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Here are the 8 neighborhood greenways SDOT paused until after November’s transportation levy vote

Map of planned bicycle master plan projects for 2021 through 2024 edited to highlight the 8 paused projects.
Base map from Seattle’s 2021 – 2024 Bicycle Master Plan Implementation Plan. Seattle Bike Blog added red circles and text to show the delayed projects. Numbered projects paused include all or parts of 20, 29, 35, 57, 59, 65, 70. The “Garfield High School to Leschi Elementary School Connection” does not seem to be listed on the 2021-2024 map so I circled the general area near number 47.

SDOT announced that eight neighborhood greenway projects previously scheduled for construction and/or planning have been put on pause because “inflation is affecting our large-scale project budgets more than initially expected,” according to the department. The Central District and Capitol Hill were hit the hardest by the pauses, though there are pauses in all districts other than 7.

We annotated the map above to help visualize the changes. The projects that formerly had solid lines are the biggest disappointment since those were supposed to have been funded through both design and construction by the end of 2024. The projects with dotted lines were only supposed to be funded through design.

The highest-profile project on the list is Phase 2 of the Central Ridge Greenway in the Central District and Capitol Hill. The good news is that the most important and difficult element of this route, a traffic signal at 18th and Madison, was completed as part of the RapidRide G project.


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top-down design diagram of the 18th and madison intersection with a new traffic signal.
From the RapidRide G design plans.

The projects had been included on SDOT’s 2021-24 Bicycle Master Plan Implementation Plan, a list of deliverable projects that the city created after reviewing the state of rising construction costs amid the peak of the COVID-19 response. The 2021 list also followed Mayor Jenny Durkan’s so-called “reset” of the Move Seattle Levy in 2019 that included a lot of cuts to the bike plan. The latest delays are pauses to projects that had already made it through several rounds of cuts.

Though SDOT did not cite the upcoming public vote on renewing the Seattle Transportation Levy, the department’s statement said, “We will have a clearer funding picture in late November when the City Council finalizes the City’s budget.” The passage or failure of the levy in early November will have a massive impact on those city budget decisions.

This somewhat awkward dance will probably happen throughout this year. SDOT cannot assume that the new levy will pass, so they may make decisions based on the current levy expiring without a replacement. Then if voters do approve a replacement levy, they can add things back and build out the new work plan.

More details on the pauses from SDOT:

During our first-quarter assessment of the 2024 budget, it became evident that inflation is affecting our large-scale project budgets more than initially expected. In response, we are focusing funds to ensure we continue making our transportation system safer, more reliable, and better connected and meeting Levy to Move Seattle commitments. Happily, we will still exceed our goal for Neighborhood Greenway construction this year.

Therefore, we are pausing the following Neighborhood Greenways projects. These projects will resume as budget or grant funding becomes available:

We will have a clearer funding picture in late November when the City Council finalizes the City’s budget and information on project status could be available as soon as the first quarter of 2025. Communication will continue through postcards and project websites. For projects with email lists already established, we will also send information via email.

In the meantime, we hope you have noticed the volume of SDOT projects launching and nearing completion this year, such as the 15th Ave W/NW & Ballard Bridge Paving and Safety Project preparing to break ground in July and RapidRide G Line – Madison St scheduled to start operating in September.

We also have four safety and bike projects starting or nearing completion this summer creating a comfortable space for SE Seattle families to use; and recently posted photos of the extension of the Wing Luke Elementary Neighborhood Greenway northward towards New Holly.

Related posts:

Comments

2 responses to “Here are the 8 neighborhood greenways SDOT paused until after November’s transportation levy vote”

  1. AnotherRichard

    if they’re trying to hold these projects captive for us to approve the car-focused levy on the table now, they pushed it way too far – at least for me. I fund transportation bills, it’s a serious and meaningful commitment that I’ve voted with for over a decade, and want to do in the future. But what’s been shared so far coupled with a brutal few years of cancellations just makes me feel like it’s pointless to boost funding until they can be trusted to keep commitments.

  2. Cole Gerdemann

    agree – I’ll be voting against this car-centric transportation levy.

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