Urban Politics #159: Monorail Station Areas Brown Bag


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By City Councilmember Nick Licata.

Assisted by Legislative Assistant Newell Aldrich on this issue.

Urban Politics (UP) blends my insights and information on current public policy developments and personal experiences with the intent of helping citizens shape Seattle’s future.

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CONTENTS:

  • June 10 Brown Bag On Monorail Station Areas
  • Monorail Station Areas
  • Monorail Review Committee
  • Planning And Design Principles For Monorail Integration

June 10 Brown Bag On Monorail Station Areas

On Tuesday, June 10, the City Neighborhood Council and I will co-host a “brown bag” on monorail station areas.

Representatives from the neighborhood planning areas along the Green Line will meet with City Council members, representatives from the Seattle Monorail Project, Seattle Dept. of Transportation, Dept. of Neighborhoods, and CityDesign to address key issues relating to station areas such as:

- The impact of monorail stations on neighborhoods
- Information sharing with neighborhoods
- Citywide issues the Council should be addressing

The first hour will be dedicated to presentations from neighborhood representatives about stations in their areas, with time for staff replies and Councilmember comments; the remainder will be dedicated to a discussion of questions relating to station areas generally.

This Tuesday’s brownbag (June 10) will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers on the 11th floor of the Municipal Building at 600 4th Avenue, between James and Cherry.

Another brown bag on Intermodal connections from monorail stations will take place later in the summer.

Monorail Station Areas

Work on monorail station areas will be divided between the Seattle Monorail Project and the City of Seattle.

The Seattle Monorail Project is in the process of carrying out station “vision and values” workshops, to see what communities adjacent to each station would like to see. The SMP will be continuing work on station design through the year.

Monorail Review Committee

On Friday, May 30, my Neighborhoods, Arts & Civil Rights Committee had a briefing on station area planning being carried out by the City, including information about proposed planning and design principles for station areas. The briefing was done by the City’s Monorail Review Committee (MRC) which is run under the auspices of the Design Commission, and is composed of members of the Design Commission, Planning Commission, and Design Review Board members. The proposed planning and design principles are listed below, and are still a work in progress.

City Proposed Planning And Design Principles For Monorail Integration

The City’s Monorail Implementation Program is based on the following planning and design principles and their sub-elements.

1. Make the most of the monorail as a transportation system:

- Foster quality development in the station area that will attract riders to the system

- Create visible, convenient intermodal connections

- Ensure an efficient, safe system for users

- Reduce the need for automobile use, and encourage other modes of travel

- Consider the range of alternatives that can increase access to each station

- Minimize impacts to freight mobility and emergency services

- Capitalize on the opportunities for economic vitality and jobs at the station areas.

2. Create great urban places at each station:

- Encourage nodes of activity near the station, with land uses appropriate for the station area

- Promote design of the highest quality of the monorail system and in the station areas

- Provide open space to enhance the station environment and shape the character of each station area

- Utilize strategies that reduce the impact of automobiles in station areas

- Draw on history, identity, and culture of communities in designing for station areas

- Promote economic vitality and sustainability within station areas

3. Maximize the quality of the pedestrian environment:

- Minimize impacts of the new infrastructure on streetscape

- Emphasize ground-level streetscape design and landscape

- Ensure the quality of the pedestrian environment as an integral requirement of the system

- Ensure the design of welcoming stations within safe environments

4. Respect cultural and historic resources:

- Protect historically designated building facades and other resources to the greatest extent possible

- Minimize impacts on open spaces, views, and streetscape

5. Balance the design of the monorail system as a whole with the various contexts and neighborhoods along the route:

- Ensure the highest design quality for this very visible new infrastructure in our city

- Keep the visual integrity of the monorail system as a piece of civic architecture along its length

- Design the system, its stations and station areas to respond to the scale and the character of their context

6. Maximize the potential of the monorail system to promote sustainability:

- Maximize benefits to the quality of the environment through increased transit use

- Utilize sustainable design to reduce water consumption, energy consumption, and other environmental impacts

- Showcase emerging sustainable technologies

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