Error processing SSI file
Link to Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board Home Page Link to SPAB Home Page Link to SPAB About Us Page Link to SPAB Contact Us Page
Advising the City on all matters related to pedestrians .

Home
Board
Meetings
Minutes
Latest Agenda
Documents
Find us on Twitter
Find us on Flickr
Mailing List
Apply to Join
SDOT


Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board

CITY BUDGET PROPOSAL

ADOPTED 3/13/02
revised 4/8/02 Section 2-a

SPAB POSITION PAPER
SEATTLE TRANSPORTATION PEDESTRIAN FACILITIES ADVISORY FOR CITY BUDGET 2003-2004

For many reasons including getting more people out of cars, the City of Seattle should be strongly supporting pedestrian mobility. It is a sorely neglected facet of the City's transportation thinking. For all the benefits that accrue, walking should have the highest priortiy in the City's transportion thinking. Health, transit mobility, peak congestion relief, and an enhanced sense of our city by the citizens are all benefits of pedestrianism.

The neglect of pedestrian routes and pedestrian environment is nowhere more evident than in the City's funding for pedestrian facilities. The Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board has noted that in recent years the Seattle Transportation Budget has significantly increased, but funding for pedestrian matters has remained flat and has shrunk in proportion to the total Seattle Transportation budget.

Our strongest recommendation to the City is that it formally recognize the value of pedestrian mobility by adopting a formula that specifies that a substantial proportion of every Seattle Transportation budget be devoted to the betterment of the pedestiran routes and environment. This is particulary important as major transit improvements are being considered. Let the budget reflect how much the City values pedestiranism, an alternative mode of transportation.

ADDRESSING THE CURRENT BUDGET WRITING PROCESS

The Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board (SPAB) adopted a mission statement in September, 2001: SIX STEPS TO A MORE WALKABLE SEATTLE. In the section "Proportional funding equity for pedestrian improvements" it is stated, "In the last few years the City has significantly increased funding for transportation. However funding for pedestrian improvements such as curb bulbs at corners, crosswalk upgrades, and sidewalk repairs has apparently not kept pace."

The desired outcome which SPAB seeks is to increase CIP funding for pedestrian improvements.

The Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board at its February, 2002 meeting voted to support the funding of pedestrian facilities and their maintenance in the City's 2003-2004 budget writing process.

At that time SPAB also supported the reinstatement of 2002 Budget line item that funds the existing priority list of Neighborhood Street Fund projects.

SPAB now advocates for adequate funding in 2003-2004 of three categories of pedestrian facilities and their maintenance:

  • 1. ANNUAL PROGRAM: NEIGHBORHOOD-PRIORITIZED SMALLER PROJECTS
  • 2. ANNUAL PROGRAM: LARGER CAPITAL PROJECTS
  • 2a. NEW SIDEWALK FUND: ARTERIAL BUS ROUTES
  • 3. A GRANTS MATCHING DOLLAR RESERVE FUND

We, appointed citizen board members of SPAB, agree that 2003-2004 budgeted funds for pedestrian facilities should be applied in the following ways and appropriated at the recommended levels:

1. ANNUAL PROGRAM: NEIGHBORHOOD-PRIORITIZED SMALLER PROJECTS $2 million per year needed in 2003-2004. $1.4 million was available in 2002.

A. Neighborhood Planning Implementaton and Neighborhood Priorities
Funding for this annual program is essential to maintain the link between neighborhood planning implementation priorities and other neighborhood prioritized projects with Seattle Transportation's pedestrian facilities program.

Typical neighborhood prioritized pedestrian facilities projects currently supported by the Neighborhood Street Fund include:

    - Curb Bulbs
  • Bus stop - related sidewalk improvements
  • Curb replacement/realignment
  • Crosswalk enhancement

B. Safety Improvements Responding to Citizens' Communications
Important safety-related items responding to citizens' complaints and proposals which are currently funded include:

  • ADA accessibility features such as curb ramps
  • New sidewalk panels to repair broken sidewalks that present a safety hazard
  • Marking and re-marking of painted pedestrian crosswalks
  • Signs for crosswalks

C. Safety Improvements Responding to Schools' Needs

  • Marking and re-marking of painted pedestrian crosswalks
  • School bus stop curbs and sidewalk maintenance

Seattle Transportation has recently performed a study of uncontrolled, marked pedestrian crosswalks. This study reveals a large body of crosswalks that need improvements in order to continue to function safely.

The background rise in vehicular traffic on Seattle's streets often changes the safety requirements of individual crosswalks.

As the population of school-aged children increases in some neighborhoods, up-grading of pedestrian crosswalks near the schools becomes more important.

Seattle Transportation response to School requests for crosswalk safety improvements will be more important in 2003-2004 than in the past.

The Joint Action for Development of Playgrounds (JAFDP) plan by Seattle Public Schools and the Department of Parks and Recreation for improving playfields on School grounds will bring more children and adults to playfields co-located with schools in the afternoon and evening hours. Pedestrian crosswalk safety challenges will be greater.

2. ANNUAL PROGRAM: LARGER CAPITAL PROJECTS

A. Improve Pedestrian Facilities on arterials that serve Transit Buses:
$2 million is recommended for the 2003-2004 biennium. Only $500 thousand was available in 2002.

  • Provide pedestrian facilities improvements on arterial streets that carry bus transit in order to create better access to bus stops including wheel chair access
  • In partnership with Seattle Public Utilities Salmon clean-up program improve pedestrian facilities as SPU takes up existing sidewalk in order to make salmon-related improvements.
  • Fund the costs of organizing votes on Local Improvement Districts (LIDs) for improvement of pedestrian facilities in neighborhoods which can support an LID with the goal of improving or creating pedestrian facilities and pedestrian safety features. SPAB notes that LIDs in less economically affluent neighborhoods can lead to gentrification and the displacement of lower income residents.

B. Repair and Improvment of Pedestrian Facilities in Neighborhood Business Districts

$200,000 per year in 2003-2004 is needed to make essential repairs for safety in neighborhood business districts:

  • Replace deteriorated panels of sidewalks to enhance economic development
  • Provide wheel chair access to neighborhood commercial areas
  • Provide some curb bulbs to shorten crosswalks in pedestrian zones
  • Improve paint and other markings for signalized crosswalks

The long-term goal should be to make essential repairs to pedestrian facilities in neighborhood business districts within ten years.

(new section)

2.a NEW SIDEWALK FUND
$500,000 was available in 2002. A renewal of this fund is needed in 2003-2004 to be prioritized in that period for arterial streets' new sidewalks, focussing on bus routes.

3. A GRANTS MATCHING DOLLAR RESERVE FUND
A Matching Dollar Fund will Enhance Chances of Success in Seattle Transportation Applications for Federal and State Funding of Pedestrian Facilities:

The goal is to establish a fund from which Seattle Transportation can draw dollars to make up competitive matching dollar offers in federal/state grant applications.

Many grant programs state the minimum proportion of local matching dollars that are required. Often to win the grant, more than the minimum proportion of matching dollars must be committed by the City in the application to receive the grant. Pedestrian facilities grants typically have many competitive local government applicants.