U District Green Streets and EIS

A lot is happening in the U District!  April saw milestones for two ongoing projects. First, we’ve released draft streetscape designs for Brooklyn Ave NE, NE 43rd St., and NE 42nd St. Second, we’re requesting public comments on the U District Urban Design Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

Green street concept plans are an opportunity for the neighborhood and the City to establish a clear vision for key pedestrian corridors. Those visions are implemented over time as private development and City projects gradually make improvements to widen sidewalks, add landscaping, art, and other amenities.

The community identified Brooklyn, 43rd, and 42nd as green streets in the 1998 neighborhood plan.  Now that development is picking up in the U District and a major public infrastructure project (Link Light Rail) will be improving stretches of Brooklyn and 43rd, the time is right to identify priorities and opportunities on these streets.

We hosted a public open house on April 16. Participants voiced strong support for improvements to pedestrian safety and aesthetics.  In particular, there’s excitement about the possibility of creating a curbless “festival street” on Brooklyn abutting the future light rail station, and on 43rd approach the UW Central Campus. Based on the suggestions and concerns raised at that meeting, we’re working on final recommendations for joint approval by DPD and the Seattle Department of Transportation.

We published the Draft EIS on April 24.  This document studies likely future impacts of several possible zoning scenarios.  It projects 20 years of growth under current zoning as well as two hypothetical rezones.  This analysis will serve as a bridge between the U District Urban Design Framework (2013) and the zoning recommendations we anticipate sending to City Council in early 2015.

To present findings from the DEIS, we’ll host at an open house and public hearing on May 20, 2014.  Comments on the DEIS are due June 9, 2014.

Meeting Details

May 20, 2014
6:00 p.m.

University Temple Methodist Church
1415 NE 43rd Street

We expect the final EIS (FEIS)to be released in late summer 2014 – this document will add to the Draft EIS and respond to comments we receive during this public comment period.

For more information about any of our work in the U District, please visit www.seattle.gov/dpd/udistrict. For questions or comments on green streets or the Draft EIS, please contact:

Dave LaClergue, Urban Designer
(206) 733-9668