Madison Park Greenways looking to combine with neighboring areas

Bob Edmiston is driven — er, biken (?) — to make neighborhood greenways a part of his neighborhood’s future. As the main force behind Madison Park Greenways, Bob presented about neighborhood greenways at the Madison Park Community Council. The council loved the idea and unanimously created a neighborhood greenway planning group.

Now, the group is looking to reach people in bordering neighborhoods, such as Madison Valley and Montlake, to get involved.

From the Madison Park Community Council:

This email is your invitation for participation at whatever level you wish to participate.

Currently, Bob is looking for people who would be willing to help in the following areas:
• Determine the needs of users i.e. advanced riders, willing but wary riders, kids, walkers, etc.
• Identify grade friendly routes for those users to get to and from various points i.e. schools, parks, bus stops, businesses, etc.
• Neighbors willing to ride/walk and evaluate proposed routes.
• Spreading the word about the Greenways Project.

If you’d like to get involved, please go to this page and tell us a bit about yourself http://tinyurl.com/mpgsignup This is the best way to participate in the planning process. The information will be used to invite you to the Google Group for future communications and give you a chance to share what level you’d like to participate.

Bob was also featured in this UW post about his data-driven commute choice. He is an example of what is exciting about the city’s recent neighborhood greenways movement: More new faces with a variety of reasons for why biking makes sense in their lives. He is driven to make the small things easier, and that’s the kind of localized work we need to really see the number of people biking in our neighborhoods go through the roof.

Madison Park Blogger wrote about Bob and his push for neighborhood greenways recently:

Edmiston’s education effort began with an hour-and-a-half presentation at the Madison Park Community Council meeting earlier this week, in which he pointed out that greenways are not about establishing more routes for dedicated bike enthusiasts.  Rather, greenways are designed to create easier, safer biking connections and encourage people who might otherwise not venture out on a bike to consider the possibility and then go for it.   He calls these non-enthusiasts the “Willing But Wary” and notes that a recent study showed that they may comprise 60% of the able-bodied population (the other types being the “No Way/No Hows” comprising 33%, the “Strong and Fearless” comprising under 1%, and the “Enthused and Confident” comprising 7%).

Edmiston, who bikes to work, puts himself into that latter category but recognizes that many if not most of his neighbors are of the “Wary” type.  Making things safer for bikers will encourage at least some of these people to take up this better form of transportation and make parents feel more confident in letting their kids do so, he told the Council.  To prove his point he brought along several people to give personal testimonials at the meeting.  They validated his argument that at least in some cases perfectly usable bikes sit in dusty locations, un-ridden for fear of neighborhood streets (or, more correctly, the car drivers who make use of those thoroughfares)

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4 Responses to Madison Park Greenways looking to combine with neighboring areas

  1. John says:

    Make a bike route map.
    Share it with others.
    Put it online.
    Put up standard, city approved signage designating the path.

    It doesn’t have to cost much, or require public funding to do this.

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      You’re right! It’s very cost-effective. Good, usable signage costs a little more than you probably think, and paint on the pavement costs a bit more than you probably think (it’s really more than paint, which would not last long). And only the city has the power to paint and sign streets.

      But the real cost is reconfiguring intersections with busy streets. This is not something any club or organization can do. A concrete island is about $50,000, which is about a third of the cost of a stop light, but still expensive. But without this crossing improvement, the neighborhood greenway doesn’t work.

      Right now, citizen groups are doing a lot of outreach work that would usually be left to the city (with city money). But the actual design and construction must be done by the city.

  2. Brad Hawkins says:

    The flat route through Madison Park to UW goes through Broadmoor. It’s a gated community that has fought any bicycle transportation through for any reason. There you will find all the old family names: Boeings, Pigotts, Nordstroms, and the like. Best of luck. Essentially, the route goes from north Arboretum to just up the hill from the Russian Consulate on Madison. Flat and pretty. I only know about the route because I’ve been called upon at times to perform at house parties.

    • biliruben says:

      I had a “name” for a while, and used to ride through Broadmoor. It’s flatter than the alternatives, but really rolling hills. It appears there is potential to put a path that skirts the area just north of the golf course along the marshy area near Foster Island, and connect to city streets (McGilvra?). Might have some wetlands environmental impact, depending upon how friendly Broadmoor was to giving up a few feet of non-marsh along their fence-line.

      Of course, there is so much money and power behind those gates that it’s dead in the water without a strong voice inside Broadmoor pushing for something.

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