Community Greenways and Trails Project
Urban Sparks’ Community Greenways and Trails Project is an education and funding project to help educate the public and powers-that-be about greenways, trails and active transportation as well as help fund physical projects. Physical projects may include associated public amenities like bike racks and covered seating.
Using funding methods available only to a 501(c)(3), we’ll facilitate the excellent work being done by the various Greenways project leaders around the city. If you or your foundation would like to make large tax-deductible or employer-matched gifts to support a particular Greenway or Trail project, please contact us. If you’d like to support the broader education movement, we’re doing that too.
Here are a few links to plug you into the Seattle Greenways Movement: Read more
The first Greenways group on the Eastside!
Kirkland Greenways is a steadily growing group of Eastside residents and business owners who want safe comfortable streets for all road users; whether you walk, run, jog, roll, drive or ride. Kirkland Greenways brings together people from multiple neighborhoods, who are working together to identify and create a network of safe streets for people of all ages and abilities.
You can learn more on their webpage: www.kirklandgreenways.org
Make the dream of safe U-District bicycling into a reality!
University Greenways believes in the vision of a vibrant, thriving University District where everyone can walk and bike safely and comfortably within our community and to adjoining neighborhoods.
You can learn more on their webpage: http://www.ugreenways.org/
Undriving and Undriver Licensing
Undriving is an innovative program designed to reduce carbon emissions and oil dependency, ease congestion and parking, and encourage community connections. By increasing awareness of personal transportation options and eliciting individualized car-trip-reduction pledges, Undriver Licensing playfully engages people to make more informed and empowered transportation choices. Undriving is changing how people think about getting around.
You can learn more on their webpage: www.undriving.org
Beacon BIKES (Better Infrastructure Keeping Everyone Safe)
Formerly Beacon Hill Family Bike and Pedestrian Plan Committee (BHFBPPC),
this group morphed to become Beacon BIKES (Better Infrastructure Keeping Everyone Safe)
with a simple mission: “We crave safe, family-friendly walking and cycling paths that link our neighborhood hotspots. For more information, please visit our Mission page.”
This was a wonderful project where a neighborhood refused to wait to see what a might trickle from a city-wide plan down to them. Instead they brought their neighbors together to think about what they actually needed, while using professional planners to write it up. They also thought about how to get parts of the plan as soon as possible and to prioritize what bear waiting.
Alta Planning + Design produced their beautiful plan. This is an excellent example of how a neighborhood can begin the process of establishing Greenways.
For current info, visit Beacon Hill Safe Streets’ Facebook page. They changed their name again!
* We were their fiscal sponsor for their D.O.N. Matching Fund Grant.
For more on Greenways, see our Community Greenways and Trails Project.
Neighbors of the Troll – Traffic Mitigation
Fremont’s Troll is visited by a seemingly endless stream of pilgrims arriving in cars, tour buses, and even amphibious troop carriers (really). The Neighbor’s of the Troll worked for years with Seattle DOT and the Department of Neighborhoods on a Large Project Fund matching grant to install traffic circles, curb bulbs and a round speed bump to slow traffic on their narrow street. Their match requirement was easily met with volunteer hours and cash donations from the Fremont Neighborhood Council and the Fremont Chamber of Commerce.
Interesting tidbit – The contractor dug up old rail ties from the long-gone trolley under Woodland Park Ave.
We were the fiscal sponsor for this project.
Staircases as Transportation
Staircases are great connectors.
Seattle is full of staircases. They go places that cars cannot go which makes them important to the web of active transportation – lower traffic routes that people can walk and bike – Greenways. Besides providing healthy transportation, they can be fun.
Does a staircase near you need a bicycle runnel? Contact us.
See how our stair climbing friends are celebrating staircases and places to walk. Links below: Read more
I-5 Colonnade Mountain Bike Trails
The idea of mountain bike trails under Interstate 5 in Seattle was first proposed by John Zilly in his book, Kissing the Trail. Later, the Eastlake Community Council proposed it to the community and to the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation as part of the Pro-Parks Levy I-5 Open Space Park. Simon Lawton of Fluid Ride, a local downhill coaching business, drew up a course that got the mountain bike community excited. Then Backcountry Bicycle Trails Club (BBTC) and Urban Sparks started working to make it happen. Read more
Magnuson Park Native Species Restoration and Bicycle Skills Course
Urban Sparks volunteers designed and built, with help from Backcountry Bicycle Trails Club, the Cascade Bicycle Club, Bike Works, the BMX community, Fremont Rotary, Red Bull and Trips for Kids, an extensive Bicycle Skills Park at Magnuson Park. It had singletrack trail, log piles, obstacles, skinnies, and BMX jumps for all ages to play and build skills on. The Skills Park was built as an outdoor test area for the Cascade Bicycle Club’s 2005 Bicycle Expo with expectations that we could keep it for a year of two after Expo. Read more
Bicycle Skills Parks
We’ve been working to familiarizing the city of Seattle with the concept of bicycle skills parks. Bicycle Skills Parks come in all shapes and sizes. Where there is just a little space and maybe a desire to draw some activity to an underutilized spot, a skills park can be a small collection of obstacles that provide hours of practice and distraction for bicyclists who enjoy honing their skills. Much like skiing, skill cycling can provide a lifetime of incremental improvements.
For young people, skills parks can be very important places to build confidence and self-esteem. It’s common for student’s grades to improve after they’ve found a passion like BMX bike riding or skateboarding. For active people of any age, these are places of focus and escape from the tensions of daily life.
BMX Jumps are one type of Bicycle Skills Park. Right now, BMX Jumps need attention to build awareness around this exceptional sport. Like skateboarding was a few years ago, BMX is still not understood. It has many of same healthy characteristics; it’s active, it doesn’t require scheduling, it’s practiced by kids and adults in a supportive environment, and it doesn’t require much space.