Curley: Removing cars from Pike Place Market a step toward car-less Seattle

Dec 7, 2021, 12:24 PM
pike place...
A couple embraces near Rachel the Piggybank at Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle, Washington. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

There has been a recent push, led by Seattle City Councilmember Andrew Lewis, to take cars out of Pike Place Market in Seattle and “pedestrian-ize” the area.

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

“You can tell they don’t want any cars over there at Pike Place because driving on those cobblestones, [it’s] horrible for my car,” KIRO Radio host John Curley said.

The question is whether removing cars would change the energy of the market or impact deliveries, though most agree it would be safer without cars driving through the area.

“How safe it is, is just determined how many people get hit by a car — that’s a pretty easy number to run. And then there are a lot of trucks that have to do all the deliveries, and some people that want to be able to go visit the market might not be able to get in there close enough, I know there’s a lot of good handicapped parking in there to be able to go around,” Curley said.

“It’s just part of it. You’re always sort of crossing there and you look out for the cars that are backing up. They go slow enough through there because you really can’t move very quickly,” he added. “There is not a lot of parking on the right hand side; there’s plenty of commercial parking and stuff. But they want to get rid of the cars through Pike Place Market because, ultimately, to be able to say, ‘I got this done.'”

Co-host Shari Elliker says they made a similar change where she lives in Alexandria, Virginia, along the Potomac River.

“What they did was they took about two blocks and blocked it off to only pedestrians,” she explained, because there were too many people driving down to the river. “Well all it really did was then make it almost impossible — the bottleneck that happens before you get there is worse now. So there are people parked on the side streets along the way.”

“Like you were saying, there’s a rhythm there. There’s a routine to what happens all the time, so people were used to that and when they tried to change it, it wasn’t a good experiment,” she said. “But they can’t move it back now — once it’s done, it’s done.”

Seattle’s Pike Place Market celebrates 114th anniversary

Curley says making a space like Pike Place Market pedestrian-only because you want to cut down on accidents is “perfectly fine,” but there are other ways to do that.

“You could slow it down even more, you could [add] speed bumps, whatever, but really are there that many people being hit by cars there at Pike Place Market? I don’t know,” he said. “Seattle is a city that doesn’t want to have any cars anymore so this is one more way to make that all happen.”

Listen to the John Curley and Shari Show weekday afternoons from 3 – 7 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

John Curley and Shari Elliker on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM
  • listen to tom and curleyTune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 3pm for John Curley and Shari Elliker.

John Curley and Shari Elliker

John Curley and Shari Elliker

truckers, kindness...
John Curley

‘The contagiousness of kindness’ is real, says John Curley

John Curley was inspired by someone else's act of kindness and decided to take 15 burritos to the truck drivers who are stuck while I-90 is closed.
5 days ago
Republicans, redistricting...
John Curley and Shari Elliker

Rep. Walsh says limiting emergency powers is among key issues for legislative session

State Rep. Jim Walsh (R-Aberdeen) joined the John Curley & Shari Elliker Show to provide an update on the legislative session that started Monday.
6 days ago
John Curley (and his dogs) trek through the snow to get to the outhouse....
John Curley and Shari Elliker

John Curley describes his trek to the outhouse in 4 feet of snow

KIRO Radio host John Curley says there has been about 4 feet of snow at his cabin, which means it's a journey to get to his outhouse.
20 days ago
seattle city council, 10 minutes...
John Curley and Shari Elliker

John & Shari support 10-minute limit for Seattle councilmember speeches

The new rule for Seattle City Councilmembers is that they're not allowed to talk about anything for longer than 10 minutes.
28 days ago
porch pirates...
John Curley and Shari Elliker

John & Shari: Porch pirates risk a lot for unknown packages

It's the holiday season, people are expecting packages, and that means the porch pirates are back. But these thieves don't even know what they're stealing.
29 days ago
John Curley in his new hat....
John Curley and Shari Elliker

John Curley has a whole personality building up around his new hat

KIRO Radio host John Curley got a new hat in Cle Elum that he says he's building his whole personality around now.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles


Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, initiative provides […]

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.

Delayed-Onset PTSD: Signs and Symptoms

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers SPONSORED — You’re probably familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder. Often abbreviated as PTSD, this condition is diagnosed when a person experiences a set of symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. However, for some people, these issues take longer to develop. This results in a diagnosis of delayed-onset PTSD […]

Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
Curley: Removing cars from Pike Place Market a step toward car-less Seattle