Archive for the 'flows' Category

Smoking Ban Activates the Urban Landscape

by Riisa Conklin

Location: various

#1. Beacon Pub

#2. Maharaja

#3. Finn MacCool’s

#4. Cha Cha Lounge

#5. The Bus Stop

#6. Alley Behind Atlas Clothing

#7. Linda’s

#8. The Wild Rose

Seattle’s nighttime personality has dramatically changed since the smoking ban of 2005. It quite literally pushed people out of their interior hideaways and onto the city streets. The places for movement in, out and along are now becoming places where people stop, stay and socialize.

Initiative 901 passed overwhelmingly in November 2005, requiring Seattle’s public places and workplaces to be entirely smoke free. The law also prohibits smoking within 25 feet of the doorways, windows and air intakes of these protected places. The implications of this new law are particularly interesting in terms of how it has manifested itself in the urban landscape, immediately transforming the sidewalks, alleys and otherwise static places into a new active terrain.

Some business owners have responded to the ban with new amenities for their smoking clientele. For example, in an effort to offer a sense of comfort for the smokers, the Stumbling Monk on E. Olive Way provides moveable seating and ashtrays on its sidewalk. Some businesses have even built exterior structures that extend 25 feet from their back door complete with landscaping and heat lamps like Linda’s on E Pine and The Beacon Hill Pub on Beacon Ave. S.

I documented smokers in the Capitol Hill and University District and Downtown neighborhoods on both weekday and weekend nights who, despite their grumblings of the ban, generally agreed that they run into more people and engage in more conversations due to the change.

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Just An Exit Away

by Lexter Tapawan

Location: 800 NE 65th St, Seattle 98115

Initially, I wanted to mainly focus my case study on bus stops throughout the university. After the second assignment, one of the TA’s suggested a particular espresso stand located near 8th and Roosevelt. I decided to check the place out and it was actually a perfect place to conduct my study. For one thing, it had “bus stop” which I wanted to focus on from the beginning, and second, it was a small enough area that a can conduct a thorough research of the given space.

The site I visited was located near the I-5 bridge and a carpool parking area. The site seems to accommodate the community around it which consists of various types of neighborhoods. Looking around, one will notice the variety of possible visitors to the site and possibly visitors who come to the espresso shop on a daily basis. I read some reviews online and one customer mentioned that even thought the shop is near a freeway, the shop somehow makes the whole experience work. She also mentioned that she often buys from the shop every time she visits her dentist, located just across the street.

As mentioned by the reviewer, though the site is located near a freeway, the addition of a back porch with some vegetation seemed to equal some of the negativity in the particular space by simply providing some sort of “comfort area” for people to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee. One may conclude that having an espresso stand by the freeway may not be such a bad idea since people on the freeway can simply take the exit and grab a quick cup of coffee then head on their way.

Crosswalk: Urban Bridge

by Dave Marshall

Location: 25th Ave NE and NE Blakely St.

The crosswalk at the South end of the 25th and Blakely intersection spans four lanes of traffic, two northbound and two southbound. These four lanes comprise a major arterial between the University district and parts northward. This crosswalk is a part of the Burke-Gilman trail, a pedestrian, rollerblade, and bicycle thoroughfare. The intersection is controlled by a four-way signal with crossing signals.

The surrounding land uses include a 24 hour convenience store, gas station, two restaurants, a hotel, and the public trail. The general location of the crosswalk is immediately north of a retail district. Two bus stops are sited near the crossing, one northbound and southbound, servicing all the way from Bothell through the south end of the University district.

The immediate area is usually populated by nearby residents or visitors to the restaurants or hotel. Trail traffic passes through often, especially at peak commute hours. The traffic consists mostly of packs of bicycles moving at high speed. In the summer season recreational traffic along the trail increases due to nicer weather. The primary users of the bus stops are University students traveling to and from campus.

Few impromptu and unprogrammed activities take place, though one does primarily in the summer and include a fruit stand on the east side of the crosswalk. Other than that there is little space for activities other than those planned for the space.

Space Around the Road

by Jeffrey Lam

Location: NE 45th St.and University Way

Expanding on my previous idea on newspaper dispensers, I decided to include bus stop areas. Bus stops provide a common waiting place for inhabitants. They are a product of the urban need for mass transit. I will be focusing on the everyday urbanism right by campus on the Ave. 45th Street is a major exit off Interstate 5 leading to the heart of the University District. Recently polled as one of Seattle’s Top Ten Busiest Streets, my site offers a look to the sides of the street where people avoid cars. In my site I find the more traffic, the more people, the bigger the space. My site is quite ordinary, informal, overlooked, and repetitive. Bus stops are found every block. On 45th Street, the inhabitants are focused on the dangers that surround them- errant drivers being a large concern. It is not uncommon to see a street vendor selling art on the sidewalk near the bus stops. Space designed for the traffic of walkers and people waiting for the bus becomes a place for selling. Visually, the space that makes up the bus stop is created by the function of everyday action of taking the bus and waiting.


Micro Urbanism

The term “micro-urbanism” describes small-scale urban spaces and design interventions that enable a wide variety of activities, events, processes and functions to take place. It also involves ways to reinterpret the urban landscape. As a class project, the purpose for creating this Guide is to bring attention to aspects of our everyday environment that are important but often neglected parts of the urban experiences.

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