Boom Pedestrian Insurgence
posted by August 28 at 14:33 PMon
The city released an audit a couple weeks ago that calls for improving pedestrian mobility around construction sites. While the city figures out how to do that, Dan Bertolet of Hugeasscity has a post on the stroller revolt around the Four Seasons hotel construction site. What happens when pedestrians are faced with a “sidewalk closed” sign on First Avenue during rush hour? Mothers carry babies, fathers push strollers, and scofflaws tote bouquets into the path of oncoming traffic.
“There are places around city where a sidewalk has to be closed due to safety considerations,” says Rick Sheridan, spokesman for the Seattle Department of Transportation, when I called him today. Gee, it looks more dangerous to have it closed. Shutting down a sidewalk, he says, “is allowed by Seattle Department of Transportation, but we always make sure that one side is open to pedestrians and cyclists.”
Several other major cities require developers to provide covered sidewalks for pedestrians. But not here in Seattle. “Hills make it impossible” for staging construction equipment on certain side streets, says Sheridan, requiring developers to use the sidewalk for equipment. In those cases, other cities require barricaded walkways on the street. But here in Seattle, this is what we do to pedestrians in the street. Sheridan says, “To close a lane [on First Avenue] would create a lot of complications just for traffic.”
To remedy the problem, Sheridan says, “We are going to Washington, D.C. to see how they accommodate that traffic and see if there are techniques we can adopt in Seattle.”
More pictures at Hugeasscity.