Greenways Organizers Kick Off the New Year with a Meet Up
This post was submitted by Alexa Heidrich. Alexa grew up in Corvallis, lived in Portland, and studied abroad in Australia before she landed in Seattle. She will be a regular contributor to the blog.
The Seattle Neighborhood Greenways continues to build steam and connect neighborhoods through community advocacy and action. This meeting in Beacon Hill started with an introduction by Dylan Ahearn, and segued to updates from Madison, Phinney, Wallingford, Ballard and Delridge neighborhoods. Bob Edminston was fresh from presenting at Monday night’s Madison Park Neighborhood Council meeting, which resulted in the addition of new members for the Madison Park Greenways group!
Next up was Sally Bagshaw, who began with updated information about the RFQ for the upcoming Seattle Bike Master Plan update. She was able to intone City support for Seattle Greenways and improved bicycle facilities, which will be detailed in a press release coming soon from Cathy Tuttle of Seattle Greenways Wallingford.
Keynote speaker Blake Trask, statewide policy director of Washington Bikes, began his Next Steps presentation which provided the historical context of biking in Seattle, gave his comments about the current Seattle Bike Master Plan, and the importance of Greenways in the overall improvement of biking in Seattle. He emphasized that additional measures included emerging best practices of bike facilities which continue to evolve with international and national examples, such as better intersections, improved signals, and better data collection and analysis. It will be important to advocate for all of these improved facilities to comprehensively connect the neighborhoods of Seattle. Blake concluded with some observations about the release of the Governor’s proposed transportation package urging state residents to continue to highlight to their elected officials the importance of bicycling and walking as affordable, healthy, and safe choices for our state’s transportation system (outside of funding for local transportation funding, the Governor’s proposal did not mention funding for bicycle or pedestrian projects).
Blake provided information about the opportunity to show support at the state level on Transportation Advocacy Day on January 31st in Olympia, in addition to emphasizing continued advocacy and community driven efforts to effect real change in the neighborhoods of Seattle. Blake voiced concerns about fiscal support from the State in the near future, but encouraged a long-term approach that would build on the gains made by groups like Seattle Neighborhood Greenways in the short-term.
Overall the members and attendees of the meeting left with a better understanding of the resources available, which included a number of City grants and a generous amount of support and knowledge for groups new to the process. For more information about Seattle Greenways and community grants available for neighborhood bicycle and pedestrian improvements please contact Cathy Tuttle at Cathy.Tuttle@gmail.com.
This article was posted in Advocacy
, Complete Streets
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