Seattle proposing new rules for closing sidewalks in work zones

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) recently proposed new rules for sidewalk closures in work zones.

A revised Director’s Rule for Pedestrian Mobility in and Around Work Zones (SDOT DR 10-2015) places a stricter city review of requests to close sidewalks due to construction. The goal is to make Seattle’s sidewalks safer and easier for pedestrians.

The proposal highlights that the sidewalk closures are intended to be a last resort for construction zones and only when there is not another solution for keeping the sidewalks open.

“We want contractors and pedestrians to know what to expect, and we want to provide swift and certain enforcement when pedestrian access regulations are violated,” SDOT Director Scott Kubly said. “Seattle considers safety for people walking and riding bikes a top priority because if they are hit, the likelihood of injury is almost 100 percent.”

The proposed rule could make the city safer for pedestrians in general.

“This new rule means fewer people walking into traffic or zigzagging across intersections on their way home,” City Council Transportation Committee Chairman  Tom Rasmussen said. “This is the result of SDOT’s collaboration with businesses, pedestrian and bicycle groups, and disability advocates. It’s heartening to know it’ll be easier to get around town as construction continues to boom.”

The proposal is posted online at Comments are being accepted through Oct. 29, 2015

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Seattle Department of Transportation

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