What are Neighborhood Greenways, you may ask?
Neighborhood Greenways are quiet residential streets that are optimized for pedestrian and bicycle travel. The idea is to have routes that connect our neighborhood to itself along streets that are safe for those 8 to 80 years old. The bike lanes on the arterials are only going to be used by a small minority of the neighborhood; Neighborhood Greenways, on the other hand, can be conformably used by anyone!
What does a Neighborhood Greenway look like?
The best introduction to Neighborhood Greenways is this video from Portland. Basically, a residential street that connects neighborhood destinations is outfitted with wayfinding signs, paint markings on the street (like the “sharrows” on 15th), some traffic calming (speed bumps, traffic circles), improved crossing treatments at intersections with arterials, and maybe some trees to spruce the place up. The result is a street that gives that small town feel in the middle of the big city. Traffic is calmed where people want it calmed (in front of their homes!), bikers are off the arterials where conflicts with traffic are good for no one, use of the public space provides more eyes on the street and thus reduces the likelihood of crime, and you can bike to the park or to school with your kid without worrying for their lives.
The Beacon Hill Family Bicycle and Pedestrian Circulation Plan is basically a big network of Neighborhood Greenways on Beacon Hill. The first Greenway route (18th Ave South/17th/Lafayette) is currently being implemented. The wayfinding signs are up (you may have seen them around the library), the paint will be going in within a month, and as of yesterday SDOT planted about 70 trees along the route. I snapped some photos this morning of our new friends on the hill. Its not a Greenway without the Green, so we are excited that the city agreed to help us out with the trees! Neighbors along the route with a spot for a potential tree in their planting strip were offered a choice of a couple different species of trees or no tree at all. SDOT planted and will water the trees for 3 years until they are established. SDOT will also prune for the life of the trees. The trees planted were paperbark maples, Persian ironwood, “Royal Raindrops” crabapples, “Native Flame” American hornbeam, and “Emerald Sunshine” elm.
If you get the chance, take a stroll down 18th and see how our first Greenway is coming together!
Next Beacon B.I.K.E.S. meeting is Wednesday November 16th, 6-8pm at the library. All are welcome!