Monday, November 24, 2014

Commercial Vista Corridor Study kicks off Public Phase

The City just published the project site for the Commercial Vista Corridor Study.

Zoning along Commercial in study area
The study area extends along Commercial Street from about Ohmart to Madrona, and includes a significant chunk of Liberty, including the miserable dysfunction junction of Liberty and Commercial.

From the project site:
The focus of this project is to improve the visual character and functionality of the circulation system within the project area and to strengthen the district's identity, character, economic vitality, and marketability.

The goal is to identify specific project to manage traffic, enhance connectivity, and provide a welcoming environment for walkers, bicyclists, transit riders, and motorists. The general approach will be to identify short-term projects for immediate implementation as well as incremental improvements that can be constructed as funding becomes available or in conjunction with private investment actions.
List from Previous Planning Memo
The previous planning memo includes a list of "priority street improvement projects" and it is interesting to see the intersection at Ratcliff, where an elderly man was struck while attempting to cross earlier this fall. Not only because of speeds, the number of travel lanes, and a large section of missing sidewalk, but also because of the infrequency of traffic lights and marked crosswalks, this is very difficult to walk.

Ratcliff and Commercial has no marked crosswalks
and the northeast side is missing a sidewalk.
Not at all friendly for people on foot.
In the list is also the turn lane at Madrona and Commercial from the trip analysis for the Fairview development.

It seems like a goal of the study ought to be reconfiguring Commercial Street so that the widening projects are unnecessary and that additional human capacity and comfort can be developed through designs for "a welcoming environment for walkers, bicyclists, transit riders, and motorists."

But if the study does not yield a project list that will eliminate or mitigate the need for the auto widening projects, then it will be difficult to regard it as a success.

The first public meeting will be held Thursday, December 11, 2014 from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at the LifeSource Community Room, 2649 Commerical Street SE (located on the first floor of the Candalaria Terrace building, one block south of LifeSource).

(For all notes on the Commercial Vista Corridor Study, see here.)

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