Recently, Complete Streets Bellevue announced that city staff had reached out to our organization to facilitate community outreach for road safety improvements in Bellevue. As part of the Vision Zero Rapid Build budget item, staff were originally intending to evaluate 116th Ave NE through both an engineering study and a community outreach event that CSB had scheduled for this Saturday. However, staff informed us last week that they were shifting focus from 116th Ave NE to NE 8th St – meaning we had to change our plans.
We’re happy to announce that Complete Streets Bellevue will be hosting 3 (count ’em, three!) walking audits on NE 8th St between Monday, March 8th and Saturday, March 13th.
The city is analyzing NE 8th St between 140th Ave NE and 164th Ave NE, which is a longer road segment than what was planned for our original event. Therefore, we’ve decided to split the corridor into smaller & shorter walks over multiple days to help make participation easier. To help us ground our discussions in day-to-day experiences of people navigating the neighborhood outside of a car, we’ve also assigned a particular theme to each walk. Each route & theme is presented in detail below.
The first walk will meet on Monday, March 8th from 6:00 – 7:00 pm. With this event, we’ll be putting ourselves in the shoes of a nearby resident who is accessing all the nearby medical services – picking up prescriptions, visiting the doctor, buying vitamins, etc – and assess how safe they can do so outside of a car. We’ll begin by the Department of Social and Human Services building in Crossroads, head west towards 148th Ave NE, pass by several health providers & stores, and return to our point of origin. This walk will be the longest of the three at 1.1 miles & have the hilliest topography.
The second walk will meet on Wednesday, March 10th from 3:00 – 4:00 pm. Since some children will soon be returning to school, we’ll have an opportunity to be in their shoes and understand the experience navigating home on foot or bike. We’ll start at the Bellevue Aquatic Center (immediately adjacent to Odle Middle School), cross the street to Stevenson Elementary, navigate west towards 140th Ave NE, then return. This will be the shortest walk at 0.7 miles with mostly flat terrain.
We’ll meet for the final walk on Saturday, March 13th from 11:00 am – 12:00 pm. The Crossroads neighborhood is a diverse & rapidly growing neighborhood, with easy access to stores and local businesses – so it’s essential that this portion of NE 8th St is accessible to all, no matter how one gets around. Our group will start under the pavilion at Crossroads Park and head west towards 156th Ave NE, stopping at businesses along the way. The walk back east will have a slight hill and the total walk will be 0.9 miles.
The Health and School Walks are accessible by the RapidRide B Line, the Errands Walk is accessible by the 221 and 226, and all walks will have public parking nearby. As with the original event, masks will be required, and all of the community’s feedback from these events will be collated into a report that will be reviewed by the engineering team as they suggest projects to improve the corridor’s safety. This is therefore going to be an amazing opportunity for community to provide direct & meaningful feedback to make our roads safer – and we hope to see you there!