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Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board

Past Minutes of the Board

SEATTLE PEDESTRIAN ADVISORY BOARD MINUTES

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

Board Members Present: Robert Ketcherside (Chair), Matthew Amster-Burton, Amy Clark, Molly McCarthy, Jean Healy, Charles Smith, Jodie Vice, Suzanne Anderson (Vice Chair), Rob Fellows

SDOT Liaison to SPAB: Megan Hoyt

Presenters: Lester Goldstein, (Feet First)

  1. Introductions
  2. Adoption of the 08.13.03 minutes was postponed in order to give everyone time to look them over before the vote.
  3. Pedestrian Flag Project: Lester Goldstein, Feet First

    Goldstein was inspired to make a street-crossing flag for himself when Kirkland started placing flags at crosswalks across the city. When the Seattle Post-Intelligencer featured a picture of Goldstein using his flag to cross a street in Wallingford, Feet First received many calls from people wanting a flag of their own.

    Goldstein said the advantages of the personal pocket pedestrian flag are that they are not stolen, as were the flags in Kirkland; they are more practical because they do not require maintenance; and can be used at any intersection, not just intersections where flags happen to be available.

    Funding for materials to make 1000 flags was provided to Feet First by Councilmember Conlin’s Pedestrian Summer campaign.

    In Goldstein’s experience, fewer than 10% of vehicles stop for a pedestrian waiting to cross a street. The flag raises that rate to 90%.

    The materials for the flags would be arriving in the next week, and Goldstein stated that any and all were invited to a flag assembly party on November 1. The flags will be distributed to neighborhood service centers, and if the public is receptive, there may be a chance to receive funding from the city for more flags. The completed flags will be unveiled in an event to which the media will be invited.

    The flags work at both marked and unmarked crosswalks on busy streets, but Goldstein urged caution on roads with more than two lanes. The flag would not be necessary at signalized crossings. Pedestrians should open and hold out their flags before stepping off the curb. The flags make clear the pedestrian’s intention to cross.

    Goldstein noted that the crossing at Burke & 45th Streets is particularly well respected, and he believes this is because it is well marked, with good visibility on both sides of the street, and the traffic there is slow. As for other crossings, Goldstein believes that drivers in his neighborhood in general have become more respectful of pedestrians because seeing the pedestrian flag on a regular basis is educating them.

  4. Monorail Draft Environmental Impact Study (DEIS): Amster-Burton

    The Seattle Monorail Authority (SMA) released its DEIS, which is an enormous document required by Federal law. This particular DEIS is vast in its scope, as everything from undiscovered hunter-gatherer sites to Coast Guard-patrolled waterways can potentially be impacted by the project.

    Amster-Burton presented a number of the pedestrian impacts cited in the DEIS. First, during construction there will undoubtedly be street and sidewalk closures, but it is essential that pedestrian safety and convenience are not compromised. Secondly, the preferred alternative alignment of the Monorail on 2nd Avenue is the west side, moving or removing the bus lane and eliminating a lane of parked cars that was highly protective of pedestrians. Even if it is not a parking lane, a protective element such as a hedge must be put in place to preserve this premier pedestrian street.

    Amster-Burton requested that board members contact him with comments on anything in the DEIS that concerns them. Broad recommendations are preferable to specific ones. Comments are due in to the SMA by October 14. The SMA is required to provide a written response to every comment made on the DEIS.

    Hoyt was unable to comment on SDOT’s recommendations on the DEIS as they are not to be made public until October 15, but she did suggest that the board keep in mind that a DEIS is supposed to detail the impacts the agency will look for. The board must therefore make sure that all of the impacts of the project are pointed out, and that the mitigations proposed are enough.

  5. Round Robin

    Fellows attended the pedestrian forum that closed Pedestrian Summer, and noted that Councilmember Conlin’s “Legislative Agenda for Pedestrians in Seattle” should be made a formal order of business for the board sometime in the near future. Smith was adamant that the board strongly advocate for the retention of the adult crossing guard program.

    Clark’s recent fall on a sidewalk prompted her to question whether or not enough money has been dedicated to the maintenance and repair of sidewalks.

    McCarthy attended the same event as Fellows, and recently met with the president of Allied Arts. That organization is working extremely hard to ensure the Alaskan Way Viaduct is replaced in a beneficial manner.

    Healy said she has experienced similar accidents on sidewalks. She attended a traffic engineering and accessibility workshop, and noted that in some areas, it is thought that APS (vibrating) signals need only be placed on one corner; the question arises what one is supposed to do at the other three corners.

    Anderson has also fallen on sidewalks, and notes that repairs have happened but there is a distinction between sidewalks that are the responsibility of the city, and sidewalks that are the responsibility of the property owner.

    Hoyt stated that sidewalk rehabilitation is happening, but it is a slow process because there is very little money available. Additionally, there are many cases where the city is not responsible for the damage or the repair, and there may be some processes involved that are not currently being implemented or funded.

  6. Future Items

    Smith will contact Councilmember Conlin’s office in regards to his legislative agenda for pedestrians.

    The Alaskan Way Viaduct DEIS will be released in December, which Clark looks forward to going over.

  7. Early adjournment to allow members to attend the budget hearing: 7:27 PM.

All SPAB meetings are public meetings of a City Advisory Board. Check the SPAB website at http://www.seattle.gov/spab for SPAB minutes, advisories, meetings.