Seattle Parks and Recreation Jesús Aguirre, Superintendent
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Design Intent* for Park Boulevards and Trails


Design guidelines ** and landscape plans*** to be developed for specific park boulevards or trails should:

  1. establish a visual sense or character of public park property;

  2. respect the original design intent and historic use of the boulevard system;

  3. provide a design continuity discernible to persons using the boulevard or trail for park, recreation, or transportation purposes;

  4. allow public use of park boulevards and trails that is appropriate to the size, scale, and capacity of the facility;

  5. provide improvements on park boulevards and trails that are compatible with the neighborhood and appropriate for the user community;

  6. provide a safe and accessible route for pedestrians. Other non-pedestrian uses, such as bicycles or skates, may be accommodated, if appropriate. Automobile traffic should be restricted to portions of boulevards that are intended to function as street roadways;

  7. eliminate and prevent boulevard or trail property from being used for private parking spaces;

  8. allow access across park boulevards or trails for driveway, pedestrian walkway, utilities, or other necessary purposes if such access is a legal right of the adjacent property owner and if other access is not available;

  9. encourage property owners adjacent to park boulevards to participate in landscape improvement and maintenance, consistent with Department design guidelines and landscape plans;

  10. seek to minimize disruption for park boulevard or trail users and neighbors when making changes or improvements that have been determined through a public review process;

  11. include visible markers to identify park boulevards or trails.

Definition of Terms:

* Design Intent - the long term results to be achieved, encompassing both aesthetic and utilitarian considerations. Design intent will direct or influence decisions about the design, development, improvement, and recreational use of park property.

** Design Guidelines - the written descriptions of design features that may be allowed, such as trees, other plantings, walkways, driveways, type of curb, etc. Design guidelines may specify a size, type, color, location, and other relevant specifications for a design feature. Design guidelines may include a range of choices or recommendations.

*** Landscape Plans - drawings showing the location and type of elements desired, for the purpose of planning and implementing future improvements.

*Note: To view a PDF, you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader. Download it for free at

Updated January 11, 2007
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