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First Hill Streetcar Construction Outreach to the Chinatown/International District

Given recent interest in SDOT’s work in the Chinatown/International District, we thought it would be worth sharing information about our streetcar construction outreach. As we do with any project, we work diligently to communicate with the neighborhood’s businesses and residents, and to understand their concerns around issues such as construction impacts. Below are steps we have taken to work with the community on this important transit project. 

Chinatown/ID Streetcar Working Group – Created a streetcar focused community group representing CID businesses, community groups and service providers. Group began meeting on a monthly basis in March 2012 to discuss streetcar schedule, construction impacts, and outreach efforts. Has more than seven participating CID organizations, including:

  • Seattle Chinatown International District PDA (SCIDPDA)
  • Chinatown International District BIA
  • Interim
  • Wing Luke Museum

Preconstruction Survey of CID – Survey of 135 businesses along South Jackson between 5th and 14th and 8th Avenue S between S Jackson and Dearborn. Collected contact information, learned about businesses’ specific operational needs as well as such information as languages spoken and business hours.

Get On Board – Handout prepared by SCIDPDA, with assistance from streetcar staff, created to inform and prepare CID businesses about upcoming construction and what to expect. Distributed throughout CID by SCIDPDA staff fluent in Chinese and Vietnamese. (February/March 2012.)

Preconstruction door-to-door information delivery – Delivered project brochure, multi-lingual invitation to open houses and multi-lingual project information sheet. Collected e-mail addresses for distribution of construction updates. (February 2012). 

Materials distributed included:

  • First Hill Streetcar Brochure (English)
  • Construction Alert (English, Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Cambodian, Somali, Tagalog)
  • Open House Invitation (English, Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Cambodian, Somali, Tagalog)

Pre-Construction Open House – Held two open houses (2/28 – Union Station Boardroom, 3/7 -Silver Cloud Hotel). Invitations were in English, Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Cambodian, Somali and Tagalog. Interpreters were available upon request.  Interpreters were requested by the deaf and deaf/blind community. 

“Come On In” / businesses are open signs – Created specialized signage for the CID to be used in place of SDOT’s traditional “Businesses Are Open” signs. The design and messaging was created by the Streetcar Working Group and SDOT.

Chinatown/lnternational District Parking Guide – Assisted the Streetcar Working Group in the design and production of a brochure that highlighted CID businesses and how the businesses are open and accessible during streetcar construction.  The guide was distributed by SCIDPDA to local businesses.

First Hill Streetcar Poster (English, Chinese and Vietnamese) – The First Hill Streetcar developed a poster that was printed in English, Chinese and Vietnamese. The SCIDPDA, who assisted with the translations, distributed 100 copies of each throughout the CID in gathering places, businesses, residential buildings and service agencies.

SPU Open House (August 8, 2012) – Organized open house to introduce and explain upcoming water shutdowns associated with the water main installation along Jackson between 5th  and 14th. Vietnamese and Chinese translators were provided at the Open House.

Materials distributed included:

  • Invitations (English, Chinese, Vietnamese) – Delivered 500 door to door in the shutdown area, 250 distributed by property managers, 50 distributed to email contacts in the S Jackson corridor
  • Information for Water Customers (English, Chinese, Vietnamese) – Meeting hand out and distributed to buildings prior to formal shutdown notifications
  • First Hill Streetcar Construction Notice (English, Chinese, Vietnamese) – Meeting handout

Weekly Project Updates – Construction updates are produced for three parts of the streetcar alignment. To date, thirty-five weekly updates have been delivered via an ever growing listserve database of over 1500 addresses. They are also posted to the Web page, and as well as door to door delivery.

Social Media – Information is posted about CID community groups, events and businesses on the Streetcar’s Facebook and Twitter sites.

Day-to-day Community Construction Officer – Provides day-to-day community communication and disseminates information about the project, prepares weekly email updates, responds to citizen calls, monitors and responds to project emails, prepares traffic advisories, prepares and delivers construction alerts, prepares social media messages

Construction Phone Line – a 24 hour project line (phone number: 206-257-2121) is available for public inquiry calls and concerns.