Following last year’s summer pilot to close down a portion of East Pike Street to promote business and community development in Capitol Hill and recent feedback about how to improve the concept, Seattle’s transportation department has created an October series for further testing.
Pike People Street will be triple tested in October, with different times and street configurations, according to Seth Geiser, with the Seattle Department of Transportation’s public space management team.
“These configurations were developed in direct response to the continual feedback we received from the community and will meet a broader set of goals,” Geiser states in a news release.
SDOT held a community meeting in June, soliciting feedback about what went well during last August’s pilot project, where East Pike was closed off to traffic from Broadway to 12th Avenue for three Saturday nights.
The first test will focus on late-night activity, running 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. Friday, Oct. 7, with “a slightly modified closure footprint” than what occurred last year being considered, according to Geiser.
The second test will occur in conjunction with the Capitol Hill Artwalk 4-10 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13, with large pedestrian areas along East Pike and 11th Avenue “for art displays, outdoor dining and general public space.”
A daytime closure will be tested noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 16, with a pedestrian plaza on a block of East Pike. Businesses will also be able to extend into the street.
Last year’s pilot was a collaboration by Seattle’s economic development, transportation and police departments and the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce and Capitol Hill EcoDistrict, and prompted by overcrowding along East Pike and an uneasy feeling among some visitors and residents being there at night.
A survey conducted after last year’s pilot found positive public feedback, but mixed reviews from business owners, not all reporting an improvement in patronage.