussen, the Mayor’s Office, Cascade Bicycle Club, the rest of the City Council, the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce, the Capitol Hill Community Council, the Montlake Community Club, Montlake Greenways, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, and many others. Thank you!
  • Neighborhood Greenways: We researched, discussed, and proposed an all-ages-and-abilities network for the Capitol Hill, Central District, Leschi, and Madrona neighborhoods which has been incorporated in Seattle’s new Bicycle Master Plan.
    • We orchestrated two large public meetings to discuss potential Greenway projects in our neighborhoods.
    • Organized three route planning rides.417475_310374669011089_566492964_n
  • Safe Routes to Healthcare: CSG and Ballard Greenway volunteers engaged Swedish Hospital to survey how patients are arriving at healthcare and to identify safe ways the public can access the facilities as well as how patients can enjoy the surrounding neighborhood.
  • BMP: We analyzed and responded to the proposed Bicycle Master Plan Network Map.
  • Safe Routes to Transit: CSG volunteers shone a spotlight on the street car expansion needs for bikes and the Capitol Hill light rail station.
  • Changing the ConversationOur virtual activism engaged and informed neighbors about local pedestrian and bicycle issues through our TwitterFacebook, and Google Group (follow, like, and join us!).
  • Collaboration Is Paramount: As much as possible we tried to constructively collaborate with SDOT staff, WSDOT staff, City Councilmembers, executive staff, Capitol Hill Community Council officers, and Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce board members, and the Cascade Bicycle Club amongst other groups.

2013 Priorities

2012 was just the start of great things to come. We hope you will join us as we work on:

  • MelroseMelrose PlanningCSG and the Melrose Promenade Advisory Committee will work to finalize and begin to implement a community plan for Melrose Avenue and Bellevue Place Park.
  • SR 520: CSG will work with our allies to continue to advocate for family-friendly connections before the design is finalized.
  • BMP: We will continue to analyze and try and shape the direction of the BMP so that it sets us on a path where all-ages-and-abilities connections are recognized as the key to creating better biking infrastructure in Seattle.
  • Greenways – Central Ridge Route: CSG volunteers will team up with SDOT in the Fall of 2013 to begin to plan Capitol Hill and the Central District’s first greenway, what we are calling the Central Ridge Route (better name TBD). More information to follow.
  • Safe Routes to Health: Volunteers will continue to work with area hospitals to address access opportunities and potential partnerships.
  • Safe Routes to Transit: We will work with other Seattle Neighborhood Greenway groups and other organizations to continue to ensure that transit and walking/biking work together.
  • 23rd Ave Redesign: CSG plans to advocate for all-ages-and-abilities friendly facilities as part of the redesign of 23rd Avenue.
  • Events and Outreach: We are hoping to host more events in 2013. Get in touch if you have ideas you would like to share!Planning Ride

Get Involved!

If you simply want to stay informed we suggest liking us on Facebook and/or following us on Twitter (our Twitter and Facebook posts usually overlap). Additionally please feel welcome to subscribe to this blog (see the link on the sidebar), although we do not always post the most up to date news on this site.

If you want to get more involved we suggest joining our Google Group and introducing yourself and what projects you are most interested in helping with. We don’t bite – promise!

Learn More About Our Projects

The Melrose Promenade

In 2012, Central Seattle Greenways (CSG) obtained a grant through the Department of Neighborhoods to initiate a community vision planning process around the Melrose corridor. Throughout the second half of 2012, members of CSG and the Melrose Promenade Advisory Committee (MPAC) coordinated a number of neighborhood outreach and improvement events – including regular Muffins on Melrose and community cleanups – to begin a conversation about what Melrose could be like in the future. The project has generated significant community interest, and in 2013 CSG and MPAC will be working to channel that energy into a community-driven and -supported plan for the corridor. The MPAC recently selected Berger Partnership to lead the project’s design and community involvement processes, which began in earnest with our first public meeting on January 24th. The Advisory Committee is also working to capitalize on the Promenade’s early success and community interest by applying for additional grant funding when available. Folks interested in contributing to the Melrose Promenade efforts can visit the project’s website (www.melrosepromenade.com), Like the Promenade on Facebook (www.facebook.com/MelrosePromenade), or contact us directly atmelrosepromenade@gmail.com.

Safe 520 Campaign

For more about the 520 Campaign see our list of posts on the topic.

Safe Routes to Health

The Safe Routes to Health project “envisions a city where every health clinic and hospital can be comfortably reached by walking, biking , wheelchair and transit.”  We aim to partner with healthcare institutions to develop safe neighborhoods for active living and incorporate active transportation in healthy lifestyle choices.

We are just now meeting with potential supporters from major healthcare institutions.  Today we met representatives from Swedish Medical Center.  They have designated a physician champion for Safe Routes to Health, and have committed to including information about active transportation choices on their website and to developing a transportation survey for clinic patients and visitors.  Meetings with representatives from other healthcare institutions are in the works.

23rd Avenue Redesign 

See the Seattle Bike Blog post for more information and stay tuned.

Didn’t find what you are looking for?

Message us on Facebook, Tweet us, post a message in our google group, or send us an email centralseattlegreenways at gmail.com. Thank you for your interest!

City 520 Resolution Passes! Charts New Course

If you haven’t heard, the Seattle City Council unanimously passed a resolution directing the City and WSDOT to work together to fix the SR-520 design flaws for people who walk and bike (see our discussion of the resolution here). Thank you to everyone who made this happen! Together we must ensure the resolution is carried out faithfully so that the new SR-520 connects our neighborhoods for people of all-ages-and-abilities: for kids biking to school and grandmothers walking to the Arboretum. Take action and thank your City Councilmembers (via Cascade Bicycle Club). Rest assured, Central Seattle Greenways, Montlake Greenways, and Seattle Neighborhood Greenways will continue to work on this issue until the final design includes family-friendly connections.

A big shout out is in order to our partners at Cascade Bicycle Club as well as our supporters that saw both the threat and opportunity that 520 poses, notably the Capitol Hill Community Council, Montlake Community Club, Madison Park Community Council, and Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce (click for a complete list). Perhaps most importantly, this is a quintessential Seattle story about the potency of neighborhoods organizing themselves to fight for a better future.

Eight months ago this victory was a mere flickering hope. Last July, spurred by excellent reporting from Seattle Bike Blog, neighbors flying the flags of Central Seattle Greenways, Montlake Greenways, and Madison Park Greenways mobilized in a last ditch effort to fix the deep flaws in WSDOT’s SR-520 design and seize the opportunity that such a mega project presents.

This coalition of Seattle Neighborhood Greenway groups quickly collected 350 community member signatures for a petition to WSDOT asking them to reexamine the lack of family-friendly connections through the 520 project area. This petition lent our coalition enough community support and credibility to open doors at WSDOT and City Hall.

We quickly learned that WSDOT, despite the many opportunities for input in the Seattle Community Design Process, was more interested in what the City Council wanted than what the 350 of us had to say. Redirecting our efforts, our coalition of Neighborhood Greenway groups rapidly met with numerous community organizations and institutions in order to educate them on the problems and opportunities that the new highway presents. We received support from every group that we met with, which greatly strengthened our neighborhood based message we planned to take to the City Council.

In addition, our coalition of Neighborhood Greenway groups successfully refocused the discussion surrounding SR-520 to a narrative about safely moving all people, regardless of their means of transportation. This was accomplished by timely reporting from neighborhood media sources (CHS Blog, the Montlaker, Seattle Bike Blog), our blogging, compelling graphics, a focus on connecting people to destinations, and an easy to understand urban design review.

We had authentic community support and a resonating message, but we lacked political expertise to navigate the halls of City Government. Luckily, the hardworking people at Cascade Bicycle Club were more than happy to work with us to get the job done (they had also been working on the issue). Together we created a compelling campaign: combining Cascade’s political savvy and active membership with our grassroots organizing and in-depth knowledge of the project. The campaign was able to effectively demonstrate overwhelming community demand for corrective City Council action, resulting in the Mayor and City Council crafting and passing a forward-thinking resolution.

Discussion at the City Council 520 Committee Meeting on 2/4/13 demonstrated that the City and the State finally “got it.” In response to a question about the need to address the scary and unsafe under-bridge areas, WSDOT project manager Daniel Babuca said

We recognize that that is a key area of interest and concern from the communities and we heard that loud and clear through the comments expressed during the Community Design Process, as it relates to the ultimate vision I think that is where we have more work to do frankly, in terms of what the ultimate connections are across the lid underneath Montlake Blvd – are there surface options that are more preferred or safer as opposed to taking them underneath. So that is still something that we will continue to work on, we will continue to consult on with the communities and the stakeholders as the lid conversations progress and the interchange conversations progress. (Seattle Channel Video, 49:55)

City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw succinctly explained that success for the design will now be judged against whether or not the connections are safe enough that “you would let your 8 year old walk or ride her bike unescorted.”

While the resolution does not legally bind WSDOT to do the right thing, it clearly lays out a new course that the SR 520 design should follow. We sincerely hope the good working relationships between the City, WSDOT, and State Legislature will ensure that the spirit of the resolution is carried out before the design is finalized. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for a major highway project (of all things!) to better connect our neighborhoods to each other and our kids to their schools, and to create a Seattle that we can all enjoy getting around regardless of our means of transportation.

Hey Look! People like Bikes!

news-lead-click

Earlier on our facebook page we shared a link to a new survey about attitudes towards bike infrastructure among Seattle voters. A few hours later, The Stranger did us all a favor and put up an infographic summarizing the key points. The results are pretty plain: Most people in Seattle like bikes and feeling unsafe on our streets is one of the main reasons people do not bike more in Seattle.

When it comes to transportation in Seattle, there is much more consensus about what needs to be done than some voices would have us think. 78% of the people surveyed stated that they were pro-bike. 60% of the people surveyed would like to ride more than they do today. 86% of the people surveyed support neighborhood greenways and 58% support building infrastructure that boosts safety for cyclists in Seattle, even if it calls for reconfiguring the roadway. That’s huge. Safe streets for everyone is a goal that almost everyone can agree on.

What’s more is that one of the biggest factors keeping people from getting on their bike is something that we have control over: Safety. 72% of those surveyed named feeling unsafe on the road as a barrier to getting on their bike, but we don’t have to settle for a bicycle network that only serves the most fearless cyclists. Neighborhood greenways help create an all ages and abilities alternative to biking on streets where less frequent riders routinely feel unsafe. Creating safe neighborhood connections with neighborhood greenways directly addresses a major barrier to biking and it turns out people think that is a good move for Seattle’s transportation mix.

Want to read the whole report? Check it out on Scribd!

[Source: The Stranger]

City Council Poised to Make New SR 520 Right

Update: The council did not vote on the resolution January 22nd and will instead be voting on February 11th.

This Tuesday (January 22nd) at 2:30 PM in the Council Chamber, the 520 Committee of the Seattle City Council will hopefully pass a resolution that finally gives WSDOT and city staff the authority to begin to fix the pedestrian and bicycle design flaws in the current plans. Most importantly, the resolution calls for

  1. Fixing the Montlake mess and creating a hub of family friendly connections. It is necessary to completely rethink the design of the Montlake area to make it safe for people of all ages and abilities. The standard for success must be that Montlake children are able to walk and bike around their neighborhood to school, to friends’ houses, to the library, and for the sheer joy of being able to explore your neighborhood as a kid. It is likely that a new design would also make the project cheaper while providing more value for nearby residents and the city.
  2. Continuing the SR 520 Trail to Capitol Hill. The design moving forward must examine how a trail can be incorporated into the Portage Bay Bridge design. The utilitarian needs for quality bicycle and pedestrian access to Capitol Hill and beyond should be paramount. There are still a few residents in the immediate proximity of the bridge who desire it to be as narrow as possible even at the expense of the trail, but the vast majority of Seattle residents would like to see the bridge have as little a visual impact as possible, while still providing connections for everyone whether they drive, take transit, walk, or bike.
  3. Designating a 520 champion. This is a common sense idea that originates from the Seattle Design Commission which allows one person at the city to keep track of the complicated design process. Currently such a unified response is lacking.

This resolution, if passed, would be a huge step forward. Please don’t leave this to chance! Please show up at 2:20 to give a short (2 minutes or less) public comment in support of the resolution, or jot your city councilmembers a quick email letting them know they have your support:

sally.clark@seattle.gov
sally.bagshaw@seattle.gov
tim.burgess@seattle.gov
richard.conlin@seattle.gov
jean.godden@seattle.gov
bruce.harrell@seattle.gov
nick.licata@seattle.gov
mike.obrien@seattle.gov
tom.rasmussen@seattle.gov

By supporting these common sense improvements to the current design, you join the ranks of many other Seattlites seeking a fair deal out of the new SR 520. Let’s recap who supports making the design better for people who walk and bike:

Thank you for your help in making sure that the new SR 520 reconnects our neighborhoods to each other, our kids to their schools, and creates a Seattle that we can all enjoy getting around regardless of our means of transportation!

Bridging the Topographic Fortress with a Trail

As promised in the “SR-520 Design Will Discourage Walking and Biking to the UW and University Link” post, here is some further elaboration on the value of a Portage Bay Bridge Trail. Currently the idea is bouncing around the halls of Seattle City government – stayed tuned to see if the trail makes it into an official recommendation to WSDOT.  

The glaciers did not have walking and biking in mind when they sculpted Seattle, and north Capitol Hill in particular. This geological heritage is part of what gives Seattle its character. North-South elongated hills, hidden valleys, and numerous glacially carved bodies of water. As beautiful as it is, this natural character poses serious challenges to creating an interconnected system of family-friendly walking and biking infrastructure.

It would not be hyperbole to think of north Capitol Hill as a topographic fortress. It is surrounded to the east, north, and west by very steep slopes. To the best of our knowledge, there is no ADA accessible route for walking or biking off of north Capitol Hill (check out the map below – compiled from city data and our measurements). Complicating the situation, the streets that were slightly less steep were cherry picked to be arterials for car traffic. As a result, creating an all-ages-and-abilities friendly route between the “urban centers” of Capitol Hill and the University District, and further to neighborhoods in N.E. Seattle and to the Central District, is quite a challenge.

A Portage Bay Bridge Trail would bridge this topographic fortress. According to WSDOT, the Portage Bay Bridge Trail (PBBT) would have less than a 5% grade, be well lit, and be considerably more direct in getting to the “Montlake Hub” of regional trails and to Husky Stadium side of the UW campus. It would be the most direct and family-friendly route from the Montlake Hub to Capitol Hill by far.

Even in terms of getting between Capitol Hill and the East UW Campus, taking the PBBT would only be slightly longer than a Harvard Ave E route (1.89 versus 1.63 miles), but would be significantly less steep (4.5% versus 8.7% grade), and much better protected from traffic. Even amongst experienced cyclists, research has found that “cyclists are willing to go considerably out of their way to use a bike boulevard or bike path rather than an arterial bike lane,” and that people will go over three times more out of their way to avoid routes with slopes of over 6% grade compared to those with 4-6% grade (click here find the full article). This effect would likely be more pronounced in people who are willing-but-wary. In other words, since the PBBT will be better separated and less steep than other options, people will choose to use it over routes that currently exist even if they are shorter. Let’s look at a few of the existing alternatives.

What about alternative streets?

Currently many people cross the notoriously dangerous Eastlake Ave E at/to Harvard Ave E, crossing 4 very busy arterial lanes. Harvard Ave E has a 8.7% grade and also serves bus routes and is used by I-5 and 520 traffic. Creating a family-friendly connection across the extremely busy Eastlake Ave E and up the very steep Harvard Ave E to E Shelby St is no small task. Eastlake Greenways and Central Seattle Greenways are working together to determine whether this connection could ever be made accessible for people of all-ages-and-abilities. Don’t hold your breath.

Another route that people sometimes use if they are coming from NE Seattle is Delmar Drive East. Delmar has a number of problems:

  1. Its arterial designation combined with the lack of separation for the bike lanes mean that according to Seattle Neighborhood Greenway guidelines (drawn from the Mineta report) it is not suitable for people of all-ages-and-abilities.
  2. It’s 8.5% grade means that it is very steep.
  3. The bike lanes are narrow and act as gutters due to the large amount of debris that collects in the roadway.
  4. A curvy road and numerous driveways create the very real possibility for conflicts.
  5. In order to access Delmar, it is necessarily to wind your way through the non-intuitive and disjointed Montlake street grid.

What about bridge width?

Even though the vast majority of community members and groups (including the Montlake Community Club and the Capitol Hill Community Council) support a Portage Bay Bridge Trail regardless of how the bridge is built, there is still interest in making the bridge as narrow as it can be without sacrificing its utility. Here are a few ideas that have been floating around:

  • Use steel rather than concrete for the bridge – this allows the bridge to have less visual bulk
  • Remove the planted median from the middle of the bridge
  • Reduce any unnecessary gusset space (the concrete webbing between lanes)
  • Decrease the lane width – the bridge is slated to be restricted to 45 mph, meaning that lanes can be an urban width rather than suburban freeway sized.
  • Finally it may be worth considering how hanging the Portage Bay Bridge Trail in different manners (underneath, partially offset, raised, etc) affects the light situation.

How will the PBBT connect through the Montlake 520 interchange?

In short, the Montlake interchange needs to be redesigned to make it functional for people of all-ages-and-abilities. Click the PDF below for a quick visual rundown of the top issues:

Toward a Connected Montlake Lid

SR-520 Design will discourage walking and biking to the UW and University Link

The new SR-520 will serve as a barrier to people trying to walk and bike from the Montlake area and neighborhoods further south to the University of Washington and the new University Link station. As currently designed, the project will essentially destroy the walkshed and bikeshed south of the Montlake Bridge.

Over the summer, WSDOT has (in good faith) attempted to make tweaks to the plans to better incorporate walking and biking, but the plans still fall short of acceptable levels of service. Simply put, the new SR-520 will make things worse.

The solution: WSDOT and SDOT must work together to refine the plans (which are still actually in a fairly conceptual stage) before the legislature funds a multi-billion dollar budget that fails to connect people who walk and bike to places they need to be such as the UW, transit stations, schools, parks, workplaces, and other parts of the City.

The map below illustrates where Neighborhood Greenway groups forsee family-friendly biking and walking corridors in the near future. It is worth noting that, with the exception of the trans Lake Washington trail, the WSDOT project area currently acts as a barrier to interconnecting this system, and thereby preventing folks from getting to the UW and the University Link. If done properly, the project could operate as a world class hub interconnecting all users to where they need to go! Let’s look as these failings in further detail.

 
Figure 1. Current or planned family-friendly bicycle and pedestrian routes (PDF version: Montlake Hub’s Missing Connections).

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tl;dr – 5 Minutes to Support the Portage Bay Bridge Multi-Use Trail!

This is the difference between the width of a bridge with and without the bike and pedestrian trail that we support. This is to scale.

Yesterday, we posted a monster post that went over the WSDOT’s 520 Online Survey with a fine-tooth comb. We know that that is a lot to go through, so we are offering today the “too long, didn’t read (tl;dr)” version of what we posted yesterday.

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