PREPARING FOR A PERIOD OF CONSTRAINT
Downtown Seattle has a famous constraint - just seven avenues run north to south between the Waterfront and I-5. Those corridors funnel regional travelers and goods to and through the Central Business District and rapidly growing adjacent neighborhoods.
This geographic constraint, coupled with Seattle's unprecedented growth, sets up a major challenge - keeping Seattleites and regional travelers moving safely and efficiently while Seattle's Center City neighborhoods grow and evolve as the cultural heart of the region.
Near-term investments are critical for local and regional mobility; thousands of regional transit riders rely on a network of pathways within Seattle's Center City. Improving transit pathways, stations and access to transportation options is urgent during this period of maximum constraint with record regional growth in jobs and residents, and with large-scale public and private projects underway.
Center City is booming
Center City is the state’s largest job center and the hub of the region’s transportation system. Approximately 262,000 people travel to or through Center City each day from around the region.
With our high quality of life, vibrant economy, and beautiful natural environment, Seattle is one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. and much of that growth is happening in Center City. It is home to more than 70,000 residents and 250,000 jobs – and those number continue to grow.
NO ACTION IS NOT AN OPTION
The One Center City team studied what the 2019 to 2023 period would look like if no investments – beyond those already planned and funded – were made to keep people moving, support business access, and ensure our streets and public places are safe, secure and vibrant. Without One Center City investments:
Opportunities for safer, more balanced downtown streets are not realized. Safety is a top priority for all the agency partners and Seattle is committed to making progress toward its Vision Zero goals of no fatalities or serious injuries by 2030.
Buses operating on surface streets slow to walking speed during peak commute periods.
Many regional bus commuters face slower, less reliable trips, risking the great progress Seattle has made to make transit the most used mode for work travel to Center City.
Transit agencies are forced to direct more limited operating funds into maintaining current levels of service.
No advancements are made to the Center City Bike Network, stalling critical progress in developing an all-ages and abilities bicycle network that provides access to many of Seattle’s most important work, cultural, and residential districts.
Goods movement and personal vehicle travel becomes less reliable as travel speeds for all vehicles slow on downtown arterials and competition increases for curbspace drop-off and pick-up areas.
Many sidewalks and bus zones become overcrowded, impeding pedestrian mobility and affecting valued public spaces.