QA Greenways October 2016 Meeting

We had an informative meeting in the Aegis on Galer “Pike Market” meeting space.

Queen Anne Greenways

General Meeting Notes – October 25, 2016 

We invited Cathy Tuttle, the Executive and Founding Director of Seattle Neighborhood Greenways (SNG) to present to our group

  • SNG was started 5 years ago
  • Advocates for safe and comfortable streets for all ages, to walk or bike to where they need/want to go.
  • Project type – safe streets for pedestrian and bike that are outside main thoroughfares.
  • Organized through a coalition of local/neighborhood groups. There are 20 neighborhood Greenways.
    • Each neighborhood group brings projects to SNG to support through advocacy. QA Greenways brought the Uptown and SLU connection as a focus to SNG.
    • Organizing model is that each neighborhood group determines their priorities are. SNG supports with mapping, advocacy, advice, support.
  • Focus has expanded to include broader goals beyond just safe byways outside of major thoroughfares to include: signals, crosswalks, and accessible routes across major thoroughfares.

Notes on accomplishments:

  • One of SNG focuses/priorities was the speed limit change, 20mph/25mph for residential/arterial streets. This was a 3-year project.  Next is to now get $$ for engineering to support the 20mph.  Small projects that make big impact on safety (example:  crossing lights, curb bulbs)
  • In past 5 years SNG has influenced $30-40m street funding towards safe streets.
  • Of the 13th projects that were given NSF $ this year, 11 were neighborhood Greenway groups.
  • Bike Master Plan is slow in implementation by SDOT. SNG is advocating that signage happens soon, even if not ready to do road improvements

Questions for Cathy/SNG:

Negative perception of safety improvements interpreted as causing congestion, but doesn’t feel accurate.  Is it?

  • Of the 34 road ‘diets’ implemented and tracked – peak speeds are reduced but metro speed better, traffic flow has improved, injury dropped by ½.

What is Vision Zero?

  • Developed 30 yrs ago in Sweden
  • Streets should be designed for people to use safely so that no one is injured = zero.
  • City has bought into in theory but has not yet allocated $$.

There 20 groups, is the whole city covered or are there gaps?

  • Yes, there are gaps – Magnolia is one; West Seattle has only one group, but the area is too big for one group; Downtown should have one.
  • Cascade Bicycle club is becoming more of an advocacy and was looking at downtown, but now more focused on statewide
  • FeetFirst doesn’t really do advocacy

Strategic Plan?

  • Connected network of safe streets for people of all ages, incomes to get around.
  • We are looking at adding “streets as place”, not just as corridors

What has QA Greenways proposed as our lead projects to SNG?

  • Mark O attends core meetings (monthly, on the 23rd) and communicates these to SNG.
  • QA Greenways need to determine our key projects for 2017.

Available Grants and Events to keep in mind:

  • Laurie Ames reminds us to keep in mind the Neighborhood Matching Fund – including Small Sparks for up to $1000- applications year-round.
  • Safe-routes to School – mini-grant (up to $1000) Paperwork is easy. Need to get school principle support (end April+ end Oct). SNG has lots of ideas of what we can do. Up to $1000.
  • Plan a “Night Out” with a Small Sparks grant – apply by July 1
  • Plan a Parking Day parklet – Sept event

Neighborhood Street Fund update/discussion

  • Queen Anne did not get any applications approved.
  • Discussion – grants rewarded to communities where inclusion (race and social justice), equity are redressed and where there is density.
    • Generally grants appear to address terrible situations in need of improvement. Ours were, maybe, more “nice to have”.
  • We learned a lot from the application process
  • We need to think how our proposals serve citywide needs.
  • Next opportunity will be in three years – 2019.

Play Street meeting for next year

  • Proposed that Shaun and Juliette to run the planning for next year’s Play Street.
  • Considering applying for a Festival Street to make it easier to put on many Play Streets per year. Application needs to be approved by the District Council, the status of which is still unknown.
  • Michael has information about complaint(s) expressed to the QA Farmer’s Market about the Play street. Requires follow-up with Ms College (president of Farmer’s Market board) and market director, Brittany Ryan.

Upper/Lower loops defining

  • Plan to initiate community involvement in designating loops and access at the next General Meeting.
  • Consider inviting Bill’s Magnolia contact, who is working on a bike trail access from the waterfront, to this meeting.
  • TO DO – follow up with Cathy to get big laminated map (Juliette).

Queen Anne Elementary and use of the Boulevard

  • Buses are loading/unloading 8 buses delivering 4 doz students from various parts of the city.
  • There is concern that this use compromises the Boulevard’s park-like quality and adversely affects bike/pedestrian safety.
  • Bus zone was put on the Boulevard without parks approval.
  • Alternatives: Boston or 4th

Next General Meeting:  January 24th.