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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, September 10, 2009

Council Roundup: Soon a safe route to new school

Also, more 'wayfinding' kiosks downtown and firm picked to install synthetic turf at Wilburton park

The City Council Tuesday helped make sure students at the newly built Eastgate Elementary School soon have a route to school that matches the quality of the building.

The council approved an agreement with the state Department of Transportation for a grant that will help pay for construction of a long-awaited sidewalk along 152nd Avenue Southeast.

Under a Safe Routes to School grant from the state DOT, Bellevue will receive an additional $192,500 for education and enforcement efforts, and to help build new curb, gutter and six-foot wide sidewalks on the west side of 152nd Avenue, from Southeast 46th Street to Southeast Newport Way. Total cost of the project is $5.07 million.

The goal of the improvements is to create a safe walking route from several residential developments to the school, located at 4255 153rd Avenue Southeast.

Presently, the sidewalk ends at Southeast 46th Place and students must walk along an unprotected shoulder on a curving road. Also, a segment nearest the school consists of a cracked, uneven asphalt path separated from the street by a concrete barrier.

In addition to engineering in support of the project, the grant will pay entirely for a safe trips education program and for a student art project to paint tiles with safety messages that will be installed along the new sidewalk. It will also cover the costs of 20 extra enforcement patrols by the Bellevue Police Department.

Wayfinding kioskConstruction on the sidewalk project is scheduled to begin in 2010 and be complete in time for the start of the 2010-2011 school year.

For more information, see the Council Agenda memorandum.

Feedback: Jen Benn, Program Manager, 425-452-4270 or jbenn@bellevuewa.gov
More 'wayfinding kiosks' coming downtown
The council members approved the creation and installation of five additional "wayfinding kiosks" to help downtown pedestrians navigate to significant cultural, entertainment, shopping, transit and civic attractions.

The new kiosks will cost $73,695 and will be paid for through a federal grant, administered by Sound Transit. Wayfinding is considered a key element of an established, complex downtown and the installations are seen as contributing to the character of public spaces.

Four wayfinding kiosks were installed last spring along the pedestrian corridor and Northeast Sixth Street. The new kiosks will be located on Main Street, Bellevue Way, at 110th Avenue Northeast at Northeast 10th Street, and near the Bellevue Transit Center. For a closer look at the kiosks, check out the Wayfinding in Bellevue video.

Like the kiosks already in place, the new ones will feature a downtown map, a panel that tells a story related to the kiosk location and directional signs to various destinations. Three of the new stations will also include the same tree-like form of forged and fabricated steel that look like branches growing from the tops of the older kiosks.

For more information, see the Council Agenda memorandum.

Feedback: Kevin McDonald, Senior Planner, 425-452-4558 or kmcdonald@bellevuewa.gov.  

Firm picked to install synthetic turf at Wilburton park
The council chose A-1 Landscaping and Construction to install synthetic turf at Wilburton Hill Park, clearing the way for mud-free soccer there by next spring. A-1 was the low bidder, offering to do the work for $889,000.

A dirt field that turned to a virtual mud pit during the rainy months, the Wilburton pitch is one of Bellevue's two sports fields slated to be upgraded to synthetic turf over the next several months. The field at Newport Hills Park will also soon be available for year-round use.

The 2008 Parks & Natural Areas Levy included $3 million for synthetic turf installation at the two parks. Installing synthetic turf at Wilburton has been a high-priority park project for many years, satisfying a need for more high-quality fields without increasing maintenance and operational costs. 

In addition to being less muddy, the synthetic turf, similar to that at Qwest Field, will also require less maintenance, with no costly mowing, watering, fertilizing or re-seeding necessary.

In good condition year-round, the Wilburton pitch will not only be able to support soccer leagues and camps, but also the growing interest in lacrosse and other sports. The field will also be open to the community for general recreational use.

The turf installation will begin later this month and is expected to be completed in time for the spring sports season. The park will remain open during the field conversion, although there may be temporary closures in some areas, including the trail between Wilburton Hill Park and the Bellevue Botanical Garden.

Feedback: Scott VanderHyden, Project Manager, 425-452-4169 or svanderhyden@bellevuewa.gov.

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