University Greenways and NE Greenways teamed up for the September 19th PARK(ing) Day to create a successful pilot of a safer street, bridge, and corridor for people who walk, bike, and drive. The design was so well-produced that Seattle City Traffic Engineer Dongho Chang and SDOT Director Scott Kubly blogged about it and vowed to explore the design for future implementation.
NE Greenways leader Andres Salomon enlisted help from multiple Greenways groups and friends. Ballard Greenways and Madison Park Greenways got curb ramps donated from a construction site, Jackson Commons and Franz Bakery provided the homemade cornstarch paint that had also been used for a giant Hopscotch game in Jackson Park (Cascade Bicycle Club used the same recipe, but dyed green — for their pop-up protected bike lane on 9th Ave), UW Transportation loaned orange cones, and SDOT approved.
Andres, Mika, Sage, Max, Sander, Jeff, and Kristin worked through the night to paint the temporary bike lanes and curb bulbs (finishing up at 2am!). Various folks from different groups helped staff the event throughout the day, including Jeff who went out of his way to help remind drivers to yield to people crossing 15th Ave NE. Volunteers brought coffee, snacks, books, greenery, chairs, tables, and even a rug, while Convoy Coffee brought a self-contained bike trailer with heat, water, & all manner of drink.
This project used protected bike lanes to slow down cars and provide a comfortable space for people on bikes. Curb ramps and curb bulbs were used to help people cross a wide, busy intersection. An unused street (a “slip lane”) was closed and temporarily returned back to the community.
It’s not too soon to be thinking about PARK(ing) Day 2015. By using some inexpensive or donated materials, a community can completely change the feel of a normally dangerous street for a day. How can YOUR neighborhood group collaborate on ideas that are fun for the day and perhaps model how streets can be improved in the future?
More photos (click to enlarge):