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Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board

Past Minutes of the Board


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

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

SDOT Liaison to SPAB: Megan Hoyt

Presenters: Brian Steinburg & Brian Kenny, Action: Better City

  1. Introductions of continuing and new members
  2. Adopted minutes of 06.11.03 meeting on motion by Amster-Burton and Anderson.
  3. “Viaduct: What Viaduct?” Video presentation: Action: Better City (ABC)

    Steinburg stated that the film is not a point of view piece but meant instead to move the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement project discussion away from cost and engineering topics towards the opportunities presented for positive change in the waterfront environment.

    The video, filled with images from Seattle and other cities, touched on Seattle’s need for public open space, the Olmstead parks legacy, the need for connection to the waterfront, and viewing the viaduct issue as being about more than just moving cars.

    After the video Staeheli asked what prevents the property from being sold to private interests once the viaduct is demolished. Steinburg answered that it is up to the public to ensure the best outcomes. He also believes that some level of development can actually “activate” the waterfront, and skip-stop development could make public spaces safer by breaking up the linear environment.

    ABC is currently working on its publicity strategy and already has the support and/or attention of people in both Seattle and Washington State’s transportation departments. The video has already been shown at several public forums.

    Kenny stressed that the cheapest replacement option, to be unveiled officially at the end of the month, the surface boulevard, is neither pedestrian friendly nor a boulevard. This option if implemented would have more of a highway feel, and with up to nine traffic lanes could take up the vast majority of the east-west space available on the waterfront.

  4. Round Robin

    Hoyt had applications for the third year of the Get Engaged program. The eight applicants must be whittled down to two to four for interviews.

    Ketcherside participated in the Pedestrian Ambassador training for Pedestrian Summer, and participated in the crosswalk action in the Pike-Pine neighborhood and the walking sidewalk debate in Greenwood. He saw many innovative sidewalks on the debate, many of which were created by the residents themselves and may be good field trip destinations.

    Ranger was concerned with the availability of Segway devices for rental to people who have not had the company’s training.

    Staeheli attended the Great Parks, Great Cities conference in New York, which focused on public spaces and connectivity, and the maintenance and reclamation of public lands. She found that the greatest success stories came not from big projects but from baby steps, which might not be the usual view of planners.

  5. Follow-up

    Clark will write a follow-up letter to SDOT Director Grace Crunican. The board discussed strategies for addressing signal timing issues. Amster-Burton will continue to collect information on bad signals. Additionally, the board should look for a good way to re-examine policy issues, as a signal, pushbutton, or crosswalk might logically stay as it is because of policy, but the policy itself may need to be changed.

    Kenny asked if as a member of the public he could submit problems signals or crosswalks to the board. He was invited to pass them along to Amster-Burton.

    Ketcherside will prepare a letter reiterating the principals that the board believes should be followed on the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement project. The letter will be sent once the new set of proposed alternatives is introduced.

  6. Adjourn: 8:05 PM

All SPAB meetings are public meetings of a City Advisory Board. Check the SPAB website at for SPAB minutes, advisories, meetings.