Guest Blog by: Paulo Nunes-Ueno,  Transportation Director at Seattle Children’s

We are proud to share with you the Livable Streets Initiative Final Report. The report proposes projects that will accompany Seattle Children’s Major Institution Master Plan and will improve transportation in NE Seattle over the next 20 years. The report is the result of collaboration with hundreds of community residents and over a dozen community organizations and advocacy groups that have come together over the last year with the goal of making our streets more livable.

In November, Seattle Children’s and our co-sponsors held a variety of events to gather input and ideas that now make up the concepts and projects in the Livable Streets Initiative Final Report. These events included a walking audit of the pedestrian environment in the neighborhoods surrounding the hospital led by Feet First, a local advocacy organization promoting walkable communities; a survey of cyclists by the Cascade Bicycle Club, a 13,000-member local organization promoting bicycle activities, advocacy, and education; and a large public event at Gould Hall in the University of Washington campus, where hundreds of participants shared their ideas and inspirations for how to make streets safer, more friendly and more efficient. In addition, community members made comments on an interactive web-map and submitted suggestions via email. The Final Report includes an appendix with each comment received through the events and the online resources.

The Livable Streets Initiative is organized into three thematic areas: 1) Creating ‘Neighborhood Green Streets’ that link schools, parks and the Burke-Gilman Trail on low traffic, low speed residential streets so that walkers and cyclists of all ages and abilities feel safe, 2) improving access to the Burke-Gilman Trail and, 3) creating safe crossings of major arterials in our area.

The Final Report contains a ranking of each of the project ideas suggested by the public process, and where available, estimated costs. Now the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will conduct an evaluation of the top projects to determine more precise project costs. Once that is completed, SDOT, with the input of Children’s and the community, will establish which projects to move forward with in this first phase. We look forward to your continuing support to help make these projects a reality.