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Frequently-Asked Questions

Sidewalk Development Program

Last updated: April 11, 2017

Sidewalks are the building blocks of an effective pedestrian network. There are currently more than 2,000 miles of sidewalks in Seattle, yet many areas in the city do not have sidewalks at all.

SDOT is committed to increasing the number of sidewalks in the city. The Levy to Move Seattle, approved by voters in 2015, helps fund sidewalk maintenance and improvement projects. In addition to local funds, we also look for state or federal grants to build sidewalks.

Where are SDOT’s current sidewalk projects?

Where has SDOT built sidewalks in the past few years?

  • To improve accessibility, safety, and comfort for all travelers, and as recommended in the Southeast Transportation Study (SETS), we built new sidewalk in the following locations in North Beacon Hill:
    • 23rd Ave S between S Waite St & S College St
    • S College St between 23rd Ave S & Rainier Ave S
  • As recommended by community plans in the Lake City Way Traffic Safety Project and to expand the sidewalk network in northeast Seattle, we built sidewalk in the following locations:
    • Lake City Way between NE 104th Way and 24th Ave NE
    • 24th Ave NE from Lake City Way NE to 350’ north
  • We also built new sidewalk in the following locations:

Will SDOT build new sidewalks in my neighborhood? 

The mission of SDOT’s Sidewalk Development Program is to construct new sidewalks throughout Seattle. Projects are selected using the Seattle Pedestrian Master Plan, which is a long-term action plan to make Seattle the most walkable city in the nation. The plan establishes the policies, programs, design criteria and projects that will further enhance pedestrian safety, comfort and access in all of Seattle’s neighborhoods.

The Plan’s analysis addresses two overarching categories when it comes to prioritizing potential sidewalk projects.  The first is referred to as ‘Along the Roadway.’ This component considers the presence of existing sidewalks primarily, and also looks at other characteristics that influence conditions from a pedestrian standpoint—physical buffers such as on-street parking, traffic speeds & volumes, and block length. The basemap for this part can be found here.

The second category identifies ‘High Priority Areas’ in the city.  This is made up of three separate demand analyses (potential pedestrian demand, socioeconomic / health equity, and corridor function).  These three components were weighted and combined to identify the High Priority Areas. 

The top-tier locations score high in both of the overarching categories.  

Maps are available of high-scoring locations in each District Council. .

Questions? 

Sidewalk Development Program Manager
Brian Dougherty
brian.dougherty@seattle.gov
206.684.5124

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