This rapid health impact assessment (HIA), produced by a team of University of Washington graduate students, identifies potential health concerns and action items as the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) launches a multiyear effort designed to improve infrastructure in the area surrounding King Street Station in the Pioneer Square and Chinatown-International District neighborhoods.
The King Street Station Multimodal Hub (KSSMH), just south of downtown Seattle, takes its name from the array of transportation options that serve the site, including intercity trains, local and regional bus service, light rail, and, in the future, a streetcar. The KSSMH area also encounters heavy use by pedestrians, cyclists, general vehicle traffic, and freight. However, the dispersed nature of these various transportation options makes the area challenging to navigate. This HIA's quarter-mile study area straddles two distinct but similarly historic neighborhoods: Pioneer Square and Chinatown/International District. Both neighborhoods feature clusters of restaurants, cafes, food markets, shops, galleries, and cultural activities, as well as social services organizations, housing, and major employers. The neighborhood's residents are more racially diverse, generally older, and less affluent than Seattle as a whole, according to the 2000 U.S. Census. In addition, the area serves thousands of commuters and visitors not captured by the census data.
Through meetings with relevant stakeholders, SDOT developed nine consensus goals for the KSSMH project. This HIA focused primarily on two of those goals: (1) build a lid over the openings at street level above railroad tracks and (2) Restoring the street grid pattern of the area by closing the 2nd Avenue Extension.