The WE CAN Safety Project for Sidewalks at School

UPDATE: This post has been revised to reflect the new name of the project that will be seeking funding.  WE CAN Safety Project was the original project that was funded through design.  The Complete the Street Project is the new project seeking funding to construct the design.  Additionally, the 60% design drawings have been linked to for your viewing.

Wedgwood Elementary School at 2720 NE 85th Street (corner of 30th Ave NE) is located in a single-family neighborhood with few pedestrian amenities and a pattern of speeding, according to a study by Seattle Dept. of Transportation (SDOT).  As part of the Wedgwood Vision Plan completed in 2010, a survey showed that a high percentage of residents are concerned about pedestrian safety, traffic and speed control.  Since that time the WCC and the PTA of Wedgwood Elementary School have been engaged in the arduous process of applying for grant funding to improve safety.

The “Wedgwood Elementary Children and Neighbors (WE CAN) Safety Project” received funding in 2011 for a project design for sidewalks on some adjacent streets, so that children can safely walk and bike to school.  The project design connects sidewalks at the front of Wedgwood School along NE 85th Street, south on 28th Avenue NE and along NE 83rd Street continuously to Ravenna Ave NE where new sidewalks and bike lanes were recently completed (thanks to WCC Trustee, Gretchen Bear).  The project design also includes new sidewalks, curbs, gutters, planter strips, drainage, educational materials and events, speed feedback signs and emphasis patrols.  You can view the 60% design drawings prepared by SDOT here.

WCC trustee and Wedgwood School PTA President Katie Traverse will submit the project this month to Seattle’s Neighborhood Street Fund (NSF) for the “Complete the Street Project,” which is seeking funds to construct the project.  The WCC President has written a letter of support on behalf of WCC recommending the project to SDOT and to the NSF Oversight Committee. The Washington State Dept. of Transportation (WSDOT) has already recommended $439,000 for the project be approved by the State Legislature under the Safe Routes to School Program.

Wedgwood School opened in September 1953 with all-portables because there were so many children that the school district couldn’t wait for the permanent building to be completed.  In a case of deja vu all over again, this year the schools of northeast Seattle are once again overflowing and are adding portable classrooms.  As Wedgwood School approaches its sixtieth year, there still are no sidewalks on some adjacent streets for children to safely walk or bike to school!  We thank Katie Traverse and her grant-writing team for their efforts, and we’ll let you know the progress on the grant application.

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