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Rainier Valley is getting an east-west neighborhood greenway, open house Monday

Rainier Valley MapThe city is planning two neighborhood greenways in Rainier Valley this year with hopes to have them ready to build next year. One route will travel north and south for much of the valley, and the other will travel east-to-west in the Othello neighborhood.

A community open house Monday will look at options for that east-west route, which will essentially connect the Seattle Housing Authority’s NewHolly neighborhood and the Chief Sealth Trail to Seward Park Avenue. Though relatively short, it will connect to destination on MLK and Rainier as well as the proposed north-south greenway. It will also connect to 42nd Ave S, a good low-traffic connection to the Othello light rail station.

The open house will go from 6 – 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Emerald City Bible Fellowship Auditorium at Rainier and S Chicago St. The presentation starts at 6:30.

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The two route options are on Myrtle and Willow Streets. Notably, the city’s map shows they are considering traffic diverters along the route. Without diverting traffic off neighborhood greenways, traffic levels can be too high for truly comfortable all ages and abilities use. Diverters do not close the streets to cars, but sometimes people will need to circle the block to get to their driveways. But that’s a small price to pay for a street safe enough for kids to play without worry.

The city conducted a safe streets upgrade on Othello Street in 2012 that was primarily aimed at people walking. That street, just a couple block south of the proposed greenway routes, now has some paint-only bike lanes. However, the lanes disappear at major street crossings and are not anywhere close to being comfortable for all riders.

More details on the open house, from Rainier Valley Greenways:

Seattle is building a network of neighborhood greenways. Neighborhood greenways are safer, calmer residential streets for you, your family, neighbors and customers.

Join the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) on Monday, June 2 to talk about a neighborhood greenway in Rainier Valley. SDOT is studying an east-west route in the area of S Myrtle and S Willow streets from John C. Little, Sr. Park to Seward Park Avenue S. We want to hear from the people who live, work, shop and play along these streets.

This is the first of two public meetings. The first meeting shares traffic data and helps SDOT staff understand where people want to walk and bike and barriers to doing so. At the second meeting we share the results of technical analysis and public comment and the most promising route with recommended safety improvements.

More information here: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/rainiervalleygreenways1.htm

If you can’t make the meeting, let us know what improvements you’d like to see along S Willow or S Myrtle that would enhance your experience walking or biking?

Where do you live, work, shop or play along S. Willow or S. Myrtle?

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7 responses to “Rainier Valley is getting an east-west neighborhood greenway, open house Monday”

  1. Zach Shaner

    Why isn’t Link shown on that map?

    1. Tom Fucoloro

      Yeah, I wondered the same thing. NewHolly isn’t even marked. Neither is the Chief Sealth Trail.

  2. sdv

    I’ve only ridden on a greenway once, and doubt I will again, as it kept me moving way too slowly. I understand wanting to make it safe for children and slower riders, but it’s too slow for transportation. I wish they could find a way to make it a facility for all cyclists to use.

    1. Andres Salomon

      As someone who bikes slowly for transportation, I’d have to disagree.

      That said, the reason why we keep saying that greenways are not a replacement for complete streets is because they often appeal to different user groups (and situations). We need both greenways and protected infrastructure on arterial streets.

  3. Lucas

    There are diverters at 46th & Willow and Myrtle & 42nd already, and Frontenac, Myrtle, and Orchard connections to Rainier are severed – check google maps. I assume they are going to incorporate those existing features and perhaps modify them to make bicycle accessibility better, there is no extra block circling for access beyond what is happening now. (I wonder how old those are and how they came to be?)

    Having the greenways cross Rainier without a light is ridiculous though.

    1. The traffic signals on the map appear to indicate existing ones. SDOT avoids un-signalized crosswalks across four-lane streets. Rainier would be crazy, even by the level of infrastructure neglect we’ve come to expect in Seattle’s outer reaches.

  4. Luke

    I LOVE THAT MAN. I love you man. You’re my hero Mike McGinn.\read on:
    Corporate giant Costco fails as a marketing model in terms of transportation. A single Costco induces 10x the fuel combustion compared to neighborhood stores or district shopping centers, while putting these out of business. Amazon and Boeing similarly fall short in these terms of transportation costs and impacts. A progressive carbon tax would bankrupt these (low-cost?) corporate giants.

    Meanwhile, Wsdot consistently constructs absurdly substandard highways. Seattle transit agencies fall short of national standards, nevermind world standards. BNSF plans to dedicate its rails to fossil fuel transport through the Pacific Northwest.
    Seattle’s economy is more dependent upon diesel-spewing global trade
    than any US port. Yeah, we could address global warming, but the subject of transport is too far down the list of concerns Seattlers hold dearly, never f’kn mind competent discussion among peers. So says this Oregonian.

    ODOT was finished with Wsdot boys in 2008. Wsdot guys also misled Port authorities about rail oval track spurs and what’s called a “Spagetti ramps” hazards on Hayden Island. Washingtonian advice in transportation matters is no longer accepted south of thee Columbia River.
    Bertha must not proceed, period, end of story.
    Drill-Fill Sea Fence? Not a good idea, period.
    MercerWest QueenAnne Truck Route? How f’n dare you?
    Check out the WsDOT angle for retaining Battery Street Tunnel.
    Do not reject/neglect its study. Study it or shut up. Michael McGinn for Governor!
    Are you listening? Tacomans? What is it with Seattlers? Goodgod.
    You get Bertha out of there, done, now.
    BOX Cut-cover Tunnel/Seawall option instead.
    The drill-fill “sea-fence” is poorly-advised.
    Goodgod, what mistakes!

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