More than 50 blocks are slated new sidewalks in Seattle this year. The plan is related to the updated Pedestrian Master Plan (PMP), which is headed for City Council approval. $22 million would be dedicated to funding installation for this year alone with dollars coming from the Move Seattle Levy passed by voters in 2015. The bulk of new sidewalks are planned for South Seattle and North Seattle, areas which are known to have significant gaps in the pedestrian network.

The PMP guides where pedestrian investments go, placing a high priority on developing safe pedestrian facilities near schools, providing access to transit, and building networks in traditionally under-served communities. That’s why neighborhoods like Lake City, Beacon Hill, Rainier Beach, Roxbury Heights, and Bitter Lake would specifically get significant investments in new sidewalks.

Where new sidewalk investments for 2017 would go. (City of Seattle)
Where new sidewalk investments for 2017 would go. (City of Seattle)

The PMP identifies long-term priority investments in pedestrian infrastructure, what it refers to as the “Priority Investment Network” (PIN). The PIN spans a 20-year timeframe and looks at both arterial streets and non-arterial street that rank has high priorities for new sidewalks. The arterial street PIN identifies 572 blockfaces (or 42.1 miles) that need investment. The City estimates that alone would cost $171 million (2016 dollars). The non-arterial street PIN identifies another 3,109 blockfaces (or 206.4 miles) that are missing sidewalks–more than five times as many as the arterial PIN. The cost to build out the non-arterial PIN streets with sidewalks ranges from $256 million to $466 million (2016 dollars), depending upon whether missing sidewalk segments are filled in on one or both sides of streets.

Details on missing sidewalks identified for arterials in the PIN. (City of Seattle)
Details on missing sidewalks identified for arterials in the PIN. (City of Seattle)
Details on missing sidewalks identified for non-arterials in the PIN. (City of Seattle)
Details on missing sidewalks identified for non-arterials in the PIN. (City of Seattle)

The 20-year PIN, however, makes up just a fraction of the 900 or so miles of missing sidewalks in the city.

Select transportation line items funded by the Move Seattle Levy. (City of Seattle)
Select transportation line items funded by the Move Seattle Levy. (City of Seattle)

Nevertheless, the $22 million worth of sidewalks planned for 2017 represent a big chunk of the Move Seattle Levy, which is dedicating $61 million for sidewalks during the nine-year levy. At least 250 new blocks of sidewalks will be constructed during the life of the levy and another 225 blocks will be rebuilt or repaired as part of Move Seattle program (the budget for that line item is $15 million).

Mayor Ed Murray announced the proposal yesterday and plans to it to the City Council this week for approval.

Related Articles

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Pedestrian Master Plan Update

Seattle’s Pedestrian Master Plan Is Short On Concrete Goals

4 COMMENTS

  1. There definitely need to be more sidewalks throughout the entire city, and absolutely, underserved communities like Rainier Beach and Lake City need better infrastructure – but it certainly seems like they’re taking social justice to an extreme for the projects this year. Not a single project for us folks in District 6, and except for two projects at the borders, District 4 is also left out.

    Especially in areas North of 85th, I’d wager that part of District 6 only has about 20% sidewalks, and yet also location for a number of schools that are very poorly accessed by foot.

    • Generally, north of NW/N 85th St the sidewalk network becomes very patchy. As far as I understand it, a good chunk of sidewalks will go in there as part of Move Seattle and drainage work by Seattle Public Utilities. I imagine that’s why it’s absent in this round, but I don’t know the timing. Implementation plans will be developed once the PMP is adopted with one- and five-year plans forthcoming. Hang tight!

  2. Does the PMP include non-sidewalk solutions for pedestrian safety/access?

    My street in Issaquah doesn’t have a sidewalk, but it has PBLs and a 6′ section of asphalt that is separated from the bike/car traffic by a low concert barrier, and it works just fine as a walking/multipurpose path. Is that what is meant by ‘low-cost sidewalks’? As I understand, these are much cheaper to install than a traditional raised concrete sidewalk.

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