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


2 Responses to “Sidewalks for Ravenna Ave”

  • I have lived on this street since I moved into a new home close to the roadway in 1985. I’ve never had a problem walking along the roadway on the westside from 86th to Dahl Field or walking north to Lake City Way. The major problem has been neglect of the street and drainage by the city in this wetland. When changes have been made homes removed, homes added and more impermeable footprint added the underground streams go over the road sometimes freezing risking accident on this arterial which is extremely busy sometimes. Large trucks and frequent buses crumble the road. During rainy times the stream (Willow Creek part of Thornton Creek) which runs behind my house and in front of others on the West side overtops its banks and has flooded houses on the low side of the creek, sometimes runoff from Ravenna run downhill and have entered my first floor. Large trees in front of my house and others on Ravenna soak up much of the water that would otherwise flood my home. If these trees are removed and replaced with saplings to make room for a sidewalk the street will become ugly and precipitation will flood Willow creek and my house (unacceptable). At my own expense $12,000 (with a couple thousand from neighbors) (and I’m on a very limited fixed income), I’ve made my own drainage improvements (the city does not get involved with this even tho it periodically causes problems by permitting changes). My improvements will be overwhelmed by the loss of the very large and small trees on the planting strip (and this will be repeated along the project as vegetation is replaced with ugly concrete). Many people have lived in this neighborhood all their lives and love the beauty of the country-like roadway with all the greenery 3 seasons a year. Several times the trees have stopped speeding cars from crashing into cars in front of my house and my house itself. I am so close to the roadway, the trees have provided not only water mitigation, and protection, but also air conditioning and bird and other animal habitat. We humans here are living in a sensitive wetland part of the Thornton Creek wetland and have reached a gentle accommodation with this environment. I and others have reminded the city of the wetland when they were about to permit, draining of wetland lots, which they did not do because the project was against environmental rules, and also building of houses which were starting to cause water to pool on the roadway again, which project was also halted. At great expense, for many years, I’ve adjusted to the city’s inability to deal with drainage now the city wants to destroy what makes it worthwhile to live here, the trees and planting strip and my driveway. Others who now think they like this project in this area may regret the loss of beauty. Why not put the sidewalk across the street where the right of way is wider and on the West side where it is wider and use wellmarked crosswalks for the walkers, also something should be done since it is a rapid arterial to stop traffic, stop signs or stop lights in two more places would help. It is the country appearance of this road which has made it so appealing to people, the loss of this aspect will bring down my home value. As a neighbor now long gone once said, “These trees are all we’ve got.” The city needs to get a true EPA or state wetland evaluation of this street. It may be that improving the drainage and keeping the busy street pavement in good condition would be the best thing to do. May be just widening the next paving job a foot on each side, and adding a narrow walking path sensitive to the environment. It’s already ugly where vegetation has been removed on the Westside where Ravenna runs into Lake City Way. All these little wilderness spots should be preserved. The lots at 86th and Ravenna on the SW side where we have a swampy area, very important. Do you realize how ugly is the Thornton Creek project at Northgate, a concrete wonderland, what environment did these planners come from.

  • I’ve gone ahead and bookmarked at so my friends can see it too. I simply used Sidewalks for Ravenna Ave Walking in Seattle as the entry title in my bookmark, as I figured if it is good enough for you to title your blog post that, then you probably would like to see it bookmarked the same way.

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