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City of Seattle
Gregory J. Nickels (former Mayor)

SUBJECT: Legislative Advisory: Nickels Proposes ‘Complete Streets’ for Pedestrian Safety, Bikes and Busses

3/27/2007  4:00:00 PM

Legislative Advisory: Nickels Proposes ‘Complete Streets’
for Pedestrian Safety, Bikes and Busses

SEATTLE – In an effort to make it safer to get around Seattle by foot and to improve access for bikes and transit, Mayor Greg Nickels today proposed “Complete Streets” legislation. It will require the city to consider how best to accommodate more than just cars when designing or rebuilding roads.

“We need to change the way we think about streets if we are going to tackle our transportation challenges and improve the environment,” Nickels said. “This legislation will ensure that we don’t just fix our streets, but we look at how to make them better for all users. It will make our streets safer for pedestrians and give cyclists, transit users and motorists more choices when traveling our roadways.”

“Complete Streets” will improve pedestrian safety and access by designing more streets with sidewalks, raised medians, better bus stop placement, traffic-calming measures, and curb ramps and other measures.

The legislation would require the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) to do a comprehensive analysis for all significant street projects. The proposal adds support to the city’s Transportation Strategic Plan, which designates key biking, transit, freight and pedestrian routes across the city. The proposal will create more alternatives to driving alone in your car.

“No two streets are alike, and not every street is appropriate for all forms of travel,” Nickels said. “But we must make sure that when we design or repave a roadway, we are looking at all the ways to make it safer and more efficient.”

The mayor’s “Complete Streets” proposal also recognizes truck drivers’ needs when navigating Seattle roadways. The proposal requires city engineers and planners give freight traffic priority on major truck routes.

“Our goal is to design and operate a transportation network in a manner consistent with the surrounding community,” said SDOT Director Grace Crunican. “Streets in a residential area will look different than in an industrial area. But we will design both to balance the safety and convenience for everyone using the road.”

Other legislation the mayor sent to the City Council today includes:
  • An agreement with the organizers of the Northwest Folklife Festival to hold the annual music, dance and arts event at Seattle Center through 2012.
  • Proposed changes to the city’s Comprehensive Plan. Under state law the plan, which shapes growth and development in the city, can only be amended once a year.
  • A three-year collective bargaining agreement with the Seattle Police Management Association. The contract affects about 58 police lieutenants and captains.
  • A resolution adopting a new commodity trading risk management policy for City Light.
  • Various budget housekeeping measures.

Visit the mayor’s web site at Get the mayor’s inside view on efforts to promote transportation, public safety, economic opportunity and healthy communities by signing up for The Nickels Newsletter at

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