Overview & History
One of the City’s most important roles is to maintain and improve community infrastructure such as roads, parks, surface water systems and sidewalks. Although Shoreline is a relatively new city, its infrastructure is not. Shoreline neighborhoods were built to rural standards, primarily without sidewalks or even walkways. Only about one-third of the City’s arterials and even fewer residential streets have sidewalks.
Throughout the years Shoreline residents and Council have identified adding sidewalks as a priority. The City has dedicated money in each year’s budget to repair and replace deteriorating existing sidewalks and also to ensure that sidewalks are built when property is redeveloped. In the 2006-2011 Capital Improvement Program (CIP), Council added money to begin building some of the priority sidewalk routes identified by the community in the Transportation Master Plan. Many of these priority routes are on arterials used by children walking to school.
The City of Shoreline’s Transportation Management Plan (TMP) is the long-range blueprint for travel and mobility and provides the guidance and prioritization for this and other projects in the CIP. The TMP project team, together with City staff and a subcommittee from the Planning Commission, identified potential sidewalk projects and developed an evaluation process to prioritize these projects. This was presented to Council on April 25, 2005 in a staff report entitled “Pedestrian Facility Comprehensive Study Interim Report.”
The “Sidewalks – Priority Routes” program in the CIP has set aside $6.4 million through 2012 to build both standard sidewalks and other “pedestrian facilities.” Constructing the entire list of projects identified in the Transportation Master Plan could cost as much as $67 million for the standard concrete curb-gutter-amenity zone-sidewalk configuration on both sides of the streets. Since the standard configuration can be expensive and does not easily work in some areas, the City is utilizing economical alternatives that will stretch tax dollars and provide more linear feet of pedestrian improvements. Examples of these alternatives include extruded concrete curbs with asphalt or porous concrete walkways and separated walkways (Pathway Concepts).
Each year, proposed routes are selected with the TMP goal and policies in mind and with the intent to:
- Build improvements on one side of the street to increase geographic coverage
- Seek routes that have minimal utility and other construction conflicts to keep costs down and build more walkways
- Focus improvements around schools, parks and community centers, transit and existing and future trail systems
- Use a mix of pedestrian facility types to increase coverage and save cost
- Focus on improvements that have a history of community interest and/or previous drainage improvements
- Focus on improvements where none exist or are marginal
The 2007 routes and associated improvements were near Shorecrest High School and Kellogg Middle School along 25 Avenue NE (see 2007 Project Map). The proposed projects for 2008 include walkways in front of the Recreation Center on Fremont Avenue North, Between 165th Street and North 170th Street. This connects to the sidewalks at Shorewood High School; and a walkway along the north side of 192nd to connect the Echo Lake Elementary School area with the trail and new development along Aurora.
The City will work with individual property owners on special design needs to minimize impacts and will host open houses to share information with the community.