I think you're the first one to get bent out of shape over this, Charles.
Or - and hear me out on this - it works just fine as is? People and cars seem to be able to effectively navigate that space without too much trouble at all. The cars go about 2 mph and people just go about their merry way. It's the closest thing to a European traffic style we've got here. Perhaps it's just not that big a deal that the space is shared.
Low speed auto traffic intermixed with pedestrians is a safe and livable combination you'll find in urban environments across the globe. Encouraged, even: have you not heard of woonerfs/shared streets?

I'm surprised at you, Charles.
Nope. Need to arrest drivers who don't stop for pedestrians. State law.
This is the hill Charles has chosen to die on.
I'd be OK with "Deliveries Only" from Pike to Stewart during the day. But I've got to be able to get down Stewart and up to Western in the morning, goddammit.

While we're at it, open Occidental to through traffic, Jackson to Washington.
Pike Place Market is exempt from city jay walking laws between:

Pike, Pine, Stewart and Virginia streets west of First Avenue
Pike Place between Pike Street and Virginia Street

You're welcome.
Get over it people. This is the way things have been since horses were there. We don't change the market to make it more or less European. Especially not for any reason having to do with Amazon.
Charles has commented on woonerfs, previously: a Dutch wonder and an American menace. Banning cars from a 30 square block of downtown would be revolutionary and wonderful. Imagine a continuous free transit zone from Spring to Pine and from 1st to 6th. Construction and delivery vehicles would have an additional lane and dedicated hours for their use. Otherwise, we could stroll in a rather delicious calm.
"The Seattle Municipal Code has eight offenses it."

Doesn't bother me. I'm not sure of the logic of banning cars from a short stretch of road in an area already jammed with shoppers as being enough to combat the effects of Amazon on local businesses. For my money, I'd think that cheaper parking and better public transportation would have a much greater impact.
a woman working at the market explained it to me once. they need car access for vendors to load and unload, but no one wants to pay for a gate or attendant to keep other cars out.

this way people drive down it exactly once, get frustrated by pedestrians doing what they should, and never drive down it again.
As a person who worked in the market for years, and was involved in a committee on this topic, I can tell you that in the opinion of the businesses there closing the street to cars would be bad for the market. The geometry just isn't right for it. Most pedestrian only streets are much narrower than pike places 57 feet.
BAN CARS ON THAT ROAD FROM 8AM to 7 PM. There is no practical use for this road during business hours. Deliveries can be made before 8am.
Unless the law has changed since the last time I looked it up, I believe that area is designated a pedestrian right of way zone as allowed by SMC 11.40.420.
@14, that's not true. The cars push pedestrians towards the businesses
its simple. if it ain't broke don't fix it. quit writing articles on this topic!
Eh, if they aren't going to ban cars on the road, the current anarchy is the next best thing. It seriously discourages driving on the road unless you have a good reason (access to disabled spots, vendors, etc). Also, there are times when the sidewalks literally can't handle the foot traffic and it would be absurd to ticket people who walk out into the street to get around stopped sidewalk traffic.
There are lots of city ordinances that aren't really enforced. Camping in parks, for one.
@18: Indeed, it's often way to crowded to walk with my cane on the sidewalk or in the market.
I read and re-read this, looking for signs of satire. What the hell, I'll bite: Charles, we can and do have it both ways. I walk through the market nearly every. Single. Day. on my 'lunch walk', and it works just fine. Oh, and I seriously racked my brain, trying to remember the last time I heard a car horn in the market. I can't remember a single time. In 6 years of year-round lunch walks. The should ticket the guy with the blue-gray face and green pants. Or the guy with the sign indicating he needs a 'fat bitch".
@21: the "fat bitch" dude needs to go. it ain't funny.
The City Council resolved this issue nearly forty years ago by explicitly allowing mid-block pedestrian crossing of Pike.

11.40.140 - Prohibited crossing upon arterial streets.
No pedestrian shall cross an arterial street other than in a crosswalk, except upon the following portions of streets within the Pike Place Market Historical District:

Pike Street, Pine Street, Stewart Street and Virginia Street, west of First Avenue;
Pike Place between Pike Street and Virginia Street.
(Ord. 108809 § 1, 1980: Ord. 108200 , § 2(11.40.140), 1979.)
Charles, once again, bike-shedding on the SLOG. Same as it ever was.
I'm with 5 on this. "This is the hill Charles has chosen to die on." --Urgutha Forka

Unless, of course, this is to distract us from the Russians hijacking the presidential election.
Love this.
A car-free downtown market would just reinforce the whole "liberal hell-hole" thing.
Charles, as 15 and 23 have already explained, you have (as usual) no idea what you are talking about.

If you don't like the pedestrian situation in the Pike Place Market, lobby the city council to rescind the pedestrian right of way designation for that area.

As an aside, have you ever conducted any background research for one of your pieces? You know, like journalists do?
I used to have to catch an early morning bus below Macy's several years ago. We're talking 5:25 AM. Is that clown who is a jaywalking ticket machine still patrolling that area every morning? Seems he'd get somebody every day while I was running to catch my bus to Southcenter. He got me once because I was running late and crossed Stewart on 4th against the signal after looking both ways, There wasn't a car in sight. For blocks. Nada. Nothing except his stupid motorcycle. He was such a smart ass that I was actually going to fight him in court but couldn't take the day off from work. Karma, do your thing.

Yeah, I almost never step foot inside the arcades until I'm close to my destination or using the stairs, because during the summer it's just too damned crowded with tourists who shamble along slower than zombies on Valium. I get that that's what they do, so it's not something to get worked up over, but walking down Pike Place is just faster and more efficient, and frankly, the cars aren't much of an impediment so long as you're not an ass and walk down the middle of the street.
The Market is an eco system and the pedestrians and cars are part of it. Do you realize that it is the only place downtown that has free one hour parking - on Pike Place. Those parking places support small business and commerce in the Market. I agree with many of the comments that ask if you did research for this piece.
Yesterday I was leaving the market and a pickup truck honked its horn at pedestrians crossing against the "don't walk" signal at 1st Ave, so there's that.

The actual, factual reason that the market should be closed to cars is because they idle and pollute the air. Reducing particulate matter and nitrous oxide would have a real health benefit for the thousands of tourists and locals who visit the market every day. Making that stretch of road a "Zero Emission Zone" during business hours of the market would achieve a similar effect by banning most vehicles and would be in accordance with Seattle's flagging Climate Action Plan.
I've never hear any honking down at the Market, although if I saw Mudede rev my engine and lean on the horn ... But about the situation on that street, I like the way it is. It reminds me of my trips to Rome. It's part of the Market. Don't like it? shop and eat lunch elsewhere.
This is dumb, Charles. I'm fully on board for the war on cars, but in that war, banning cars in PPM shouldn't be anywhere near the top 100 priorities. Pedestrians have already won the war on cars here; they dominate cars with confidence and impunity, making those cars less than useless. The next front in the war on cars should be those places where cars are currently winning, actively endangering pedestrian safety and ruining public spaces.
The fact that American cities -- and Seattle specifically -- do not have large pedestrian-only areas is a serious oversight. The massive pedestrian-only area of Chateau-les-Halles & the Pompidou Center is,. in a word, liberating & fantastic. The freedom to walk anywhere without having to even think of cars, much less avoid or walk around them is an urban experience that few people (in the US) ever get.

Why Seattle has only the piddily quarter-block triangle of "Westlake Center" as car-free is astonishing to me. Do y'all want to allow cars in Westlake Center too? If not, why not? It's an "eco system" that can support "all types of transportation".. right?

Pike Place Mkt should ban all cars not involved in directly servicing the Market itself (eg. the vendors). There is no good reason to let regular cars down there. Not one.

@33 -- No, peds did not "win" the "war on cars" (a ridiculous phrase) at the Market. Cars still roll down PPM's cobblestones. If peds had "won", there would be no cars there. Just like there should be no cars on Pike between Broadway and 15th/Madison on Friday & Saturday nights.

Please wait...

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