For a long time, the northernmost portion of Delridge between Andover and the West Seattle Bridge trail has been a particularly egregious missing link in the West Seattle bike & pedestrian infrastructure. Coming south onto Delridge, the trail ends at a one-way intersection where drivers often block the curb ramp while awaiting a break in traffic. Once across this, users must continue on a dilapidated sidewalk for two blocks to reach the light at Andover. For cyclists in particular, this is very unsafe: the choice is between riding the wrong way on the sidewalk past several blind driveways, or making a death-defying dash across four lanes of traffic, avoiding drivers often travelling well over the posted 35MPH speed limit.
That is all going to change soon. Because of the advocacy of members of the NDNC, West Seattle Greenways, DubSea Bikes, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, and others, this section of Delridge will soon see a redesign with a separated, multi-use path from Andover to Delridge. The design of the project is being funded by the recently-awarded $60,000 neighborhood project fund grant, proposed by members of the NDNC (this award is listed on p. 18 of this huge pdf document, which outlines the 2013-2018 proposed capital improvement program).
Though this NPF award was to cover only the design, we had heard from SDOT on several occasions that they were seeking a state transportation grant to cover the implementation of the project. Yesterday we received good news on this front: WSDOT has recommended the project for full funding — nearly $340,000 — in 2013! (See the funding details on page 8 of this pdf).
From our contact at SDOT, it sounds like a big part of securing this funding was the strong community support for the project. These two grants will add to the hundreds of thousands of dollars budgeted for North Delridge during recent months, including the Dakota St. Right-of-way parklet, the improvements to bicycle infrastructure, and the 26th Ave and 21st Ave greenways, both of which have been fully funded by the city.
This all is a result of community advocacy: your voice and your involvement does make a difference.
Do you a project that you would like to see funded? There are three Department of Neighborhoods funding sources under the Neighborhood Matching Fund program:
- Small Sparks Fund (up to $1,000)
- Small and Simple Projects Fund (up to $20,000)
- Large Projects Fund (up to $100,000)
These are wonderful sources of community funding that are not particularly hard to apply for. The Department of Neighborhoods staff stands ready to help, and the NDNC Executive Committee is happy to work with you and offer lessons learned from past grant experiences.