Efforts to make Seattle neighborhoods that lack sidewalks safer are spreading.
Plans include adding speed bumps and other features designed to encourage drivers to use major thoroughfares instead of residential streets.
Nearly 30 percent of Seattle streets don’t have sidewalks, including in North Seattle, which is home to many older adults.
The dearth of walkways, combined with busy traffic, can be dangerous for residents of all ages, limiting outdoor activity.
But building concrete sidewalks is costly and it would take Seattle decades to do so in every neighborhood, according to Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, a grassroots nonprofit.
The organization—which won a $4,000 AARP Community Challenge grant in 2018—has begun a Home Zone Program pilot project in the Licton Springs neighborhood, north of Green Lake.
The goal is to reduce cut-through traffic with the use of elements like “pinch points,” where the road narrows to allow only one car to pass at a time.
Also looking for solutions, the Seattle City Council allocated $350,000 in its 2019-20 budget toward its own Home Zone program, which will build on the nonprofit’s ideas.
Learn more about the project at seattlegreenways.org.
—Dana E. Neuts
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