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Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board

Past Minutes of the Board

Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board Meeting Minutes

12 June, 2002, 6:00pm-8:00pm
Seattle Municipal Building, Fourth Floor, RH Thompson Room

SPAB Members: present John Coney (Chair.), Michael Ingram, Ethan Bacon, Charles Smith, Suzanne Anderson, Margaret McCauley, Mark Schultz Recently resigned: Lester Goldstein
City Staff: Megan Hoyt (Seattle Transportation, SPAB staff support) Pauh Wang (SBAB staff support)
Friends of SPAB: Lois Laughlin, Drew Robinson (SPAB term limit has expired)
SBAB Members: Tomk Bert lis (Ch. SBAB), Adam Pompana, Emily Allen
Members of the public: Jean Sundborg (Ch. Uptown Alliance), Doug Lorentzen (Pres. Friends of Queen Anne), Allan Panitch (Queen Anne Community Council), Morgan Alexander
Guests: CM Peter Steinbrueck, Stephanie Pure (Legislative to CM Steinbrueck)
SPAB Members absent: Rob Ketcherside (excused)

Note: Some agenda items are out of order. CM Steinbrueck arrived at 6:30pm.

  1. 6:00m Amendments to the Agenda, none.
  2. 6:05pm Adopted minutes of 4/10/02 on motion by Adnderson and McCauley.
  3. 6:10pm Round Robin - Board Member self-introductions, brief reports, comments (20 min)
    - Anderson: Report on CM Steinbrueck's presentation on transportation and monorail project at the Downtown Community meeting.
    - McCauley: Police pedestrian enforcement letter ready to print. Bacon will put it on paper for Coney's signature.
    - Smith: Reported on completion of SBAB booklet to be available to the public. Suggests a SPAB booklet on good street/pedestrian design.
    - Smith will write updated version of his I-90 pedestrtian facility advisory letter for consideration at the July meeting.
    - Smith has sent Jefferson Park walking track letter to Ethan Bacon to be put on paper for Coney's signature.
    - Hoyt reported on the new Policy and Planning Division of SDOT (formerly Seattle Transportation) to be headed by Barbara Gray, Director of Mobility Planning.
    - Ingram: New Street Improvment standards document advisory to be presented at Sept. meeting.
    - Schultz: Reported on his research into street widths and encroachments into pedestrian rows.
    - Tom Bertulis, Chair. SBAB proposed Jane Donald, Chair. of group implementing the Riverview Trail as a SPAB guest in July. Megan Hoyt will invite her.
    - Coney: Will invite a representative of the Friends of the Burke Gilman Trail for July. FBGT is working with Ballard stakeholders to establish an alignment of the BGT through Ballard's industrial area, a more direct route than the existing on-street route. City Council is re-evaluating the BGT Ballard route.
  4. 6:35pm SPAB's guest, Council Member Peter Steinbrueck, President of the Seatttle City Council, Chair of the Council's Parks, Education, and Libraries Committee.
    - Establishing a pedestrian level of service standard and reporting method is important.
    - Do not advise Councilmembers on police enforcement, Only the Mayor and the Executive (Department) can command or set new goals for the SPD.
    - Don't focus on jaywalking enforcement. Focus on enforcement against and education of intolerant drivers and their failure to yield to pedestrians.
    - Another budget issue to address is the recommended 2003 reduction or elimination of funding for police at school crossings. CMs Heidi Wills (Transportation) and Jan Drago (Finance) are adresses for this advisory.
    - Don't advise Council to appropriate funding for north end residential sidewalks. Rather emphasize sidewalks for arterials, school routes, neighborhood shopping areas. Do not urge asphalt compound sidewalks, because they're not durable enough.
    - Recommendations for neighborhood-selective reductions in DCLU mandated parking slots in new, multifamily residential developments can boost pedestrian/transit trips. (Bacon topic)
    - SPAB could recommend a fund be created to ensure construction of pedestrian facilities adjacent to low-cost residential developments of nine or less units.
    - SPAB could recommend Steinbrueck's or others' concepts for a dedicated city tax for transportation facilities, i.e. user tax on non-business owner-operated parking off-street parking slots.

    - Introductory remarks by CM Steinbrueck
    Some of Steinbrueck's major interests as a CM: Civility and mobility; trails; improving mobility as part of the Seattle urban fabric. Cites Seattle's interrupted grid plan and likes major boulevards, worthy of enhancement.
    Suffered bad bicycle accident as a youth. Now a very defensive driver. Steinbrueck is angry over intolerance of current Seattle drivers toward other drivers and pedestrians/cyclists. Despite current driver tensions, Seattle remains a friendly city.
    Seattle is conflicted about bike routes. We want them, but don't fund them.
    Steinbrueck edited the sections of the Transportation Elements of the Seatttle Comprehensive (Strategic) Plan, noting the conflicting recommendations re/bikes and pedestrians.
    Steinbrueck is taking the lead on some steps toward pedestrian safety. But Steinbrueck notes difficulty in obtaining data on bike/pedestrian accidents, numbers of traffic code enforcement actions by SPD, safety records. 272 citations for violating the pedestrian row were issued in 2000. But records of SPD enforcement of pedestrian row encroachment by motorists, businesses, and property owners difficult to obtain. It was agreed to send CM Steinbrueck at copy of the SPAB letter to SPD on pedestrian row enforcement. SPB reported to Steinbrueck that 10 pedestrians are killed each year, a lower number than in previous decades. However civilty on our streets on the part of drivers seems to be in decline. In the fall there will be a Pedestrian/Cyclist Safety Forum held in City Council Chambers. SPAB should participte.
    - Questions by SPAB Members
    Coney: How can pedestrian facilities in north Seattle, annexed after much development without sidewalks, be completed?
    Steinbrueck: Don't urge funding of north end sidewalks. (See tip above) Asphalt sidewalks won't hold up. Many encroachments to the pedestrian row in residential blocks exist which will be difficult and painful to remove. A commitment to complete sidewalks was made at the time of annexation of the north end communities, but that commitment may not remain valid.
    On a more positive note: SPAB might urge use of some CIP funding for key sidewalks on arterials, neighborhood business areas, and school routes. At some time a transportation bond will be proposed which could pay for some north end pedestrian improviements.
    Schultz: How can the city mitigate or enforce encroachments into the pedestrian row by commercial signs, cafe tables, etc?
    Steinbrueck: Council does not order SPD enforcement of particular items. Work with Mayor's office.
    Stephanie Pure: The Council has asked newspapers to reduce and improve the newspaper vending boxes. They agreed to do that, since the Council can regulate newspaper vending boxes in some ways if they choose to do so.
    Bacon: In moving Seattle away from being an auto-centric city toward improved pedestrian mobility could the step be taken of reducing the number of DCLU-required parking slots in new, multifamily residential buildings from today's 1.5 slots per residence?
    Steinbrueck: The Council has restored the high number of parking slots required in new, multifamily construction projects. CM Judy Nicastro is looking for neighborhoods that have larger numbers of non-car owning residents. She has worked with Pike-Pine to allow that neighborhood to be exempted from the 1.5 parking slots per residence requirement, although DCLU usually opposes spot exemptions, preferring city-wide requirments.
    I suggest studies to identify high transit use neighborhoods as candidates for relaxed parking slot requirements for new multifamily residential developments.
    The current ordiance that allows up to eight unrelated people to occupy a singly residential unit puts many cars on the streets with the one parking slot per single family residence.
    SDOT Director Grace Crunican is expert in parking matters. Look for new proposals from SDOT.
    Don't expect the City Council to appropriate money for construction of public garages in neighborhoods. The Admiral Business District public garage proposal could not be supported.
    Laughlin: Locally owned businesses tend to fail if denied adequate, short term parking on street near their location. Therefore neighbood,; short-term business parking may be needed.
    Brown Bag lunches with Council Members are useful oppoortunities to communicate with CMs.
    McCauley: Why did SPD's head of traffic control rate citations for driver violations of pedestrian row a low priority when he was our guest recently?
    Steinbrueck: We need more enforcement of traffic code for violations of pedestrian rows. But Council can't direct SPD to enforce.
    Ingram: Present ordinances allow new residential developments with nine or less units to dodge construction of sidewalks. While such codes are difficult to change, given pressures to keep housing costs low, what can be done to ensure that pedestrian rows are developed with new projects such as those done by low-cost housing non-profits?
    Steinbrueck: The Council could choose to create a fund to ensure completion of pedestrian facilities adjacent to low-cost housing developments. Normally most streets and sidewalks are paid for by the developers of adjacent properties. Market-rate housing developments do a good job, but low-cost, non-profit projects do less well.
    Anderson: Aurora Ave. has poor crosswalks for access to bus stops. How can this be improved. (Note: SPAB is addressing SR99N WSDOT Safety/Mobility Study which deals with such improvements.)
    Steinbrueck: Make proposals to Grace Crunican, Dir. SDOT
    - Questions by Public attendees and members of other boards:
    Uptown Urban Center community leaders Sundborg and Panitch called CM Steinbrueck's attention to the proposed deletion of Pro Parks Levy Lid Lift funding and SPIF dollars from the lower Queen Anne waterfront access into the Elliott Bay park system to the Seattle Art Museum's Olympic Sculpture Park pedestrian grade separation over BNSF tracks.
    Bertulis, Chair of Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board: Strip malls have bicycle parking facilities, but downtown Seattle does not have many. Is there a potential to modify bike parking requirements downtown?
    Steinbrueck: There is no requirement for downtown bike parking facilities. Please draft legislation for my consideration.
    Allen: Pike Place Market has poor bike parking. (She has photographed the problem.)
    Wang: SDOT Director Crunican has asked for a study by staff of Pike Place Market bike parking.
    Steinbrueck: Bike parking is good for business. Seek support from Don Lieberman, Dir. Pike Place Market PDA.
    Hoyt: Does pedestrian mobility seem better now in Seattle than in th past? (Steinbrueck is a life-time resident.)
    Steinbrueck: Seattle seems more hostile to cyclists and pedestrians. Causes are increased auto commute trips into the City, slower traffic, and lack of drivers' knowledge of the law. However the accident and fatility numbers for cyclists and pedestrians show that Seattle is safer today than in past decades. There is a need for advocacy for cyclists and pedestrians.
    There is no transit riders advocacy organization in Seattle.

    Set up an advisory committee to measure impact of a tax on parking slots operated by other than the property owner within Seattle, i.e. parking slots on property leased by parking entrepreneur. This would not tax slots on supermarket or minimall properties. Dedicate the tax to the funding of trasnportation facilities and their maintenance.
    This tax would replace the Street Utility Tax which was struck down by the courts.
    Spend some of the tax dollars within the neighborhoods in which they were collected. Adding signage, better sidewalks, lighting would show good faith by the City in collecting the tax.
    This tax can be implemented in three months after Council approval.
    The Executive has favored a regional parking tax, so as not to place Seattle businesses at a parking cost disadvantage. The County has not acted, but could do so at any time implementing a King County parking tax to pre-empt a City tax..
    Preliminary study shows that a city-wide parking tax would yield $12 - 25 million per year. This could fund the University Avenue project in the U-District. It could pay for improvements to the Broadway streetscape.
  5. 5. 7:25pm Monorail report (Coney), Hoyt) ETC adopts preferred route, station locations, 19 stations, 6 potential added station locations, budgets pedestrian facilities for the stations, but not beyond station locations.
  6. 6. 7:40pm Criteria for consideration of pedestrian impacts from major projects (Ketcherside)
    Postponed to the July meeting at which he will also present an Alaskan Way Viduct Replacement draft advisory..
  7. 7. 7:50 GET ENGAGED SPAB youth nominees. (Hoyt)
    Six applications are in hand. Interviews will take place next week, Coney Smith, Bacon, Hoyt, and, Sara Nelson, a Conlin staffer, and Alex Field (Mayor's office) will participate.
    Several regular candidates will also be interviewed in the same time period. New appointments and re-appointments are projected for October.
  8. 8. 7:55pm Old/New Business
    Hoyt reminded the Board of the need to plan a summer field trip at the next meeting. The trip would occur in August.
    Coney invited SPAB members to attend the Center City Open Space Plan 6/25, 5:30pm, Beneroya Hall (smaller auditorium.) This plan has far reaching recommendations for pedestrian connections to the Seattle waterfront and to the park system.
  9. 9. 8:00 Adjourn

July 10 Agenda Items to date:
- Criteria for considering pedestrian impacts of major planning projects. (Ketcherside)
- Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement draft advisory based on latest presentations of surface improvmement proposals and street connections. (Ketcherside)
- Waterfront Streetscape & surface mobility presentation. (Ketcherside/EnviroIssues)
- Plan SPAB field trip. Include newly nominated Board memnbers.
- New I-90 advisory letter (Smith)
- Establish liason with Council staff re/Bike/Ped Safety Forum to be held in Council Chambers in fall.
- Riverside Trail presentation.
- Draft advisory on a Seattle Segway ordinance. (Ingram)
Future Agenda Items:
- "SEATTLE STREET IMPROVEMENT MANUAL" ( Seattle's Standards for Pedestrian Facilities construction.) (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)
- Sound Transit/Monorail station pedestrian connections (Plans Committee)
- Seattle Parks Levy Oversight Committee (pathways in parks, new, funded connections for pedestrians into parks.) (Plans Committee)