Doing the Lindy Hop: How neighbors and the City came together to build a better Linden Avenue
Construction starts today on a project to reshape Linden Avenue North between North 128th and North 145th streets into a more pedestrian, bicycle and neighborhood friendly boulevard. Community members have long rallied to improve this corridor, partnering with the City to make it a priority in the Broadview/Bitter Lake/Haller Lake Neighborhood plan. Thanks to work by the Seattle Department of Transportation, we’re making good on the promise to turn Linden Avenue North into a “Complete Street” to better serve the neighborhood. As the construction crew digs in this week I applaud the grass roots effort that made it all possible. As seen here, public engagement makes a difference.
Per the City’s Complete Streets ordinance, the Linden Avenue project will repave and widen the roadway, and enhance pedestrian safety with continuous sidewalks, curbs and curb-ramps and a new pedestrian crossing with infrared detectors near the community center. It will improve street lighting and drainage, create a two-way buffered bike lane known as a cycle track on the road’s east side, and incorporate art celebrating the neighborhood’s history. The project will also add street trees at more than a two-to-one replacement ratio for those that have to be removed and add landscaping along both sides of the street. Finally, construction will complete a missing segment of the Interurban Trail.
Home to dozens of senior and multi-family housing developments, this part of Linden Avenue North is viewed as uninviting to the many pedestrians and bicyclists who travel the corridor. The street has few sidewalks, deteriorating pavement, poor lighting and is adjacent to the heavily congested Aurora Avenue North.
One of the longtime community stalwarts says his neighborhood is thrilled to see a safer Linden Avenue North on the horizon, especially for the many seniors and families in the area. “The Lindy Hop now means hopping over puddles, depressions, gravel drifts and debris,” said Richard Dyksterhuis, member of the Committee to Improve Linden Avenue North and resident of the Linden Park Condos. “Next year the Lindy Hop will be a Charleston Dance step, modified to fit the resident population. We are rejoicing and saving up for those dancing shoes!”
Bridging the Gap funds will cover most of the $12.1 million project’s costs and the work is expected to be complete by next June.