Hey, I Like Your Streetscape

This section of 5th Avenue between Union and University could well be the best piece of streetscape in all of downtown Seattle.  All it takes is a few basic ingredients:  small-scale storefronts, wide sidewalk, mid-block crossings, street trees, human-scale lighting. 

The 5th Ave roadway is fairly narrow here—three travel lanes and no parking—which makes crossings easier and helps create a cozy sense of enclosure between the two street walls.  Buildings are 5 to 7 stories on the East, though on the West it’s more of a hodgepodge with an unfortunate gap at Rainier Square.   Perhaps due to the “visual friction” of a narrow roadway, car traffic tends to move relatively slowly.

It’s simply a nice place to be a pedestrian.  And it’s really not that hard to create these spaces.