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Rainier Valley Greenways launches Friday at Bike Works

From the ITO Road Fatalities Map, 2001-2009

With Bike Works and Seattle Neighborhood Greenways taking leadership roles, Rainier Valley joins the ever-growing list of neighborhoods with groups advocating for safe residential streets that make it easier and more pleasant to get around by foot and by bike.

If you want to get involved, join Bike Works and other organizers Friday, 6 p.m. at Bike Works and/or September 5, 6 p.m. at Rainier Beach Library.

As you can see in the road fatalities map above, Rainier Valley has one very obvious safety problem: Rainier Ave. For some, it’s a highway alternative to I-5. But to the residents of Rainier Valley, it’s where many of their homes, grocery stores, restaurants, churches and parks are located.

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Crossing this behemoth of a road is a challenge, especially for people with limited mobility like the elderly or children. Of the five people killed while walking across Rainier between 2001 and 2009, three were older than 70. The youngest was 47.

The other street in the area that has seen a large number of traffic deaths is Myrtle/Othello, which is currently undergoing a safer roadway redesign.

But away from these major roadways lies a whole world of neighborhood greenway possibilities.

UPDATE: I originally neglected to mention the role Seattle Neighborhood Greenways played in the formation of Rainier Valley Greenways. Cathy Tuttle says she helped write the grant that helped hire some of the people working to get the group off the ground (including Rainier Valley family bike superstar Morgan Scherer!).

From Bike Works:

HELP US DESIGN A GREENWAY FOR RAINIER VALLEY- Easy, Safe, Enjoyable walking and biking for everyone!!

Have you ever thought, “I’d love to walk to the store, but that street crossing is too dangerous”?  Or, “I wish I felt comfortable biking my kids to school, but there’s no good route”?  Would you like to make the Rainier Valley a fun and inviting place to walk and bike around, while also providing easy and clear routes for drivers?  Then come on down to Bike Works and start the Labor Day weekend right with a Neighborhood Greenways gathering!  Draw your favorite biking and walking routes on the Rainier Valley map.  Pinpoint the things you love and hate about walking and biking in your neighborhood, or places you think are dangerous.

Enjoy the satisfaction of being involved in building a network of safe streets through the Rainier Valley, making it easy and low-stress to get around by foot, car, bus, and bike, for kids, adults, and people of all skill levels.  Once we have data from a bunch of folks Rainier Valley Greenways will apply for funding through the city (via the Bike Master Plan and others) to address the issues and make it real!  Cookies, snacks, drinks, maps, and thought-provoking discussion provided.  Join in!

Friday, August 31st 6- 7:30pm At Bike Works- 3709 S. Ferdinand, Seattle WA  98118
Wednesday, September 5th 6- 7:30pm at the Rainier Beach Library Meeting Room, 9125 Rainier Ave S

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