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Access Seattle: Keeping the Right of Way Accessible to All

Seattle continues to grow and neighborhoods across the city are being impacted by dense construction. SDOT’s Access Seattle crews conduct reviews, in addition to regularly scheduled inspections, of construction sites to assess their impact on pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers. We work with contractors to maintain right-of-way code, enforce when necessary, and educate about the importance of accessibility for all.

The Access team recently conducted a review of a construction site in Ballard and identified opportunities for improving mobility around the site. Inspectors worked with the contractor to provide cane-detectable surfaces around scaffolding in line with ADA standards, and to restore access to parking and the nearby parking kiosk by realigning the scaffolding on the sidewalk. As you can see in the photos below, these types of improvements make our city more navigable for all.



Access Seattle’s end goals also received a boost of support this year with the implementation of a new SDOT Director’s Rule (DR). DR 10-2015, better known as the Director’s Rule for Pedestrian Mobility In and Around Work Zones, provides our inspectors with a clear framework with which to coach contractors on approved right-of-way practices. The rule prioritizes pedestrian access and makes sidewalk closures around work zones a last resort. The clear expectations outlined in this new rule allow pedestrians to navigate a more predictable city, and contractors to better understand what is expected of them when using the right of way.

The Access Seattle team is constantly working to identify areas where public mobility and access can be improved. Do you have questions or comments regarding mobility and construction in your neighborhood? Please send the team an email at