Pike Place Market vehicle traffic removal ‘big priority in 2022,’ says councilmember

Nov 24, 2021, 3:01 PM | Updated: Nov 26, 2021, 12:13 pm
Pike Place Market...
(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

With the success of Seattle’s removal of through traffic in select areas with its Stay Healthy Streets program echoing, Seattle Councilmember Andrew Lewis looks to remove vehicle traffic from the Pike Place Market.

Lewis, on social media, described the move as a “Big priority for 2022.” He subsequently told Fox 13 that, “We have seen the success of café streets … and safe streets over the course of the pandemic. We can close this particular spot with the exception of deliveries.”

The Pike Place Market was purchased by the city under its Urban Renewal Plan in 1971, after it was slated for demolition and redevelopment (the council in 2013 would extend that ownership indefinitely). They again look to invigorate the space, this time allowing more space for pedestrian foot traffic.

The market dates back to August 1907, when years of farmer complaints over price gouging by wholesalers saw eight farmers set up their own market on the corner of First Avenue and Pike Street to sell their produce themselves.

Pike Place Market now boasts dozens of commercial booths, selling everything from freshly baked bread to local works of art. Scores of buskers perform live music at the market each week.

Seattle has implemented multiple systems throughout the COVID-19 pandemic designed to stop through traffic and promote healthier urban life under such programs as Stay Healthy Streets and Keep Moving Streets. The city has closed streets to vehicle traffic in areas from Beacon Hill, Georgetown, and Belltown, to Alki, Green Lake, and Wallingford.

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Pike Place Market vehicle traffic removal ‘big priority in 2022,’ says councilmember