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.
Another signal change in Ballard. As reported by My Ballard, a new traffic signal will be installed at 28th Ave NW and NW Market St.
The signal currently regulates pedestrians crossing NW Market St. New signals will be added to turn this intersection to a standard intersection with 4-way traffic lights and crosswalks. Head over to My Ballard to see a diagram of the changes.
After an 8 month experiment, New York has decided to keep Broadway closed to vehicle traffic in Times Square. From what I’ve heard, the changes were very well received by pedestrians.
Seattle is planning its own version of this by closing part of Westlake to vehicle traffic in order to create Westlake Plaza, as we posted about before. Westlake Plaza won’t quite be Times Square, but the project offers a similar type of enhancement to a public space, so it will be exciting to see the project develop.
The city is in the process of developing an outdoor plaza near Westlake Ave & Stewart St.
View Westlake Streetcar Plaza in a larger map
The Seattle Transit Blog covered an open house event last week:
SDOT hosted an open house for the Westlake Streetcar Plaza last Wednesday. (For background, Adam covered the project in great detail last year.) The open house presented the project at the 60% design stage and took public comments. From this point SDOT will move towards finalizing the design and implementing the project. If you want to make a comment, do it as soon as possible. Construction is planned to begin this July and finish this November.
The enlarged plaza area should be friendly to foot traffic and will have connections for a food vendor.
My Ballard reports changes are coming to the intersection of 15th Ave & Leary Way.
View Larger Map
These are vehicle-oriented improvements, mostly, but there are a few things that pedestrians will welcome. For example, the traffic signal heads will be replaced (presumably the walk/don’t walk signals will be replaced with graphical pedestrian signals that count down). Also, there will be new sidewalk ramps.
However, there’s another change that may not be universally welcome – the addition of pedestrian push buttons. Whereas the pedestrian signals currently change automatically, in the future you may have to push a button to get a walk signal. So, this means that if you don’t push the button before the light turns green for cars, you’ll have to cross when the pedestrian signal says don’t walk, or you’ll have to wait through the whole light cycle until the light turns green again. Work is expected to be complete on February 19.