The areas around Arlington’s Quake Field and Evans Field will have additional proper sidewalks soon as the city received a $600,000 grant to construct them.
The streets near the Arlington Boys & Girls Club receive a lot of pedestrian use from events, but currently do not have sidewalks.
The construction for the project is scheduled to start in 2020 and finish in 2021.
“This is a high traffic area with our parks that doesn’t have any curbs, gutters or sidewalks,” said Kristin Banfield, communications manager for the city of Arlington.
The area has a skate park and multiple baseball fields and is used for sports leagues and community events.
In addition to sidewalks, the city plans to put in some mid-block crossings for families and children using the fields.
“We want to make sure that we have safe passage there to get across the street,” said Banfield. “Anyone attending those events needs those safety features."
Public art and decorative bike racks are also planned to be a part of the project.
“We want to provide amenities for those folks who are riding their bikes down to the park,” said Banfield.
The Airport Trail and 188th Street NE Trail are used by cyclists and pedestrians, and the improved walking access will benefit them as well.
“In part we wanted this because it’s going to connect the trail segments and new development that is going in in the area,” said Banfield.
The $600,000 grant comes from the Washington State Transportation Improvement Board, which is funded from part of the state’s gas tax.
“They’re really focused on the concept of ‘complete streets,’” said Banfield.
The idea of ‘complete streets’ means making sure that the road networks provide everyone the means to get around, even if they are cyclists or pedestrians.
“What we have gone away from is building streets that are just focused on enhancing the automobile traffic system,” said Banfield.
“So ‘complete streets’ is really about adding in those features, or if we’re building new roads making sure those elements are part of the plan,” said Banfield.
The Arlington area was nominated by Community Transit for the grant.
“This is an interesting grant program that the TIB has put together,” said Banfield.
“They do a nomination period first where specific groups are permitted to nominate projects and areas that need improvement,” she said.
Ordinarily grant programs are open to any applicants that submit a grant proposal, however this Transportation Improvement Board grant is a little more closed off.
“We’re really thankful to the TIB for awarding us with this grant,” said Banfield.