We just found out today that two grants that we put forth for the Neighborhood Park and Street Fund have been selected to move on to the next round of review and feasibility studies! Final award recommendations won’t be made until August, so we’ll have to keep our fingers crossed until then- but this is a hopeful and necessary first step. One proposal is for improved pedestrian access to the new Spraypark under construction now at Highland Park Playground. We proposed better connections north to Thistle, and East to Cloverdale. The second proposal is for an improved pedestrian connection to the Dog Park at Westcrest along Cloverdale, bringing pedestrians into the park where the new sidewalk will end around 7th ave. From here, we proposed a trail or trail stair that leads down to the dogpark, bringing people off the street and blind hill which has been a safety concerns of neighbors there for years. Hopefully Parks will see the need for these two projects to be implemented- thank you for your continued support and ideas.
A third grant, through the Neighborhood Street Funds, was selected to move forward in January, and we won’t hear anything more about until July or August. This one is for traffic and pedestrian improvements at the Highland Park Drive / Holden intersection. The entire intersection is oversized and amorphous: it is difficult for drivers to see oncoming traffic coming up the hill, to see where cars are meant to travel, where people are meant to cross, and which way to look for traffic before pulling out onto Highland Park Drive. The Holden/Highland Park Drive intersection is a notoriously frustrating intersection for people commuting out of West Seattle. It is so frustrating for some, that they cut through the neighborhood in an effort to beat the line of backed up traffic. This cut through traffic is usually traveling way too fast on the residential streets. A signal to help traffic flow and define pedestrian crossings would solve the problem. However, this could be an opportunity to create an amazing sense of place and a great gateway for the Highland Park neighborhood if this were to become Seattle’s first roundabout intersection. We’ll update as soon as we know anything, a lot of you have been asking us about this!