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Seattle will get its first ‘pop-up greenway’ in Phinney/Greenwood Friday

Pop Up GW PosterHere’s a brilliant idea: A reusable kit full of neighborhood greenway-like tools that can be installed on neighborhood streets to turn them into something like temporary greenways.

What exactly is involved in a “pop-up greenway?” The plan involves education materials at the start and end points (in this case, on 1st Ave NW between 65th and 80th) so neighbors can learn about what a neighborhood greenway is and see some examples of how the busy street crossings could be made safer.

The kit will also include temporary wayfinding signs in the typical style of the city’s neighborhood greenways, pointing people to good walking and biking routes to commercial centers and nearby neighborhoods.


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While there won’t be temporary speed humps or anything like that, there could be some chalk markings and things. I am hoping for something like this, but I doubt that’s in the plans…

The pop-up greenway will be installed Friday during the PhinneyWood Summer Streets celebration and will remain in place until the end of August.

The idea is to give neighbors a chance to know what sort of changes could be included on their street if it becomes a neighborhood greenway. It also gives people a chance to give feedback, like suggesting a better route or pointing out a much-needed repair.

If all goes well, the hope is that the kit could be reused in other neighborhoods.

More details from Cascade:

Funded in part by the Neighborhood Matching Grant from the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, this project is a first of its kind in Seattle intended to educate the public about how greenways can improve a neighborhood.

Robin Randels of Greenwood-Phinney Greenways said the plan is to test-ride the project for three weeks, learn a few things, then create a more durable DIY Kit that other neighborhoods around the city and county can use before a permanent greenway is built.


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8 responses to “Seattle will get its first ‘pop-up greenway’ in Phinney/Greenwood Friday”

  1. Southeasterner

    I was previously a supporter of Greenways, specifically the 58th street Greenway, but after seeing the implementation I couldn’t be more opposed. After they “completed”
    our greenway 58th street now looks worse than roads in most third world countries. They first painted sharrows only to cover them with an asphalt layover. Instead of waiting for the asphalt to cool-off before allowing vehicles to drive on it we now have black asphalt marks covering pretty much everything on 58th, including the bike markings that weren’t previously covered over. They came back and painted the sharrows again but they never finished the asphalt overlay so you have a skunk stripe of asphalt going down the center of the street with horribly deteriorated concrete on both sides.

    Fortunately none of this will last since the cracks in the concrete under the asphalt are going to deteriorate the asphalt and pretty much destroy it after the first rainy Seattle winter. Maybe then they will actually repair the street correctly.

    Not to mention after all of this talk of a Greenway we now have stop signs at all the cross streets which has essentially turned 58th street into a speedway for traffic between 15th and 24th. It’s harder to cycle on the “Greenway” than it ever was before it became a “Greenway” and the ½ inch speed”bumps” are completely useless at “calming” traffic and reducing speeds.

    It was a complete waste of money and I’m embarrassed to have ever signed a petition in support. Now that car traffic (not cycling traffic) is heavier on 58th street I’ve noticed more cyclists moving to parallel streets (57th and 59th) that are safer.

    As a resident/cyclist on 58th street I encourage Seattle residents to avoid Greenways and actually invest in proper cycling infrastructure.

    1. Tom Fucoloro

      You’re not the first person to bring this up. Sounds like something is not working correctly on 58th. We will investigate. Maybe there’s something easy the city can do to fix the situation (if there’s an increase in traffic, maybe a traffic diverter is needed to prevent cut-through traffic). But don’t give up on the concept of greenways entirely! They are one part of the solution.

    2. dave

      I heard about the paint/asphalt fiasco. Sounds to me like that’s just bad scheduling on the part of the crews that do that stuff, but it’s a separate issue from the design of the greenway.

      The main problem is the increased auto traffic resulting from the stop signs on the cross streets. This scheme only works if you have diverters and/or medians that prohibit through traffic and left turns onto and off of the greenway, and you have to have these closely spaced. I’ve seen this work really well on trips to visit family in Portland. With the greenway on 58th, there’s one semi-diverter at 15th Ave and there was supposed to be a median at 24th to prevent through traffic and left turns, but the owners of the new apartment building there complained about access to their building (even though the main access is via 57th), so that median was not implemented. So of course now it’s a speedway for auto traffic. Maybe the greenways should only be implemented if there is a commitment from SDOT to do it the right way — with the diverters/medians on multiple arterials to ensure that the greenway doesn’t just result in increasing auto traffic on that street, which of course is the exact opposite of the goal of the project.

    3. I don’t live quite so close to 58th and I’ve only used it at night, but I’ve generally thought the 58th Street Greenway worked pretty well… except that the light sensor at 15th westbound doesn’t pick up my bike at all.

  2. SashaBikes

    Oh! That’s a GREAT idea! Helping affected neighbors understand how the Greenway would impact them before a decision is made is a wonderful way to support an informed discussion.

  3. DMS

    Dawn from SDOT here. We’re super excited about Greenwood-Phinney Greenways’ “pop up” greenway and that it timed to launch during the PhinneyWood Summer Streets event tonight! Hopefully, folks will ride the “pop up” greenway and then join us in celebrating what our streets could be like if we walk and bike more often. http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/summer_green.htm.

  4. It will be great to see how the pop-up Greenway works out!!! We would love to borrow it to try it out in the Rainier Valley on one of our SE Seattle streets

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