Pushing for a more accessible Pioneer Square

Pushing for a more accessible Pioneer SquareKubly 1

In January, the Alliance reported on the new Jackson Street sidewalk repair, a community-led effort to repair one of the most traveled entries into Pioneer Square. This effort was a result of the International Sustainability Institute’s Active Streets Report. The report listed over 40 inaccessible spots in the neighborhood, one of which was the Jackson Street sidewalk. While we are chipping away at improvements, many more repairs are necessary to link transit and destinations for everyone.

Since that time, we learned of a Seattleite working diligently to make Pioneer Square accessible. Frustrated by watching the struggles of others as they traveled around the neighborhood, as well as taking a few falls herself, Kiana Parker, alternative media coordinator at Seattle University Disability Services, took action. She mobilized a tour of the Square with Councilmember Tom Rasmussen in December to give him a first-hand account of what it’s like to get around Pioneer Square using a wheelchair. Real Change covered that story here.

Next, Kiana partnered with the Alliance for a follow-up tour with Seattle’s new Director of Transportation, Scott Kubly. On March 6, a group of 20 people from Seattle University and the Pioneer Square neighborhood met Director Kubly to help him experience the challenges of navigating Pioneer Square.

Traveling by wheelchair the entire trip, Director Kubly managed to stay upright on slanted sidewalks, navigated steep curb ramps, and pushed through cobblestones ramps. At one point, Kubly ended up in the middle of a crosswalk when the traffic signal changed because he was so focused on the challenges of the sidewalk and using the wheelchair. In the end, he thanked our team for the eye-opening tour.

In 2014, SDOT received federal Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) funding to repair curb ramps in Pioneer Square and the Chinatown International District. Due to the high cost of repairing ramps in historic districts, funding will cover only design engineering. The Alliance will continue to seek funding sources and partner with neighbors, disability advocates and the City of Seattle for construction funding to complete this project and make Pioneer Square accessible for everyone.

Join the Discussion on the Transportation Levy #MoveSeattle

Let your Voice be Heard

In March 2015, Mayor Ed Murray introduced a proposal for a nine-year, $900 million levy to replace the existing Bridging the Gap levy that expires at the end of 2015.

 

The transportation levy to Move Seattle proposal focuses on taking care of the basics, maintaining our streets, bridges, and sidewalks, while also investing in the future with improvements that give us more transportation choices to move more people and goods in and around our growing city.

 

Prior to finalizing the proposal, the City is encouraging the public to provide input and be a part of shaping Seattle’s transportation future. Take the survey to share your transportation priorities!

 

Business and Community Update – April 2015

The late-and-breaking news about what’s happening in the neighborhood.…

NOW OPEN!

  • If you haven’t visited The Faerie Queene at 90 Yesler Way for lunch or happy hour yet – and to meet owner, Una Kim – you should remedy that soon. Oysters, clams, cioppino, and more.
  • The NINETY, the new culture hub and gathering place for soccer fans, will celebrate its opening at 406 Occidental Ave S with a ribbon cutting and open house on Thursday, April 9, 5-7:30. Come on down. This is going to be a blast.
  • Arundel Books moved upstairs and is now settled in their new space in the Grand Central Building at 209 Occidental Ave S, opening onto Occidental Park. (Did you see the wonderful CityArts article?) Visit their new digs and lose yourself in the stacks. Think ink.

 


 

COMING SOON!don-nordo_right

  • Finally – a theater returns to Pioneer Square! A dinner theater, no less. Café Nordo’s debut production opens this month in Nordo’s Culinarium at 109 S Main. Tickets are on sale now.
  • The much-anticipated opening of Girin at 2nd Ave S & S King is finally upon us. They plan to open their doors to the public on Saturday, April 4.
  • Though we were sad to see Little Uncle go, the anticipation around the opening of Kraken Congee is wild. It’s fun to see more things jumping on that block of Yesler.
  • The success of Intrigue Chocolate’s campaign through Community Sourced Capital wasn’t a surprise to anyone, but it was exciting all the same. The windows of their new retail space in the Washington Shoe Building on Jackson are covered with paper and the work has begun.
  • Convoy Coffee also completed their campaign with Community Sourced Capital and will begin building their first permanent coffee stand in the lobby of Impact Hub Seattle later this spring. They’ll be open to the public and will offer breakfast/lunch items from a variety of farmers market vendors and artisanal food producers.
  • I had the pleasure of meeting Chef Nirmal shortly after his arrival in Seattle last month. He is now in the midst of creating the menu for Nirmal’s in the Interurban Building on Occidental Ave S. We all look forward to seeing this long-vacant space spring to life with fabulous food and activity.

 

More business news and resources:

As you know, the new Seattle Minimum Wage Ordinance is now in effect. The Seattle Office for Civil Rights website lists myriad resources to answer many questions about the law. They are also hosting a Business Breakfast Meeting with Employers on Seattle’s Minimum Wage Law on Tuesday, April 14 at 7:30. Registration is required, so sign up today!

The Seattle Office of Economic Development is an important partner in the revitalization of Pioneer Square and an extraordinary source of information for business owners. Their website, growseattle, demystifies much of what it takes to “Start, Grow, or Green” in Seattle.

One shining example is their work with restaurants. Restaurant advocate, Jennifer Tam, is one of the first people I call when restaurant owners need help getting their doors open. She’s also offering office hours – by appointment – nearby at the SCIDPDA office in the Chinatown International District on the third Wednesday of every month from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM. You can email her directly or I’d be happy to make an introduction.

 

Other things are brewing, of course, but this will do for now. Get out there and enjoy our fabulous neighborhood. Aren’t you glad you’re here?

Working Toward a More Accessible Pioneer Square

Kubly 1In January, the Alliance reported on the new Jackson Street sidewalk repair, a community-led effort to repair one of the most traveled entries into Pioneer Square. This effort was a result of the International Sustainability Institute’s Active Streets Report. The report listed over 40 inaccessible spots in the neighborhood, one of which was the Jackson Street sidewalk. While we are chipping away at improvements, many more repairs are necessary to link transit and destinations for everyone.

Since that time, we learned of a Seattleite working diligently to make Pioneer Square accessible. Frustrated by watching the struggles of others as they traveled around the neighborhood, as well as taking a few falls herself, Kiana Parker, alternative media coordinator at Seattle University Disability Services, took action. She mobilized a tour of the Square with Councilmember Tom Rasmussen in December to give him a first-hand account of what it’s like to get around Pioneer Square using a wheelchair. Real Change covered that story here.

Next, Kiana partnered with the Alliance for a follow-up tour with Seattle’s new Director of Transportation, Scott Kubly. On March 6, a group of 20 people from Seattle University and the Pioneer Square neighborhood met Director Kubly to help him experience the challenges of navigating Pioneer Square.

Traveling by wheelchair the entire trip, Director Kubly managed to stay upright on slanted sidewalks, navigated steep curb ramps, and pushed through cobblestones ramps. At one point, Kubly ended up in the middle of a crosswalk when the traffic signal changed because he was so focused on the challenges of the sidewalk and using the wheelchair. In the end, he thanked our team for the eye-opening tour.

In 2014, SDOT received federal Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) funding to repair curb ramps in Pioneer Square and the Chinatown International District. Due to the high cost of repairing ramps in historic districts, funding will cover only design engineering. The Alliance will continue to seek funding sources and partner with neighbors, disability advocates and the City of Seattle for construction funding to complete this project and make Pioneer Square accessible for everyone.