Bell Street Park Art + Activation Plan: First Open House


With the recently renovated Bell Street Park, between First and Fifth Avenues, the community is excited to activate the space and make it their own. There were several successful events this summer, among them the Out to Lunch Series and Belltown Crush Party, and the community would like to see more. The next task is to identify ways in which users of the Park would like to see the streetscape enlivened and used to its full capabilities through inspired programming, art interventions and events.

Stakeholders kicked off this project with the first of three open houses at the Belltown Community Center on Monday evening, with cheese and wine and a lot of great ideas from members of the community! Jane Savard (Project Manager, Friends of Bell Street Park) introduced the stakeholders and welcomed everyone, and Nate Cormier (Principal in Charge, SvR) and Amanda Bailey (Project Manger, SvR) described the street/park design and engaged a dialogue about the process of gathering input via idea boards, a map of Bell Street Park, and comment cards to catch ideas in a variety of formats. There was a high level of energy and positive attitudes as ideas were pondered and shared around the room! Thanks to all who contributed!

If you would like to provide ideas or keep tabs on the progress of this project, you can go to the Friends of Bell Street Park website:

Weekly Reading: Some Fun Reads for Secretary Peterson

Transportation was all over the news this week, especially here in Washington State where we not only saw the passage of the Neighborhood Safe Streets Bill in the state House, but also saw the ascension of a new Secretary for the Washington State Department of Transportation (Transportation Issues Daily has a good round up of reactions) and the announcement of a new statewide transportation funding package (reactions here here and here). So we tailored some of the weekly reading selections to Secretary Peterson, who, after a whirlwind week in Olympia, might want to enjoy some lighter mobility-related fare.

StrongTowns started the week inveighing against our tendency to design orderly solutions, which are also, in Chuck's words, "dumb." He advocates for a different approach, highlighting "chaotic but smart" designs.

Our old friend Paul Chasan, now in San Francisco, sends word of the City's release of the Parklet Manual. Very exciting and congrats to San Francisco to this first-of-its-kind document.

Backing up some of Brent Toderian's points, Atlantic Cities writes about how to begin to close the gender gap in cycling. Hint: it starts with an "S" and ends with an "afety."

Philadelphia released what looks like a great Complete Streets manual. For example, the street typologies include "High-Volume Pedestrian" streets and "Walkable Commercial Corridors." Why so awesome? You know, immediately, which users have the priority.

Tom Fuculoro, over at Seattle Bike Blog, has some fun stoking a good-natured rivalry between Chicago's Mayor Emanuel and our own Mayor McGinn over bike lanes and jobs.

The Seattle Times has an interesting infographic based on data from Commute Seattle about which neighborhoods are "cycling hot spots."

Urban hacking? Sounds fun. Some examples are at the top of the post, but many more can be found here.

Finally, want gorgeous? The original 1970 Massimo Vignelli designed New York City Transit Authority Graphics Standards Manual.