23rd Avenue Action Plan meeting tonight will discuss neighborhood greenway

Greenway alternatives

Greenway alternatives

City planners will meet with the community tonight to talk about a fantastic opportunity to overhaul a major connection between the Central District, eastern Capitol Hill and Montlake. Here’s what Seattle Bike Blog has to say about the process to plan a $46 million overhaul of 23rd Ave including a proposed greenway system for bicyclists and walkers to travel across the area:

A neighborhood greenway is simply not a replacement or alternative to building safe bike lanes on commercial streets. These commercial streets should be places that bring neighbors together, not walls that split a neighborhood in half. People should be able to walk and bike safely from their homes to the doors of neighborhood restaurants and cultural centers. A neighborhood greenway might get you a block or two away, but that’s a block or two short of the goal.

So yes, let’s build a great neighborhood greenway (or two) in the Central District. But let’s also keep working to make sure investments in the city’s planned remake of 23rd Avenue put neighbors first.

Wednesday’s meeting will focus on potential paths (seen on the map above) for routes parallel to 23rd Ave where a bike friendly greenway could be implemented.

23rdGreen_logoYou’re Invited!

The city is seeking input on where the 23rd Avenue Corridor greenway should be constructed. Please join us at a community open house to discuss the route and some of the features it will include. Be a part of creating a great greenway for all!

Community Open House

Wednesday, November 6

5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Nova High School auditorium

300 20th Avenue East

Seattle

To request an interpreter, please call (206) 733-9990.

You can also provide feedback to planner Maribel.cruz@seattle.gov.

Potential features of the greenway include:

  • Pavement markings and signage to alert motorists to expect people bicycling

  • Improved crosswalks and ADA curb ramps to make pedestrian mobility easier

  • Way-finding to provide guidance along the route, letting people know where the greenway goes and what’s nearby, like parks, schools and business districts

  • Median islands, traffic circles, curb bulbs and speed humps to help reduce vehicle speeds and discourage drivers from avoiding arterials by cutting through on neighborhood streets

  • New signage to control traffic crossing the greenway and make crossings easier for pedestrians and bicyclists

Planning for the bike and greenway component is part of the 23rd Ave Complete Street initiative being pursued by SDOT:Screen Shot 2013-11-05 at 12.48.30 PM

Supporting Multi-Modal Improvements to the 23rd Avenue Corridor: The 2014 Proposed Budget allocates $2.9 million of Real Estate Excise Tax and state grant funding to support improvements to the 23rd Avenue Corridor. This investment supplements an additional $13.8 million in other funding sources supporting the project. A vital multi-modal corridor, 23rd Avenue connects much of southeast and central Seattle with Capitol Hill, the University District, and other northeast Seattle neighborhoods. In response to community feedback, SDOT will change the street from four lanes to three lanes between East John Street and Rainier Avenue South and develop a parallel greenway route for bicyclists.

The three-lane design allows for substantial pedestrian improvements by reconstructing sidewalks and reducing the curb-to-curb width by eight feet in most places. It also allows SDOT to adjust the traffic lanes to conform to lane- width standards, as opposed to the narrow lanes existing today. SDOT will reconstruct pavement and upgrade signals to meet transit signal priority needs and accommodate ITS features, such as travel time information.

With state Bridging the Gap funding pushing the budget above $46 million, the project is now being planned to change the corridor from Rainier to 520 by transitioning 23rd Ave’s four pinched lanes into a new three-lane layout south of John. Meanwhile, the entirety of the route is planned to be repaved and enhanced to improve traffic flow from the south of the CD to Montlake and 520. Oh, and, yeah, Seattle Bike Blog, god bless its hard-pedaling little soul, wants bike lanes on 23rd Ave, too.

The City is pushing for the first phase of the greenway between Jackson and John to be completed by the end of 2014.

An SDOT presentation on the project is below.

FINAL_June2013_23AveCorridor_WebUpdate.pdf by Chs Blog

“CRIME FACTS OR RUMORS?  AN UPDATE ON CRIME IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD” – Community Meeting
Wednesday, November 6, 2013 (7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.)
The Central (500 – 30th Avenue South)—one block south of Jackson at King Street
For more information call 206-322-8613 or email atbier@msn.com

23rd AVENUE ACT (Advisory Core Team) – Monthly Meeting
Monday, November 25th (5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.)
The Central (500 –30th Avenue South)
For more information, contact Kerry Wade (kerry.wade@seattle.gov or call 206-733-9091)

A GREAT BUSINESS COMMUNITY – 23rd Avenue Action Team Monthly Meeting
For more information contact, Karen Estevenin (kestevenin@gmail.com)

NEIGHBORHOOD TRAFFIC SAFETY MEETING – 23rd Avenue Action Team Event
Coming soon!!  Date/Time TBD
The 23rd Avenue Livable Streets for All Action Team is working with SDOT to put on this event

For more information on these happenings, please contact Kerry Wade (kerry.wade@seattle.gov or call 206-733.9091)

14 thoughts on “23rd Avenue Action Plan meeting tonight will discuss neighborhood greenway

  1. Pingback: Let’s Create a Great 23rd Ave Corridor Greenway | Central Seattle Greenways

    • I do not see why it is such a hardship to ride your bike off the greenway to the place you want to go, on 23rd or wherever. Greenway keeps cars and bikes separated for most of the trip.

      I use MLK frequently. The three lane approach is working well there.

  2. Excerpts from my email to Maribel Cruz, sent after tonight’s meeting.

    “There are some things that just don’t compute, Maribel. How can you claim that the greenways project is designed to make streets safer, while simultaneously, one block away, carrying out a project that will, inevitably, make our streets less safe? How can you possibly claim to prioritize safety and then decide to funnel 4 lanes of arterial traffic into residential side streets? The process to which I am referring is the decision to shrink 23rd Avenue to two lanes of traffic. Where to put greenways is not the issue. Who wouldn’t want their street to be a greenway; a nice, safe place for everyone? But the greenway proposal isn’t happening in a vacuum; it’s happening in relationship to a change on 23rd Avenue that is going to have a huge impact on surrounding streets, homes, and families. So, don’t misinterpret what happened tonight. People aren’t angry about greenways; they’re angry about the imminent shrinking of 23rd.

    And people have a reason to be angry about the shrinking of 23rd Avenue. I live on 22nd, between Fir and Spruce. Our block is crawling with kids, of all ages, from babies to Garfield teenagers. Already, every day, we watch cars scream down our street, often driven by people who are texting while they drive, bouncing OVER the traffic circles. It feels like it’s only a matter of time before someone gets killed. The impact of shrinking the traffic capacity on 23rd could, literally, be fatal. I implore you, and the city – do NOT begin the shrinking of 23rd Avenue without FIRST putting REAL measures in place to keep overflow traffic off of the side streets. I am not talking about signs, or sharrows, or even traffic circles; I am talking about stop signs, traffic lights, speed bumps, even “local access only” barriers. Without these measures, the overflow traffic from 23rd, into the side streets, will eventually lead to a fatality.

    You cannot claim that the decision to shrink 23rd Avenue was made with adequate community input. It was not. Residents received nothing in the mail, no phone calls, no door-to-door visits. THAT’s outreach. Announcements on a blog, signs in major intersections – that’s NOT outreach. We have many neighbors who do not use the internet. How were they supposed to know about the meetings at Garfield Community Center? The outreach was inadequate, a decision was made, the city thought “greenways” would distract residents from the real issue, and now people are pissed.

    I think I smell the developers all over this one. That’s what I think. They want to develop multi-family housing on 23rd Avenue. But currently, it’s not very enticing as a residential corridor. There’s a lot of traffic, the sidewalks are narrow. it’s loud. Not many condo dwellers want to live on a street like 23rd. But shrink it, widen the sidewalks, add some trees, reduce the traffic – now, THAT’S a street for condos and townhouses.

    Finally, shrinking 23rd isn’t going to make everyone in the Central District take the bus and/or ride their bike. I’m a bike commuter. I use my bike and the bus for all kinds of commuting almost every day. But there are plenty of people on my street for whom that is not an option (especially as the county continues to CUT transit service to the Central District). Shrinking 23rd won’t increase the number of bike and bus commuters; it will just increase the number of cars driving too fast on side streets.

    Revisit the plans for 23rd Avenue, and do so with a REAL community outreach effort; not just a symbolic one. And if the 23rd Avenue plan goes through, it is the city’s duty to protect the residents of surrounding side streets from overflow traffic with real, effective traffic deterrents.

    • Jill- I’ve been to a couple of the SDOT community outreach meetings and I haven’t heard much advocacy for keeping 4 lanes. Rather, the conversation has been focused on how to shrink the street to 3 lanes everywhere and how best to accommodate transit, bikes, and pedestrians. I’m glad your raising your concerns with SDOT and I hope you can get some traction, but please know that there are lots of community members who aren’t Condo-developers who are excited to see 23rd or a road diet.

    • Whoa Nellie….. look up road diets and how positive they can be before you freak out…. I’m all for changing 23rd and I don’t think it will funnel people onto the residential streets. You use the same arguments that people in other parts of the city have when their street was slated for a road diet and none of their dire predictions have happened.
      Here’s good follow up about Stone Way’s road diet – http://www.seattlemet.com/news-and-profiles/publicola/articles/study-shows-stone-way-road-diet-improved-traffic-safety

    • I’m with Ryan and CD Biker. Road diets work when they’re well planned. I’ve been to one meeting and have been following along closely on-line, and this one seems well planned. To me it seems like just about the best thing that can happen to our neighborhood to stitch it back together. Most folks I know (mostly in the northern reaches of the CD, behind the Y) feel similarly.

      Also: intimating that there’s a cabal of developers who are secretly behind this, when you have no evidence other than your sense of smell, bringing you close to sounding like a conspiracy theorist. There’s no quicker way to get reasonable folks to dismiss your arguments.

      • Ah – I wrote this before reading Pillbox’s comment. On second thought, Jill – you sound much much more sane than a true conspiracy theorist :-)

    • Jill, I appreciate your passion for the children in your immediate neighborhood. But I think your anger at the rechannelization project is misplaced.

      It really doesn’t have to do with condo development on 23rd (that’s not SDOT’s job) and everything to do with safety. Right now 23rd is (as I’m sure we’re all aware) a horrible street to walk along. It doesn’t work well for transit, it doesn’t work particularly well for cars, and it definitely doesn’t work well for pedestrians.

      I can understand being worried about cut-through traffic, but (particularly if you’re living on the greenway route) there will be a ton of changes to enhance pedestrian and bicycle safety.

      I’ll add that greenways were not intended as a sideshow; they were a response to the fact that it’s not going to work, given limited right-of-way, to run Metro’s #48 (which will be an electric trolley route in the future, he said hopefully) and bike lanes *and* two traffic lanes on the same narrow stretch *and* fix the sidewalks. So a parallel greenway was proposed as a solution.

      SDOT’s outreach featured several very well-attended meetings, and they have tried pretty hard to do better outreach, frankly, than I have seen them do in the past. I’m sorry you weren’t aware of this proposal, and I applaud you for getting involved.

  3. They are restricting traffic in certain segments of the city to promote dependent classes of people. Also the restriction in these areas hampers movement between groups of peoples. Overall the desired result is Seattle citizens that rarely interact outside of their homes or a 20 black radius and Seattle citizens that are restricted from interaction with other cities and the outside world in general. You will have to pay 10 bucks to get in or out of the city (Tolls). It costs more for outsiders to visit because they have to pay the $10 visitation fee and a $10-20 parking fee.

    The parking fees will be implemented in your neighborhood by various methods. And the greenways are a part of this fee plan. Parking will be bumped off of the greenways. Surrounding residents will have to have neighborhood parking passes for one allotted car. Additional passes will cost a monthly fee and visitor passes will be restricted and available online for $15.

    Essentially it will cost $20-30 to visit anybody outside of your immediate walking distance. And don’t think bicycles will exempt you. They are already working on plans to require bicycle registration and bicycle operator training requirements. This will be closely followed by mandatory bicycle safety inspections, restriction of bicycle parking to fee based secure sites, and general increase in enforcement of infractions against bicycle drivers.

    Much like North Korea and other communist “civilizations” Seattle does not want you to engage the outside world except through prescribed channels -primarily the filter of the electronic media.

    Once the roads are restricted to fee traffic and government directed transit systems it will be very hard to continue any concept of freedom. Already they are well under way to ensure people cannot ambulate well. The city wants to make sure that your physical ability to walk is not necessary. They have feeding programs that does low income serfs with low value high calorie meals loaded with mind numbing carbohydrates, steroids, pesticides, plastic vapors, etc -starting from an early age and the whole federal “dairy” farce that is the number one cause of metrosexuality.

    Add to that the well documented and planned de-enforcement program run by the city attorney’s office that is designed to make the sidewalks and pathways dangerous at all hours. Robbers, thieves, rats, and hooligans are left running in bands with live shoot outs and knife fights running almost continuously in broad daylight and at night.

    If you believe these separate programs anything other than a coordinated plan to trap Seattle citizens into a life of slavery the administrative class – you’re crazy.