Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board
March 19, 2003
Seattle Popular Monorail Authority
The Securities Building
The Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board eagerly anticipates the release of the Green Line Preferred Alternative. We would like to offer first some general principles that we believe will help keep the monorail pedestrian-friendly, and, based on the Draft Preferred Alternative (DPA) information released so far, offer our comments on some of the alignment and station location proposals. The DPA comments should be taken as specific examples of our general principles.
Comments on the DPA highlights:
Second Avenue alignment. SPAB is most concerned about the idea of pylons on sidewalks, which would present a formidable pedestrian obstacle. Therefore, either the bus lane on the west side of second or the parking lane on the east side would be appropriate for the guideway. We urge the Monorail Project to adopt a "No Pylons on Sidewalks" policy; while we believe that the monorail guideway can be made attractive and minimally intrusive, our sidewalks are already too encumbered by obstacles and we believe the monorail should strive to be a friend to pedestrians both in station areas and along the guideway between stations.
Seattle Center. SPAB supports the "Northwest Route" through Seattle Center, with stations at the current Northwest Rooms site and at 5th and Broad. Of the three Center alignments proposed, we are most concerned about the Thomas St. route, which would endanger one of Seattle's most important pedestrian areas. If the Northwest Route is chosen, we encourage the monorail project to make the Green Line integrate well with the view from south of the International Fountain. Special attention should be given to ensure that the Northwest Rooms station provides easy pedestrian access to the Uptown retail core.
15th Ave W and Elliott W. The monorail has an opportunity here to alleviate an existing pedestrian problem: utility poles on the sidewalk. We urge you to add to the scope of the DEIS a study of carrying these utilities on the monorail infrastructure and removing the poles from the sidewalks on 15th, Elliott, and wherever else the guideway will be traveling down the center of the street.
SPAB looks forward to working with SPMA to help make the monorail an extraordinary improvement to pedestrian life in Seattle.
Rob Ketcherside, Chair, Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board
Matthew Amster-Burton, Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board
cc: Mayor Greg Nickels Seattle City Council Member Nick Licata, Neighborhoods, Arts, and Civil Rights Committee Chair