Back in March, our organization was honored to have been chosen by the City of Bellevue to lead walking audits of NE 8th St – Bellevue’s most dangerous street. These walking audits saw concerned community members provide valuable feedback on how the road was unsafe for people trying to get around on foot, on a bike, or on transit. Together, we brainstormed ways that the street could be made safer for everyone who uses it, and our organization collected our community’s feedback into a report that informed city staff, regional planners, and engineers of what a safe NE 8th St would look like.
Our report was so well-received & helpful for the team that we’ve been invited to conduct more walking audits for Factoria Blvd! Over the course of two events in early July, we’ll collect experiences & feedback from the community on how to make this key commercial & residential corridor safer for people walking, biking, rolling, & taking transit.
On Thursday, July 8th from 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm, our group will meet at the southwest corner of SE 36th St and Factoria Blvd (immediately adjacent to the I-90 offramp) for our first walking audit. After a brief discussion on pedestrian and bicycle connections between the Factoria neighborhood & the Mountains to Sound Greenway, we’ll embark on a 1-mile round-trip walk to examine how pedestrian access to businesses along the corridor can be improved. With T-Mobile nearby and many stores & services This walk will be approximately 1 mile round-trip with flat terrain.
On Saturday, July 10th from 11:00 am – 12:00 pm, we’ll meet at the western side of Factoria Blvd where it intersects with SE Newport Way, to the east of Newport High School. The southern segment of Factoria Blvd has several apartments, healthcare facilities, and religious institutions that are a stone’s throw away from businesses to the north. Even though conditions may not be ripe for it right now, this neighborhood is well-positioned to have walkable access to many of life’s day-to-day needs, so this second walk will make sure to center residents’ experiences in envisioning how this corridor could be safer for all people, not just those in cars. This walk will also be approximately 1 mile round-trip, with a slight uphill slope in the return direction.
This corridor is well-served by 3 King County Metro bus lines – both walks’ starting points are served by the 240, 241, and 245, and they can provide a quick getaway ride if you need to leave early. As we transition into a new reality surrounding COVID, we will currently not be requiring masks for people who are fully vaccinated. However, we have two requests: 1) if you are not fully vaccinated (i.e. two weeks has not elapsed since your final dose), please wear a mask, and 2) for the sake of your community members, please be honest.
Like our walks in March, our community’s feedback will be collated into a report which will inform local leaders and city planners of what improvements need to be made on this roadway. This is therefore an amazing opportunity for you to effect meaningful change in your community – but it’s only the beginning! Join CSB’s Slack group here to stay in the discussion on transportation happenings in Bellevue & other ways to get involved.
Walking audits are just one part of the bigger picture – to make lasting change, we’ll need to push our elected officials & city staff to find more funding & implement the changes that we know will make a difference. However you choose to get involved, we’re looking forward to working with you – and we hope to see you at one of our walking audits in July!