Advocates and neighbors of the nearly-completed 39th Ave NE neighborhood greenway last week celebrated the upcoming completion of the Seattle Children’s funded 39th Ave NE neighborhood greenway connecting Wedgwood to the Burke-Gilman Trail.
The project, funded by Seattle Children’s Livable Streets Initiative, has the potential not only to make it easier and safer to bike in northeast Seattle, but also to demonstrate the potential of neighborhood greenways in Seattle.
If you are hoping to get a taste of the neighborhood greenway magic, however, you might want to wait just a little bit longer so crews can complete the project. While most of the costly aspects have been completed—such as the significant curb extensions where the road meets the Burke-Gilman Trail and the cement crossing islands at the arterial crossings—there is still a lot of important finishing work to do. Stop signs have yet to be installed on cross streets and many crosswalks and sharrows are not yet complete.
The project’s arterial crossings do not include traffic-diverting crossing medians, an element that has been proven effective in Vancouver and Portland, but that carries the potential for some neighborhood resistance. Once the stop signs go in for cross-traffic, neighbors and project boosters should pay attention to whether that increases the number of people driving on the street.
After all, the whole point of this project is to create a street that is safer and more inviting for all residents, including the active bike-to-school community already thriving there.
Cascade was at the opening celebration and took this video: