Updated February 6, 2018

City Seeks to Prioritize and Find Funding for Sidewalk Projects

The City has begun a year-long process to create a Sidewalk Prioritization Plan as directed by Council in March 2017. Council is committed to making improvements to the sidewalk network, both in constructing new sidewalks (or alternative pedestrian facilities) and maintaining and bringing existing sidewalks up to ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) standards.

Major components of the process will be creating a data-driven system for prioritizing projects and identifying ways to fund them.

Recent Council Meetings

In addition to the Sidewalk Prioritization Plan, the City of Shoreline is currently in the process of completing a mandatory ADA Transition Plan for existing sidewalks, curb ramps, and crosswalks to ensure the City is compliant with federal ADA requirements.

At the November 20 and 27 (2017) Shoreline Council meetings, City staff presented an update on the development of the City’s ADA Transition Plan.   Council was provided preliminary results of field measurements indicating the current amount of sidewalks requiring repair. Available funding options to address these needs were discussed, including a staff recommended ordinance for an additional vehicle license fee (VLF) of $20. This discussion was continued at the December 11, 2017 Council meeting with a possible ordinance adoption. 

Although not a unanimous decision, the ordinance to enact an additional VLF of $20 was not adopted. Councilmembers who did not support the motion at this time were interested in allowing the Sidewalk Advisory Committee to continue their prioritization process, with a report back to Council in spring 2018 which should include recommendations for optimum funding strategies for both existing sidewalk repair/maintenance and new sidewalk projects.

Staff reports, live-stream, and video of Council meetings can be found on the City Council webpage.

October 17 Open House Materials

The first open house for the sidewalk process was held on October 17, 2017.  The following information was shared at that time:

Schedule

The schedule indicates key milestones for the Sidewalk Prioritization Plan and ADA Transition Plan and dates for public input. It is anticipated that this schedule will be periodically updated throughout the process as new information or targets are addressed.

Meet the Sidewalk Advisory Committee (SAC)

As part of the public process for developing the Sidewalk Prioritization Plan and ADA Transition Plan, the City invited Shoreline residents to submit applications to serve on a Sidewalk Advisory Committee (SAC).  This was advertised in the May 2017 issue of Currents and on the City of Shoreline website. The City Manager appointed 15 members to serve on the SAC. Committee members represent a range of Shoreline neighborhoods and consist of both long-time and new to Shoreline residents. The SAC will consider different community interests, such as neighborhoods, schools, parks, and other destination points as well as considering youth, elderly, people with mobility challenges, and under-represented communities. One of the primary goals of the committee will be to look at how to prioritize and fund pedestrian improvements.

Following is a list of committee members:

Andrew Hellman (North City), Cara Hutchison (Hillwood), David Anderson (Hillwood), David Dailey (North City), Dennis Terpstra (Echo Lake), Dustin McIntyre (Ridgecrest), Julie Miller (Ridgecrest), Lisa Leitzelar (North City), Pamela Cross (Hillwood), Robin McClelland (Richmond Highlands), Rosa Singer (Ridgecrest), Ryan Gulick (Ridgecrest), Stephanie Angelis (Ballinger), Tana Knowlton (Ridgecrest), and Tim Friedrichsen (Richmond Beach).

The committee had its first meeting on June 29, 2017 and will meet monthly through April 2018. Meetings are the last Thursday of each month (no meetings August or December 2017) from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at City Hall. Interested individuals who are not on the committee are welcome to observe the meetings. Guests are not allowed to address the committee while in session, however, guests can provide comments in writing. Open houses will be held to encourage public input on this process. The first open house was held on October 17, 2017.

Monthly Meeting Information

Meeting materials will be made available in the table below approximately two weeks after each meeting.

Sidewalk Advisory Committee Meetings
Meeting 1
6/29/2017

Schedule
updated
6/29/2017

Meeting 2
7/27/2017

Schedule
updated
7/27/2017

Meeting 3
9/28/2017

Presentations:

Schedule
updated
9/28/2017

Meeting 4
10/26/2017

Schedule
updated
10/26/2017

Meeting 5
11/30/2017

Presentations:

Schedule
updated
11/30/2017

Meeting 6
1/25/2018

Schedule
updated
12/13/2017

Background

As anyone who has spent time walking through Shoreline knows, the City lacks a continuous network of sidewalks. Many of the sidewalks that do exist are sporadically located, ending abruptly in neighborhoods or commercial districts, or extending the width of a single parcel when constructed in conjunction with redevelopment at that site. Sidewalks, and the landscape amenity zones between sidewalks and streets, vary in width and many are narrower than the City’s current standard. In addition, existing sidewalks are showing their age with tree root damage, cracking, and curb ramps that need repair and upgrades to accommodate travel by people with disabilities and to meet ADA requirements.

Unfortunately, the cost to construct, maintain, and repair the miles of sidewalk the City already has or needs to construct exceeds the City’s currently available resources for this work. It can cost up to $2.5 million to construct just one mile of sidewalk. It can cost approximately $195,000 per mile to make significant sidewalk repairs along a tree-lined street. The City’s current funding for sidewalk improvements primarily depends on receiving highly competitive, and relatively modest, federal and state grants.

At a City Council goal setting workshop in March 2017, Council reviewed current City plans for addressing sidewalk needs and provided direction to develop a Sidewalk Prioritization Plan that re-evaluates and updates how the City prioritizes and funds sidewalk improvements. This process includes the utilization of a citizen Sidewalk Advisory Committee and open houses to gather community input on prioritizing and funding pedestrian improvement projects. The plan will be presented back to Council with recommendations for next steps in the summer of 2018.