Many local schools, churches, and organizations officially endorse the project. See our Endorsements page for a list of organizations.
Formed in January 2014, the Newport Way Sidewalk Committee works with a variety of South Bellevue neighborhoods, organizations and City of Bellevue departments to gather support to urge Bellevue City Council to prioritize the building of a safe sidewalk along a dangerous stretch of Newport Way that connects Eastgate Park, South Bellevue Community Center, Newport Way Library, Aldersgate Church and Day Care Center, Tyee Middle School and Edgebrook Swim Club.
These photos show before and after visualizations of the project. The photos are from Bellevue’s 2009 Pedestrian and Bicycle Transportation Plan Project Visualizations (link to PDF document). The photo is taken near the South Bellevue Community Center.
Read the complete story behind the neighborhood effort to build the sidewalk in an article published in the Somerset Neighbors magazine (October 2020), written by Amy George.
The Bellevue City Council has supported building a sidewalk along Newport Way as part of the "master plan", but it never became a high priority. In early 2014 a small group of neighbors got together to raise awareness in the community and encourage the City Council and Transportation Commission to move the project forward. 2014 was a critical year for action because the Council was reviewing proposals for, and approving the Capital Investment Program (CIP) budget. It would be another 2 years before the next budget cycle.
In December 2014 the Council approved a budget that included $7M for the project. After initial design and exploration the budget was increased to 8.1M. The project started early 2018 and is currently expected to be complete by summer of 2018.
We are a group of neighbors who came together to get out the word about the project. We are not an "official" committee or non-profit organization, just concerned neighbors donating their time and money to help make the sidewalk a reality. You can read the full story of the project and formation of the committee in this story published in the Oct 2020 issue of Somerset Neighbors magazine. For details on goals of the project, see this document. Additional information is on the Contact page.
Largely thanks to our community’s efforts, the project was approved in December 2014. In 2015 a project manager was assigned, a contracting firm selected, surveying begun, and brainstorming sessions were held to create initial design concepts. Also, radar speed limit signs were installed and the speed limit reduced along Newport Way. Initial design concepts and design tradeoffs were discussed in March 2016.
In March 2016, the city hosted an Open House to show initial design concepts and options, and to get community feedback. Many neighbors came and learned about the project, and the project staff gathered valuable feedback on the many design options and preferences. Based on feedback from the open house and initial surveying, and general design concept was established in early 2017. After more surveying and detailed design the city hosted a second open house on May 31st 2017 and presented more specific and refined design concepts for public review and comment.
Construction began in Spring of 2020, and was accelerated during the COVID pandemic while there were few cars travelling on the road. The project will be completed in November 2020, earlier than originally estimated. Final painting and striping will be completed in Spring 2021.
Sidewalk Committee photo near Library on Newport Way.
Taken September 2020 during construction and COVID restriction.
The superimposed photos above show a cyclist riding on the shoulder on a curve along Newport Way, and a car driving on the same shoulder.