Walking Audit Identifies Opportunities in PSQ

Walking audit

Two years ago more than 40 people – residents, businesses, property owners and city staff gathered in Occidental Park. Our goal: to understand what make Pioneer Square a great place and to identify the opportunities to make it better. You came up with a list then, and ISI, working with the Alliance, has brought in more than $1 million to make those changes.

So, we plan to repeat our success, with the help of Feet First, the Alliance and you at the annual Spring Clean, to see how our neighborhood has improved and where we still need improvement. We’ll set out on routes with map, clipboards and cameras to cover nearly all of Pioneer Square.

Your work is all the more important now. Pioneer Square faces major construction projects ranging from the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Project to the First Hill Streetcar. Your work will help us get things put back in better shape than when all the digging started.  We’re thinking active public spaces, an integrated transit system and a network of streets, parks and alleys that make people want to wander through the Square and its shops all day long.

Learn more about the Pioneer Square Active Streets Strategy. With the help of the Strategy we have a guide for thinking carefully about how to get full value of these investments to make a vibrant place for everyone.

Are you a keen observer of streets, sidewalks and alleys? Do you notice a freshly painted crosswalk, confusing pedestrian signage or missing curb ramps? Are you interested in making Pioneer Square more appealing? You could be part of the International Sustainability Institute’s audit of Pioneer Square’s streets, sidewalks and alleys to help us update our list of infrastructure improvements. Sign up for this or many other activities during the Pioneer Square Spring Clean on Saturday, April 19th.


Liz Stenning

ISI/Alliance for Pioneer Square

Alley Corridor Project in Pioneer Square

Alley-paveOur partners at the International Sustainability Institute (ISI) are leading the effort to create new resurfacing and lighting design for alleys in Pioneer Square. The effort is known as ISI’s Alley Corridor Project and is funded by a Neighborhood Matching Fund award from Seattle Department of Neighborhoods.

The need for a new alley surface design came about from the diverse needs of the community. Residents, visitors, local businesses and their employees need a clean and safe pedestrian experience to use Pioneer Square’s alleys. The Pioneer Square Preservation Board requires that the neighborhood’s built environment adhere to historical standards. Utility workers frequently need to dig up alleyways in conjunction with construction projects in the neighborhood. ISI is tasked with creating an alley surface design that will balance all of these needs.

From ISI:

In 2013, ISI kicked off the Alley Corridor Project with funding awarded by the City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods to design a cost effective, historically appropriate “shovel ready” surface design and lighting concepts. An opportunity to restore alley surfaces to new standards is occurring as alleys are retrofitted with new utility infrastructure. The outcome of this project – a design that is cost effective and approved through SDOT’s Street Improvement Permit (SIP) process and Pioneer Square Preservation Board, will clear hurdles for resurfacing any of the neighborhood alleys, positioning Pioneer Square to use alleys as active public spaces full of historic character. The design will be led by SvR Design with Olson Kundig Architects and Leni Schwendinger Light Projects Ltd.

To get involved, join the Information Gathering Open House in Nord Alley from 5 to 7 pm on September 5th, 2013. Share your ideas, meet designers SvR and Olson Kundig Architects, and help design Pioneer Square’s alleys. For more on the Alley Corridor Project timeline, see ISI’s Alley Activation page here.

ISI has made tremendous progress in activating Pioneer Square’s alleyways. Through the Alley Network Project, ISI has programmed Pioneer Square’s Nord Alley since 2008 with World Cup and Tour de France viewing parties, art and lighting installations, and more. They also headed the effort in organizing this year’s first-ever Alleypalooza event, which celebrated a transformative pedestrian experience in the heart and soul of Seattle.