On the heels of receiving bad news about the Neighborhood Matching Fund (NMF) Small & Simple Grant application submitted for designing new Wedgwood Park, the other grant submitted by WCC Trustee/Echo Editor and soon-to-be Wedgwood Elementary PTA President, Katie Traverse, appears to have been awarded its $20,000 grant contingent on modifications. You may recall that in May, two NMF Small & Simple Grant applications were submitted, one of which was the Wedgwood Elementary Children and Neighbors Safety Project (WE CAN Safety Project). The following is what was proposed for this project:
The Wedgwood Elementary PTA applied for a Neighborhood Matching Fund Small and Simple Grant to make traffic safety improvements around the school. If it is funded, the WE CAN Safety Project would build out curbs around the crosswalks on NE 85th Street and in front of the school’s entrance. The lack of sidewalks and curbs around Wedgwood Elementary is one of the factors that inspired the “Complete the Street” project [the #1 ranked project in NE Seattle], which is seeking funding to build a sidewalk network on NE 83rd Street, 28th Avenue NE, and NE 85th Street in front of the school. The WE CAN pedestrian improvements would be the first concrete steps in the larger Complete the Street project. In addition to the physical improvements, the WE CAN Safety Project would involve a redesign of traffic procedures for drop-off and pick up at Wedgwood Elementary, as well as community outreach and education regarding pedestrian and traffic safety.
In a letter received today from Veronica Sherman-King, Director of Planning and Community Building, the project as originally proposed was not approved although they (SDOT, Department of Neighborhoods, and Planning and Community Building) strongly supported the WE CAN Safety Project goals. Therefore, they have an alternate proposal that they would like to discuss further and award the $20,000 should the scope of that proposal be agreeable. It preliminarily sounds as though the proposed project scope may only need minor modifications. A meeting will be forthcoming to resolve the scope and agree on a project that meets the WE CAN Safety Project goals.
In addition to the letter received from Ms. Sherman-King, Mayor Mike McGinn also sent a letter congratulating the team who put together the application. In his letter the mayor writes, “Your project illustrates how engaged and passionate neighbors, coupled with City resources, can result in improvements that provide a wonderful benefit to the community…I am glad that we are able to reward your activism with this Small and Simple Projects award.”
Congratulations is indeed well deserved for all those involved in pursuing this project, especially Katie Traverse who has been championing pedestrian safety improvements around Wedgwood Elementary for years.