MAKERS assisted community volunteers in a process that involved over 1,000 participants, to prepare a community plan that was adopted by the City Council as part of the Comprehensive Plan. The ambitious plan is helping transform the community’s development structure, transportation systems, and diverse. One of the plan’s implementation measures was the University Way Street Improvements, which achieved multiple objectives—including better bus movement; pedestrian safety; wider, more attractive sidewalks; and parking access—as well as establishing a better design identity for the district and spurring redevelopment. The team worked closely with a task force to identify the most appropriate design identity for the project. Two basic concepts emerged: the street’s image as a lively commercial center and its role as the front door to the University. Through a series of public sessions, the team meshed the “town and gown” imagery to fit both of the street’s roles.

At a more functional level, the project included several innovative solutions to circulation problems, including in-lane bus stops, mid-block curb bulbs and crosswalks, an informal grove approach to street landscaping, and ways to increase sidewalk space. MAKERS developed the concept plan and prepared the contract documents for the urban design elements. The firm also prepared design guidelines to help direct new development towards the community’s vision. The project won both APA and PSRC VISION 2020 awards. More importantly, these efforts helped to achieve a 6.18% retail sales increase and fostered over 40 redevelopment projects.

Client

City of Seattle, WA

MAKERS Services

Community Planning, Design Guidelines, Concept Plan Services, Community Outreach, Design Services

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