“We want to see this through your eyes – we’re interested in a dialogue.”
With that, two Seattle Planning Commissioners, both West Seattleites, are inviting you to be part of the dialogue about the future of The Junction and vicinity with a walk-and-talk event next Saturday (October 11th), 10 am.
They came to September’s Junction Neighborhood Organization meeting to initiate the dialogue, and we since have received official confirmation and the invitation itself (see above, or click here for the PDF version) – RSVP for updates on where they’re planning to meet (we’ll also have that here, later in the week).
Commissioners Jeanne Krikawa and Luis Borrero said they realize many might not even have heard about the Seattle Planning Commission, an independent, but city-convened/funded, group of appointees. That’s why they and commission policy analyst Jesseca Brand visited JuNO, to talk about not just what they do but also about looking at The Junction’s “walkshed” – what “essential components of livability” it has, and doesn’t have. Those were described as parks, plazas, libraries, community centers, wayfinding, green streets, bike infrastructure, as laid out in the Seattle Transit Communities report a few years back.
If any of those elements don’t exist in a “transit community,” they should be only “a stop or two away.” Here’s the slide deck Borrero and Krikawa showed JuNO:
This all figures into the Seattle 2035 process to update the city’s Comprehensive Plan, a major project for the Planning Commission right now, and one that has already resulted in a variety of events.
Even if this all sounds a little too wonky for you, remember that a process more than 15 years ago set the stage for much is what’s happening now. That’s what designated The Junction and vicinity as a Hub Urban Village – one meant to encourage workplaces to locate in the area, not just residences and services, the commissioners told JuNO.
In turn, JuNO director René Commons and attendees told Krikawa and Borrero that the Junction “walkshed” is definitely missing some of what are supposed to be hub characteristics – no nearby community centers, libraries, public schools.
The commissioners in turn asked those in attendance how they feel about The Junction’s growth. We’d summarize the various answers as “trepidational,” as well as eager for more transit – but join next Saturday’s walking tour, and tell them yourselves.
The bottom line of all this is consideration of how The Junction and vicinity should be viewed in the decades ahead, as a prism through which to see growth and the choices to be made. It’s a rare chance for more of a big picture look than the piecemeal decision-making so many have decried in the past few years. If you’re interested in having a say – or at least listening – be part of the tour next Saturday, and the conversation to follow.