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SDOT releases update about Greenways Project on NW 58th St

Posted by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin on March 25th, 2013

SDOT released a letter highlighting the progress of the Greenways Project to be constructed on NW 58th St last week. In the letter, Mary Rutherford, SDOT Division Director of Traffic Management, encouraged locals to attend the next Ballard Greenways open house event to be held at Ballard High School in the Lunchroom from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m on April 11th. Check out the updates in her letter below:

I am writing today to share plans about making NW 58th Street an even safer place for residents to walk and ride bikes. Hopefully you are aware of work the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has been doing to create a neighborhood greenway along NW 58th Street from the Burke-Gilman Trail at Seaview Avenue NW and to Fourth Avenue NW. We want to make sure you know about the project and have a chance to talk to us. This letter provides an update on the progress we’ve made to date and has details on an upcoming open house being held April 11.

First, a little about neighborhood greenways. Neighborhood greenways are residential streets that form a connected route for people who are walking or biking. They are streets that already have low volumes of auto traffic and low speeds, and where adding things like pavement markings, signs, speed humps and crossing improvements, can make it safer and easier for walking and biking. These amenities can be especially beneficial for families, children, and seniors who might find these routes more comfortable than busier nearby streets. Neighborhood greenways can improve access to schools, community centers, parks, libraries and local businesses. They are new to Seattle, but are having great success in other cities such as Chicago, Minneapolis, Tucson and Portland.

Last summer, SDOT hosted a public meeting and proposed adding a neighborhood greenway along Northwest 58th Street. We got a lot of good feedback and followed up on the request we do more outreach about the project. Over the past several months, we’ve met with the East Ballard Community Association, the Central Ballard Resident’s Association, business community representatives and Seattle Neighborhood Greenways. Their input, along with other feedback received at the open house and through emails and letters has had a positive influence on the project proposal.

Based on feedback and our evaluation of the proposed project components, we have concluded that NW 58th Street is the best location for a greenway in the area and have made refinements to the original proposal. For example, the proposed crossing improvements at 24th Avenue NW no longer include a median island. Instead we will be using flashing beacons that are activated by people walking or biking to alert drivers that someone is crossing. We also heard concerns about whether parking will be affected. On-street parking stays the same on NW 58th Street and stop signs will be added at some cross streets. As at all stop signs in Seattle, to ensure pedestrian visibility, there will be no parking within 30feet of the sign. We understand that the greenway concept may not appeal to everyone, but we believe there is support for making improvements that will benefit the community as a whole.

We’ve also heard interest in expanding greenways in Ballard to form a network of connected streets in the neighborhood – the “Ballard Box” idea. SDOT has started gathering preliminary data and will ask people about possible routes at the April open house. This is just the start of the outreach process and more will follow in the coming months. The open house will be held April 11 in the Ballard High School Lunchroom from 6 to 7:30 p.m. A presentation will be given at 6:30 p.m. followed by a question and answer session. This is an opportunity to get the latest project details, ask questions, provide input and learn more about the schedule.

If you want to learn more about the project click here to read information from the Greenways Project “Question and Answer” page. Alternatively, if you have questions or comments contact SDOT Project Manager Doug Cox at  Douglas.Cox@Seattle.gov or (206) 684 – 8264.

To learn more about neighborhood greenways check out Ballard Greenways website here and click here to check out the citywide Seattle Neighborhood Greenways’ website.

We will continue to keep readers informed about the progress of this exciting project.

Photo courtesy of Ballard Greenways. This photo shows a section of NW 58th St where the greenways project will be implemented.

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