Community Post

23rd Ave Complete Streets coming our way!

Mr. Crane:


Thank you for the email on the 23rd Avenue project.


Over the last two weeks we learned SDOT will receive grant funding for 23rd Avenue.  With the recent information on award of the grants, we are evaluating the improvements that will be included in the project.  The project will not simply repave 23rd Avenue; we are evaluating each of the following items you identified in your email:

  • Rechannelization
  • Bike Facilities
  • Sidewalk Widening
  • Improvements to transit service

In addition, the project will include signal improvements, pavement reconstruction, storm drainage improvements, and street light improvements.  We are working on the Complete Streets checklist and are also considering freight mobility and urban forestry management. 


However, the project will not fund public art, pedestrian scaled lighting, or art/pedestrian improvements such as crosswalk or sidewalk treatment; therefore, we would recommend that The Central Area Neighborhood Council focus on those areas when preparing Street Fund grants. 


At this time we have not determined whether the schedule is affected by the recent receipt of the grants, but are continuing to evaluate the scope, schedule and budget and possible phasing of the 23rd Avenue project.


I was recently named the project manager for the design phase of the 23rd Avenue project. If you have questions in the future, please send an email to me at [email protected].





Sue Byers

206-733-9076 (Tel)








To: Hahn, Peter; Chang, Dongho

Cc: McGinn, Mike; Rasmussen, Tom

Subject: 23rd Ave. Street Improvements


Mr. Peter Hahn, Director

Seattle Department of Transportation

Reference: SDOT repaving project for 23rd Avenue South Dear Mr. Hahn,


I am writing concerning the SDOT repaving project for 23rd Avenue South in Seattle’s Central District scheduled for 2013.  The Jackson Place community and the Central Area community as a whole is very excited that SDOT received funding to improve the mobility of automobiles, bikes, and pedestrians through our neighborhood.  However, we are concerned that the current scope of work for this project does not take full advantage of this opportunity to fulfill the policy goals outlined in the Seattle City Council’s Complete Streets Ordinance 122386 passed in 2007.

23rd Ave S from Madison to I-90 is seeing unprecedented growth in multi-family apartment buildings and will soon see a major commercial investment in the redevelopment of the Promenade 23 shopping center.  These new households and businesses will increase the demand for safe pedestrian environments and alternative modes of transportation such as bikes and bus.

Our understanding of the proposed project as currently envisioned is to simply repave the existing street.  This would be a mistake.  We hope you will re-examine this project through the lens of the Complete Streets Checklist and identify additional improvements such as:

1.       Rechanneling the street from a four lane to two lanes plus a turning lane, similar to what was done on Nickerson Street.  Our understanding is the current traffic volume is well under the 20,000 vehicles per day threshold for considering rechanneling.

2.       Creating bike lanes on both sides of the street per the Seattle Bike Master Plan’s recommended bicycle facilities.

3.       Widening the sidewalks and increasing the pedestrian scaled lighting opportunities to encourage walking and increase safety at night per the Pedestrian Master Plan and the Pedestrian Lighting Citywide Plan.

4.       Adding a public art component to build on the Jackson Street Mural Program’s success.

5.       Improvements to transit service like real time arrival information signs, bus bulbs, signal priority for buses, and exploring whether removal of some stops would improve service.

SDOT staff have informed us that additional grants applications are promising so we hope you will consider delaying this paving projects until the additional funds can be secured to make 23rd Ave S. a true complete street.

Thank you for considering our request.




Paul B. Crane ASLA

Jackson Place Community Council Transportation and Traffic Committee

Seattle, WA. 98144




Paul Byron Crane ASLA, BLA, MA,

Landscape Architect / Whole Systems Design

Seattle, Washington 98144

United States

“If you dam the river it stagnates. Running water is beautiful. So be a channel”.

D.H. Lawrence

Comments are closed.