Seattle Parks and Recreation, Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), Feet First, and the Beacon Hill community cut the ribbon on an improved sidewalk and route to school for Asa Mercer International Middle School on Dec. 1, 2015. The project improved the sidewalk, drainage, and parking along 16th Ave. S between S Dakota St. and S Nevada St., just west of the Jefferson Playfield. The new improvements were in response to access and safety concerns to increase safety and walkability for the students as well as the community.
The walkway is one of the main routes to school for many Asa Mercer International Middle School students and prior to this project was often unusable due to puddling and mud from the adjacent hill. This improved sidewalk joins with the Beacon Hill Neighborhood Greenway, improving the connection for residents to the school and Jefferson Park.
Seattle Parks and Recreation and LPD Engineering designed the new drainage swale to include green stormwater infrastructure, small native trees to the west of the sidewalk and a french drain to the east of the sidewalk. The new street trees contribute to the city’s goal of increasing the urban canopy 30% by 2037. Spring blooming bulbs will be planted in the tree pits embracing Asa Mercer’s school colors of blue and white. Improvements also include parking surfacing, wheel stops, and a rockery wall.
Feet First works to ensure all communities in Washington are walkable. Since 2005, Feet First has successfully worked on comprehensive Safe Routes to School programs in Seattle and throughout the state. For more information about Feet First contact Teresa Frizzell, Safe Routes to School Program Director at Teresa@feetfirst.org or 206-652-2310. For more information about the project please contact Katie Bang, Project Manager, Seattle Parks and Recreation at Katie.Bang@seattle.gov or 206-684-9286.