SDOT to host 35th Ave NE paving project open house October 21

Over the past several years, plans have been developed with the goal of creating a safe and pedestrian-friendly experience for neighbors wishing to walk to businesses and services on 35th Avenue NE from NE 55th Street to NE 85th Street.

Future of 35th Avenue NE Plan

Planning for the future of 35th Avenue NE public workshop circa 2014. Photo courtesy of Future of 35th Ave NE blog.

Between 2012 and 2015, the Ravenna-Bryant Community Association, the Wedgwood Community Council, and neighbors from both communities worked together to develop a plan, including  design guidelines, for creating a vibrant 35th Avenue NE.

After 3 years of public meetings, field trips, data collection, Coffee Talks, surveying, being awarded a grant from the Seattle Department of Neighborhoodsselecting a consultant team, hosting public workshops, collecting more data, the Future of 35th Ave NE Plan was released in 2015. The plan contains a streetscape toolkit that includes recommendations for making 35th Avenue NE pedestrian-friendly.

Pedestrian safety improvements along arterial roads

While the RBCA board has focused most of our mobility-related advocacy efforts on improving safety along the NE 65th Street corridor most recently, all arterial roads in the neighborhood have been identified as needing changes to make them safer for all who use them.

In a 2016 survey about neighborhood mobility concerns, pedestrian safety was the primary concern.  The most common complaint regarding pedestrian safety, as well as motorist and biker safety,  was people speeding in their cars along both arterial and residential streets. The second most common complaint was about how difficult it is to cross arterial roads and, interestingly enough, it wasn’t only pedestrians and bikers who identified this as a big problem. Motorists thought it was a problem, too. Reducing the number of speeding cars on arterial roads, like 35th Avenue NE, is one of RBCA’s priorities in our 2017 mobility safety action plan.

Seattle Bike Master Plan

Bike Master Plan in Ravenna-Bryant

The Seattle Bike Master Plan (BMP) was adopted in 2014 and includes changes to 35th Avenue NE. The BMP provides a blueprint for increasing safety features for people who use bicycles to get around the city, including NE Seattle.

On 35th Avenue NE, sharrows (shown as yellow dotted lines in the map to the left) are planned from NE 45th Street to NE 65th Street. From NE 65th Street to NE 75th Street on 35th Avenue NE protected bike lanes (blue line) are included in the plan.

In addition to increasing safety for bikers, bike lanes can reduce the speed at which cars travel and, therefore, increase safety for all who use the road, including motorists.

SDOT paving project

In NE Seattle, 35th Avenue NE is one of streets scheduled for re-paving. According to the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), paving is an opportunity to cost-effectively update street designs to promote safety, build features called for in citywide transportation plans (like the BMP), and coordinate with other projects. As part of the 35th Avenue NE paving project, SDOT is taking the opportunity to make planned changes all at once, instead of in a piecemeal manner.  The project includes re-paving most of the road, adding safety improvements, and improving reliability for transit users. Detailed information about the paving project is available online.

SDOT open house

On October 21, starting at 10:00 a.m. at the Messiah Lutheran Church, 7050 35th Ave NE, SDOT will host an open house for neighbors to learn more about the paving project.

SDOT’s conceptual view of changes to be made looking north from the corner of 35th Avenue NE and NE 55th Street.

The meeting will begin with an open house during which attendees will be able to review project boards and ask one-on-one questions.  From 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. those who would like to go on a walking tour will break up into groups and visit either NE 75th St & 35th Ave NE or NE 65th St & 35th Ave NE.

Community members are encouraged to learn more about plans that will guide changes to the 35th Avenue NE corridor within the not-so-distant future. As the population of our city continues to grow, the way people get around the neighborhood is going to change. Now is the time to become familiar with what is planned, think about how the implementation of those plans will change neighborhood mobility safety, and ensure that what is created is sustainable, supports a livable and vibrant community, and meets the needs of a diverse population.

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