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Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board

Past Minutes of the Board


12 February 2002, 6:00 pm-8:00 pm
Key Tower, 700 5th Ave.
Room 4096

Board Members Present: John Coney, Suzanne Anderson, Amy Clark, Robert Ketcherside, Charity Ranger, Matthew Amster-Burton, and Margaret McCauley, Charles Smith, Mark Schultz

Absent Members: Hemant Bhanoo

SDOT Liaison to SPAB: Megan Hoyt

SDOT Bicycle-Pedestrian Coordinator: Peter Lagerwey

Presenters: Robert Scully (Center City Design Plan); Ethan Melone, Trung Pham (SDOT)

Public: Art Pederson

  1. Adopted minutes of 01.08.03 meeting on motion by Amster-Burton and McCauley.
  2. Center City Design Plan: Robert Scully

    In 1903, the Olmstead Brothers designed parks and boulevards for Seattle based on a "green ring" that would somewhat circle the city but avoided the downtown area completely. The Center City Design Plan, also known as the Blue Ring, connects downtown neighborhoods from S. Jackson St. to Lake Union with the Green Ring using water and other connections.

    City corridors?defined as well traveled and well-known streets that connect to the outer neighborhoods and present the opportunity for sustainable infrastructure?will provide a sense of connection, as will green streets and open spaces within the downtown area.

    Key waterfront connections include Pioneer Square; University Avenue to Pike Place; Broad Street, gateway to the Sculpture Park; and Thomas Street.

    A pilot plan was developed for the Westlake Esplanade, an area from the small public space near the Westin Hotel, stretching along Westlake Ave. to Denny Way. The concept was developed around both the movement of water in the area and the movement of people. The hope is to create a more detailed design in the future, and conduct a traffic analysis to study the impact of the reduction of traffic lanes there.

    There have been a number of changes since the Center City project began, including the Nisqually earthquake, the inclusion of watersheds as a focus, questioning of the idea of a "ring" which is not supported by the street grid, potential for a Lake Union streetcar, and the new administration's different priorities.

    The new draft of the plan takes into account waterfront redevelopment, activity in South Lake Union including Vulcan and the park, the postponed Potlatch Trail project, and the Mercer project. Center City has a staff member working closely with Vulcan.

    Significant transit hubs, such as Terminal 46, King St. Station, Colman Dock, and the Westlake area are seen as key civic places that, combined with the Blue and Green Ring concepts, have potential to create a lot of public space.

    The Edmunds St. Station has two plazas, and planned amenities include spaces for art, congregation, bike storage, phones, vendors, safe lighting, and a neighborhood kiosk. These amenities are similar to those at other stations.

    Center City would like to eventually obtain air rights over I-5 from the Convention Center to Harrison and lid the freeway, connecting Capitol Hill to downtown. Coordination with the Pro Parks project is also factored into current planning.

    Scully stated that the Center City project is not a focus of the current administration, as the Monorail and waterfront issues are seen as a priority. He believes that SPAB can be helpful in encouraging the mayor to consider the project further. The Planning Commission and city council have expressed support and interest, respectively.

    Scully will return at another time to discuss wayfinding.

  3. SDOT and SPMA Coordination: Ethan Melone, SDOT Monorail Program Manager

    SDOT, according to Melone, has begun work on a broad transportation vision, including light rail, monorail, and intermodal hubs/transit triangles developed within the context of a citywide/regional civic plan.

    The SPMA has just finished the environmental impact study (EIS) scooping process, and the "preferred alternative" proposal will be issued next. Detailed station design will not start until the end of this year.

    Melone presented the agency's timeline graphic, showing the proposed timeline for city approvals, design, community involvement, construction/procurement, EIS, government relations, finance, and right-of-way.

    Melone suggested that SPAB submit its input to SDOT as soon as the preferred alternative is published. He also requested the board's input on Second Ave. A west-side alignment had initially been assumed for the monorail, but now the idea of putting the columns in the bus lane should be considered. SDOT does not support putting the monorail in the sidewalk; however the Downtown Seattle Association opposes the loss of parking.

    According to Melone, the SPMA is good to work with and are a very open agency.

  4. Revised SDOT Curb Ramp Standards: Trung Pham, SDOT Accessibility Program

    Detectable warnings have been required on transit platforms, curb ramps, and hazardous vehicular ways since the adoption of the ADA. This requirement was suspended for 10 years to allow further study, and in the summer of 2001 truncated domes (raised cylinders) became the only allowed detectable warning system, as the current crosshatch system has been found to be essentially undetectable.

    SDOT has decided on a square dome pattern, for the ease of wheelchair and other users, though they may present a problem for cyclists. Washington State has adopted "traffic yellow" as the color for truncated domes, but SDOT has yet to adopt a color for the domes. Pham showed the board a variety of materials and designs, but SDOT has decided on a hardened plastic model.

    According to Lagerwey, the domes will be installed at the end of March, earliest.

    So far, the domes are required on new curb ramps only, and there is no requirement or funding for retrofitting. It is not yet known what city crews will think of the truncated domes, and the color and material choice will depend finally upon their long-term maintenance prospects and ease of installation.

  5. Round Robin
    • Amster-Burton and Ketcherside will be meeting with SPMA's Harolynne Bobis on Saturday, February 15. Amster-Burton made available copies of the Sound Transit signage design manual.
    • Lagerwey suggested asking Greg Hill, new SPMA pedestrian/bike coordinator, to come to a SPAB meeting very soon. He also alerted the board to the urgency of the Valley Street planning issue, which is moving quickly and is not offering enough public space. Hoyt is arranging for a presentation soon.
    • Hoyt received 11 applications for the four vacancies on the board. One will be council appointed, the other three are mayoral appointments, and the interviews will be conducted in March.
    • Clark and Anderson both attended monorail workshops. Anderson reported that the SPMA is impressed with SPAB's presence and involvement in the process. She will send the finalized letter to Bob Carroll of Metro, and showed the wheelchair item put in a recent Metro bulletin to drivers.
    • Smith distributed Oakland, CA pedestrian guides.
    • Ketcherside alerted the board to three upcoming meetings: Council member Conlin's viaduct brown-bag on February 26, and the Allied Arts waterfront forums on March 14 and April 10.
    • Ketcherside received a request from Ed Stone, former outreach coordinator for the ETC, to endorse HB 1557 and SB 5559, which close monorail funding loopholes. After discussion, it was decided that a draft should be written and held while Alex Field was consulted as to the advisability of this sort of action, considering the importance of the board's credibility and focus.
  6. Follow-up Letter to Sound Transit: Ketcherside

    The board discussed and revised a draft letter to Johnathan Jackson and Michael Williams of Sound Transit.

  7. Future Agenda Items: Ketcherside

    Ketcherside urged the board to think ahead of time on items to discuss with Councilmember Conlin. Lagerwey believes the most important thing is to push for more money in the budget for pedestrian projects.

  8. Public Comment

    There was no public comment.

  9. Adjourn: 8:15 PM

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