Curb Ramps - What & Why

What's Happening Now?

SDCI has completed our draft legislation and an environmental (SEPA) review for our proposed curb ramp regulations. Please visit our project documents page to read the proposed legislation and related documents.

This legislation would change the Land Use Code to require curb ramps when new sidewalks are required as part of development projects throughout Seattle. In addition, in the urban villages and urban centers, the curb ramp requirement would apply when development abuts a substandard sidewalk per the Seattle Right-of-Way Improvements Manual.

A curb ramp is a short ramp cutting through a curb or built up to it. A curb ramp includes a ramp with a tactile warning surface, landings, and necessary sidewalk transitions. Curb ramps are an integral part of an age-friendly and accessible community. They make it easier to access the street from the sidewalk for all people, particularly for people who use wheelchairs or other mobility aids, seniors, and people with visual impairments. A curb ramp provides an accessible route that people with disabilities can use to safely transition from a roadway to a curbed sidewalk and vice versa.

Project Goals

Our recommendations will:

  • Increase accessibility for all that use sidewalks
  • Improve public safety by improving access routes from curbed sidewalks to roadways and vice versa
  • Enhance the condition of pedestrian networks in urban villages and urban centers, by improving existing conditions of sidewalks and curb ramps

The End Result

The City Council will hear this item, Council Bill 119333. on September 24, 2018. If approved, it will go into effect 30 days after the ordinance is signed by the Mayor.