UPDATE 2/10/21 — City staff has reached out to CSB and informed us that they will be shifting engineering priority to NE 8th St, with the engineering study for 116th Ave NE proceeding at a later (but currently undisclosed) date. Therefore, this event has been cancelled, but it will be replaced by similar events for NE 8th St at the beginning of March. We’ll publish more information soon.
Throughout its history, Bellevue has made conscious choices to prioritize vehicular traffic over the safety and comfort of other more vulnerable road users. However, recent budget proposals and action by city leaders have shown promising momentum towards making our streets safer for all ages, abilities, and modes. Complete Streets Bellevue is excited to advance this momentum forward by announcing our first Community Walking Audit on 116th Ave NE!
Although fancy-sounding, a walking audit is simply an opportunity for community members to walk or roll along a street and note places that feel unsafe, uncomfortable, or that could be changed to improve the pedestrian experience. Community members can walk together, share their experiences of getting around in the neighborhood, and learn what conditions create a dangerous pedestrian experience.
The audit will be held on Saturday, February 20th from 3 – 5 pm. Our group will meet at the NE corner of the intersection of 116th Ave NE & NE 4th St – immediately adjacent to the REI and Trader Joe’s. This location will be an apt backdrop to an introductory discussion on walkability — with new developments nearby & access to Downtown, this intersection will be the site of much pedestrian activity as the Wilburton neighborhood continues to grow.
Once we’ve had introductions and discussion, we’ll proceed on a 2 mile walk along the road to test the experience ourselves. Do you feel a sidewalk is too narrow or too close to cars to be safe? A crosswalk not give enough time to cross the road? Don’t feel seen by turning cars? These are all things that we can record while we walk and envision the Wilburton of a few years from now – a pedestrian-oriented neighborhood that provides access to light rail, businesses, workplaces, and greenspaces.
This feedback isn’t just going to be noted by the city and forgotten – after the walk, a core team of CSB volunteers will collate the data we gather into a small report that will be incorporated into a larger engineering study of the corridor! The city has hired an engineering firm to analyze the road and suggest improvements that can be easily implemented with the new Vision Zero funding city leaders approved in December. Because this endeavor will have the combined resources of community support, financial resources, staff time, and a concrete timeline, our group is confident that our impact will lead to tangible & meaningful changes to improve safety on this corridor.
Interested in attending the event? Please RSVP here so that we know to expect you – masks are required for participation! Unable to attend but still want to share feedback? Be on the lookout for an online engagement survey we’ll be sharing soon – we understand not everybody may be able to take time or be able to walk with us, but we want to provide as many opportunities as possible to have your voice heard.
For questions, comments, or media inquiries, please email Chris Randels at firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to see you join us!