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







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Pedestrian Overpasses or Underpasses/Skybridges/Pedestrian Tunnels

According to the Right-of-Way Improvements Manual (ROWIM), Pedestrian overpasses [also referred to as skybridges] and underpasses typically span a transportation right-of-way and provide a connection between destinations that have a high volume of pedestrian use.

The State of Pedestrian Environment Report states that pedestrian bridges and underpasses separate pedestrian traffic from motor vehicle traffic, allowing pedestrians to cross busy streets by eliminating potential conflicts.

The purpose of pedestrian overpasses or underpasses is to provide a pedestrian connection across a road or other obstruction that eliminates conflicts between pedestrians and other vehicles. Depending on the location, site conditions, and vehicle and pedestrian volumes pedestrian overpasses or underpasses help meet safety objectives.

Despite the fact that pedestrian overpasses or underpasses can help meet some of the Plans goals, careful consideration should be given to potential negative impacts on the pedestrian environment, including:

  • increased risk to unimproved at-grade crossings if pedestrians choose not to use the bridge or underpass due to perceived or real inconvenience;
  • personal security risks if pedestrian bridges or underpasses lack adequate lighting or surveillance;
  • increased construction expenses;
  • difficult for pedestrians wayfinding; and/or
  • decreased on-street vibrancy due to a reduction in movement and activity by pedestrians.

Pedestrian Overpass

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