Seattle bike and pedestrian infrastructure is getting a $2 million dollar boost that will potentially include bicycle boulevards, increased access to the Burke-Gilman Trail, and improved intersections and crossings along Sand Point Way. What might surprise you about the investment is that it’s coming not from the city but from Seattle Children’s Hospital, a private institution.
Children’s plans to spend around $4 million over the next 20 years improving Northeast Seattle’s walkability, bikeability, and drivability as part of the hospital’s expansion and its Comprehensive Transportation Plan. The hospital will invest $2 million on bike and pedestrian improvements around the Ravenna and Sand Point neighborhoods, $1.4 million on general capital investments “in line with Seattle’s priorities,” and $500,000 on intelligent transportation systems (essentially “smart” signals that improve traffic flow and predict congestion).
Paulo Nunes-Ueno, Children’s transportation director, says there are several motivating factors inspiring their transportation plan.
“Part of this comes from us simply wanting to be good neighbors,” said Nunes-Ueno. “But we see this as furthering our health care mission as well. Providing young people with safe places to walk and bike allows them be active and helps combat obesity. Alternative transportation reduces congestion and pollution which is linked to health problems. It goes on and on.”