October 1, 2015
Rainier Avenue South was the most dangerous street in Seattle, tearing apart many families, keeping people from walking in their neighborhood to visit friends, families, schools, and businesses.
It was a hazardous barrier, physically dividing the Rainier Valley community.
With one crash every day causing 630 injuries and two fatalities in the last three years, the need was clear, but fear of community pushback kept the politicians and the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) from acting boldly.
Seattle Neighborhood Greenways provided the expertise to help Rainier Valley Greenways build a powerful campaign to make bold change not only possible, but inevitable.
This grassroots campaign involved 21 different tactics such posting a giant hand-painted “Get Well Soon Rainier Ave” card on a local business that had been plowed into by a car, framing the conversation in the media around the human toll of the road rather than the fear of change, and hosting a Day of Action crosswalk protest.
Rainier Valley Greenways’ hard work paid off, and community members and leaders showed up in force to support safety improvements. The first segment of Rainier Ave S received a safety redesign in August with more miles to come within the next year.
Rainier Valley Greenways members look forward to the day when a safer Rainier Ave S will help unify the neighborhood, and people of all ages and abilities will feel comfortable walking across the street.
What we have accomplished for Rainier Ave S is an outstanding example of the impact our coalition of neighborhood groups is having all across Seattle, to make the city more inviting for people to walk and bike.
Read more about all Seattle Neighborhood Greenways successful campaigns in 2015.