June 30, 2:36 PM click here to comment > 3
New Mountains-to-Sound Trail provides an opportunity for public safety benefit
Construction began this week on the long-awaited Mountains-to-Sound Trail. The new trail will run from the Jose Rizal Bridge to South Holgate Street, where the trail will connect to Beacon Ave South. The project became fully funded last year and was made possible by federal and state funding as well as the Seattle Pro Parks Levy.
This isn’t just a trail project - it will have benefits that extend much further than its use as a trail.
The project incorporates ideas from neighbors, like the potential for adding a p-patch community garden or creating an orchard. Plans are also in the works for a revitalization of the forest canopy. These types of community projects would be a welcome addition to any neighborhood. Because of the presence of the Jungle (an area under forest canopy known for crime and drug use), the new trail comes with a heightened potential for positive change. When Mayor McGinn held a town hall in Jefferson Park last February, the Jungle was at the top of the list of neighborhood concerns.
In response, Deputy Mayor Darryl Smith put together an interdepartmental team at the City to explore the many issues brought up by the Jungle and the construction of the Mountains-to-Sound Trail. Topics covered included outreach to the homeless individuals who frequent this area, cleanup of encampments, identifying places for those that are displaced, and making the area safe for construction workers. Cleanup of debris and encampments was carried out early last week. Last Wednesday, outreach workers and police department officers went to talk with those staying in the area to offer the use of shelters. Future community efforts, through the Green Seattle Partnership, will help in caring for the forested areas around the trail.
Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles were also used in the planning for the trail. By placing lighting, and improving sightlines, drainage, and the aesthetics, the new 12-feet-wide trail will have the best chance of being a safe and well-used neighborhood amenity. The path connects with a signed bicycle route and will have signage linking it to the larger trail system.
Construction is expected to be complete in September.
This project is coordinated by Seattle Department of Transportation in partnership with the Washington Department of Transportation.
Posted by: Rebecca Deehr