Steps of the Planning Process
Developing Seattle’s Pedestrian Master Plan was a two-year project. While many pieces of the plan were in progress at any one time, there were five primary steps in the planning process.
Part 1—Setting the Foundation
The first step in developing the plan was to set the foundation pieces for the plan including establishing the Pedestrian Master Plan Advisory Group, setting goals, creating and implementing a strategy for public engagement, and selecting a consultant. See People in the Planning Process for more information about these steps.
Part 2—Existing Conditions and Toolbox Development
This portion of plan development focused on data collection and analysis and creation of a toolbox of best practices and strategies for creating walkable cities. Data collection and analysis focused on both qualitative and quantitative information in order to understand the existing conditions for pedestrians and the nature and location of the “gaps” in the pedestrian network. This information was collected in May 2008 and is presented in the State of the Pedestrian Environment Report. The Pedestrian Toolbox, developed in consultation with many different individuals and groups, was completed in fall 2008 and defines a set of strategies and solutions for use in developing and implementing the plan.
Part 3—Pedestrian System: Evaluate Solutions
The backbone of the Pedestrian Master Plan is a pedestrian system plan. The system plan is based on information gathered in Parts 1 and 2 of the planning process, as well as extensive data analysis. The Pedestrian System maps pedestrian demand and improvement opportunities. The plan’s Prioritization Process uses demand, equity, and corridor function to determine a set of improvements and other actions to be achieved by 2020.
Part 4—Develop Implementation and Reporting Plans
The fourth step in developing the plan was to prepare for implementation. To do this, the project team and partners developed Objectives and Strategies and the Implementation Matrix, which identify and prioritize a set of near-, mid-, and long-term actions—including capital projects, programs, and policies—that address gaps and barriers to walking in Seattle. Additionally, cost estimates and budget needs were estimated, and Performance Measures were developed.
Part 5 - Public Comment and Plan Adoption
Mayor Nickels released the draft Seattle Pedestrian Master Plan for public comment on May 6, 2009, launching a public comment period that engaged Seattle residents in discussions about the importance of pedestrian issues and the need for education, enforcement, engineering, encouragement, and evaluation projects and programs to support walking. The launch of the plan received a great deal of attention from the media, with a front page story in the Seattle Times on May 7, articles in various community newspapers and blogs, a Facebook site, and coverage on the radio (KUOW, KEXP) and on television (Q13).
During the seven-week comment period, project staff attended meetings throughout the city, providing information on the plan at 74 events. (Click here for a list of all meetings and events.) Along with comments collected at meetings and events, comments were accepted through the mail, by phone, through email, and via a web-based comment form within the plan. Staff received nearly 200 comments through these media, and all comments were logged into a database for follow up and tracking.
Overall, comments and meeting discussion showed strong support for the Pedestrian Master Plan. The majority of critical comments were targeted to specific locations or requests for service, and each of these will be addressed by the appropriate staff. Comments relating directly to the plan were grouped into eight categories. A description of the comments within each category, along with a quote that represents the general tone of comments, can be found here.