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Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board

Past Minutes of the Board

Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board Meeting Minutes

14 August, 2002, 6:00pm-8:00pm
Seattle Municipal Building, Bus Tour meeting at front door

SPAB Members: present John Coney (Chair.), Michael Ingram, Charles Smith, Suzanne Anderson, , Rob Ketcherside , Ethan Bacon, Mark Schultz
Excused: Margaret McCauley
Nominated SPAB Members: Matthew Amster-Burton, Hemant Bhanoo, Amy Clark
City Staff: Megan Hoyt (Seattle Transportation, SPAB staff support), Peter Lagerwey (SDOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Facilities)
Friends of SPAB: Lois Laughlin

1. Adopted minutes of 5/8 (motion by Ketcherside and Smith) and of 7/10/02 (motion by Ketcherside and Anderson).

2. No Amendments to the Agenda

3. Coney reports mailing of four advisories:

  • Segway
  • Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement
  • Outdoor stairways
  • Waterfront access to Elliott Bay

See SPAB website for these advisory texts, put in place there by Ketcherside.

4. Presentation by Coney/Smith I-90 advisory The draft was adopted on a motion by Ingram and Ketcherside. To be printed by Bacon and signed by Smith and Coney. Dated July 30.

5. Round Robin - Board Member self-introductions, brief reports, comments (20 min)
Question: Where is Jefferson Park track letter?(Smith/Bacon)
Answer: The letter of support for this proposed facility is in preparation and will be in the Sept. agenda.

6. Introductions of newly nominated Board Members (Hoyt)

7. The SPAB Tour 2002 Peter Lagerwey drove the Board on its annual bus tour of pedestrian improvements and problem areas.

- Key Tower pedestrian crossings. (Smith) Smith distributed his report on the problematic north-south crosswalk on the east side of the 5th Ave./Cherry intersection, at the tunnel mouth of the entry/exit to the I-5 reversible lanes. Discussion with Lagerwey and Hoyt indicated that some modifications could be made. Lagerwey indicated that the eventual continued use of this tunnel mouth is under consideration at SDOT (Seattle Dept. of Transportation) and WSDOT (Washington State Dept. of Transportation.

- Westlake Trail under construction w/major drainage project.

Lagerwey discussed the Eastlake Ave.-Fairview Ave.-Valley St. bike/pedestrian facilities. The S. Lake Union Park project will complete the facility at the south end of the lake. The Eastlake segment extends as far north as the moorage basin.

Lagerwey led the Board on a tour of the central and north segments of the Westlake bike/pedestrian facility now under construction along with a major storm water drainage project for Lake Union's western shore. The facility is concrete with new drainage and a ten-foot width in most parts. This is not a high speed bikeway, but rather a wide sidewalk with some right angle turns. A segment of original railroad track has been retained for 100' as a decorative and useful cut-through within landscaping. The north end of the facility will connect via existing roads to the Lake Washington Ship Canal Trail and will pass under the new south approach to the Fremont Bridge.

Discussion of optimum speed on Westlake for best carrying capacity (30mph). Discussion of possible lane reduction on Westlake. This seems unrealistic given capacity needs of the arterial.

Future Board consideration: Could Westlake speed be calmed, lanes narrowed, high speed bikeway be constructed at present curb line, thus freeing shoreline bike/pedestrian facility from high speed cyclists and creating a level north-south bike route.

- Low cost alternative sidewalk projects:

Temporary curbs observed in north end. These are under study for durability, ability to stay in place.

- SeaStreets, the natural drainage concept:

The Board observed and walked the block of experimental, narrow, gently winding Sea Street in a residential neighborhood at 2nd Ave. NW/NW 120th.

This design provides sidewalk on one side and provides natural (not piped) drainage through a depressed, curvilinear, landscaped, drainage pit next to the sidewalk.

On-street residential parking is largely eliminated with one or two right angle parking slots provided. The residential parcels have alley access on this block. Ingram and Schultz pointed out that the parking slots seem to be private, but are on the street row (right of way). Some confusion over ownership could result.

Lagerwey explained that this attractive treatment which appears to enlarge the private property, but actually blends street row now landscaped with front yards. Conditions required for implementation of this scheme on a given block: appropriate grade for drainage into linear pit, 100% acceptance by residential property owners, suitable soil conditions (no clay), and continued landscaping maintenance by residents of the block.

The conversion of a conventional block long street segment into a gently winding, narrowed, landscaped row provides a striking, contemporary appearance which should increase property values without requiring expensive drainage installations usually associated with new pedestrian facilities.

Future Board Consideration: How can additional north end blocks be treated in a similar manner? How should sidewalks such as these be paid for.

Are Local Improvement Districts (LIDs) appropriate?

8. 8:00 Adjourn

NEXT SPAB MEETING: WEDNESDAY, Sept. 11, 6PM, Municipal Bldg. 600 - 4th Ave. , 4th floor conference room, on northwest side of the building