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What streets are best for a bike-safe corridor from the CD to Capitol Hill to Montlake?

Greenway alternatives

Greenway alternatives

Don’t spend too much time dwelling on the election. There’s progress to be made no matter who is in office. Wednesday on Capitol HIll, city planners will meet with the community to talk about a fantastic opportunity to overhaul a major connection between the Central District, eastern Capitol Hill and Montlake. Here’s what Seattle Bike Blog has to say about the process to plan a $46 million overhaul of 23rd Ave including a proposed greenway system for bicyclists and walkers to travel across the area:

A neighborhood greenway is simply not a replacement or alternative to building safe bike lanes on commercial streets. These commercial streets should be places that bring neighbors together, not walls that split a neighborhood in half. People should be able to walk and bike safely from their homes to the doors of neighborhood restaurants and cultural centers. A neighborhood greenway might get you a block or two away, but that’s a block or two short of the goal.

So yes, let’s build a great neighborhood greenway (or two) in the Central District. But let’s also keep working to make sure investments in the city’s planned remake of 23rd Avenue put neighbors first.

Wednesday’s meeting will focus on potential paths (seen on the map above) for routes parallel to 23rd Ave where a bike friendly greenway could be implemented.

23rdGreen_logoYou’re Invited!

The city is seeking input on where the 23rd Avenue Corridor greenway should be constructed. Please join us at a community open house to discuss the route and some of the features it will include. Be a part of creating a great greenway for all!

Community Open House
Wednesday, November 6
5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Nova High School auditorium
300 20th Avenue East

To request an interpreter, please call (206) 733-9990.

You can also provide feedback to planner

Potential features of the greenway include:

  • Pavement markings and signage to alert motorists  to expect people bicycling

  • Improved crosswalks and ADA curb ramps to make pedestrian mobility easier

  • Way-finding to provide guidance along the route, letting people know where the greenway goes and what’s nearby, like parks, schools and business districts

  • Median islands, traffic circles, curb bulbs and speed humps to help reduce vehicle speeds and discourage drivers from avoiding arterials by cutting through on neighborhood streets

  • New signage to control traffic crossing the greenway and make crossings easier for pedestrians and bicyclists

Another potential route not currently on the City’s drawing board could utilize 19th Ave to connect the greenway to Capitol Hill’s Interlaken Park to also help calm the increasingly busy street. You’ll have to speak up loudly to get that idea to go anywhere, however, and, sorry neighbors, speed humps on 19th are probably out of the question.

One group likely to be rallying around the 23rd Ave initiatives is the newly formed Miller Park Neighbors. CHS reported this spring on a group of neighbors living along Capitol Hill’s eastern edge working together to plan a new “Not NIMBY but neighborhood” community council for the area. On Monday, that group will hold its first meeting:

The “Miller Park Neighbors” group is coming to life! The inaugural meeting will be at 7PM on Monday, November 11th at the home of Tamara Broadhead, 310 21st Avenue East, garage entrance (street level).

• A small group of us agreed this Spring to start a new neighborhood group, which we named “Miller Park Neighbors”, to represent our collective assorted concerns and interests.
• Our borders will be (roughly) Madison to Aloha and 19th to 23rd.
• Our initial interests will include Meany School renovations and the 23rd Avenue Greenway, and will surely include traffic and parking!
• The long-dormant “Miller Park Neighborhood Association” will be officially put to bed
• Note also 23rd Avenue Corridor Neighborhood Greenway,  Nov. 6th Open House:

To keep updated on what we’re up to, you can visit the blog (, and/or join our listserv to receive meeting announcements and other urgent messages.

To join the listserv send an E-mail to:

and act on the instructions in the E-mail you receive. Your E-mail address will not be displayed in any messages we send to you and other interested neighbors, nor will it be shared with others.

Planning for the bike and greenway component is part of the 23rd Ave Complete Street initiative being pursued by SDOT:Screen Shot 2013-11-05 at 12.48.30 PM

Supporting Multi-Modal Improvements to the 23rd Avenue Corridor: The 2014 Proposed Budget allocates $2.9 million of Real Estate Excise Tax and state grant funding to support improvements to the 23rd Avenue Corridor. This investment supplements an additional $13.8 million in other funding sources supporting the project. A vital multi-modal corridor, 23rd Avenue connects much of southeast and central Seattle with Capitol Hill, the University District, and other northeast Seattle neighborhoods. In response to community feedback, SDOT will change the street from four lanes to three lanes between East John Street and Rainier Avenue South and develop a parallel greenway route for bicyclists.
The three-lane design allows for substantial pedestrian improvements by reconstructing sidewalks and reducing the curb-to-curb width by eight feet in most places. It also allows SDOT to adjust the traffic lanes to conform to lane- width standards, as opposed to the narrow lanes existing today. SDOT will reconstruct pavement and upgrade signals to meet transit signal priority needs and accommodate ITS features, such as travel time information.

With state Bridging the Gap funding pushing the budget above $46 million, the project is now being planned to change the corridor from Rainier to 520 by transitioning 23rd Ave’s four pinched lanes into a new three-lane layout south of John. Meanwhile, the entirety of the route is planned to be repaved and enhanced to improve traffic flow from the south of the CD to Montlake and 520. Oh, and, yeah, Seattle Bike Blog, god bless its hard-pedaling little soul, wants bike lanes on 23rd Ave, too.

The City is pushing for the first phase of the greenway between Jackson and John to be completed by the end of 2014.

An SDOT presentation on the project is below.

FINAL_June2013_23AveCorridor_WebUpdate.pdf by Chs Blog

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[…] you haven’t already heard, SDOT is planning to create a 23rd avenue corridor greenway as part of the $46 million 23rd Ave E […]

7 years ago

Using either 22nd or 21st as a bike-friendly “greenway” is going to be a real challenge. For one, these are some of the oldest residential thoroughfares in the city, dating back to the late 1800’s and were never originally designed for much more than horse-and-buggy traffic. The streets are very narrow at-best, and further congested by the fact that residents (most of whom do not have garages, let alone driveways on their properties) use both sides of the street for parking, leaving only a very narrow center lane for traffic.

And even this is problematic, as many drivers use 22nd in particular as a “short-cut” to avoiding the lights at 23rd & E. Union & 23rd & E. Cherry, so frequently two-way traffic creates blockages and bottlenecks (it gets so bad that most residents are forced to park partly on the curb in order to create enough lane-space to not be constantly side-swiped by passing vehicles that frequently greatly exceed the speed limit). Eliminating parking, even on one side of the street, in order to eke out additional lane space to provide grade-separation for bikes and cars, will leave scores of residents with no place to park. And regardless, additional traffic calming (berms or speed bumps) is going to be a necessity in order to slow vehicular traffic to a speed that will make it safe for mixed car/bike travel along the route, as well as to protect parked vehicles.

7 years ago
Reply to  COMTE

how about maintaining and repaving 23rd and 24th avenues for starters so even cars have well maintained streets to drive on.

7 years ago

This will be great for my street but if you not on my street (22nd) not so much… Traffic is like a balloon; push it in on one side and it will just spill over to another area.