Bellevue's comprehensive plan calls for a boulevard and greenway system, distinctive from other streets in the city, to reinforce the image of Bellevue as “city in a park.” A select set of intersections are also identified as key city or district gateways. Both within the right of way and in private development, features such as gateways, street trees, landscaping, median plantings, special lighting, decorative paving and public art should be used to accomplish a cohesive civic system.
Main Street Botanical Garden Entryway
The Urban Boulevards program explores ways to improve neighborhood livability and character as well as the environment through increased tree canopy, natural drainage practices and enhanced streetscapes.
Boulevards or greenways currently in planning or implementation:
Botanical Garden Greenway
The city is exploring ways to improve the streets leading to two of the city's most popular attractions – the Bellevue Botanical Garden and Wilburton Hill Park. Proposed changes are intended to improve access for cyclists and pedestrians while reinforcing Bellevue’s reputation as a “city in a park.” Bellevue Botanical Greenway Design Study Report (Large file - may take a while to upload.)
Incorporating elements of design and nature found in the Botanical Garden, special landscaping and natural drainage could transform Southeast First Street, Main Street and 124th Avenue Northeast into "greenways." Both within the rights of way and on private property, the city will consider features such as: benches, decorative pavement, distinctive signs, public art, special lights or tree canopies.
Newport Hills/119th Avenue Southeast
Where 119th Avenue Southeast crosses Southeast 56th and 60th streets are designated Urban Boulevard and Gateway intersections. This project is a partnership with the Bellevue Arts Commission and its Newport Hills/Lake Heights Public Art Project. Urban Boulevards will install elements such as landscaping, seating, wayfinding, enhanced crosswalks and street banners to upgrade the appearance and quality of the pedestrian environment and create a sense of place based on the community’s ties to the land and natural materials. Design would be inspired by the Bruce Myers rain chain and bus stop designs. The concept will follow the guiding principles set for the 2008 neighborhood identity project.
The Newport Hills shopping district is likely to redevelop in the future. Urban Boulevard enhancements would encourage pedestrian activity, visually enhance the vicinity and potentially encourage private-property improvements.