Tag Archive for 'Maple Leaf'

SDOT re-opens stairway

The stairway that was closed at 20th Ave NE & 98th St due to erosion has been re-opened. This stairway is commonly used by students at Sacajawea Elementary, so SDOT has temporarily fixed the stairway until a permanent repair can be done in the summer. Visit Maple Leaf Life for more info and photos.

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Mayor asked about pedestrian issues in Maple Leaf

Mayor Mike McGinn joined residents in a walk through Maple Leaf, passing by Thornton Creek and area parks. The walk ended with a question and answer session, which addressed some pedestrian concerns, according to Maple Leaf Life:

Many of those attending were interested in pedestrian safety and the lack of sidewalks in much of Maple Leaf and Northgate. There were complaints about lack of walkability along Northeast Northgate Way and Roosevelt Avenue Northeast, and at the intersection of Northgate and Eighth Avenue Northeast.

“We’re seeing a desire by many people to live in a more walkable area,” McGinn acknowledged. “We should be prioritizing pedestrian projects. “

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Asphalt sidewalk / parking strip on 15th

Last month we posted about a new asphalt sidewalk on 15th Ave between 94th St and 97th St. This type of walkway isn’t as good as a standard concrete sidewalk, but it was an improvement that the community requested. According to SDOT spokesperson Rick Sheridan:

Seattle has approximately 12,000 street block faces that lack sidewalks. The number of blocks lacking sidewalks far exceeds the resources available to build them and SDOT only has funding to build approximately 10 to 20 block face equivalents per year.

SDOT looks for ways to maximize the impact of our funds by using less expensive construction materials like asphalt. It is not only less costly, but also can be placed faster than concrete, helping stretch our dollars further.

On 15th Ave NE between NE 94th and NE 97th streets, SDOT addressed the neighborhood’s desire to improve pedestrian accessibility and upgrade drainage infrastructure. We did so with a modest budget by utilizing asphalt for the walkway, and replacing and covering an old drainage culvert. SDOT also separated the roadway from the sidewalk with a landscaping strip, which will deter parking and improve the pedestrian walking environment.

Despite the best intentions, though, you still see problems like this:

Asphalt sidewalk used for parking

Vehicle parked on asphalt sidewalk

SDOT has not provided figures for the cost of an asphalt sidewalk, but construction costs for a standard concrete sidewalk can range from $40,000 to $300,000 per block. It’s likely that the asphalt sidewalk here cost less than half of what a concrete sidewalk would cost.

With so many sidewalks yet to be paved, lower cost installations mean more sidewalks get built faster. But would it be better not to spend anything than to spend on an asphalt sidewalk / parking strip? Is the new sidewalk better than what was there before, or is it a waste of funds?

What do you think?

Are asphalt sidewalks OK with you?

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New crosswalks this fall

Five new crosswalks are being installed this fall by SDOT including the new crosswalk in Phinney Ridge that we linked to a few weeks ago.

SDOT crews are preparing to mark three new crosswalks on Roosevelt Way NE between NE 90th Street and NE 97th Street. These new crossing will improve pedestrian mobility between the shops, restaurants, and transit stops in this neighborhood commercial area. The new crosswalks will be installed on Roosevelt Way NE at NE 90th Street, NE 92nd Street, and NE 97th Street.

Another marked crossing will soon be installed at the intersection of Hillside Drive E and Lake Washington Boulevard E in the Denny-Blaine neighborhood. This crossing will enhance Lakeview Park which is bisected by Lake Washington Boulevard. The new crossing will link the forested trails on the west side of the street with the sweeping Lake Washington and Cascade Mountain Range views on the east.

All five of these new crosswalks have one thing in common – they were requested by residents. Do you know a great location that should be considered for a new marked crosswalk? If so, drop us a line at walkandbike@seattle.gov and we’ll check it out.

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New crosswalks to be added in Maple Leaf

Maple Leaf will be receiving three new crosswalks this year. Two crosswalks had already been approved by SDOT and another one was recently approved after additional study.


View Maple Leaf Crosswalks in a larger map

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Sidewalks for Ravenna Ave

Maple Leaf Life reports on some big changes to Ravenna Ave (hat tip to reader Nick):

A big announcement last night is setting up about $1 million worth of changes on Ravenna Ave between NE 85th and Lake City Way. That area is one of the projects selected to be paid for with the Large Neighborhood Street Fund. Many neighbors have complained about the lack of a sidewalk. This project will widen the roadway on the west side of the street to allow for a bike lane as well as a curb, planting strip and sidewalk. You can read more here.


View Ravenna Ave sidewalk construction in a larger map

This section of Ravenna Ave currently has no sidewalks and there had been some sidewalk construction in the area that was forcing pedestrians into the roadway. It sounds like there are quite a few problems with that stretch of roadway:

This is the only section of the major Montlake/25th Ave NE/Ravenna Ave NE north/south arterial that does not have a sidewalk. This affects the area socio-economically, cutting it off from safe access to the many public facilities available just south of 85th. There is no safe access to the 8 bus stops located on this stretch of road. Disabled access is completely unavailable. The nearby elementary schools cannot be accessed by foot and it is a bussing nightmare for the school transportation dispatch due to the high traffic and lack of safe pick-up/drop-offs for elementary aged children. At 83rd on this arterial is Dahl Field, Beth Ann Temple, University Prep, Wedgewood Pool and assess to Wedgwood Elementary school. Walking down to 85th where the sidewalk begins is simply unsafe. Because of the geographic area, this sidewalk will involve innovative drainage solutions. A plan is our major step towards linking this section of the community back in with others.

Ravenna Ave without sidewalks

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New 97th St stairs open in Maple Leaf

Maple Leaf Life reports that pedestrians can continue along 97th Street between 19th and 20th Aves along a new stairway.


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15th Ave NE Bridge closure

The 15th Ave NE bridge over Thornton Creek near 105th St will be closed for the next 11 months for repair and pedestrian improvements.


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For anyone trying to walk across the bridge, the closest crossing is along Roosevelt Way, which is parallel to 15th and about a 5 minute walk west. This area has a walkscore of 78, so the bridge may likely be frequented by people who live in the area. However, the inconvenience to these pedestrians is not without benefit, as when the bridge re-opens, there will be a railing to separate vehicle traffic from the sidewalk.

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