Councilmember Licata left office on January 1, 2016.
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Urban Politics #175: Monorail Design Guidelines

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By City Councilmember Nick Licata.

With assistance from my L.A. Newell Aldrich.

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.



  • Monorail Design Guidelines
  • Public Meetings, Hearing And Council Schedule
  • Background On Monorail Design Guidelines
  • Future Council Monorail Items

Monorail Design Guidelines

The City Council will be considering design guidelines for the monorail in the Monorail Committee of the Whole (COW), co-chaired by Jan Drago and myself.
The guidelines address urban design and access issues for all monorail facilities, as well as related improvements to streets and rights-of-way that are incorporated into the design and construction of monorail facilities. The guidelines will not prescribe a specific design; rather they will set expectations for the Seattle Monorail Project (SMP) to meet in the design of its facilities. They will also allow the City’s Department of Transportation, and Department of Planning and Development (DPD, formerly DCLU) to condition permits.

The SMP must obtain a number of permits, approvals and agreements from the City of Seattle to use public rights-of-way and property, and to build the project itself.

The City of Seattle has posted a draft version of the Monorail Design Guidelines at Comments on the design guidelines can be sent via a comment form on the Web site, at the community meetings described below, or you can e-mail my aide Newell Aldrich at . 

Public Meetings, Hearing And Council Schedule

The City will host public meetings on March 2, 3, and 4 to present the draft guidelines, answer questions and gather feedback. At these meetings, City Executive staff will present the guidelines for public input; there will also be Councilmembers in attendance. The meetings take place as follows:

Tuesday, March 2
6 – 7:30 p.m.
Ballard High School (Library)
1418 NW 65th Street

Wednesday, March 3
6 – 7:30 p.m.
Bertha Landes Room, 1st Floor, City Hall
600 4th Avenue (entrance on 5th Ave.)

Thursday, March 4
6 – 7:30 p.m.
West Seattle High School (Library)
3000 California Avenue SW

After the final version of the Monorail Design Guidelines is released on March 9, the Council will hold a public hearing as follows:

Monday, March 15
5:30 p.m.
City Council Chambers, 2nd Floor City Hall
600 4th Avenue, entrance on 5th Avenue

The City’s Monorail Review Panel will review the draft guidelines on March 1, and may make a recommendation. The review panel is composed of members of the City’s Design Commission, Planning Commission, and neighborhood design review panels along the monorail route.

The City Council was briefed on the purpose and organization of the guidelines on February 23, and will be briefed on the final version on March 18, and could vote at a March 22 Monorail COW, with a final vote possible on March 29. 

Background On Monorail Design Guidelines

In September 2003, the Council passed a resolution (30629) I sponsored, stating its intent to review and approve monorail design guidelines for the MRP to use in its review of the stations and alignment design, and for DPD and SDOT to use as a basis to waive or modify development standards and/or to impose reasonable conditions on permit approvals.

In July 2003, the Council passed an ordinance 121278 I sponsored which allows the Dept. of Transportation and DPD to impose conditions to ensure consistency with the design guidelines

In 2002, the Council passed resolution 30485 I sponsored on design guidelines, setting forward desired parameters for design guidelines.

Future Council Monorail Items

In coming months, the Council will consider several items in April and May needed for the monorail to be built:
A. Approval of final alignment and station locations;
B. Agreements on use of City right of way, including the West Seattle bridge;
C. Agreements on the use of Seattle Center property (this is necessary for a station located on Seattle Center ground, regardless of whether the monorail goes through or around the Center).

These approvals would be conditional upon a City Council vote of acceptance of the SMP decision to award a contract to a private firm to build the monorail. The Council will likely consider this final approval in September.

In addition, the Council will consider station area plans around that time.

Keep in touch…

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Comment from hosein
Time August 22, 2011 at 2:39 am

please send me steps of monorail design and the loads of monorail and the formulase of design

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