Letter to the Editor: Citizen input on new sidewalk widths?

Friday, May 28, 2021

To the Editor:

During the current discussions regarding the Transportation Master Plan (TMP), the Tree Preservation Code Team, a group of Shoreline residents, ask for the opportunity for citizen input to the City regarding the width of new sidewalks. 

The Tree Preservation Code Team is not challenging new sidewalks but questions the regulation for 8-foot wide sidewalks. In 2018, Shoreline citizens approved the new sidewalk prioritization program: 52% approved; 48% rejected. 

This vote confirmed that Shoreline residents have an active interest in sidewalks. The new sidewalk width is an important public discussion now since the new sidewalk prioritization program, transportation and development projects will require the removal of many tall mature conifer trees.

Shoreline’s Transportation Master Plan, Policy 38.4, page 179, “allows for flexibility in the implementation of the Master Street Plan to address site-specific, unique or unforeseen circumstances, such as the presence of bus stops, topography or large trees.” 

According to the Engineering Manual 14.2-D: “Sidewalks abutting single family residential uses shall be at least 5 feet wide. Sidewalks abutting uses other than single family residential shall be at least 8 feet wide.”

The 12 approved prioritized sidewalks include the new sidewalk along the east side of Dayton Ave N (WSDOT frontage). Groups including Save Shoreline Trees and residents along Dayton Ave N were not aware of any flexibility regarding the new 8-foot wide sidewalk despite numerous letters to the City. 

Will the new sidewalk along Westminster Way N be 8 feet wide and how many tall trees along Westminster Way N will be removed? The same question applies to new prioritized sidewalks in Richmond Beach and additional neighborhoods.

Which of the new prioritized sidewalks will be 8-feet wide? Citizens ask for the opportunity to participate in this decision process.

Kathleen Russell
Shoreline

Correction: the name of the group is Tree Preservation Code Team


1 comments:

Anonymous,  May 28, 2021 at 9:16 AM  

What about 5 foot sidewalks where homeowners don't trim trees and end up being 2 foot sidewalks?

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