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A vibrant Seattle through transportation excellence Interim Director, Goran Sparrman

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- Common Pedestrian Issues
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Built Environment & Infrastructure

No program, campaign, event, or incentive encourages walking as much as the quality of the built environment and roadway infrastructure. Neighborhoods and cities featuring continuous sidewalk networks, multi-use zoning, and streets built to an intimate and human scale are always neighborhoods and cities where people not only walk to work, to the pharmacy, and to the local bar, but also places where people stroll after dinner, jog in the morning, find a bench during lunch¾places where children jump rope on the sidewalk and the retired gather on stoops.

Elements of the built environment that can encourage people to walk include:

  • Destinations (businesses, parks, lookouts, bus stops)
  • Amenities (benches/street furniture, trash containers, lighting, art, restrooms)
  • Landscaping (planting strips, buffers)
  • Design Guidelines/Design Review (pedestrian-scale focus: new condo design, avoid installation of tall fences)
  • Physical Improvements (façade grants, sidewalk cafes)
  • Eliminate Barriers (A-boards, cracks, branches)
  • Designated Pedestrian Zones (street type classification, woonerfs, festival streets, pedestrian boulevards)
  • Low-Impact Surfaces (dirt trails, unpaved paths)
  • Supportive Land Uses (mixed use neighborhoods, TOD)
  • Connectivity & Accessibility (stairways, access to parks/transit/destinations)
  • Density (population, employment)
  • Weather Protection (rain refuges, tree canopies)
  • Green/Sustainable Design (Green Factor, Complete Streets, developer incentives/fees in lieu)
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