A few of their ideas already have South Park residents excited: connecting the Duwamish River Trail to the Green River Trail for cyclists, and launching a mosquito fleet—boats that would ferry walk-on passengers over the Duwamish River, from Georgetown and Boeing to South Park.
Cascade Bicycle Club spokeswoman Tessa Greegor says that as congestion heightens on the First Avenue Bridge, "it’s going to be pretty critical that other modes of transportation rises to the surface. This is a great opportunity from an infrastructure and bicycle standpoint."
Greegor points to the major gap between South Park and the start of the Green River Trail. Currently, the Duwamish River trail ends at the First Avenue S Bridge, where bike commuters are spit into heavy truck and freight corridors that lack bike infrastructure and signage. Extending that trail to meet up with the Green River Trail would be a huge boon for cyclist commuters. The problem, of course, is getting funding for such a project. But Greegor says "the city may have the ability to make that trail connection with funding from the Pro Parks Levy."
Meanwhile, Feet First executive director Lisa Quinn says people are exploring the feasibility of running a mosquito fleet across the Duwamish River, between Boeing and South Park. "Businesses rely on people from Boeing and Georgetown to come over for lunch. We're trying to reinvent how they get there." Quinn explains that people will gravitate towards the easiest, quickest form of transportation available, so "our goal is to make that walking commute feasible, easy, and quick."
The work of the Duwamish TMA, Feet First, Cascade Bicycle Club is funded by a Port of Seattle grant to study congestion and air quality in targeted communities—South Park, Sodo, Georgetown, and Tukwila—over a period of two years. In June, the groups will present a final report on South Park that lists recommendations for strengthening non-motorized transportation in the community in terms of low, medium, and high priorities. Quinn says that the idea is to revisit South Park in another year for a progress check. "At that time, we'll see the baseline of what our study recommended, what's actually been accomplished, and then make adjustments. There are a lot of moving pieces right now, some people are calling [the bridge closure] a transportation nightmare, but I think we're hitting on a lot of possibilities, and that's very exciting."