star_commuter_blog_postSeattle Children’s is a daily destination for hundreds of people. And the surrounding neighborhood is home to many more. As our campus grows, we’re committed to making local streets safer and providing more transportation choices for staff, families and our neighbors.

We recently completed work on a redesigned intersection at Sand Point Way NE and 40th Avenue NE – a busy spot where it wasn’t possible to safely walk or pedal from one side of Sand Point Way to the other. We also completed a new sidewalk and cycle path in front of the hospital along the east side of Sand Point Way that links up with the redesigned intersection.

The intersection includes a new traffic signal, left-turn lanes and crosswalks. The project improves traffic flow, protects pedestrians and cyclists and better connects the Laurelhurst neighborhood and Seattle Children’s on the east with the Bryant neighborhood and Burke-Gilman Trail on the west. The sidewalk and cycle path run from Penny Drive to 40th Avenue. The cycle path includes separate lanes in each direction.

We’re excited because these improvements promote healthy alternatives to driving – the neighborhood is more walkable and bikeable and transit is more accessible. The redesigned intersection provides a more direct path for transit riders who previously had to walk a considerable distance to safely traverse Sand Point Way at a signalized location. King County Metro chipped in by building new bus shelters on both sides of the street and extending bus service to the hospital from three additional routes.

The intersection’s new signal stops traffic in all directions for pedestrians and cyclists. A video detection system ensures everyone is clear of the crossing before the light turns green. If people clear the crossing early, the light allows traffic to resume sooner. Later this year, as part of the Livable Streets Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) project, this signal will be tied into the existing network of signals between the hospital and SR 520 to create a coordinated corridor.

We thank the community for supporting all these projects, and we look forward to working together on future improvements to the neighborhood’s transportation system.