Share this story...
People street, superblock
Latest News

Report: Seattle council member mulls pedestrian ‘superblock’ in Capitol Hill

A People Street event on Seattle's Capitol Hill in 2017. (SDOT)

A report from Capitol Hill Seattle suggests that City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda is looking at the possibility of a pedestrian-friendly “superblock” in Seattle.

Will cutting Bellevue parking requirement hurt the economy?

The concept Mosqueda is considering is relatively simple: Within six square blocks forming a square around Broadway, Pine, 12th Ave, and Union, car traffic would be encouraged to go around, rather than through the streets in that area.

Seattle superblock proposal

The area for a proposed superblock in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood

“This could be a really great place to test what this model may need to be successful,” Mosqueda told CHS. “This is an opportunity to look at what other cities like Barcelona have done to change street design elements to reduce traffic and improve pedestrian access to public spaces.”

Superblocks have been used to a measure of success in Barcelona, reducing emissions and noise pollution, and providing a boon to local businesses.

For Seattle, any such plan is more in the conceptual stages, with Mosqueda eyeing 2020 to begin gathering data and input from the neighborhood, while considering the variety of different options for implementation.

A case arguing for Seattle’s controversial bike lanes

Barcelona’s own superblocks cordon off nine square blocks to thru traffic, reduce speed limits, and move parking off of surface streets and into underground garages. As CHS notes, though, a superblock can feature any number of designs, including narrowed roadways, car traffic left exclusively for neighborhood residents, or simply reduced speed limits.

That being so, Seattle will have plenty to mull over in the next year, as the city begins to explore the many possibilities.

Most Popular