Community Engagement Continues on Developing Streetscape in Pike/Pine Corridor
As the Pike/Pine corridor prepares for a facelift to include protected bike lanes next year, we want to ensure that anyone for whom this space is important has a chance to weigh in. These lanes will significantly change the corridor, and we all have a stake in what happens on the streets of our city.
Turning the traditional City engagement model on its head, we are testing the theory that planning can and should be done with the community. Those of us who use Pike/Pine – and those who want to use it more – are the experts and should have a say in how it evolves.
This survey follows on the heels of a series of outreach events that we hosted this fall to raise awareness and collect feedback. In addition to extensive business outreach and hosting a temporary bike lane on Pike during Park(ing) Day, we held a Community Design Workshop to develop a shared vision for the streets of Capitol Hill.
On October 25th, more than 150 community members attended a Pike/Pine Protected Bike Lane Community Design Workshop. Guided by an advisory group designed to represent the interests of as many stakeholders as possible, this event was produced by community-based organizations committed to inclusive dialogue about public spaces.
Teams of community members gathered over maps to design the streets together, considering each other’s needs as they crafted a common vision. Residents heard from businesses that parking and loading zones matter. Bike enthusiasts learned that wheelchair users can, and often prefer to, travel in protected bike lanes. And safe street advocates shared that corridor improvements must be predictable to all users. We all learned that moving the bus trolley wires on Pike Street would be really, really expensive.
If you were unable to attend the event and want to participate in this grassroots effort to design a Pike/Pine corridor that works for everyone, take our survey. It will remain open until December 31.
Once all feedback has been gathered and analyzed, we will present our findings to the Seattle City Council as well as to SDOT in order to meaningfully influence what comes next.
What started as a conversation about protected bike lanes ended with a call for inclusive community engagement for major infrastructure changes citywide. Our process was community-led, but we heard loud and clear from many workshop participants that this model should be replicated. With that in mind, we will share our lessons learned with the City and any other interested organizations in the hopes of making this a reality.
About the authors:
McCaela Daffern is the Sustainability Manager for the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict, a community-based initiative operating at the cross-section of sustainability, social equity, and cultural resilience.
Brie Gyncild is a community organizer for Central Seattle Greenways, a volunteer-led grassroots organization that works to make streets safer and more comfortable for people who walk, bike, live, work, and play in the Central District and Capitol Hill neighborhoods. Central Seattle Greenways is a member of the citywide Seattle Neighborhood Greenways coalition.
These organizations have worked closely to organize community engagement toward a collective vision for protected bike lanes coming to the Pike/Pine corridor. Based on a commitment to supporting community-driven development, the groups continue to seek insight and feedback from all existing or would-be users of this important public space.