The city has come up with a new idea to turn five blocks of Bell St. into a pedestrian friendly boulevard. Car traffic would be reduced to one lane and the sidewalk would extend to thirty feet. The boulevard would consist of rainwater sisterns, play areas, tabled seating, and park benches. The goal would be to increase pedestrian traffic by offering a walking friendly link to Denny Park and the waterfront.
Bell Street Today
Bell Street Park Boulevard
This seems like a huge improvement to the current Bell Street deadzone. I’ve personally witnessed gaggles of cruise visitors wandering up Bell St. in dismay at the trash and seemingly vapid surroundings. While I dont think one classy street is enough to really turn around the neighborhood, this is surely a huge step in the right direction. I’m anxious to see how the businesses and city work together to ensure that cafes, food carts, and other business can provide a sustainable draw to the boulevard. KUOW had a discussion this morning on the topic with some interesting debate.
more concept pictures after the jump…