Mayor Greg Nickels has announced his new sidewalk program, Keeping Pace, which will increase the number of sidewalks in Seattle. Mayor Nickels sent legislation to City Council requiring the inclusion of sidewalks in new residential projects within areas of the city where most development is happening, and in all commercial developments, regardless of size.
“Sidewalks are an important part of Seattle’s transportation agenda and one of my goals is to make Seattle the most walkable city in the nation. But many parts of our city have no sidewalks. With this legislation, we can begin building Seattle’s next transportation system one foot at a time,” said Nickels.
The mayor’s proposal requires sidewalks where new projects are proposed along arterials, and within many of the neighborhood commercial and multifamily zones. Single-family additions and remodels in these areas will be required to provide sidewalks unless the addition/remodel is less than 500 square feet. Exceptions will be made for projects proposed within environmentally sensitive areas and other locations where it would be infeasible to build a sidewalk. In particular neighborhoods currently experiencing a wave of small-scale residential growth will benefit from the new regulations.