The Washington Traffic Safety Commission reports that in the year 2014, there were 49 fatal pedestrian accidents throughout the state and 251 serious pedestrian injuries. To help combat the problem, the city of Seattle may be adding pedestrian zones that will encourage walking and prevent Seattle pedestrian accidents.
Fostering a Pedestrian Environment in Neighborhoods
The idea for pedestrian zones would affect 37 different neighborhoods throughout Seattle, where he’d like to “intentionally foster a pedestrian environment,” says Mike O’Brien, who chairs the Land Use, Planning and Development Committee.
The pedestrian zones will be developed—assuming that the council approves the plan—as pedestrian retail zones that will encourage consumers to walk from business to business rather than drive. The Department of Planning and Development states that adding a pedestrian zone to an area will help to encourage more biking, walking, and transit use; identify neighborhoods that have the potential to transition to a pedestrian-focused area; and preserve areas that are accessible by a variety of means.
Pedestrian Zones a Long Time in the Making
Already existing retail areas in some neighborhoods will be revamped to make them pedestrian-only. The plan isn’t an entirely new one – in 2006, five neighborhoods in Seattle were added or expanded for retail pedestrian zone purposes. And between the years of 2007 and 2009, the city of Seattle focused their energy on a pedestrian zone mapping project with recommendations for new pedestrian zone neighborhoods; however, the Council did not adopt any of the recommendations. In 2012, changes to the Land Use Code were made. The changes will make it easier for pedestrian zones to be established, as more flexibility for development was granted.
Council Waits to Take Action
Before the proposed pedestrian zones can go into effect, the city council must hold a few more hearings on the idea. It won’t be until late spring that any action on the plan is taken, and implementation may begin.
Learn More About the Importance of Pedestrian Safety in Seattle
Not only will the pedestrian zones be a great way to encourage people to move their bodies—a must for health—but they will also limit the number of cars and motor vehicle allowed within retail areas, which could be instrumental in pedestrian accident prevention. If you were injured in a pedestrian accident then you can learn how to file a claim by contacting Max Meyers Law at 425-399-7000.