Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board
Past Minutes of the Board
SEATTLE PEDESTRIAN ADVISORY BOARD MEETING MINUTES
October 10, 2001
Board members present: Suzanne Anderson, John Coney, Mark Gardner, Lester
Goldstein, Michael Ingram, Drew Robinson, Mark Schultz, Charles R. Smith.
Board members absent: Pam Clark (excused).
Others present: Kristen Lohse Clark (Parametrix), Tom Crews, Megan Hoyt
(SeaTran), Margaret McCauley, Les Rubstello (WSDOT)
The meeting was called to order at 6:05pm.
1. Trans-Lake Washington/SR 520
Kristen Lohse Clark of Parametrix and Les Rubstello of the Washington State
Department of Transportation briefed the Board on the various options that
are under consideration for the SR-520 corridor. In January, the Trans-Lake
Washingon Project Executive Committee will select the alternatives that will
be carried forward into environmental analysis. The Environmental Impact
Statement will take approximately one year to complete.
The following points emerged in the course of the briefing or in response to
Board member questions:
- Part of the Museum of History and Industry site may be used for an
upgraded SR520 facility.
- The Eastlake and South Lake Union neighborhoods have expressed concern
about a potential freeway tunnel entrance at Fairview and Mercer. A tunnel
portal at this location is no longer a favored configuration.
- The westbound SR520 to southbound I-5 movement is proposed to be handled
via a new flyover and a right-side merge. This would eliminate the left side
merge that currently exists. Such a new flyover would not necessarily add
new lanes or traffic volumes. Only if an eight-lane profile is selected for
SR-520 would significant new traffic volumes necessarily be expected in the
area of Fairview/Mercer.
- Sound Transit is considering the possibility of routing the Link light
rail north route to the University District through the Montlake Area. The
geology of the Montlake area is more favorable than that of other possible
- There will likely be public meetings-probably in January 2002-regarding
options for an improved transit flyer stop at Montlake that could be built
as a component of the Trans-Lake project.
- The Trans-Lake Project team is looking at possible upgrades along streets
leading to and across the SR520 corridor as well as at a trail route along
the SR-520 corridor.
- In the Eastlake area, the project team is looking at ways to improve
pedestrian and bicycle routes on road connections over the SR520 corridor.
- The project design will try to preserve the existing trail connection
between the Montlake playfield and the NOAA facility.
- A trail connection between Roanoke and Montlake along a new Portage Bay
viaduct is not favored. There is a safety concern that the downhill grade
going eastbound would encourage bicyclists, in-line skaters, and others to
travel too fast.
- If the project design includes lids, there will be many options for
pedestrian and bicycle crossings of SR520.
- The Arboretum plans a new trail along the east side of Lake Washington
- Board members noted and the project team acknowledged the importance of
good pedestrian and bicycle connections between Montlake/SR520 and the
- Current options being considered for lids include a short lid (about 400')
at 10th Street in the Roanoke area and a lid in the Montlake area between
Montlake Boulevard and Park Drive.
- The Montlake bridge is designated an historic structure; this precludes
widening or substantially altering features of it.
Mark Schultz noted that lids can have negative impacts in terms of their
cost and that they do require a lot of resource inputs (concrete, steel).
They are not necessarily a "green" feature. He noted that a lid at Montlake
may offer more functional advantage to pedestrians and bicyclists than would
a lid in the Roanoke area.
Margaret McCauley and Mark Schultz noted an opportunity for better
connections to the Foster Island trail. Kristen said the project team is
aware of this issue.
Les indicated that it is likely that 4-lane, 6-lane and 8-lane roadway
profile alternatives will be carried forward for further analysis in the EIS
2. Seattle Budget
Megan Hoyt passed out materials showing proposed 2002-2007 budget (Capital
Improvement Program) figures for projects and programs that relate to
pedestrians. The overall City budget includes cutbacks in most departments.
Megan suggested that in light of the overall budget situation, programs that
fund pedestrian facilities probably fared pretty well.
The biggest change as it relates to pedestrian concerns is the proposal to
zero out the Neighborhood Street Fund, starting in year 2003. This fund is a
key way that Neighborhood Plan improvements are implemented.
The City funds pedestrian programs and improvements through several budget
items. The materials handed out show increases in funds for some of the
programs and decreases in funds for other programs. Some programs that fund
pedestrian facility maintenance or construction also fund maintenance or
reconstruction of roadways. Board members found it difficult to discern
exactly how the total dollar amounts proposed in the budget documents would
affect pedestrian projects and programs.
Board members expressed the hope that Peter Lagerwey could attend the
November meeting and offer an overview and update on budget issues. Megan
was uncertain whether the deadline for budget comments would fall before the
next Board meeting on November 14.
In order to open the option of forwarding comment to the City Council before
the next meeting, it was suggested that the Board adopt a motion expressing
its concern about the proposed zeroing out of the Neighborhood Street Fund
Board member ______ advanced a motion "The Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board
is concerned about the proposed zeroing out of the Neighborhood Street Fund
as of 2003." Board member ______ seconded the motion. The motion was passed
on the unanimous vote of members present.
(--My notes on the motion are sketchy. If anyone recorded this information,
please forward it to me. -M.I.)
John Coney noted that there will be public meetings on the proposed Seattle
monorail on October 16, 18 and 20. The meetings will be an opportunity to
learn about proposed routes and station locations. Several members indicated
an interest in attending.
Lester Goldstein mentioned that the National Center for Bicycling and
Walking puts out a biweekly email newsletter. He will forward information to
the Pedestrian Board email list.
4. Progress Report
The Board discussed the proposal to develop a progress report; the report
would be an outline of the Board's actions and activities over the last year
or two. There was general agreement that such a report would be useful.
Lester Goldstein agreed to review minutes of past Board meetings to generate
an initial outline. He will forward this outline to Board members.
5. Topics for Future Meetings
The Board discussed possible topics for future meetings. Suggestions
included inviting speakers on the North Waterfront Access Study and the
Seattle Street Use Permit process. Also suggested was the need to learn more
about the City budget as it relates to pedestrian facilities and programs.
Additional ideas included learning about the crosswalk inventory that the
City is now undertaking and the University Area Transportation Study that is
now in progress.
For the November meeting, it was agreed that we should invite a speaker on
the North Waterfront Access Study, which is now nearing completion. It was
also agreed that the Board should revisit the question of the Seattle Budget
at the November meeting.
The Board agreed that it may be useful to hear about the crosswalk inventory
project at the January meeting and about the Street Use Permit process at
the February meeting.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:05 pm.
Minutes compiled by Michael Ingram.