The Seattle Department of Transportation’s latest test with shutting down a portion of Pike Street to ease sidewalk congestion and create a community space was successful, said Seth Geiser, SDOT public space specialist, however, inclement weather has washed away plans for Thursday's Pike People Street test, and potentially Sunday's.
Like last summer’s pilot, the first test was held for late-night crowds on Friday, Oct. 7, lasting until 3 a.m.
Unlike last year’s pilot, there was no programming. Geiser said the goal this time around was more to see if the closure alone worked as a gathering space. Last year, there was a drag show and yoga, but Friday the street was closed off and tents, tables and chairs were made available in the street for socializing or eating.
“You could definitely tell there was a normal amount of crowding, so instead of that being funneled into the narrow sidewalk spaces, people were able to walk in the street,” Geiser said.
With as much as four inches of rain and sustained winds of 25-35 miles per hour forecast through the weekend, Geiser confirmed Thursday that the Pike People Street testing planned in conjunction with the Capitol Hill Art Walk has been cancelled. A daytime test noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 16, with a pedestrian plaza, may also be cancelled; it will depend on the weather outlook during the weekend.
"We'll also be coordinating with staff and community partners on a potential reschedule date as the closure logistics were designed to be replicable throughout the year," Geiser states in a Thursday email. "We received a great deal of community input and participation on the plans for Thursday's and Sunday's events and would definitely like to test out the new days/hours and street configurations that resulted from those conversations."