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Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board

Guidelines for Evaluation of Transportation and Construction Projects


The purpose of this document is to outline the Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board (SPAB)'s criteria for drafting advisory on a large construction or transportation related project. The board is charged with advising the Mayor and City Council on pedestrian related issues. Advisories will be based in part on a projectfs conformation to each of the below objectives.


Not all of these criteria are applicable to every project. However any given project is expected to fulfill all of the criteria that are relevant. When evaluating a project, board members should consider whether conditions are better, the same, or worse than before the project for each criteria. Additionally, members should implement a sliding scale rather than expect a project to meet their ideals of perfection. At the same time, it is important to communicate how projects vary from our ideals. It is also essential to relate any future expectations in our advisories, such as design implementation which has been planned for completion in later phases.

City-wide or repeated occurances of problems with oen of the categories listed below should be considered as a topic for the Standards committee to take up.


The criteria are broken down into several areas: Accessibility (Will the project be usable by individuals not solely under the power of two feet, and is it convenient to all users?); Aesthetics (Will pedestrians be drawn into the environment?); Safety (Will users be protected from hazards?); and Construction (Are needs mitigated during construction?).

  • Wheelchair ramps
  • Elevators
  • Degree of rise
  • Firmness of path materials
  • Minimum Energy Path ? direct alternative to meandering wheelchair paths and over/underpasses
  • Way-finding signage
  • Provides useful routes between major destinations
  • Easy to get between major destinations
  • Federal ADA standards
  • Furniture which is sufficient and attractive. Most significant are garbage cans and benches.
  • Furniture placed appropriately
  • Landscaping
  • Pavement material appearance
  • Weather protection
  • Parking lots not located between buildings and street
  • Retail buildings address the street they face
  • No blank facades or walls along the outside edge of the sidewalk
  • Separation from vehicular traffic
  • Separation from bicycle traffic
  • Lack of hazards and pit falls
  • Visibility
  • Sidewalk width
  • Signage alerting drivers of pedestrian presence
  • Transparency (no hiding places)
  • Sightlines are preserved
  • No cars parked at corners corners ? perhaps paint in no parking on pavement
  • Buffer between sidewalk and street, such as bushes, bike lane, or furniture
  • Retention of walkways: elevated portables, lane closure for sidewalk
  • Traffic police or construction employee to direct pedestrian traffic as well as car

Document version 10/29/2002
Robert Ketcherside