One of North Seattle’s Keep Moving Streets is set to reopen to traffic this fall.
W Green Lake Way N was closed last year as part of the City’s Keep Moving Streets program, designed to create more outdoor recreation opportunities for neighborhoods. However, nearby residents and local leaders have been advocating that it reopen to traffic.
A Green Lake resident started a petition on Change.org to request that W Green Lake Way reopen, and has so far gathered over 5,000 signatures.
“The closure of Green Lake Way has caused incredible hardship for many thousands of residents as Green Lake Way N is a major thoroughfare for the community,” petition creator Shana Kelly wrote. She cites several problems with the closure, from increased traffic to reduced parking and a downturn in customers for local businesses near the west side of Green Lake.
Since late last year, District 6 Councilmember Dan Strauss has also been requesting that SDOT and the Seattle Parks Department reopen the road to two-way traffic and install a two-way protected bike lane on W Green Lake Way.
In his recent newsletter, Strauss said that SDOT has found the street to be wide enough to accommodate both a two-way walking/biking path and two-way vehicle traffic at reduced speeds.
“SDOT is aware of increasing calls from some neighbors to reopen the street to vehicle traffic as COVID restrictions are lifted and activities such as sports, boating events, and summer camps return to the parks and will look for opportunities to accelerate the schedule if possible,” Strauss wrote.
SDOT has announced they will be making the change this fall, and that beyond returning traffic lanes to W Green Lake Way, they want to, “discuss creative solutions for making the street less of a divider between Woodland and Green Lake parks.
“We have a rare opportunity to build on the Keep Moving Street and reimagine how W Green Lake Way N can serve multiple functions,” SDOT shared on their Stay Healthy Streets project website. “We’ll seek community input on how to improve connections between the parks by keeping speeds calm and including possible solutions like more crosswalks, additional walking improvements, decreasing the speed limit to 20 MPH, and temporary changes in street operations to encourage community use and celebrations.”
The City has also just finished up a major project to install new bike lanes and improve intersections across Green Lake and Wallingford, and they’re in the midst of a week-long scavenger hunt to celebrate the project completion.
The traffic improvement project has been ongoing for two years; along with new bike lanes and intersection improvements around Green Lake, SDOT has also installed flashing pedestrian beacons at the intersection of N 40th St and Bagley Ave N. The project was funded by the Levy to Move Seattle.
The celebration started last weekend with an inaugural bike ride around Green Lake. SDOT has also created a scavenger hunt to encourage folks to try out the new bike lanes around Green Lake. To join, complete any of the scavenger hunt activities below (riding along E Green Lake Way, visiting the new intersection at E Green Lake Drive, NE Ravenna Blvd, and NE 71st St). If you post a photo of yourself doing one of the activities and share it with the hashtag #GreenLakeScavenger, you can enter to win a gift card from a local participating business.
For more information, visit SDOT’s project website.
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