Significant progress has been made since we originally introduced the Licton Spring's Home Zone Pilot back in August. Just recently the City passed $350K in funding for Home Zone Pilots (the Licton Springs pilot being the first such in North Seattle), following an article about the project on Crosscut. If all goes well, some of this funding will help to compliment the Small Sparks grant the community was awarded for the project as well as funding received from Seattle Neighborhood Greenways. All of which, was accomplished after the community gave valuable input, shaping what such a project would look like in Licton Springs.
After discussion with the community and collection of initial traffic counts, we've coalesced on some simple initial steps:
- Intersection / Street Art
- Planters placed along the roads without sidewalks
- Pedestrian Wayfinding / newsletter signs
- A professionally performed traffic study
Despite the progress that has been made - walking around the neighborhood, for the most part, everything still looks untouched. While the community has identified many locations that they believe would be suitable for street art, it is not feasible to paint the street during Seattle's rainy season, leaving such work to wait for next year. And, while there have been some areas identified as potentially suitable for planters, this work will not begin until permits are secured and impacted households are contacted and give their direct approval.
Meanwhile, there is at least one physical reflection of the project, as the first prototype wayfinding sign was installed at the corner of N 88th and Burke Ave N right before Halloween:
The sign was constructed by volunteers using basic material and equipment:
- A standard pre-treated 4 x 4 inch x 8 feet post.
- Outdoor & weatherproof resilience paint from the Licton Spring's Sherwin Williams (6797 Jay Blue, 6740 Kilkenny, & 7077 Original White)
- 2 inch and 1 inch white vinyl letters
- 2 1/2 x 4 x 8 Hemlock Boards cut into 2 foot sections (for the direction signs)
During the construction of the sign, which costs well under $200 to build, significant lessons were learned that will be applied to any future wayfinding signs:
- The directions were painted on one side of each direction sign, with a solid color on the other, this can lead to the wayfinding sign seeming blank from some angles. Future signs will be 4 inches longer and have the locations printed on both sides.
- Some of the direction wood pieces split slightly where they were attached to the main post. Having the directions not use the 4 inches where the connection needs to be made, as well as making pilot holes into the connection points, should remedy this issue for future signs.
- Over-sized rubber bands are an amazing tool to line up letters.
- Stencils tend to bleed, and even if they don't they have an amateur appearance. Vinyl letters are cheap, easy, and if done right, resilient.
- A clear coat, such as Polyurethane, should be applied after letters are placed to ensure they stay in place and offer extra protection against the elements.
- These really are fun to make!
Finally, to both this wayfinding sign and future ones, we will be adding a brochure box where community members will always be able to physically pick up a community newsletter and know about upcoming events and happenings in the neighborhood.
Want a wayfinding sign in your lawn strip?
As part of the Home Zone project, there is an opportunity to get a wayfinding sign installed on your lawn strip! If you are interested, please sign up here. This opportunity is available to any homeowner within Licton Springs.
Want to help out?
Want to help move the project forward? Have artistic ability or are willing to help build planter boxes or signs? Willing to reach out to neighbors or host a meeting? Please sign up here!
Over the next few months expect to see the first prototype planter/traffic calming measure installed. Expect opportunities to provide feedback on the initial traffic calming measures, as well as initially proposed street art. Then as, weather permits, expect street art painting to begin.
What do you think about the Home Zone project? Have any feedback on the initial wayfinding sign? We'd love to hear from you in the comments below!