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Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board

Past Minutes of the Board

Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board Meeting Minutes

13 March, 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, Rob Ketcherside, Margaret McCauley, Mark Schultz

Seattle Transportation Staff: Megan Hoyt, Peter Lagerwey

Friends of SPAB: Lois Laughlin

Members of the public: Allan Panitch (5th Precinct Citizen Advisory Group), Mike Warren (Magnolia/QA District Council)

SPAB Members absent: Lester Goldstein, Drew Robinson

Recently resigned: Mark Gardner

  1. Amendments to the Agenda, none. (2 min.)
  2. 6:03pm Adopt minutes of 2/13/02 and 12/12/02 (2 min)
    On a motion by Anderson and McCauley these minutes were adopted.
  3. 6:05 John Rahaim, Director, Seattle Design Commission and Director of City Design (the Commission's urban design unit) made a presentation of the Center City Open Space (and connections) Plan.

    The Plan was commissioned by the Dept. of Neighborhoods in 2001 through DON's Opportunity Fund. A goal of the plan is to "Use a pedestrian-first approach to provide desirable outdoor spaces that are within short walking distances for all types of users." The Plan seeks to develop stragegies to implement the principles of the Neighborhood Plans which call for new Center City open space in the public realm and connections to the waterfront. It seeks to highlight Seattle's defining attributes and natural features in the pedestrian experience. Most interesting to SPAB:
    • Prioritized "catlyst projects" pedestrian connections from neighbohoods to the central and northern waterfront, W. Thomas (to Myrtle Edwards Park), Potlatch Tr.(via Olympic Sculpture Park), Pine St., University St. (completing Univ. Hillclimb), and five Pioneer Sq. streets running to the water.
    • "Blue Ring" (water to water) connectors: Potlatch Tr. (Eagle, Broad, Roy from Elliott Bay to Lake Union), Madison St. (Elliott Bay to Lake Washington)
    • "Green Ring" (water to Olmstead park/blvd. system): Madison St., Alaskan Way-Elliott Ave.-15th Ave W./NW.
    • Designating categories of streets connecting to the waterfront: "great streets", minor connectors, (i.e. Greening Vine St.), etc.
    • Recasting the role of Westlake Ave. between Denny Way and Stewart St. as a more modest traffic street with much larger sidewalks and more pedestrian friendly intersections
    • Creating new open space and pedestrian connections such as a cover across I-5 north from downtown to Republican.
    Coney raised the issue that the Plan does not treat Broad St. as a key waterfront access street.

    Rahaim stated that this is to be a guide to phased implementation of connections, public/private open spaces, and street/sidewalk improvements. Catalyst projects such as the five key Elliott Bay waterfront connections and a changed inner Westlake Ave. would be near-term projects seeking early funding.
    (45 min)
  4. 6:50 Ethan Melone, Strategic Planning Office made a presentation of The Waterfront Trolley Extension Plan:

    How the existing tourist-oriented antique trolley system can be converted economically into a mass transit system connecting the Seattle Waterfront with the BINMIC, Seattle Center, Queen Anne, Ferry Terminal, Intermodal Terminal, and Sports Stadia.

    Of particular interest to SPAB:
    • New waterfront connection street included in AWV Replacement alternatives (cut and cover tunnel in central waterfront) which would scale the bluff behind the condos, over the BNSF tunnel portal at Wall St., and connect with a re-utilized Battery St. tunnel. This new waterfront connection could connect the Waterfront Trolley route to Seattle Center, S. Lake Union Park, Westlake Center, etc.
    • South end extension utilizing King St. via I District.
    • Harrison St. connection between Seattle Center (Queen Anne) and Capitol Hill.
    • Westlake/Terry Ave. loop connecting S. Lake Union Park to Westlake Center.
    It was agreed that Trolley service is much more condusive to pedestrianism than the use of private automobiles.

    Melone pointed out the limitations of on-street trolley service. It is not applicable to the north/south Downtown/Belltown Avenues where trolleys would slow to the same speed as vehicular traffic at peak hours, the very hours when transit is most needed. A grade separated system such as monorail seems more appropriate on these routes.

    Ketcherside questioned whether an at-grade trolley service crossing the Sports Stadia neighborhood could be on-schedule at times when the stadia are in use.

    News was distributed of the cut-back in the Immunex construction project, a key supplier of riders to the proposed Broad St.-W. Prospect St. trolley extension. A net reduction of 800 jobs in the Immunex campus could be partially off-set by a new Coast Guard Installation and Cruise Ship Terminal.

    There was a discussion of the value of replacing successful bus lines with new transit modes such as on-street trolley. It was pointed out that freeing bus platform hours by placing major route ridership on more efficient, less polluting transit modes frees the bus funding for other in-city bus service. Surplus bus funding could be used to better connect neighborhoods to major transit mode routes.
    (30 min)
  5. 7:20 Lester Goldstein lead a discussion of how SPAB can increase its influence on City policy making for pedestrianism by utilizing the annual spring retreat.

    Goldstein proposed that SPAB's effectivelness could be improved by changing its way of conducting its meetings and business.

    There was a proposal that SPAB avail itself of expertise in reviewing its approach to pedestrian facilities and maintenance funding.

    It was agreed that retreat agenda items would be considered at the April meeting.

    Coney volunteered to seek a meeting space at Seattle Center, Saturday May 4 or 11. (5 min grew to 15 min)

    On a motion by Anderson and Smith the Board decided to set an agenda and time for the spring retreat, May 3 or May 11, 2002.
  6. 7:25 John Coney, Followed-up on SPAB's role in promoting an adequate budget for pedestrian facilities, neighborhood plan pedestrian project implementation, other neighborhood prioritized pedestrian projects, sidewalk renewal, and new sidewalks.

    A Draft Position Paper on budget line items and levels by Coney was submitted. The position paper draft had been e-mailed to SPAB members. Members re-read the draft.

    Goldstein expressed his feeling that SPAB was rushing into the budget process. Coney pointed out that a large segment of a previous meeting was devoted to examining and adopting a position on the Neighborhood Street Fund recission for 2002. SPAB had at that meeting committed to support funding of pedestrian facilities and maintenance in the City's 2003-2004 budget. ST staff had aided SPAB in these discussions.

    Coney stated that the sources for the figures in the position paper are from staff of several City departments. Since City staff cannot lobby for funding, the sources of the research cannot be named.

    Goldstein stated that all source names should be revealed. He called for a more slow and widly ranging approach to ascertaining budget goal figures.

    Coney pointed out that budget writing in the Finance Office and Seattle Transportation is now in progress. If SPAB is to have any influence on budget writing for pedestrian facilities and maintenance, now is the time to communicate our goals.

    Coney proposed a plan to promote the position paper stated goals to staff and elected officials:
    • Adopt the position paper.
    • Meet in March with budget writers in ST and Finance.
    • Meet in March/April with Council Transportation Committee staff and Councilmembers.
    • Contribute to a Council Transportation Committee meeting.
    A discussion was held on the efficacy of entering into the current budget process vs. making broader, less budget-oriented requests for increased funding in future years. Coney supported action now. Goldstein supported a more visionary, broad campaign approach. Coney pointed out that both approaches are compatible. He reported that Feet First President, David Levinger, who attended the February meeting is planning a broad, visionary campaign which will surface at the April 20 Budget Symposium at South Seattle Community College, 8:30 AM, Saturday morning, 4/20. Goldstein indicated that he is working with Levinger.

    Several textual, spelling and other revisions were made in the draft position paper.

    A motion to adopt the draft position paper on funding of pedestrian facilities and maintainence as revised in this meeting was made by Anderson and McCauley. The motion passed with abstentions by Goldstein and Schultz.

    Smith expressed the need to study the draft further.

    The Position Paper as adopted is appended to these minutes.
    (5 min grew to 30 minutes)
  7. Coney asked SPAB members to indicate if they would accept assignments to meet with City staff participating in budget writing process . Anderson, Smith, Schultz, Ketcherside, and Bacon are available if scheduled meetings can be arranged for which they are available:
    • Seattle Transportation: Grace Crunican
    • City Budget Office: Joan Walters
    • Dir City Budget Office 615-0922, Jim Echert - Team Ldr. Utilities and Transportation, Sara Levin 233-5109 (Dept. of Finance)
    • Mayor's office: Marco Lowe
    • City Council Transportation Committee (Richard Conlin, Heidi Wills, Richard McIver, Nick Licata
    The purpose of the meetings will be to present these City staff members and elected officials with the Position Paper. Answer questions and elaborate only on the points of the Position Paper.

    SPAB will request an opportunity to come to the table with the City Council Transportation Committee during budget writing meetings of the Committee.

    The SPAB Advisory Committee reports to SPAB on effects of our advice.
    (5 min. became 20 min)
  8. 7:30 Public Comment: There was none.(1 min)
  9. 7:35 Coney was to have reported on a letter sent by Advisory Com. about Segway Scooters.

    Note: Advisory letter is at the end of the Agenda. Sen. Kastama replied indicating that local jurisdictions enforcement issues re/Segway Scooters has been addressed in revised legislation. Thanks SPAB for the timely heads up.

    This item was not addressed.
  10. 7:40 Rob Ketcherside makes Plans Comma. report (5min)

    This item was postponed to the April meeting.
  11. 7:45 Michael Ingram makes Standards Com. report on ST's Traffic Control Manual which relates to pedestrian row blockage from construction.

    This item was postponed to the April meeting.
  12. 7:50 Margaret McCauley Presented a Draft letter to police administration

    The letter was distriuted and read by some Members.

    Coney stated that Chief Kerlekkowski has authorized either Capt. Jim Pugil, Asst. Chief or Mike Sanford, Fifth Precinct Captain to appear at the April meeting. Mark Schultz and John Coney will work to obtain a staff person from Street Use Dapartment to attend the April meeting. Mark Schultz will be meeting with Street Use staff.

    An agenda item will be established for the April meeting to hear from police and ST about pedestrian right of way blockage enforcement. (5:00) Board action: On a motion by McCauley and Anderson an action was taken to send the letter to the police. Bacon will write the final letter as a member of the Advisory Committee.
  13. 7:55 Future Agenda Items (5 min.):
    • "SEATTLE STREET IMPROVEMENT MANUAL" (SeaTran 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)
    • SR99 North
    • 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)
  14. 8:05pm Adjourn.

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

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


  • Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement 8:05 PM
  • SR99 Safety/Mobility Study by WSDOT
  • Police enforcement of clear pedestrian row, Capt. Jim Pugel, Asst, Chief, or Capt Mike Sanford, 5th Precinct (Downtown, Belltown, QueenAne)
  • Introducing Grace Crunican???
  • Marco Lowe, Dir. Public Relations, Mayor's Office???
  • Plans Com, Stadards Com. reports