News of Madison Valley

Arboretum Neighbors Collaborate to Improve Street Safety


For decades, the residents living north of E Madison St between 23rd Ave E and the Arboretum have grown increasingly concerned about the steadily increasing volume of cars and commercial trucks cutting through their residential streets in an effort to bypass the arterials on either side (23rd Ave E and Lake Washington Blvd). Reckless driving and dangerous speeds have caused numerous serious crashes, damaged vehicles, destroyed traffic circle gardens and people walking and biking have been run off the road along 26th Ave E. Families living in the Arboretum neighborhood don’t feel safe walking or letting children play outside due to the traffic.


Children are at risk from passing traffic.

Replanting the traffic circle.


In 2015, concerned neighbors within the Arboretum neighborhood joined forces and created Arboretum Neighbors for Safer Streets in partnership with Madison Park Greenways and the Madison Valley Community Council to apply for, and win, a $50,000 Neighborhood Park and Street Fund Grant to study potential solutions for restoring the livability of their neighborhood. Some possible outcomes include traffic calming measures such as speed bumps, installation of protected bike lanes, connecting sidewalks, etc. See the map below for location of the study. 




In April, representatives from the three groups who partnered on the grant application met with SDOT staff to plan how to use the funds to achieve neighborhood goals. The first phase is happening now. SDOT is collecting baseline traffic volume and speed data at many points within the Arboretum neighborhood. This data will provide valuable information to understand how traffic is flowing through the area.

After the data is reviewed, the community will work through the summer with SDOT and a traffic engineering firm to develop a set of design recommendations and cost estimates. The final deliverable will be a plan for street improvements. 

The current grant does not include construction funds, therefore no changes will happen to the streets as part of this project. The design and cost estimates that come from this study will inform subsequent construction grant applications that may be applied for as early as 2017.

A Play Street has been organized for Sunday, May 22 2016, between 3 pm and 6 pm whereby 26th Ave E, between Galer and Lee Street, will be closed to traffic so that residents can come together to meet their neighbors, let children play safely on the streets and discuss their concerns regarding traffic patterns in the neighborhood.


A Play Street will be set up on Sunday, May 22, between 3 and 6 pm.

A local safety meeting. 


For questions regarding this project or to get involved to support this community-driven effort, contact Arboretum Neighbors for Safer Streets via


Topics: Safety, Arboretum
Paddy McDonald (11:59 am May 14)
Any chance this study can be extended to cover E Republican and E Harrison on the other side of E Madison? These streets are used heavily as cut throughs and there have been a number of accidents recently. This will only get worse if there is a destination retailer in the neighborhood.