Our call for consultants marks the beginning of a multi-year effort to engage the public in building a transportation vision for an equitable and resilient Seattle

Today, we posted a Request for Qualifications (RFQ), which marks the start of our search for a technical and community engagement consultant team to help develop a holistic transportation plan for Seattle.  

By early 2024, SDOT will have a 20-year plan that tells the story of Seattle’s shared transportation and public space vision with steps to achieve it. The plan will support the growth strategy established within Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan update that is scheduled to start next year. With a proposed list of initiatives—including a potential transportation funding package—the plan will capture our collective commitment to  a racially equitable and socially just transportation system that addresses safety, the climate emergency, and ongoing system investment and maintenance needs.     

This plan is a next step that we identified and developed through conversations we had with the Policy & Operations Advisory Group (POAG) — a group of representatives from City commissions, boards, the Transportation Equity Workgroup, and other advisory groups that we convened to serve as a sounding board for our modal integration policy framework efforts.  

We heard enthusiasm for thinking creatively about the future of transportation system planning and support for a new approach to planning that focuses on holistically addressing mobility, access, and public space needs while building on the strong foundations of our pedestrian, bicycle, transit, and freight modal plans—each of which is growing out of date. This includes new ways of reaching out to you – our community.  

Working with the community, we’ll consider our street network and operations across all travel modes and functions. This approach enables us to think strategically and holistically about how to achieve Seattle’s equity, safety, environmental, health, and economic targets today and in years to come. 

Ultimately, the Seattle transportation planning process will: 

  • Establish a renewed blueprint  for our transportation system to address our most pressing challenges, organized around community aspirations and SDOT’s vision and values 
  • Collaborate with community members to create informed recommendations 
  • Build on Seattle’s existing plans—including our four modal master plans, Transportation Electrification Blueprint, Climate Action Plan, and more—to advance our goals for all modes of travel, emerging technologies, and evolving access and public space needs  
  • Prepare for funding opportunities by identifying programs, projects, services, and state of good repair needs  
  • Coordinate with the update of Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan to ensure alignment with the City’s growth strategy for future housing, jobs, and community investments 

Together with the community, our partners across the City of Seattle, and a consultant team, we’ll create a plan to address the needs of our growing and thriving city.  

Our goal throughout public engagement will be to continue building partnerships, reduce barriers to participation, and center racial equity.  

We will rely on community voices to shape the plan and address our greatest transportation challenges with a renewed vision for our city. We will listen to the experiences and needs of people who have historically been marginalized in planning processes, including Black, Indigenous, people of color, and people with disabilities, to shape policies and investments. 

By using many different engagement strategies that are culturally relevant and accessible, we’ll hear from more voices and set a blueprint to guide investments for safe multimodal travel, high-quality public spaces, and the efficient movement of goods over the next 20 years. 

The Request for Qualifications (RFQ) invites consultants to express their interest in supporting the development of the Seattle transportation plan and to share their experience creating similar successful projects, including inclusive engagement processes, around the United States and beyond. In alignment with our goal to engage people and communities traditionally underrepresented in government planning processes, we are working with our Office of Equity and Economic Inclusion to ensure women and minority-owned businesses are aware of and included in the RFQ process. We aim to have a consultant team onboard by the end of the year, with an expectation of launching broad community engagement in 2022. 

We are in the early stages of this project and look forward to keeping you updated as we proceed.