West Seattle Neighborhood Greenway

Updated: April 20, 2020

What’s happening now?

Like the rest of the world, here in Seattle, we're rethinking how we live and move around our city during the COVID 19 crisis and beyond. Mayor Jenny Durkan and SDOT Director Sam Zimbabwe announced Safe Healthy Streets in support of Governor Inslee's "Stay Home, Stay Safe" order and the City's #KeepItMoving campaign. If people go outside, we need them to keep moving and avoid gatherings.

To maintain at least 6 feet of space while passing a neighbor, people are walking in the street or crossing to the other side. Even though traffic volume is down 60%, there is still risk when people are walking in the streets where there are cars. To support people enjoying outdoor exercise safely, we're converting some existing neighborhood greenways, which are  calm residential streets, into Stay Healthy Streets starting this Saturday.

Initial analysis to select routes included ensuring street closures did not impact newly opened food pick up loading zones, parking around hospitals for service for health care professionals, and bus routes. We also considered areas with limited open space options, low car ownership, and where routes can connect people to essential services and food take out.

We're launching with about 2.5 miles in the Central District and West Seattle/High Point neighborhoods. Portions of neighborhood greenways along 25th Ave S and 34th Ave SW/SW Graham and Holly St/High Point Dr SW will open up to people living in the neighborhood for walking, rolling, and biking. Stay Healthy Streets are closed to through traffic - but not residents or deliveries - 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the duration of the emergency or until otherwise noted by the City of Seattle. After an initial evaluation, we'll aim to convert about 15 miles in the coming weeks. We'll continue to re-evaluate after this weekend's pilot and work with community and stakeholders on additional suggestions and recommendations. Additional closures will be subject to change based on other orders, construction, and availability of crews and signs. For more details, read our blog.

We're also seeking volunteers to confirm road closure signs are still in place and conduct pedestrian and bicycling counts. Those interested in volunteering can email NorthSeattleGreenway@Seattle.gov. The counts will be used to monitor the success of Stay Healthy Streets, along with resident feedback- we'll have an online survey out in the next couple of weeks-- and any traffic impacts where vehicles are detoured

Map of Stay Healthy Street in West Seattle running from SW Holden St to SW Graham St with a spur off the northwest section

High Point Stay Healthy Street PDF

Project Overview

We’ve been working with West Seattle since summer 2016 to select a route for a new north-south neighborhood greenway. Hundreds of people gave feedback via an online survey, public events, and conversations with the project team. We heard requests for a neighborhood greenway with:

  • improved connections to the Junction and Westwood Village, as well as parks and schools
  • fewer hills to climb
  • slower speeds
  • safer crossings at busy streets like 35th Ave SW

Project Elements

West Seattle neighborhood greenway study area:

  • During phase 1 of outreach, we invited people to learn about and share their preferences on several route options.
  • Greenway route options at the north end included the Alaska Junction business district, Camp Long entrance at SW Dawson St, and the existing Delridge greenway east of the West Seattle Golf Course at SW Brandon St.
  • Our proposal for the south end included the greenway route going north-south on 30th Ave SW, 34th Ave SW, and 36th/37th Ave SW.

You can see the routes we studied and learn more about what we heard in the first phase of outreach here.

West Seattle Greenway Route

West Seattle Neighborhood Greenway route map
Click to enlarge

New crossing signal: 35th Ave SW and SW Graham St

There have been 2 traffic fatalities in recent years at this intersection—a person walking and person biking. The community's reaction to these crashes and the response we received to our earlier survey have demonstrated a desire for a change at this location so that it feels safer for people, is better lit, and creates a more inviting connection to the new multifamily and retail construction on the corner. We think this intersection improvement can make it more family-friendly and dynamic so people want to visit, shop and play, nearby, no matter how they get around.

Specifically, our proposal includes:

  • walk/bike crossing signal
  • push button activation
  • improved lighting
  • crosswalks
  • elimination of certain high-risk turning movements

Crossing signal proposal
Click to enlarge

Project Description

The West Seattle Neighborhood Greenway project came from city planning efforts and community requests. The Bicycle Master Plan (BMP) calls for neighborhood greenways primarily located on 34th Ave SW, as well as 36th Ave SW / 37th Ave.

We’ve been engaging with people in West Seattle to help us design a neighborhood greenway that connects residents with schools, parks, local businesses, and the greater transportation network. The new greenway will bring affordable, active transportation options for all ages and abilities.

See the map above for the most promising route, which was selected after listening to the community and reviewing existing transportation plans and traffic data.

The north route connects to the Junction and the south route combines what people liked about both 34th Ave SW and 30th Ave SW. The selected route avoids the steepest hills and prioritizes streets with lower vehicle speeds and traffic volumes. It connects people to popular business districts, schools, parks, transit, and Seattle’s growing bike network.

What's a Neighborhood Greenway?

Neighborhood greenways are safer, calmer residential streets for you, your family, and neighbors. We make people walking and biking the priority.

Neighborhood greenways can include:

  • 20 mph speed limit signs
  • speed humps to calm traffic
  • stop signs for side streets crossing the neighborhood greenway
  • signs and pavement markings to help people find their way
  • easier crossings of busy streets with crosswalks, flashing beacons, or traffic signals

Funding

Approved by voters in 2015, the 9-year, $930 million Levy to Move Seattle provides funding to improve safety for all travelers, maintain our streets and bridges, and invest in reliable, affordable travel options for a growing city.

Schedule

The first phase of outreach started in summer 2016 and concluded in December 2016. The next phase has begun and will wrap up in July. Construction of phase 1 of the greenway will begin in summer 2018.

Materials


We are committed to building a productive, inclusive, and collaborative relationship with all who live, work, or travel in the project area. Please contact us with any questions.

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