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“Thoughtful. Considerate. Accommodating.” The perfect boyfriend? No, a Rainier Ave sidewalk project

Here’s how SDOT’s Sidewalk Safety and Repair Program (SSRP) used some creativity to enhance another project, help out bus riders, and preserve street trees.

The SSRP program repairs a finite amount of sidewalks throughout the city each year, so it’s important to get the most bang for our buck.  When the program thoughtfully looked for opportunities to leverage other city projects this year, it identified SDOT’s Transit Priority Corridor project on Rainier Ave S, which added bus bulbs at key bus stops, crosswalks and queue jumps to make riding the bus faster and more pleasant.  The SSRP program directed some funds to repair sidewalks leading to the improved bus stops, making each project more valuable.

Sidewalk to improved bus stop BEFORE
Sidewalk to improved bus stop AFTER

Plus, this project was sensitive to the fact that mature street trees gracing Rainier Ave. S were growing too large for their space between the curb and the sidewalk. In the future the trees would damage the sidewalk or need to be removed.  Instead, SDOT simply moved the sidewalk around the tree in a gently meandering pathway.

Sidewalk sensitively accomodates street trees with a meander

So, although sidewalks may seem cold, hard and unforgiving, they actually can be thoughtful, helpful and flexible when given the chance.