Potentially more popular than the Seattle Department of Transportation’s Pike People Street attempt last Thursday, Dec. 8, was the Reddit thread that followed regarding parking woes it created.
The Pike People Street program was first piloted last August, focusing only during Saturday night, and sought to create a more safe and fun atmosphere for large crowds and congested sidewalks.
Following a mixed survey — a number of businesses in the Pike/Pine corridor did not see a benefit from the pilot — SDOT held an “idea workshop” in June to determine how to improve the pilot for this year, also setting up a webpage to gather more feedback.
The result was a 2016 pilot program set to take place at different times and with various traffic configurations in October. Intermittent weather caused two of those events to be canceled, with one being rescheduled for Hilloween.
The last Pike People Street took place last Thursday, in conjunction with the Capitol Hill Art Walk.
Plans originally involved closing the eastbound lane of East Pike, from 10th to 11th avenues, with one-way motorized travel in the southbound lane of 11th Avenue to East Pike.
With snow in the forecast, SDOT decided not to close Pike, as it is part of the city’s snow-clearing route, according to transportation spokesman Norm Mah.
An annoyed Seattle resident posted a photo to Reddit the next day, showing crews setting up “No Parking” signs along East Pike on Thursday, catching some already parked there by surprise.
“Unfortunately, it appears that SDOT crews did not get the updated work order to keep Pike St open or the work order to place ‘no park’ easels 72-hours in advance of the parking restrictions,” according to an email response from Mah.
Mah confirmed there had been an angry resident — not a business owner or neighborhood resident — upset about the signs going up, speculating this person likely made the Reddit post.
“Since the no-parking signs were not posted with notice,” Mah writes, “the project staffer was able to work with SPD Parking enforcement to avoid any tickets being issued or cars being towed for parking next to these signs.”