There are a few areas in our city that are in desperate need of sidewalks to improve pedestrian safety.
One is the busy Mildred Street commercial corridor, which is why we helped the City of University Place win a grant a few years ago to remake the street and add sidewalks. We hope UP will do that project in 2016.
Another area of need is Emerson Street, from Alameda Avenue to Orchard Street. I live in the Commons at Fircrest, and we have dozens of children in our neighborhood. It scares me to death to see them head uphill toward Alameda on that very busy street with no sidewalks.
That’s why I’m happy to report that Fircrest just won a grant from the State of Washington Transportation Improvement Board. The $575,000 grant – plus a $143,000 match from city funds – will provide sidewalks from Alameda to Orchard.
The Fircrest City Council unanimously voted on Dec. 8 to accept the grant. The city expects to hire an engineer to design the project in spring 2016 and build the sidewalks in the summer.
Next on my sidewalk priority list: 44th Street. Even with its numerous blind hills, it’s harder to win a grant for that street because it’s not legally considered an arterial (most grants go to arterials). But it’s a direct shot to Narrows View Intermediate School just across Bridgeport Way, so I’m hopeful that the folks who issue these grants will see it as a student safety issue when the next round of grant applications are due.