Fish columns beneath the Interstate 5 viaduct
Fish columns along South Jackson Street beneath the Interstate 5 viaduct

SOUTH JACKSON STREET IS AN IMPORTANT CONNECTOR FROM THE WATERFRONT TO THE NEIGHBORHOODS

  • As an active retail and transportation corridor,
  • As one of a limited number of east-west connections that continue beyond I-5 and have a relatively consistent, walkable grade,
  • As a tie from the waterfront to and between neighborhoods—Pioneer Square, Chinatown-International District, Little Saigon and the Central Area beyond, and
  • As a common geographic thread among a fascinating history of people and cultures that enrich Seattle’s past, present and future.

WITH DISCONNECTS THAT REQUIRE LONG-TERM FIXES

South Jackson Street’s success as a strong pedestrian corridor is hampered by difficult nodes:

  • The area below Interstate 5, which separates Chinatown-International District and Little Saigon,
  • The crossing of multiple arterials at 4th, 5th and 2nd Avenue Extension and
  • The waterfront, currently separated by noise from the Alaskan Way Viaduct and construction, will become a major asset and destination that will increase the importance of South Jackson Street as a connector.

IMPROVEMENTS CAN BE MADE IN THE NEAR TERM TO IMPROVE THE CORRIDOR’S PHYSICAL QUALITY AND CONNECTIVITY

Streetscape along the corridor can be improved with coordinated efforts that provide a level
of identity, focusing on lighting, landscape, accessibility, pedestrian comfort, and art.

ENRICHING PUBLIC SPACES WITH ART RELATED TO THE RICH CULTURE AND HISTORY OF SOUTH JACKSON STREET

The many stories of individuals, groups and physical places along the corridor can be made visible to enrich the experience of visitors, shoppers, commuters, and people living and working in the neighborhood.

A component of the project is a memorial to the Chinese Expulsion that took place in Seattle in 1885-86 as the first project in a “Story Street” that captures multiple histories about South Jackson Street. This memorial will be located along the waterfront, between Washington and Main Streets. The intent of this project is to move ahead with the memorial specifically, and look for opportunities to fully integrate the memorial into the community as one of multiple opportunities to tell the important stories of our city.

THE PROJECT AND ITS RECOMMENDATIONS ARE COMMUNITY-BASED

Public input has been a key effort in this project. The feedback highlights concerns with person- al safety, the dominance of vehicles, and the quality of the pedestrian environment. There is widespread support for a greener corridor with a strong cultural identity achieved through a series of coordinated efforts to be completed over time.

THE ULTIMATE AIM OF THE PROJECT IS TO PRODUCE A HIGH-LEVEL CONCEPT FOR SOUTH JACKSON STREET AS A CORRIDOR, AND SET UP A ROUND OF NEXT STEPS THAT CAN BE IMPLEMENTED BY BOTH PRIVATE AND PUBLIC SECTOR ACTORS

An actionable list of projects that have clearly documented community support is a critical outcome of the project.

Download the full report.