On March 28, 2018, the Snohomish County Council adopted Amended Ordinance No. 17-061 to revise regulations for pedestrian facilities. The ordinance became effective on May 27, 2018.
Snohomish County Planning and Development Services (PDS) initiated the project as a collaboration with Public Works to review and evaluate the County's policies on pedestrian facility requirements for new development. The project aimed to clarify the requirements found in Chapters 30.24 and 30.66B of the Snohomish County Code and Engineering Design and Development Standards by:
- Addressing ambiguity in requiring a network of pedestrian facilities within residential development;
- Providing guidance about when residential development is required to provide walking routes to schools and bus stops;
- Revising the County's engineering design standards for pedestrian facilities; and
- Other related issues that stakeholders may find valuable for consideration.
When Pedestrian Facilities Are Required
The County generally requires pedestrian facilities:
- Along public rights-of-way fronting new development;
- Within new development to form a network that connects dwelling/buildings and other features together; and
- Short subdivisions and subdivisions are also required to provide pedestrian facilities to ensure adequate routes for kids to walk to schools and school bus stops.
What Are Pedestrian Facilities?
The County uses the term "pedestrian facilities" as a catch-all phrase to describe a range of different elements that together create complete facilities for walking. These include elements like curb ramps, crosswalks, paved shoulders, raised and at-grade sidewalks, shared use paths, and trails. It also includes other devices and facilities designed to guide and protect pedestrians, such as wayfinding signage, walking signals and stoplight push buttons, barriers and bollards, tactile warning surfaces, and street calming techniques.
County Code defines a pedestrian facility as follows:
"[I]nfrastructure and equipment that create a walking environment including sidewalks, curb ramps, traffic control devices, trails, walkways, crosswalks, paved shoulders, shared use paths and other design features intended to provide for pedestrian travel."