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Delivering a first-rate transportation system for Seattle Scott Kubly, Director







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Sidewalks are blocked (by cars, poles, trees, bins, etc.).

Sidewalk closedGood sidewalks comfortably accommodate at least two adults walking side-by-side and are clear of horizontal and vertical obstructions such as overgrowth, parked cars, and garbage or recycling containers. A variety of problems might make walking on sidewalks difficult:

  • Sidewalks are buckled, lifted, or cracked due to tree roots or other causes.
  • Sidewalks are blocked by utility poles, sign posts, pot holes, fire hydrants, bus benches, newspaper racks, snow, parked cars, or other obstructions.
  • Sidewalks are blocked by bushes or low tree branches.
  • Sidewalks lack curb ramps at street corners, crosswalks, or driveways.
  • The driveway side-slopes are steep and hard to cross.

Sidewalk obstacles make walking difficult and sometimes dangerous, especially if a pedestrian has to walk into the street to get around a barrier. It is difficult, if not impossible, for people using wheelchairs, canes, crutches, walkers, or strollers to contend with obstacles, especially if those obstacles are not easily moved. Low-hanging branches can injure visually-impaired pedestrians, and such pedestrians might not be comfortable going around a barrier. Depending on the nature of the obstruction, sidewalk barriers are either a public or a private responsibility.

Both enforcement and design tools are useful in preventing and addressing sidewalk obstructions. Additionally, educational and encouragement tools can remind property owners to be courteous to others in their neighborhood.

Recommended Tools
Under each toolbox listed below, you have been directed to categories of tools. Selecting an individual category will link you to the tools from that category that can best be used to address the blocked sidewalks.

Design, Engineering, and Universal Access Tools
Walkable Zone
Landscape/Furniture Zone

Enforcement Tools
Campaigns & Programs
Infrastructure Changes
Law Enforcement Methods: Warnings and Citations
Community-Based Strategies

Encouragement Tools
Media Campaigns and Strategies
Pedestrian Advocacy
Built Environment and Infrastructure

Education Tools
Training Program Topics for Roadway/Walkway Users
Training Program Topics for Officials and Decision Makers
Training Program Topics for Property Owners and Developers
Additional Courses, Materials, and Programs

Planning, Land Use, and Zoning Tools
Regulations and Directors Rules
Permitting and Review Processes
Resource Documents
Review Boards

Equity, Health, and Environment Tools
Assessment Tools
Campaigns and Outreach Tools
Datasets and Measurement Tools
Resources and Organizations

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