Melrose Avenue East runs along the western edge of Capitol Hill, and though it provides some of the best views in the city of the Olympic Mountains, the street itself is unwelcoming and often the site of robberies and other crime. A greenway at its north end that should be a perfect place to sit and watch the boats on Lake Union is overgrown and isolated from the rest of the neighborhood.
A group of neighbors has been working since 2010 to transform the street into an inviting promenade that will serve as Capitol Hill’s “front porch”, proposing wider sidewalks, benches, trees and new landscaping (including creation of Bellevue Place Park north of Roy Street), and public art. Aided by a $20,000 Neighborhood Matching Fund grant from the City of Seattle, the Melrose Promenade planning group released a Visioning Project Report in September 2013, outlining the group’s proposed design for the corridor. The planning process took a big step forward this October, as the City announced it would incorporate the promenade project in its citywide network of greenways, and set a project completion date for 2017.
While this is a major victory for the community members who have been working to see this project through, they still need public support, and there will be an extensive public engagement process throughout the planning stage in 2015. So, keep up to date on the project’s website, and if you would like to help fund the project you can do so through the Seattle Parks Foundation.