Pedestrianizing Pike Place would enable bold climate action

Larch Lab’s founder has an op-ed in today’s Seattle Times, on how pedestrianizing Pike Place would prioritize safe streets and the city’s commitment to Vision Zero, result in positive public health outcomes, and enable climate action

In an era when markets the world over are eliminating private vehicles because it is better for businesses, patrons, and workers; when cities are re-democratizing public right of ways and returning - even expanding - in the form of car-free plazas and pedestrian zones, Seattle’s continued default to an unhealthy, unsustainable and unsafe status quo is dumbfounding.

- Michael Eliason

Eliason’s op-ed highlighted that the IPCC’s Working Group III report stated cities need to de-prioritize private vehicles, and re-democratize streets for green mobility and blue-green infrastructure. Every one of Seattle’s Urban Villages should have  spaces like this, and downtown neighborhoods as well.

We could start with Pike Place.

 

Not only would (finally) closing Pike Place to cars enable climate action – it would provide a multitude of co-benefits such as improved livability and safer streets. The sheer number of cars in the region, and the size of them – has increased dramatically since the 1970s. It would also improve public health outcomes for the residents, tourists, patrons, and workers at the market.  Markets the world over have solved the dance of logistics and car-free streets. 

It’s time Seattle finally caught up!

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