Safe Routes to School: Olympic Hills Elementary
April 10, 2014
The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) Safe Routes to Schools project for Olympic Hills Elementary began construction in January 2014. This project includes building a new concrete sidewalk and planting strip on the south side of NE 130th Street between 25th Avenue NE & 28th Avenue NE. The project will also install new trees, ground cover and additional street lighting.
Safe Routes to School is a national program that makes it safer and easier to walk and bike to school. SDOT began a Safe Routes to School program at Olympic Hills Elementary in 2010. At that time, the school community identified pedestrian improvements between the school and the Lake City branch library as one of their top priorities for improving the walking routes to school. Currently, the sidewalks on NE 130th Street are incomplete and families have to share the street with car traffic.
SDOT applied for and received a grant from the Washington State Department of Transportation to build a new sidewalk on NE 130th Street between 25th Avenue NE and 28th Avenue NE. In addition to sidewalk construction, this grant includes education and encouragement of walking and biking to school, additional traffic enforcement on the walking routes to school, and formal evaluation of arrival and dismissal patterns at the school. SDOT’s partners in these efforts include Feet First, Cascade Bicycle Club, and the Seattle Police Department. To learn more about these partnerships, download our Safe Routes to School newsletter.
In December 2012, SDOT hosted a project open house at the school and invited neighbors to view 30% plans for the new sidewalk. At that open house we heard concerns about traffic speeds on NE 130th Street and requests for more street lighting. We also heard feedback on the location and design of the public art that will be installed with the project. Based on community feedback, the public art element will feature an origami red flicker.