As one of the main arterials for car traffic that runs the length of the eastern edge of Capitol Hill and through the Central District, 23rd Avenue is not the most welcoming street for pedestrians or cyclists. But the Seattle Department of Transportation is hoping to give residents and commuters a calmer, safer north-south route by creating a greenway parallel to 23rd that will stretch from Roanoke Park at the north end to Rainier Avenue at the south end. The 23rd Avenue Corridor Improvements Project will bring a redesign of the street, but it will not include a dedicated bike lane, so the greenway will provide a much-needed lower speed limit alternative to the heavily trafficked 23rd. The final route will most likely follow both 21st and 25th avenues, and could include features such as new pavement markings; improved pedestrian and cyclist crossings; new signage; and traffic features such as flashing beacons, islands and speed bumps.
The project is being carried out in three phases, with phase 1 covering East John to South Jackson, phase 2 covering South Jackson to Rainier Avenue South, and phase 3 covering East Roanoke to East John. The design for phase 1 has been finalized, but SDOT is looking for neighbors’ input on the proposed routes for phases 2 and 3, and is hosting two drop-in planning sessions next week. The session for phase 2 will be held on Tuesday, July 15 at the St. Mary’s Church school house (611 20th Ave. S) from 4:30-7:00 p.m., and the session for phase 3 will take place on Thursday, July 17 at Miller Community Center (330 19th Ave. E) from 4:00-6:30 p.m.
There are six existing greenways in the city, six more set for implementation in 2014, and eight in the planning stages that will add up to 17.9 miles toward the city’s ultimate goal of 250 miles of connected greenways. When it is complete, the 23rd Avenue greenway will be one of the longest in the city at 3.9 miles. Visit the Seattle greenways site for more info on all of the projects, and don’t forget to attend one or both of the meetings next week to give SDOT your feedback!