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







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Planning, Land Use, and Zoning Tools

Pedestrian Toolbox
Design, Engineering, and Universal Access
Planning, Land Use, and Zoning
Equity, Health, and Environment


Pedestrian-friendly communities have one thing in common: they place a high priority on short- and long-term planning methods and policy-making that incorporate and support non-motorized transportation. Planning so that pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists alike can travel safely and harmoniously is sometimes a difficult balancing act, but the positive benefits reaped by a comprehensive transportation plan are overwhelming.

Land use and transportation planning is key to establishing quality multimodal service and to affording choices in transportation to community members. Thorough planning enables a community to become proactive rather than reactive in addressing concerns about pedestrian access, mobility, safety, and aesthetics. In the end, this saves time, money, and lives.

The City of Seattle and SDOT have developed a number of plans and policy documents that address pedestrian issues. These documents outline the vision, broad goals, objectives, and strategies that communicate the Citys ongoing attempts and long-term commitment to create a safe, walkable pedestrian environment that supportsand is supported bycompact and mixed-use patterns of development.

The planning, land use, and zoning toolbox is comprised of eight sections:

  1. Planning DocumentsPlans that guide projects and development throughout the City and across many modes.
  2. Regulations & Directors RulesThese tools identify design and detail elements.
  3. Permitting & Review ProcessesThere are four primary components of the permitting and review process in Seattle.
  4. Incentives & BonusesTools include fees in lieu and special authorities that can be used to encourage developers to create pedestrian-friendly projects.
  5. Resource DocumentsThese documents help the general public to navigate City services and programs.
  6. Planning/Policy-Making Techniques & GroupsThese tools provide ways for individuals and organizations to get involved in planning and policy-making.
  7. Technical Analysis ToolsTools used by City staff (and others) to evaluate the impacts of a plan, project, and/or policy.
  8. Review BoardsThese Seattle boards oversee various aspects of design and development in Seattle.
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