By the end of 2012 Beacon Hill residents will be able to safely walk or bike from the Mountains to Sound Trail to Georgetown on a quiet and safe residential street optimized for non-vehicular traffic. First presented in the Beacon Hill Family Bicycle and Pedestrian Circulation Plan, this signed route (mapped here) will include safe arterial crossings at Beacon, Spokane, and Columbian, as well as pavement markings, tree planting, and other safety improvements. The 3-mile route connects six schools (Cleveland, Maple, St. George, Thurgood Marshall, Asa Mercer, and Washington), three major parks (Maple, Jefferson, Judkins), the library, and our business district with a pleasant safe street for you and your family to walk or bike along (of course, cars are still welcome for local residents).
At a January 10 meeting of Seattle Greenway Organizers at the Beacon Hill Library, Seattle City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw enthusiastically announced a set of pilot Neighborhood Greenways being planned by the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) that are designed to make streets safer and more pleasant for people who live, walk, bike, and drive in Seattle’s neighborhoods.
The Neighborhood Greenways under review total 11 miles: seven miles in Ballard, Beacon Hill, Greenwood, North Delridge, Wallingford, and the University District and an additional four miles in Laurelhurst (funded by Seattle Children’s Hospital). These projects are intended to form the backbone of a new network of Greenways that effectively connect people to the places they want to go by giving them a choice to travel on quieter, safer streets around the city.
Councilmember Bagshaw, chairing the newly formed Seattle City Council’s Parks and Neighborhoods Committee, is excited to include Neighborhood Greenways on her agenda. “Greenways connect parks and schools, community centers and neighborhood business districts. Neighborhood Greenways help with transportation, and they help with getting people where they want to go within their own communities.” (Watch a YouTube video of Councilmember Bagshaw’s announcement here.) Councilmember Bagshaw and Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, who chairs the Seattle Transportation Committee, have taken great leadership initiative on Greenways.
In case you missed previous posts here and here: Neighborhood Greenways are slow-speed, low-traffic residential streets made even more pleasant for the people who live, walk, and bike on them. By adding new park-like amenities and limiting cut-through traffic, Greenways are naturally attractive both for families, and for anyone seeking a safer, more connected community experience. By placing Greenways a block or two away from major arterials, Neighborhood Greenways create a great option for people who prefer to walk or bike away from congested streets. While many new dedicated walking and bicycling trails are beyond the reach of our City’s budget, 10 miles of Greenways can be built for the cost of a single mile of new trail, offering the potential to bring a high-quality network to all Seattle neighborhoods at a comparatively low cost. Neighborhood access by emergency service vehicles and freight delivery vehicles—and parking—is preserved along Greenways.
If you would like to get involved with Greenway planning on Beacon Hill during these exciting times please visit the Beacon BIKES webpage and come to our February meeting!