Katie Traverse, a WCC Trustee and the President of the Wedgwood Elementary PTA, has been on a mission for sveral years to bring vital pedestrian and safety improvements to several blocks around Wedgwood Elementary. There are no sidewalks around the elementary school or surrounding neighborhood. With more and more kids walking and biking to school commingled together in the street with large yellow school buses and passenger vehicles, it’s only a matter of time before something regrettable happens.
In 2011, she sponsored a Neighborhood Street Fund grant application to develop a design for pedestrian and safety improvements along 28th Avenue NE , NE 83rd Street, and NE 85th Street. The NE District Council (NEDC), which is a citizens group comprised of neighborhood representatives throughout NE Seattle and who is responsible for pre-ranking Neighborhood Matching Fund and Neighborhood Street Fund grant applications, ranked her application #1. Her project went on to be funded and SDOT has completed 60% design drawings for the improvements. However, funds for construction have not been secured.
With design in hand, Katie is now working with SDOT to locate funding for the “Complete the Street Project.” SDOT has submitted a Safe Routes to School grant application to the WSDOT, which has forwarded their recommendation for $439,000 on to the State legislature for approval. Katie submitted an application in December 2012 for a Neighborhood Street Fund grant to provide additional funding for project construction.
Last week, the NEDC reviewed and ranked numerous Neighborhood Street Fund applications submitting in December throughout NE Seattle. All of them well deserving and important to making NE Seattle a safer place. After their deliberations though, they ranked Katie’s Complete the Street Project #1. Given SDOT’s involvement with this project, we’re hopeful that they too will recommend the Complete the Street project for funding and new sidewalks and pedestrian improvements will be coming to Wedgwood Elementary School!