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Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board

Past Minutes of the Board

Past Minutes of the Board


9 October, 2002, 6:00pm-8:00pm
Seattle Municipal Building, 600 - 4th Ave. at Cherry St.

Present: Donald John Coney (Chair.), Suzanne Anderson, Michael Ingram, Margaret McCauley, Matthew Amster-Burton, Amy Clark, Rob Ketcherside, Charles Smith, Mark Schultz, Charity Ranger, Megan Hoyt (SDOT advisor to SPAB)

SDOT presenters: Kathleen Kern, Jeff Bender, Mike Espey, Therese Casper, Rich Meredith
WSDOT presenter: Nytasha Sowers

  1. Adopted minutes of 9/11/02 on motion by Ketcherside and Anderson.
  2. Amendments to the Agenda, none (2 min.)
  3. Bus loading practice and policy (Jeff Bender-SDOT)

    Bender presented Metro's policy for "Accessible Service" Section 11 (1) Customers with Disabilities (I) "Wait for walk-on customers to load and unload before the lift is cycled." (3) Boarding/Deboarding Procedures "If for any reason you are unable to board/disboard a customer with a disability, do not leave the zone until you call the coordinator and are informed by the coordinator what action will be taken. Then inform the customer of the action to be taken."

    This presentation was in response to Ranger's presentation of anecdotal evidence that disabled persons in chairs are at times being denied entry to Metro buses after non-disabled customers are loaded.

    It was clear that the Metro practice and policy set out in Section 11 (1) (I) puts chair-bound Metro bus customers at a major disadvantage, being required to wait to board last when the space to affix the chair in the bus may be full of standees. Anderson and Ranger will present a SPAB Advisory text at the Nov. 13 SPAB meeting. The letter will be addressed to Rick Walsh, Director, Metro King County Transit, cc Pat Cleary, Transit Advisory Committee. Future representation by SPAB to the Transit Advisory Committee was taken under consideration.

  4. Report on SR99N (Aurora Ave.) Safety/Mobility Study (Nytasha Sowers-WSDOT, Espey (SDOT), Casper (SDOT)

    SPAB Members were invited to the Oct. 24 SR99N open house at Phinney Lutheran Church. (Coney attended an informed WSDOT staff of the content of the SPAB letter re/SR99N Study). The Study Report is to be published by WSDOT January 3, 2003.

    Espey presented the WSDOT recommendations for modifications to the Aurora Bridge, including new, below traffic deck pedestrian/bike facilities, wider lanes, and a median divider for vehicular traffic. SPAB had made recommendations for such improvements to the Aurora Bridge in summer of '02.

    Casper reported that the Study will recommend new pedestrian crossings between 95th and 140th Streets, providing a marked pedestrian crossing every 5 blocks.

    Casper explained that a short term recommendation of the Study will be to establish raised pedestrian refuges in the median strips of Aurora crosswalks.

    Smith commented on the dangers of the planned Metro Bus Rapid Transit service (BRT) which will run on parts of Aurora on bus lanes adjacent to the sidewalks. Casper explained that the sidewalks are to eventually be upgraded (mostly at developers' expense) to a width of 10'.

    It was reported that north/south BRT lanes, eliminating parking will be established between 110th and 145th Streets. No ;sidewalks exist on some of these blocks. Sidewalks and bus shelter improvements are planned. Parking would be restricted on Aurora at traffic peaks.

    Casper reported that left turn restrictions, eliminating the continuous left turn center lane, would be implemented between 127th - 135th Streets and 143rd - 145th Street.

    (Ketcherside updated and revised elements of Coney's past draft on SR99N Safety and Mobility Study. The new draft was distributed to SPAB Members and others by e-mail and was approved for mailing so as to be timely for WSDOT's process.)

    The City will be responsible for street tree planning on SR99N. (Aurora Businesses oppose trees which block view of their signs.)

    SPAB reiterated its recommendation that vehicular traffic speed be reduced on Aurora and that lanes (other than on Aurora Br.) not be widened.

    The Board agreed to review and approve/disapprove an Advisory on SR99N Study by e-mail.

    (Subsequent to the meeting Ketcherside circulated an updated SPAB Advisory to WSDOT and SDOT for Board approval. The draft was approved and sent in a timely manner for WSDOT's process which concludes with the publication of the SR99N Study on Jan. 5, '03.)

  5. Presentation on Seattle Street Right of Way Improvement Manual (SSROWIM) (Kathleen Kern, SDOT intern)

    Kern presented comments on the Seattle Street Right of Way Improvement Manual, now planned in two volumes: Regulations and Guidelines. This will be the first revision of these requirements since '91. The SSROWIM will address many needs including freight mobility, balancing all transportation odes, ADA requirements, sustainable drainage (SEA Streets), new bike design standards. Some pedestrian standards and guidelines will be derived from the Portland Manual. The goal is to be clear, consistent, and comprehensive.

    A recent Washington State Supreme Court decision limits the City's power to require pedestrian improvements from developers. Now City must prove "negative impact." Thus the enforcement power of the new Manual's standards may be limited. More to come on the Court decision degree of impact.

    "Area Plans" will be addressed in Volume 2 (Design Guidelines) which also includes Green Streets, SA Plans, Pedestrian strets with modified drainage facilities, bike lanes and facilities.

    1. Comments on SSROWIM (Michael Ingram, former Chair. SPAB) Ingram recommended that our TAG Reps focus on a few top issues for SSROWIM:
    2. Threshold for triggering sidewalk improvements (addressing the State Supreme Court decision)
    3. Downtown alleyways- too wide at 20'
    4. Evaluate effectiveness of "no protest agreements" for developers to enable the establishment of LIDs for pedestrian improvements. Ask "Have they ever been exercised?"
    5. Retain 1991 rule for curb radii for intersection corners.
    6. Address relationship of sidewalk to building entrances to eliminate parking between sidewalk and new buildings.

    Amster-Burton and McCauley will be attending the quarterly meetings of the TAG and will develop advisories to TAG on the five points and other points.

  6. Appointment of SPAB member to the SSROWIM Technical Advisory Committee (TAC)

    SPAB appointed Matthew Amster-Burton to be the SPAB Representative on the SSROWIM Technical Advisory Committee (TAG), Margaret McCauley to be SPAB TAG Alternate Representative. Ingram agreed to be their informal advisor. . 8. Discussion of how SPAB will track the development of the Manual: Suggested approach: TAC reps nominate list of ten top topics for discussion by TAC. (Hoyt)

  7. Rapid Round Robin

    Smith presented his own letters promoting SPAB's "Six Steps to a More Walkable Seattle"

    1. Proportionate funding equity for pedestrian improvements
    2. Preserving and enhancing the streetscape and pedestrian experience
    3. Active enforcement against blockages and encumbrances on sidewalks
    4. Positioning of utility poles and parking meters to lessen pedestrian right of way interference
    5. Cleaner sidewalks
    6. A public education campaign about the rights and responsibilities of pedestrians and motorists.

    Current concerns: Budget impact on pedestrianism, Safe pedestrian access to Sound Transit facilities, pedestrian access to Pro Parks Levy Lift funded facilities, I-90 pedestrian facility over Lake Washington, YMCA Get Engaged, Jefferson Prk Trail, access to Key Tower for the disabled and others, Westlake bike/pedestrian facility, Burke-Gilman Tr. detour during construction of Princeton Ave. NE bridge, Arboretum-Lakeside Tr. (SPIF funding).

    Anderson discussed SPAB's role in the Peter Steinbrueck Bike/Pedestrian Forum to be held in City Council Chambers winter, '03.

  8. SPAB draft guidelines for addressing major transportation projects beyond City government presented by Ketcherside. (postponed again to Nov.)
  9. Consideration of support position re/Mayor's sidewalk construction budget (Coney)

    A motion to write a letter to Mayor and Council by Ingram and Smith was passed. The draft text follows:

    SPAB supports Mayor Nickel's initiative to build new first-time sidewalks on residential blocks in Seattle. We support consideration by the Council of new ways of funding sidewalks for residential streets that have never had sidewalks. We congratulate SDOT on developing the S.E.A. Street model for less costly sidewalk and drainage on residential blocks that are suited to this treatment. We support partial City funding for more blocks of economical S.E.A. Street and Cascade prototype sidewalk and drainage. Coney will type the letter.

  10. School Crossing Guards reduction . Proposed reduction by 1/3rd of 118 job slots discussed by Smith.

    On motion by Smith and Coney: Communications approved w/CMs Drago, Compton, Conlin & Transportation Committee (10/15 2pm as SPAB's new members are confirmed by City Council Trans. Com.

  11. Pike/Boren signal phasing. McCauley reported on recent improvements in the signal phasing at this intersection which benefit pedestrians.
  12. Nominate officers: Chair., Vice Chair., Secretary (Coney)
    The following nominations were made:
    - Chair. Rob Ketcherside nominated by Coney/Anderson
    - Vice Chair. Suzanne Anderson nominated by McCauley/Smith
    - Secretary Amy Clark nominated by Anderson/Ketcherside
    (10 min.)
  13. Website listings of SPAB members. Board Members agreed to limit Members' listings on the SPAB Web Site to names of Members.
  14. Adjourned 8:15pm
    Future Agenda Items:
  • 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)
  • Street Use Policies and Enforcement (Advertising and vendors on sidewalks) (Advisory Committee)

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 of for SPAB minutes, advisories, meetings.