Bring back the sidewalk on west side of Harvard Ave. E. that I-5 swallowed up

Once there was a sidewalk (along with homes, and other parts of Eastlake and North Capitol Hill) on the west side of Harvard Avenue E., north from where it intersects with Lakeview Blvd. and E. Howe St. Now as a result of the 1962 I-5 constructon there’s a sidewalk only on the east side of Harvard Avenue E. and for 300 feet to the north this sidewalk is steeply elevated above the street (hence not within reach if you are walking in the street); and to the south this “sidewalk” ends in stairs that are impassable for wheelchairs, strollers, and some others. See the photos below.

harvard-ave-e-missing-sidewalk-facing-north-from-lakeview-blvd-and-e-howe-st.jpg
In the photo above, facing north up Harvard Avenue East, note the steps at the south end of the “sidewalk” on the street’s right (east) side, and the missing sidewalk on its left (west) side

harvard-avenue-e-looking-south-with-missing-sidewalk-on-west.jpg
In the photo above, facing south down Harvard Avenue East, note the absence of a sidewalk on the right (west) side, and the inability of pedestrians in the street to reach the sidewalk on the left (east) side.

There’s still room to bring back the sidewalk on the west side of Harvard Avenue E., and its return is badly needed. Not to do so is terribly unsafe and unfair. Most people with disabilities or with baby strollers cannot use the stairs at the sidewalk’s south end steps and hence they must walk in the street. And others who would like to get to the sidewalk from Harvard Avenue E. just can’t because its southernmost 300 feet are steeply elevated above the street.

Before I-5 was built, the sidewalk that was on the west side of Harvard Avenue E. (unlike the one that remains on the east side) was level with the street (not elevated) and it had no stairs to block wheelchairs or strollers. But this west sidewalk isn’t there any more—and it’s time to bring it back!

A suggested initial priority is that the sidewalk on the west side of Harvard Avenue E. should extend north at least 300 feet, allowing pedestrians to cross Harvard Ave. E. to where the sidewalk on the east side of Harvard Avenue E. comes down to street level. In the long run, the sidewalk on the west side of Harvard Avenue E. should be put back for the full five blocks it used to run north to E. Miller St.—now a spectacular viewing area over I-5 out to Lake Union, Elliott Bay, the Olympic Mountains, and unmatchable sunsets.

Please help! Write (or collect signatures on a petition!) asking the Mayor, City Council, and Seattle Department of Transportation to fund a sidewalk on the west side of Harvard Avenue E. north of Lakeview Blvd. Please also cc the ECC at info@eastlakeseattle.org. For a one-page flier with much of the above information about the project proposal, click here).

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