Georgetown Festival Street
June 15, 2015
The selected contractor, Westwater Construction, began work March 9, 2015 and finished work on June 12, 2015.
Just what IS a Festival Street? A festival street is a public place that has been designated for recurring temporary closure to vehicular traffic use for the purpose of pedestrian-oriented special activities.
The Georgetown Festival Street will be on 12th Avenue S between S Vale (All-City Coffee) and S Bailey Streets (at the end of the block – past the overpass). It will also include S Vale Street between 12th Avenue S and Airport Way S.
The design was completed in December 2014, with guidance provided by the eight-member Citizen Advisory Group. This group actively worked with the design team since April 2014, providing invaluable feedback on the project.
The project features a raised concrete section of roadway – level with the sidewalk – on S Vale Street west of the intersection with Airport Way S. This raised section will stretch to 12th Avenue South, defining one end of the Festival Street while a raised crosswalk on 12th Avenue S just north of S Bailey Street will define the other.
The sketch above shows South Vale Street between Airport Way South (to the left) and 12th Avenue South (in the upper right). The dashed red lines show the existing curb lines; you can see that the sidewalk area was greatly expanded. This image also shows the new streetlights, the pedestal for new art (diamond near lower left) and defined crossing points (in yellow).
In addition, the full length of 12th Avenue S was repaved, while the sidewalk and driveways were fully replaced. The width of the 12th Avenue S did not change, but the back-in angle parking is now on the west side at the northern and southern thirds of the Festival Street, and on the east side in the middle. This arrangement: discourages cut-through traffic, slows vehicles down due to limited sight lines, and provides both back-in angle and parallel parking in each direction.
The project also included new bike racks, an outdoor power source for use during events and new storm drainage elements, as well as the relocation of one street tree.
Residents of Georgetown requested improvements to the street and successfully obtained funding through the Neighborhood Street Fund in 2012. The neighborhood’s goal is to integrate traffic calming and create a more bicycle and pedestrian-friendly space that can be closed easily for neighborhood festivals throughout the year.
When originally proposed, it was intended that the project would get street and sidewalk repairs, pedestrian lighting, maybe a raised crosswalk but it wasn’t clear what else. Other elements that were considered but ultimately not included were:
A Citizen’s Advisory Committee was formed in February 2014 to review options for the scope and character of the Festival Street in concert with the project designers. To help develop some initial concepts we invited the Georgetown community to a Design Workshop on March 19th. Then Citizen’s Advisory Group met with the design team every other month or so as the plans developed – at each stage offering valuable feedback.
The Georgetown Community Council and the Georgetown Merchants Association were briefed at their general meetings at every design review milestone.
The Georgetown Festival Street Project was coordinated with a 1 percent for Art commissioned art element. Georgetown artist extraordinaire Chris McMullen, who was selected in a competition with other Georgetown artists, attended many of the Citizen Advisory Group meetings.
Chris developed a large kinetic sculpture, lit from within and reflecting Georgetown’s industrial character to be placed at the NE corner of S Vale Street and Airport Way S .
Chris also developed a large stamp that was used to press an image into some of the sidewalk pavement sections, shown below:
Art Brochet, Communication Lead, firstname.lastname@example.org, 206-615-0786