Queen Anne Greenways is at it again, working to make our neighborhood safer. This Tuesday, October 21st, you can join them and other Queen Anne residents to discuss the 7-way stop intersection with traffic engineers and WSDOT.
The 7-way stop is a major entry/exit point for Queen Anne motorists traveling to or from Aurora Ave N/WA-99, as well as for traffic that crosses the hill to Interbay or Magnolia.
At Tuesday’s meeting, the City of Bellevue engineers (yes, our neighbors to the east) and WSDOT will review a preliminary concept of how to make the intersection safer for pedestrians and cyclists.
Since the intersection is so confusing, many cars tend to cross it more cautiously – but as a pedestrian, I’ve been completely invisible to drivers while in the crosswalk (and with a dog). While my experiences are anecdotal, keep in mind that Seattle Country Day School is a block north of the intersection, so many children must cross it on their way to or from school.
Because of the proximity to the school, the meeting will be held at Seattle Country Day Courtyard Classroom at 2619 4th Ave N. The location allows for a good look at the intersection’s traffic patterns prior to or during the meeting.
The meeting starts at 6:30pm and runs til 7:30pm. If you’re interested in attending the meeting, RSVP via email so the organizers can ensure adequate space.
In addition to the meeting, Queen Anne Greenways is also meeting with City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw and gathering signatures for a petition. If you’re interested in signing the petition, request a copy via email (petition is a Word document). The petition has lines for multiple signatures, so you can gather multiple signatures from your neighbors.
Stay tuned for potential improvements to an intersection that surely confounds visitors to our neighborhood.
If you’ve been following the activities of Queen Anne Greenways, then you know that they’ve been advocating a 4-way stop at W McGraw and 7th Ave W. Located just a block away from Coe Elementary on a busy arterial, the intersection poses risks to pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers alike.
Thanks to the efforts of Queen Anne Greenways, SDOT has proposed 3 options for the intersection – all result in a 4-way stop. According to Queen Anne Greenways, “elements in the three concepts can be mixed and matched based on community preference”.
The 3 preliminary options are all preliminary and subject to change. The proposed changes are listed below:
Option 1: the Plaza:
extends the curb on the southwest corner
creates a small area for shrubs and plantings
maintains two of the three street trees at the corner
installs a mini plaza with decorative paving and a bench for seating
maintains the existing sidewalk in its current alignment
adds sidewalk extensions to the new corner
Option 2, the Nature Spot:
extends the curb on the southwest corner
maintains two of the three street trees at the corner
creates a larger area for plantings and additional street trees
installs boulder/granite seating within the nature spot
removes the existing sidewalk and replaces with vegetation / bio swale
extends the sidewalk to meet the new corner
all of the Nature Spot options at the southwest corner, plus the following at the southeast corner:
extends the curb
creates space for new plantings / bio swale
creates a new mini plaza with decorative paving and benches
creates space that could be used for bike parking
may displace two car parking spaces
Queen Anne Greenways has grown from a small meeting in a Queen Anne living room to a community group that is impacting change in the neighborhood. The group is happy with SDOT’s proposed changes and points out that SDOT is proposing greenery and a potential green storm-water infrastructure (GSI), at the corners rather than concrete, a more environmentally friendly approach.
This particular arterial crossing is on the planned Queen Anne Crown Greenway, which is noted in Seattle’s Bicycle Master Plan. It’s one step closer to Queen Anne Greenways goal, and an improvement that will increase safety for both residents and visitors.
Stay tuned for more news from Queen Anne Greenways on the option chosen and progress in the future. If you’d like to get involved, check out the QAG Facebook page or attend one of their regular monthly meetings, all are welcome.
The Queen Anne Greenways group meets tonight at 6:30pm at the Queen Anne Library. Why should you attend? Well, if you walk, bike, or drive through the intersection at W McGraw St and 7th Ave W, you likely know how dangerous it can be.
The intersection is a block away from Coe Elementary and is protected by only a 2-way stop – one of several concerns voiced by Queen Anne Greenways. SDOT’s Brian Dougherty will join the meeting tonight to present proposed safety improvements for this particular intersection.
Here’s what one of the QAG members put together on this intersection – you’ll have to attend the meeting tonight to hear how SDOT is responding:
Also on the agenda is Katie Idziorek of the Uptown Alliance. She’ll be providing an update on the Uptown Parklet.
All are welcome to join the meeting and help make our Queen Anne streets safer.
Queen Anne Greenways is holding its monthly meeting tomorrow, Tuesday, April 22nd, and it’s going to be an interactive meeting with a bonus bike ride before the meeting. This go-around, the group will meet at Bayview Retirement Community Theatre at 11 W Aloha St from 6:30 to 8pm.
In addition to the regular meeting, tomorrow’s Queen Anne Greenways group is hosting a bike ride at 5pm that’ll explore many of the routes that are key to both Queen Anne’s greenway and the Seattle Bicycle Master Plan. The Bicycle Master Plan includes several Greenways on Upper Queen Anne, including most of Queen Anne Boulevard.
Details on the ride:
“We will explore these areas and safety concerns on a mostly level easy ride around Queen Anne Hill, starting and finishing at Big Howe Park (meet by children’s playground). After the ride, riders are welcome and encouraged to attend the 6:30pm Queen Anne Greenway meeting at Bayview Manor.”
Even if you can’t attend the meeting, if you’re free at 5pm and up for a group tour de bike, meet the Queen Anne Greenways group at Big Howe Park, all are welcome!
The next Queen Anne Greenways meeting is this Tuesday, March 25th, 6:30pm, at the Queen Anne Library. The group is open to all residents interested in pedestrian and bicycle safety, and according to the organizers, if you’re interested in “getting your hands dirty advocating for pedestrian and bicycle safety, this is your meeting.”
On Tuesday, Queen Anne Greenways will be diving into its tactical action plan. Plus, there’ll be a strategy session on two “Safe Routes to School” projects that focus on two dangerous Queen Anne intersections – 7th Ave W and W McGraw St, where a 4-way stop is proposed (and needed), and the 7-way stop on East Queen Anne, a primary (very busy) route onto and off-of Queen Anne from Aurora. With the former near Coe Elementary and the latter near Seattle Country Day School, making these intersections safe is a priority for the group.
You can see the intersections in question, and the issues they pose in the Queen Anne Greenways photos below:
7th Ave W & W McGraw St
If you’re interested in getting involved with Queen Anne Greenways, now’s your chance – attend Tuesday’s meeting, all are welcome!
If traveling by foot is your favorite mode of transportation, the city needs you! Queen Anne is very walkable, but regular pedestrians know that there are missing crosswalks, uneven sidewalks, and steep curbs to navigate as you make your way around the neighborhood. Our own Queen Anne Greenways community group has made great strides (pun intended) such as the crossing light at Queen Anne Ave N and Highland Drive – but you can also help via the Seattle Pedestrian Board.
Safe pedestrian crossing
The City of Seattle is now accepting applications for the Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board, a volunteer group with the goal of making “walking in Seattle safer, easier and more attractive”. The Seattle City Council created the board in 1993 and it plays “an influential role in implementing Seattle’s Pedestrian Master Plan”.
The Seattle Pedestrian Board advises the Mayor and City Council on pedestrian issues, participates in planning and project development, evaluates policies and makes recommendations to all city departments including SDOT.
Board members serve a two-year term, with a potential second term. The board ideally includes people of all ages and mobility levels from across Seattle who frequently walk or travel via wheelchair or other mobility device. Members must be Seattle residents, and may not be city employees.
If you’re interested in applying for the board, submit a resume and cover letter explaining your interest via email to Howard Wu by 5pm on January 6, 2014.
An especially timely warning the day before little ghosts and goblins hit the streets of Queen Anne – slow down on neighborhood streets!
Even though many of the streets on the Boulevard are arterial streets, that doesn’t give drivers license to speed and roll through stop signs. Queen Anne Greenways has the goal of making our streets safer for pedestrians, but it’s a tough job.
An example, I’ve emailed SDOT about repainting the crosswalks at Queen Anne Ave N and Garfield St (the crosswalk by The Seattle Gym, a popular crossing point for people on their way home from a workout, and at Taylor Ave N and Galer St – part of the Galer Stairs that connect Upper Queen Anne to Lake Union. Both crosswalks are so faded that neither pedestrians nor cars can see them.
What was the response?
“Due to current budget constraints, SDOT had funding to remark a minimal number of crosswalks in 2013 out of approximately 6,000 crosswalks installed. The Pedestrian Master Plan provides us with a priority ranking that helps us direct our resources to those locations that have the highest need. Factors, such as collision history, traffic volumes, land use, and economic/social equity, were considered for the ranking. The Pedestrian Master Plan ensures that we make our decisions on whether to address requests that we receive from our residents fairly and in an informed way. At this time, our 2013 remark list has been completed and approved, and these locations did not rank high enough to make our 2013 remarking schedule. However, we will add this location to our 2014 list of potential remarks.”
I understand budget constraints, but here’s the odd thing – I submitted my request after they repainted existing bike lanes that were in perfect shape on Taylor Ave N. That’s right, they repainted something that didn’t need paint and ignored (or maybe didn’t even see) the super-faded crosswalk at Galer St. They lives of cyclists are important, but so are the lives of pedestrians – and crosswalks that are invisible to drivers should be a priority over bike lanes that are visible to all.
Not sure where other crosswalks along the Boulevard rank in the list, but check out this video filmed on Queen Anne that shows why we 1) need more crosswalks, and 2) need drivers to slow down.
The curvy section of the Boulevard near Mt Pleasant Cemetery has seen its fair share of accidents, and the 5th Avenue West/4th Avenue West Block Watch is petitioning SDOT to make traffic-calming improvements for this key Queen Anne arterial.
The spot of concern runs along 5th Ave W & W Raye St, at the intersections of W Smith St & 5th Ave W & W. Raye & 7th Ave W. (yes, it’s a confusing mix of streets – but the point is that traffic travels too fast along this stretch of the Boulevard).
According to the Block Watch, there have been a number of accidents caused by excessive speed, including the death of a motorcyclist in 2004 and several cars totaled when drivers missed the curve in the road and hit other cars or Boulevard trees.
And, in the last 3 months:
a driver hit a tree on 5th Ave W and Raye St
an early morning hit and run driver ran into a car on 5th Ave W
a driver speeding eastbound crashed into the yard of a home on 5th Ave W and W Raye St damaging two properties
This street is not only part of the Crown of Queen Anne/Boulevard – popular with walkers, runners, and cyclists – but it’s also just a few blocks away from Coe Elementary.
The Block Watch has connected with Queen Anne Greenways, but they still need your help. Sign their petition online, and show your support for safe Queen Anne streets by joining the Queen Anne Greenways community group.
If you walk, bike, or run the Crown of Queen Anne, you know that crossing Queen Anne Ave N at Highland can be tricky. It’s one of the busiest pedestrian crossings on Queen Anne, and while there’s a crosswalk and flashing light, there’s no guarantee that traffic will stop for you when you step out into that crosswalk.
New pedestrian-activated lights installed at Highland crossing
Well, thanks to work by multiple community groups, including our own Queen Anne Greenways, crossing Queen Anne Ave N at Highland just got safer. Last week, SDOT installed a pedestrian activated signal at the intersection, and it should be activated any day.
Next up: let’s see if our local groups can get a 4-way stop at W McGraw St and 7th Ave W – it’s right near Coe Elementary. Also, how about getting the crosswalks repainted all over Queen Anne? Some are so faint, even pedestrians can’t see them!
If you support these ideas, or have some of your own, drop in on the next Queen Anne Greenways meeting on September 24th, 6:30-7:45pm at the Queen Anne Library. The group meets the 4th Tuesday of every month and it’s open to all!
Queen Anne Greenways is a group of neighborhood volunteers who work together to help make Queen Anne safer for all. If you bike, walk, or run on Queen Anne, then you have a vested interest in what this group is all about. And, it’s open to everyone, so if you have thoughts, opinions, or feedback to share, feel free to join in!
Then next Queen Anne Greenways meeting is this Tuesday, July 23, 6:30-7:45pm at the Queen Anne Library. The group will convene in the public meeting room (enter on 4th Ave W). On tap for this month’s agenda is a discussion of ideas for improving pedestrian safety in and around Queen Anne, and setting key goals for the future.
The group has a great mission that affects everyone on Queen Anne, so if you want to help shape the priorities or just volunteer for fun activities, stop in at Tuesday’s meeting!
The Queen Anne Greenways community group last met in late January, kicking off the group’s efforts for the year with new members and goals for 2013. The group is open to all, and it’s not too late to join in on the discussion about making our streets, sidewalks, and intersections more pedestrian-friendly.
Fifteen Queen Anne residents attended the January meeting, a great mix of residents with many volunteering to take on the all-important roles of political focal point, leader, secretary, and treasurer, as well as liaisons for the Uptown Alliance and Seattle Greenways. If you’re interested in taking on a leadership role or just voicing your thoughts and opinions, you’re welcome to join this week’s meeting as well as upcoming meetings on the 4th Tuesday of each month.
Key goals identified by the group for 2013 include:
Back in November, the initial meet-n-greet Queen Anne Greenways meetings were held to capture initial thoughts about pedestrian safety on Queen Anne. Now, it’s time to organize the group, and there’s a meeting at the Queen Anne Library on Tuesday to get things started – and everyone is welcome to attend and share your thoughts.
On tap is a discussion on how to set up the group and reach out to the Queen Anne community. If you’re interested in safer streets, whether through additional lighting, more (or re-painted) crosswalks, or new stop signs at critical intersections, then plan on joining the discussion on Tuesday.
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