Tuesday, December 3, 2013

News from a Greenways supporter

Hello Central Seattle Greenways supporters,

I want to update you all on exciting and important news about greenways for the Central District and Capitol Hill. 

Firstly, SDOT has secured funding for two greenways in our neighborhoods! The top candidates are the "23rd corridor greenway" which you may have heard about at the open house, and our priority "ridge route" that is already a popular way for people to walk and bike along the ridge of the CD/Capitol Hill. That's a lot of funding for safe and comfortable streets in our neighborhoods! 

This is a really exciting and important time to get involved. We really need all hands on deck for the next few months to make the most of this opportunity. Come to the restaurant area at Central Cinema Thursday December 5th at 6:15 PM to get involved. If you can't make it but still want to help please be in touch. 

How you can help
  1. Make introductions to local groups, organizations, churches, councils etc. SDOT will be able to make some presentations to these groups, and we may end up partnering with SDOT for these conversations or conducting some of our own outreach. 
  2. Help us host smaller neighborhood meetings: SDOT is planning to host another mega meeting, but it would be wise for us to host a few smaller meetings in Capitol Hill and the Central District. This is something I hope to discuss further next week - come with your ideas!
  3. Spread the word: Do you know someone who is interested in getting involved? Bring them next Thursday to our meeting! We will also need your help spreading the word about other upcoming events and talking to the public about what greenways are (hint: think traffic calmed streets with safe intersections)

More information:

SDOT has just sent us their draft timeline 
  1. December-January: SDOT is planning on doing outreach to various groups, organizations, councils, etc.
  2. Early 2014: SDOT is planning to host another large public meeting to talk about neighborhood greenways. 
  3. Assuming all goes well with public discussions, construction could be as early as summer of 2014.
So SDOT has it all under control and our job is done right? Not exactly...

If you went to the last public meeting on the 23rd corridor or have read commentary about it since, you know that it did more damage than good - to put it lightly. Now it looks like they are getting ready for a repeat mega meeting in early 2014. Central/Montlake/Madison leaders are working to convince SDOT to avoid another self inflicted wound, and break up these conversations into more manageable neighborhood conversations that can better talk about the needs of each neighborhood and serve to build community. We will have updates about this next Thursday. Regardless of the outcome, Montlake and Madison Greenways leaders are moving forward on their own to host smaller neighborhood gathering to talk about safe streets and neighborhood greenways. This is something I think would be valuable for us to emulate. 

Have a great Thanksgiving. 


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