No, not the proposed greenway on NW 58th St, but isn't this a pretty picture of Lead Reporter and Web Editor Zachariah Bryan's bicycle?
SDOT letter outlines progress on Ballard greenways
Public meeting on April 11, 6 p.m. in Ballard High School lunchroom
Mary Rutherford of the Seattle Department of Transportation sent out this letter to residents on March, 22.
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 30 feet 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’d like to learn more about the project, please take a few moments to read the new “Questions and Answers” section online at www.seattle.gov/transportation/ballardgreenway.htm. There you’ll find a summary of questions received so far, a project map and more specific project details. If you are interested in learning more about what Seattle is doing to increase the safety of drivers, pedestrians and people who ride bikes, visit www.seattle.gov/besupersafe.
If you have questions about this project, SDOT’s Project Manager, Doug Cox would be happy to follow up with you. He can be reached at Douglas.Cox@Seattle.gov or 206-684-8264. I look forward to seeing
you on the 11th.
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