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Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board

Past Minutes of the Board


January 9, 2002

Present: SPAB members Ethan Bacon, John Coney (Chair), Mark Gardner, Michael Ingram, Rob Ketcherside, Drew Robinson, Mark Schultz

SeaTran Staff: Megan Hoyt, Jennifer Hefferan, Peter Lagerwey, Shauna Walgren

Friends of SPAB: Lois Laughlin

Presenters Doug Lorentzen (Chair. Citywide Review Team, DON)

Absent but excused: Suzanne Anderson (Vice Chair.), Margaret McCauley, Charles Smith


  1. Amendments to the Agenda
    No amendments.
    Adopt minutes

  2. Board Action: The Minutes of the SPAB December 12 meeting were not reviewed and adopted in order to make up for a late start of the meeting. These minutes will be adopted along with the minutes of this meeting at the February 13 meeting.

  3. Budget, continued from Nov., Dec.
  4. Background: Adequate funding for pedestrian facilities and programs is one of the Board's identified priorities. Pete Lagerwey of SeaTran updated SPAB on 12/12/01 on the adopted 2002 SeaTran Budget Revisions. $1.2 million is in the 2002 revised SeaTran budget for pedestrian improvements. He reviewed the safety and ADA-related criteria for pedestrian improvements by SeaTran in 2002. He reviewed the elimination for 2002 of the Neighborhood Street Fund (NSF), the budget line it em which enabled SeaTran to respond to expressed prioriti es of the neighborhoods and to implement pedestrian facility elements of Neighborhood Plans. 39 Neighborhood Plans were adopted in 1999-2000. SPAB communicated support for retention of the NSF to Mayor Schell, City Council Transportation Committee, and SeaTran in November, 2001.

    Shauna Walgren of SeaTran gave a power point presentation showing the nature of nine completed neighborhood prioritized pedestrian facilities improvement projects. Most utilized a combination of NSF funding with Neighborhood Matching Fund grants and art grants. The projects were funded over a five-year period.

    Doug Lorentzen, citizen volunteer Chair. of the City-wide Review Team, the DON's volunteer group that has prioritized Neighborhood Matching Fund and NSF projects, spoke about how funds have been prioritized to respond to neighborhood priorities and to implement Neighborhood Plans.

    He explained that the NSF enabled SeaTran to respond to neighborhood priorities which are often not the same as safety/traffic flow/ADA factors used to prioritize pedestrian projects by SeaTran staff. Lorentzen pointed out that funds currently in the reduced SeaTran budget for 2002 could still be transferred to retain the NSF line item. This transfer can happen at any
    time. He advised the Board to advocate for a neighborhood priority pedestrian improvements line item in the 2003-2004 budget biennium.

    A question and answer session with Walgren, Lorentzen, and Lagerwey ranged over such issues as how to advise Mayor and City Council on restoration of neighborhood plan priorities and other neighborhood priorities for pedestrian improvement projects. Lagerwey agreed that some already prioritized, but currently cut, NSF projects could be re-funded in 2002.

    Board Action: Referred to Advisory Committee (Coney, Anderson, Bacon) for proposed action in February. The Committee will develop written advice to SeaTran staff, Council Transportation Committee Chair. Richard Conlin, his Committee, and Mayor Nickels.

  5. Pedestrian Crosswalk Inventory Report
  6. Background: A three-year plan for crosswalk facilities maintenance, improvement and prioritization will be completed by SeaTran under the supervision of Megan Hoyt by mid-year. Jennifer Hefferan, SeaTran Intern, gave a presentation on the SeaTran Pedestrian Crosswalk Improvement Project's Crosswalk Inventory Study now in progress.

    She reported that the inventory of marked, uncontrolled crosswalks citywide is now complete. The inventory divides the unmarked crosswalks into three categories: C, P, and N.

    C: Compliant marked, uncontrolled (unsignalized), crosswalks are ones where a marked crosswalk does not increase the chance of a collision between vehicles and pedestrians. In situations where the crosswalk meets the definition of category C there will be no increase the chances of pedestrian/vehicular collision. There are 501 C crosswalks.

    Guidelines for Compliant marked crosswalks are based on four significant factors that determine the safety of a marked pedestrian crosswalk:
    - Vehicle volumes
    - Number of lanes a pedestrian must cross
    - Vehicle speed
    - Median refuge island is present if four lanes of vehicular traffic is present.

    A combination of ratings for the first three factors is necessary to assign a marked, unsignalized crosswalk as a C (compliant) crosswalk.

    These guidelines will be used to evaluate unmarked crosswalks for painted crosswalks without traffic signals, or to determine whether traffic signals would be needed to create a C crosswalk. Hopefully no more P or N crosswalks will be created.

    P: Possibly non-compliant: On these marked, unsignalized crosswalk there is a chance that just leaving the crosswalk marked without traffic controls could possibly result in more pedestrian/vehicular collisions. There are 37 P Crosswalks.

    N: Non-compliant: In these crosswalks a marked crosswalk alone is not recommended and could increase the number of pedestrian/vehicular collisions. If there is a marked crosswalk now, it will need full signals or a pedestrian signal to offer more traffic control. There are 84 N crosswalks.

    Hefferan photographed and made drawn plans of each crossing. She noted existing signs, sightlines, illumination, pavement, marking conditions, ADA compliance, and walkways. The ensuing study will develop a three-year plan to improve the pedestrian crossings that are practical to treat.

    The next step for SeaTran staff is to create a workplan for crosswalk improvement. SeaTran will conduct several corridor studies to evaluate possible solutions for P and N marked, unsignalized crosswalks that are corridor-related.

    Changes in the traffic controls in the corridors with poor crossings or signalizing the crosswalks are possible, as yet unfunded solutions.

    Questions and Answer session: Board members asked how to determine other priorities from neighborhood plans and from neighborhood groups, in SeaTran consideration of crosswalk locations. How are other priorities considered relating to Metro Transit, Sound Transit, The Seattle Public School District? Lagerwey asked Board members to bring in information on any marked pedestrian crossings they hear about for consideration for
    improvements under this study.

    He noted that many painted crosswalks could be repainted in the near future as weather permits. Curb cuts can be made if disabled persons contact SeaTran and demonstrate that no wheelchair route from their residence to transit exists due to lack of curb cuts.

    Board Action: Referred to the Standards Committee for proposed action in February or sooner if appropriate. Ingram, Bacon, and McCauley will develop some recommendations.

  7. Committee Assignments and Structure
    Background: SPAB has an ad hoc committee structure. Few committee meetings have been held. Some action items have been difficult to complete in time to be useful. The Board may need to give more careful consideration to complex action items in 2002.

  8. Goal: Each agenda item with a potential for an action item is assigned to a committee. Committees meet, confer with staff and other contacts, recommend motion(s) for action by SPAB. Participation: Each Board Member serves as a committee chair. or member.

    John Coney (Chair.) presented by e-mail a Draft Committee Structure:
    - Advisory Committee
    Develops texts of written and oral advisories to Mayor, Council, City Departments such as SeaTran.
    Delivers advisories to designated addressees and meetings.
    Reports back advisories delivered and keeps file.
    Tracks Docket Items with Council Central Staff and Neighborhood Committee staff.
    John Coney, Suzanne Anderson, and secretary Ethan Bacon.

    - Standards Committee
    Works with SeaTran staff to review, advise, and prepare SPAB agenda leading to endorsement of elements of the Pedestrian Facilities

    Standards document and other SeaTran plans/studies.
    Michael Ingram (confirmed), Ethan Bacon, Margaret McCauley

    - Education Committee,
    Works with SeaTran staff and other commissions (Design Commission?) to plan and fund education campaigns.
    Lester Goldstein, Mark Schultz (current members)

    - Plans Committee
    Tracks major planning projects with pedestrian impact for City that are part of or beyond SeaTran responsibilities: SR99 viaduct, Aurora; SR520; I-5 lids; I-90 walkways; Parks connections/trails; Waterfront studies by SPO; Monorail Project; Vulcan Urban Renewal in S. Lake Union.
    Members serve on advisory groups for WSDOT, SPO, ETC,
    Drew Robinson (Metro knowledge), Charles Smith (SBAB), Mark Gardner, Rob Ketcherside

    - Bicycle Board Liaison
    Represents SPAB at SBAB meetings. Develops agenda items related to both boards. Works with Tom Bertulis, Chair. SBAB.
    Charles Smith, Rob Ketcherside

    Coney briefly presented the philosophy of utilizing committees to develop agenda items and texts for volunteer groups. In this way individual Board members take responsibility for learning about agenda topics in advance and writing up drafts of SPAB advisories. Committees will report their work at SPAB meetings.

    A discussion of the committee structure followed. The handling of information about City Council docket items was considered for the Advisory Committee.

    Board Action: Ethan Bacon was elected Secretary. He will serve on both the Standards Committee and the Advisory Committee. He will participate in the writing of advisory texts.
    The Board will consider their committee roles and the committee structure will be revisited and revised or approved at the February meeting.

  9. Annual Report (Progress Report)
    Michael Ingram presented the report. He thanked Lester Goldstein for drafting the report. He proposed that the Six Steps to a More Walkable Seattle be appended to the report as a mission statement.

  10. Board Action:The Report and Six Steps were adopted and referred for delivery to the Advisory Committee. The Report will be submitted to the new Chairman of the City Council Transportation Committee, Richard Conlin, the new Director of SeaTran (yet to be hired), and Mayor Greg Nickels, among others.

  11. Future Agenda Items
    ESeattle Street Improvement Manual (guidelines for development which affects pedestrian facilities)
    (Standards Committee)
    - Street Use Policies and Enforcement (Advertising and vendors on sidewalks)
    (Advisory Committee)
    - Trans Lake Washington (I-90 walkway alternatives, SR520 S. Lake Union Intersection impacts)
    (Plans Committee)
    - SR99 North WSDOT Study (sidewalks and crossings)
    (Plans Committee)
    - Seattle Parks Levy Oversight Committee (pathways in parks, new, funded connections for pedestrians into parks.)
    (Plans Committee)
  12. Meeting for new Board Members
    John Coney outlined the agenda of a meeting for new Board Members, Bacon, McCauley, and Ketcherside. At the meeting will be Coney (SPAB Chair.), 2001 Chair Michael Ingram, SeaTran staff person Megan Hoyt, Vice Chair Suzanne Anderson, and any Board Members who wish to attend. The meeting will be at 6:30PM, Wednesday, January 23 at the Elliott Bay Book Co.. CafE downstairs in the bookstore on First Avenue South at South Main St. in Pioneer Square

    Goal: Familiarize new members with the past and present issues that on which SPAB has advised city government. Give new members SPAB documents and procedure manuals. Discuss interests of new members as they relate to future SPAB agenda items and committees.
  13. The SPAB Website
    Megan Hoyt presented the specifics of the new site and how to add/subtract content. Upkeep of the site will be performed by Hoyt. Contact her at with texts of additions or deletions. Congratulations to Megan for setting up this new site. Please see e-mail from Ketcherside and Gardner for further discussion of the site design.
  14. Public Comment
    There was none.
  15. 8:15pm Adjourned.

    NEXT SPAB MEETING: 6:00PM, February 13, 600 Fourth Avenue at Cherry St., the
    Municipal Building, 4th Floor Conference Room in the south end of the building. Enter at Cherry St. 2ld floor door. Sign in with guard.

    For further information contact John Coney, Chair. SPAB 206/283-2049,

    All SPAB meetings are public meetings of a City Advisory Board.