Wedgwood to Inverness Pedestrian Connectivity Project – Design Phase

UPDATE: We did not submit this project to the Department of Neighborhood’s April 2021 grant window. Instead, we now plan on submitting it for the September 2021 grant window.

Note: Click THIS LINK to a form that will help us complete this project and you stay informed of project news.

Update 1: The WCC has scheduled a Zoom meeting for Wednesday, March 17, at 7 PM primarily for those adjacent to the potential project alignment who each received this flyer. However, the Zoom meeting is open to anyone interested in joining by clicking this link to the meeting or entering the Meeting ID 988 6678 1597 and entering Passcode: WCC.

In 2012, the WCC submitted a grant to the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation to construct a trail through Inverness Ravine Trail Park which would utilize undeveloped public right-ways to provide access into Inverness Ravine Park. While the grant was well supported, the park and its surrounding steep slopes provided a level of complexity to the project that could not be addressed through that grant. Ultimately, that project could not move forward.

However, one of the primary objectives of that project was to provide improved connectivity for those who wish to walk between the Wedgwood and Inverness communities. Due to topography and our existing street network, there is no safe route for pedestrians to walk east-west between these two neighborhoods between NE 95th Street and NE 75th Street, which is a 20 block stretch or 1-mile in length. Therefore, the only existing route for someone in Inverness to walk to the Wedgwood Broiler, a Wedgwoodian wanting to visit Matthews Beach or a kid in Inverness wanting to walk up to Thornton Creek Elementary would be via 42nd Ave NE/NE 92nd Street – a long and winding barely-one-lane road with narrow right-of-way, minimal shoulder, no sidewalks, multiple blind spots, and no lights. (Poor fella needed to take a rest.)

The narrow 42nd Ave NE/NE 92nd Street is currently the only route for pedestrians between Wedgwood and Inverness

After consulting with SDOT on a modified alignment utilizing public right-of-way on NE 88th Street and 45th Ave NE, SDOT is supportive of us pursuing a grant to study the feasibility and prepare an initial design of safer pedestrian infrastructure to connect Inverness and Wedgwood (see conceptual alignment below). Therefore, we intend to apply for a grant through the Department of Neighborhoods next month for the initial phase which would likely include geotechnical investigations, survey, civil engineering, and landscape design. We intend to create a volunteer leadership team comprised of community members from Wedgwood and Inverness to guide the project and provide transparency in the project process and design.

Conceptual alignment of the proposed Wedgwood to Inverness Pedestrian Connectivity project.

Given our experience in 2012 with the previous Inverness Ravine Park Trail concept, we are keenly aware that there may be some concern by those near or adjacent to the proposed pedestrian infrastructure. We will be (very soon) reaching out to those who abut the project area directly and welcome them to be part of our leadership team. If successful, we hope to host a series of informational meetings and public design charettes to allow residents to engage in the project and shape its design. Final project design and project construction, if feasible, would be completed by SDOT when funding can be secured in future years.

Please fill out this form so we can contact you with news on our application. Additionally, any commitment you can make towards the project through volunteer time, donated expertise, or financial contributions will help us with our required community match.

17 Replies to “Wedgwood to Inverness Pedestrian Connectivity Project – Design Phase”

  1. I support exploring the trail and would like to be kept informed. I live in Inverness and traverse the 92nd St/42nd Ave. route on foot to shop, bank, post mail, etc. regularly. I hate it when larger or fast-moving vehicles come up behind me or approach me from around a blind corner. I’m constantly stepping to the side off the paved road into muddy, debris-strewn or sloped ground to ensure I am out of the way of vehicles. I almost got hit by a bike speeding downhill last year, and I am especially nervous walking when the pavement is wet and the bordering ground slick. I would love to have a quicker, safer route up to 35th. My main concern about an alternative pathway, though, would be how to keep stairs from becoming a slip-and-fall hazard when it rains.

    1. Thanks, Deborah! Great feedback and that’s a perfect example of why we think this project is important. Please remember to click on the link within the post above to the form where you can add your email for future updates on the project.

  2. I’d like to get more active in the WCC now that I’m retired. I spent 39 years working for the City in multiple departments starting in 1980 as a Laborer in Sewer Utility, eventually being a Senior Policy Advisor in the Nickels Administration and half of the McGinn Administration. I have a lot of construction management experience and am pretty adept at navigating City Departments. How can I help?

  3. At the bottom of the stairway turning to the south would take you into Inverness Ravine Park which at this time is only accessible from the east side of the ravine park.

  4. I filled our your form to give feedback and volunteer a little time. I was unable to submit the form if I had a contribution amount filled in. You might want to fix that. I had to delete my contribution in order to fix the form. 🙂
    Great idea to link the neighborhoods. I hope we can make it happen.

  5. This is a glamorous project and highly impractical. It would be very expensive and probably unworkable; the slope at the end of 88th St is very steep and unstable (it was the site of a slide back in the 60’s). Given that we can’t even get funding for our pocket park on 35th Ave, what makes us think the city would approve this much more expensive project?

    We have a much better alternative. The 42nd Ave/92nd St (“the windy road”) is a wonderful walk, the most beautiful in Wedgwood and I walk it all the time. It’s only problem is the high volume of thru traffic. Put a car barrier at the halfway point, enabling access for residents but reducing traffic to a trickle. It will enhance life for the residents, converting their street from an arterial to a quiet dead end, and make for a safer and more pleasant pedestrian experience.

    Best of all, it’s cheap and fast. Two concrete blocks, a dead end sign and you’re done. Why pursue a palace when a log cabin will do the same job?

  6. Due to the steps this project is probably not in compliance with the ADA. If the right of way is wide enough perhaps ramps would make it compliant.

  7. Boy, this is pretty ambitious. I live across the street from the proposed “entrance” to the project (stairs, ramp?) and it is steep and tight. Just maneuvering our cars to get out of this tight cul-de-sac is tough. As someone pointed out there was a slide there.

    I had to go through an Environmentally Critical Area review to permit an ADU in the first floor of my house and I am built on bedrock. The soil engineer I consulted before I bought this house said bedrock ends mid street and the rest is just soil. No wonder it slid.

    I can’t imagine how costly it would be to make this safe and passable. It would be wonderful to access Inverness and then the lake front but will take a LOT of resource, time and energy. I was on the Stakeholders for Northgate in the day and we spent years meeting to help guide the Thornton Creek, Library/CC, mall upgrades. And that was doable with will, money and lots of community input. Did I mention money? Private money with some public.

    Do you really want to revisit something that was a no go less than ten years ago? What has changed in the interim? I am an optimist and love to imagine the unimaginable but am getting more realistic as my hair is getting more grey! I love how many walkers are using this street particularly since Covid and am sad that they have to stop at that barricade, but at what cost to open it up?

    1. Great questions, Michelle! Please make sure to click the link to the form embedded within the post. Your feedback would be great there too. AND, given your experience and proximity to the project, if you’re interested in being part of a leadership committee that would be wonderful!

  8. Our family is excited for this possibility. It saddens us to have to drive to Matthews Beach, when it is so close – but none of the roads feel safe for walking. Thank you to the WCC for continually trying to improve the neighborhood!

    1. Does anyone know of any actual injuries/accidents while walking on the beautiful little road we’re discussing? I would love to be supportive but so far it looks like an awful lot of money spent from our city budget to eliminate an inconvenience for very few people. I think this city has much bigger issues that are far more deserving of those funds. We have walked that road frequently for 33 years – never an issue. Step aside for the occasional care (far from heavy traffic, by the way.)

      I do think the blind corner at 95th onto 45th needs to be addressed as a real hazard. I see so many people walking on the left side of 45th toward 95th that are completely out of sight of cars coming around that tight corner. That is, in fact an accident waiting to happen.

      The fact that the stairs are only available to fully abled and fit users is also an issue – again, given the use of public funds. The sidewalk project on 95th has improved the option for walking to Wedgewood – not sure how far down it will come but…?

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