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Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board

Past Minutes of the Board


April 9, 2003, 6:00 pm-8:00 pm
Key Tower, 700 5th Ave. at Columbia St.
Room 4096

Board Members Present: Rob Ketcherside (Chair), Matthew Amster-Burton, Suzanne Anderson, Amy Clark, Charity Ranger, Charles Smith, Jean Healy, Rob Fellows

SDOT Liaison to SPAB: Megan Hoyt

Presenters: David Levinger (Feet First)

Public: Margaret Kitchell, John Coney

  1. Introductions of continuing and new members
  2. Adopted with revision minutes of 03.12.03 meeting on motion by Anderson and Amster-Burton.
  3. Crosswalk Improvement Plan: Megan Hoyt, SDOT

    In 2001, the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center published a nationwide study of crosswalk design and safety, and as Hoyt told the board about a year ago, Seattle conducted an assessment of uncontrolled marked crosswalks, using new guidelines as a yardstick. This assessment showed that out of 621, 500 were compliant with the new guidelines, 37 were possibly compliant and needed further evaluation; and 84 were non-compliant.

    Measures to increase pedestrian safety were then considered to improve the non-compliant crosswalks. Options considered were "road diets" (reduce the number of travel lanes) to remove multi-threat conditions; add a median island for pedestrian refuge; add a traffic signal or pedestrian signal (if the area meets a warrant); or make changes to pedestrian circulation. The last resort is to remove the marked crosswalk if none of these options will work.

    To date, seven of the non-compliant and possibly compliant crosswalks have been improved. Five of the non-compliant crosswalks have been signalized; and two new road diets (Beacon Ave. S. and Eastlake Ave. E.) have improved one non-compliant and one possibly compliant crosswalk. Additionally, curb bulbs were installed at six compliant crosswalks, five of which were new.

    Proposed for 2003 are improvements to 31 non-compliant or possibly compliant crosswalks. Ten non-compliant crosswalks are being considered for traffic signals or pedestrian signals; three corridors are being considered for road diets; and about 13 crosswalks are being considered as a part of corridor studies.

    Most of the 84 non-compliant crosswalks are along 12 corridors, and the first corridors to be studied will be 23rd Avenue, Westlake Avenue North, and Rainier Avenue South. King County Metro is changing the stop locations for Route 48 to put them near signals, so SDOT has made suggestions to Metro and planned accordingly.

    The Westlake Trail is near completion, and using new quarter-mile signal warrants and new bus stops to be planned for Metro routes, new crossings can be determined. Rainier Ave. S. is the next opportunity, as it is to be repaved this summer.

    Currently SDOT is focusing on fixing corridors that need immediate improvement, and will begin to look at corridors with gaps, such as Aurora Avenue, later. Some comment was made on the issue of pedestrian-only signals, which may become the topic of a future presentation from Hoyt.

  4. City Walking Maps: David Levinger, Feet First

    Feet First worked to develop pedestrian maps that were not guilt-driven or anti-car, with the belief that walkability is the center of community living and that pedestrianism is one constructive response to the struggles of, and a way to share the beauty of, that community.

    The various Seattle neighborhood pedestrian maps were created using GIS data, knowledge of individual neighborhoods, and attractive, convenient designs that differ from map to map. Maps can be distributed on buses and transit hubs or canvassing. After the initial printing, maps are evaluated based on usability and reprinted after the necessary changes are made.

    "Walking Uptown" will be out in May; a Beacon Hill map will be available this summer; the Monorail project would like a series of pedestrian maps along the Green Line route; and Feet First is applying for a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for a Better Living Grant to develop maps for five neighborhoods.

    The Ballard Pedestrian's Friend was paid for with a $5,000 grant, and "UWalk" was created with $7,500 from the University of Washington transportation office.

    Coney suggested that Feet First film documentaries about each map to increase publicity.

    Mobility was not factored into the UWalk map to a great extent because Feet First was told that curb cuts were not in GIS databases. In the future they hope to include slope in the maps without making them too cluttered. The Uptown map shows one accessible loop and one loop that includes stairs.

    Levinger stated that this is the time for pedestrian maps, because of the combined factors of GIS improvements, increasing public interest, and the interest of places like Children's Hospital and King County, and the Wing Luke Asian Museum. Anyone with questions or comments on the maps should email Levinger at

  5. Round Robin

    Ketcherside joined the mayor for a neighborhood sidewalk tour. The locations they visited?such as the Greenwood neighborhood experimental sidewalks and Kenyon Street in the Rainier Valley?may be good places to visit on the next SPAB field trip.

    Councilmember Conlin's office contacted Ketcherside requesting a representative from the board to attend the Pedestrian Summer Steering Committee meeting on May 7. Anderson and Smith volunteered.

    Coney updated the board on the Seattle Center Theater Street, which includes water and lighting features and adds a new block of 2nd Avenue through the Center.

    Amster-Burton sent the letter to the Monorail Project that was approved at the previous meeting, and met with Joel Horn, Peter Sherwin, and others from the Monorail. He was told that the SPMA is in agreement with SPAB on pedestrian issues, but pedestrian advocates need to help them push those ideas through. The Monorail Parking and Access Workshop will be April 26 at 8:30 AM at the Convention Center.

    Smith updated the board on the Burke-Gilman Trail extension and his attendance at the Jefferson Park Trail groundbreaking.

    Anderson received a response from Rick Walsh of Metro Transit regarding the letter in response to Bob Carroll's visit. Further action on the part of the board may be indicated by the content of the response. Anderson has also contacted Metro and the city concerning overlap of waste receptacles in her neighborhood.

    Hoyt announced Bhanoo's resignation from the board due to unavoidable scheduling conflicts. Additionally, 3 new members will be appointed to the board on April 15, leaving 2 vacancies.

    Clark brought up the impending I-5 paving replacement project and its implications for the city, specifically in terms of mitigation along the lines of the lids mentioned during the Center City Design Plan. After discussion the board agreed that a letter should be written in favor of mitigation, minimally sound walls.

    Ranger asked how the board could support walking maps. It was concluded that they could be displayed and publicized during the Pedestrian Summer, try to recruit neighborhoods less enthusiastic about the project, ask the City Council to budget for them, and suggest that the maps be created as a part of the mitigation for city construction projects.

    Healy described her interest in clearing the right-of-way for all pedestrians, and her work with wayfinding and new vibrating signals at intersections. Hoyt mentioned that SDOT has truncated domes on display for public viewing.

    Coney suggested that Healy give her recommendations for crosswalk wayfinding and signals to Ven Knox of the Monorail Project. Amster-Burton expressed interest in working with Healy to put together an advisory on sidewalk obstructions.

  6. Retreat topics and Follow-ups

    Ketcherside asked the board to think about what topics should be covered during the retreat and email them to the listserv as soon as possible so that presenters could be invited to speak.

    McCauley will follow up with Dr. Koepsell concerning his elderly crossing study presentation. Clark will put together a summary of the Fremont Bridge project for the board before the May meeting.

  7. Public comment

    There was no public comment at this time.

  8. Adjourn: 8:10 PM

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